Friday, December 7, 2012

Tart Cherry Sufganiyot for Hanukkah

Hanukkah begins this Saturday at sundown. Did you know that Cheribundi is certified Kosher by Orthodox Union? Cheribundi makes a great holiday drink, on its own or incorporated with seltzer, soda or punch.

You can use Cheribundi in place of liquids in recipes, as well as replace other fruits with dried cherries or cherry preserves in baked goods, salads and dips.

One Hanukkah staple is sufganiyot—small, round jelly donuts. These are delicious with tart cherry filling, which is easily made with rehydrated dried tart cherries mixed with cherry preserves.  Or check out this recipe from Good Housekeeping for easy no-fry sufganiyot.

For a non-traditional, more healthful alternative, try Chocolate Cherry Doughnuffins (made with Cheribundi) by Sarah at The Smart Kitchen blog.  These are made with chia seeds, apple sauce, raisins (or use dried cherries) and pumpkin.  See the whole recipe here.

Will you be serving something special for Hanukkah? Will you try to make it healthier or forget your diet during the holidays?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cherries and Gout: New Study Released

Gout got you down? Like a railroad-spike-through-the-knee kind of down?
Tart cherries to the rescue!
By Gina Andreucci

A study recently released by Boston University School of Medicine links our favorite cherries with a reduction in gout attacks—between 35 and 75 percent! The study is one of the first to scientifically examine the effects of cherry consumption with the recurrence of gout attacks, although many arthritic patients are well aware of the benefits of cherries for their pain and inflammation.

What is Gout?

Gout is a kind of arthritis characterized by painful joint inflammation, particularly in the big toe, knees and ankles that is due to an excess of uric acid in the blood. It is both an acute and chronic affliction of which the exact cause is unknown. Gout may be genetic and is more commonly found in men, post-menopausal women, and heavy alcohol drinkers.

8.3 million sufferers in the US would all agree: gout is the pits.

A gout attack is extremely painful and may last up to several days, and subsequent attacks may last longer. Treatment of a gout attack may include anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers or corticosteroids to reduce pain and inflammation. Chronic gout sufferers may be prescribed allopurinol, a daily medication designed to keep uric acid levels in the body low.

The Study

During the study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, 633 individuals with gout were followed for one year. Patients provided information on symptoms, onset, risk factors, and whether or not they ate fresh cherries or took cherry extract during the year. Researchers gathered information for 1,247 gout attacks – roughly two per patient.

What they discovered was that the participants that ate cherries for two days were 35% less likely to suffer a gout attack than those who did not consume cherries. Participants who reported that they ate cherries in addition to taking their allopurinol medication were 75% less likely to experience an attack.

But what is the magic number for cherries? The study found that three servings (30-36 cherries) over two days proved the most beneficial.

Tart cherries are excellent for anti-inflammation, and high levels of antioxidant compounds found in cherries as well as vitamin C are two components that scientists believe may contribute to the reduction in gout flares. Arthritis Research UK professor Alan Silman admits “Eating cherries, in fact, is not dissimilar to taking ibuprofen on a daily basis.”

The study does not recommend patients abandon standard medical treatment for gout or arthritis, but scientists look forward to future studies to confirm the power of cherries.


"Cherry Consumption and the Risk of Recurrent Gout Attacks"; Yuqing Zhang, Tuhina Neogi, Clara Chen, Christine Chaisson, David Hunter, Hyon K. Choi; Arthritis & Rheumatism, anticipated online publication 28 September 2012; DOI: 10.1002/art.34677; Additional sources: Wiley-Blackwell, Arthritis Research UK.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cheribundi Ambassador: Runner Toni Church

A Cherry A Day For Running Recovery
by Janine Frank

For one Long Island runner, a lifelong goal is now just a month away. Toni Church is training for the New York City Marathon on November 4th. This will be the first marathon for the 34-year-old mother of two who took up running to get back in shape after her first child was born.

Now 15 years later, Church is ready to take the plunge and attempt one of running's biggest challenges. “As long as I've been running I have wanted to run one marathon and that marathon had to be NYC!” Church says.

To finally get to this point, Church, a hospital nurse, has been reliably and singularly focused on this one objective. And in all those years, her conviction never wavered. “The marathon is the ultimate running goal and I want to do it at least once,” Church says confidently.

Her training regimen consists of two runs a week with a running team called We Are Athletes. They do drills, speed work, core work and devote one of those nights to hill running. Church saves her longer runs for the weekend. “On Saturday or Sunday I do my long runs mostly with people from the team,” Church says. “My weekly mileage lands somewhere between 18 and 28 miles per week.”

Church also tries to do yoga three times a week as well as cross training with a spin bike and an elliptical trainer. She also tries to work in two weight training sessions per week. “I believe for balance and injury prevention you need to have a well-rounded workout routine,” Church says.

Unlike some first time marathon runners, Church is careful not to over-train. “Many of the plans out there have first time marathoners running an enormous amount,” Church explains, “And according to my coach it's a recipe for disaster and injury.” She says it's also important to listen to your body. “If something hurts, don't ignore it because it will only get worse.”

Representin' in her Cheribundi tee at FitBloggin' 2012.
Part of Church's daily routine also includes Cheribundi. She says it's how she ends every workout. “Cheribundi has helped me combat muscle soreness. I love having a [Whey] protein Cheribundi after a tough workout to fuel my muscles and help replenish my energy.” In fact, Church says she also drinks Cheribundi on her rest days. For her it's become a daily habit.

Church understands the struggle between achieving a fit lifestyle and raising a family. “I do my best to spend time with the family every day after work and by incorporating fitness and family time together with bike rides, workouts in the park and healthy activities,” Church says. She admits that the balance is challenging, but knows that her own fitness is essential. “Running has changed my life both physically and emotionally for the better and I couldn't imagine my life without it!”

Cheribundi wishes Toni all the best in her first marathon. May it be the beginning of many! 

Editor's Note: Unfortunately, Toni recently went to the doctor and found out she has a stress fracture. She has to rest it for eight weeks, which means she will not be able to run in the NYC Marathon this year.  But she has Cheribundi to help her recover and she says it's "definitely helping with the recovery." Toni will be back to her training routine once the fracture heals, and she plans to train for another marathon in 2013. Read more from Toni at her blog, Running Loving Living: The Road to My Dreams.

Janine Frank lives in Lafayette, Colorado with her husband, two sons and golden retriever. She writes about fitness, natural products and the great outdoors.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Guest Blog: Cheribundi Ambassador Jen!

My name is Jen and I am a blogger over at I am currently training for my first marathon! A few years ago, I never would have called myself a runner. I was overweight and hated exercise. 

However, I wanted a change. I was tired of not liking the way I felt about myself and wanted to get healthy! I changed my diet by eating lots of healthy food and started to exercise regularly.  One day I went for a run. Little did I know running would become one of my favorite exercises. I could not imagine my life without running! I lost 70 pounds and I’m training for my first marathon!

I didn’t always want to run a marathon. When I started running, my goal was to run a 5K without stopping. In May of 2009, that happened! I trained for the 5K and running it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was so proud of myself.  Less than a year ago I couldn’t even run a half a mile, let alone a 5K. After participating in a bunch of 5Ks, some 10Ks and a 15K, In October 2010, I finally decided to run a half marathon.

I knew when I was training for a half marathon I could finally call myself a “runner.” I loved running. I loved the feel of completing a goal and the runner’s high after finishing a long run. I never knew I was capable of actually running 13.1 miles, but with the hard work and dedication of months of training, I did that too.

Fast forward almost two years later, it was time to step it up. I had run eight half marathons, so I knew what my next step had to be: 26.2 miles. I was afraid and not sure if I could run a full marathon, but I knew it was something that deep down, I wanted to do. 

I’m currently two months into training and I’m having fun. Sure, there are tough runs along the way, but there are also the great ones. I knew I wanted to train in the fall, so I signed up for a November marathon in Richmond, Virginia. It will be my first time traveling to Richmond, so I’m excited to experience the city the best way I know how—by running! I’m excited to cross the finish line in November and to finally call myself a marathoner.

Follow the rest of my training at my blog: 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cheribundi Ambassador: Olympic Rower Esther Lofgren

Coming Home with Gold
by Janine Frank

Many of us dream of it, very few achieve it. But Esther Lofgren knows what it’s like to win Olympic gold.

“It’s the best feeling in the world!” she says.

Lofgren achieved that remarkable triumph at the 2012 Olympics in London last month where she competed in Women's 8 Rowing. The race itself lasted just 6 minutes and 10.59 seconds, but the sweet victory was years in the making and now a memory that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Lofgren, a 27-year-old from Newport Beach, California, first started rowing when she was in high school. She was playing volleyball at the time and needed a way to cross-train. But she got hooked on the sport and eventually switched over to rowing exclusively.

Lofgren describes rowing as an endurance power sport. “Besides balancing in a long, tippy boat, a race is equivalent to power-lifting as quickly as you can for 5 to 7 minutes.” She says a lot of the training that goes into rowing is logging miles and miles in the boat to build up the lungs and muscles for the more intense challenge of racing.

During training for London, Lofgren discovered Cheribundi, a drink that she says is ideal for those in endurance sports. “I drink Cheribundi about once a day, especially after endurance cardio workouts when I need to replenish glycogen stores and get antioxidants in my body.”

Lofgren says the Whey Cheribundi with added protein is very similar to the home-made recovery drink she used earlier in the year before she discovered Cheribundi. “But with the bonus of taking zero prep and being really easy to toss in my gym bag,” she adds.

And since she’s a national team athlete, she appreciates how wholesome Cheribundi is. “I am subject to random drug testing and it’s really nice to have a supplement that is quality tested so I don’t have to worry about contamination. It’s just a wholesome product that’s great for recovery and is what it says it is,” Lofgren explains.

Rowing may come somewhat naturally to Lofgren considering her parents were also elite U.S. rowers. She says they’ve been her biggest inspiration. “My mom was actually the last woman cut from the 1984 Olympic quadruple sculls, a boat that went on to win gold,” she explains. “I was cut from the 2008 boat that also went on to win gold.”

But she was determined to go to the Olympics and continued with the sport hoping for a 2012 opportunity. When it materialized, Lofgren felt deeply grateful to those who helped her get there. “As soon as we crossed the finish line, I was totally overcome. I thought about all of the people who’d believed in me, who’d supported me through all of the training it took to win gold.”

So what’s next for someone who finally achieved her lifelong goal?

“I’m not sure. Right now, I’m looking for a job. I’m giving the real world a shot for the next several months, but I’m leaving the door open on whether I want to keep rowing.”

With Lionel Richie in the green room of the Today Show.
Even though she’s won a gold medal, Lofgren says she still has a couple more athletic goals she would like to achieve. “I’ve just started road biking and I’m getting ready to do a century ride: 100 miles! I love running and am also working towards running my first marathon this fall.”

After winning gold it could be hard to stay motivated for new challenges, but Lofgren says that’s not the case. “In life, I go by the mantra “Trust the Journey.” All of the ups and downs I have been through in rowing and in life make the great things that happen that much more special. I don’t ever wish for things to be easy, only worth it.”

And as for 2016? “Everyone keeps asking about Rio, which is way too far away to think about…but man! Who wouldn’t want to do this again?”

Janine Frank lives in Lafayette, Colorado with her husband, two sons and golden retriever. She writes about fitness, natural products and the great outdoors.