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5 Questions to Ask at Your Farmers Market

farmers market carrots

I love starting my weekend with a trip to the farmers market. I may start the day overwhelmed by my to-do list, but everything slows down as I start to walk past the tables of vibrant produce, local honey, and artisanal breads and cheeses. Connecting with your food and those who produce it makes you pause, breathe, and appreciate the great gift of real food. You know you’re doing something better for your body and planet by going fresh and local.

However, you can’t take for granted that everything at your local farmers market is good for you and the planet. Supporting your local farmers market can provide  better quality produce and be beneficial to the environment and local economy. However, it is not a guaranty that the produce is free of pesticides, meets safety standards, or that the product is actually from a local source. If you’re not taking the opportunity to get to know your farmer you may not be getting what you bargained for. Here are some questions to ask at your next (or first) farmers market visit.

Farmers Markets in all 50 States Accept Food Stamps and EBT


Not every local farmer grows organically. Those who do so often proudly display their USDA organic label. If you don’t see the organic label, you need to ask how they spray and fertilize their crops. Some farmers use all organic methods but simply do not have the resources to obtain the organic certification. Others may use conventional methods of pest control and fertilization. If it is a fruit or vegetable on the Dirty Dozen list, make sure to choose organically grown produce.


Local and grass fed seem to go hand-in-hand but you can’t assume that is the case. Cows and chickens may still be eating grain due to cost and land availability (or even junk food!). They may also still be getting things you don’t want in your food, like antibiotics. Organic eggs may be the best protein choice at the farmers market. They can be used in a variety of ways and can be less expensive per serving than organic beef.
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Garlicky Mushroom Cavatappi Pasta Recipe: A Love Story

mushroom cavatappi pasta recipe

Do you remember the Book-It program? It’s Pizza Hut‘s program for rewarding kids for reading. I crushed Book-It. I mean, in first grade, I had piles of those free Personal Pan pizza coupons stacked up at home. About once a month, mom would take me to the neighborhood Pizza Hut to collect my prize. You were only allowed one topping. One.

Here kids, here’s a whole bag of Skittles, now let’s just eat one. Say what?


Early on I narrowed in on my choice and never once deviated. At age six — through elementary school — it was a plain mushroom pizza for me. I love those little squishy, cheesy bites of fungi! Three nights ago I ordered pizza for dinner — mushrooms only. It’s really the best option. Even my homemade pizzas are piled high with thick slices of mushrooms, and the salami, bell peppers, and basil are just there for decoration.

This, however, is not about pizza. It is a lot about how I’ve found one more place to enjoy three of my favorite things — mushrooms, cheese, carbs. Pile ‘em up, baby!
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4 Places Where Every Body Can Enjoy Swimsuit Shopping

We all know that the words “swimsuit season” are not always greeted positively. Besides the fact that some of us don’t even like swimming, over the history of the swimsuit, women have been made to feel bad about the shape and size of their bodies while wearing one. The great news is, you can wear a swimsuit no matter what size you are, and fortunately, some stores are shaping up and offering the best swimsuits to women of all sizes.

Here is where you should be shopping if you want a cute swimsuit with none of the unnecessary shaming that has come along with it.

how to get bikini body


ModCloth has long been known for their encouragement of women being themselves, owning their look, and feeling good about themselves and each other. The website has everything from adorable shoes to wedding dresses — naturally, swimsuits are here, too! The company even recently made waves with their awesome commitment to the Anti-Photoshop Pledge. The models in their ads, swimsuit or otherwise, will not be photoshopped!

Target’s Ava & Viv

Target has made everyone very happy with the introduction of its new “plus-size” house brand. Ava & Viv arrived in February and is a beautiful line of clothing that is trendy, fashionable, and gorgeous! Ava & Viv’s swimsuits are too cute to pass up! Check them out and you’ll be running to the beach.
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14 Patio Perfect Memorial Day Recipes Your BBQ Can’t Live Without

It’s officially the unofficial start to summer that we’ve all been craving! You know, that time of year when people start getting extra friendly with a neighbor or pal with a swimming pool. Memorial Day is here and, like most Americans, you probably have plans to spend the sunny day-off outside, on a deck, by the water, with good food, drink, and better friends.

Remember, these aren’t the cookouts of your youth; don’t allow your buddies to grill packaged weenies and frozen burger patties. This is a new era; your golden age of Memorial Day cookouts. We’ve compiled the very best of our cookout-inspired recipes — simple, delicious summer foods that may even be good for you (shhh!)

sam adams summertime lemonade

Sam Adams Summertime Slush

The flavor combination in this beer cocktail tastes exactly like summer is supposed to taste — light, sweet, refreshing, and maybe just a little bit boozy! We made our own fresh-squeezed lemonade, slushed it up in the blender, and topped it off with ice cold Sam Adams Summer Ale.

bayou kabobs

Bayou Kabobs

Add color, spice, and a little flare to your cookout spread with this Cajun-inspired recipe. We layered Andouille sausage with shrimp, peppers, and sausage for something like a shrimp boil on a stick! Serve with grilled corn and potatoes to really pull the theme together.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Roasted Tomatillo and Pineapple Salsa

Are you tired of bland, store-bought salsa, but intimidated about making your own homemade chip-dip? This roasted tomatillo and pineapple salsa is sweet and refreshing, with a perfect amount of spicy bite. It’s full of complex flavor notes and a breeze to make. The tomatillo is tangy, the pineapple saccharine, and salsa staples like cilantro, lime juice, garlic, onion, and salt strike a harmonious balance. Throw this salsa down with some blue corn tortilla chips and watch your guests lick the bowl clean.

frozen talenti sangria

Talenti Frozen Sangria 

With great entertaining comes great responsibility, so make sure your Memorial Day guests have a tasty bev to wash down your delicious food. The only thing better than a cool summer cocktail is a frozen summer cocktail. The Talenti Sorbetto in this recipe is brilliant in color and light in calories. All you need is your favorite bottle of cheap cab sauv, a little lime juice, mixed berries, and a blender. With only 222 calories per 8 oz serving, it’s the perfect summer cocktail.
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10 A-List Women Who Love Their Bodies Without Your Permission

christina hendricks

It is incredibly refreshing to have public figures, celebrities, and actresses who speak out against the body obsession that runs rampant in Hollywood and throughout our country. In this day and age in particular, it is high time we have women to look up to who take care for themselves, but also defy the traditional look of a Hollywood starlet.

Who do we love? Women who just don’t care how they are perceived. Comfortable in their own skin. And they don’t need your permission or approval to do so. Seriously, these are our heroes.


The voluptuous star of Mad Men, which wrapped last night in a blaze of glory, has been praised for years about her very true-to-form hourglass figure. What we know and love about Hendricks is that she is happy, comfortable, and strong in her shape.

“Back when I was modeling, the first time I went to Italy, I was having cappuccinos every day, and I gained 15 pounds. And I felt gorgeous! I would take my clothes off in front of the mirror and be like, ‘Oh, I look like a woman.’ And I felt beautiful, and I never tried to lose it, because I loved it.”



The Australian funny lady is one of the stars of this summer’s box office smash Pitch Perfect 2. Wilson is hilarious, talented, and an extremely important asset to the body image standards conversation. Wilson is not a size 0, and plays a character called “Fat Amy,” so clearly her size is a talking point. With grace and beauty, however, Wilson stands up to the discrimination.

“I don’t really care what I look like that much, and I think women out there should just be happy with the way they look. They shouldn’t really try to conform to any kind of stereotype. Just be happy and hopefully healthy.”
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