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Health Blog Posts

A graph showing the number of cases of coronavirus with and without protective measures

March 18, 2020

“Flattening the curve” is an important concept in discussions about the coronavirus, but what does it really mean?

“Flattening the curve” refers to the lines on a graph documenting the number of cases compared to the timespan of an outbreak.  Normally, when a virus or illness hits a community, there is an early peak in cases (the number of people who get sick), and then the rate of infection slows down, causing the peak to drop. But if that first peak is high, the number of people needing treatment can overwhelm the healthcare system.

Pair of hands holding the power cord and an unplugged smart phone.

March 10, 2020

Smartphones and tablets are a source of germs. Most of us know to wash our hands, but when was the last time you cleaned your smartphone?

A bowl of salad with shrimp on top.

February 27, 2020

Meal planning and prepping is all the craze these days. It’s one of the easiest ways to be intentional about what you eat and helps you stick to a healthy diet. It’s also a great way for you to save time and moneyMeal planning and prepping is all the craze these days. It’s one of the easiest ways to be intentional about what you eat and helps you stick to a healthy diet. 

A close up picture of a person's foot stepping on a scale.

February 10, 2020

Did you know February is Heart Health Month? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that around 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. That’s one in every four deaths! 

Rows of spices in clear jars with silver tops.

January 29, 2020

Has anyone heard about the ‘freshman fifteen’? During my first semester of college, I gained more than fifteen pounds. The main culprit was added sugar in soda drinks and desserts

A group of house plants sitting next to a window.

January 10, 2020

If you need something green to brighten up your space or get you through the winter months, there is a plant out there for you. But efore you shop for plants, understand the environment of your home or office because different plants have different needs. You must consider six factors when choosing indoor plants if you want to be successful: light, temperature, water, humidity, soil, and fertilization. 

Almonds in a white bowl.

January 2, 2020

The holiday season is finally over and life is slowing down a bit.  Everyone has made their New Year’s resolutions to be the best versions of themselves for 2020. 

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!

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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

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A labeled zip-top bag of Orange Teriyaki Chicken in the freezer.
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A person spreading mulch in a flower bed.
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