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Meghan Rodgers

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Cranberry, orange, almond smoothie

You may think of cranberries as a fruit option only between Thanksgiving and Christmas when popular dishes like cranberry sauce and cranberry baked goods prevail. But there are plenty of reasons to eat the fresh, ruby red fruit all year long. Cranberries have long been known to help reduce the likelihood of urinary tract infections. They also contain important vitamins such as C, E, K, manganese, fiber, and loads of antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to limit the damage caused by free radicals in your body, and help reduce signs of aging as well as helping to fight cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Cranberries may also reduce bad cholesterol, help fight gum disease, and boost your immune system. Get the picture yet? Eat more cranberries! You can add fresh or dried cranberries to any number of salads, salsas, smoothies, or dishes, but eating them fresh delivers the most health benefits. This…

16 US States with outrageous laws about alcohol

Too much alcohol can make people do crazy things. It can also inspire governments to set crazy laws. For as long as there has been an America, Americans have been known to imbibe, and for just as long, U.S. lawmakers have been creating strange laws to regulate it (like say, the Eighteen Amendment). While some states recently got around to repealing their ridiculous laws, there are still plenty of eyebrow-raising alcohol laws in existence in the country today. Here are a few of our favorites. Alaska You can’t get drunk in Alaska. If you think the point of going to a bar is to get drunk, think again. It’s illegal to get drunk and be visibly intoxicated in a bar in our northernmost state. Oh, and also, up until recently it was illegal to give alcohol to a moose. Arkansas Underage drinkers face homework assignments. Arkansas has the same legal…

Vegan-friendly foods you can order at Panera

It can be hard eating out when you’re on a vegan diet. Restaurants sneak in all sorts of extras you would never know about unless you poured through online ingredients lists for every restaurant. But who really has time for that? Whether you went vegan because you love animals or you just prefer to eat a cleaner diet, we found some plant-based, vegan-friendly food offerings from Panera are 100% safe, along with some offerings you should surprisingly shy away from. Also see, 9 vegan-friendly foods you can order at Chick-fil-A. https://www.instagram.com/p/BcqFMdFny2h/ Breads The Farmstyle XL, Country Rustic, Artisan Ciabatta, Sea Salt Focaccia, French Baguette (which is often offered as a side), and Sourdough are all suitable vegan bread choices. Steer clear of the white and honey wheat breads. They sound innocent enough, but Panera sneaks butter, eggs and milk into these loaves. https://www.instagram.com/p/BmLeI40gupT/ Pastries Unfortunately, not a single pastry at Panera…

Costco is selling giant 6.6 pound buckets of Nutella

If you’re the kind of person who can’t start a day without Nutella, the company has some great news for you. Get your spoons ready because your neighborhood Costco is starting to sell 6.6-pound buckets of Ferrero’s Nutella. Each bucket contains the equivalent of about eight regular 13-ounce jars of the cult-favorite hazelnut spread. The big bucket offers a better deal than stocking up at discount stores including Walmart, where one jar is currently listed at $3.58. At this price, buying eight jars would run you $28.64, meaning you’d save a total of $6.65. If you follow the suggested serving size, you’re getting 81 servings. That’s enough to last even the most Nutella-obsessed at least a little while. It’s also great if you’re in to experimenting with Nutella stuffed goodies in the kitchen, or if you have a whole family of Nutella lovers that wolf the stuff down. The ginormous…

Ditch the bacon and booze to reduce your risk of cancer, study says

You already know that frequent bacon, greasy cheeseburgers and booze are the fast track to packing on the pounds, but unfortunately, that’s not the only risk. If you live by the diet plan of “everything in moderation,” you may want to reconsider. A new study shows that consuming these items, even occasionally, can increase your risk of cancer. According to new findings from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), ditching booze and bacon entirely could reduce your risk of cancer up to 40 percent. The WCRF research surveyed 51 million people and focused more on making specific dietary recommendations than ever before, according to the Evening Standard. Researchers now urge people to limit consumption of soft drinks, processed foods — like bacon — and reduce drinking, while eating red meat only in moderation. Researchers also recommended staying away from sugar and ditching fast food entirely. As more countries adopt “Western”…

10 easy ways to start a healthier lifestyle

New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap — for a good reason. Does anyone actually find those things useful? Don’t waste your time setting big resolutions that you’ll dump before the end of the month. Instead, set a few small intentions that will make this year your healthiest ever, guaranteed. Here are 10 easy ways to get started on a healthier lifestyle. Cook at home more It’s true. Weight loss begins in the kitchen. As a rule of thumb, getting in shape amounts to about 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. That means even if you workout religiously, you still can’t sneak away to the corner cantina for daily overstuffed burritos and expect to shed pounds. Homemade meals will always be your best bet because you’re more aware of what you’re eating — and you can control it. You can ensure you’re getting the protein, fiber, and other nutrients…

This is the difference between evaporated milk and condensed milk

Sometimes two foods are so similar we mistake them for one another — yams and sweet potatoes, baking powder and baking soda, and cilantro and parsley, to name a few. They’re all different foods that could never be used interchangeably. The other day I ran into another example as I was baking a pie that required condensed milk, but in a hurry, I had purchased evaporated milk. Yikes! I wondered if I had to go back to the store, or could I substitute one for the other? They both contain a shelf-stable concentrated canned milk substance, but in my research, I learned that there are clear differences. Let’s explore. Condensed milk Condensed milk is often referred to as sweetened condensed milk, and the name gives a hint at what makes it different. This shelf-stable milk concentrate has had about 60 percent of its water removed and loads of sugar added…

These were the most searched recipes of 2018

When we want a recipe we may ask a family member or consult a cookbook, but more often than not, we just ask Google. Google just revealed what we were collectively searching for in 2018, and it seems last year was a year of classic comfort foods. Only one food on this list seems to be a little strange, but regardless, we support your efforts! See which recipe you think doesn’t belong: 1. Pecan Pie This classic pie came out on top, thanks to Southerners and their deep love of the dish on Thanksgiving. Many people just wouldn’t consider the holidays complete without a big slice of this dynamite dessert. 2. Hummingbird Food No, this isn’t some name of some cutsy Pinterest recipe. People were literally searching for foods they could make to attract hummingbirds. Aside from certain native flowers, and nectar feeders, the Audubon Society recommends hanging a few…

10 foods to avoid pre-workout

There’s nothing worse than hitting the gym on an empty stomach. That is, except maybe when you’ve jumped into downward dog or hit mile three on the treadmill and realized your pre-workout snack was a horrible choice. But you don’t have to workout on an empty stomach — you just have to snack smart. Eating the wrong foods pre-workout can cause a variety of unpleasant side effects from gas to bloating to diarrhea. So the next time you want to munch on something before getting your sweat on, remember to keep things simple. Grab a small amount of protein and some easy-to-digest carbs to help power your workout. A banana and peanut butter or a whole fruit smoothie do the trick nicely. But whatever you do, be sure to save these 10 foods until after your workout. 1. Alcohol You’re already sweating and losing water from your workout, booze will…

Tequila could help you lose weight, study claims

If you want to lose weight, any doctors or nutritionist will tell you to omit the alcohol from your diet, but a surprising study actually shows a link between drinking tequila and weight loss. This is huge news for anyone looking to shed some pounds in the New Year without totally suppressing their social life. According to the American Chemical Society, the effects of tequila on blood glucose levels and found that the sugars naturally occurring in the agave plant — the plant that gives us tequila —  can actually help lower blood sugar. These sugars — called agavins (not to be confused with agave syrup) — are not digestible and can act as dietary fiber, so they will not raise your blood sugar. According to Dr. Mercedes G. Lopez, agavins are the best sugars to support healthy growth of microbes in the mouth and intestines. The study looked at…