• Fruits and veggies are better for you than you thinkFruits and veggies are better for you than you thinkby Jenni Grover, MS RD LDN, Mother Nature Network

    Fiber helps feed beneficial gut bacteria. It speeds up digestion. It can change how other nutrients and chemicals are absorbed by the body. And some types of fiber absorb water in the digestive tract and help avoid constipation.

    In fact, eating enough fiber is absolutely crucial to maintaining a healthy digestive system. And maintaining a healthy digestive system is central to overall well-being.

    The average healthy male under the age of 50 is supposed to eat as much as 38 grams of fiber a day - the equivalent of 5 full portions of kidney beans - and for women, the figure is 25 grams.

    But there's more to think about than just how much fiber you are getting, namely how many different types. Because the term "dietary fiber" covers a wide range of different plant-based substances that your body needs to function healthily, I recommend to my clients that they eat a broad mix of different high fiber foods.

    Incorporating the following

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  • Michael BlannYou can be a whiz at sautéing or a master on the grill, but when it comes down to the aesthetics of your cooking - and, let's face it, we usually judge the book by its cover when it comes to our food - your skills will only be as good as your chef's knife. The chef's knife is used about 70 percent of the time, above all of other knives, according to chef Philip Burgess, lead culinary instructor at The International Culinary Center, and it is used to prep your ingredients in the chicest way possible. Quality, brand, and cost all factor into deciding which is the best chef's knife to buy, so it can get to be a pretty confusing process. With the help of chef Burgess and other culinary experts, we've outlined some guidelines that will help you become a pro with your chef's knife.

    Related: Decorate a Cake Like a Pro

    Stainless Above All Else

    Half the time, when people buy knives, they are often unaware that different types of blades are made from different materials and thus require

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  • Stranded for the holiday Stranded for the holiday It's tough moving away from home, usually for the first time, to attend college. To make matters worse, many students live on a shoestring budget. For some students, money is so tight that they can't even afford a plane or train ticket to travel home for the holidays, and not being able to enjoy the company of loved ones can turn what's normally the most joyful time of the year into a total downer. If you're a student in this situation, it's understandable that you might feel a little blue. But let's admit it: some students attend faraway colleges specifically to get away from their crazy families. If you're one of those people, you might very well be looking forward to spending your holiday alone on campus.

    RELATED: 60 Best Colleges for Food in America for 2013

    Either way, with classes on break for the holidays and campus virtually deserted, you wonder how you're going to while away the hours until school starts again. You might think to yourself, "Will I be forced to spend the

    Read More »from 5 Tips for Students Stranded at School Over the Holidays
  • Carrot Top CatCarrot Top CatWhen Halloween rolls around, the streets will be swarmed with pint-sized goblins, witches, and vampires. Across the country, little ones will dress up and knock on doors to receive their candy, and parents will snap photos with each new costumed friend that arrives. Those who have four-legged children don't have to miss out on the fun this spooky season: your little friend can get in on the fun, too!

    RELATED: 5 Food Stations for a Cat-Themed Party

    Deciding what to dress your loyal companion up as can be a little challenging. While you know they would look adorable in a frilly tutu or dressed as a little witch, most likely those frilly costumes will last a grand total of 10 minutes on their little fluffy bodies. You want to be sure that your pet is comfortable while they are looking cute.

    Keep your pet warm and adorable with a fun food-themed costume. Most of the ones available out there are simple and easy to get on. Your furry friend will look dashing as a sizzling piece of bacon

    Read More »from Dress Up Your Pet: 5 Food-Themed Pet Costumes for Halloween
  • Whether you're looking to up the ante on your a.m. joe or could use a new kitchen staple to change things up at your next dinner party, these fresh finds are essential intel for any coffee lover. By Ricky Smith, REDBOOK.

    More from REDBOOK:

    Read More »from In Honor of National Coffee Day, 12 Ridiculous Coffee Trends We Not-So-Secretly Love
  • Take a look at some of these beautiful wedding cakes and toppers.Take a look at some of these beautiful wedding cakes and toppers.Traditional wedding cakes frosted in white are still beautiful options for any couple. But as we progress in wedding trends, we've found that wedding cakes and wedding cake toppers are getting more personal. Both serve as extension of the couple, an edible representation of who they are, whether that is playful or romantic, heterosexual or same-sex.

    RELATED: 21 Jaw-Dropping Wedding Cakes

    Everyone deserves a beautiful wedding cake on their wedding day. And with 13 states (and hopefully many more soon) finally legalizing gay marriages, same-sex couples have a little bit more to celebrate on their big days.

    RELATED: 15 Knockout Wedding Cakes from Around the World

    While rainbows are still a popular theme, we found that cakes and cake toppers for same-sex couples are trending more toward sleek, artistic, and heartfelt styles that describe who they are as a couple. From the overly glamorous to the subtly sweet, we found a ton of beautiful cakes (and a few toppers) from real couples who

    Read More »from 6 Fabulous Wedding Cakes and Cake Toppers
  • Try these healthy snacks and tips for your next game day.Try these healthy snacks and tips for your next game day.What is your favorite part about watching football? Well, for some of us, it's the actual game, but for many it's the food and snacks. But with game day now a weekly event, junk food has become a weekly offense. So healthy lifestyle expert Kimberly Daly has compiled a list to keep us on track for eating right during the big game - and that doesn't mean you still can't indulge in a few cheesy fries.

    RELATED: 11 Essential Tailgating Tools From Your Kitchen

    Food Commandments for Football Season:

    Avoid salty and sugary snacks:

    There's a reason why it's impossible to have just one potato chip. Packaged, processed snacks are engineered to be irresistible, so it's best not to test your self-control by having them to begin with. Make your own munchies ahead of time from whole ingredients and put out fresh, ready-to-eat options like homemade hummus and vegetables, or plain non-GMO popcorn sprinkled with chipotle seasoning.

    Plan for the splurge:
    If you're heading to a football watching

    Read More »from 7 Healthy Football Season Snack Tips
  • Hip Hop Ice CubesHip Hop Ice CubesAs the icicles melt away outside, our drinks are looking a bit forlorn - the days of spiced cocktails, hot chocolate, and warming drinks are coming to an end as we look forward to the ice-cold drinks of spring and summer. And the best way to jazz up your iced drinks, whether a mocktail or cocktail, is with a fun shaped ice cube.

    RELATED: 25 Best Craft Breweries in America

    What we're loving are the quirky, cool, and often hilarious ice cube trays that keep us feeling young and fresh. More often than not, you'll find an ice cube tray to meet every personality. Food lover? Try a fish-bone ice cube. Music lover? Freeze an hip-hop-homage ice cube (dollar signs and all).

    RELATED: America's Best Coffee Shops

    Star Wars junkie? A whiskey sphere that replicates the Death Star. Pick your poison, there's an ice cube for all. And while we're sure we'd love a Jaws-inspired shark fin looming in our vodka cranberries, these ice cubes are just as much for kids' delight as well. After all, why eat

    Read More »from 5 Awesome Ice Cube Trays to Make Your Drinks Even Cooler
  • Somethings you just don't need. Somethings you just don't need. Sharp knives, pots and pans, wooden spoons and whisks are all of paramount importance in the kitchen, but what about the Stovetop Potato Baker or the endless variations on cake, cupcake and cookie molds? A fairy cake mold is certainly cute for a two-year-old's birthday, but do we really need new shapes each year for every possible occasion?

    RELATED: 17 Ridiculous Kitchen Gadgets That You Don't Need

    A marriage between the age of invention and the age of consumption has sent inventors of all stripes on a binge, churning out product after product meant for singular tasks a home cook might need once, twice or, most likely, never. The craze for useless kitchen appliances probably started with the electric can opener, one of which my grandmother has insisted on keeping for about 60 years and attempting to open the dog food with it. She always resorts to the handheld version, but somehow that electric can opener has held a prized place next to her utensil jar.

    With the invention of a

    Read More »from 6 Over-the-Top Kitchen Appliances
  • America's Best French FriesAmerica's Best French FriesEven though their name sounds very international, french fries are about as American as any food can be - they're deep-fried, they're the quintessential vehicle for ketchup (America's favorite condiment, hands down), and they're made from one of the country's most bountiful crops, potatoes. However, while french fries are so popular in the U.S. that they can be found on most menus, those who know fries know that the standard, mediocre orders stand worlds apart from the outstanding examples.

    RELATED: America's 15 Best French Fries

    So what makes a perfect fry? There's the crunchiness element for sure - that crisp exterior texture that holds up against the impending threat of sogginess. Then, the soft, fluffy interior, filled with potato that's cooked through but not dried out or raw-tasting. The color also comes into play - the best fries have that undeniable golden-brown hue. When all of these elements come together, they create the perfect fry that needs no condiments.

    RELATED: The

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