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Moderation Maven

Dishing up the best ingredients for a healthy lifestyle

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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Making Strawberry Jam

Wonder what goes into making jam? Let's walk through it in this photo post!...

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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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Making the most of your farmers' market visit

Farmers market season is almost upon us, a sure sign that spring is finally here. After a seemingly endless winter, many are ready to get outside and browse the stalls filled with colorful, fresh produce. And if you don't already frequent farmers markets, you might want to consider a trip. But why?...

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Top Ways to Protect Your Heart in Frigid Temps

Posted by Leia Flure - Seasonal

We're nearly midway through February, but there's still plenty of winter left for central Illinois. They say that cold hands mean you have a warm heart, but how does cold weather affect your ticker? In honor of American Heart Month, I wanted to bring your attention to how you can protect your heart until we start to thaw from winter's chill. If you've ever shoveled snow, you know it's a...

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New Year, New You

As you read this on the last day of 2013 -- before the dawn of the New Year at midnight tonight – I, like many of you, am reflecting on the choices I have made in the 12 months past. Have you made healthier food choices and stuck with your exercise routine? Have you spent less money and saved more? Built stronger relationships with loved ones? I recently realized that while we att...

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Going Gluten-Free for the Holidays

What would the holidays be without dinner rolls, stuffing, Christmas cookies, or pie? Besides being traditional holiday dishes, they all have one common denominator – gluten. Over the past few years, going gluten-free has become a bona fide craze. But what is the scoop on the gluten-free fad? Is a gluten poison your body would do better without? Will cutting out gluten magically m...

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Add a Little Hanukkah to Your Table - Any Time of Year!

Many people associate Hanukkah with December, but last week Hanukkah coincided with Thanksgiving for the first time since 1888. (The next time will be in 2070, so for many, this was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.) I was born and raised Jewish, and I often get questions about the culture and traditions. What most people want to know is, why do the holidays fall on different d...

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"Candy Corn" Parfait

Try this tasty Halloween-themed treat for a healthy snack or guilt-free dessert! Ingredients ¼ cup diced pineapple ¼ cup mandarin orange sections ¼ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt 2 tablespoons light whipped cream 3-5 candy corn pieces Recipe Tips Use fresh oranges and pineapple or drained pieces...

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Tempted by the Apple? It's Worth the Health Benefits!

When fall arrives, there's nothing more satisfying to me than biting into a fresh, juicy apple that's as crisp as the autumn air. Sure, we can get apples any time, but they're never as plentiful, affordable, and downright delicious as during the last quarter of the year. Of course, that doesn't stop us from enjoying all things apple year-round. There are plenty of varieties to choose fr...

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Thinking Outside the (Lunch)box

It's that time of year again. Summer is rapidly coming to a close, and the kids are dreading returning to school. If you're a parent, you may be dreading their return as well. It can be a daily struggle to pack lunches and make sure the kids have had something to eat before they dash out the door. Although any breakfast is better than no breakfast, that extra effort to make it healthy m...

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"Cooler Corn:" Is it Safe?

Should you try this "life hack?" Want more information like this? Follow me for health tips, recipes, and more! Moderation Maven on Facebook If the picture below does not load - Click here...

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Get Informed to Keep Stomach Bugs at Bay

Stomach woes were rampant this past winter – were you one of the unlucky ones to experience a 24-hour bug or the stomach "flu?" If so, I'm willing to bet you'd do anything to avoid repeating it. As most of us are aware, frequent handwashing is the single most important thing a person can do to minimize the chances of picking up germs. But besides the (probably inevitable) possibility of g...

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Keep the Sweet in Easter without Sugar Overload

Do you dread the arrival of the Easter Bunny with his pastel candies and chocolates? If you are hanging on to your New Year's resolutions to manage your diabetes, eat healthier or lose weight, it can be hard not to feel left out when everyone around you is enjoying sweet treats. Food and candy can be a fun part of the holiday, but try not to make them the center of attention. Enjoy time...

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Spring Clean Your Fridge for Optimal Food Safety

Spring is just around the corner, which means it's time to get organized. Clear up the dust bunnies under the couch and the cobwebs in the corner, by all means – but don't forget your refrigerator. I doubt anyone would say that foodborne illness is welcome in their home, yet 1 in 6 Americans gets sick with food poisoning each year – and we can't just blame the restaurants. P...

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Write it Down to Take Off the Pounds

Have you made your News Year's resolutions yet? I'll be honest, I'm putting myself on the hook to lose the 10 pounds I've accumulated over the past two years (yes, even dietitians gain weight sometimes!). So if you're like me and millions of other Americans, you may be making a resolution to improve your health this year. You might also be wondering how to make it stick, having been down this r...

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Holiday Happiness: Tips to Stay on Track this Holiday Season

The holidays are right around the corner and extra calories are hiding at every celebration and get-together. As many of us know firsthand, indulging in holiday goodies can result in an extra pound or two by the New Year. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, most Americans do not lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. But this doesn't mean you're doomed to w...

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Craving Comfort Food? Try Healthier Recipes and Enjoy!

When the days get shorter and the air turns crisp, do you feel like you're raiding the fridge more often? In fact, it's probably not just your imagination. A 2005 study out of the University of Massachusetts found that on average, participants ate almost 100 extra calories per day in the fall compared to the spring. It seems logical to assume that we must be eating more to keep warm when it's c...

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Pumpkin: a Versatile and Healthy Food for Fall

You may have noticed that telltale chill in the air at night, reminding us that Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner. You may also have seen that pumpkin, the unofficial mascot of autumn, is now starting to arrive at the grocery store. Of course, the squash is available year-round in the canned goods aisle, but there's something about the season that gets many people craving a...

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Drink Up to Stay Hydrated

Posted by Leia Flure - Seasonal

Temperatures are now regularly topping out in the 90s, and keeping hydrated is the key to making sure you don't get sidelined this summer. Dehydration may sound benign, but it can get dangerous if you let it go too far. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics lists the following as early signs of dehydration: thirst, headache, flushed skin, premature fatigue, increased body temperature,...

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Grill Safely This Summer

It's hard to believe that summer is almost here. With the longer, warmer days and Memorial Day now behind us, it is clear that the summer grilling season has begun. After a long winter, many of us are ready to celebrate the unofficial start of summer by barbeque-ing with family and friends. As you make plans for the summer grilling, it is important to remember that safe food practices are esse...

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Fad Diets May Have Merit, But Not in the Way You Might Think

It's getting a bit too warm to cover up in jeans and long sleeves now that that sunny weather is here to stay. But wait – are you ready to break out the shorts and bare those arms? Maybe not. So you start browsing the internet, talking to friends, and tuning in to late-night infomercials in search of the latest weight loss miracle. Will you try the Sacred Heart Diet? The Master Cleanse? A...

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Is Your Diet Road Trip Ready?

I recently took a trip out of town due to a death in the family, which involved a lot of driving and not a lot of downtime. So what's a person to do when it comes to eating? It can be pretty tempting to head to the nearest drive-thru when your stomach starts rumbling. The food is tasty and quick, plus it can add a little bit of interest to a long, monotonous road trip. But when you're trying to...

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Moderation is Key When Catching Rays and Vitamin D

Did you have a chance to soak up some sun in the past week? Whether you were getting the garden ready, cleaning up the yard, or just relaxing on the porch, your body was busy making vitamin D wherever the sunlight hit your skin. It is commonly known that vitamin D is needed for bone health, as it helps the body absorb calcium to protect against osteoporosis and bone fractures. In additi...

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Spring Cleaning for Your Diet

Can you believe it's nearly springtime? Every March, dietitians celebrate National Nutrition Month, an awareness campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). This year, our theme is "Get Your Plate in Shape!" Indeed, with warmer weather just around the corner, there's no better time to lighten up and "spring-clean" your eating habits...

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