Versatile Back to School Lunches

School lunches need not be boring! While peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a school lunch staple, it’s a good idea to mix things up so kids get a wide variety of tastes and textures to tickle their taste buds. And you can make school lunches more cheerful by packing foods into bright containers and compartments. Here are some easy-to-plan and easy-to-prepare school lunch ideas: Chicken and Fruit Salad: Cut cooked chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Chop fresh spinach. Cut an apple into bite-size pieces. Combine chicken, chopped spinach, apple and some grapes. Drizzle with dressing then toss.Spread low-fat mayonnaise...

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Foods and Beverages to Help Improve Sleep

If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, you may want to look at the foods and beverages that you’re eating and drinking before going to bed. Certain foods and beverages hinder sleep while others can help improve sleep. Foods and Beverages That Hinder Sleep Big meals that are high in calories and fat can trigger heartburn or make you feel uncomfortable.Caffeine. One of the biggest culprits for keeping people up late at night, caffeine should not be consumed 3 to 8 hours before bedtime. Why? Caffeine is a stimulant and wakes up the central nervous system.Alcohol. Even though...

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Easy Southwestern Steak and Potato Kebabs

One of the best things about kebabs is that you can keep your portion sizes small—they’re bite size after all! Kebabs were made for grilling, and they make a fun presentation on the plate. Here’s an easy kebab recipe that will impress you and your dinner guests: Southwestern Steak and Potato Kebabs Ingredients 2 tablespoons sour cream 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 garlic clove, minced 1 teaspoon chile powder ½ teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped 8 baby red potatoes 1 ¼ pounds strip steak, trimmed of fat and cut into...

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Crazy for Corn

A true summer gem, corn is a versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed in multitudinous ways. And corn—blue, purple, red, white and yellow—is chock-full of nutrients: fiber, manganese, and vitamins C, B3 and B5. The phytonutrients in yellow corn provide high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin—two nutrients that may reduce macular degeneration and cataracts. Two great reasons to eat more corn! If you’re looking for new ways to prepare corn, you may want to give these ideas a try: Corn Salsa: Mix together 3 cups fresh corn kernels, 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, ½ cup chopped cilantro, 1 seeded and...

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Healthy Foods for Diabetes

If you’re one of more than 20 million Americans with diabetes, you know how important it is to eat the right foods. People with diabetes have high levels of sugar in their blood. This is because their body cannot move sugar into fat, liver, and muscle cells to be stored for energy—this could be caused from their pancreas not making enough insulin, their cells not responding normally to insulin or both. And one of the treatments for diabetes includes diet. Managing and maintaining blood sugar levels can be a challenge, but focusing on the foods you can eat can make...

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Better-for-You Brown Bag Lunches

There are so many reasons to brown bag your lunches. Not only can you save a lot of money, but you are also in control of portions and how healthy your lunches will be. Restaurant lunch prices can easily have you spending $50+ per week, and restaurant size portions, depending on what you order, are loaded with extra calories. If you would like to eat healthier and watch your waistline, you may want to consider these better-for-you brown bag lunch ideas and tips: Keep your body fueled yet filling full throughout the afternoon by consuming low-fat protein and carbohydrates for...

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How to Maintain Healthy Eating Habits While on Vacation

Vacationing offers so many great benefits: reconnecting with family members, taking a mental break from work, and enjoying regional cuisines. While it’s generally expected that you will eat out more while on vacation, you can also maintain healthy eating habits while you are out of your day-to-day routine. Here are five tips to help you maintain healthy eating habits while on vacation: 1. Google before you go. Before leaving home, find out where the closest grocery stores are from where you’ll be staying. If you’ll be staying in a hotel, you may want to check in and then head to...

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Hydrate for Health

Unless you are aware that you are actually thirsty, it’s easy to take drinking a glass of water for granted—and water is so important for good health. Without water or other healthful fluids your body will have a hard time releasing toxins. Every cell, organ and tissue in your body needs water to work properly. And water and other healthful fluids are beneficial for multiple health issues, including the condition of our skin, how much energy we have, weight control and more. Healthful drink options vary, and there’s no reason to wait to enjoy them until your body tells you...

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Gluten-Free Living

Gluten-free has become a common word in the food world. It relates to the gluten-free diet and celiac disease—an inflammation in the small intestines caused by the protein gluten. According to The University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, nearly 1 out of every 133 Americans suffers from celiac disease. Symptoms of celiac disease include abdominal pain, constipation, chronic fatigue, diarrhea, malnutrition, weakness, and other gastrointestinal problems. Gluten is found in the following grains: barley, rye, triticale, and wheat. One important aspect of the gluten-free diet is to remain aware of cross-contamination—when gluten-free foods come into contact with foods that...

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Fish for Heart Health

Going fishing for better heart health is easy when you consume certain types of seafood that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids include fish oil, and fish oil contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA studies have shown that the intake of recommended amounts of each of these acids via dietary fish lowers blood pressure slightly, lowers triglycerides, reduces the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, reduces the risk of heart attack, and reduces the risk of strokes in people with known cardiovascular disease, and slows hardening of the arteries. It’s important to note,...

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