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A Summer Fruit and Veggie Smorgasbord

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Before hitting the grocery store or produce stands this summer, check out what seasonal fruits and veggies you should be getting and how to pick out the best of the best.

Beets : greens should be colorful and attached Blackberries and Blueberries : dark, plump berries Broccoli : compact head and dark green Cherries : plump, vibrant color Corn : a light, tight husk means fresh Eggplant : choose firm and unblemished Nectarines : soft to the touch Peaches : choose ones without bruises or marks Plums : ripe ones feel plump, not hard Raspberries : plump and deep red Summer Squash : check for firmness Tomatoes : choose bright, firm, strong-smelling ones Watermelon : yellow on the underside if ripe Zucchini : shiny and blemish-free

Perfectly Plum

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Plums are the delicious fruit that come from the same fruit family as cherries and peaches. But plums are about more than just great taste, they are chock full of nutritional value.

Plums, and their dried version known as prunes, are very high in phytonutrients, which function as an antioxidant and provide much benefit to the body.

Eating plums helps in the production and absorption of iron in the body, thereby leading to better blood circulation leading further to the growth of healthy tissues.

Consuming plums on a regular basis will help prevent macular degeneration and other eye infections. Researchers have also found that plums contain anti-cancer agents that prevent the growth of cancerous cells and tumors.

Because plums contain blood cleansing agents that help keep the blood pure, plums can help you reduce the risk of contracting heart disease.

Plums are also high in vitamin C, meaning they help to protect the body against conditions like asthma, colon cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.


Welcome Summer! Eat Right at Your Next Picnic

Written by Lisa Jillanza

‘Tis the season for picnics, barbecues, and outdoor parties! But that doesn't mean that just because you aren't choosing all of your meals, that you have to pack on the pounds this summer. Keep these tips in mind at your next picnic:

Choose lean ground meat when making burgers. You should also try low-fat hot dogs, sausages and bratwurst and other grilled favorites.

Seafood and chicken are great grilled foods and are both still healthy picnic options.

Don't forget your greens and mix in a salad to your picnic or party menu.

Remember your veggies as they are also great on the grill and in side dishes, especially summer time veggies like squash and zucchini.

Instead of chocolate desserts, think fruity desserts instead, and take advantage of a season when fruits are plenty.

Fresh Lettuce Longer!

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Tired of buying fresh lettuce only to throw it out two days later because it has browned and wilted? Then keep these tips in mind to help keep your lettuce fresher longer:

Use air tight storage bags to store your lettuce, versus using the plastic bags that you buy your lettuce in.

Avoid pre-bagged lettuce, as it has already been preserved, and is well on its way to spoiling.

Do not store your lettuce in metal pans. This also speeds up the spoiling process and is not recommended to preserve the freshness of your lettuce.

Use the crisper in your refrigerator. The crisper actually does keep foods like lettuce and other vegetables crispier and therefore fresher.

Try using items like Tupperware's Fridgesmart that helps to preserve lettuce through the design of the container.

Easter Candy Calorie Calculator

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Easter may be just around the corner, but that Easter candy always sticks around for a few weeks and sometimes months. While it's OK to satisfy your sweet tooth use this calorie calculator to monitor your intake! From marshmallow peeps to chocolate, find out the calories of the content of your Easter basket.

4 Peeps Marshmallow Bunnies: 130 calories

1 Peeps Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg: 420 calories

5 Mars Mini Chocolate Eggs: 179 calories

1 Cadbury Solid Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny: 890 calories

1 Cadbury Crème Egg: 150 calories

12 Cadbury Chocolate Eggs: 190 calories

1 Dove Solid Chocolate Easter Bunny: 230 calories

1 Nestle's Crunch Solid Chocolate Easter Bunny: 692 calories

1 Snickers Cream Sports Egg: 140 calories

1 Reese's Peanut Butter Egg: 180 calories

1 Reese's Reester Bunny: 798 calories

1 Brachs Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Egg: 43 calories

5 Brachs Malted Easter Eggs: 180 calories

35 Jelly Belly Assorted Jelly Beans: 140 calories

1 Cadbury Caramel Egg: 190 calories

5 Peeps Marshmallow Chicks: 136 calories

1 Large Solid Chocolate Bunny (7 oz.): 1050 calories

8 Robin Eggs: 180 calories

1 Milky Way Bunny: 160 calories

12 Cadbury Mini Eggs: 190 calories

5 Mini Kit Kats: 210 calories

1 Hollow Chocolate Bunny: 270 calories

1 Tootsie Pop: 60 calories

2 Tootsie Roll Snack Bars: 100 calories

2 Small Boxes of Dots: 140 calories

Feeling a little guilty after learning how many calories are in your favorite Easter treats? Don't worry! Just use this handy guide to determine how much walking you need to do to work those calories off!

Editor's Note: Mileage is based upon eating only one serving of each of the following candies. Should you eat more than one serving (according to package) or a combination of any of the following then your mileage will need adjusted.

Jelly Beans: 1.4 miles

Peeps: 1.6 miles

Robin Eggs: 1.7 miles

Small Chocolate Bunny: 1.4 miles

Medium Hollow Bunny: 2.6 miles

Large Chocolate Bunny: 10.5 miles (!!!!!!)

Chocolate-covered Marshmallow Bunny: .6 miles

Chocolate-covered Marshmallow Egg: 1 mile

Cadbury Crème Egg: 1.7 miles

Cadbury Caramel Egg: 1.9 miles

Lindt Chocolate Carrots: 2.1 miles

Prefer real eggs over chocolate eggs? You may need to do some walking, too. One hard boiled egg requires .76 of a mile to walk it off and a half of a deviled egg takes .73 of a mile to burn!