Tips for Healthy Snacking

Your little ones love sugary cookies, while you just can’t resist a savory snack every now and then. If you’re looking for healthier snacks for the whole family that still tasty and satisfying, these tips from the NIH can help you find them.

  • Create healthier versions of your favorite snacks. Instead of your usual cheese and crackers, substitute low-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers. Instead of buttery, salty movie theater popcorn, make some fat-free or low-fat popcorn.
  • Make healthier dessert choices. Instead of your usual homemade milkshake, blend a banana, ice and low-fat chocolate milk for a chocolate smoothie that’s still delicious.
  • Choose smarter condiments. Sauces and other toppings can add fat and empty calories to an otherwise healthy snack. Instead of cheese, choose salsa, and instead of regular ranch dressing opt for a fat-free variety.

For more healthy snacking tips, visit the NIH website.

Use This Calculator to Find Your Recommended Fruit and Vegetable Intake

How many fruits and vegetables should you eat each day? It’s a common question, but many people don’t realize that there is no right answer. The recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake varies from person to person, and it depends on factors like age, gender and physical activity level. This simple online calculator from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help you find yours.

Enter some simple info into the calculator, and it will estimate how many servings of fruits and vegetables you should be eating each day. It will also suggest staying active by undertaking a certain amount of exercise each day.

Once the calculator determines your recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake, it explains the best ways to meet those goals. For example, one small apple counts as one cup of fruit, and only 6 baby carrots count as 1/2 cup of vegetables. If the calculator recommends that you eat 2 cups of fruit per day, you can easily meet that goal before lunchtime!

How Many Fruits and Vegetables Do You Need? [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]

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Get More Active With These Tips from

Getting enough physical activity may seem like a chore, but it becomes much less daunting when you build it into your every day routine.

These fun tips from will show you how to meet the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity every day, without making fitness feel like hard work!

  • Incorporate physical activity into something you already do. If you take the bus to work, make it a goal to walk to the bus stop every morning. Or, instead of using a riding lawn mower, resolve to use a push mower instead.
  • Replace your afternoon coffee break with an outdoor walk. It has the same stimulating effects as caffeine, and it helps to burn calories.
  • Include your family or friends. Some people need encouragement from others to stick to a workout schedule, and it makes working out a lot more fun.

Be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any fitness plan!

For more tips for staying active, visit

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Simple Ways to Get More Active

Make a resolution to get more exercise this year? Not sure where to start? A fitness plan can help you build frequent exercise into your regular schedule and help you become more physically fit over time. Here are three simple weekly plans from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Moderate Intensity
This weekly workout plan combines 5 days of brisk 30-minute walks with 2 days of weight training. The whole thing equals 150 minutes of cardio, and it takes only 30 minutes out of your day.

Vigorous Intensity
If you prefer short, intense workouts, this plan recommends a 25-minute jog for just 75 minutes each week. These 3 weekly jogs combined with 2 days of weight training equal a full week of workouts.

Alternate Intensities
This plan recommends working out every day, but some workouts are just 15 minutes long. Alternating 30-minute walks, 15-minute jogs and simple weight training workouts will help you get into great shape.

For more workout tips and tricks for meeting your fitness goals, use the tools on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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Fascinating Websites for Foodies

For devoted foodies, enjoying food is about much more than just eating. Cooking, mixing drinks, baking, and learning about the origins of every ingredient are all important aspects for getting most out of every dish, and these informative websites are devoted to the culture of food.

Have you ever wanted to learn to make your own vanilla extract? Or to find the best culinary creations available at your local gas station? What about how to tell if your turkey is done? Chow is an elaborate website devoted to all of your most pressing foodie questions and creative recipes that you've never thought to try, from the perfect Brandy Alexander cocktail to halibut puttanesca. It also features a discussion board where you can connect with other foodies to talk about cooking techniques, restaurants, and other culinary concerns.
This website is a cheese-lover's paradise, full of every type of cheese imaginable and the various ways to cook with them. Browse the site by texture, milk, country, or type, and even search vegetarian cheeses as alternatives to contemporary favorites. even includes serving and storage advice, cutting tips, and the perfect wine pairings for any cheese you choose.

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Learn Something New Right from Your iPad with These Apps

If you want to learn a new skill or become more educated about a certain subject, you don’t have to go out and take a class. These informative, visually stimulating apps provide hours of learning and entertainment right from the convenience and mobility of your iPad.

iTunes U
The iTunes U app gives you access to courses from schools and universities like Yale, MIT and Oxford, as well as the largest collection of free education content in the world. All of the courses are free, and they cover a wide range of subjects from zoology to physics.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a learning app for people of all ages, on subjects like math, science, economics, and humanities. This app is ideal for those studying for the SAT, students require a bit of extra help in a certain subject, or for adults who want to brush up on a particular lesson. Khan Academy features over 4,200 videos, interactive lessons, and a logbook to track your progress.

Learn Chess
This app is ideal for those who have always wanted to learn chess but simply didn’t have the time. With a fun, interactive e-book that describes the basic fundamentals and strategies behind this historic game, Learn Chess will have you checkmating your opponent’s king in no time.

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Property of the Week!

Mill Commons has been named 'Property of the Week' in the Hartford Courant. Check out the article highlighting the unique features of our Mill Commons apartments and be sure to stop by our Open House taking place all weekend!,0,372913.story

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