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Moderation Maven

Dishing Up the Best Ingredients for a Healthy Lifestyle
Maven Musings
Heart Plain Watermelon th

An Ode to Watermelon

Okay, fun fact. I've polished off almost a whole watermelon by myself. Probably not the definition of moderation, but cut me some slack; this was over the span of about 6 hours, while canoeing at Kickapoo State Park. I earned it! Watermelon has always been one of my favorite summertime treats. I mean, not that many foods can work as a snack, dessert, and hydration source. Seriously, watermelon...

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The Body Acidity Balancing Act

When you hear "acid" or "acidic," you probably don't think of good outcomes. More likely, you're reminded of the burning sensation of lemon juice coming in contact with a cut on your finger. Or perhaps you think of the terrible heartburn you get after eating tomatoes. There's been a lot of talk lately about the acidic effects of the typical Western diet. Refined carbs, meats, an...

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Spruce Up Motivation for Old Goals

During this season of renewal, it's a good time to take stock with your health goals. Even if you've been successful in the past, a healthy lifestyle has ups and downs. The phrase "what's old is new again" can apply to food and exercise just as much as fashion trends. We have an insatiable appetite for novelty – hence why there's always room for dessert. But I'm not sure the phrase give...

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Boost Brain Power with Familiar Foods

Do you blame your aging brain for forgetting someone's name? Billions of brain cells can get bogged down with age, making it harder to keep up with cognitive demands like remembering where you left your car keys. Or whether your friend's cousin is named Dave or Dan. Unfortunately, we don't have the option to just get a new brain as we might replace a sluggish laptop....

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Feed Your Brain for Sleep and Health Benefits

We eat to nourish and fuel the body, but how often do you think about feeding your mind? More and more studies are demonstrating the importance of certain nutrients for brain health. Food influences energy levels, mood, memory, and more. In this first article of two on brain h...

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The Meaning of Moderation... Can All Foods Fit?

This year's National Nutrition Month theme is "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle." Have you ever thought about what a healthy lifestyle means to you? If you haven't, it's worth pondering. What would it take to achieve and maintain your versio...

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Is it Worth Going Nuts for Coconut?

All these grey skies have most of us craving a tropical escape – white sands, palm trees, the sweet scent of coconut. Luckily, the latter's surge in popularity has led to the release of scores of coconut products. Coconut oil, milk, water – the (sunny) sky's the li...

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Detoxing the Myths of Cleanse Diets

Cleanses and detox diets take many shapes and forms, but are similar in that they claim to remove toxins from the body and cause drastic weight loss. Many people even report high levels of energy and euphoria as well as feeling more spiritual overall. Sounds good, right?...

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Stay on Track with DIY Freezer Meals

Now that the holidays are behind us, several people have asked if I've made any New Year's health resolutions. The answer – of course – is of course I have. I'm no different from anyone else; I, the dietitian, put on a few pounds in the past month. Unfortunately, knowledge by itself is not enough to prevent weight gain during the holidays or any time of year, for that matter....

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Enjoy the Journey of New Year's Resolutions

On this New Year's Eve, you're probably thinking about your resolutions for 2015. If they're the same as last year's (and maybe the year before), you might you say you failed in 2014. I disagree. The path to success is rarely a straight line. I'm confident that if you asked any CEO how he or she got to the top, the answer would have something to do with...

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Can Aphrodisiacs Really Spice Up Your Sex Life?

They say that sex sells, and ain't that the truth? Yet so many people shy away from discussing it in public. And seeking help when there's trouble in the bedroom? Yeah right. Like any other aspect of health, we're quick to look for cure-alls. The idea of aphrodisia...

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Find Reason to Change, Then Make it Your Mission

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by reporter Erica Quednau of WCIA-3's Current. Current, which airs after the Morning Show, focuses on a different theme each day and centers its stories around that topic. Obesity was the topic for that coming Thursday, and would I be willing to share my experience? If you didn't know my story, you'd probably think I've always been healthy and fi...

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6 Super Ways to Rev Up Your Immune System

Fall is filled with little pleasures – every year I eagerly anticipate sipping hot apple cider on crisp autumn afternoons, seeing the leaves turn orange and yellow and catching football games from the couch on lazy Sundays. What I don't look forward to, though, is the i...

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The Secret to Winning the Battle of the Bulge

Dietitians don't always have the answers. We know what foods to eat and in what amounts for certain conditions, but it's not as cut-and-dried as just following the diet, especially when it comes to weight loss. Weight management is the first line of treatment for many chronic health conditions. Calories in versus calories out. The formula works, but up to 95% of dieters...

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Kid-Friendly Recipes to Kick Off the School Year

Everyone back on a normal sleep schedule? Check. New shoes broken in? Check. Backpacks fully loaded? Check. Frozen pizza for dinner? Wait a minute. Life is hectic, and maybe even more so around the change of seasons when the kids head back to school. Yes, frozen dinners and takeout meals are easy. Yes, they taste good. No, they are not the best option for growing bodies and brains. Not...

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What's So Super about 'Superfoods'?

What do kale, dark chocolate, red wine, pumpkin, salmon, flax, walnuts, broccoli all have in common?...

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*Chemical* is Not a Bad Word

Water; sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose), starch, fiber , amino acids (glutamic acid, aspartic acid, his-tidine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, arginine, valine, alanine, serine, glycine, threonine, isoleucine, proline, tryptophan, cysteine, tyrosine, methionine), fatty acids: palmitic acid, omega-6 linoleic acid, omega-3 linolenic acid, oleic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, laur...

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Drawing Back the Curtains on the Wizard of *Oz*

Dr. Mehmet Oz – talk about a polarizing personality. I get questions all the time about the latest supplements and diets about which he's waxed poetic. Usually I just roll my eyes at his outrageous claims and explain why they're not worth the time or money. But thanks to recent events, it's no longer business as usual. Just a few weeks ago, the cardiothoracic surgeon and host o...

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Nutrition Tips for the Guys

We're just past Father's Day, but did you know that June overall is Men's Health Month? The media seems to pay a lot of attention to ladies' health issues, so let's not neglect the guys; men, too, have special nutritional concerns. Here's what you need to know to keep yourself (or — if you're a woman — the men in your life) healthy all year long....

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Store Shelves Loaded with Milk Alternatives

June is National Dairy Month , a time to celebrate all the nutritious benefits of milk, cheese and yogurt. But what if you don't do dairy? Whether it's for food preferences, religious purposes or health reasons, there are lots of reasons why people may not partake. Food companies have responded by developing scores of products to meet those needs, and I get lots of question...

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It's Grilling Season - Let's Be Safe Out There

I don't know about you, but I am fired up to fire up my grill after the brutal winter we had. Grilling is one of my favorite ways to prepare all types of foods — from the typical burgers, steaks and chicken to fish, vegetables and even fruit. It's a relatively low-fat preparation method, and the high temperatures help bring out delicious flavors (calorie-free) thanks to chemical reactions...

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Gear Up for a Safe and Productive Canning Season

Here in the Midwest, home canning has been a way of life for many since before they could even remember. But home canning has enjoyed a surge in popularity in the past few years, thanks to Americans' increased interest in the local food movement and desire to be economical in the wake of our recession....

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Nutrition Facts Label to Change, but Will it Change our Eating Habits?

As you may have heard, the Nutrition Facts panel is about to undergo renovations. Seems like the same old story. Just when you've gotten used to something, it up and changes. But change isn't always bad, and we need it in order to move forward. To get a better idea of whether this one is good or bad, let's first recount the history of the Nutrition Facts label. Nutrition labe...

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Making Sense of Food Package Facts and Graphics

Have you heard? The FDA recently announced plans to revamp the Nutrition Facts label. This tool was introduced more than 20 years ago (!) and was designed to help consumers make food choices in the supermarket. Many people think this information has made it even more challenging to figure out food facts....

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Spice it Up to Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right

March is National Nutrition Month and this year's theme is "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right." Given that taste is the biggest indicator of whether we will eat a food, the theme is certainly appropriate! With warmer weather on the way, I'm asking you, too, to bring the heat and try my favorite way to make healthy foods more exciting – by spicing it up....

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