Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • 10 Quick Ways to Dress Up Canned Soup

    Easy tricks make a delicious meal out of boring canned soups.January is National Soup Month! To me, that means steaming bowls of nourishing, comforting broths and bisques on freezing cold days. A few of my favorites: "clean-out-the-fridge" vegetable, Japanese-style ramen, and - for those especially sniffly times - chicken noodle.

    Related: Classic Chicken Recipes Updated

    Often, though, I'm a little too busy working or running errands or simply dealing with life to even think of making anything from scratch-a premade bowl can do the trick. I sometimes buy from one of the many soup chains around here, but even if you're just opening a can or a carton, you don't need to be stuck with a plain-Jane soup. Try these fun (healthy) additions:

    • Diced fresh avocado or cucumber
    • Greens - prewashed baby spinach or baby kales - no chopping necessary! Just stir into the hot soup until wilted and tender
    • Cubes of lowfat tofu
    • Frozen (thawed) edamame, peas, corn - stir into hot soup until warmed through
    • Cooked brown rice (frozen,
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  • 6 Areas of the Home You Don't Have to Organize

    Save time with these organizing tipsTired of tidying up your home only to watch it get messy the next day? Set your organization priorities straight with tips from Carolyn Forte, director of GHRI's Home Appliances and Cleaning Products department. You may be pleasantly surprised at where you can skimp.

    Home Office
    Organize This:
    Your desk doesn't have to be spotless, but develop a system to keep track of important documents such as bills, leases, and insurance contracts. When uploading photos from a vacation to your computer, initially group them in a folder labeled with the destination and year of the trip. You can always rename individual files later.

    Skip That: Immaculate bookshelves shouldn't be a priority, as long as books are in their place. And, unless you own hundreds, you will not save much time organizing tomes by genre or author's last name.

    Related: 31 Days to Decluttered

    Kitchen
    Organize This:
    Cut down on meal prep time by uploading your favorite and most frequently cooked recipes to your computer. Keep

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  • 9 Causes of Insomnia – and What to Do About Them

    How to sleep soundly through the night1. Sleep Killer: Too Much Coffee
    Caffeine blocks the sleep-inducing action of the brain chemical adenosine. It can also reduce the amount you make of the sleep hormone melatonin. Not only will it lead to trouble dropping off, but also you'll sleep restlessly. In an Israeli study, subjects given caffeinated coffee had about half as much melatonin in their systems as those who were given decaf. They also took twice as long to fall asleep and slumbered an average of 79 minutes less.

    Solution: Drink early, but not often. Limit caffeine consumption to 250 milligrams a day (about 16 ounces of coffee), the amount most of us can handle without its causing bedtime troubles. It takes about six to eight hours for your body to clear enough caffeine to avoid its interfering with your sleep, so put your cup down by 2 P.M.

    2. Sleep Killer: Too Much Light
    While playing a few rounds of Words With Friends on your iPad or spending two hours in front of the tube may help you wind down, your body's

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  • 8 Simple Little Ways to Fall Asleep Fast

    How to sleep better tonightYou have no idea why, but night after night you have trouble nodding off. These bedtime rituals may help you get some more shut-eye.

    1. Take a bubble bath:
    The hot water relaxes your muscles and raises your core temperature. When you get out of the tub, you temperature will start to go down, mimicking what your body normally does to trigger melatonin production, says sleep expert Michael Breus, Ph.D. Why bubbles? "They form a layer of insulation on top, which keeps the water hot longer."

    2. Pour yourself a bowl:
    The classic sleep Rx of cornflakes and milk has scientific-backing. The fast-acting carb in the cereal increases tryptophan levels, upping the zzz-inducing brain chemical serotonin. Milk contains melatonin, a.k.a. the sleep hormone.

    3. Turn down the thermostat: It's more comfortable to sleep in a cool room. But you don't want it to be too cold, either. Experiment to find your just-right temp.

    Related: 9 Reasons You Can't Sleep (and What to Do About Them)


    4.

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  • The Truth Behind 9 Popular Vitamin Supplements

    Should you take supplements?Your body responds best to vitamins and minerals found in food. But not all essential nutrients are easily absorbed, which means some of us may not be getting what we need. Determine if you need to add to your diet with the latest research on nine popular vitamins and supplements.

    Vitamin E
    Vitamin E is an antioxidant, a substance that protects against the effects of free radicals - cell-damaging molecules that can play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Vitamin E also boosts your immune system. However, you may not need to add it as a supplement, warns Andrea N. Giancoli, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Most people get enough vitamin E from the foods they eat," say Giancoli. "Good sources are vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens. Vitamin E is also added to foods like cereals as a natural preservative." Another reason to stick with food sources: Vitamin E supplements may be harmful for people who take blood thinners and other

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  • 10 Top Food Trends for 2013

    CarrotsIt's that time of year...when we look at what was hot in the last 12 months and will be in the dozen to come. After reviewing my list of 10 top predictions in food for 2012, I'm happy to say, I went 10 for 10. Every single prophecy from pickles to slow cooking came true. What should you expect to be seeing on menus, in supermarkets, and trying at home in 2013? Here's what I'm seeing in my crystal ball.

    Carrots Move over kale and Brussels sprouts. Some of New York City's trendiest and priciest restaurants are already giving carrots pride of place on their menus. At the uber chic, super-expensive, four-star Eleven Madison Park, carrot tartare is prepared to order tableside. Empellón Cocina on the hip lower east side serves roasted carrots with mole poblano and yogurt to die for. Also up and coming: cauliflower and parsnips!

    Juice, Juicing, and Juicers They're back and more popular than ever! While here at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, we believe in filling up on

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  • 8 Ways to Cheat-proof Your Diet

    Set yourself up for diet successNever count on just your willpower to stick to a nutritious meal plan. Rather than beat yourself up for occasional slip-ups (or abandon the diet all together) use these clever ideas to set yourself up for diet success.

    1. Plan Ahead
    Failing to plan can easily lead to diet downfalls: unhealthy menu selections or the lack of nutritious options when you're in a rush. Prioritize your diet and make meal-planning part of your routine, not a chore, says Manuel Villacorta, RD and author of Eating Free. "Schedule a date with your supermarket once a week, followed by a date with your kitchen, where you can pre-make a lot of healthy foods," he says. Boil rice and quinoa, cook beans, whip up a soup or stew, grill chicken, and roast veggies, so you will have basics ready to warm up or pack for lunch.

    If you know you're going to dine out, read the menu and pick a diet-friendly option before you go. Watch out for terms like braised or pan-fried, ask for any sauces on the side and beware of salads

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  • 9 Beauty Resolutions You Should Make

    Ramp up your beauty regimen Just follow these simple steps to look and feel (even more!) gorgeous in the new year.

    1. Apply sunscreen each day.

    In rain or shine, harmful ultraviolet rays are present throughout the entire year, so cover up if you want to avoid premature wrinkles, dark spots, and skin cancer. "Everyone should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day," says Jeannette Graf, MD, New York dermatologist.

    There are two types of sunscreens: chemical and physical. Both are equally effective. Choosing which formula "is just a matter of preference," says Graf. Chemical blockers contain ingredients such as helioplex or avobenzone. They are effective 20 minutes after application, are colorless, and have a slightly watery texture. Physical blockers contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. They are immediately effective after application, have a white tint, and a thicker texture.

    2. Smooth on eye cream daily.
    Skin around the eyes tends to be delicate and dry, making the area susceptible to early aging. To Read More »from 9 Beauty Resolutions You Should Make
  • How to Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick

    Strategies to strengthen your resolve1. Set realistic goals. One of the main reasons people struggle to keep resolutions? Their goals aren't practical. "As a result, you get frustrated, and you're more likely to quit," says Amie Hoff, personal trainer in New York City and founder of FitKit.com, portable workout kits. Take weight loss for instance. A Franklin Covey survey found that losing weight is the resolution often abandoned first (by 31 percent of those who made it). Most people aim too high and consequently bail when they don't see immediate success. Set realistic goals and break them down between long- and short-term. "Setting several smaller goals will be easier to attain, and with each new success, you'll become more motivated," Hoff says.

    2. Create a plan for success. Now that you have your goals in place, design an action plan. "Without one, you'll have no idea where you're starting from, going to, how you'll get there, or worse yet, where you'll end up," says Hoff. Describe your mission as well as specifics on

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  • 11 Ways to Spice Up Hot Chocolate Mix

    Peppermint hot chocolateHere's a little something to snuggle up with during the chilly winter months: Hot cocoa! It's easy to turn instant hot chocolate mix into an extra-special treat the whole family can enjoy (just reserve the bourbon-pecan cocoa for the adult-crowd only!). Try one of these 11 simple mix-ins that deliver loads of flavor in no time at all…

    1. Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Spread marshmallow fluff on the rim of a mug; dip in crushed candy canes. Pour instant hot chocolate into the prepared mug and stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.

    2. Mexican Hot Chocolate: Stir a generous pinch each ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper into 1 mug instant hot chocolate. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

    Related: Cooking Disasters, Solved!

    3. Malted Milk Hot Chocolate: Stir malted milk powder into 1 mug instant hot chocolate. Garnish with crushed Whoppers (optional).

    Orange hot chocolateOrange hot chocolate4. Orange Hot Chocolate: Stir a splash of orange water or orange extract into 1 mug instant hot chocolate (optional). Garnish

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