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Cheers to a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 11/08/12 -- (Family Features) It can be challenging to eat right during the holidays, especially when the entire season seems filled with hearty meals, rich dishes and sweet treats. While it's okay to moderately splurge before kick-starting the New Year with a healthy diet, it's important to build momentum prior to January 1 by making smart dietary decisions over the holidays to ensure a healthy immune system during the winter months and increased energy for burning off those extra calories.

Drink to Your Health
A simple way to enjoy a healthy holiday season and New Year is to start each day with a nutrient-rich beverage packed with essential ingredients that produce increased energy levels, decreased cravings for seasonal junk foods, and greater overall wellness.

Whether it's a nourishing morning pick-me-up or a mid-day energy and immunity boost, these nutritious and delicious recipes from NutriBullet will help ensure a healthy holiday season and put you on the right track to wellness in the New Year. The NutriBullet emulsifies healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and grains into their most easily digestible state. Learn more at www.nutribullet.com.

Nutrient Know-How
How many times have you read a list of nutrients on a food label, but not really known how each works to benefit your body? Following are some nutrient quick tips so you're better informed during your next trip to the market.

Calcium -- Essential for healthy teeth and bones; also important for muscle, nerve and some gland functions.

Iron -- Necessary for healthy blood and normal cell functioning.

Magnesium -- Needed for healthy bones; also involved in more than 300 enzymes.

Potassium -- Helps maintain healthy blood pressure.

Vitamin A -- Helps keep eyes and skin healthy; also helps protect against infections.

Vitamin C -- Helps heal cuts and wounds; helps keep teeth and gums healthy, and helps iron absorption.

Folate (folic acid) -- Helps the body form red blood cells.

Fiber -- Helps reduce blood cholesterol and may lower risk of heart disease.

How Much Is a Cup?
To help you gauge how much produce you're eating, here's a quick look at what equals a cup:
--1 small apple
--1 large banana
--1 medium grapefruit
--1 large orange
--1 medium potato
--2 large or 3 medium plums
--12 baby carrots
--1 small wedge watermelon
--8 large strawberries
--2 large stalks celery
--1 medium pear

Sniffle Snatcher
A tasty combination of vitamin C-rich ingredients, cayenne to reduce
congestion, and rosemary to reduce inflammation and soothe a sore

          1   cup kale
          1   carrot
          1   pear (cored and seeds removed)
          1/2 cup cubed pineapple
              Dash of cayenne pepper
              Dash of fresh rosemary

Add water to the max line of the large cup, and blast.

Sweet Apple Pumpkin Pie
An antioxidant-rich, protein-packed healthy dessert option so you can
enjoy the flavors of the season guilt-free.

          1/4 cup organic silken tofu or organic Greek-style yogurt
          1/2 cup canned pumpkin or cooked fresh pumpkin
          1/2 apple (cut, cored, and seeds removed)
          1   tablespoon raw almond butter
              Pinch of cinnamon
              Pinch of ground cloves
          1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
          1   cup almond milk

Add ingredients to large cup, and blast.

Flu Fighter
Vitamin C, antioxidants, and anti-bacterial ginger help keep the immune
system at its peak during the winter months.
          1/2 cup spinach
          1/2 cup Swiss chard
          1/4 cup parsley
          1   kiwi (peeled)
          1/2 lime (peeled)
          1   banana (peeled)
          1/2 bell pepper (seeds and stem removed)
          1   inch fresh ginger root (peeled)

Add water to the max line of the large cup, and blast.

Cranbanana Blast
Filled with heart-healthy nutrients and anti-viral properties,
cranberries blend well with bananas and dates for a tart-sweet treat.

          1   cup spinach
          1   ripe banana (peeled)
          1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
          2   dates

Add water or almond milk to the max line of the large cup, and blast.

Sweet Potato Pick-Me-Up
Complex carbs from the sweet potato will provide sustained energy, and
cinnamon keeps blood sugar balanced.
          1/2 cooked sweet potato (skin on)
          1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
              Pinch cinnamon
              Pinch nutmeg
          1   cup ice cubes

Add almond or coconut milk to the max line of the large cup, and blast.

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
This and other food and lifestyle content can be found at www.editors.familyfeatures.com. Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for use in print and online publications. Register with no obligation to access a variety of formatted and unformatted features, accompanying photos, and automatically updating Web content solutions.

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Matthew Barksdale
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