Tart Cherry Sports Drink Recipe

tart cherry sports drink (1)

This flavorful and refreshing tart cherry sports drink will rehydrate and refuel – with an added inflammation-busting punch from the tart cherry juice. Thank you to the Cherry Marketing Institute for sponsoring this post!

You guys know by now that I’m a huge tart cherry fan. Through my partnership with the Cherry Marketing Institute this year, I’ve talked about how tart cherries make a delicious, satisfying snack (recipe: Tart Cherry Pie Snack Balls), and how they can help with sleep due to the natural melatonin they contain (recipes/info: Microwave Tart Cherry Oatmeal and Tart Cherry Kale and Feta Stuffed Chicken). This month, I’d like to talk more about their other big benefit, which is especially important to me as a runner: inflammation-busting. Research has shown tart cherries can serve as a natural recovery aid when consumed in the days before and after intensive exercise!

Tart cherries are high in anthocyanins, which are flavonoids that contribute to their sourness, intense red color, and, mostly importantly, their anti-inflammatory health properties. Due to these anthocyanins, tart cherries have been found useful for those suffering from joint paint (arthritis) and gout, and can also help to ease muscle soreness following a hard workout, too. When you’re sore after a workout, this is due to a few things – muscle damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress. The good news is that the anthocyanins in tart cherries seem to help with all three of these!

In fact, studies suggest Montmorency tart cherry juice has the ability to reduce muscle pain and weakness after bouts of intense strength training, as well as after long-distance running. Here is a little overview of the running-specific studies I took from ChooseCherries.com. There’s more info over on their website!

  • Faster recovery: Marathon runners who drank Montmorency tart cherry juice five days before, the day of and two days after running experienced a faster recovery of strength compared to those who drank a different beverage. 1

    • In another study Montmorency tart cherry juice helped improve the recovery time after intensive exercise compared to the placebo beverage that was used. 2
  • Decreases muscle pain: Runners in an annual 196-mile relay race in Oregon reported significantly less muscle pain after the race if they drank Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day the week before and on the day of the long-distance race. 3

After reading about all of tart cherry’s benefits this spring, I actually started bringing dried tart cherries with me as fuel on a few of my long runs, and having a swig of tart cherry juice before and after a run, too. Feel free to take that approach, if you like – or, give this tart cherry sports drink recipe a try. You can enjoy it before, during, or after your run – whichever you prefer! I like doing a little before and a little after, but I think I’m going to pick up a little container that I can fit into my hydration vest so I can fill it with some of this sports drink for any longer runs/hikes this summer. (An entire backpack full of sports drink would be a bit much for me – but a small bottle of it would be perfect as an addition to my water!) If you’re having this after your run, just be sure to pair it with some protein, too.

tart cherry sports drink 4

Joining with the tart cherry juice in this recipe is water, lime juice, honey, and a little salt. I made it with pure maple syrup in place of the honey recently and that was really good, too. You can also leave out the honey/maple syrup if you’re doing a lighter workout/don’t want it as sweet. Your choice!

tart cherry sports drink ingredients

Here’s the recipe. Happy running and inflammation busting!

Tart Cherry Sports Drink

by fANNEtastic food

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: beverage dairy free gluten-free nut-free soy-free


Ingredients (~3 servings)

  • 2 cups tart cherry juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • Place all ingredients in a large jar and shake vigorously until combined.

As you know, I’m not a fan of calorie counting normally, but I know for running-specific recipes it’s helpful to be able to make sure you’re hitting your fueling needs. So here you go! This nutritional information is per serving based on this recipe making 3 servings – and it’s calculated using honey: 140 calories, 36g carbs, 31 g sugar, 0 g fat, 0 g protein, 105 mg sodium, 285 mg potassium.

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p.s. Interested in more sports nutrition info and runner-friendly recipes? Check out my Nutrition for Runners Program.

Tart Cherry Sports Drink Recipe originally appeared on fANNEtastic food | Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian | Recipes + Healthy Living + Fitness on June 30, 2015.

The post Tart Cherry Sports Drink Recipe appeared first on fANNEtastic food | Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian | Recipes + Healthy Living + Fitness.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://www.fannetasticfood.com/2015/06/30/tart-cherry-sports-drink-recipe/

The FDA’s latest move on trans fats

I’m still catching up on what happened during the week I was offline in Cuba (more on that later this week).

One big event was the FDA’s announcement that it no longer considers artificial trans fat as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for human consumption, meaning that processed food manufacturers need to get rid of it. They get three years to do so.

Here are the relevant documents:

Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has petitioned the FDA to get rid of trans fats for decades, describes this move as a “huge advance.”

As for complications:

  • The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is worried about the half-gram loophole:FDA memos show…80 percent of these uses [of partially hydrogenated oils containing trans fat] don’t require disclosure of the presence of trans fat because of the half-gram loophole.”
  • Politico Pro reports that “food industry lawyers are already scouring the document in hopes of finding some way to shield them from legal action” and that a ban on trans fat will increase demand for palm oil causing widespread deforestation across Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • Politico Pro also reports on a lawsuit filed immediately against Heinz for using trans fat in its frozen microwave french fries and tater tots while marketing its products as trans fat free.

I vote for the FDA’s move as a long-awaited step in the right direction. Progress!

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://www.foodpolitics.com/2015/06/the-fdas-latest-move-on-trans-fats/

Chicken Fajita Breakfast Bake + Giveaway

Got a baking dish? Throw together this easy, flavorful Chicken Fajita Breakfast Bake made with Gold'n Plump's Tex Mex Chicken Patties for a low-carb breakfast!!

Got a baking dish? Throw together this easy, flavorful Chicken Fajita Breakfast Bake made with Gold’n Plump Tex Mex Chicken Patties for a low-carb breakfast! I remember in college, I would go back and forth between making myself chicken fajitas and shrimp stir-fry for dinner. They’re two dishes where I know I’m gonna get my…

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The post Chicken Fajita Breakfast Bake + Giveaway appeared first on Fit Foodie Finds.

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://fitfoodiefinds.com/2015/06/chicken-fajita-breakfast-bake-giveaway/

What Wendy Wore: Head-to-Toe Zang Toi

I was in Chicago over the weekend to visit family and attend the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Ill. The festival’s website says Ravinia (named for the Ravinia Park grounds where it is held) is the oldest outdoor music festival in North America. Who knew?! Ravinia isn’t a stand-all-day-to-see-Eminem, Lollapalooza-like event. It’s very civilized. You […]

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wendybrandes/xcOx/~3/ALI4YO7JQpc/

What Wendy Wore: Head-to-Toe Zang Toi

I was in Chicago over the weekend to visit family and attend the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Ill. The festival’s website says Ravinia (named for the Ravinia Park grounds where it is held) is the oldest outdoor music festival in North America. Who knew?! Ravinia isn’t a stand-all-day-to-see-Eminem, Lollapalooza-like event. It’s very civilized. You […]

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wendybrandes/xcOx/~3/ALI4YO7JQpc/

#idazzletravels: Gem Hunting or Why I Go To Africa


I’m just back from my latest trip to Africa. I wish that I could post relatively live from Tanzania and Kenya, but it turns out that WIFI there is short for “Works In-Frequently and Intermittently”. I have some souvenirs: Maasai beadwork and some impressive bug bites. Despite rough roads, lukewarm trickles of “showers”, and no

Kenya, as seen from the backseat going 80 kilometers an hour.

My first trip to Africa, with the jewelry documentary Sharing the Rough, felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the gem trade at the source in Tanzania and Kenya. It turned out to be life-changing. Maybe life-affirming? It opened my eyes–and heart–to a part of the jewelry business I didn’t know much about, despite over 20 years working in many facets of the industry. I’ve since made two more trips, meeting the people in the gem business: mine owners, gem dealers, and the miners themselves. With the help of an experienced gem buyer and faceter Roger Dery, and Gichuchu Okeno, an excellent guide from Kenya, I literally crawl into mines, dig in the dirt, and shake the hands that find the gems.

Some impossibly large, incredibly juicy rough Cinnamon garnets, eight to ten grams each.

This trip, my third trip to Africa in 16 months, I went almost directly from Las Vegas Jewelry Week to three degrees south of the Equator. The distance is more than the 9,000 miles each way suggests–it’s a big leap going from the glitz of Vegas to nascent East Africa. So what makes me trade cocktail dresses for cargo pants (stuffed with toilet paper)?

Kenyan gemstone mine

At a Kenyan community mine.

This world in East Africa connects me to meaning in jewelry. It’s easy to take beauty for granted, to get a little jaded. The realities of THIS world of jewelry–dirt, unyielding rock, rifts, hard stones that don’t reveal themselves easily, remote rawness, lack of comforts–all combine to make me realize that this is where jewelry begins. And that there are a million small ways to measure happiness, progress, success. It gets in your blood; this red, red dirt.

elephant in Kenya

I took about 5000 pictures of elephants this trip. It was a great wildlife spotting trip, most of it on bush roads, not in wildlife parks.

East Africa, and other source communities like it, is the very beginning of the journey a piece of jewelry makes to market. Making, buying, collecting jewelry is all about the story. Seeing the origin of jewelry like this means that I see the WHOLE story. I see the faces and souls involved. It is an essential anecdote, and one that the ultimate consumers of fine gemstone jewelry want to hear, particularly millennials.

Rough tsavorite garnet gemstone

A crazy gorgeous piece of Kenyan Tsavorite garnet rough: this is “green gold”, fetching very high prices right now in East Africa.

Before my first trip, I was a little concerned about what I would find, to be brutally honest. The diamond trade, particularly artisanal mining by individuals, has been plagued by smuggling and major conflict over the past couple of decades. Countries like Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of Congo are still struggling and fragile, climbing out of the darkness of the recent past. Organizations like the Diamond Development Initiative are helping to register, educate, and generally help the people who mine alluvial (surface) diamonds, but there is a long way to go.

Would there be parallels in the artisanal gemstone trade in Kenya and Tanzania to the diamond miners elsewhere in Africa? What are the miner’s living and working conditions like? And the big, looming question: are Africans being left out of the value equation for gemstones found and mined in their own countries? Is everyone else who touches that stone making substantially more than the one who discovered it?

gem hunting

Gem hunting: examining color change garnet in an outdoor “office”.

The answers I found are, as in a lot of thing in life, complicated. East Africans are still navigating the road to receiving more value from their indigenous treasures. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a vibrant ecosystem at work in Tanzania and Kenya where I visited. From the landowners that lease their dirt, to mine owners who prospect and take the risk, the mine managers who take care of the daily exigencies of the mine, the miners themselves, and the gem dealers who broker the deals, they all get some portion of the per gram price that international gem cutters and resellers lay down. This community of gem miners and dealers work together more symbiotically than you would think. Sure, there is healthy competition, but I also personally witnessed an example of one dealer helping another who was having a dry spell.

kenyan mining village

A small Kenyan mining village.

There is a huge need for more education in gemology and gem cutting that can take East Africa to the next level. If a Kenyan gem dealer knows what the market should bear in the US or Asian markets for their goods, he won’t sell for too little. If a skilled local lapidary can facet a Tanzanite gemstone with the same skill as a gem cutter in Thailand, Africans net more of the value from their own natural resource.

Okeno mine kenya

In Okeno’s Tsavorite mine, seeing the progress he’s made since my last trip to this corner of the bush.

But the most compelling story comes from the miners—the ones with a flashlight and bare feet—who extract the gems from their rocky matrix. I was able to witness interviews that the Sharing the Rough movie conducted for the film. I was standing just outside the periphery of the camera and crew, and could literally look into their eyes as they shared their stories.

The miners in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya are determined, tough, and choose to live a life of promise and expectation. They are passionate and dogged in their pursuit of something precious. It’s funny: they should see those pretty rocks as dollar signs, a means to an end. But instead, they value the gems for their rarity and beauty, every bit as much as an American customer buying at a retail jeweler. They LOVE the gems they find. Tanzanian and Kenyan miners know the geology, the science behind the stones. It’s in their bones. Their anticipation, when they discover the indicator mineral that tells them they are on track to hit something good, is palpable. They are happy to be miners, and choose to do it over farming or other choices. They are proud–fiercely so–for being able to send their children to school.
kenyan gemstone miner
In my journeys, I have seen progress in small ways. Safety vests and hard hats at the Tsavorite garnet mine owned by my friend, Okeno. Vegetables planted in the tailings piled around a Community Based Organization mine, providing slope stability and helping to feed the 1700 miners that make up the cooperative. A new library at the Maasai Kitarini primary school near a ruby mine. The beginnings of a jewelry trade school, the first of its kind in Kenya. Increases in the prices of certain gems–mainly tsavorite, spinel, zircon, and green grossular garnet–even since last November. Mostly I see generous, friendly, gentle people that just want a good life for their family. It’s an honor to meet and know them.

Kenya CBO gemstone mine

If you look closely, you will see the green of vegetables growing in this pile of tailings at a Kenyan CBO mine.

So yes, I love to travel to Africa for the wildlife, the wind in my hair as we pass the flash of red and blue of the Maasai in impossibly beautiful scenery. But ultimately, I travel to Africa to find not where these gemstones come from, but whom they come from. When I look at a gem now, instead of hue, tone and saturation, I see faces, and geologic wonder, and the herculean effort to get it into my waiting hands. It turns out that this is just the beginning of my journey. It has opened my eyes to the possibility of making a difference in these communities I am getting to know. There is much more to come.

View this post on idazzle.com: #idazzletravels: Gem Hunting or Why I Go To Africa

SOURCE ARTICLE: : http://idazzle.com/2015/06/29/idazzletravels-gem-hunting-or-why-i-go-to-africa/