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Health & Wellness

River-goers beware: Illinois waterways could contain toxic algal blooms



Courtesy of the Illinois EPA

An organism floating in Illinois’ waterways could mean danger for those looking to beat the heat this week.

The weather conditions have been perfect in the state to create algal blooms in Illinois’ waterways. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is warning that they look like blue-green oil slicks or spilled paint on the water. The blooms give off a toxin that can be absorbed through the skin, ingested or taken in from mist in the air.

“Individuals with compromised immune systems, the elderly, young children are the ones that are most at risk,” agency spokeswoman Kim Biggs said.

Symptoms of exposure to algal blooms include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing or wheezing, according to the agency.

The blooms have been found in two parts of the Illinois river near Hennepin and Marseilles, but Biggs said they could be anywhere in the state’s waterways.

“It could be developing anywhere along the river and actually any waterways in Illinois,” she said.

If you or your pet have come into contact with what you think may be blue-green algae, rinse off with fresh water. If symptoms arise, call the Illinois Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. If your pet experiences symptoms that may be a result of exposure, contact your veterinarian.

Article by Cole Lauterbach with Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit 

Illinois News Network, publisher of, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media company dedicated to the principles of transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility in the state of Illinois. INN is Illinois’ pioneering non-profit news brand, offering content from the statehouse and beyond to Illinoisans through their local media of choice and from their digital hub at Springfield Daily was granted republishing permission by INN.

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CDC issues recall notice for some Honey Smacks Cereal

Staff Contributor



Multiple cases of Salmonella across the country have been linked to certain boxes of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. The sizes affected by the notice are the 15.3 oz. and 23 oz. boxes. No other Kellogg products appear to be contaminated.

  • Recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal have a “best if used by” date from June 14, 2018 through June 14, 2019. The “best if used by” date is on the box top.
  • The recalled 15.3 oz. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal has a UPC code of 38000 39103.
  • The recalled 23.0 oz. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal has a UPC code of 38000 14810. The UPC code is on the bottom of the box.

If you have any boxes that might be affected, do not eat it. Discard it or return it to the store. Wash any dishes or silverware that have come into contact with potentially contaminated cereal as well.

Follow this recall at the CDC’s website

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CDC warns about salmonella risk from pre-cut melon

Staff Contributor



The CDC has issued a recall warning for several kinds of pre-cut melon products in sold Illinois. Based on an announcement from Caito Foods, LLC, consumers are being told not to consume the following products:

  • watermelon
  • honeydew melon
  • cantaloupe
  • fresh-cut fruit medley products

These products were sold in plastic clamshell packaging at numerous retailers including:

  •  Costco
  • Jay C
  • Kroger
  • Payless
  • Owen’s
  • Sprouts
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods/Amazon

If you have any of these items, do not consume them. Throw them away, or return them to the store for a refund. Do not eat them.

Contact a healthcare provider if you think you got sick from consuming pre-cut melon.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop the following signs and symptoms 12-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal cramps

You can follow the outbreak coverage on the CDC’s website.

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Health & Wellness

Just Right Eating fuses healthy eating, with delicious and convenient meals made locally

Staff Contributor



Sponsored Ad - Just Right Eating

Just Right Eating in Springfield, Illinois, is helping people enhance their nutrition intake and improve their eating habits, setting them on the road to a better quality of life.

Whether picking up a nutritious pre-made snack, side, entrée or dessert or purchasing meals for home delivery, clients who take advantage of the myriad of services and healthy food products Just Right Eating has to offer will taste the advantages of a healthy diet. Just Right Eating is a nutritional meal service and food service store.

Harboring a wide selection of food products carefully chosen and created by Founder Stephanie Johnson, M.S., Exercise Physiology, a fitness professional and sport nutrition expert, Just Right Eating’s selection of goods encompasses heart healthy, well balanced and proportioned meals that are low-glycemic and created from whole foods. Ninety percent of meals are naturally gluten-free. Stephanie is always available to coach Just Right Eating shoppers on how to increase their consumption of nutritious foods as well as offer advice on weight loss, diabetes, heart health, athletic performance and nutritional balance.

”The different options clients have to choose from in the store is based on healthy eating principles,” says Stephanie. “The goal is to provide people with convenience and nutrition to get them on the path to living well.”

In addition to teaching clients the basics of healthy eating, Stephanie combines nutrition with fitness expertise to help clients achieve their optimal fitness level. “I combine both fitness and nutrition methodologies to help clients lose weight and get healthy. My program combines the nutrition found at Just Right Eating with personal training services for sport, fitness and weight loss. I promise to take my clients on a journey that will mentally, physically and emotionally change their life for the better.”

Centered on Fitness

Having actively pursued her passion for fitness and nutrition for over 20 years, Stephanie’s expertise in exercise and fitness as well as her education, experience and philosophy set her apart from other fitness trainers.

“I’ve been studying exercise and nutrition since I was 16 years old,” she says, “educating myself on the relationship between nutrition and human performance and how it deeply affects our quality of life”

Beginning Just Right Eating in 2011, Stephanie’s professional and personal life is centered on fitness and nutrition. In addition to managing Just Right Eating and meeting with clients for personal training, Stephanie studies the latest journals on fitness and nutrition, applying science and logic to better enhance her clients’ and athletes’ fitness programs. Her book, Just Right Eating, explains the principles and methods for healthy eating and includes over 170 recipes and principles to help her clients achieve a balanced lifestyle.

Good Nutrition & CD

Stephanie’s involvement in the health and wellness field derives from more than a passion for helping others achieve a healthier life. Her own personal experience with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune system disease that causes a person’s body to reject the protein gluten, helped her understand the challenges that individuals face.

Celiac Disease (CD) is a multi-symptom, multi-system, lifelong genetic disorder that attacks the small intestine so that the intestine has difficulty absorbing nutrients from food. Lack of absorption causes a person to become malnourished. When individuals with CD consume foods that contain gluten, including wheat, rye, barley and oats, their bodies’ immune system responds with a toxic reaction. Symptoms include diarrhea; constipation; gas/bloating; nausea; nutritional deficiencies; irritability; depression; fatigue; and weight loss.

“I’ve had Celiac Disease my entire life but I just never thought to seek a diagnosis for it until it became prevalent and was diagnosed in 2008,” Stephanie says. “I had all the classic symptoms – I was miserable. After researching the disease, I am now acutely aware of how it can affect a person’s lifestyle and have developed effective solutions and delicious alternatives to help myself and my clients.”

Stephanie offers her clients one-on-one nutrition consultations to help them identify gluten in foods and change the way they eat. She also has a line of delicious specialty products on the market that are gluten-free, dairy free, and soy free. All her products are healthy, natural, balanced, and low-glycemic except for her delicious gluten free, dairy free cupcakes for the indulgences.

Healthy, Convenient Options

At Just Right Eating, shoppers will find a selection of low-sodium, gluten-free, dairy free and vegetarian meals. All meals are made fresh daily in the kitchen and contain a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Protein may consist of white turkey; eggs; edamame; soy, chicken; fish; tuna; and shrimp while carbohydrates can take the form of slow-digesting, low-glycemic whole-grain pastas; brown rice pastas, vegetables; wild rice; quinoa; couscous; and fresh fruit. Coconut; olive; canola; or nut oils help supply daily fat intake.

“We have our own crew and make about six thousand meals per week,” says Stephanie. “Our meals assist with disease management and prevention, athletics and weight loss. When shoppers are too busy to cook, our meals provide a nutritious, convenient option.”

Whether her clients decide to purchase meals through the store or have them home delivered, Stephanie provides a variety of options. Just Right Eating Complete Meal Delivery is a 5-7 day lifestyle perfect for those who desire both nutrition and convenience to help them lose weight, eat healthy, build muscle or increase sport performance. The Just Right Eating Storefront option allows shoppers to come into the store and choose meals: either breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. The Athletes Menu is designed around athletes’ and active individuals’ daily workouts and activity and ensures individuals are receiving the correct balance of nutrients to perform to their best potential.

Just Right Eating menus, which vary from week to week, include a wide range of choices for different occasions. Grab n’ Go Meals come in several calorie and macronutrient portions. Breakfasts combine high-quality protein and complex carbs with healthy fats, fiber and nutrients. Always combining fresh ingredients, salads include berry chicken, buffalo chicken, cobb salad and more while dinner may feature chicken, fish, pork, sirloin, tuna casserole or Mexican dishes and pastas.

“Fun” foods, such as pizza, burgers and wraps, are made with gluten-free breads, 96/4 lean ground beef and whole-grain, low-carb, gluten-free tortillas. Wraps may be skinny, spicy tuna, veggie, BBQ, chicken, southwest style while pizzas come in Skinny Italian, Chicken Bacon Ranch, Mediterranean, Marguerite, to name a few. Healthy snacks are also an option. Some gluten-free foods include banana bread, pumpkin muffins, almond butter cookies, fruit and yogurt and mint patties.

Getting Started

Clients who would like to have meals delivered to their home should fill out the health form and the order form by logging onto and clicking on the Just Right Eating link on the toolbar and then clicking Meal Packages and Pricing. Once Stephanie receives the forms, she contacts her client via email or phone to discuss any logistics and answer any questions. She then sends her clients an email with all the important information they will want to reference, a copy of their calories, a calorie deficit they should anticipate and how Stephanie calculated the deficit.

The Best of Both Worlds

Co-joining the benefits of good nutrition and fitness into the everyday lives of her clients, Stephanie get results. “Whether my clients’ goals are to lose weight, become stronger athletes, be in the best shape of their lives, improve their golf game or look and feel better about themselves, I will work with them to help transform their bodies and minds to lead a healthier lifestyle.”

Through her fitness program, SJFitness & Performance, Stephanie designs safe and effective workouts tailored specifically to meet clients’ goals by improving their lifestyles and fitness habits. Dependent on a client’s fitness level, Stephanie designs challenging but fun workouts to help her client achieve her greatest transformation. Each training session builds on the progress of the previous session. Programs are designed to be performed both indoors and outdoors to keep routines fresh and new while helping her clients stay motivated. Stephanie works with clients in the environments where they are most comfortable—even their own home.

“I am daily rewarded by the individuals that I work with,” Stephanie says. “It is satisfying to watch them progress and then maintain a lifestyle that is balanced, healthy and active.”
For more information on Just Right Eating, visit or call 217.827.2669. For more information on Stephanie Johnson’s credentials and expertise, log onto

Just Right Eating is located at 3047 Hedley Road, Springfield, Illinois.

Stephanie Johnson, M.S., Exercise Physiology, is an exercise physiologist, Sport & Fitness Certified Nutrition Specialist, personal trainer, YogaFit instructor and sports conditioning professional with nearly two decades of experience. She holds multiple certifications from various accredited associations and keeps up with the latest research.

Stephanie is the owner and operator of Just Right Eating and SJFitness Training & Performance. She is a member of the American Council of Sports Medicine (ACSM), THE National Sports Conditioning Association (NSCA), AND THE American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP). This article is sponsored advertising content, paid for by Just Right Eating. 

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