Cape Cod Cranberry Kombucha Mule

Disclosure: This recipe was made for a recipe contest sponsored by Cape Cod Select Cranberries. All opinions are my own, I never feature a brand that I don't love!

 
cranberry mule
 

Having grown up spending my summers on Cape Cod, I was pretty excited to connect with this brand. I was even more excited to find out that I can find them all the way out in Montana.

Cape Cod Select cranberries are fresh from the bog and frozen without preservatives, making a high quality product you can get all year. Plus they're a women-owned family business (4th generation!) and they power their facilities primarily with solar power! It may just be me but I find that this brand of cranberries tastes a bit less tart than other varieties and I absolutely love them! If I can find them in the middle of nowhere Montana, you can probably find them near you too, just take a look here. If by chance, you can't find Cape Cod Select at a store near you, you can order their frozen cranberries online here.

Cranberries are a great source of antioxidants and Vitamin C. Paired with the probiotics in the ginger kombucha, this healthier alternative is the perfect, refreshing summer beverage. 

Traditional Moscow Mules are pretty high in sugar. 1 can of ginger beer can have almost as much sugar as a can of coke. This recipe replaces the traditional ginger beer in a Moscow Mule for a lower sugar, probiotic rich ginger kombucha, and it is absolutely delicious. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

cranberry moscow mule

1/4 cup Cape Cod Select Cranberries
1/3 cup ginger kombucha
1.5 oz (1 shot) vodka
1/2 of a small lime, juiced
1/2 tsp honey

 

Directions:

1. Place cranberries in an 8oz rocks glass and muddle with a muddler. (If the cranberries are too hard to mash, place in the microwave for just 15 seconds to soften enough to mash).

2. Add ice to the rim of the glass.

3. Add vodka, kombucha, and honey. 

4. Stir and enjoy!

Note: You can omit the vodka and add extra kombucha for an equally delicious non-alcoholic summer beverage.

Find out where you can buy Cape Cod Select frozen cranberries here or order online here.

Trans Fats Have Officially Been Banned

Ok, now this is big news.

As of June 18, 2018, the FDA requires companies to eliminate trans fats from their packaged food products and restaurants.

Trans fats have been used in our foods for the past 107 years (you may have heard of Crisco). Trans fats are man-made fats that are solid at room temperature. They help to increase the shelf-life of packaged foods and when used in restaurants for deep frying the oil does not need to be changed as often. While trans fast may have desirable melting properties, they have also been extensively linked to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.


cis trans image.jpg

What are Trans Fats?

If you've taken an organic chemistry class you may remember cis and trans bonds. Cis bonds, found in unsaturated fats, have their hydrogen atoms located on the same side of the carbon chain, while trans bonds have hydrogens located on opposite sides of the carbon chain. This changes the structure and shape of the molecule and determines if it will be solid or liquid at room temperature.

Early chemists found that by adding hydrogens to a molecule (or to vegetable oil) through a process called hydrogenation they could change the type of fat from an unsaturated fat (liquid at room temp) to a saturated or trans fat (solid at room temp). This lead to the production of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which have been widely used in our food supply for over 100 years. In 1911, Crisco hit the shelves and soon after became a staple in many U.S. kitchens.


side note

It's important to note that some trans fats do occur naturally in small amounts in some meat and dairy products. However, the effects of naturally occurring trans fats have not been studied enough to determine if they have the same effects on our health as artificial trans fats. When I refer to trans fats being banned from the food supply, I am referring to just the artificial trans fats.


junk food

The Foods We Ate for the Past Century That Contained Trans Fats

Aside from Crisco and some margarines, trans fats were often found in: frying oils, doughnuts, tortilla wraps, cakes, muffins, puff pastries, frosting, cream fillings, breakfast sandwiches, frozen pizzas, popcorn, candy, fried foods, fast food, and more.


Health Implications of Trans Fat Consumption

Today, the World Health Organization estimates that 500,000 deaths due to cardiovascular disease each year are linked to the consumption of trans fats.  

Until 2015, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils were 'Generally Recognized as Safe' (GRAS) by the FDA. There has now been extensive research to show the negative longterm health effects of consuming artificial trans fats. The consumption of trans fats has been shown to raise LDL ('bad') cholesterol and lower HDL ('good') cholesterol and increase total triglycerides in the bloodstream. Those who consume diets high in trans fats are more likely have to a heart attack, diabetes, or stroke.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we keep our intake of trans fats as low as possible. However, food labeling regulations have only required food products to include trans fat on their nutrition facts panel if the product contained 0.5g or more per serving (keep in mind a serving is not currently based on the amount a person actually eats, although there are plans to move in this direction in the future). The only way to really know if a product contained trans fats was to look for hydrogenated oils in the ingredients list.


Moving Forward

Products that were made before June 18th that contain trans fats are allowed to be on grocery store shelves until they sell out. Moving forward packaged food companies and restaurants can no longer use artificial trans fats in their products.

Good news!

5 Ways What you Eat Can Improve your Productivity, Performance, & Energy at Work

When I presented this topic to a local company, I started by asking, "How many of you tend to feel an afternoon slump? Maybe you start to feel a drop in your energy around say, 2 or 3 o'clock?"

For some reason, I expected just a handful of hands to go up. To my surprise, every single hand in the room went up, many with a chuckle, implying 'ah yeah. of course.'.

Energy seems to come up in many of my counseling sessions. Some know right off the bat that they feel tired throughout the day, they're running on caffeine or don't have energy by the time they get home. Others don't seem to notice a lack of energy until they improve their eating habits and all of a sudden don't know where all their energy came from. A boost in energy is a huge reason people report just 'feeling better'. Feeling energized, feels good, doesn't it? And it often ties back to food. 

There are many reasons you may feel the afternoon slump. It could be stress related, a lack of sleep, limited exercise, boredom, and even your food choices. But wellness is a cycle. Sleep, stress, nutrition, fitness, mental health - they're all connected. When we take care of ourselves in one area, we tend to take better care of ourselves in other areas too. The opposite is true to. When we neglect one area, other areas can fall by the wayside. Have you noticed when you exercise you want to eat healthier food? Or when you're stressed or tired do you tend to eat more or crave greasy, sugary foods? 

Below are 5 ways to boost your energy with nutrition, scroll all the way down for 9 nutrients to boost brain power and prevent fatigue.


1. Get Enough Fuel

A lot of busy people tend to skip meals. Some do this intentionally because they think it will help them lose weight, while others get caught up in meetings and to-do lists all day long. I would recommend you try not to do this.

Your brain needs a constant supply of glucose and fat. Glucose (sugar/carbohydrates) are used for a quick source of energy. Fat provides a a more sustained source of energy because it is not broken down as quickly as carbohydrates. Fat also provides the most energy per gram and therefore goes to the brain and heart first before tackling it's other responsibilities.

Undereating

lunch at work

When your body isn't getting enough fuel (i.e. you skip meals or restrict your intake) your body is working to conserve the energy it has, making you feel tired.

Overeating

On the other hand, overeating also makes the body work harder causing you to feel lethargic. Heavy, dense, or greasy meals may make you feel like this. Have you noticed?

What you can do

Start by eating something for breakfast. It sets the tone for the whole day. Even if it's an energy bar as you run out the door, a banana in the car, or a yogurt at your desk - give your brain a boost of energy right off the bat.

Get something in mid-day for lunch. Again, this does not need to be an elaborate sit down meal (although actually taking a break and clearing your mind can also improve productivity), but whatever you have time (or make time) for will work. Pack peanut butter crackers, an apple and string cheese, a sandwich, or leftovers for something easy to keep you fueled.

 

2. Stay Hydrated

flavored water

Dehydration can make you feel tired or cause headaches. Keep a water bottle with you during the day, especially during warmer weather or if you're an especially sweaty person. Aim for 8 8oz glasses per day. If you don't like water, try sparkling or flavored water or try adding fresh or frozen fruit.

 

 

 

3. Limit Alcohol

alcohol and productivity

Alcohol decreases the effectiveness of neurotransmitters and blocks oxygen from getting into cells. While research is a bit mixed as to how alcohol consumption effects our brain health long term; a 2017 study showed that those who drink, even moderately, have smaller hippocampi than non drinkers. Drinking can also affect sleep quality, which is huge for productivity!

 

4. Use Caffeine Wisely

Current science shows that we can safely consume 3-4 cups of coffee per day. However, caffeine affects everyone differently and research is still mixed on how it can affect our long term health.

Caffeine can temporarily enhance your memory, alertness, and cognitive function, but it also suppresses your appetite. When you're feeling tired and reach for another cup of coffee, your body may actually be asking for fuel. Sometimes a snack or meal is really the boost of energy your body needs. When the caffeine wears off, you often still feel tired and possibly even more hungry.

Caffeinated drinks also often carry other added ingredients, like cream, sugar, artificial sweeteners, or processed ingredients. Many of these ingredients can spike your blood sugar and energy temporarily but cause a crash in energy shortly after.

coffee-cup-working-happy.jpg

 

5. Choose Whole Foods & A Balanced Diet

When we feel that afternoon slump, we often go for 'airy' types of snacks. But, things like chips, cookies, and pretzels can just leave us feeling more hungry.

By combining these snacks you crave with another food group or a good source of fiber, protein, or healthy fat will slow the digestion, stabilize your blood sugar, and boost your energy and brain power. Choose carrots and hummus, whole grain crackers and guacamole, slices of cheese with grapes or an apple, or Greek yogurt with berries. They key is to combine two food groups for a more filling, satisfying, and nutritious snack.

balanced plate

 

9 Nutrients to Boost Brain Power and Prevent Fatigue:

Magnesium
for relaxation and stress relief
almonds, cashews, spinach


Omega-3s
for brain power
fatty fish, ground flaxseed, chia seeds


Antioxidants
for brain power
berries, nuts, fish, beans, darker colored fruits & veggies


Fiber
can stabilize blood sugar and increase satisfaction and satiety
whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans

Unsaturated Fats
can stabilize blood sugar and increase satisfaction and satiety
avocado, olives, olive oil, nut butters, nuts, seeds

Protein
can stabilize blood sugar and increase satisfaction and satiety
nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, meat, dairy, soy

Folate
for nervous system function and messages
found in dark leafy greens, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, avocado, lentils


Choline
for nervous system function and messages
egg yolks, wheat germ, scallops, chicken, broccoli, peanuts


Iron
sends oxygen to the brain and provides energy
beans, lentils, spinach, meat