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Nicci Micco's Blog (Page 3)

September 28, 2011 - 11:01am

Since most of us think of Listeria monocytogenes as something that lurks in cold cuts, unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses and sickens mostly pregnant women, you may be puzzled that the recent listeria outbreak originated with cantaloupe. (Jensen Farms’s voluntary recall of its Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes has been linked to 72 illnesses, including up to 16 deaths, making it the most deadly listeria outbreak in a decade.)

The truth is, listeria can be found in all sorts of foods, including other fruits and vegetables. And while listerosis primarily affects older adults—the average age of this most recent outbreak is 78—and persons with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and newborns, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in rare cases it can affect...

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September 21, 2011 - 11:10am

I never leave home without snacks in my bag. If an appetite emergency strikes, I’m ready. Of course, just because I have a snack doesn’t mean I need to eat it. Munching when you’re not really hungry can rack up lots of extra calories. (Must read: 10 ways to snack smarter.) But judicious use of the right snacks can boost your calorie burn (every time you eat, your metabolic rate increases slightly) and even help you blast fat. Here are three portable snack options packed with fat-burning ingredients:

Chile-spiced nuts. In one Harvard study, women who ate nuts two or more times a week gained less weight than women who rarely noshed on them. Although nuts are high in calories, researchers think that...

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September 16, 2011 - 3:00pm

How much do you really know about what’s in your food? As an editor for EatingWell Magazine, I know quite a bit, which at times can be unsettling. What do I mean? Well, for example, when I first starting reading about bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to make certain plastics, including some used to store food and drinks, I was a little freaked. Science suggests that BPA may disrupt hormones and possibly lead to reproductive problems.

As it turns out, there’s no need to panic. There are simple things you can do to protect yourself against BPA and other toxins, such as pesticides and dioxins, as writer Melinda...

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August 24, 2011 - 9:35am

Until my older son, Jules, neared his second birthday, I believed that striving and conniving ways to trick kids into eating vegetables and other healthy foods was something only other moms had to do. My little boy loved all things from the garden, prepared any way. He scarfed down purees of beets and parsnips as a wee babe, then graduated to downing adult-size servings of cooked spinach and stealing tomatoes from our garden. (Seriously. With the dog.)

Then, he stopped eating the spinach. He quit swiping the tomatoes. And for a while, the only vegetables that seemed to go down were ones pureed and hidden in...

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August 23, 2011 - 11:44am

Moving toward a “more meatless” diet is all the rage—just look to former President Bill Clinton, who’s been speaking recently about the vegan diet he adopted to help his heart health. I’m all over moving toward eating less meat too. Why? First, I love vegetables, whole grains and beans (for real) and feel great when I’m packing my diet with these plant-based foods. Also, as Rachael Moeller Gorman wrote in a recent issue of EatingWell Magazine, vegetarian diets often have big benefits for the environment and your health.

That said, meat isn’t evil: it’s a great source of protein and other nutrients,...

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