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  • 3 Healthy Corn Recipes

    By Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at

    I have always been proud of myself for being a chef who does not use a lot of gadgets. Well, I found out this past week that some gadgets do make life a little easier. Being from a farm family that raises a lot of corn, its place on the table is nightly during the summer season. But one of my twins, Josh, has braces and is not able to eat it off the cob. At 13, he insists on stripping the kernels off the cob with a knife--by himself. Luckily no trips to the ER--yet!

    For some reason after working on loads of corn recipes, I remembered seeing a tool to take off the kernels. I did not have to look too far--just to my gadget drawer, which I rarely open. My sister-in-law gave me a gift set that included corn holders--and another tool that had corn on the handle. It turns out it was a corn stripper (also known as a kernel cutter). It may be the best tool you can have in your kitchen for the summer harvest.

    Now I don't have Read More »from 3 Healthy Corn Recipes
  • 11 Must-Read Tips for Surviving Baby's First Few Weeks


    You've read the books, talked to your friends and planned as much as possible, but the first few weeks after your little one arrives can be a whirlwind. We asked BabyFit moms to share their best tips for getting through their babies' early days and collected their advice into one helpful article.

    Sleep and Bedtime

    • Take advantage of all of the sleeping that newborns do in those first couple weeks. Enjoy, and take a LOT of pictures!

    • I second the "sleep when the baby sleeps" comment. I didn't do it enough with my first, and now that I have an older child at home, I'm longing for those midday naps!

    • Rest when the baby sleeps. Don't worry about trying to "sleep when the baby sleeps." Instead, just lie down, take deep breaths and clear your thoughts. Don't think about all the chores you could be doing. Don't think that it's your only chance to sleep. Just clear your mind and you will be refreshed when the baby wakes up.

    • When you are woken
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  • How to Get Your Kids to Drink Water

    By Hillary Copsey, for SparkPeople

    Water is the best thing you can give your kids to drink during the hot summer days. But how do you get them to drink it? How do you get them to chug down plain old water at the pool when they're surrounded by other kids guzzling down sugary juice boxes? How do you get your hard-playing child to drink water instead of sugar-laden sports drinks? How do you expect them to get a bottle of water at the baseball game instead of a cold, fizzy soda?

    The key is to always make water the first-and often, only-option.

    My boys get juice in the morning with breakfast and milk with dinner. But at lunch and throughout the day, water is what they drink. Juice boxes, sports drinks and soda are options only on special occasions: when friends come over, sometimes when we're out or as a treat they've earned.

    Part of the reason we're able to do this is because our boys are young--2 and 4--and they don't know any different. This is just life for our family. It's a habit

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  • The 10 Commandments of Healthy Eating for Parents

    By Nicole Nichols, for SparkPeople

    How do you get your kids to eat healthy? It's as simple as counting to 10!

    1. Thou shalt not force, bribe or coerce thy child to eat.

    2. Thou shalt set a good example by eating at least five fruits and vegetables, three whole grain products, and three dairy servings per day thyself.

    3. Thou shalt make mealtimes pleasant.

    4. Thou shalt encourage thy child to help in meal planning, preparation, and cleanup.

    5. Thou shalt back off when mealtime becomes a power struggle.

    6. Thou shalt accept food "binges" as phases that will eventually pass.

    7. Thou shalt accept the fact that thy child is an individual and thus will dislike certain foods (and there may be many).

    8. Thou shalt not give up on introducing thy child to new foods. Thou shalt realize it sometimes takes 10 tries to get a child to accept a food.

    9. Thou shalt use this division of responsibility for eating: As the parent, thou art responsible for

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  • Summer Skin Savers

    By Leanne Beattie, for SparkPeople

    The sunny days of summer are out in full force! But it's hard to enjoy the season's skimpier fashions if your skin isn't up to par. Ingrown hairs, body acne, and sunburn can take the fun out of the season. Get ready for the shortest shorts and the tiniest tanks with this guide to summer skin care.

    Body Acne
    Acne can make even the most confident people feel self-conscious-especially when it occurs on the body. "Backne" (acne on the back) is common among men and women, but you can get pimples almost anywhere on the body if your pores become clogged and infected.

    • What causes it? Hot, humid weather often prompts the production of excess oil, resulting in acne on the back and chest, which can take longer to heal than facial pimples.
    • What prevents it? Wear loose clothing made with moisture-wicking fabric to help release trapped moisture before it can contribute to the problem. Sweating in the summer sun can clog pores faster
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  • Yoga Stretches for the Feet and Ankles

    By Stepfanie Romine, Certified Yoga Teacher, for SparkPeople

    In January of last year, I started teaching a new yoga class. Many of my students are athletes, particularly runners and cyclists. My boyfriend, who co-founded a local competitive cycling team, is also a yoga teacher, and the two of us firmly believe that athletes should integrate yoga into their fitness routine. When I teach yoga classes for runners, I like to focus on the hips and hamstrings, which tend to be tight for runners. We also work on building strength. For cyclists, who spend a great deal of time leaning over the handlebars, we also focus on opening the chest and shoulders, undoing all those hours of being hunched over. Both groups of athletes rely on their feet and ankles to perform, but these areas of the body are often overlooked when it comes to stretching. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite stretches for the feet and ankles. Add these to your post-workout repertoire. These stretches can feel

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  • Food Showdown: Which Chinese Dish is Less Fortunate for Your Waistline?

    By Nicole Nichols, for SparkPeople

    P.F. Chang's is a Chinese bistro that offers an eclectic variety of options. There are some good points to Chinese cuisine in general--it's usually stir-fried, it contains some healthy veggies, and portions tend to be smaller (as long as you're not frequenting a buffet). Here are two popular Chinese dishes that P.F. Chang's has created that definitely have appeal.

    The Ginger Chicken & Broccoli is served ''Cantonese-style'' on a bed of freshly steamed broccoli and marinated in a sweet and spicy ginger sauce. From the vegetarian menu, Vegetarian Ma Po Tofu is a Szechuan dish of crispy silken tofu, also with broccoli. Many times vegetarian meals are lower in calories and fat than meat dishes, but in this case is "crispy" (fried) tofu still lower in calories and fat than chicken?

    Click here for the winner!

    Related links:

    6 Healthy Chinese Recipes

    20 Better than Takeout Recipes

    The Best and Worst Takeout Foods

    SparkPeople Fitness Expert Nicole Nichols

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  • Smarter Sips: Try These Low-Cal Beverages for Summer

    By Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at

    These days you're more likely to buy a powdered mix, gel, or bottle of flavored tea or lemonade, but these classic drinks are easy to make and a great way to stay hydrated in the summer months.

    And though commercial versions can be loaded with sugar and other sweeteners, these drinks can be quite low in calories.

    Let's compare some common summer drinks:

    Beverage Calories Sugar (teaspoons)
    Sweet tea from fast food restaurant (32 ounces) 230 15 (more than 1/4 cup!)
    Bottled flavored green tea (20 ounces) 175 10
    Lemonade made from mix (8 ounces) 131 8
    Homemade lemonade (juice of 1 lemon, 8 ounces water, 1 teaspoon sugar) 28 1
    Homemade "sweet" tea (1 black tea bag, 8 ounces water, 1 teaspoon
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  • Fajitas the Healthy Way!

    By Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at

    Fajitas are one of those foods that you hear and smell before you see, especially when you order them at a restaurant. The onions and peppers sizzle amongst strips of meat, their intoxicating smells travel through the restaurant, and finally a skillet overflowing with food is presented to you, along with a platter of beans, rice, a stack of flour tortillas and all the trimmings.

    Fajitas come from the Spanish word "faja," which means sash, skirt--or girdle. It referred to the type of meat originally used in the dish, skirt steak. When most of us eat fajitas as served, we'll likely need a girdle to get into our pants!

    The fajita platter at a popular fast-casual chain has 850 calories, 36 grams of fat, and 2,440 milligrams of sodium (more than a day's worth!). Wow.

    At its most basic, a fajita is grilled meat wrapped in a tortilla. The vegetables are a welcome addition, but most restaurants douse them in oil and salt.

    As I

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  • 3 Super-Duper New Turkey Burgers

    By Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at

    Ladies and gentleman start your grills! Grilling is an excellent way to cook lean meats and add a lot of flavor without a lot of fat.

    Burgers are the go-to meat for most of us, but to keep your meal healthy, reach for extra lean ground turkey. Turkey burgers are lean enough to grace the grill every night of the week, but their leanness also makes them a little bland on their own. Let's take a closer look at turkey, and talk about ways to keep this bird burger juicy, healthy, and delicious!

    What to buy?
    You can tell by looking at ground turkey how lean it is. Darker pink meat contains more dark meat. It will have more fat than a product that is lighter in color. Ground turkey can range in fat and calories quite drastically. Choose extra lean ground turkey for an almost fat-free protein. Let's compare:

    3 ounces raw ground turkey* Calories Total fat (grams)
    Ground turkey
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