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Health Blog Posts

A Christmas tree decorated with white lights.

December 10, 2019

If just the thought of the holidays sets off a sense of dread, consider approaching the season differently this year.
Dr. David Buys, Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist, has some simple, practical tips to help you. 
Photo credit: Michael Voroshnin – Unsplash

Roasted Brussels sprouts on a serving dish.

November 15, 2019

Eating seasonal vegetables helps you get the most nutritional bang for your buck. Brussels sprouts are wildly popular right now and are easy to prepare. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/MSU Extension)

Multiple sweet potatoes in a box.

November 8, 2019

Sweet potatoes and yams. They’re the same thing, right?

Not really. They look and taste different. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are sweeter with a smooth, thin skin. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

A woman holds a smoothie while standing in a kitchen.

October 25, 2019

When you need a boost of protein before you dash out the door, try this quick smoothie. You can experiment with different fruits, add ice if you prefer a frozen drink, and swap out peanut butter for an alternative like sunflower seed butter if you have allergies.

A display of healthy treats for Halloween.

October 21, 2019

Trying to eat healthy during the Halloween season can be frightening and a little challenging. Here are a few tips to get your broomstick flying in the right direction.

 Green lettuce and cooked chicken wrapped in a wheat tortilla.

October 11, 2019

Fans of The Food Factor know I love rotisserie chicken. I’ve added this quick recipe to my repertoire for using a store-bought rotisserie chicken. You could also use canned chicken breast or even sliced chicken or turkey from the deli.

Cooked noodles, vegetables, and beef.

October 4, 2019

I’m always looking for recipes that cook up fast and reheat well. This Asian Beef and Noodles recipe gives me a delicious dinner and fabulous leftovers for my lunch.

A pink blended raspberry dessert in a green cup.

September 20, 2019

Eating healthy foods doesn’t mean saying no to all desserts. For me, it means finding recipes that satisfy my sweet tooth but also help me meet my goals for daily fruits and vegetables. This recipe for a frozen treat is low in fat and loaded with fruit and fiber.

Spinach dip in a ceramic bowl centered on a plate surrounded by cut celery, baby carrots, and sliced red bell pepper.

September 13, 2019

It’s tailgating season, and there’s nothing like a buffet of snacks to rack up the calories. The Food Factor to the rescue! Here is a healthier take on your favorite spinach dip. Instead of chips, serve with cut-up veggies.

 A mosquito sits on a person's arm.

September 10, 2019

September has arrived, and that has me thinking about all things fall. But the reality is it’s still sweltering outside, and we’ve got several more weeks of defending ourselves against mosquitoes.

Extension for Real Life banner.

September 6, 2019

September is National Rice Month! To celebrate, we made this fast and filling Caribbean Casserole. It’s perfect as a quick weeknight entrée served with a side salad and fruit, or as a potluck dish. 

Dark brown soil in a small white box.

September 3, 2019

You’ve spent all summer planting and maintaining your garden or mowing your lawn and are ready for a break. But before you put your landscape to bed for a long winter’s nap, consider applying lime.

Cauliflower and cheese tots on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.

August 30, 2019

If you have little helpers in the kitchen, put them to work making these tots. I love how versatile this recipe is – it can be an afterschool snack, an appetizer, or a healthy side dish. Bonus points for making vegetables FUN!

A clear glass pitcher and glass with watermelon punch.

August 23, 2019

In Mississippi, the summer heat goes on forever. If you are ready for a break from the same old beverages, try this tasty and refreshing watermelon punch. You get the health benefits of fruit and hydration at the same time!

A man prepares for cleaning floodwater damage by wearing rubber gloves, a face mask, and goggles.

August 20, 2019

You’ve been waiting for months to clean up your flooded home, but before you start this daunting task, you need to purchase the appropriate safety equipment to wear. Mold and other toxins can pose a serious health threat inside a flooded home. By following the manufacturer’s instructions, safety gear can protect you from those dangers.

Baked fish with spinach, tomatoes, and onions sits on a plate.

August 16, 2019

August is National Catfish Month! There are many delicious ways to cook catfish, and this recipe helps you get those daily vegetable servings checked off your list. Support Mississippi’s catfish producers and buy locally raised catfish.

apple slices on cutting board.

August 12, 2019

As students and parents get back into the swing of school, it is time to start thinking about quick and easy snacks to refuel you or your kids throughout the day!

Today, I want to show you a quick and easy way to cut an apple!

Foil wrapped potatoes in a slow cooker.

August 9, 2019

Who says you can’t have “baked potatoes” in the summertime?

I love baked potatoes, but I hate heating up the oven when the summer sun is sizzling. That’s when my slow cooker comes to the rescue! It’s fast and easy to wash, oil, and foil potatoes before work in the morning. Then, when I come home, I can add my healthy toppings and have a meal in no time.

An array of ingredients in glass bowls, including romaine lettuce, onion, diced red pepper, Mexicorn, diced tomato, black beans, salsa, cooked diced chicken breast, and mozzarella cheese, surround a blue and white plate bearing four halves of whole wheat pita bread.

July 26, 2019

When the weather heats up, it’s good to have a plan for those nights when you just don’t want to heat up the kitchen. This recipe is perfect for summer nights, for picky eaters (because everyone can decide what they want in their pita), and for healthy eaters. #winning

A small child runs barefoot through tall grass and has red insect bites on his calf.

July 19, 2019

Being outside in the summertime can feel like a battle against nature. Mosquitoes. Ticks. Chiggers. (Photo by CanStock)

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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