Monthly Archives: August 2012

What Does Labor Day Mean to You?

Officially, Labor Day is an American holiday that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.

Unofficially, Labor Day signifies a changing of the seasons – as the weather cools and kids return to school, their lazy (or not so lazy) days of summer reach their end. Soon, young students will be swapping skateboards for notebooks and pencils, and their bathing suits for khakis and backpacks.

Kids have to get used to, once again, waking up early, going to bed early, and balancing their time watching television and playing with friends so they can finish their homework and study for tests. Meanwhile, college students are likely leaving the comfort of mom & dad’s home, packing their bags and heading off to their new dorm room or apartment as they work toward becoming part of the workforce that contributes to our country’s heritage of free enterprise.

Whatever your perspective on this holiday, Labor Day symbolizes exactly what the name says: celebrating the labor of working hard (whether in school or at a job) and contributing to America’s spirit of productivity.

So, in honor of Labor Day and all that it stands for, it seems appropriate to throw one last party as the seasons change. And, there is no use lamenting that summer has gone; instead, let’s celebrate the times we’ve had and the metamorphoses the following months will bring.

Parties have their own way of conjuring up an overabundance of preconceived notions about what they should offer, what people should do at them, and, frankly, all of the preparation and work that go into hosting them. Let us help you a little… a party doesn’t have to be filled with the usual unhealthy, greasy party foods. While cupcakes full of added sugar and fried chicken rich in calories and taste are mainstays of many parties and picnics, your Labor Day bash can be a perfect setting to serve foods that actually increase productivity, energy and healthy living (while still tasting decadent…real-fruit smoothies come to mind, as well as made-to-order grilled chicken wraps).

And, with all that extra energy your food provides, you can infuse your party with physical activities and games that further encourage a nourishing and fun lifestyle.

Here’s the best part – Tropical Smoothie Café can cater your party, so all you have to do is have fun with your friends and celebrate a day of not working! How’s that for shattering your preconceived notions of the work that goes into a party? Now, that’s worth celebrating.

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National Eye Exam Month: Best Fruits and Veggies for Your Eyes

Gimme 5 Carrot SmoothieWhen was the last time you had your vision checked?  August is National Eye Exam Month, which makes this a great time to get your vision screenings up to date. Healthy adults with no vision problems should get their eyes checked at least once in their twenties, twice in their thirties, and every two or three years between the ages of 40 and 65.  If you wear glasses or contacts, have a family history of eye disease, or have health problems that may impact your vision, you may need more frequent eye exams.

While you’re thinking about getting your vision checked, it’s also a good time to start thinking about eating for your eye health.  New research suggests that some nutrients found in fruit and veggies can improve your eye health and possibly prevent eye diseases such as cataracts or macular degeneration.  Here’s a guide to some of the most important nutrients:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps protect your eyes against damage caused by ultraviolet light.  Some experts think that vitamin C may help prevent or delay the development of cataracts.  Vitamin C rich foods include citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, raspberries, mango and pineapple.  Our Sunrise Sunset Smoothie is rich in vitamin C, and our Vitamin-C Immune Complex can be added to any of our smoothies for an extra nutrient boost.

Beta-Carotene

Mom was right when she told you that carrots would help your eyes.  Beta-carotene is a cartenoid and antioxidant that helps your body maintain good vision and also improves night vision.  Beta-carotene is best obtained through a healthy diet and is found in foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, cantaloupe, and dark green leafy vegetables.  Our Gimme 5 Carrot Smoothie is a tasty way to boost your beta-carotene intake.  You won’t find it on our menu board, but just ask for a Gimme 5 and we’ll whip one up for you (you’ll be glad you did).

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two little-known nutrients that have attracted a lot of recent attention.  They are compounds found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.  They are also found in the macular region of the eye.  These important compounds help neutralize free radicals and keep your arteries from getting hard.  Lutein and zeaxanthin also prevent the type of light damage that can lead to macular degeneration.  Many experts believe that these compounds can prevent macular degeneration and slow progression of the disease.  Kale, spinach, corn, carrots, and eggs are all rich in lutein and zeaxanthin.  Our breakfast wraps are an eye-healthy way to start your morning.  Try the Early Bird, All-American, or Salsa Sunrise wraps to start your day off with a tropical twist.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help you protect your vision and improve your health.Tropical Smoothie Café has an abundance of delicious and nutrient rich menu options that are healthy and will delight your taste buds.  Help us celebrate National Eye Exam Month by getting your vision checked and choosing foods rich in eye-friendly nutrients. Tropical Smoothie Cafe can help you eat better, feel better–and see better, too.

Everything’s Just “Peachy”

TSC Peach Tshirt

When you think of summer, what comes to mind? Warm weather, outdoor activities and fresh fruit. Not many fruits have climbed the ranks of “National Month” status, but peaches have.  August is National Peach Month and with all the ripe and juicy peaches available this time of year, there are lots of reasons and ways to celebrate.

History

According to the University of Georgia’s website:

Although grown in Georgia, peaches first came from China. They go back to the 10th century B.C. and are often found in pictures from that time. The Chinese have developed many different types of peaches.

The peach got its name around 300 B.C. when a Greek philosopher thought it came from Persia and named this lovely fruit to that country. In the New World, peaches date back to the 1500’s, brought first to Latin America by early Spanish colonists. Peaches were first grown in Georgia during the colonial period of the 1700s. After the Civil War, Georgia peach growers developed superior new varieties, which boosted the commercial peach industry and made Georgia the “Peach State.”

Health Benefits

Peaches 'N Silk

As far back as the 10th century, the Chinese have believed that peaches can help you live longer. And now scientific data seems to back up that claim. Well, sort of. Peaches are high in potassium. And a lack of potassium can cause or intensify conditions such as memory loss, skin problems, stress, weakness, and tension. Also, some medications deplete natural potassium stores from the body which can cause

blood pressure issues. Some heart issues have been linked to potassium shortages. It’s no coincidence that peaches are called the “longevity fruit.”

Peach pits, in some Eastern cultures, are made into a tea that is used for kidney cleansing and body detoxification. And peach blossoms are said to have a sedative effect.

Peaches are high in fiber, and a high fiber diet aids digestion and weight management. High fiber diets also prevent coronary heart disease. In addition to high-fiber content, the average size peach contains approximately 68 calories and zero fat! Peaches are loaded with beta-carotene, lycopene (move over tomatoes), lutein, and iron. In fact, the iron content of peaches nearly rivals that of spinach and tastes so much better! Best of all, they taste so great that they make it easy to get in your recommended daily servings of fruit.

Recipes

Can peaches or freeze them for later, or enjoy them now in some of these great recipes.

Low Sugar, Whole Wheat Peach Pecan Muffins
Fiery Grilled Peach and Habanero Salsa
Peach and Brie Quesadillas

Dried peaches also go great in homemade snack mixes for picnics or hiking.  And, of course, we have some refreshing Peach Smoothies at Tropical Smoothie Cafe like our Peaches ‘N Silk or the Get Up and Goji. Come celebrate National Peach Month with us!

August is National Picnic Month (just don’t invite the ants)

August is National Picnic Month, perfect for enjoying the outdoors, hanging out with family  and friends, and celebrating summer’s Family Picnicfresh food and simple joys. Throughout history, picnics have brought people together to enjoy a peaceful meal in beautiful surroundings, eating the food they love at a picnic table or lounging on a blanket in the grass.

All that makes August a great time for planning family reunions, company picnics, church outings, sports team events and basically any excuse you can find for combining people, food and the outdoors.  Picnics are great for creating memories with grandparents, kids and the entire family.  It’s an opportunity to connect and enjoy each other’s company before the craziness of back-to-school and the fall and winter holidays sneak up on us.  Bring some books and lay out on a blanket as you read to the younger kids.  Bring a football or Frisbee and spend some quality time with the older kids.  Bring a single friend, or several single friends and maybe your picnic will result in a “love connection.”

Sometimes it’s no picnic (pun intended) providing all the food for these events. What do you serve to satisfy everyone and keep things easy for yourself as you’re already dealing with all the other details around location, coordinating availability, keeping an eye on the weather, gifts or prizes, entertainment and so much more.  No worries – Tropical Smoothie Café not only has the fresh casual food choices that everyone loves, but we also cater!

If you are off for a romantic picnic for two, swing by and pick up a to-go order to enjoy when you get there.  If you have a larger crowd to feed, call us and let us take care of the food prep and delivery for you.  National Picnic Month and the fresh, healthy food choices from Tropical Smoothie Cafe go hand-in-hand.  A Deluxe Box Lunch with a wrap or sandwich, served with chips or fruit and a cookie can work wonders to make any event a picnic. Add a fresh salad, and choose from any of our delicious Smoothies like the classic Strawberry Lemonade or a super Mango Magic Smoothie (mango, pineapple and non-fat yogurt).

After dessert, take an aging parent by the arm and go for a walk as you take in the sights and sounds of the final days of summer.  Sip on a smoothie to stay hydrated and then go get that kite up in the air and be truly present for your family.  Help your kids identify bugs or see who’s first to spot a butterfly.  Grab the binoculars and do some bird watching. Lay on a blanket next to your sweetie and see what shapes you can find in the clouds.  Picnics bring families together and give you the down time that’s important for feeling refreshed.

Our catering menu works great for those board meetings, too.  Supply your team with the food that’ll keep them going through those budget debates and call it an indoor picnic.  Or take a break and eat outside.  Board members need sunshine too, you know.  However you choose to celebrate National Picnic Month, we would love to help you bring the picnic to YOUR event.