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Health Blog Posts

Hamburgers, chicken and hotdogs on a grill.

April 8, 2021

Warm weather is here, and it’s finally time to fire up the grill! Barbecues are fun and result in delicious food.

Veggie quiche muffins on a blue plate

April 1, 2021

For people who need something quick for breakfast, these Veggie Quiche Muffins are both healthy and convenient.

You can use 3 cups of your favorite veggies if you prefer something different from what is in the original recipe. Chopped zucchini and mushrooms are great options! You can also use your favorite cheese, but note that changing from a low-fat cheddar will alter the calories. 

strawberry-banana cheesecake wrap cut in half and displayed on a decorative plate

March 22, 2021

Whether you want a healthier dessert option for yourself or for the little ones who like to help you in the kitchen, these strawberry-banana cheesecake wraps are perfect! The fruit and whole-wheat tortillas are loaded with fiber and will keep everyone feeling satisfied far longer than a store-bought cookie. And the cream cheese mixture will make you feel like you’re indulging in cheesecake, without all the calories. Best of all, they are easy for kids to make themselves.

A woman stands at a kitchen island.

March 9, 2021

You’ve probably heard that shopping the grocery store's perimeter is the best way to pack your cart with healthy foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables. But the center aisles actually provide a lot of nutritious options.

Zucchini and tomatoes in a colorful bowl

March 1, 2021

Video by Jonathan Parrish.

I’m always looking for easy vegetable dishes with a lot of flavor, and this one hits the spot!

This recipe serves four, so you may need to double it, depending on the size of your family.

Did you know you can save some calories and fat by cooking your vegetables in water or broth instead of butter or oil? At about 100 calories per teaspoon, fat can add up quickly.

A woman stands outdoors on a grassy lawn.

February 8, 2021

High cholesterol increases your risk of cardiovascular disease (heart disease), which is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Lifestyle change is a key component that can prevent or help manage high cholesterol. 

A slice of chocolate angel food cake on a small saucer with the entire cake on a blue platter in the background

January 29, 2021

Last year, our recipe for Tropical Angel Cake was by far our most popular post. So, when we found this recipe for a different take on angel food cake, we knew we had to try it!

Chicken tortilla soup in a colorful bowl with a small glass bowl of cilantro in the background

January 26, 2021

In wintertime, I want to come home to a supper that’s ready to eat and will warm me up, inside and out. This spicy soup hits the spot! If you like more zip in your soup, use hot green chiles or hot salsa instead of mild.

Rinse the canned beans to reduce the sodium in this recipe and keep your broth clear. Don’t forget our handy trick for shredding chicken in a hurry: you can use a hand-held mixer on low speed to shred it!

three zucchini fritters on a blue plate

January 19, 2021

Zucchini is a versatile and budget-friendly vegetable, and this recipe takes a popular kitchen staple to the next level without a lot of prep time. I like to make these on nights when I want something a little more fancy than sliced zucchini with my meal. It’s also a terrific entrée for your friends or family members who don’t eat meat but will eat dairy and eggs.

A woman and man walk for exercise.

January 11, 2021

A new year often signals a new start or reboot, which is a great thing. For many, this means setting health and wellness goals like losing weight, eating healthier, and being more physically active.To be able to achieve your goals and make your resolutions a reality, your goals need to be realistic and measurable.

Apple pie smoothie in a blender

January 5, 2021

Some of my favorite winter desserts are fruit-based, including apple pie and apple crisp. But as we begin the new year, I need to get back to healthier eating habits!

If you are looking for a bright apple flavor without the calories found in a pie or caramel apple, try this smoothie! A 1-cup serving is just 90 calories!

Omelet ingredients cooked on a foil-covered sheet pan

December 14, 2020

If you have a large family and need new breakfast ideas, this sheet pan omelet will please a crowd and keep you from spending hours in the kitchen. Best of all, you can customize it for your family's taste preferences.

You don’t have to precook any of the toppings, but they may be a little crunchy. I prefer to sauté the mushrooms, onions, and peppers first to cook out some of the water and get the flavors to blend together a little before adding to the egg mixture. You know I love spicy foods, so I’d even add a little salsa to this for some more kick!

A woman stands on the front steps of a home.

December 7, 2020

Because many families are celebrating this holiday season a little differently, we might feel a little stressed. One of the things that helps me stay grounded during this time is physical activity. It’s one of the most important things you can do for your health.

A white mask hanging on Christmas garland.

December 3, 2020

Looking for the top gift to give your loved ones this holiday season? Here’s an idea: a COVID-free celebration! The holidays are normally a time when we open our homes to friends and family and celebrate together. The spread of COVID-19 has caused us all to reimagine the way we enjoy the holidays. 

Just how do you celebrate this time of year, while limiting the spread of COVID-19?? It’s not an easy answer, but here are a few tips to help your holidays be as safe and festive as possible. Please note, this information is based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease...

Oven-roasted carrots in a clear glass bowl

November 23, 2020

Need a quick side dish? Tired of your usual preparation methods? Try these Balsamic Roasted Carrots for a budget-friendly, flavorful veggie that goes with almost any main dish!

roasted turkey on a platter with herbs, cranberries, and orange slices

November 20, 2020

Before you put that giant turkey in the sink, STOP! Rinsing your bird before baking won’t reduce your chances of foodborne illness.

In fact, if you rinse the turkey, you have a greater chance of getting sick because of cross-contamination.

Butternut macaroni and cheese in a clear glass bowl.

November 16, 2020

For many people, macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Traditionally, this calorie-laden dish is loaded with fat, fat, and more fat, plus simple carbohydrates in the pasta. Definitely not on the menu for people interested in healthier foods!

But wait! You can have your mac and eat it too!

A woman smiles in a kitchen.

November 9, 2020

More than 308,000 Mississippians live with diabetes, and approximately 600,000-750,000 Mississippians have prediabetes. Managing diabetes starts with maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Balancing what you eat is a great place to start. Here are a few tips!

pumpkin spice oatmeal muffins on a colorful plate

November 3, 2020

Whether you love or hate the pumpkin spice craze that takes over every fall, you can’t deny that pumpkin is a healthy food! High in fiber, low in calories, and packed with vitamin A, pumpkin is a terrific addition to your diet.

When shopping for pumpkin puree, be sure you don’t buy pumpkin pie filling. For even healthier muffins, substitute whole-wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour. You can make these in a mini-muffin pan or in a standard-size muffin pan.

A woman stands on a sidewalk.

October 20, 2020

Being a Registered Dietitian and daughter of a breast cancer survivor, I understand the importance of using a healthy lifestyle and nutrition to reduce cancer risk. Certain foods high in phytonutrients, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins may reduce cancer risk.

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About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living. Pretty good gig, right?

The three main writers for the blog are Ellen Graves (Seamstress of Social Media Strategy), Susan Collins-Smith (Content Connector) and Keri Lewis (Captain Cat Herder). But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

You can reach us at 662-325-2262 or extreallife@msstate.edu