National Seafood Month: 5 reasons to choose sustainable seafood

September 24, 2018 (712 words)

October is National Seafood Month. One of the best ways to keep the world’s waters full of life is to choose certified wild, sustainable seafood.

The Marine Stewardship Council’s blue fish label indicates the product meets sustainability standards. So why pick seafood with this label?

1. It’s better for the oceans. Certified sustainable seafood ensures whole ecosystems remain healthy and thriving with marine life.

2. It’s good for the whole family. Seafood provides nutrients, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

3. It’s a way to drive change with your shopping habits. You’re protecting jobs and preserving coastal communities.

4. It’s available at every price point. Whether you’re looking for healthy, affordable lunch options or celebrating a special occasion, sustainable seafood is a viable option.

5. It’s a way to ensure seafood for generations to come. Consumers have the power to support individuals and organizations committed to protecting our wild oceans.

This Season the Hygge Design Trend is Back and Bold

September 20, 2018 (651 words)

[Headline: 3 tips for achieving the Danish concept of hygge]

Hygge is a Danish word for the feelings of coziness and contentment often associated with cooler weather. Noa Santos of Homepolish provides three tips so you can master this trend at home.

Declutter

"There’s nothing more satisfying than coming home to a streamlined space," says Santos, who stresses decluttering doesn't mean de-styling. He recommends LG’s line of matte black stainless-steel appliances for a sleek yet cozy vibe.

Invite the outdoors inside

"Artfully arranged flowers and perfectly placed plants help cement your space as an indoor Eden," says Santos. "The positive psychological benefits aren’t too shabby either. Organic materials like wood and leather work like a charm as well."

Gather

It could be a cozy night in for two or a bountiful feast for a crew — togetherness is at the heart of hygge and allows you to show off your home design.

10 ways to beef up your tailgating game

September 17, 2018 (563 words)

[Headline: Tips for tailgating with beef]

Try these 5 beef-friendly tailgating tips.

1. Prep as much as possible at home. This will help you save time and pack less.

2. Check your cooking equipment. Make sure your grill or camp stove is clean and ready. Keep backup propane and stick lighters on hand.

5. Embrace the cast iron skillet. Great for cooking burgers, steaks and one-pan meals. Try a beef stir fry. Cut and marinate meat and veggies at home, toss in the skillet and enjoy!

9. Pack and store everything safely. Raw beef should be at the bottom of the cooler (or in another cooler), packed separately.

10. Serve food in creative, easy-to-hold ways. Use chip bags as a vessel for chili or beef tacos. Skewer steak chunks, veggies and meatballs on short bamboo sticks.

Find tailgating tips and recipes at BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com, funded by farmers and ranchers.

Recipes to make your school year lunches fast and delicious

September 13, 2018 (350 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Caprese Pizza Sandwich]

Here's a delicious sandwich idea your children are sure to love.

Ingredients:

1 Arnold Honey Wheat Sandwich Thins Roll

2 tablespoons pizza sauce

4 slices fresh mozzarella

8-10 pepperoni slices

5 basil leaves

Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Open Arnold Sandwich Thins Roll and smear the pizza sauce onto the bottom half.

2. Top with fresh mozzarella and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

3. Add pepperoni and basil and place the top on the sandwich. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

4 things you should do to boost your fat IQ

September 13, 2018 (545 words)

[Headline: Boost your fat IQ with these tips]

Here are two things that can help you boost your fat IQ and live a healthier life.

* Recognize your hang-ups. Recognize where your weak spots are and take steps to correct them. Consider a meal delivery service that's both healthy and convenient, pack nutritious snacks in your carry-on or go for a walk when the urge to eat a cookie strikes. Change up your routine once or twice a week.

* Be open and honest with your doctor. If you're serious about managing your weight, you want a primary care doctor who will help uncover your personal obstacles and work with you on a plan to reach your goals. Physicians like those in the MDVIP network have more time to consult patients on diet and exercise and provide the coaching and follow-up they need to be successful.

30-minute Mediterranean meals with grapes

September 12, 2018 (669 words)

[Headline: Fabulous fall food ideas]

With the onset of fall, new schedules and an invigorating pace, eating nourishing meals is an important way to keep up energy levels. With few having the time to devote to cooking an elaborate meal, a collection of delicious and dependable 30-minute recipes for a quick but satisfying meal can be handy. What else keeps things simple? Having fresh staples such as California table grapes on hand helps brighten up any recipe and fuel up after activities. Try Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Grapes, which replaces traditional bulgur with quinoa, or a Mediterranean Pizza using whole-wheat naan instead of a traditional crust. For these recipes and more recipe ideas, visit grapesfromcalifornia.com.

And when it’s time to decorate the table, create a simple but stunning centerpiece with gorgeous black, red and green California grapes. Add fall leaves, mini pumpkins and gourds if desired.

The truth behind food labels

September 12, 2018 (766 words)

[Headline: What food labels really mean]

Everyone has a right to know what is in their food and where it comes from. Look to these certifications to guide your next shopping trip:

* The Fairtrade certification ensures safe and fair working conditions, prohibits child labor and provides farmers and workers with a fairer price or better wages. Fairtrade products originate in developing and least developed countries.

* By choosing MSC Certified seafood with the MSC blue fish label you are supporting independently certified sustainable fisheries.

* The Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured label indicates that the workers who harvested your food are treated with respect, compensated fairly and engaged to identify problems that impact the safety of your food.

* The Non-GMO Project Verified standard is North America’s most rigorous and most reliable standard for GMO avoidance. The best way to avoid consuming GMOs is to look for the butterfly.

For information, visit www.fairtr.de/TruthBehindLabels.

Choose wisely: Complete vs. incomplete proteins

September 12, 2018 (556 words)

[Understanding complete vs. incomplete proteins]

Not all proteins are created equal; “incomplete” proteins must be combined with other foods to build the nine essential amino acids your body can’t produce on its own. Three other facts to know about the differences:

* Animal-derived products such as cottage cheese, meat and eggs are complete proteins in and of themselves and need not be eaten with other foods to release their full nutritional potential.

* In comparison to animal proteins, plant proteins are not always complete and must be combined with other foods to achieve their full nutritional value (the exceptions are edamame, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, chia and hemp).

* Unlike meat, eggs and fish, cottage cheese is a ready-to-eat complete protein that requires no cooking. When you choose ultra-creamy Muuna Cottage Cheese, for example, you get calcium, potassium, Vitamin A probiotics and — in Muuna’s real fruit-filled varieties — Vitamin C.

Give pets the ultimate mealtime experience

September 11, 2018 (313 words)

[Headline: 5 simple tips to make feeding your pet fun]

Try these pet mealtime tips:

1. Create a mealtime routine: Whether they get fed first thing in the morning or as small meals throughout the day, your pooch will quickly catch on.

2. Purchase a puzzle bowl or toy: Puzzle bowls and food dispensing toys stimulate your dog’s mind during mealtime.

3. Provide your dog with a meal that gives them variety: New varieties like Bacon & Steak Flavored dry dog food from Kibbles ‘n Bits offer its signature combination of crunchy kibble and tender bits.

4. Turn mealtime into a dance party: Play a song before each mealtime to signal when it’s time for your dog to eat.

5. Make it a training opportunity: Using commands like “sit” and “wait” before allowing your dog to eat helps them practice impulse control and good manners.

To learn more, visit www.kibblesnbits.com.

3 common triggers for elevated vaginal pH and why it matters

September 06, 2018 (360 words)

[Headline: 3 things that change your vaginal pH balance]

Many women do not realize the vagina is an ecosystem that requires a balanced environment to remain healthy; and events like menstruation, sex and hormonal changes can throw off that balance.

Women experience many of the triggers for elevated pH on a regular basis:

1. Period — The pH of blood is 7.4, which is much more alkaline than normal vaginal pH (3.5 to 4.5), which can lead to elevated vaginal pH.

2. Sex — Semen has a pH of 7.1 to 8 and can increase vaginal pH.

3. Hormones — Pregnancy, menopause and your normal monthly cycle can cause hormone changes that alter vaginal pH.

RepHresh Vaginal Gel, available without a prescription, is one option designed to bond to the vaginal walls and provide support to maintain healthy vaginal pH and eliminate odor.

7 healthy, kid-approved lunchbox ideas

August 29, 2018 (694 words)

[Headline: 5 healthy kid-approved lunchbox ideas]

You are what you eat, so it's important to choose your children's lunch foods wisely. These five ideas are wholesome and fun for kids of all ages.

Breakfast for lunch: Pack whole grain cereal with a side of milk, or muffins with secret healthy ingredients like fruit or shredded veggies.

Protein: Try hard-boiling eggs or scrambling and packing in an insulated container. Other foods high in protein include cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, beans and many nuts.

Freeze-dried fruit: Crispy Fruit freeze-dried fruit comes in many single-serving varieties to keep lunchboxes interesting, including banana, apple, pineapple and pear.

Bread alternatives: Instead of bread, use whole-grain tortillas to create wraps, or, whole-wheat waffles as the sandwich ends and fill with peanut butter and banana.

Dip: A little yogurt will encourage kids to gobble up fruits, and low-fat salad dressing or hummus is the perfect pairing for veggie straws.

Most people are eating the right amount of salt

August 29, 2018 (310 words)

More research seems to contradict the notion that we eat too much salt. The latest study appeared in The Lancet medical journal. It found that for the vast majority of people there is no health benefit from a low-salt diet and no harm from the average salt consumption of most people.

The lead scientist working on this study, Dr. Andrew Mente of McMaster University, worked with researchers to monitor the salt intake and health of over 95,000 individuals in 18 countries for an average of eight years. They also monitored associations between sodium and potassium intake and blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and mortality.

They found most people around the world already eat in the healthy range of sodium consumption — between 3,000 and 5,000 mg per day — and that people who consumed salt at the higher end of that range had better health outcomes and fewer incidences of heart attacks.

5 tips to help party guests feel welcome

August 28, 2018 (536 words)

[Headline: Tips to welcome your party guests]

Here are three ways you can make your party guests feel welcome.

* Be there to greet them. Resolving to stay near the door and welcome each of your guests warmly reduces their concerns of intruding into another person’s home. Greet them warmly and let them know they are welcome.

* Keep your home comfortable. The Champion Momentum Series air conditioner features a Wi-Fi-enabled touch-screen to provide precision comfort and allow you the ability to monitor and control the system from your smartphone, even out by the grill. In addition, its innovative ShadowDrive Sound Reduction system means that your guests will always be able to enjoy their conversations.

* Give them a quick tour. If your guests see the room on the tour, they’ll be more comfortable mingling in that space during the party.

3 tips to make meal prep into an enjoyable family activity

August 27, 2018 (676 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Chicken Veggie Skewers]

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 and 1/2 peppers (yellow, red and green), chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic powder and Italian seasoning, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add bell peppers and chicken and, using tongs, toss until coated. Thread chicken and bell peppers onto skewers. Heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Add skewers to grill pan and cook until chicken is cooked through and peppers are tender, 4 minutes per side. Remove from pan.

Plate skewers and serve with Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese. For additional ideas and inspiration for cooking with kids, visit Nestle's Balance Your Plate.

The making of the mobile man cave for football tailgate season

August 20, 2018 (472 words)

[Headline: A mobile man cave for football tailgate season]

An offensive line — of vehicles: A big tailgate party does not require a big vehicle: While a hatchback or pickup truck is a plus, most important is to have wheels that can deliver the goods. One fresh take is for tailgaters to team up with a caravan of cars for a multi-stationed tailgate.

Put in the QB of TVs: A TV is vital for the tailgating entertainment. There are many options for outdoor TVs that provide for great pictures even in the sun’s glare and in extreme temperatures. Be sure to test out the picture in advance so it is ready to go come kick-off.

Linebacker-like power: The most critical factor of all in making a powered-up tailgate is the power source itself. That’s where a generator like the Powerhorse Portable Inverter Generator from Northern Tool + Equipment comes in.

Pickled onions are gaining popularity

August 15, 2018 (383 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Pickled Ginger Onion Relish]

A Datassential survey says the use of pickled onions has grown 191 percent in restaurants and diners in the U.S. in just four years. Try this recipe for Pickled Ginger Onion Relish from the National Onion Association.

Yields: 3 cups

Ingredients:

3 cups onions, red, sliced 1/8-inch thick

3/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/2 cup pickled ginger with juices

Directions:

Place onions into a bowl and cover with icy water for 10 minutes. Drain when ready to use. In a saucepan, heat vinegar, honey, salt and pepper over low heat just until boiling. Remove from heat. Pour over drained onions, mix well. Stir in ginger with juices, mix. Cover and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Place in a covered container and refrigerate at least 24 hours.

Laugh, learn and lunch: Tips for bonding with kids over cooking

August 13, 2018 (708 words)

[Headline: Tips for bonding with kids over cooking]

Cooking with kids is just plain fun. Everyone likes good food, and being in the kitchen together offers an excellent opportunity to work as a team. Consider these suggestions as you cook with your child.

* Expect messiness. As young kids brush up on motor skills while measuring and mixing, spills, stains and a little waste will be the norm.

* Choose fast, easy options. At least initially, select simple recipes that offer a good chance at success.

* Experience trumps outcome. Some projects may not come out as planned. Share a laugh, discuss what went wrong and try again.

Already bonding with your children over cooking? Consider entering the BEN’S BEGINNERS(TM) contest sponsored by UNCLE BEN’S(R). The annual initiative invites families with kids in K-8th grade to submit photos of themselves preparing a rice-based dish to beginners.unclebens.com.

5 reasons to snack on strawberries

August 10, 2018 (400 words)

Naturally sweet, yet low in sugar

One serving of eight strawberries has only 50 calories and eight grams of sugar.

Bursting with nutrients

Filled with antioxidants, potassium and fiber, strawberries don’t stop there: A single serving has more vitamin C than an orange.

Helps with cognitive function

According to a study in the Annals of Neurology, eating strawberries at least twice per week may delay cognitive aging by two and a half years, which includes improvement in memory and motor function.

Snacks anyone will love

Both kids and adults love a good strawberry snack. From quick and kid-friendly to show-stopping hors d'oeuvres, visit CaliforniaStrawberries.com for snacks perfect for all ages and occasions.

Great for diabetes management

The nutrient-packed berries are a great option for those with diabetes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association lists strawberries as a top superfood for diabetic meal plans.

Easy entertaining and recipe tips from celebrity chef Katie Lee

August 10, 2018 (743 words)

[Headline: Easy entertaining and recipe tips from celebrity chef Katie Lee]

TV chef and cookbook author Katie Lee offers these tips for easy entertaining.

Consider a buffet or family-style menu

Try veggie burgers or shrimp rolls with new Sara Lee Artesano Bakery Buns and Rolls to kick the flavor up a notch. Have people "Create Your Own" (CYO) with a buffet of toppings.

Prepare your side dishes ahead of time

Any kind of grain salad, such as a quinoa or farro, is an easy, go-to choice.

Hors d’oeuvres are a must

Easy options are cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto, a cheese plate or a tasty dip.

Cool off with cocktails

Set up a bar area where guests can make their own drinks. Be sure to include non-alcoholic choices.

Smart grilling options

Fresh fish or veggie burgers lighten up the grill.

For recipe tips, visit saraleebread.com.

Celebrate the season! 5 ways to get your yard party-ready

August 03, 2018 (487 words)

[Celebrate the season! 3 ways to get your yard party-ready]

Part of the fun of hosting a backyard gathering is taking pride in the yard you’ve worked so hard to maintain. To ensure the grass is green, landscaping looks neat, and bugs and rodents stay away, consider these tips.

Create a lush mix of plants. Why not go all out this season by investing in a wealth of gorgeous, colorful blooms and lush emerald foliage? Then take care of your investments with Miracle-Gro potting mix and plant food.

Show off a carpet of green. Make your blades greener in as few as three days by applying micronutrient-rich Scotts Green Max Lawn Food.

Repel the bugs. Discourage mosquitoes and gnats by lighting citrus-scented Ortho Home Defense Perimeter Protection Repellent Candles, or adding several drops of spearmint or lemongrass oil to unscented or beeswax candles.

The 4 greatest salt myths

July 27, 2018 (458 words)

[Headline: The greatest salt myths]

After more than a century of debate over the role of salt in human health, the overwhelming medical evidence makes it clear that reducing salt in the U.S. diet may pose a greater risk to many consumers. Consider these common myths about salt:

Myth 1: Americans eat more salt than ever

Military records from the early 1800s up to WWII show that the average soldier was consuming between 6,000 and 6,800 mg/day of sodium. We eat about half of that today, and that number has remained consistent since WWII.

Myth 2: Salt consumption leads to hypertension

According to Dr. Jan Staessen, head of the Research Unit on Hypertension at the University of Leuven in Belgium, “The evidence relating blood pressure to salt intake does not translate into an increased risk of incident hypertension in people consuming a usual salt diet.”

Your summertime prescription: Sweet cherries

July 25, 2018 (699 words)

A new review of nearly 30 published studies confirms that sweet cherries can help tackle some big wellness issues. Sweet cherries can play a part in improving these five common concerns:

1. Studies have shown that eating sweet cherries can increase antioxidant capacity and reduce oxidative stress, bringing the body back into a healthy balance.

2. Research shows that the anti-inflammatory properties of cherries can have the same effect as ibuprofen.

3. When eating sweet cherries was combined with prescribed medicine, specifically allopurinol, the risk of a gout attack was 75 percent lower.

4. A good night’s sleep is essential to functioning at top form during the day. With sweet cherries, you have a reliable source of tryptophan, serotonin and melatonin.

5. Studies point to a link between the consumption of sweet cherries and a lowering of blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic measures.

4 ways gardening is good for you

July 24, 2018 (534 words)

[Headline: 4 ways gardening is good for you]

In this digital world, there's an app for just about everything. People are interacting with technology more than they do with the world. But there's a cure for tech overload: Gardening.

Here are four surprising ways gardening is good for you.

Locally grown food is healthy. What's more local than your own backyard? Locally grown veggies are picked at the peak of ripeness, full of flavor and freshness.

You'll have less anxiety. Research shows gardening creates compassion toward others, and less worry and depression. Wave Petunias and Cool Wave Pansies are perfect for beginners!

It counts as a workout. Whether you’re pulling weeds or lifting your Wave petunia planters, research shows you'll burn 200-400 calories per hour!

Gardening combats loneliness. Gardening gives us a sense of community. Start a weekly cooking group with friends using ingredients from your gardens! Get started with one of Burpee's favorite recipes at www.burpeehomegardens.com.

Considering a new deck? Avoid these pitfalls

July 23, 2018 (442 words)

[Headline: 3 common mistakes when planning a DIY deck]

While building a deck on your home isn’t difficult, it’s helpful to understand some potential pitfalls. Three common mistakes made by inexperienced homeowners:

* Choosing the wrong side of your house. Are you most apt to enjoy a full-on sunny spot, or a shady haven on a hot day? Do you seek privacy, an optimal view or a chance to socialize with neighbors?

* Not researching your optimal layout. Think beyond aesthetics and consider how you’ll use the space. Where will furniture be placed? What will the foot traffic patterns be?

* Not opting for real wood. Wood can be less expensive than composite and just as easy to maintain while recouping greater resale value. Western Red Cedar, a knotty pine species offered by RealCedar.com, inherently resists rot, decay, shrinkage and insects even as it weathers over time into a silver patina.

Plan, be positive, unplug: 5 ways to make family meals more enjoyable

July 19, 2018 (552 words)

[Headline: Ways to make family meals more enjoyable]

With our busy lifestyles, finding time to meet with our families to enjoy meals can be a major challenge. Some tips from actress, host, food lover and mom of two Courtney Lopez:

1. Focus on family. “No phones at the table. Mealtime should be a time to unplug and focus on loved ones.”

2. Make it a team effort. “Getting kids involved in the kitchen could help develop healthy habits for the future, plus it’s more fun when everyone is involved. Give them simple, safe tasks to keep them busy."

3. Try new things. “Comfort food can be a great thing, but so can the sense of adventure that comes from trying new dishes. Eggland’s Best eggs can be incorporated into an endless spectrum of family-friendly recipes, like a Southwestern Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl. EB eggs are the only eggs good enough for my family meals with superior nutrition like 25 percent less saturated fat and 6 times more vitamin D than ordinary eggs."

5 fantastic energy-boosting snacks for fitness success

July 13, 2018 (573 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Quick Protein Power Chiquita Banana Smoothie]

This tasty energy-boosting smoothie makes one serving. It's great when you need endurance for running a marathon or running around town all day.

Ingredients:

1 whole Chiquita Banana, sliced

1.5 ounces low-fat Greek yogurt

1/8 cup fresh pineapple juice

1/4 cup orange juice

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Enjoy!

Top 4 grilling tips to kick off National Grilling Month!

July 12, 2018 (575 words)

Great grilling! 4 ways to impress at your next barbecue

Since July is National Grilling Month, here are tips for grilling success from Eddie Zamora, the social media star known as the Yum Yum Foodie.

1. Choose a delicious grilled pork recipe. The always-flavorful white meat is convenient, easy to prepare and versatile enough to star in a nearly endless number of dishes.

2. Think ahead. Pull together your important tools. Clean your grill, thoroughly oiling its cooking grates.

3. Brush on a glaze. Keep your pork fork-tender and moist by adding a glaze that’s sweet, spicy and/or salty, depending on your tastes.

4. Perfect your technique. For example, pork chops should be flipped after 5 minutes on each side for optimal grilling lines; after grilling, they should sit for 10 minutes to maximize flavor.

For a range of other delicious Spanish-language pork recipes, log on to Porkessabor.com.

Watch what you heat: 5 kitchen safety tips

July 12, 2018 (463 words)

Cooking equipment is the top cause of home fires, and the second leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Follow the below tips to stay safe in the kitchen.

1) Properly equip your home. Install functioning smoke alarms throughout your home.

2) Keep an eye on your food. Staying in the kitchen while cooking is key to preventing oven or stovetop fires.

3) Clean your appliances. Keep appliances clean of grease and food debris that could potentially cause a fire.

4) Clear off kitchen countertops. Keep your countertops clean and clear of flammable objects.

5) Be prepared when disaster strikes. Over 70 percent of fire extinguisher owners say that they would not feel very comfortable actually operating one. The First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguishing Spray features a lightweight spray-can design that has no pins or levers — making it easy to use.

Got company? 5 quick and easy refreshments for summer guests

July 04, 2018 (467 words)

[Headline: Got company? 3 quick and easy refreshments for summer guests]

As you prepare to entertain during these long, lazy days of summer, it’s convenient to keep on hand easy-to-prepare refreshments your guests can snack on as they enjoy the balmy breezes. Consider these suggestions:

Blender drinks: Stockpile a selection of frozen juices and fruits so you can blend up icy-cold cocktails — either the adult or kiddie versions — on demand.

Guacamole and chips: Whipping up everyone’s favorite avocado dip is nearly effortless with Simply Organic’s Guacamole Mixes. You need only add two ripe, peeled, pitted avocados (organic is best) and break open a bag of tortilla chips.

Deviled eggs: When you keep hard-boiled eggs on hand, these classics are easy to prepare. Suggested fillings: mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, pickle relish, hot sauce, bacon bits, blue cheese, chives, pickles, mango chutney, pesto, pickled okra or crumbled potato chips.

Fight pregnancy symptoms with these feel-good pregnancy nutrients

July 03, 2018 (679 words)

[Headline: Tips to eat healthy and feel good during pregnancy]

To feel your best and support health during pregnancy, try some of these nutrition tips.

* When morning sickness sets in, taking your prenatal vitamin with food can combat queasiness.

* Weight gain is healthy, but avoid the “eating for two” mindset because excessive weight can lead to complications.

* If you don’t like fish, opt for chia seeds and flaxseed oil, so baby can still get those brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.

* Reach for fruits and veggies. Antioxidants found in dark-colored produce can protect brain tissue from damage.

* While a whole foods diet is best, it can still be a challenge to get all needed nutrients through food alone. Take an assessment at VitaminPacks.com/prepostnatal/ and learn how you can optimize your nutrition.

Back-to-school readiness contributes to your child's academic success

June 28, 2018 (466 words)

[Headline: Set your child up for success this school year]

On that hectic first day of school, it’s easy to overlook the most important meal of the day, especially if sleepy, grumpy kids wake up claiming they’re not hungry.

Don’t let kids opt out when you can opt for easy. Fuel them with a protein-packed breakfast, like a peanut butter and banana smoothie, which is delicious, nutritious and ready in minutes. Mooala’s Original Bananamilk makes a great smoothie base, since it’s organic, plant-based (made from real bananas), dairy-free and has no added sugar.

Kids and teens who eat breakfast are more focused, perform better in school and make healthier food choices.

Additional tips to make a smooth transition back to school:

* Start the bedtime schedule a week before school begins.

* Involve the whole family in meal planning for the week.

* Designate a quiet area as a homework station.

* Use an app to create a family calendar.

* Schedule annual medical exams.

Secret weapons moms use to cope with back-to-school chaos

June 27, 2018 (472 words)

Here are ways moms cope with everything from household chaos to mealtime madness, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. moms of children ages 3-17 by Wakefield Research.

* More than 60 percent have stayed up until midnight or later to finish chores they couldn’t complete during the day. More than 1 in 4 moms have stayed up until 2 a.m. or later.

* Strategies include prioritizing (81 percent) and posting lists (73 percent). More than a third (34 percent) look to mom blogs for tips.

* Moms crave help so often, nearly half (48 percent) agree they would choose a day of housekeeping and caretaking versus a day of spa treatments.

* Eighty percent believe pizza would quiet their kids quicker than an air horn; 65 percent agree having pizza to give their kids at the end of the day is just as relaxing to moms as wine. To learn more, visit redbaron.com.

Savvy summer fitness and nutrition tips

June 27, 2018 (797 words)

[Headline: 3 tips for healthy summer fitness and eating]

Explore Mother Nature: If the gym is getting boring or just isn't your style, it's time to find inspiration outdoors. Warmer months are when Mother Nature truly shines. Hike local parks, visit a beach and take a paddleboard class, rent a kayak with a friend and explore a regional river — the opportunities are endless.

Eat a wholesome breakfast: Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner recommends staying fueled with Eggland’s Best eggs. "They are the only eggs with superior nutritional benefits like six times more vitamin D, 25 percent less saturated fat and ten times more vitamin E than ordinary eggs," she says.

Visit the local farmers market: "Seek out fresh fare from your local farmers market and enjoy all the flavors of the season," says Chef Jonathan Poyourow, a registered and licensed dietitian, and assistant professor at Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts.

Fresh grilling ideas for entertaining

June 26, 2018 (614 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Southwest Corn and Grape Salad]

Southwest Corn and Grape Salad is guaranteed to please the senses with its tasty flavors; beautiful color medley from red and green grapes, avocado and corn; and variety of pleasing textures.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup corn kernels, either freshly cut off the cob or thawed, frozen corn kernels

1/2 avocado, diced

3/4 cup red California grapes, halved

1/2 cup green California grapes, halved

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

Directions:

Combine the corn, avocado, grapes, shallot, olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, salt and pepper to taste; mix gently. Serve with grilled flank steak. For more recipes visit GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

3 secrets to hosting a great party on your deck or patio

June 15, 2018 (270 words)

Try these three simple steps to get your deck and yard ready to go, so you can play host to the cookout of the year.

1. Make your deck and patio shine. After you remove the leaves from the surface of your deck or patio, dirt and stains remain. Try the 2000psi Pressure Washer by Greenworks to make your deck or patio look brand-new.

2. Give your deck a makeover. Consider outdoor string lights to hang across the deck, instead of relying on porch lights, to set the party mood. This is also a wonderful time to invest in new lawn and deck furniture if your current set is beginning to show its age.

3. Pamper your yard. While the barbecue may not leave the deck, your guests should be impressed with the high-quality mowing lines and perfectly trimmed hedges in your backyard.

For more information, visit http://www.greenworkstools.com.

Keep entertaining fun and easy with a make-your-own-pizza party

June 15, 2018 (491 words)

Time-saving pizza-party recipe

Whether it's just your family enjoying Friday night or you're inviting over a big group of guests, a pizza party is always a winning entertaining idea. This recipe involves the kids and includes fresh veggies with a time-saving twist:

Rainbow Pizza

Ingredients:
Tombstone Original 5 Cheese Pizza
Your choice of colorful chopped vegetables (like peppers, broccoli or tomato)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:
Warm oven according to package instructions. Then place unwrapped pizza directly on center rack and bake for two to three minutes until cheese softens. Remove from oven and help kids arrange the veggies in a rainbow pattern starting along the crust of the pizza. Then, drizzle with one teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Return to oven and bake pizza 10 to 15 more minutes. Remove and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

DIY dream: 4 cedar project ideas for your home or cottage

June 14, 2018 (532 words)

[Headline: DIY dream: 3 cedar project ideas for your home or cottage]

Americans love their do-it-yourself home improvement projects, and the warmer months can be an excellent time to complete a woodworking project for your home or cottage.

Consider one of the following ideas this season from Western Red Cedar, a durable, aromatic wood species that naturally resists rot, shrinkage and insects and, when left unfinished, is able to weather into a stunning silver patina.

* Sharpest shed ever: A compact multi-purpose shed in a key corner of your backyard could organize your yard tools, sports equipment and other gear.

* Recliner of your dreams: Relax with a friend on a roomy loveseat fitted with standard-size comfortable cushions that match your outdoor decor. Later, fold down the back to seat guests on both sides.

* Dinner al fresco: When built of Western Red Cedar, a clean-lined dining table and bench-set fits seamlessly into any indoor or outdoor decor.

Are you doing enough to stay protected against germs?

June 14, 2018 (630 words)

[Headline: A surprising number of people don't wash their hands]

Serious bacteria like staphylococcus (staph), E. coli and others easily spread with hand-to-hand contact. National Handshake Day on June 28 might as well be renamed germ-spreading day!

Washing hands is considered one of the most effective ways to prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading, and prevent illness or infection.

A surprising number of people don’t wash their hands, according to a new survey commissioned by Hibiclens antibacterial soap.

According to the survey of 1,000 American adults:

* 56 percent don’t always wash their hands after covering their mouth when coughing.

* Almost one in six people (18 percent) don’t always wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

* Nearly half, 49 percent of people, don’t always wash their hands after blowing or picking their nose, a place where staph is commonly found in nearly 50 percent of a given population, according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information.

Simple, local nutrition: 5 reasons to feel good about the dairy in your diet

June 07, 2018 (403 words)

[Headline: 5 reasons to feel good about the dairy in your diet]

When you sip a wholesome smoothie or savor a slice of cheesy pizza, you’re getting a delicious taste of dairy’s rich tradition. Five more reasons to keep dairy in your diet:

* Dairy is a local business. Most milk is made less than a two-hour drive from where it’s sold, so when you buy milk, yogurt, butter or cheese, you’re supporting local businesses.

* It’s natural. Real milk, cheese and butter taste the most natural because they are the most natural.

* Dairy is simple and affordable. While eating healthy seems to get more and more complicated – and expensive – dairy remains simple and affordable.

* It’s good for young and old alike. Dairy is a top food source for calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

* Dairy packs a protein punch. If you took it from your diet, you’d need to eat up to 30 percent more plant proteins to match the quality of the protein in dairy.

4 simple tips for hosting a memorable summer party

June 01, 2018 (345 words)

Here are some tips on how to throw a simple summer soirée:

Embellish with blossoms — Design a floral arrangement with varying heights for the illusion of a fuller, larger table centerpiece without spending the time or money.

Embrace seasonal ingredients — Incorporate a blend of seasonal ingredients such as garden strawberries and fresh basil into gourmet treats for guests.

Stay spotless as you go — The Delta Charmaine Faucet with ShieldSpray Technology, available at The Home Depot, ensures quick and easy cleanup throughout the event.

Illuminate your space — If you’re planning an evening event, use string lights or scented candles around the space to create a cozy environment. For daytime gatherings, hang foliage garland, paper lanterns or colorful ribbon.

For more design inspiration, visit DeltaFaucet.com/InspiredLiving.

Chocolate platters have replaced cheese platters at parties

May 31, 2018 (524 words)

[Headline: Chocolate pairing suggestions]

Elevate your next dinner party by offering chocolate and drink pairings. These tips from the expert chefs who create Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates will make it virtually effortless to pair fine chocolates with beer, wine and spirits.

White chocolate

White chocolate is sweet and buttery, integrated into numerous types of confections, many of which feature fruit. Consider serving with a stout beer that will complement the sweetness or a zinfandel that won't overpower the delicate flavors.

Milk chocolate

Milk chocolate is smooth and sweet, and drink pairings should complement that element without overwhelming. A light crisp beer or a refreshing chardonnay bring out the buttery undertones of milk chocolate.

Dark chocolate

A bold, rich beer or heavy ale matches dark chocolate well. A sweeter bourbon with a smoky finish pairs nicely with the dark chocolate, which in turn brings out the barrel notes of the spirit.

A healthier, happier summer starts with these tips

May 30, 2018 (636 words)

Summer is the perfect time to start your resolution to live a healthier life, and your path to success begins with these tips.

* Take up an active, outdoor hobby. Whether it’s running, walking, gardening or swimming, all can help you burn calories, improve muscle mass and have fun.

* Start your day off right. Eating right doesn’t mean you have to spend an hour at the table. A quick spread of Arla Cream Cheese on a bagel or toast is a quick, nutritious way to start your day off on the right foot. Give it a try and you'll find an entirely new breakfast routine.

* Grab some shades. Invest in a good pair of shades capable of blocking at least 99 percent of all ultraviolet A and B rays. Then make sure you wear them when you’re outdoors.

5 ways to up your summer get-together game

May 30, 2018 (655 words)

[Headline: 3 unique cookout tips]

Follow these tips to add a unique flair to your cookouts.

* Theme your get-together. If your guests are baseball fans, encourage everyone to wear apparel for their favorite team while the game plays, and if you have a pool, make your event a pool party and ask everyone to bring their suits.

* Change up the menu. Replace those same-old sides with unique tastes like macaroni and blue cheese with bacon, pickled grapes or crispy pineapple slices and cream cheese. You can find these and many more recipes at www.castellocheese.com/en/recipes/.

* Shift the timeline. Invite friends and family over for a morning cookout where you make everyone breakfast before spending the day enjoying another activity. You could also hold a nighttime get-together capped with a bonfire as the perfect way to end the day.

4 Tips to Pull Together a Garden-to-Table Meal This Summer

May 30, 2018 (565 words)

[Headline: 4 inspiring tips to plan a party with your garden's bounty]

You’ve worked hard on your garden, but don’t hoard your harvest. Let the bounty of your yard inspire a summer party.

* What tastes better than homemade pizza? When it’s topped with fresh ingredients grown in your own pizza garden! Sliced tomatoes, basil leaves, chopped peppers and even thin-sliced eggplant all make delicious pizza toppings.

* Herb-infused cocktails like juleps and mojitos are not only delicious, the flavors and fragrances of their delicate leaves shine through when they’re freshly snipped from your garden.

* Dress up your bouquet of blooms with other growing things in your yard. Slender branches with leaves, greenery and grasses all can add fullness and texture to your display.

* A nature theme lends itself well to homemade, special touches for the table, like homemade place tags and napkin rings.

To find inspiration for your garden bash, visit Fiskars.com.

4 decorating tips for the perfect outdoor entertaining space

May 25, 2018 (528 words)

Lowe’s recently partnered with Julia Engel, lifestyle influencer of Gal Meets Glam (galmeetsglam.com), to style her new Charleston porch with affordable, chic accents so it’s ready to welcome family and friends.

Follow these simple tips to turn your backyard or patio into the perfect, outdoor oasis you can enjoy every day of summer.

* Get the furniture right. Striking the right balance of ample seating while not overwhelming a space is key.

* Choose your landscaping. Landscaping is crucial as it brings a necessary curb appeal or wow factor to your patio or backyard.

* Select the right containers. A container garden is an easy landscaping solution that can be transported place to place, and is completely customizable.

* Bring the outdoors indoors. By giving your outdoor space a cozy touch of home like a rug or lighting, it will quickly become your favorite spot to relax.

Great grilling tips and tricks of the pros

May 25, 2018 (573 words)

[Headline: Great grilling tips]

A few simple tips and creative tricks will help you perfectly grill foods:

Keep it closed: If you're looking, it's not cooking! A grill does its best work when closed, so let heat build up to cook foods evenly.

Marvelous marinades: Two hours should be your max for most marinades when you're planning to grill so that it doesn't change the texture of your meat.

Please with cheese: The smoky flavors of the grill are the perfect pairing to earthy cheeses. Crafted in the heart of Wisconsin, Salemville Blue Cheese deliciously accentuates burgers, chicken and steaks.

Let it be: After grilling your choice of meat, remove from heat and let it sit for a few minutes to let the juices redistribute.

Grilled dessert: Peaches and nectarines taste great cut in half and grilled. Other popular fruits to grill include pineapple, bananas, cantaloupe and even watermelon.

The busy parent's guide to weekday meals

March 27, 2018 (563 words)

Hectic can be an understatement when it comes to describing a day in the life of a parent. These simple tips can save time and energy when preparing meals.

1. Get in the habit of meal planning. Planning a weekly menu can save a huge amount of time and stress. It streamlines the whole process.

2. Embrace convenience. Takeout is great, but there are even better options. With Applebee's Carside To Go(R) pickup you simply place an order online then pull into a designated parking spot and a team member will bring your food out to you.

3. Don’t try to imitate the chefs on TV. We would all love to cook like those celebrity chefs, but don’t hold yourself to impossible standards. If you want to wow your family with culinary masterpieces, consider some quick and easy takeout options.

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