A Healthy Dessert Spread

Secretly Healthy Desserts

This week for Fruit and Veggies–More Matters Month, we have secretly healthy desserts filled with produce that your whole family will love.

First up is a vegan take on the classic, Vegan Carrot Cake.

Vegan Carrot Cake (& Frosting)

 

You’ll never know Dark Chocolate and Avocado Mousse is filled with the healthy fat.

Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse

 

This simple Blueberry Zucchini Snack Cake is perfect for your kids’ sweet snacking.

Blueberry Zucchini Snack Cake with Lemon Buttercream

 

Make this easy Vegan Strawberry Tiramisu for a light take on the classic.

Vegan Tiramisu with Strawberries

 

Spinach Brownies with Pumpkin Frosting are perfect for your fall get-together.

Spinach Brownies with Pumpkin Frosting
Image and Recipe via I Should Be Mopping the Floor

 

Whip up this tasty Skinny Mocha Banana Crunch Ice Cream for a refreshing dessert.

Skinny Mocha Banana Crunch Ice Cream

 

These Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes will wow your family or guests.

Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes

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Beat the Flu Before It Starts

The Importance of Getting That Flu Shot

Each year, you see reminders that you should get your flu shots everywhere you go. But only about 42.1 million people in the U.S. do, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Less than half of adults under the age of 65 got the shot during the 2014 to 2015 flu season.

But the flu is still dangerous, and people can and do die from it each year. And we don’t know how serious the flu will be each year. From 1976 to 2007, the number of people who’ve died each year has ranged from 3,000 to 49,000.

And in recent years, 80 to 90% of those deaths have been in the 65-or-older population.

So while you may not have thought the flu was a danger before, make sure you get the facts and get protected this year.

What is the Flu Season?

Flu season in the United States can start as early as October and last until as late as May. The most serious period of outbreaks usually peaks in January.

The flu makes its way through the American people during this time, and a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and those around you each year.

Who Needs to Get the Flu Shot?

Everyone over 6 months old should get the flu shot, but it’s especially important for kids, pregnant women, and those over 65. The flu can be more dangerous for these people and for others at high risk.

Even if you may not be in one of these groups, you should still get the shot. While you never want to get sick, it’s important to get your shot to help your community and those most at risk around you.

Like with all vaccines, the more people who get protected, the less likely the flu will appear in your community at all. The more people who aren’t protected, the more likely it is that lots of people will get sick, even those who did get protected, because it can get stronger passing between people.

Who Should Not Get the Shot?

Different flu vaccines work for different people, so your age, current or past health, and allergies can all affect if you should get the shot. Some people shouldn’t get the shot, and some people are at risk and should talk to their doctor first.

When Should I Get the the Shot?

You should get vaccinated as early as you can, usually before or in October. It takes about 2 weeks for your body to build antibodies to the flu from the vaccines, so it’s best to get it before the flu starts to spread in your community. However, it’s better to get it early or late rather than never.

How Does the Flu Shot Work?

To make vaccines, scientists and drug makers study what strains of the flu virus happen in the lower half of the world during its flu season, June, July, and August, and use this to build flu shots for our flu season.

Depending on how well that vaccine matches the flu virus in our flu season, it can reduce the overall risk of flu by 50 to 60%.

While it helps you build your resistance to the flu, flu shots can’t actually give you the flu because the virus is dead before it’s put in the shot.

For the next flu season, shots will include 3 or 4 strains, but the nasal vaccine shouldn’t be used this year, according the CDC. Recent studies have shown it wasn’t effective in the past few flu seasons.

You need a new shot every year because your protection fades over time, and because the shot could be made up of different strains from year to year.

Get your flu shot at covered pharmacies and protect your family and community this flu season.

Cooking Smart for the Kids

Secretly Healthy Dinners

For Fruit and Veggies—More Matters Month, we have ways to hide veggies in your dinners this week.

This Secret Chicken Noodle Soup also has veggies blended in the broth.

Secret Chicken Noodle Soup

Secret Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Make this Creamy Pumpkin Spaghetti with Garlic Kale to satisfy your fall cravings.

Creamy Pumpkin Spaghetti with Garlic Kale
Image and Recipe via Pinch of Yum

 

Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chili with Sweet Potatoes is the perfect hearty meal.

Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans

 

Green Goddess Mac and Cheese mixes plenty of greens into your childhood favorite.

Green Goddess Mac and Cheese
Image and Recipe via Simply Recipes

 

This Flatbread Salad Pizza is loaded with veggies and delicious.

Flatbread Salad Pizza with Pesto, Shaved Asparagus, Mushrooms and Feta

 

Get your veggies with Creamy Butternut Squash Noodles with Bacon and Spinach.

Creamy Butternut Squash Noodles with Bacon and Spinach

 

Your kids will never know what these Hidden Veg Meatballs are hiding.

Hidden Veg Meatballs

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Healthy Hearts Together

National Cholesterol Education Month 2016

It’s National Cholesterol Education Month again! Use the resources of Million Hearts, a national effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S.

Women can make a commitment to protecting their hearts with The Heart Truth.

Pledge Your Heart

 

Subscribe to Heart Insight, the free digital magazine that has great info for heart patients and their families.

Read for Your Heart

 

New innovative cholesterol drugs can be expensive, but they’re making progress for some, via Forbes.

Progress in the Future of Cholesterol Treatment

 

A long-term review of cholesterol-lowering drugs shows just how effective they are, via CBS News.

Statins' Effectiveness

 

Test your Cholesterol IQ with this quiz and make sure you know the facts.

Test Your Heart Knowledge

 

Use this Interactive Cholesterol Guide to brush up on how to protect your heart.

Connect to Your Heart Health

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Lunch Done Right

Secretly Healthy Lunches

We snuck more fruits and veggies into your lunches this week for Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month.

First up is Cauliflower Crusted Grilled Cheese that skips the bread for veggies.

Cauliflower Crusted Grilled Cheese
Image and Recipe via Kirbie’s Cravings

 

Sneak in even more veggies on today’s salad with Vegetable Based Dressings.

Vegetable Based Dressings

 

Whip up these Hidden Veggie Crockpot Sloppy Joes for a family favorite.

Hidden Veggie Crockpot Sloppy Joes
Image and Recipe via Yummy Healthy Easy

 

Looking for the perfect lunchtime side? Satisfy your chip craving the right way.

Apple Chips
Image and Recipe via Greatist

 

These Mushroom Beef Burgers mix the veggies in for a hearty lunch.

Mushroom Beef Burgers {Gluten Free}

 

California Turkey and Bacon Lettuce Wraps with Basil-Mayo pack in the veggies.

California Turkey and Bacon Lettuce Wraps with Basil-Mayo

 

Campus Safety for All Students

National Campus Safety Awareness Month

September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month, and there are tips you can share with your new college freshman.

First up, make sure your kids understand digital safety and make smart decisions online.

Staying Safe on Technology

 

One of the most important campus safety laws in the U.S. is the Jeanne Clery Act. Learn more.

Important Campus Safety Legistlation

 

There are all kinds of handy phone apps to help students stay safe in emergencies or when going out.

Phone Apps to Keep Students Safe

 

Just like you want to know where to go in an emergency, make sure you and your freshman know the school’s sexual assault policies.

Make sure your kids know what a healthy relationship should look like in college and get helpful resources.

A Healthy Relationship

 

Friends can help keep you safe but can also drive your behavior. Learn more about the power of the peer group.

Your Peer Group and Campus Safety

 

Know your rights, file a complaint, or find a crisis service with the help of the U.S. government.

Know Your Rights & Protections

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Getting a Healthy Breakfast

Secretly Healthy Breakfasts

September is Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month, so we’re giving you recipes to help sneak more fruits and veggies into your diet all month long! First up was breakfast.

If you need a healthy go-to recipe, keep this Greek Yogurt Banana Oat Bread on hand.

Greek Yogurt Banana Oat Bread
Image and Recipe via Running with Spoons

 

If you prefer a light breakfast on the go, grab this Spinach and Berries Power Smoothie.

Berries Power Smoothie
Image and Recipe via DIY Candy

 

Whole Wheat Butternut Squash Pancakes are your kids’ new favorite fall breakfast.

Whole Wheat Butternut Squash Pancakes with Whipped Maple Butter

 

This Zucchini Bread Oatmeal is perfect for you if you hate baking.

Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
Image and Recipe via Oat & Sesame

 

Sneak in a healthy breakfast with these Maple Pumpkin Scones.

Maple Pumpkin Scones
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking

 

Invite friends over for an upscale brunch with Tomato, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Frittata.

Tomato, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Frittata
Image and Recipe via Williams-Sonoma Taste

 

Keep vegan Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies on hand for healthy starts all week.

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies
Image and Recipe via Perry’s Plate

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