Blog Posts by Reader s Digest Magazine

  • 5 Thanksgiving Day Healthy Eating Strategies

    By Lisa Schneider

    Nix the word "diet" - the goal here is simply to enjoy in moderation!

    1. Don't "save room"

    Excited for the big meal? Can't wait for your favorite foods? Going to skip breakfast and lunch so you have room for all the goodies? Forget it!

    Making conscious decisions to eat a bit lighter the weeks around the holidays so you can "earn" a few extra calories at special meals is a good idea, but starving yourself the day of is definitely not. All you'll do is ensure that you're too hungry to make good decisions, and probably eat way too much before you even realize it. (Like I did the other night, when I came home from a 12-hour day fueled by one salad and one protein bar. I inhaled a full plate of food and recapped my trip in about 2.3 minutes. DH's jaw was on the floor - and that was only leftovers!)

    Instead, eat a few light, healthful meals or snacks with plenty of protein and fiber - so when you get the the meal you'll be hungry but not starving.

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  • 4 Easy Appetizers & Cocktails for Any Holiday Party

    By Maria Hunt

    The hostess of and author of The Bubbly Bar shares her favorite cocktails and party appetizers just in time for your holiday party.

  • 19 "Inside" Shopping Secrets for Black Friday

    By: Janice Lieberman

    You may wonder what really goes on behind the scenes of the stores before Black Friday. I did. So I asked Freeman Hall author of "Retail Hell - How I Sold My Soul to the Store, Confessions of a Tortured Sales Associate" (Adams Media; $22.95) for the inside secrets on how to get the best bargains for the holiday. Hall is a former handbag manager for Nordstroms and is willing to spill!

    Here are 20 Inside Shopping Secrets:

    1. Case the Place - Check out the store the day before Thanksgiving so you can make a beeline to the items you've coveted. Talk to sales associates to get the low down on what will go down!

    2. Know What You Want Ahead of Time - Not everything is on sale on Black Friday. The best deals are advertised because the stores buy them in bulk.

    3. Be Sale Smart - Bring sale ads with you for clarification and extra in-store coupons which also make great leverage for price-matching. Hit the back clearance racks and look for additional discounts, take

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  • 5 Recipe Substitutions to Slim Down Your Meals

    By: Liz Kennedy

    1. Half- and-Half -- It's Not Just for Your Coffee
    Recipe calls for: Heavy Cream
    Substitute with: Half-and-Half

    Love creamy soups but hate the calories that come with them? Me too. Instead of using heavy cream for your soups and sauces, try using half-and-half. If you want to go even lighter, use fat-free half-and-half. You'll get the same creaminess, but won't be loading up your soup with extra calories. And Grandma will still think you used her original recipe
    Try this substitution in our creamy turkey vegetable soup. Perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers!

    2. Hold the Mayo
    Recipe calls for: Mayonnaise
    Substitute with: Fat-Free, Plain Greek Yogurt

    We all like to slather mayonnaise on our over-stuffed sandwiches, but all that slathering really adds up on the scales. Try replacing mayo or sour cream with fat-free, plain Greek yogurt in your recipes. It's thick and creamy, just like mayonnaise, but with no fat and more protein. I promise you won't be able to tell the

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  • 10 Easy Crafts to Brighten Any Thanksgiving Table

    Craft projects and images created by Jennifer Sbranti

    A table brimming with the fall's harvest is best bedecked with earthy autumn colors. We asked Hostess with the's Jennifer Sbranti for ten effortless craft projects to try at home. Read on for the lifestyle blogger's chic and simple how-tos.

  • The Ultimate Sex Guide for Newlyweds

    The Reality of Married Lovemaking
    When writer Miriam Arond and her husband, psychiatrist Samuel L. Pauker, M.D., surveyed hundreds of newlywed couples across the nation, they discovered that 85 percent had made love before tying the knot, yet the frequency and quality of unmarried sex had little to do with the reality of married lovemaking. Nearly half said that after marriage, they didn't have sex as often as they'd like; 20 percent of new wives reported low sexual desire. For a fourth of the wives, sex meant painful intercourse or elusive orgasms, while 1 in 10 husbands experienced premature ejaculation, and 1 in 20 had erection problems.

    Plus: 6 Nutrition Strategies for a Stronger Sex Drive

    What ever happened to athletic, swinging-from-the-chandeliers, "did-the-earth-move-for-you-too?" prenuptial lovemaking? The deep, mystical, Tantric communing of two spirits? Hours of Hollywood sex complete with mood music, flickering candlelight, and satin sheets?

    © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation© 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
    "The excitement of getting

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  • How to Sell Your Stuff

    By Amy Maclin

    Turn castoffs into cash with these easy-sell secrets.

    Think of all that unloved stuff spilling off your shelves or crammed into your closet: the last-generation iPod, the Donna Karan dress that never fit, Aunt Sally's porcelain shepherdess. With a little ingenuity, you could find you're sitting on a gold mine … or at least this year's holiday fund. Here, the Reader's Digest guide to thinning your overstock and fattening your wallet.

    Plus: 9 Vintage Items That May be Worth Money

    That heirloom chest in your dining room looks just like the Stickley piece that pulled in a $3,500 estimate on last night's Antiques Roadshow. Should you get an appraisal?

    The first thing the experts will tell you:
    Manage your expectations. "All you see on those shows is the highlights," says Alex Winter, general manager at Hake's Americana & Collectibles in York, Pennsylvania. "Don't get your hopes up until you've done the research."

    Photo: ©2009

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  • 5 Turkey Secrets You Didn't Know

    Don't wing it this holiday season. Get the secrets to cooking and handling your turkey properly

  • 13 Things Your Bartender Won't Tell You

    By Bridget Nelson Monroe

    Bartenders share their secrets, tips and best etiquette advice.

    Also 13 More Things Your Bartender Won't Tell You

    1. Yell, whistle, or wave money and I'm going to make you wait. Make eye contact and smile, and I'll come over as soon as I can. Know what you want and have your money ready. Don't create a traffic jam.

    2. Start a tab. If I swipe your card five times this evening, that's five times as much paperwork I have to do
    at 4 a.m.

    Plus: 10 Funny Happy Hour Quotes From Famous People

    3. You want a drink made "strong?" Then order a double-for double the price. 4. Liquor sales in bars and restaurants were down 2.2 percent last year. Even beer sales are slow. But people scrimp on food first, drinks second.

    5. A lot of bars have comp tabs, which allows me to give away drinks. It's smart business and helps build a base of regulars.

    6. Bars that don't have regulars (in hotels, airports) have started using wireless gadgets that measure how much

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  • 5 New Fitness Trends to Try

    By: Liz Kennedy

    If you're like me, 45 minutes on the treadmill sounds like pure torture. But give me the latest fitness craze, and I'm raring to go. To help you navigate your gym's exercise classes, I tested and reviewed five of the latest gym trends so you don't have to.

    1. Zumba
    If you like to dance, you'll love Zumba! The class feels more like a party than it does a workout. Set to Latin music, Zumba will take you through both fast and slow dance moves that will burn fat and tone problem areas.

    Not only was I hooked on the beats and dance moves after my first class, but I was also drenched in sweat. If the elliptical is getting too boring for you, Zumba is a great cardio alternative. If you like the bench press, however, this may not be the class for you.
    Enter our sweepstakes to win the Zumba DVD collection
    Learn more about the man behind Zumba

    2. TRX
    From afar, TRX looks like some sort of torture device, but once you figure out all the straps, you'll be suspending

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