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Health Blog Posts

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.

Cooked chicken, noodles, and spinach in a clear glass bowl

October 6, 2020

Who says comfort food has to be unhealthy? This delicious casserole is loaded with flavor, and best of all—you don’t have to heat up the oven! Before you start putting all of the ingredients in your slow cooker, please note: the noodles, spinach, and cheese are added *after* the chicken cooks for 6–8 hours. You’ll cook the noodles separately, so this is not technically a one-dish meal, but it’s pretty close!

Strawberry cookie dough balls coated in coconut on a plate

September 21, 2020

Fresh fruit is a delicious and healthy snack, but sometimes you need something more portable and less messy. That’s when homemade snacks, like these Strawberry Oatmeal Cookie Balls, come in handy!

What makes these healthier than regular cookies? The ingredients are high in fiber, natural sugars, and healthy fats. And they are loaded with flavor!

An assortment of litter retrieved from a watershed displayed on a wooden dock.

September 17, 2020

Are you tired of seeing used masks and gloves dropped in the parking lot at the grocery store? Me, too!

“Pandemic litter” is a relatively new problem, but pollution is nothing new. I grew up watching the ad that admonished, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute!”

Battling the coronavirus requires the use of some single-use items, but they don’t have to end up on the ground!

Here are three tips to help keep Mississippi beautiful!

Potato salad in a small clear glass bowl

September 15, 2020

If you aren’t a fan of traditional potato salad, give this Ranch Potato Salad a try! Low-fat mayonnaise reduces the calories and fat to make this a healthier choice.

A woman stands in front of a brick wall.

September 8, 2020

Research shows that eating certain foods may slow brain aging. Here are some power foods to include in your diet.

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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