Health-minded foodies are discovering virtuous new ways to get their tender beef, crispy cookies and cheesy-eggy bread puddings. And they're keeping fit by baling hay or picking fruit at new rustic-luxe farm stays.
Healthy Splurges: A Few Healthier Ways to Satisfy a Craving
Candy Bar Makeover
Feel-good alternatives to classic sweets© Antonis Achilleos
If You Like: Chocolate Cups
Try These: Sun Cups have a creamy center of sunflower seed butter (lower in saturated fat than peanut butter) covered in either organic milk or dark chocolate. $2; peanutfreeplanet.com.
© Antonis Achilleos
If You Like: Crispy Chocolate
Try These: Alter Eco's Midnight Crunch bar coats high-protein quinoa in Fair Trade dark chocolate. Quinoa crisps are baked 12 times longer than rice for extra crunch. $4; altereco-usa.com.
© Antonis Achilleos
If You Like: Coconut Candy
Try These: Angell's organic Snow bar is preservative- and corn syrup–free. White chocolate is wrapped around shredded coconut flavored with a touch of sea salt. $27 for a box of 12; amazon.com.
© Antonis Achilleos
If You Like: Chocolate-Nut Bars
Try These: Green & Black's caramelized peanut–and–sea salt milk-chocolate bar has 17 percent more antioxidant-rich cocoa than the average milk-chocolate bar. $3.50; greenandblacks.com.
There's no high-fructose corn syrup in any of these alt drinks.© Antonis Achilleos
Fresh Ginger It's sweetened with cane sugar and enhanced with ingredients high in antioxidants, like pomegranate and hibiscus. $2; freshgingerale.com.
Sipp Blue agave nectar provides natural sweetness; the ginger-blossom variety is an infusion of organic ginger, vanilla bean and lime. $3; haveasipp.com.
Dry Soda Co. Sodas have between 45 and 70 calories per 12 oz. serving and are made with pure cane sugar. Flavors like rhubarb and juniper berry make excellent cocktail mixers. $2; drysoda.com.
A few healthier ways to satisfy a craving.© Antonis Achilleos
Cookies Tate's now offers a whole wheat–flour version of its classic chocolate chip cookie. $5 per bag; whole foodsmarket.com.
Chocolate Made from raw cacao, fearless bars have three times the antioxidants of most chocolate bars. $5; fearlesschocolate.com.
Popcorn Angie's new "lite" kettle corn contains half the fat and sugar of the original. $3 for a 5 oz bag; angieskettlecorn.com.
Superb Beef Adapted from a recipe in author Patricia Wells's latest cookbook, Salad as a Meal, this rosy roast beef with basil oil seems decadent but contains only two grams of saturated fat per serving.
Say Yes to Eggs and Cheese Even a small amount of an intensely flavorful cheese can have a huge impact on a recipe. Heidi Swanson shares this lightened bread pudding in her new cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. Her dish has just half a cup of feta for eight servings.
Healthy Splurges: Are Farm Stays the New Spas?
Visitors at lovely new farm stays can get a workout chasing chickens into coops or picking produce that later turns up in ultrafresh dishes in the dining room.Stony Creek Farm. Photo courtesy of Feather Down Farms.
Stony Creek Farm; Walton, New York Guests sleep in tents with canopy beds and help collect free-range eggs.Doubles from $189; featherdown.com.
Sakura Ridge; Hood River, Oregon Fruit picked by guests ends up in breakfasts. Doubles from $150; sakuraridge.com.
Ridge to Reef Farm; St. Croix Visitors stay in a yurt or tree house and pick produce for the island's CSA. Doubles from $95; visfi.org.
Farm Sanctuary; Watkins Glen, New York Pigs and turkeys get TLC from farm-stay guests. Doubles from $105; farmsanctuary.org.
Healthy Splurges: Food Pro Fitness
Chefs and wine experts work very hard—and play hard, too. Here, some of their extreme sports gear.
$1,200 Skis "I heli-ski in Canada and have a sweet pair of Folsom custom-designed skis with a graphic of Dr. Dre on the tips and Johnny Cash on the tails," says Richard Betts, the Colorado-based master sommelier.
We asked sports stars, " What do you eat when you train—and how do you splurge when you win?"© The Truth Fund
—Paul Pierce, NBA star, Boston Celtics © Erich Spiess
"I start my day with muesli and end with grilled chicken. When I do well in a race, I let myself have the Austrian dessert Kaiserschmarrn. It's like a supersweet pancake."
—Lindsey Vonn, Olympic alpine ski racer © Brian Bielman
—Kelly Slater, 10-time world surf champion
Healthy Splurges: Farm-Fresh Goat-Milk Lattes
Coffee bars might want to skip the $20,000 machines and buy a goat, says Dr. Daphne Miller.© Alex Nabaum
It's 7 a.m., milking time on Shining Moon Ranch in Boonville, California. Farmer Micki Colfax hands me a mug of dark-roast coffee and leads me to the goat shed where her Mendocino Grand champ, Sine Qua Non, is having its own breakfast. I've traveled the globe researching the world's healthiest diets, and I've come to believe there are lessons we can learn right at home on local farms. I'm at the ranch because I feel that Micki (and her goats) might offer insight. Research shows that children raised on sustainable farms have fewer allergies and upper-respiratory infections than kids who grow up in a city. Micki herself has four hardy sons. I wonder, is it the sun? The fresh air? The exposure to animals? The milk they drink? All of the above? Now Micki puts my mug near one of Sine Qua Non's teats. Two squirts and a luxurious foam rises to the brim—an instant latte. I sip. The scientist in me contemplates the milk's medicinal qualities: lactoferrin, a powerful immune booster in the whey, and oligosaccharides, food for the infection-fighting healthy bacteria in our gut. But the gastronome in me just smiles: a rich, silky latte sine qua non. It makes me wonder: Shouldn't every coffee bar have its own goat?
Daphne Miller is a family physician and the author of The Jungle Effect. She is currently at work on a book about healing secrets from the farm.
Healthy Splurges: Power Foods
Brazilian Surfers first popularized this freakishly nutritious Amazonian berry. Now it has gone mainstream. The smoothie here, by F&W's Grace Parisi, boosts açai's healthfulness with pomegranate juice.
Ultra-marathoners swear by this omega 3-dense desert plant seed. CocoChia snack mix blends it with coconut. livingfuel.com.
Amazonian Jungle Peanuts
These heirloom nuts are loaded with omega-9 and -6 fatty acids and have more protein than flaxseeds. vivapura.net.
Peruvian Incan Berries
A sweet-tart Andean fruit with a raisin-like texture, they're packed with vitamins A and C and iron. sunfood.com.