See Hi-Rez at McDonald’s and Webster Hall

I’m excited to see my customer Hi-Rez getting some much-deserved attention. Rez recently teamed up with YouTube prankster Coby Persin, sauntered into a Times Square McDonald’s, and rapped a crazy-ass order to the befuddlement of the McDonald’s staff. The video was shared by Lil Wayne on Facebook and has close to five million views. Not […]


Microwaveable Tart Cherry Oatmeal Recipe

tart cherry oatmeal

Ready in 2 minutes flat, this microwaveable tart cherry oatmeal recipe is delicious and healthy, packing a big antioxidant punch. And it may even improve your sleep! Thank you to the Cherry Marketing Institute for sponsoring this post.

As part of my partnership with the Cherry Marketing Institute, this month they tasked me with something little different: their Tart Cherry Juice Sleep Challenge! For 14 days, I was to drink one serving of tart cherry juice (8 ounces/1 cup) or tart cherry juice concentrate (2 tablespoons) in the morning and another in the evening to find out if it helped me sleep better. Interesting, right? I was curious to see if it made a difference!


Why would tart cherry juice help me to sleep, you ask? Well, tart cherries are actually one of the few natural sources of melatonin, which is responsible for regulation of the body’s internal clock and sleep-wake cycle. Research has shown that tart cherry juice may help improve the duration of sleep, reduce the severity of insomnia, and increase overall sleep quality (time asleep vs. time in bed). You can read more about the research findings over on the tart cherry website.

As we all know, sleep is extremely important for recovery from workouts and for overall health. In fact, sleep disturbance is considered an important risk factor for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems. Did you know that Americans spend more than $84 million on over-the-counter sleep aids each year? Yikes.

As a dietitian, I know that sleep is also necessary in our attempts to eat healthy. Lack of sleep upregulates a hormone called ghrelin that makes us hungry, which is why it often seems like we are ravenous (and usually ravenous for sugar) if we are overtired.

Bottom line – I’m fully on board for any way we can naturally improve the quality/duration of our sleep. For this challenge, in the evenings I usually drank the tart cherry juice (or concentrate mixed with a little water) straight; Matt and I also discovered it’s really good mixed with our fave ginger kombucha. As for my morning tart cherry juice consumption, I usually got a little more creative. I threw it into post-run recovery smoothies some days, and also discovered that it’s really delicious in oatmeal.

tart cherry oatmeal step 1

It gives the oatmeal a really nice tart, juicy flavor – and a cool reddish purple color, too. Fun!

tart cherry oatmeal 2

My readers who don’t like bananas will especially enjoy this oatmeal recipe, as it’s banana free unlike all my other oatmeal recipes. Dairy free, too, and made in the microwave so it’s ready in 2 minutes flat! Feel free to get creative with the toppings as well.

tart cherry oatmeal ingredients

Before I share the recipe, back to the challenge. The big question: did I see any results?

Actually, yes, I did! I went into this challenge super skeptical, but low and behold, I actually found that I started falling asleep noticeably faster after a couple days of the tart cherry juice. I don’t normally take long to fall asleep, but I felt like it was suddenly happening the second I hit my pillow! In terms of whether I saw a difference in sleep quality/how often I woke up, I would need to try this challenge without a cat. 😉 So no comment there, thanks to my fluffy early morning alarm clock! I wonder if cats can drink tart cherry juice… (kidding).

Bottom line: you have nothing to lose by adding some tart cherry juice to your routine. In addition to potentially helping with your sleep, it also packs some great antioxidants and inflammation-busting anthocyanins, which help with recovery from workouts. And it’s delicious, too. So – eat/drink up! Starting with this recipe. Enjoy!

Microwaveable Tart Cherry Oatmeal

by fANNEtastic food

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Keywords: breakfast dairy free soy-free vegetarian gluten-free oats


Ingredients (about 1 serving)

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned/rolled oats
  • 1 cup tart cherry juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • optional: nuts/seeds, dried tart cherries, shredded coconut for topping


  • Combine the oatmeal, tart cherry juice, ground flaxseed, and maple syrup in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Microwave for 2 minutes, until the oats are cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Top with nuts or seeds, dried tart cherries, and/or shredded coconut before serving, if desired.
Powered by Recipage

tart cherry oatmeal 7

Looking for more tart cherry goodness? Check out my Tart Cherry Pie Snack Balls and Tart Cherry Kale and Feta Stuffed Chicken.

Microwaveable Tart Cherry Oatmeal Recipe originally appeared on fANNEtastic food | Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian | Recipes + Healthy Living + Fitness on May 27, 2015.

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


What’s up with Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL)?

The attack on Country-of-Origin-Labeling (COOL) is a good example of why international trade agreements require close scrutiny.

In my book What to Eat, I had this to say about COOL (among other things):

In 2002, Congress passed a law requiring Country of Origin Labeling (the apt acronym is COOL) that was to take effect in 2004. Later, under pressure from the food industry, Congress postponed the deadline until the end of September 2006…In America, food industry opposition to COOL is just about universal. The industry complains that tracking the origin of foods is difficult, but also would prefer that you not know how far food has traveled before it gets to you. The Grocery Manufacturers of America, an especially vigilant trade advocacy group, called the 2002 bill “a nasty, snarly beast of a bill,” but even stronger opposition came from the meat industry. Its lobbyists argued that COOL would be “extraordinarily costly with no discernible benefit,” but their real objection was that meat producers would have to track where animals and products come from—another sensible idea that they have long resisted.

Nevertheless, COOL was supposed to go into effect for meat in 2008 and finally did so in 2014. In the meantime, Canada and Mexico went to the World Trade Organization to argue that COOL unfairly discriminated against meat produced in those countries.

The Hagstrom Report lists Canada’s threatened trade retaliation (if the U.S. keeps COOL, Canada will raise tariffs on these products).

The WTO agrees that Canada and Mexico have the right to do this.

Now the House has introduced a bill to repeal COOL. The House Agriculture Committee voted for the repeal.

So much for consumers’ interest in knowing where foods come from.

I’ll be posting more about trade agreements this week and next. Stay tuned.


Banana Soft-Serve Recipes

Skip the calories and fat and go bananas for one of these banana soft serve recipes! They're easy to make and healthy as can be.

I’ve been counting down the days until Summer because all I want in life is sunshine and tank tops. For real though, Summertime is the best time in Minnesota! We get a solid 8 months of winter and 4 months of summer with barely any in between! After the parka-wearing cold, we deserve the most…

Read More »

The post Banana Soft-Serve Recipes appeared first on Fit Foodie Finds.


Fit Gear Review: The Excalibur Vegetable Spiralizer


Note: I purchased this spiralizer with my own money, acquired through no affiliation with any outlet. However, if you use my links in this post to purchase your own spiralizer, the brand will pay me a few coins that I can use to purchase and review more items! One of the latest food trends to […]

The post Fit Gear Review: The Excalibur Vegetable Spiralizer appeared first on A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss.


Nom Nom Paleo on Vice Munchies!

Nom Nom Paleo on Vice Munchies! by Michelle Tam

Know what I learned from making three batches of My Sister’s Green Chicken—all in one afternoon—for a video shoot? As listeners of my podcast heard, it taught me that freezing and reheating surplus Green Chicken isn’t just possible—it’s a game-changer. And now, the cooking video I shot with the fun folks at Vice Munchies is up on their site!

Nom Nom Paleo on Vice Munchies! by Michelle Tam

Watch the video (complete with video-bombing and mugging by the Double-Os), and if you feel inspired to make the dish, check out the original recipe and my instructions on how to make it ahead and freeze it for later!

Nom Nom Paleo on Vice Munchies! by Michelle Tam

The kids and I had a fun time shooting the video at our house, even though I had to yell at Lil-O on camera to eat his drumstick. Bonus: if you pay close attention, you can peek into the dining room where we record all of our podcasts!