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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Live Healthy Illinois

Posted by Jenna Smith -

For most of us, eating healthy and staying active are big challenges. Let's face it; we're busy! Our days are full of commitments, such as work, taking care of the kids, caring for an aging relative, and keeping up with the household chores. Even if we enjoy cooking, we may be so exhausted from our day that we just throw in a frozen pizza or swing through the drive-thru. If motivation and commitment are what you're looking for, I have the solution for you!

I'd like to invite you to participate in the nationwide program, Live Healthy Illinois 100 Day Wellness Challenge. This is a team-centric approach to developing a healthier lifestyle. By forming a team with your friends, family or co-workers you're more apt to stick with your goals (not to mention have a fun time while doing it!)

Live Healthy Illinois features an online recording tracker to keep track of physical activity. You may also choose to keep track of your weight, your food intake, and your goals. Don't worry; nobody but you will see your weight or other information! You can compete with other teams, including the staff at University of Illinois Extension.

What do you get from participating? Well besides your better health, you get a t-shirt, one-year subscription to a national lifestyle magazine, such as Parents, weekly emails with inspiring success stories and tips to meet your goals, access to over 12,000 recipes, eligibility for weekly and monthly drawings, and much more!

The cost of the program is only $20.00 per person. All you have to do is form your team of 2-10 individuals. Choose a team captain to collect everyone's money, t-shirt size, and email addresses. Then, register your team at You can make your own team but join under University of Illinois Extension's group. Just enter our Group ID: LHUIE. Then, choose "A Community Team" from the drop-down box.

Please email me at if you decide to join! Our staff is excited about this and we hope you are too!

Stuffed Pepper Soup (Printable PDF)

1 ½ - 2 lbs lean hamburger 1 small onion, chopped

2 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce 2 cups green pepper, chopped

2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes ¼ cup brown sugar

2 cans (14 oz) low sodium beef broth ½ teaspoon pepper

2 cups long grain rice, cooked

  1. Cook hamburger and onion on skillet and drain well.
  2. Add all ingredients, except rice. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add cooked rice and simmer for 30 more minutes.

*May use diced tomatoes with green chilies for an added "kick".

Nutrient analysis: 320 Calories, 14 grams fat, 19 grams total carbohydrate, 27 grams protein, 640 milligrams sodium.

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