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Light for Life
May 25  |  
A classic comfort food
My first meal as a mother was eaten about an hour after my son was born. It was 8 o’clock on a chilly December morning. The sun was shining; I was tucked into bed feeling tired, happy and wondering what this momentous change would mean for our lives. Fortunately, I was surrounded by unflappable women who were taking expert care of our brand new family.

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May 11  |  By Rose McAvoy Special to The Herald
Lentils are the answer for nearly any nutritional problem I love to talk about food — particularly ways to make healthy eating more attractive and attainable — which is a good thing since it is not unusual for me to strike up a conversation with a stranger and suddenly be to listening stories about their struggles with healthy eating.

I talk to people about their diet and eating habits daily. There are unique challenges, but there are also many common struggles. Lately I find myself offering the same advice over and...

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May 2  |  By Rose McAvoy
Make slow, small changes for big health boosts Our recent warm weather put me in a summery state of mind. A few mornings in a row, the thermometer already climbing, I opted to pour my morning cups of coffee over ice. Of all the habits I have made and broken over the last 8 years, how I take my coffee is among the more significant changes.

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April 27  |  By Rose McAvoy
Eat the rainbow to meet your healthy, weight-loss goals This week I got serious and committed to shedding weight that has been creeping up over the past year. I chalked up the first few pounds to natural fluctuations. Then I tried to temper the weight gain by increasing my level of exercise. But, those last few pounds made my pants tighter than I would like and set off a red-flag warning. I had to make a choice. Either keep making excuses, and have to buy all new pants, or get real with myself and take action to lose the extra weight.

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April 24  |  By Rose McAvoy Special to The Herald
Advice from acclaimed pie-maker Kate McDermott Kate McDermott is a Northwest treasure.

She's an acclaimed pie maker, baking teacher and soon-to-be published author. And after spending a day in the warmth of "Pie Cottage," her Port Angeles home, I can tell you there is more to Kate's wisdom than how to make a perfect artisanal pie crust. I have been eagerly looking for an opportunity to take a class at Pie Cottage since meeting Kate a few years ago. So, I was delighted when she invited me to document the...

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April 13  |  By Rose McAvoy
Dine in your very own backyard Provence I have never been to France though I would very much like to visit. When I do, I hope to find myself spending more than a few lazy days in the Provence countryside. Thanks to a combination of coffee table books, wall calendars and books like Julia Child's autobiography, "My Life in France," I have a clear, though extremely romanticized, vision how those days will unfold.

In my imagination the air feels like perfect bath water, warm enough to be completely...

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March 30  |  By Rose McAvoy Special to The Herald
Fresh produce is just the thing to help shake off winter's doldrums I am welcoming spring with more enthusiasm than the new year. Within the first few weeks of spring, the sunshine is warm and the days are long enough to be outside in the evening. The longer days also mean fresh ingredients begin to appear in grocery stores and farmers markets.

Spring foods grow just like the name of the season; they spring up seemingly overnight. They are light in texture and bright in flavor. Spring foods are exactly what our bodies need to shake off...

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March 25  |  
Honey-roasted carrots are perfect dish for Easter While walking my oldest home from school last week, I paused to point out a cascade of snowy blossoms on a large shrub. Sweet soul that he is, my son agreed the flowers were "so pretty" and leaned in for a sniff. "What do they smell like?" I asked. "They smell like spring," he replied, meandering down the road no longer interested in the flowers. "What does spring smell like?" He shrugged, "It smells sweet."

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March 16  |  By Rose McAvoy Special to The Herald
Leg of lamb is the perfect dish to celebrate St. Patrick's Day Strange as this might sound, St. Patrick's Day is my favorite holiday. My interest in all things Celtic comes entirely from growing up in a proud Irish-American family. That our most recent immigrant ancestor left the Emerald Isle three generations before my grandparents was hardly an issue.

My grandparents' home was full of less-than-subtle hints of our celebrated heritage. From record albums and books on the shelves to the shamrock guest soap in the bathroom, there were...

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March 9  |  By Rose Mcavoy The Herald
Family-friendly meal: Easy meatloaf muffins with barbecue glaze When life is running as fast as it does for most families, making dinner can feel like an unscalable peak at the end of each day.

For busy parents the dinnertime trifecta is:

A) Food my kids actually will eat.

B) A recipe I don't have to kill myself to prepare.

C) Mostly kinda-sorta healthy.

I hear you because I am right there in the same boat.

Last fall I signed up for a meal ingredient delivery service. My sister...

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February 17  |  
Include familiar ingredients with new dishes, such as salmon with pesto I am often asked to share tricks to get kids to eat a wider selection of foods. Of these requests, dinnertime is often the greatest point of conflict. I advocate preparing a single family dinner, as opposed to cooking additional "kid food" with the main meal. I admire the patience of my colleagues who present foods in adorable ways to entice picky eaters to take a bite. However, my approach is more along the lines of, "Here's the food. I'll enjoy it even if you...

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February 11  |  Rose McAvoy
This white chocolate popcorn is perfect for sharing on Valentine's Day One of my tricks for managing treats is finding opportunities to share something I want to eat with others. In that spirit of sharing Valentines Day is the perfect opportunity to make a batch of crunchy-sweet white chocolate popcorn. I get to share Valentines love in the form of a homemade candy treat and keep just a bit for myself.

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February 3  |  By Rose McAvoy
Super Bowl snacks without supersize calorie counts
Super Bowl parties can be a buffet of obstacles for those of us watching our calories. There may be a vegetable tray shoved to the back of the table, but what happens when you get hungry? In my experience, my best intentions get kicked to the sidelines when my stomach is growling and everyone else is digging into bean dip, pizza and piles of chips.

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January 20  |  By Rose McAvoy
Roasted beet salad will brighten midwinter meals Until recently, I spent very little time thinking about spending winter closer to the equator. The truth is, I don't mind bundling up to go outside for a few months of the year. What I do mind are the short, often gloomy, days and long, dark nights.

A mid-December trip to Los Angeles left me feeling like birds who fly south for the winter are really on to something. Even without my kids to wake me up I couldn't sleep past 7 the first morning. I pulled back the hotel...

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December 30  |  By Rose McAvoy Special to The Herald
I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in years. My personal and professional experiences in the world of weight loss have shown me what so many experts say: Most resolutions fail within a few weeks and are abandoned entirely soon after. However, there is something seductive about looking at the year ahead and imagining the radical changes you could make in those 12 wide-open months. It is hard to resist making a grand declaration on the eve of each new year.

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December 23  |  By Rose McAvoy
Candied nuts spark Christmas memories Like so many others, my family has its own collection of traditional holiday recipes. Most are known by heart or written in cryptic shorthand on faded recipe cards. In the weeks before Christmas, we divide the usual assignments to make sure everyone's favorite foods will be on the holiday table.

Of course, it is not the food itself that is important. Family recipes are the true ghost of Christmas past. The smell, taste and even the homemade appearance of our family...

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December 17  |  By Rose McAvoy
A lighter spin on no-bake chocolate-covered peanut butter truffles The salty sweet combination of peanut butter and chocolate is almost as good as it gets – from a food perspective. And, taking your kids to the theater, for the first time, to see A Charlie Brown Christmas live and meeting the Peanuts Gang after the show, may actually be as good as it gets – from a parenting perspective.

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