Funky versions of America’s simplest sandwich have been popping up at national restaurants and quick-service chains more and more in recent years. Problem is, when restaurants start to get creative, it usually spells trouble for your waistline. You don’t want to end up turning a light lunchtime bite into a sandwich that packs as much saturated fat as multiple scoops of ice cream, right? We’re all for innovating, but if you’re going to do it, make sure you do it right. That’s where our grilled cheese recipe with a twist comes in to play. The curious combination of sweet apples, crispy smoked bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese in this sandwich recipe isn’t just delicious. It also contains less than half the calories of most of the other grilled cheese sandwiches out there.

330 calories, 15 g fat (6 g saturated), 790 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

1 Tbsp butter
8 slices whole-grain bread
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
6 oz shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
8 strips cooked bacon

How to Make It

  1. Heat the butter in a large skillet or nonstick sauté pan over low heat. Slather 4 slices of bread with the mustard, then divide the cheese, apples, and bacon among them.
  2. Top with the other bread slices and add to the hot pan.
  3. The key to a great grilled cheese (i.e., crispy crust, fully melted cheese) is patience, so cook these sandwiches slowly until each side is deep brown and crunchy, about 10 to 12 minutes total.

Eat This Tip

We love a classic grilled cheese made with Kraft Singles as much as the next person, but why limit yourself to that when so many other great combinations are out there waiting to be discovered? Here are a few worth trying.

  • Gruyère or other Swiss cheese and caramelized onions (think French onion soup on bread)
  • Blue cheese, arugula or frisée, and fresh figs or a nice fig jelly spread
  • Fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil or a bit of pesto sauce
  • Pepper jack cheese, avocado slices, and salsa
  • Brie, sliced ham or sliced turkey, and sliced pear
  • Cheddar and black olive spread or a sun-dried tomato spread

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

The post An Apple and Bacon Infused Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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Ever noticed that biting into a grilled cheese sandwich or spooning into Greek yogurt unleashes a slew of uncomfortable gastrointestinal side effects? You may be victim to a food sensitivity or intolerance.

What is a Food Intolerance?

“A food intolerance is a digestive problem that results after eating a particular food or food group,” Jim White, RDN, ACSM EX-P, Owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, tells us. A food intolerance is different than a food allergy in that it doesn’t produce an immune reaction to the specific food or food group. That means, your immune system isn’t triggered and therefore won’t produce a histamine response. “For example, if someone has a peanut allergy and ingests a peanut-containing product, they may experience anaphylaxis and require immediate medical attention, whereas someone with a lactose intolerance who consumes a lactose-containing product may have a stomach ache as a result. Though less severe in response, food intolerances are not to be taken lightly as they frequently lead to a decreased quality of life due to pain, discomfort, and the avoidance of certain foods.”

While bloating and gas are two of the most common side effects, a food intolerance can trigger some other bizarrely unconventional reactions. These are the 15 signs you may have a food intolerance, straight from experts.



Tired manShutterstock

“Fatigue results from an inflammation and immune response. Your body has to work harder since the food is not completely digested so the food and has a more taxing effect on your body rather than the energizing effect you hope for after eating. This may result in fatigue and inflammation. Fatigue can also result from a food allergy because your immune system is expending a good amount of energy trying to remove the food protein ‘invader.’”

Gina Hassick, MA, RD, LDN, CDE, NCC

2 & 3

Bloating & Cramping

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“Enzymes are proteins that act on certain foods to help break them down. Some people lack the necessary enzymes to properly break down certain foods. This lack of food breakdown or digestion can lead to the feeling of bloating or stomach cramping. One of the most common intolerances that produce this symptom is a lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency in the enzyme lactase which breaks down the disaccharide or sugar in milk called lactose.”

—Jim White, RDN, ACSM EX-P Owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios



Woman with a headacheShutterstock

“Sulphites are preservatives that are commonly found in wine, dried fruit, some condiments, and other pre-packaged foods. An individual who has a sulfite intolerance may experience headaches, migraines, and even asthma-like symptoms after consuming these products. There is no true test to diagnose this intolerance, however, keeping a food log and removing these foods from the diet could reveal an intolerance if symptoms resolve.”




Woman stomach crampsShutterstock

“Gas and bloating are often caused by high FODMAP foods. People often don’t realize that avoiding FODMAPs long-term might control symptoms but it doesn’t address the reason they’re reacting poorly to highly fermentable foods. In my practice, I usually see this from bacterial overgrowth. The tolerance to high FODMAP foods improves when people treat the underlying cause.”

Miriam Jacobson, MS, RD, CNS


Joint Pain

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“Joint pain is a result of inflammation which may be the result of a food allergy or intolerance. Any immune system reaction has the potential to trigger joint pain.”


RELATED: Your guide to the anti-inflammatory diet that heals your gut, slows the signs of aging, and helps you lose weight.



Woman checking skinShutterstock

“Food allergy symptoms often vary from food to food. Some foods such as nuts and fish are accompanied by anaphylactic reactions, which can be life-threatening if not treated with an EpiPen. Oftentimes an anaphylactic reaction will include symptoms such as an itchy throat, trouble breathing, and hives. However, many minor reactions are also accompanied by hives, normally in the facial region. This type of reaction normally indicates an intolerance to a food consumed in the past few minutes or within the hour. Hives on the tongue are normally indicative of a more severe reaction, but can also be triggered by a sensitivity to nightshade vegetables such as eggplant or red peppers.”

Leah Kaufman, MS, RD, CDE, CDN

8 & 9

Diarrhea & Constipation

Bathroom toilet paper and dogShutterstock

“The most severe form of a gluten intolerance is celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the villi of the small intestine in response to the presence of gluten (the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley). Essentially, gluten confuses the body to attack itself rather than the foreign substance. This disease presents widespread issues including but not limited to constipation, diarrhea, malabsorption of key nutrients like vitamin D, iron, and B12, skin rashes, headaches and migraines, steatorrhea (oily stool), chronic fatigue, and chronic weight loss.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a less severe form of the gluten intolerance where the body doesn’t have an autoimmune response but still does not handle the ingestion of gluten well. Studies show that 50 percent of gluten sensitive individuals experience diarrhea and 25 percent may experience constipation. Every case of these issues does not point to a gluten intolerance. However, if persistent, these symptoms may be worth exploring.”




Woman with arthritisShutterstock

“Just as people who suffer from migraines usually have an immune component, an immune component can also trigger arthritis. Inflammation from gut hyper-permeability leads to higher levels of immune modulators that create inflammation.”


11 & 12

Heartburn & Acid Reflux


“Heartburn and acid reflux ensue when food is not fully digested or when acid comes up through the esophagus and burns tissue in the esophagus and throat. When your body is sensitive to a food, it takes more energy to digest and could cause a hold up in the digestive system—though at that moment we can’t see what’s happening internally, we often feel it as heartburn or acid reflux.”

—Erika Angle, PhD, CEO, and co-founder of Ixcela.


Runny Nose

Sick manShutterstock

“While it is less common with allergies or intolerances, a runny nose is often a sign that your body is trying to cleanse itself and when paired with other symptoms can sometimes signify you may have a food intolerance.”


14 & 15

Acne & Rosacea

Woman with acneShutterstock

Although a food allergy differs from a food intolerance, people who are intolerant to certain foods should avoid the triggers. “Skin issues like hives, rashes, itchiness, acne, eczema, rosacea, and puffiness can all be signs of a food allergy. A food allergy results when your body’s immune system overreacts to an allergen. When you consume a food that your body thinks is harmful (even though it is not), your immune system responds by creating disease-fighting antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). Anytime that you eat a food containing that protein, your body is triggered to release IgE antibodies and other chemicals or ‘mediators,’ like histamine, in efforts of attacking and expelling the invading protein from your body. Histamine is a powerful chemical. The allergy symptom you experience depends on where in the body the histamine is released. If it is released in the skin, you are likely to experience one of the skin issues mentioned above.”


The post 15 Signs You Have a Food Intolerance, According to Dietitians appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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Gathering a group of friends together and going out to brunch has become many people’s go-to weekend plan. After all, it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in a thick piece of syrup-laden French toast and sip on mimosas or Bloody Marys midday. But then comes the question of where to go to find exactly which restaurant serves the best brunch. What do you do? Where do you go?

In order to conquer such a difficult feat as pinpointing the best place for brunch in every state, we relied on the data team at Yelp to assist. Of course, no such list can be 100 percent exhaustive. All businesses considered for this metric had to fall within the “Breakfast & Brunch” category as specified on Yelp. They determined the best one in each state using an algorithm that assesses both the number of reviews as well as the star rating each business accumulated.

Check out this list of the best brunch places in the U.S., and then make sure to hit up your state’s winning place to see just how worthy it is for yourself.

D’ Road Cafe (Montgomery, Alabama)

D'road cafePhoto by Janett M. via Yelp

The go-to brunch spot in Alabama is tucked away in the state capital. D’Road Cafe dishes up a lineup of Spanish delicacies including arepas, empanadas, and even criollo—a plate consisting of fried eggs, black beans, shredded brisket, plantains, one fried arepa, and the restaurant’s own magic sauce.

Girdwood Picnic Club (Girdwood, Alaska)

Girdwood picnic clubPhoto by Andrea C. via Yelp

Who wouldn’t want to go to a place called the picnic club? Girdwood Picnic Club satisfies all of your brunch needs with its diverse menu options. For example, for an earlier breakfast/brunch outing, you could sink your teeth into a sweet Pumpkin Cheesecake Waffle, or opt for a savory plate of sausage, eggs, and roasted potatoes called the Mountain Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.  If a later brunch is more your style, the restaurant also offers three brunch items from open to close; the Breakfast Burrito, Good Morning Pita, and Veggie Tacos.

Worth Takeaway (Mesa, Arizona)

Worth takeawayPhoto by B V. via Yelp

Worth Takeaway is known for its impressive array of sandwiches, and we know it’s the real deal because of its over 580 reviews and 5-star rating. For a hearty brunch, opt for the Pastrami Croque Madame. It’s a French-inspired dish with slices of pastrami and cheddar layered between a swath of creamy Béchamel sauce and a drizzle of dijonnaise, all sandwiched between sourdough and topped with an over-easy egg.

Oscar’s Cafe (Eureka Springs, Arkansas)

Oscar's cafePhoto by Cindy S. via Yelp

Tucked away in a patch of greenery in what appears to be a neighborhood in Eureka Springs is Oscar’s Cafe, the best brunch spot in Arkansas. This humble restaurant greets customers with a circular, royal blue sign that features an elephant walking between the “Oscar’s” and “Cafe.” Pop into this inviting place for refreshing peach bellinis, Bahn Mi sandwiches, and—for those with a sweet tooth—the Norwegian Waffle, a crisp waffle drizzled with Nutella and slices of banana.

Sonoma Wine Shop & La Bodega Kitchen (Sebastopol, California)

Sonoma-Wine-ShopPhoto by Mike M. via Yelp

Did anyone else do a double take when they saw the words wine shop? Yep, this is the top-rated brunch spot in the state of California. One Yelp reviewer even calls it a hidden gem. This Sebastopol-based restaurant serves eclectic brunch dishes including Huevos Rancheros, Moroccan Vegetable, and a traditional Israeli breakfast called Shakshouka on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Rolling Pin Bakeshop (Denver, Colorado)

The rolling pin bakeshopPhoto by Grace C. via Yelp

The Rolling Pin Bakeshop rolls out, you guessed it, a pile of pastries, cakes, desserts, and bread. From buttery ham and gruyere-filled croissants to a dessert called the Chocolate Mousse Dome, you’ll be sure to find something that pleases your palate at this famed Colorado brunch spot.

Brooklyn Baking (Waterbury, Connecticut)

Brooklyn bakingPhoto by Ronald S. via Yelp

Brooklyn Baking is the place to go if you have a hankering for something sweet. The company is especially known for its donuts, namely the Bavarian Cream and its selection of jelly donuts. The bakery also offers more satiating menu items such as the COMBO, which includes two eggs, potatoes, toast, and bacon or sausage.

Russell’s Quality Food (Wilmington, Delaware)

Russell's quality foodPhoto by Vaughn F. via Yelp

Russell’s Quality Food is dishing up brunch on wheels. That’s right, the best place to grab brunch in Delaware is a food truck! Russell’s whips up breakfast all day, with a menu comprising of different renditions of egg and cheese sandwiches. Do you prefer turkey bacon over pork bacon? No problem, they’ll be able to meet your needs. Not to mention, they also dish up egg and cheeses sammies with Italian sweet sausage.

RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

J28 Sandwich Bar (Hollywood, Florida)

J28 sandwich barPhoto by Guillermo C. via Yelp

J28 Sandwich Bar is the Peruvian-inspired sandwich and specialty restaurant you never knew existed. Well, except for those who have visited or live in or around Hollywood, Florida. Floridians have the luxury of noshing on made-from-scratch empanadas, as well as a variety of Peruvian-style quinoa bowls, including the Quinoa Lomo Saltado/Beef Wok Stir Fry, which includes quinoa cultivated from Peru. There’s even a smoothie that’s made primarily from lucuma, a fruit native to Peru.

Fox & Fig (Savannah, Georgia)

Fox & figPhoto by Foodie A. via Yelp

Patrons who prefer following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle in Savannah, Georgia, likely appreciate the brunch selections at Fox & Fig—a cafe dedicated to serving plant-based options. With mouthwatering dishes like Eggless Quiche, Soaked Chia Porridge, Cashew Cheese Garlic Bread, and Brambleberry Pancakes, even a meat-eater is apt to fall in love with this quaint cafe.

Menehune Coffee (Captain Cook, Hawaii)

Menehune coffeePhoto by Menehune Coffee via Yelp

Both Captain Cook and Kailua Kona, Hawaii, are home to the state’s best brunch spot. Menehune Coffee is named after the mythological, 3-foot-tall people that were believed to roam the deep forests and hidden valleys of the Hawaiian Islands. Legend has it the Menehune were very industrious and could conquer “mighty feats of engineering and construction overnight.” Learn about an island legend as you munch away on sweets like the Mauka bites, which are synonymous to honey-glazed granola bites made with dried fruits like cranberries, mangos, and nuts such as almonds and macadamia, and full-on meals such as omelets.

Ashton Sunrise Cafe (Ashton, Idaho)

Ashton sunrise cafePhoto by Alwaleed A. via Yelp

The sun always rises when you’re in this cafe. Well, OK, while that may not be true, one thing’s for certain: You’re going to get a tasty meal. Ashton Sunrise Cafe is actually about five miles southwest of Ashton, and, according to one Yelper, the drive to the cafe is very scenic. Make a pit stop here for plates of pancakes and crepes named after Idaho-based landmarks Upper and Lower Mesa Falls, and biscuits and gravy dishes named after Tear Drop Lake.

The Crepe Shop (Chicago, Illinois)

The crepe shopPhoto by Trishla S. via Yelp

The Crepe Shop serves up nine types of crepes, five of which are sweet and the other four are savory. On the sweet side, there are options such as the Butter Me Up Sugar and even a crepe that’s slathered in Biscoff creamy cookie butter. On the savory side, there is a lox variety, as well as a cheesy selection called “Formage A Trois.”

Bread Basket Cafe & Bakery (Danville, Indiana)

Bread basket cafe & bakeryPhoto by Cj U. via Yelp

On Saturday’s at Bread Basket Cafe & Bakery, breakfast is served all day, which means that you can indulge in their custom Cinnamon Roll French Toast or Peppery Pig Omelette up until 3 p.m. Also, is it just us or does it look like this cafe is located inside of an adorable house?

5 Borough Bagels (Clive, Iowa)

5 borough bagelsPhoto by E C. via Yelp

Would you believe that the most well-liked brunch place in Iowa is a spot that sells New York-style bagels? As the name suggests, 5 Borough Bagels dishes up bagel sandwiches that New Yorkers would fancy. On the menu, you’ll find options such as the Lox Deluxe, Sausage, Egg and Cheese on Bialy, and even a sandwich consisting of jalapeño cream cheese, ham, and fried onions called The Queens.

The Depot (Leavenworth, Kansas)

The depotPhoto by Crystal M. via Yelp

The Depot is Kansas’ top spot for brunch, known for serving up American breakfast classics. Such comfort foods include a dish called the Main Railway, which includes two eggs, hash browns, and either a serving of bacon, sausage, or ham. Of course, no such breakfast platter is complete without a slice of buttery toast or a scrumptious muffin on the side. If you’re in the Leavenworth area, make sure to try this meal, or any of its others, for brunch!

Con Huevos (Louisville, Kentucky)

Con huevosPhoto by Abby A. via Yelp

Would you like your Chilaquiles with eggs? No problem because Con Huevos (which is Spanish for “with eggs”) will happily add that onto literally any of its dishes if it’s not already included. Ten meals stack the restaurant’s brunch menu, including Chipotle Poached Huevos and even one called The Drunk Burrito.

Liz’s Where Y’at Diner (Mandeville, Louisiana)

Liz's where y'at dinerPhoto by Cara S. via Yelp

This beachy-looking shack will satisfy those hankerings for fresh seafood in the wee hours of the morning or mid-day. Liz’s Where Y’at Diner serves wicked egg scramblers, including one called The Bayou, which tosses Louisiana crawfish tails, onions, peppers, pepper jack cheese, and other ingredients in with three scrambled eggs.

Coffee ME Up (Portland, Maine)

Coffee me upPhoto by John B. via Yelp

From cappuccinos with teddy bear art to avocado, egg, and cheese sandwiches Coffee ME Up has got all that you need for a quick and casual brunch.

Waffie (Baltimore, Maryland)

WaffiePhoto by Kelly C. via Yelp

Waffie is the place to go if you’re in the mood for something sweet, and only something sweet. As the name would suggest, the restaurant specializes in fluffy dessert waffles. Here’s what one Yelp reviewer had to say about the waffles: “Each bite so addicting, it should be unlawful.”

JJ’s Caffe (Brockton, Massachusetts)

JJ's caffePhoto by Lorna F. via Yelp

Not only is JJ’s Caffe the top place for brunch in Massachusetts, but it’s also one of Yelp’s top 100 places to eat in the nation. Run by a dynamic father and son duo, JJ’s Caffe pumps out high-quality brunch options, including Salmon Benedict and Crème Brûlée French Toast.

Deboer Bakkerij (Holland, Michigan)

Deboer bakkerijPhoto by Leigh G. via Yelp

With funky menu items such as Hippy hash and Dulce Banana Rhumba French Toast, it’s no wonder Deboer Bakkerij is a go-to for those living in or near the Holland area.

Martina (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

MartinaSue S./Yelp

Minnesotans really lucked out with this restaurant. Martina whips up an intricate menu of high-class meals, including smoked salmon with burrata on an everything bagel that’s topped with salsa verde and pepitas. Several Yelp reviewers rave about the almond flour pancakes and the potato churros, too.

The Grind Coffee and Nosh (Biloxi, Mississippi)

The grindPhoto by The Grind via Yelp

Hit up The Grind Coffee and Nosh if you’re in the mood for treating yourself to a Legendary Cinnamon Roll, buttermilk biscuits, and, of course, a soft egg, sausage, and cheese croissant sandwich.

Scott’s Kitchen (Kansas City, Missouri)

Scott's kitchenPhoto by Scott's Kitchen via Yelp

Lovers of BBQ, brisket, and chorizo in and around the Kansas City metro area are no doubt fans of Scott’s Kitchen. Pop in for brunch and order the Housemade Chipotle Ghost Pepperjack Smoked Sausage tacos for a spicy midday meal, or—if you can’t the handle the heat—opt for a milder dish, such as the Turkey Bern Street Burrito.

Main Street Eats (East Helena, Montana)

Main-Street-EatsPhoto by Melina P. via Yelp

According to Yelp, the number one spot for brunch in Montana is Main Street Eats. Reviewers applaud the Biscuits and Gravy, Cinnamon Roll French Toast, and their selection of ginormous omelets. Also, it’s only about a six-mile drive away from downtown Helena, so if you’re around the state capital, you’ll be within close proximity to this little gem.

Green Beans Coffee (Omaha, Nebraska)

Green beans coffeePhoto by Green Beans Coffee via Yelp

If you’re a fan of simple breakfast options such as breakfast burritos, croissant sandwiches, and yogurt parfaits, this humble little cafe is for you. Green Beans Coffee is run by an Air Force veteran and his wife, and they donate a percentage of their sales to organizations that support the families of those who have lost a loved one in combat.

Zenaida’s Cafe (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Photo by Miko S. via Yelp

Gambling, glitz and glam, luxury shopping. These are just a few things that describe Las Vegas. Even the most determined tourists (and locals) need to refuel after hours of absorbing the intoxicating thrill of the city, and Zenaida’s Cafe happens to be the top pick for brunch in Nevada by Yelp reviewers. A favorite dish appears to be the Corn Beef Hash, according to reviews. Remember that as your stomach grumbles before hitting the town (or casino).

Tuckers (Hooksett, New Hampshire)

TuckersPhoto by Peter D. via Yelp

New Hampshire’s own Tuckers has an exhaustive list of breakfast dishes ranging from Belgian waffles, eggs Benedict, frittatas, and skillets. The restaurant also whips up a side dish called Red Quinoa Hash Browns for those who are gluten-free to still be able to indulge in that crispy potato treat.

JJ’s Diner (Pleasantville, New Jersey)

JJ's dinerPhoto by Jamey H. via Yelp

Described as small and cozy by Yelp reviewers, JJ’s Diner has accumulated a perfect five-star rating and 405 reviews for its comfort food-centric breakfast dishes.

2G’s Bistro (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

2G's bistroPhoto by Matimbo S. via Yelp

The quaint town of Albuquerque is home to New Mexico’s top-rated brunch spot: 2G’s Bistro. This old-fashioned restaurant, with its clay-like walls, fits in well with the numerous historic Adobe structures amid the city, and it’s menu embodies the Spanish culture that lives within it. Try the Huevos Rancheros or the Southwest Benedict to get a taste of such Spanish/western flair.

Dottie Audrey’s Bakery Kitchen (Tuxedo Park, New York)

Dottie audrey's bakery kitchenPhoto by Josh T. via Yelp

For one of the most affluent towns in the nation, it’s rather shocking that all of the breakfast items at the local restaurant are priced at under $15. Dottie Audrey’s Bakery Kitchen offers an extensive list of breakfast goods, including tartines and toasts, egg and meat-based dishes, and even a vegan chia pudding parfait.

Savorez (Wilmington, North Carolina)

SavorezPhoto by Jerry F. via Yelp

Is it just us, or does this restaurant almost look like it’s a hip bar? Not only is Savorez an aesthetically pleasing place to look at, but its brunch lineup is also pretty stellar. With options like Shrimp n Grits, Sam’s Green Eggs & Ham, and classic French Toast, the whole family is bound to find something they’re fond of.

Darcy’s Cafe (Grand Forks, North Dakota)

Darcy's cafePhoto by RunAway B. via Yelp

We get it, from the outside, Darcy’s Cafe doesn’t exactly reflect a chic brunch spot that you may see on Instagram. However, don’t judge a book by its cover! Reviewers rave about the corned beef hash, German sausage, and cinnamon roll pancakes.

Scotty’s Cafe (Columbus, Ohio)

Scotty's cafePhoto by Mark M. via Yelp

Dubbed, “The Best Little Cafe in Columbus, Ohio” is Scotty’s Cafe. A person passing through at first may be confused as to why this cafe is ranked as the best brunch spot in all of Ohio because it offers relatively standard lunch and breakfast items like a patty melt and a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. However, it’s the quality in which these classic dishes are prepared that makes Scotty’s unrivaled. The catch? The cafe is closed on the weekends, so you’ll have to get your brunch and breakfast fix during the week. Long weekend, anyone?

Sid’s Diner (El Reno, Oklahoma)

Sid's dinerPhoto by Dan B. via Yelp

As if the outside of Sid’s Diner wasn’t inviting enough, wait until you hear about the breakfast options. Here’s what one Yelp reviewer recently had to say about Sid’s: “Breakfast was amazingly delicious. Got the ham, egg, and cheese on a biscuit. The ham was an inch thick.”

Ovation Coffee & Tea (Portland, Oregon)

Ovation coffee & teaPhoto by Osh K. via Yelp

Is it really any surprise that the best brunch spot in Oregon, according to Yelp, is located in the state’s trendiest town? While the food at Ovation appears to be amazing (it has garnered a 5-star rating and over 600 reviews), the selection of Moroccan drinks such as spiced coffee, pistachio latte, and mint tea, are what deserve a standing ovation.

Morgantown Coffee House (Elverson, Pennsylvania)

Morgantown coffee housePhoto by Gina T. via Yelp

Don’t let the name of this place confuse you. Morgantown Coffee House is in fact located in Pennsylvania, not West Virginia. This charming little brunch location offers a seasonal menu and rotating coffee list, so for a place that never has the same items to be deemed the top brunch spot in the state says a lot about the quality of meals they churn out.

Eddie’s Diner (Cranston, Rhode Island)

Eddies-DinerPhoto by Jay K. via Yelp

Known for serving generous portions at affordable prices, Eddie’s Diner is the number one place to go to in Rhode Island for a delicious brunch. With five different flavors of buttermilk pancakes and Texas French toast and a whopping 23 omelet variations, even the pickiest eater will have a hard time not finding something they will enjoy.

Maple Street Biscuit Company (Greenville, South Carolina)

Maple street biscuit company - greenvillePhoto by Grace H. via Yelp

On Maple Street Biscuit’s website, it says, “We’re all about fresh, natural, and homemade.” And they’re not kidding. With biscuits made fresh in house every day, dishes cooked with only all-natural chicken, and homemade jams and jellies, this restaurant lives up to its word.

El Columpio (Mitchell, South Dakota)

El columpioPhoto by Rebekah O. via Yelp

Located right next to a Holiday Inn Express, El Columpio is the perfect place to grab brunch while visiting Mitchell, South Dakota. Yelp reviewers appreciate the great service, variety of menu options, giant portions, and reasonable prices. What more could you want?

Crockett’s 1875 Breakfast Camp (Gatlinburg, Tennessee)

Crockett's 1875 breakfast campPhoto by Todd O. via Yelp

Crockett’s 1875 Breakfast Camp has more reviews on Yelp than any other brunch spot on this list at just over 1,000. This Yelp review may help explain why: “There are places that are so good that keep you awake at night trying to figure out when you can go again. Crockett’s is one of those places. So much so, that I truly believe it is the best breakfast I have ever had.” With many reviews similar to this one, it’s no wonder it’s the top brunch spot in the state. One of the more popular dishes is the meat lover’s Black Bear Camp Skillet, which consists of strips of pecan-smoked bacon, country or sugar-cured ham, sausage, and two eggs any style.

Granny’s Tacos (Austin, Texas)

Granny's tacosPhoto by Michael M. via Yelp

Tacos for brunch? Yes, please! An adorable taco truck called Granny’s Tacos takes the title as the best place for brunch in Texas. Surprised? So were we. Apparently, their breakfast tacos are pretty tasty, and each one only costs between $2.50-$3.00. Granny’s Tacos also serves homemade salsas and made-from-scratch corn tortillas.

Cupla Coffee (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Cupla coffeePhoto by Justin B. via Yelp

Here’s how Cupla Coffee’s website describes its coffee selection: “Small single batch roastery serving different organic beans from around the world.”  What’s more is that the cafe’s in-house bakery makes bread and pastries that those who follow a vegan, paleo, keto, and gluten-free diet can savor.

Butler’s Pantry Breakfast (Stowe, Vermont)

Butler's pantry breakfastPhoto by Suzanne T. via Yelp

Butler’s Pantry Breakfast is the restaurant that sits within one of New England’s most scenic mountain villages, available for a passerby to come in and spend the night. With dishes consisting of maple sausage, homemade biscuits, and even an açaí bowl, this little restaurant will satisfy all of your brunch needs.

Simply Social Coffee (Fairfax, Virginia)

Simply social coffeePhoto by Esther S. via Yelp

As the name of this place indicates, the menu at Simply Social Coffee is quite simple, with dishes labeled as straightforward as “Eggs and Breakfast Meat on Toast.” It’s described by reviewers as a cozy coffee shop with delicious pastries and small plates. Sounds simply amazing to us!

Tibbitts @ Fern Hill (Tacoma, Washington)

Tibbitts @ fern illPhoto by Mike K. via Yelp

Tibbitts @ Fern Hill may not look all that alluring on the outside, but the menu is stacked with good stuff. The breakfast looks especially delectable. One such menu item includes a dish called the Meat and Gravy Bomb, which is a savory plate that includes a hearty mix of herbed sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, potatoes, greens, pepper jack cheese, and candied bacon.

The Grind (Morgantown, West Virginia)

The grindPhoto by The Grind via Yelp

The Grind is the place to go for maple lattes and kaiser roll sammies stacked with egg, cheese, and turkey.

5th and Jefferson Coffee House (Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin)

5th and jefferson coffee housePhoto by Connie W. via Yelp

Burritos, old fashioned oats, scones, and Belgian waffles. That basically sums up the mouthwatering breakfast menu offered at this quaint coffee house in Wisconsin. At this place, you truly feel like you’re at home. Why? 5th and Jefferson was formerly a residential home that was converted into the popular coffee house it is today.

Persephone Bakery (Jackson, Wyoming)

Persephone bakeryPhoto by Sarah C. via Yelp

Pop into Persephone’s Boulangerie & Cafe for avocado bowls, porridge, and even a plate called Rose Water Sweet Waffles. Of course, no brunch in the winter time is complete without a piping hot beverage. Select from a variety of warm drinks, including an anti-inflammatory turmeric latte or a tea and lavender-flavored latte called the London Fog.

Now, it’s time to get brunching!

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It’s a sweetly known fact that every year McDonald’s rolls out its cult classic mint green Shamrock Shake just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Plenty of devoted McDonald’s loyal customers anticipate the minty shake’s arrival, which hits menus nationwide in mid-February and only sticks around for a limited time. This year, the festive drink will be sold all the way up until Sunday, March 24, but how much do you really know about the shake—and what exactly is in it?

The timeless frozen treat has actually been around for a few decades; it was originally called the St. Patrick’s Day Shake back when it debuted in 1970, and in 2014, more than 60 million Shamrock Shakes were estimated to have been sold since its inception. You can only imagine what that number has climbed to now. People clearly love the drink and earnestly look forward to it. Take this tweet as evidence:

As a food and nutrition site, we felt like it was our duty though to break down exactly what a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is made of and let you in on what’s in it. To do this properly, we consulted Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, for more insight.

What exactly is in a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake?

“The Shamrock Shake is a sugar bomb at 63 grams of sugar and 74 grams of carbs for a small,” says Walsh. That’s as much sugar as 16 sugar packets, she says. “While a majority of its 460 calories come from the carbs and sugar, it also has 13 grams of fat and 8 grams of saturated fat.”

You’re also probably wondering what makes the drink green, right? It’s a combination of artificial colors, specifically Yellow 5 and Blue 1. That green hue doesn’t happen with natural mint—it comes from something simply called Shamrock Shake syrup! The other two ingredients: vanilla reduced fat ice cream and whipped light cream.

“One of these as a super indulgent treat shouldn’t do much harm, but regular consumption could surely start to pack on the pounds,” says Walsh. It’s best to enjoy the festive drink in moderation, folks.

RELATED: The science-backed way to curb your sweet tooth in 14 days.

What would be a healthier dessert option to get at McDonald’s and why?

“As a dietitian that is not anti-Mickey D’s, I am a big fan of their vanilla soft serve cone. While it’s not particularly low in sugar or carbs [with] 24 grams of sugar and 32 grams of total carbs, it has 5 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein, and comes in at 200 calories,” says Walsh. “It’s not a horrible option when you are craving a sweet frozen treat.”

Walsh says an even better way to satisfy your cold, creamy craving would be to order the ice cream in a cup, or, if the McDonald’s near you allows this, get the kiddie size. “The kiddie cone comes in at 45 calories, 6 grams of sugar, 8 grams carbs and 1 gram of fat.” That’s about a quarter of the calories, and notably less sugar, carbs, and fat!

How can you make a healthier Shamrock Shake at home?

“You can make your own lighter Shamrock Shake at home! You can use light ice cream or your favorite vanilla protein powder with mint extract—extracts add zero calories and sugar,” says Walsh. There you have it—the nutritional breakdown of the festive drink, as well as a recipe for a DIY Shamrock Shake so you can get festive this year without doing any damage to your waistline.

The post Here’s What’s Really Inside the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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When you tell your health-conscious friends or colleagues that you’re heading to a place like McDonald’s or even Taco Bell for lunch, you may get an eye roll—and maybe for good reason, especially now with new information that has been revealed. A study found that fast food has gotten more unhealthy over the years and what you’re eating today is nothing like what was served up in a drive-thru in the 1980s.

Fast food has earned a bad reputation over the years, largely because of its large portion sizes, high fat and sodium contents, and processed ingredients. This is of great concern for Americans with the adult obesity rate currently sitting at an all-time high. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, about 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese. Eating fast food regularly is a large contributor to this ever-growing obesity rate, and it’s interesting to note that there was a time when quick service food didn’t pose as much as a threat to Americans’ health as it does today.

How is fast food unhealthier today than it was in years past?

study recently published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that entrées served at the top 10 fast-food giants (based off of sales) have increased in portion size by 39 grams, which is equivalent to about 90 calories, since 1986. While 90 calories may not seem like a huge number, think about how that number multiplies based off of how often you consume fast food. Let’s say an individual eats one fast-food meal, without any sides, once a week. That person consumes about 4,680 calories more per year from that one fast food meal alone than they would have in 1986. In addition, fast-food entrées contain roughly 13.8 percent more sodium than they did three decades ago.

RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

How was this study conducted?

In order to deduce this hike in calories and sodium over the past 30 year years, researchers analyzed menu items at fast-food restaurants Arby’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Dairy Queen, Hardee’s, Jack in the Box, KFC, Long John Silver’s, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s, from the years 1986, 1991, and 2016. The lead author of the study, Dr. Megan A. McCrory of the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University, reports, “It’s the longest-spanning and most in-depth look at fast food’s caloric energy and nutrient makeup, decade over decade, that has ever been conducted.”

What else did researchers find?

McCrory and her band of researchers found that the number of menu items offered at these respective chains combined increased by 226 percent. They also found that entrées, on average, increased by 13 grams, or 30 calories each decade—and that’s not even the category that witnessed the biggest caloric hike. Desserts have increased by 186 calories, or 72 grams, since 1986. Even sides like French fries saw an increase of 42 calories and 11.7 percent more sodium.

The addition of salads to fast-food menus over the years doesn’t cut it, either. When you factor in the amount of dressing, unhealthy add-ins, oversized portions of meat, and cheese, fast food salads might not end up being much better than that burger. There’s a lot more change that needs to be made, and hopefully soon, as a lot of Americans eat at these fast-food places often. In a presentation about the study’s findings, McCrory said that in the U.S. about 37 percent of adults at least 20 years old eat fast food on any given day, and 45 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 39 do the same.

So what can be done to prevent the obesity rate from escalating any further? Researchers proposed that fast-food restaurants offer smaller portion sizes, or, even more extreme, introduce a calorie taxation. Imagine what would happen if you had to pay a tax on higher calorie meals. You likely wouldn’t be as tempted to order that Big Mac with fries and a large soda…

The post Fast Food Is Actually Unhealthier Today Than It Was in the 80s appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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