Willard White and family friend Sklyar Zesch are in the midst of a 3,333 mile trek. They are pedaling from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean to raise money and awareness for Shriners Hospitals for Children®. Willard says he hopes the three-month trip will raise at least $10,000. White's wife Laura and their daughters are following the pair in a van filled with supplies.

Willard and family will be in Davenport on Friday, July 16th.  They will be on Paula Sands Live at 4:30pm on KWQC-TV 6.

Each the White's three adopted daughters has a complicated medical history which required either life-saving or life-altering care. Now, White is charting his own expedition to thank the hospital that made that care possible.

"I am pedaling several million times to raise money for Shriners Hospitals for Children® to give back for all they have done for my family and many others," he said.

The Whites credit Shriners Hospitals for Children® ? Salt Lake City Chief of Staff Jacques D'Astous, M.D., with saving the life of their oldest daughter Marcela. When she arrived in the U.S. from a Bolivian orphanage, the 12-year-old had severe scoliosis. Laura White says her daughter's spinal deformity had progressed to the point it was compressing down on her lungs, "If they hadn't put the rod in her back, she would have died in her twenties. Shriners Hospitals for Children® gave her a chance to live."

Marcela experienced complications during her 22-hour spine surgery due to another rare and undetected condition. As a result, she underwent another twelve surgeries within two weeks. The Whites say Dr. D'Astous stuck with them throughout.

"I've never been around such compassionate care," Willard said. "I just remember him crying and hugging me. It was a miracle he got her to pull through."

Marcela was never expected to walk, but after months of intense physical therapy and years of hard work, she can now walk with a crutch. At age 22 she is a happy newlywed and animation major at Brigham Young University.

The Whites also adopted two other girls. Baya has cerebral palsy and has received surgery and therapy at Shriners Hospitals for Children®. A third daughter, Faith, sustained a brain injury before birth that causes her to walk on her toes. The hospital system has helped her by providing physical therapy and orthotics.

Willard logs 50 - 60 miles a day on his bike. Along the way he shares his story about the expert pediatric orthopaedic care his daughters received at Shriners Hospitals for Children®.

Willard and Skylar are expected to reach Coney Island in August. You can follow their progress at http://inspirationroad.blogspot.com/ and donate through the White's personal fundraising page, which is on the Shriners Hospitals for Children®  website at http://support.shrinershospitals.org/site/TR/Events/General?pxfid=1090&fr_id=1030&pg=fund .

To create your own personal fundraising page to support the life-changing care provided by Shriners Hospitals for Children®, visit www.donate2shc.org/personalfundraising.

The use of red light cameras is now more effective, thanks to Governor Pat Quinn's signature on Friday.

A new law allows the continued use of red light cameras in the Chicago and St. Louis metropolitan areas. Cameras are triggered only when a car enters the intersection illegally and anyone who is ticketed is allowed to review the footage online.

"Red light cameras are a traffic safety measure that effectively reduces the number of crashes in our communities." said Melody Geraci, interim executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. "This law will make red light cameras more effective tools in making our roadways safer for even the most vulnerable roadway users - children, seniors, bicyclists, pedestrians and the disabled."

A person is injured in a red light-running crash every two seconds in the United States. That results in 165,000 injuries and 800 deaths per year, according to a 2009 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Red light cameras are proven to effectively reduce speeding and the number of crashes. The City of Naperville, for example, showed a 33% reduction in injury crashes, 75% reduction in angle/turning crashes, 19% reduction in total crashes and an 8% reduction in rear-end crashes (6 months of data compared with 3-year previous average) as a result of red light camera technology.

The Active Transportation Alliance was heavily involved in the dialogue around red light cameras. Active Trans is Chicagoland's voice for better biking, walking and transit. One of the organization's goals is to reduce crashes in the Chicagoland area by 50%.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, the Active Transportation Alliance is North America's largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 6,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

DAVENPORT, Iowa, July 12, 2010 - The Davenport Walmart, located at 3101 W. Kimberly Road, will celebrate a grand re-opening this week, giving local shoppers a glimpse of the company's next generation of store design and customer experience. The results of a two month remodeling project will be unveiled at the Davenport Walmart at 7:30 a.m., Friday, July 16. Among the many improvements are a new layout, wider aisles, low-profile shelving, bright interior paint scheme, enhanced lighting and easy-to-read signage to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers than ever before.

"We listened to our customers and have redesigned the store to make shopping at Walmart even easier," said store manager Daniel Cosner.

New Layout Improves Customer Experience

The remodeled Davenport store features a more open shopping environment with wider aisles that contain no product displays. Walmart also aligned the departments that customers shop most frequently, making it quicker to purchase everyday items.

"The new layout is easier to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for necessities," said Cosner.

A bright interior paint scheme and enhanced lighting create a more inviting shopping experience and help define the store's merchandise areas. Low-profile shelving creates an improved sightline and directional signage helps customers find the products they need.

Expanded Departments Add Value and Savings

The remodel also brings Walmart customers an expanded electronics department featuring a wide selection of the latest consumer electronics and home entertainment. The new design includes a more hands-on experience for customers with interactive displays for hi-definition Blu-ray, video gaming and portable electronics. The interactive experience enables shoppers to test new technology.

A new department called Celebration Station has been added and will feature party supplies, greeting cards, balloons and helium tanks, cake supplies and gift wrap.

Grand Re-opening Activities Include Support for Local Organizations

The grand re-opening celebration is scheduled for Friday, July 16, and will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m. During the ceremony, store associates will present $2,500 in grants from the Walmart Foundation to three local organizations including Children and Families of Iowa, lowa Council, Boy Scouts of America and the Scott County Family YMCA.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $2 billion to U.S. hunger relief efforts through 2015. The Fighting Hunger Together campaign will also engage Walmart customers and associates in the fight against hunger. More information can be found at walmart.com/fightinghunger.

About Walmart 

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), or "Walmart," serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,400 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine's 2009 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com and on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Walmartnews. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.

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Quad Cities-IA/IL --  Helping Haiti will be the Quad Cities first locally produced hour of high definition news and will be broadcast Wednesday, July 21st at 7:00pm on ABC affiliate WQAD, News 8.

In June, News 8 anchor RaeChelle Davis and photojournalist Jon Reidy accompanied a group of Davenport teachers to the cities of Port au Prince & the mountain village of Grand-Bois, Haiti.  The teachers are volunteers for Quad Cities based ServeHAITI, a faith based organization helping Haitians get healthcare, education, clean drinking water & economic opportunities.

The trip marks the first time a Quad Cities journalist has visited the country which was ravished by a January Earthquake. "I thought I'd prepared myself for what to expect," stated News 8's RaeChelle Davis. "I didn't expect to see so little progress in the cleanup, nor the ever present smell of death.  In Kafu, the earthquake epicenter, they've just piled rubble into the middle of the street on top of the bodies that had been laid there right after the quake happened. Despite the devastation you see, the time spent by volunteers and the money sent by many of us has not been wasted. There are very good, very positive and very vital stories about what's happening in Haiti and how volunteers from the Quad Cities are helping make those successes happen. This is the story we're here to tell."

The hour long special follows a short series of reports that air on News 8 at 10:00pm beginning Sunday, July 11th and concluding Thursday, July 15th. In the High Definition Hour, airing on the 21st, you will see how much and how little progress has been made in relief efforts at Port au Prince, hear the stories of people dealing with the harshest of living conditions; even before the earthquake hit and meet the volunteers who help make life better one Haitian at a time.

"I had a lot of trouble with what I saw in Haiti the first time I went in 1996," stated nurse volunteer Deb Stockdale.   "How could I possibly make a difference? There's no way. This whole country needs an overhaul. But what it comes down to is you can't make a difference in the big picture - but what's really important is that you're able to help at least one person. If I can go help that one person, then it's worth the trip."

Helping Haiti will air at 7:00pm, Wednesday, July 21st on WQAD News 8.

Local TV LLC is a broadcast holding company created in 2007 and owns 16 television stations in mid-sized markets.  Local TV is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, management and a consortium of bankers and high yield lenders who drank the kool-aid and are as enthusiastic about our future as we are.  Stay tuned.

Over the past three months, twenty bands entered in the Great River Days "Battle of the Bands" competition have been stumping for support and votes, in an effort to make the "final five" bands that will perform on July 30, 2010 on The Family Credit Union Main Stage at Riverfront Park in Muscatine Iowa.

In a unique web-poll format hosted at www.GreatRiverDays.com, the public previewed the best bands from three states, and chose whom they wanted to see perform for over $2250 in cash in the finals at Great River Days. This "Command Performance" was entirely decided by the fan poll results, and over 3000 people participated in the selection process. While every band involved had support from the fans, the "final five" garnered almost 50% of all votes cast.

The "final five" each will perform a 45 minute set of music that evening at the event, with the fans in attendance voting to select the "Best of the Best" homegrown music talent in the region. The "final five" bands are as follows:

Crashing the FM, from Durant Iowa. An up-and-coming music act, they have been playing together for a little over a year throughout eastern Iowa. Their repertoire includes such artists Led Zeppelin, Blink 182, AC/DC, and some original compositions.

Marmaduke, from Davenport Iowa. Last years GRD runner-up in the Battle of the Bands, Marmaduke took the crowd by surprise with an amazing amount of music from just three musicians. High energy style and all things rock, they play regularly to packed venues throughout the Quad Cities area.

The Beat Boxcar Children, from Rock Island Illinois. The Boxcar kids have previously competed in three other "Battle of the Bands" competitions in the area, and have won all of them. With music influences from hip-hop to rock to country banjo, count on them to present a set full of surprises and high energy music.

Pour Boyz from Muscatine Iowa. This six piece band covers all the angles, from rock to country to blues and punk. Multiple vocalists and guitars abound in their music, and they have quickly gained a large following in the Muscatine area.

Room 212 from Muscatine Iowa. 212 is the veteran of the "final five", having performed at last years "Battle of the Bands" and throughout area music venues over the last 14 years. Four musicians who stick it out as a band through thick and thin for so long is a force to be reckoned with. To say that they play well together is an understatement. Rock music is their forte, and they deliver the goods.

The Great River Days "Battle of the Bands" concert will be held on Friday, July 30 starting at 7PM. 97X radio personality Steve Donovan will host the event live on stage. Advance tickets are on sale now throughout Muscatine or available at the gate on the day of show.

Soybeans aren't just for eating anymore. In addition to numerous industrial uses that are being researched every day, the oil from soybeans is contributing to U.S. energy independence, creating rural employment opportunities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. When soybeans are processed, they are crushed to extract the oil from the meal. Soybeans are produced primarily for their 80 percent meal content, but biodiesel is produced from the soybean oil, a commodity that has historically existed in surplus.

Biodiesel, a homegrown renewable fuel, has also provided a significant market opportunity for rural communities, and its production contributes additional employment opportunities and economic stimulus in both urban and rural areas.

Biodiesel holds great promise for helping reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy. Every gallon of domestically produced biodiesel consumed is one less gallon of petroleum diesel that has to be imported. For the sake of national security and economic security, the U.S. needs to be developing the resources we have at home to become less dependent on foreign sources of energy.

Biodiesel has some of the best energy and environmental profiles of any alternative fuel. A U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture full lifecycle emissions study found that for every unit of fossil energy needed to make biodiesel, 3.5 units of energy are gained. In contrast, it takes 1.2 units of fossil resources to produce 1 unit of petroleum diesel.

In addition to boasting a positive energy balance, biodiesel significantly reduces emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, unburned hydrocarbons and sulfates. On a lifecycle basis, biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide by 78 percent compared to petroleum diesel. One billion gallons of biodiesel, the amount the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard calls for to be used annually by 2012, will reduce current lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by over 16 billion pounds - the equivalent of removing 1.4 million passenger vehicles from U.S. roads.

Not only does the fuel make for a healthier environment, biodiesel blends also help improve human health and reduce chronic disease. Particulate matter is reduced with biodiesel blends, thereby lowering air pollution and reducing illnesses and death caused by asthma, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases.

The increased use of biodiesel does not take away from the world's food supply, but actually creates more food and feed to meet its growing demand. All commodity soybeans are processed using the same basic crushing and extracting methods, regardless of how the soybean meal and soybean oil will ultimately be used. Only the soybean oil is used for biodiesel production.

The key point to understand about the relationship between soybeans and biodiesel production is that as the demand for soy biodiesel increases, the amount of soy protein available will also increase. An easy way to think about this is that for every 1.5 gallons of biodiesel produced, there will be more than four times as many pounds of protein-rich soybean meal available for animal and human consumption.

Earlier this year, General Motors announced that its new lineup of heavy-duty pickups will have B20 biodiesel capability, and Enterprise Holdings announced plans for its entire fleet of more than 300 Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Rental airport shuttle buses across more than 50 North American markets will begin using at least B5. These are just two of the latest in a long list of companies who have realized the benefits of investing in biodiesel and are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, move toward U.S. energy security, and support rural jobs.

The American Soybean Association (ASA) is working for immediate enactment of a retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax incentive, which expired Dec. 31, 2009. The one dollar per gallon biodiesel tax incentive is structured in a manner that makes biodiesel price competitive with petroleum diesel fuel in the marketplace. Lapse of the biodiesel tax incentive is costing U.S. jobs and stifling production. In 2009, the U.S. biodiesel industry supported 23,000 jobs in all sectors of the economy. This added $4.1 billion to the nation's Gross Domestic Product and generated $828 million in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments.

ASA's farmer members are proud of the contributions they are making to grow an abundant and safe food and feed supply, reduce the nation's dependence on imported petroleum, and enhance the environment for future generations.

All commodity soybeans are processed using the same basic crushing and extracting methods, regardless of how the soybean meal and soybean oil will ultimately be used. Only the soybean oil, a commodity that has historically existed in surplus, is used for biodiesel production.

  • Moline, Illinois - Bickford of Moline will host their 2nd annual Veteran's Benefit Barbeque (V-B-QUE) to honor and inform Veterans in celebration of Independence Day. The V-B-QUE will be held on July 16th at 12:00 pm at Bickford of Moline located at 3650 41st Street.

The V-B-QUE is created to celebrate Independence Day, honor our Veterans and their spouses and to educate them on financial healthcare benefits that are available to them. This unique event will include a backyard barbeque with all-American favorites served. Beth Maxwell with Jamieson Long & Associates will discuss benefits that American Veterans and their spouses have earned by their service in the United States Armed Services, as well as be on hand to assist in the process. For more information on Bickford of Moline Veteran's Benefit Barbeque, please call 309-736-0700 or visit www.enrichinghappiness.com/moline

  • Clinton, Iowa - Bickford of Clinton will host their second annual Veteran's Benefits Barbeque (V-B-QUE) to honor and inform Veterans in celebration of Independence Day. The V-B-QUE will be held on July 24, 2010 from 11 am to 1 pm at Bickford of Clinton located at 1150 13th Av North.

The V-B-QUE is created to celebrate Independence Day, honor our Veterans and their spouses and to educate them on financial healthcare benefits that are available to them. This unique event will include a backyard barbeque with all-American favorites served. Speakers from the United States Service (local VFW chapters) will discuss benefits that American Veterans and their spouses have earned by their service in the United States Armed Services, as well as be on hand to assist in the process. For more information on Bickford of Clinton's Veteran's Benefits Barbeque, please call (563-242-2400) or visit www.enrichinghappiness.com/clinton.

"With the success of last year's event, it is exciting for us to be able to host our 2nd annual V-B-QUE." said Andy Eby, President of Bickford Senior Living. "I am so pleased that we are able to put together an event that honors and informs our Veterans and their families."

Bickford Senior Living manages and operates over 40 Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care branches in Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Michigan, with headquarters located in Olathe, KS. The company was created when owners, Don & Judie Eby, were unable to find a quality assisted living residence for their mother, Mary Bickford who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The Bickford story is told in more detail at www.enrichinghappiness.com

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (July 8, 2010)? Alex Knobloch of East Moline made the most of his experience at North Central College, excelling in both academics and athletics.

Among other honors, the Alleman High School graduate and son of Craig and Barb Knobloch was named the College's 2010 Outstanding Major in Biology and the 2010 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Man of the Year, an award that recognizes the conference's top male student-athlete.

After he wraps up officer training at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama this summer, Knobloch will attend the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD, where he'll pursue a medical degree through the Air Force.  He ultimately hopes to become a doctor and practice family medicine as a primary care physician.

At North Central, Knobloch participated in the Summer Research Program, which offers biology students the opportunity to conduct field study at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium or in local forest preserves, among other locations. He presented his findings at the College's 2010 Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research about his research synthesizing a salamander's DNA and isolating a novel protein with the goal of identifying an amino acid sequence.

"My experience conducting research at North Central was fantastic," he says. "It provided me the opportunity to gain an appreciation for the research process as a whole that will last the rest of my life.  Working even more closely with faculty in their roles as research advisors and becoming a part of and contributing to a science department culture that is really flourishing were two aspects of the experience for which I am grateful."

In addition to graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average, Knobloch was a member of the travel squad as an alternate for North Central's 2009 national championship-winning cross country team. He was a conference champion in the distance medley relay at the 2010 CCIW Indoor Track & Field Championships.

He received a North Central College Presidential Scholarship, was a CCIW Academic All-Conference member in each of his four seasons and earned North Central's Scholar-Athlete Award each of his four years for having the highest grade point average among all athletes in his respective class. He earned membership to the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society (Gamma Nu Chapter) and the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society (Illinois Mu Chapter).

Knobloch also earned North Central's Etheldred L. Schafer Pre-Medical Scholarship for two years and was active in the community, taking part in the Circle K Service Club and serving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He was selected to join the Blue Key Honor Society and was treasurer of the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society.

"The liberal arts education I've obtained here at North Central is a key draw for me," he says. "I've been able to not only obtain the foundational training in biology and the other sciences needed for my medical career, but I've also been able to pursue my love of competitive running on the cross country and track teams and play with the college's pep band, utilizing these opportunities to develop myself in a variety of facets.

Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in Naperville, Ill., North Central is recognized as one of "America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report, which cites it as one of the top six schools in the Midwest for "Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching"; as "a college for high-achieving students" by Peterson's Competitive Colleges; and as one of "America's Best Colleges" by Forbes. For more information about North Central College visit www.northcentralcollege.edu.


Davenport, IA?July 6, 2010?The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that The German American Heritage Center is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for the exhibit The German Immigrant Experience: 1845-1925.  The AASLH Leadership in History Award is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

The museum includes nearly 4,000 feet of state-of-the-art interactive exhibits including a new trivia video game, wired antique party phone lines to listen to, and the audio-visual experience, "Step into My Shoes." The new interactive video game let's visitors choose a character who portrays a German Immigrant of the mid- 1800's.  They then answer questions that lead to a reward of two fun video games.   The "Step into my Shoes" exhibit allows section visitors to step onto footprints of a child, female and male.  This triggers the corresponding character to appear before them on a screen and talk about their personal experience as an immigrant.  For more information about this award winning exhibit, go to our website at www.gahc.org.  Here you can watch video of the exhibit and explore out exhibit photo gallery.

Awards for 2010 represent 49 organizations and individuals from across the United States.  Contribution from The History Channel will once again help underwrite the cost of the awards banquet which will honor the award winners at a special banquet during the 2009 AASLH Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on Friday, September 24.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States.  The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also

brings public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena.

For more information on the museum's exhibits, programs, events, classes, and workshops, visit www.gahc.org or call 563-322-8844.  General Admissions is: Adults: $5; Seniors: $4; Children (5-17 years old): $3; Free for children under 5.  Museums members are free.  Hours are Tuesdays through Saturday open 10 am- 4 pm; Sunday open 12 pm- 4 pm.  For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to www.aaslh.org.


MILWAUKEE, WI - "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." 

Mothers have used that statement to coax children into eating breakfast for years.  As it turns out, Mom was right, and according to TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, there's research to back her up.  Getting a good mix of protein, whole grains, fiber, and fruit every morning can help boost metabolism, increase energy for both the body and the brain, and help curb cravings for sweets and other foods high in fat.  Research has shown that skipping meals, and especially skipping breakfast, also can make individuals more likely to eat more at the next meal or to eat high-calorie snacks before the next meal.

"Breakfast gets your metabolism going in the morning so you actually burn more calories during the day," says Joan Pleuss, R.D., C.D.E., M.S., C.D., Senior Research Dietitian in the General Clinical Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin and nutritional expert for TOPS.  "However, that doesn't mean that you should use that as an excuse to overeat later in the day.  Actually, the reverse may happen, as eating breakfast can decrease the likelihood that you will be as hungry later on."

The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) was founded more than 20 years ago to document the habits of people who were age 18 and older and who had lost at least 30 pounds of excess weight that they had kept off for at least a year.  One habit the researchers found was that 78% of the people in the Registry ate breakfast every day and that only 4% never ate breakfast.

In the NWCR, the typical breakfast was cereal and fruit.  Another study found that those individuals who ate a ready-to-eat cereal for breakfast had a higher fiber content in their total diet than those individuals who didn't eat a ready-to-eat cereal.  Other studies have reported that people who eat a ready-to-eat cereal for breakfast tend to be leaner than people who don't eat breakfast or eat other types of food for breakfast.

"The best breakfasts are rich in fiber and protein," notes Pleuss.  "Not only do they digest slowly, which means a longer time between hunger pains, a fiber-rich diet can help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and colon cancer."

Putting this advice to practical use doesn't have to mean going to the store and spending a small fortune on specialty foods.  Instead, a few well-planned changes, like switching to a whole-grain, wheat bread from white, can make all the difference. 

"If waffles are a morning favorite, plan to purchase whole-wheat waffles in place of the more generic, processed varieties," recommends Pleuss.  "Pairing the waffles with some low-fat fruit yogurt is a great way to start the day healthy and curb the urge to binge before lunch."

If lack of time is the reason you skip breakfast, try getting items ready the night before.  Pour out the cereal and cut up the fruit.  Place the oatmeal in the bowl so you only need to add the milk or water in the morning.  Microwave it while you are getting dressed.  Also have available foods that you can grab and go, like whole fruit, bagels, high-fiber breakfast bars, trail mix comprised of nuts and dried fruit, dry cereal, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, and 100% juice. 

You can also make the following recipes in advance, perhaps on the weekend, for convenient and healthy breakfasts all week long.

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup uncooked old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup skim milk

In large mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients. Stir until just blended; do not overmix. Spoon batter into muffin pans coated with nonstick spray or lined with paper bake cups. Bake at 350º F about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool five minutes in the pans before turning out and cooling on wire racks. Makes 18 muffins.

Nutrient value per serving, based on a 1,500-calorie diet:
One serving = one muffin.

Exchanges - 1 starch, 1/2 fruit
Calories - 99
Calories from Fat - 9
Total Fat - 1g (2%)
Saturated Fat - 0
Cholesterol - 12 mg (4%)
Sodium - 118 mg (5%)
Total Carbohydrate - 21g (9%)
Dietary Fiber - 1g (5%)
Sugars - 9g
Protein - 3g


1 2/3 cup oat bran
1 cup quick or old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 T. vegetable oil
2 T. water
1 t. grated orange peel
1/2 t. vanilla
3/4 cup dried banana chips
1/2 cup raisins

Combine all ingredients except last two. Mix well. Spread into a 13" x 9" pan and bake at 350° F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Stir after 10 minutes; then stir in banana chips and raisins. Cool completely. Store mixture in an airtight container for up to one week. Makes 10 servings.

Nutrient value per serving, based on a 1,500-calorie diet:
One serving = 1/2 cup granola.

Exchanges - 1 starch, 1 fruit, 1 1/2 fat
Calories - 198
Calories from Fat - 72
Total Fat - 8g (16%)
Saturated Fat - 3g (20%)
Cholesterol - 0
Sodium - 15 mg (1%)
Total Carbohydrate - 34g (15%)
Dietary Fiber - 4g (20%)
Sugars - 14g
Protein - 6g

TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the original, nonprofit weight-loss support and wellness education organization, was established more than 62 years ago to champion weight-loss support and success.  Founded and headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, TOPS promotes successful, affordable weight management with a philosophy that combines healthy eating, regular exercise, wellness information, and support from others at weekly chapter meetings. TOPS has about 170,000 members in nearly 10,000 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. To find a local chapter, view www.tops.org or call (800) 932-8677.