Blog Posts by Tips on Healthy Living

  • Giving Back: Please Feed the Animals This Holiday Season

    By Deborah Goldstein
    Anyone with a pet would agree that it's a beloved member of the family. In fact, it's been reported that animal-loving Americans spend $41 billion per year on their pets (Hermés dog collar, anyone?). Despite this, heartbreakingly, many pet shelters are currently overflowing with animals surrendered by owners who can't afford them in this economy.

    Why not spread some holiday cheer by helping out a pet charity? If you're strapped for cash, you could walk dogs at a local shelter or assist at a fundraising or adoption event. Or, watch for pet food coupons, then stock up and deliver them to a shelter. If you can afford it, write a check-your donation also serves as a tax write-off. Now is also a great time to adopt.

    These organizations are worth considering:
    Petfinder.com: An online adoption center for 15 years, you can narrow down their 350,000+ animals by zip code, animal (from dogs and cats to horses and pigs) and breed.

    Joplin Humane Society

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  • 3 Ways to Use Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

    By Crystal Paine
    Author of The Money Saving Mom's Budget

    Leftover Thanksgiving turkey has a way of taking over your fridge. This is what people like to call "a good problem." Get some basic supplies (bread, extra potatoes, tortillas) when you do your other Thanksgiving grocery shopping, then use these three creative, delicious ways to cook with leftovers. You'll silence all groans of "Turkey again?!"

    1. Make Turkey Pot Pie
    Layer chopped leftover turkey, gravy, and veggies (such as green beans, corn, or peas) in a baking dish. Top with leftover mashed potatoes and baked at 350 degrees until heated through.

    If you don't have any leftover mashed potatoes, you can heat the leftover turkey, gravy, and veggies in a baking dish and put canned or homemade biscuits dough on top and bake according to the biscuit directions.

    2. Make Sandwiches
    Put a new twist on leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches, by making Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo, Southwest Turkey

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  • 3 Tips for Getting the Best Bang for Your Buck on Black Friday

    BlackFriday_HolidayShoppingBlackFriday_HolidayShoppingBy Crystal Paine
    Author of The Money Saving Mom's Budget

    Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and this year, retailers are readying their Black Friday sales earlier than ever. Here's how you can be sure you get the best bargains-and finish your holiday shopping without breaking the bank.

    1. Create a master list and budget. Take an hour over the next few days to jot down a master list of all the things you need and/or hope to buy on Black Friday. Then, look at your bank account to determine how much money you have to work with.

    Take your master list and scour the Black Friday ads online to see which stores have the best deals on the items you need to buy. Use the free downloadable Black Friday Shopping List to record the prices and track the sales.

    2. Prioritize your items-with your budget in mind. Once you've made a list of all the sales and items you're interested in, circle those items that are the best deals and prices. Pare down this list until all items

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  • How to Deal with Nosy Relatives at the Holiday Table


    Holiday_FamilyMeal_300Holiday_FamilyMeal_300We've all been there: right in the hot seat at the holiday dinner table, as everyone from granny to auntie grills us on our love life, finances, and child-rearing capabilities. Here's how to take a deep breath and get through it, from Social Q's: How to Survive the Quirks, Quandaries, and Quagmires of Today by Philip Galanes.

    So when are you two getting married?
    Or how about this one: Still no job?
    Or my favorite: Will we be hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet anytime soon?

    Unlike hit-and-run holiday encounters with our friends and colleagues, holiday dinners with the extended family provide a special challenge: How to answer our relatives' incredibly personal questions about things that are NONE of their *^&%$# business! Well, just as the best military strategists have a number of battle plans at the ready, so, too, will we require a number of tactics for fending off our nearest and dearest during the holidays.

    Deflection is always good. "Still single?"

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  • 10 Tips for Long Car Rides with Kids

    CarTravel_RoadTrip_Kids_300CarTravel_RoadTrip_Kids_300By Deborah Goldstein
    Road trips with teens and preteens are fairly easy. As long as they can text and snack, they're mostly self-contained. Younger children, however, don't tolerate long rides with the same enviable apathy. For little ones, you'll need some ammo. Here are 10 strategies to help you get from here to there this holiday season, relatively stress-free.

    1) Coordinate your drives with naptime. With any luck, they'll nod off. Some parents recommend driving at night, but it doesn't work for everyone. Our 18-month-old cried for two hours late one night until we made it to our destination. Suffice it to say, we no longer do nighttime drives.

    2) Research kid-friendly restaurants and activities ahead of time, ones that your kids will enjoy, aren't too far from highway exits, and will hopefully wear them out a little. For example, if weather allows, picnicking at a playground or park helps you save money on food and lets them burn off energy. If it's raining or cold,

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  • Simple Food, Big Flavor Recipe: Chipotle-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

    Don't make the same old boring mashed potatoes for your family-give them a surprising smoky flavor with a secret sauce from Simple Food, Big Flavor by Aarón Sánchez.

    Serves 6

    1 whole head garlic
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    6 large russet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
    1 cup whole milk
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    1/4 cup Garlic-Chipotle Love

    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut about 1/4 inch off the top of the head of garlic and place the head, cut side up, on the center of a square of foil. Drizzle it with the olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Wrap the head tightly in the foil and roast in the oven until the garlic is tender and caramelized, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven, unwrap, and let cool to room temperature.

    2. While the garlic is roasting, peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters. Put the potatoes into a large saucepan, cover them with cold

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  • Is the Nordic Diet Right for You?

    ScandinavianFood_HerringSalScandinavianFood_HerringSalBy Kristin Sidorov
    Diet trends claiming to be the next weight-loss phenomenon are nothing new and, usually, each is doomed from the start (Dukkan, your days are numbered). But the new Nordic Diet is proving to be more than a fad, with its holistic approach to food and healthy regional cuisine that has nutritionists and experts pushing for more research. That's because it's not just a diet; it aims to transform your diet, and some studies show that it really works.

    Much like the beloved Mediterranean Diet, the Nordic Diet focuses on a balance of traditional foods that are staples of its region, but with a cold-climate twist. Lean meats, heart-healthy fish, root vegetables, whole grains, and antioxidant-rich berries are all classic foods in Scandinavian cuisine, providing a bounty of key nutrients.

    In this region, where food comes from and how it is prepared are just as critical as the food itself. The diet is based on local, seasonal foods that are cultivated and prepared as

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  • 10 Tips for Flying with Children

    Don't Unravel When You TravelDon't Unravel When You TravelBy Deborah Goldstein
    Just the thought alone of flying with little ones can put parents on edge. While less people are expected to fly this holiday season, flights will be more crowded [insert collective groan here]. Here's how to survive your next flight with a baby, toddler, or preschooler.

    1) If you can afford it, buy an extra seat for your child. Most airlines let you hold kids under 2, saving you the expense, but your arms and lap will need the break-especially on long flights. This also means you can bring your own car seat, saving you a rental fee at your destination, and providing your child the comfort of familiarity during your entire trip.

    2) Have the correct paperwork in order. If you're flying internationally, bring your child's passport. If flying domestically, check with your airline to see what ID they require for your child. If they're under 2, they may want proof.

    3) Because you can't always buy these items at the gate, carry on twice as many

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  • Is It Cheaper to Um, Kill Your Own Turkey for Thanksgiving?

    Make the Bread, Buy the ButterVegetarians, look away. In the pioneering, do-it-yourself spirit, Jennifer Reese, author of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, does an experiment with her own birds to see if it's more cost-effective (and tasty) to raise and cook your own turkey for Thanksgiving. The results are not for the weak of heart.

    "The turkeys are gross," Mark said one morning.
    "You're just realizing that?" said Isabel.
    "They're funny," said Owen. "I like them."
    "I know you do," I said. "But I think we have to get rid of them."
    "Thank you," said Isabel.
    "No!" Owen said. "I love the turkeys."
    "They're not pets," I replied primly.
    "Yes they are. Pretty much."
    "Okay, here's the deal," I said. "If you go out and play with the turkeys for an hour this afternoon and every afternoon, we can keep them."

    And so that day, after school, Owen dutifully went outside to play with the turkeys. Fifteen minutes later, he came back in. "You can do it," he said, "but I don't want to

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  • How to Cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder

    By Kristin Sidorov
    This weekend marks the end of Daylight Saving Time, and although fall isn't officially over until Dec. 22, it signifies the beginning of a blue mood for many. While the winter doldrums aren't uncommon during those long, chilly months filled with too-short days, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a serious condition similar to clinical depression.

    For the 6 to 10 percent of people affected by SAD, the beginning of winter can mark the start of a grueling battle. Loss of energy, extreme moodiness and anxiety, loss of interest, sadness and hopelessness, and appetite changes are all symptoms that can progressively worsen as the winter months go on. Knowing the risk factors, signs, and treatments can help ease the doldrums of winter-and let you get back to enjoying life.

    Although SAD's exact cause is unknown, experts have determined that the changes in serotonin and melatonin levels brought on by the shifting seasons can cause extreme unbalance in some

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