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Health Blog Posts

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)

A woman stands in a kitchen while holding a can of reduced fat cream of chicken soup.

July 12, 2019

If you’ve ever been told you need to cut fat from your diet and wondered how to do it, this post is for you!

Fat, especially saturated fat, plays a role in heart health. Increased blood cholesterol is tied to heart disease, so finding ways to reduce saturated fat is important.

A small, leashed dog walks on a sidewalk.

July 8, 2019

My pets are part of the family, and I want them to have a healthy diet. There are many choices when it comes to what to feed your pet, and I always discuss this with my veterinarian when I add a pet to the family and at each pet’s check-up.

Two partially filled canisters contain rice and flour sit on a speckled black countertop.

July 2, 2019

Everyone deals with the occasional invasion of sugar ants in the kitchen. It’s just a fact of life.

But when they do make their way in, you don’t want to lay out the welcome mat for them. Regina Boykins, Extension agent in Humphreys County has a few tips to help keep ants and other pests out of your kitchen.

A steamed salmon filet sprinkled with onions and dill sits atop roasted vegetables.

June 28, 2019

Have you ever heard someone praise the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, but wondered what to cook? This delicious fish recipe, cooked with an assortment of tasty vegetables, fits the bill! Fish, healthy oils, and plenty of vegetables are key parts of the Mediterranean diet. Served with a side of whole-grain couscous or pasta, you’ve got a feast ready in about 45 minutes. 

Angel food cake with strawberries, cool whip, and strawberries on a green plate.

June 25, 2019

Ever since I started hosting The Food Factor, I’ve been getting curious looks at the grocery store. Other shoppers will recognize me and look in my buggy to see what I’m buying. People assume that I must always eat healthy foods, or I never have dessert.

A grilled burrito topped with salsa and a green salad with tomato served on a multicolored plate.

June 13, 2019

With all of the delicious, fresh vegetables available this time of year at great prices, vegetable burritos are a fast, farmers market-friendly meal you can whip up in no time. While Southwest-inspired recipes can hide a lot of calories, a few substitutions can keep you from breaking the calorie bank. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

A young woman with dark hair extends her palm forward with the Healthy Homes Initiative logo on her palm.

June 4, 2019

Maintaining a healthy home can be challenging, but it IS possible. Use the “right hand rule” to make your home a healthy one.

A 10-month-old baby eats homemade baby food.

May 17, 2019

Making your own baby food can be a great way to save money and capture fresh fruits and vegetables at their peak flavor. This means top nutrition and exciting new food experiences for your baby. (Besides, you know some of those baby food flavor combinations gross you out. When you make your own, you have full control!)

Caramelized onions in a black cast iron skillet.

May 10, 2019

Loads of recipes call for caramelized onions, but have you ever made them?

The good news is they add a lot of flavor to soups and meat dishes. (Liver and onions always go together for a reason!)

 A mixture of small broccoli florets, diced carrots, eggs and cheese baked as a frittata in a large black cast-iron skillet.

May 3, 2019

Remember when you bought that head of broccoli on sale, but didn’t have a plan for it? Wash it, chop it, and let’s get dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

Frittatas are not just for fancy brunches! This nutritious, one-pan meal can be made with whatever vegetables you have on hand, though broccoli is one of my favorites. And it comes together so quickly, you’ll be out of the kitchen in no time!

A small clear glass bowl holds baked oatmeal with blueberries and a stainless steel spoon.

April 26, 2019

Some mornings, it’s hard for me to make healthy breakfast choices. Whether I’m running out of time or tempted by a hot breakfast sandwich from the local fast food restaurant drive-through, preparing ahead of time helps me stay on track. I may even start experimenting by adding bananas in the pan first or swapping honey for the brown sugar.

A display of produce including red raspberries in a small clear glass bowl, green broccoli florets in a small clear glass bowl, 2 red apples behind the bowls. Does that work?

April 18, 2019

I get it. You’re busy. It’s hard to squeeze a lot of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.

And, if you’re like me, when you hear a recommended number of daily servings, you just want to roll your eyes.

Homemade ranch dressing in a clear glass bowl atop a turquoise blue plate, surrounded by baby carrots, broccoli florets, and grape tomatoes.

April 5, 2019

If you’re like me, a full bottle of salad dressing often expires before I can use it all. Plus, ready- made salad dressings tend to be loaded with hidden sugar, salt, and fat.

By making your own ranch dressing, you can control the fat, the flavors, and the portions.

An assortment of snack foods on a butcher block table top, including a green pear, red grapes, baby carrots, pretzels, pecans, dates, almonds, and trail mix.

March 29, 2019

Time and money are both precious resources, but you don’t have to sacrifice them to eat healthier foods. Next time you find yourself standing in front of the vending machine at work or dashing into a convenience store for a snack, have a plan! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

Chicken nuggets coated in golden brown panko breadcrumbs on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet.

March 18, 2019

Chicken nuggets for grown-ups is one of our most popular recipes from the original television series. They are a fun, fast, and easy weeknight meal that cuts calories, since they’re baked instead of fried. 

Red grapes dipped in a mixture of peanut butter and Greek yogurt lined up on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.

March 8, 2019

Looking for a snack that will tide you over until your next meal but not derail your health goals? These peanut butter yogurt-dipped grapes are a fun way to get a serving of fruit and a hit of protein, without racking up major calories!

Shredded chicken breasts coated in barbecue sauce in a rectangular, clear-glass container.

February 28, 2019

Leftovers can be a huge time-saver, but they also have the potential to go to waste. Food tossed is money lost! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

Three small sandwiches made with whole wheat slider buns, shredded chicken, and barbecue sauce on a white plate.

February 19, 2019

Y’all know I love a good slow cooker recipe. This one is fast and easy, and, depending on your barbecue sauce, can also be healthy. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish / Cindy Callahan)

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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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