Join Cheryl Forberg for Tips to Shed Winter Weight

She’ll give you lots of great tips based on her experiences with the contestants on the show, and you’ll sample some of the easy-to-make, tasty recipes included in her new book, A Small Guide to Losing Big.

Here are a few suggestions from the blog of one of the nation’s leading advisors on health and nutrition (and a James Beard Award-winning chef) that show you her sensible approach to healthy and sustained weight loss. 

"I’m happy to see so many people asking for healthy snacks. Snacking, in general, is underrated as a weight-loss tool.

When we are trying to lose weight, the temptation is to eat less, but, in fact, the smart strategy is to eat more — well, more often, actually. Eating small snacks at regular intervals prevents you from becoming famished at any point during the day. It’s when we are “starving” that we are most likely to reach for unhealthy foods and overeat.

The same goes for when we come in from a workout. The temptation is to raid the fridge or cabinets. Snacking at intervals before (and even during) exercise prevents this. Eating regular, small portions keeps your blood sugar stable and helps your body to recognize hunger cues. And of course, no matter how often or infrequently you eat, the name of the game is making the right choices.

Below are six quick and healthy high-protein snacks that will keep you on the right track. Each has near 150 calories and provides more than 10 grams of protein."

Good Eggs: “Deviled Eggs” — 3 hard boiled egg halves, whites only, each half-filled with 1 tablespoon hummus (140 calories, 10 grams protein)

Green Gobbling: ? cup edamame in the shell (158 calories, 13 grams protein)

String Theory: 1 low-fat mozzarella cheese stick and 1 large fresh orange (140 calories, 10 grams protein)

Rye Society: 2 Wasa Rye Crackers and 2½ ounces lox (150 calories, 14 grams protein)

Gobble, Gobble: Half a turkey sandwich (1 slice whole grain bread with 1 ounce turkey, 1 slice low-fat Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and 2 teaspoons mustard) (150 calories, 14 grams protein)

Greece-y Spoon:  ¾ cup non-fat Greek yogurt plus ½ cup blueberries and 1 tablespoon almonds (150 calories, 15 grams protein)

Join Cheryl Forberg for Tips to Shed Winter Weight

She’ll give you lots of great tips based on her experiences with the contestants on the show, and you’ll sample some of the easy-to-make, tasty recipes included in her new book, A Small Guide to Losing Big.

Here are a few suggestions from the blog of one of the nation’s leading advisors on health and nutrition (and a James Beard Award-winning chef) that show you her sensible approach to healthy and sustained weight loss. 

"I’m happy to see so many people asking for healthy snacks. Snacking, in general, is underrated as a weight-loss tool.

When we are trying to lose weight, the temptation is to eat less, but, in fact, the smart strategy is to eat more — well, more often, actually. Eating small snacks at regular intervals prevents you from becoming famished at any point during the day. It’s when we are “starving” that we are most likely to reach for unhealthy foods and overeat.

The same goes for when we come in from a workout. The temptation is to raid the fridge or cabinets. Snacking at intervals before (and even during) exercise prevents this. Eating regular, small portions keeps your blood sugar stable and helps your body to recognize hunger cues. And of course, no matter how often or infrequently you eat, the name of the game is making the right choices.

Below are six quick and healthy high-protein snacks that will keep you on the right track. Each has near 150 calories and provides more than 10 grams of protein."

Good Eggs: “Deviled Eggs” — 3 hard boiled egg halves, whites only, each half-filled with 1 tablespoon hummus (140 calories, 10 grams protein)

Green Gobbling: ? cup edamame in the shell (158 calories, 13 grams protein)

String Theory: 1 low-fat mozzarella cheese stick and 1 large fresh orange (140 calories, 10 grams protein)

Rye Society: 2 Wasa Rye Crackers and 2½ ounces lox (150 calories, 14 grams protein)

Gobble, Gobble: Half a turkey sandwich (1 slice whole grain bread with 1 ounce turkey, 1 slice low-fat Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and 2 teaspoons mustard) (150 calories, 14 grams protein)

Greece-y Spoon:  ¾ cup non-fat Greek yogurt plus ½ cup blueberries and 1 tablespoon almonds (150 calories, 15 grams protein)

Lighten Up, Y’all

"[Lighten Up, Y’all,]It’s not a diet book. It’s not a book of make-over recipes, although there are a few, like the Broccoli, Mac and Cheese. It’s not a book of fake “low-cal” food. I don’t lie to you and tell you that fat-free carob yogurt is going to quell your chocolate craving or that chewing gum will satisfy your sweet tooth.

I do tell you to drink more water. I do tell you to eat less and move more. I do tell you that food can be good and good for you. I do promise you that these recipes taste great. Because, here’s the deal: I am not a doctor, or a nutritionist, or a dietitian. I am a normal person, just like you. The real truth is that I actually don’t want to be skinny or thin; I want to be healthy and strong.

Y’all know that I am a storyteller. In my books and articles, I talk about growing up in the South, traveling all over the world, working for celebrities like Martha [Stewart], Bobby [Flay], Nathalie [Dupree], and Anne [Willan]. My recipes are filled with tales of being in the kitchen with Meme and Mama.

This book pretty much bears my soul, my thoughts, and my shortcomings. I share with you my inner scared little girl who was a bookworm and subsequently picked last on the playground for kickball. I share the pre-teen that was teased about her broad shoulders. I share more of me like I have in no other.

And, the point of me telling you all this is that if I can overcome my inner demons, lose weight, and get healthy, then you can, too! Most importantly, I want to share that I’ve gained a better acceptance of my body. Lighten Up, Y’all is my attempt at being healthy and strong rather than pursuing and obsessing over an idealized weight. It’s the story of me truly enjoying exercise. Is this a lifelong journey? Yes. Will I have to watch what I eat and continue to exercise? Yes. Here’s the difference: now I want to. It’s now my way of life."

Check our Cooking School page, and register for Lighten Up, Y'all.

Lighten Up, Y’all

"[Lighten Up, Y’all,]It’s not a diet book. It’s not a book of make-over recipes, although there are a few, like the Broccoli, Mac and Cheese. It’s not a book of fake “low-cal” food. I don’t lie to you and tell you that fat-free carob yogurt is going to quell your chocolate craving or that chewing gum will satisfy your sweet tooth.

I do tell you to drink more water. I do tell you to eat less and move more. I do tell you that food can be good and good for you. I do promise you that these recipes taste great. Because, here’s the deal: I am not a doctor, or a nutritionist, or a dietitian. I am a normal person, just like you. The real truth is that I actually don’t want to be skinny or thin; I want to be healthy and strong.

Y’all know that I am a storyteller. In my books and articles, I talk about growing up in the South, traveling all over the world, working for celebrities like Martha [Stewart], Bobby [Flay], Nathalie [Dupree], and Anne [Willan]. My recipes are filled with tales of being in the kitchen with Meme and Mama.

This book pretty much bears my soul, my thoughts, and my shortcomings. I share with you my inner scared little girl who was a bookworm and subsequently picked last on the playground for kickball. I share the pre-teen that was teased about her broad shoulders. I share more of me like I have in no other.

And, the point of me telling you all this is that if I can overcome my inner demons, lose weight, and get healthy, then you can, too! Most importantly, I want to share that I’ve gained a better acceptance of my body. Lighten Up, Y’all is my attempt at being healthy and strong rather than pursuing and obsessing over an idealized weight. It’s the story of me truly enjoying exercise. Is this a lifelong journey? Yes. Will I have to watch what I eat and continue to exercise? Yes. Here’s the difference: now I want to. It’s now my way of life."

Check our Cooking School page, and register for Lighten Up, Y'all.

Spring Forward!

With nature giving us spring births of lambs and kids, an influx of milk goes to dairies resulting in an abundance of cheeses. Typically made quickly and sold fresh and young, cheeses like chèvre, or fresh goat cheese, is a natural spring delight. While chèvre is available year-round, the season to most enjoy it is spring. Put it in and on EVERYTHING… on your salad, in your quiche, on your sandwich, even your grilled cheese. 
 
The simple fresh goat cheese from Vermont Creamery is an excellent option to celebrate spring. Or try one of their classic flavors like pepper or herb, and just introduced from Vermont Creamery is a fresh goat coated in cranberries with cinnamon and orange.  Trust me – you want this crumbled on your fresh spinach salad. Instant gourmet! Or maybe to quickly and easily jazz up a simple turkey sandwich?
 
Fresh goat cheese isn’t fussy. Its clean, light, tangy, characteristic flavor is just what we need this time of year after a season of heavy, rich, filling foods. On a cheese plate, simply pair it with a seasonal berry or a faintly sweetened jam from last season, a classic baguette will complement it nicely.
 
And don’t forget all the sheep’s milk after the spring lambing.  Our favorite fresh sheep cheese producer, Green Dirt Farm, is in the heart of the American Midwest near Kansas City. They make a fresh sheep cheese that’s unbeatable, and it comes in robust flavors like Rosemary, Garlic/Peppercorn, or Nettle. The Nettle is one of their most award-winning and also, my favorite. Try easy sandwich sure to take your lunch up a notch… use your favorite roll (one with a little crust to it) add a smear (or crumbles if it’s cold) of Green Dirt Farm Fresh Sheep Cheese with Nettles and some thin slices of CM In-House Roasted Lamb, add some baby arugula if you’re feeling extra fancy. You’ll thank me later.
 
So, as we transition into spring and onward into summer, slow down on the colossal cheeses from the Alps and pick up a small, fresh cheese that’s perfect for the season.

When Bacon Meets Chocolate Delicious Happens

Sir Francis Bacon Confections

Sir Francis Bacon preaches “holy trinity of flavor: sweet, salty and savory.” Nibble these treats, and you’ll be a believer. These treats are made with bacon smoked in Tennessee by Allan Benton, who is smokes his bacons a full three times longer than anyone else. Sir Francis also uses real, naturally sweet Spanish peanuts from New Mexico. 

Bacon Toffee Bar — Buttery toffee dotted with smoked bacon, then covered in dark chocolate.

Bacon Peanut Brittle — Finely chopped peanuts baked into salty, sweet brittle.

Bacon Chocolate Peanut Brittle — Bacon Peanut Brittle coated with milk chocolate.

Vosges Haut-Chocolat Bacon Bars

We’re well acquainted with Vosges award-winning, artisan chocolates. Owner and Chocolatier Katrina Markoff founded the house of  Vosges Haut-Chocolat to create a luxury chocolate experience while bringing about awareness of the world’s cultures. One of those experiences includes bacon.

Ms. Markoff began experimenting with bacon and chocolate as a child while eating chocolate chip pancakes drenched in maple syrup. Those pancakes were alway paired with bacon that just touched the syrup Markoff poured over her pancakes.

It was only a matter of time before those breakfast flavors mingled, and the rest is history. 

 
Mo’s Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar — Deeply delicious, hickory-smoked bacon is hand-chopped to fine bits and blended with alderwood-smoked salt, all folded into 45% milk chocolate.

Mo’s Dark Chocolate Bacon Bar — This one mixes the same hickory-smoke bacon and alderwood-smoked salt, but this time it’s crafted with 62% dark chocolate. 

Our suggestion? Try them all. How else are you going to find out which you like best?

When Bacon Meets Chocolate Delicious Happens

Sir Francis Bacon Confections

Sir Francis Bacon preaches “holy trinity of flavor: sweet, salty and savory.” Nibble these treats, and you’ll be a believer. These treats are made with bacon smoked in Tennessee by Allan Benton, who is smokes his bacons a full three times longer than anyone else. Sir Francis also uses real, naturally sweet Spanish peanuts from New Mexico. 

Bacon Toffee Bar — Buttery toffee dotted with smoked bacon, then covered in dark chocolate.

Bacon Peanut Brittle — Finely chopped peanuts baked into salty, sweet brittle.

Bacon Chocolate Peanut Brittle — Bacon Peanut Brittle coated with milk chocolate.

Vosges Haut-Chocolat Bacon Bars

We’re well acquainted with Vosges award-winning, artisan chocolates. Owner and Chocolatier Katrina Markoff founded the house of  Vosges Haut-Chocolat to create a luxury chocolate experience while bringing about awareness of the world’s cultures. One of those experiences includes bacon.

Ms. Markoff began experimenting with bacon and chocolate as a child while eating chocolate chip pancakes drenched in maple syrup. Those pancakes were alway paired with bacon that just touched the syrup Markoff poured over her pancakes.

It was only a matter of time before those breakfast flavors mingled, and the rest is history. 

 
Mo’s Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar — Deeply delicious, hickory-smoked bacon is hand-chopped to fine bits and blended with alderwood-smoked salt, all folded into 45% milk chocolate.

Mo’s Dark Chocolate Bacon Bar — This one mixes the same hickory-smoke bacon and alderwood-smoked salt, but this time it’s crafted with 62% dark chocolate. 

Our suggestion? Try them all. How else are you going to find out which you like best?

Follow Our Guide through the Wonderful World of Bacon

What Gives Bacon Its Character?

Bacon in the United States is typically made from pork bellies chosen for leanness and size, among other traits. After that, all bacon is preserved, making it either "cured" or "uncured." Uncured bacon is preserved with salt and naturally occurring nitrites like in vegetable juices, while cured bacon is preserved with salt and chemical additives, either of which can happen before the bacon is smoked.
 
Smoking is where the magic happens. Bacon smoked with applewood, cherrywood, and hickory is common, and smoke masters also smoke pork over sweet corn cobs, maple, or pecan for more unique flavors.


What’s Your Bacon Style?
 
Central Market brings together more than 75 varieties of specialty and artisan bacons in our Market and Deli, which means you have more than 75 different ways to let your bacon imagination take you beyond breakfast. Here are some basics of bacons to help you get started.

Slab Bacon — Whole, smoked, and unsliced pork belly that may be sliced to any thickness or chopped into any size or form.

Sliced Bacon — Available as thin, regular (1/16-inch), thick (1/8-inch), or extra thick (1/4- inch) strips that are easily pan fried or chopped into pieces.
 
Smoked Jowl — Cured and smoked pork jowls are fatter than pork bacon, and may be sliced and fried, or chopped to add to recipes and stews.
 
Canadian Bacon — Brined, smoked, lean pork loin sliced for pan frying or grilling, as a pizza topping or in sandwiches.
 
English and Irish Back Bacon/Rashers — Brined or dry-cured pork loin slices, smoked or unsmoked, for pan frying as a sandwich meat.
 
Tasso Ham — Pork shoulder cured in salt and sugar, rinsed and seasoned with spices, including cayenne and garlic, then smoked and often used to flavor southern or Creole dishes.
 
Pancetta — Italian-style, dry-cured, unsmoked, spiced, dry-aged pork belly used for enhancing flavor.


What’s the Right Way to Cook Bacon?
 
Remember: No matter the cooking method, bacon will continue to cook and crisp after it is removed from heat. To protect the smoky flavor of artisan-style bacons, avoid overcooking your bacon. Instead slowly brown it over medium heat. Follow these simple rules to get the most flavor from whatever bacon strikes your fancy.
 
Oven — Lay slices of bacon flat on top of a rack or on parchment lining a rimmed sheet pan. Place pan in upper two-thirds of an oven heated to 375°F. Cook bacon 15 to 20 minutes.
 
Microwave Oven — Lay four to five slices of bacon in a single layer atop a few sheets of paper towel on a microwave-safe dish. Cover with a few more sheets of paper towel. Microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes, or 1 minute per slice. Flip bacon and continue cooking 1 minute at a time until desired doneness.

Stovetop — Heat a large skillet over medium  heat. Place bacon in a single layer without overcrowding. (Overcrowding will cause steaming rather than frying.) Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side.

The Basics of Bacon

Learn to speak better "Bacon" for a better bacon experience.

Cured — To cure bacon means to preserve it. Typically "cured" bacon is processed with sodium nitrate and salt.
 
Uncured — Uncured bacon is preserved with naturally occurring nitrites from vegetable juices, such as celery or chard, rather than using chemical additives, such as sodium nitrates. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines products free of sodium nitrates as uncured.

Wet-Cured — Bacon that has been wet-cured is soaked in brine and spices before smoking. The brine includes the curing agent sodium nitrate for pink color and food safety.

Dry-Cured — Dry-cured bacon is rubbed with a dry-salt mixture and aged in a cure before smoking. This bacon shrinks less when frying.
 
Smoked — Naturally smoked bacon is smoked over real wood chunks or with smoldering wood chips to enhance flavor. Different woods infuse bacons with a variety of flavors. Common woods used for smoking pork include applewood, cherrywood, hickory, and maple. Corn cobs are also used for smoking.

Central Market Uncured Bacon

Central Market All Natural Uncured Bacon begins with hand-selected,natural pork bellies humanely raised without antibiotics or added hormones on family farms. The bellies are hand-trimmed to our specifications and prepared for the smoke house with a few, simple ingredients.  We smoke our applewood and cherrywood bacons an hour longer than standard smoke times for deeper, fuller flavor. 
 
Because our bacon is uncured with recipes using no nitrates or nitrites, you’ll taste only the rich smoky and meaty flavors, not salt. Choose from:
 
Applewood — We use real applewood to smoke our bacon for flavor that’s full, yet not overpowering.

Hickory — Smoked over real,certified Vermont white hickory wood, our hickory-smoked bacon is smooth and easy on the palate with no bitterness.

Cherrywood — Smoked extra time with intensified smoke for a deeper cherry, slightly sweet,smoky flavor.

Black Forest — Hand-rubbed with blackstrap molasses for a subtly sweet, dark caramel flavor, and smoked over real hickory wood.

Apple Cinnamon — Brined with natural apple juice, coated with a touch of cinnamon and smoked with applewood for a balance of flavors.

Black Pepper — This one is hand-rubbed with black pepper and raw turbinado sugar blended with hickory smoke for a smooth, earthy flavor that’s savory and never sharp.

Follow Our Guide through the Wonderful World of Bacon

What Gives Bacon Its Character?

Bacon in the United States is typically made from pork bellies chosen for leanness and size, among other traits. After that, all bacon is preserved, making it either "cured" or "uncured." Uncured bacon is preserved with salt and naturally occurring nitrites like in vegetable juices, while cured bacon is preserved with salt and chemical additives, either of which can happen before the bacon is smoked.
 
Smoking is where the magic happens. Bacon smoked with applewood, cherrywood, and hickory is common, and smoke masters also smoke pork over sweet corn cobs, maple, or pecan for more unique flavors.


What’s Your Bacon Style?
 
Central Market brings together more than 75 varieties of specialty and artisan bacons in our Market and Deli, which means you have more than 75 different ways to let your bacon imagination take you beyond breakfast. Here are some basics of bacons to help you get started.

Slab Bacon — Whole, smoked, and unsliced pork belly that may be sliced to any thickness or chopped into any size or form.

Sliced Bacon — Available as thin, regular (1/16-inch), thick (1/8-inch), or extra thick (1/4- inch) strips that are easily pan fried or chopped into pieces.
 
Smoked Jowl — Cured and smoked pork jowls are fatter than pork bacon, and may be sliced and fried, or chopped to add to recipes and stews.
 
Canadian Bacon — Brined, smoked, lean pork loin sliced for pan frying or grilling, as a pizza topping or in sandwiches.
 
English and Irish Back Bacon/Rashers — Brined or dry-cured pork loin slices, smoked or unsmoked, for pan frying as a sandwich meat.
 
Tasso Ham — Pork shoulder cured in salt and sugar, rinsed and seasoned with spices, including cayenne and garlic, then smoked and often used to flavor southern or Creole dishes.
 
Pancetta — Italian-style, dry-cured, unsmoked, spiced, dry-aged pork belly used for enhancing flavor.


What’s the Right Way to Cook Bacon?
 
Remember: No matter the cooking method, bacon will continue to cook and crisp after it is removed from heat. To protect the smoky flavor of artisan-style bacons, avoid overcooking your bacon. Instead slowly brown it over medium heat. Follow these simple rules to get the most flavor from whatever bacon strikes your fancy.
 
Oven — Lay slices of bacon flat on top of a rack or on parchment lining a rimmed sheet pan. Place pan in upper two-thirds of an oven heated to 375°F. Cook bacon 15 to 20 minutes.
 
Microwave Oven — Lay four to five slices of bacon in a single layer atop a few sheets of paper towel on a microwave-safe dish. Cover with a few more sheets of paper towel. Microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes, or 1 minute per slice. Flip bacon and continue cooking 1 minute at a time until desired doneness.

Stovetop — Heat a large skillet over medium  heat. Place bacon in a single layer without overcrowding. (Overcrowding will cause steaming rather than frying.) Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side.

The Basics of Bacon

Learn to speak better "Bacon" for a better bacon experience.

Cured — To cure bacon means to preserve it. Typically "cured" bacon is processed with sodium nitrate and salt.
 
Uncured — Uncured bacon is preserved with naturally occurring nitrites from vegetable juices, such as celery or chard, rather than using chemical additives, such as sodium nitrates. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines products free of sodium nitrates as uncured.

Wet-Cured — Bacon that has been wet-cured is soaked in brine and spices before smoking. The brine includes the curing agent sodium nitrate for pink color and food safety.

Dry-Cured — Dry-cured bacon is rubbed with a dry-salt mixture and aged in a cure before smoking. This bacon shrinks less when frying.
 
Smoked — Naturally smoked bacon is smoked over real wood chunks or with smoldering wood chips to enhance flavor. Different woods infuse bacons with a variety of flavors. Common woods used for smoking pork include applewood, cherrywood, hickory, and maple. Corn cobs are also used for smoking.

Central Market Uncured Bacon

Central Market All Natural Uncured Bacon begins with hand-selected,natural pork bellies humanely raised without antibiotics or added hormones on family farms. The bellies are hand-trimmed to our specifications and prepared for the smoke house with a few, simple ingredients.  We smoke our applewood and cherrywood bacons an hour longer than standard smoke times for deeper, fuller flavor. 
 
Because our bacon is uncured with recipes using no nitrates or nitrites, you’ll taste only the rich smoky and meaty flavors, not salt. Choose from:
 
Applewood — We use real applewood to smoke our bacon for flavor that’s full, yet not overpowering.

Hickory — Smoked over real,certified Vermont white hickory wood, our hickory-smoked bacon is smooth and easy on the palate with no bitterness.

Cherrywood — Smoked extra time with intensified smoke for a deeper cherry, slightly sweet,smoky flavor.

Black Forest — Hand-rubbed with blackstrap molasses for a subtly sweet, dark caramel flavor, and smoked over real hickory wood.

Apple Cinnamon — Brined with natural apple juice, coated with a touch of cinnamon and smoked with applewood for a balance of flavors.

Black Pepper — This one is hand-rubbed with black pepper and raw turbinado sugar blended with hickory smoke for a smooth, earthy flavor that’s savory and never sharp.

Big Fork, Big Bite

Lance Avery started hand-making his all-natural bacon sausages in Chicago just a few years ago. We’re enamored because he includes all the things we want: meat and chicken from Midwest producers and uncured bacon made without added nitrates and nitrites. He coarsely grinds them and stuffs them in a natural casing so they can get crispy as they cook. He leaves out the stuff we don’t want:  preservatives, MSG, hormones, antibiotic and artificial flavors. Then, he smokes the sausage with natural hardwood.
 
A variety of flavors ensures there’s something for everyone. 
 
The Maple & Brown Sugar is ready for breakfast. We have all used a breakfast sausage to soak up that last bit of maple syrup from our pancake plate. Here, you get the sausage, the bacon AND the maple in one shot.  Find out why it’s our best seller!
 
Don’t think the Portabella is vegetarian! It, too, is made with pork and delicious bacon. But you’ll find the portabella mushrooms the second ingredient on the list with chunks of them throughout the sausage. These are so earthy and delicious and deserve center of the plate recognition. Serve alongside a cheesy pasta dish.
 
We do love cheese, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Aged Cheddar. Yes, Aged-Cheddar-Hardwood-Smoked-Bacon-Sausage… a mouthful and a glorious mouthful. You cut into this monster and see real Cheddar cheese is melting inside. Sliced, stuffed into a toasted roll with slivered apples and you’ll be cursing and praising us at the same time.
 
The other flavors include Spicy 3-Pepper, Chicken, Hickory & Applewood and Cracked Black Pepper.

And if you are in the DFW area, don't miss lance at our Fort Worth store, Saturday, March 14th from 10am-6pm with samples and more, then at Dallas Lovers Lane on Sunday, March 15th from 10am-6pm.