Monthly Archives: August 2016

Winter Storms Food Tips

Big winter snowstorms, like nor’easters and blizzards, bring on extreme cold, major snow accumulation, and other immobilizing conditions. Winter storm experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Red Cross offer advice on how to prepare and stay safe and healthy during blizzards and other winter storms.

In addition to dressing appropriately for the weather, experts recommend stocking up on disaster supplies: flashlights, batteries, candles, waterproof matches, a radio, a first-aid kit, sand or rock salt for icy walkways, a snow shovel, and extra blankets.

However, your most crucial disaster supplies will be your food, water, and any prescription medications you, your family, or your pets need. Even if your home doesn’t suffer any storm damage, you could have trouble getting to the supermarket, pharmacy, or doctor during extreme winter weather conditions.

Healthy Meal Plans in Extreme Winter Snowstorms

A bad snowstorm or blizzard doesn’t have to derail your regular healthy eating regimen. As soon as you hear a winter storm warning, start stocking up on emergency water and healthy, shelf-stable and frozen foods that your family will enjoy. Be sure to pay special attention to the diet-specific needs of family members with health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, celiac disease (gluten sensitivity), or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

It is essential for people with health conditions like these to pay attention to their diets during winter storms. People with diabetes must stay on a regular eating schedule to keep their blood sugar stable, and people with high blood pressure must remember to stick with low- or no-sodium canned goods and packaged foods — not the high-sodium prepared foods that are typically set aside for times when the electricity goes out.

Read the shopping lists and sample menus below to get more ideas about how you and your family can eat healthfully during a winter emergency.

Shopping Lists and Sample Menus by Condition and Special Food Plans

These healthy-eating plans help those with medical conditions, as well as people who choose a vegetarian diet, make it through in good health.

Healthy-Meals Kit for Blizzards and Winter Snowstorms

Part of your emergency plan to stay nourished and hydrated during severe winter storms should include creating a healthy-meals kit. Joy Bauer, a registered dietitian and nutrition expert for Everyday Health and NBC’s Today show, recommends preparing your healthy-meals kit at the start of winter, in anticipation of blizzards and snowstorms. “Doing it at the beginning of the season is especially important if you don’t regularly keep nonperishable foods on hand year-round,” says Bauer. Choose foods for the kit specific to your health conditions and make sure they remain properly sealed until you’re ready to use them. “At the end of winter, you can add whatever you didn’t use back into your main pantry,” suggests Bauer.

Home and Garden Tips For More Gorgeous

unduhan-51Keeping a garden cultivates more than just flowers — the activity of gardening is an excellent way to exercise, clear your mind, grow your own healthy foods, and transform your outdoor space into a more beautiful one. So slip on your gardening gloves, head outside, and start growing your own lush plants and vegetables.

Don’t know how to get started? First consider a few factors that go into the planning and design of a garden:

  • Your climate. Your climate determines the types of plants that will grow best in your garden and the steps needed to take care of them. Do some research or speak with a professional landscaper to find out what plants are native to your area and any others hardy enough to survive the winter. If your region of the country has distinctive seasonal changes, choose plants that will peak at various seasons, so that your garden will be attractive all year long. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Hardiness Zone Map can help you determine which plants are best suited for your climate.
  • Your taste. Not everyone’s idea of a dream garden is the same. Some people prefer flowering plants, while others get more satisfaction from a vegetable garden. Looking through gardening magazines or going on garden tours might help you define your vision.
  • Your property. The size and shape of your garden will depend on the space you have to work with. Consider various areas around your yard and how much sun and shade they get. You can plant a garden in a shady area, but you will be limited to shade-loving plants. If your outdoor space is small, a container garden should work well.

After you have assessed your gardening needs and desires, consult professionals at a local nursery who can help you finalize your plan, sell you the plants you need, and instruct you on planting them.

4 Garden-Maintenance Musts

You will need to regularly maintain your garden to help it grow. Basic garden maintenance involves:

  • Watering. Water is essential to the health of your garden. Find out the specific watering needs of your plants and establish a routine so that your garden will get the right amount.
  • Weeding. Weeds are not only unpleasant to look at, but they can also zap moisture and nutrients from your plants. To control weed growth, you need to regularly weed your garden, making sure to remove the entire weed, especially the roots.
  • Pruning and dead-heading. These steps involve removing dead branches and past-bloom flowers to encourage more blooms and keep your plants healthy for years to come. When you choose your plants, make sure you understand how to prune and dead-head them since improper maintenance can harm plants.
  • Fertilizing. Depending on the quality of the soil in your garden, you might need to apply fertilizers. Consider having your soil tested by a professional who can recommend the right fertilizers and pesticides for your plants.

How to Stay Healthy and Safe in the Garden

Gardening is an enjoyable way to exercise your body and clear your mind, but there are also some health and safety issues you should address for a safe home garden:

  • Tetanus booster shot. Check with your doctor to see if you need a tetanus booster shot. Tetanus is a risk if you cut or scratch yourself while working around soil.
  • Protective gear. When you are working in your garden, you will need to protect yourself from sharp-edged equipment, chemicals such as pesticides, sun exposure, and insects. You should have a pair of gardening gloves, sunglasses, a broad brimmed hat, protective shoes, and knee pads if you will be bending a lot. If you plan on doing heavy lifting, a back brace can help protect your back. Also wear DEET-containing insect repellant and a sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher to protect against mosquitoes, ticks, and the harmful rays of the sun.

Be smart and attention for food safety

images-52Do you tune into the news just to find out which food is the latest addition to the “don’t eat” list? Before you continue to shun peanut butter, tomatoes, spinach, peppers, and other foods that have been caused foodborne illness at some point over the last few years, find out what you can do to help improve food safety.

Food Safety: What Is There to Worry About?

The U.S. government, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), works to prevent and investigate cases of food contamination. The FDA, for example, has a Food Protection Plan focusing on preventing contaminated food from hitting U.S. supermarkets and quickly intervening if contaminated foods do make it to market.

Despite the regulations and controls, however, sometimes food can still come into contact with harmful germs, presenting a food safety issue. And if certain foods, such as raw chicken, aren’t handled in a safe manner, they can quickly contaminate other foods, like nearby fruits and vegetables on your kitchen counter, and lead to illness.

With the recent salmonella scares involving seemingly wholesome foods, what’s really safe to eat?

Salmonella and other food contamination scares shouldn’t make you afraid to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. You can’t spot contaminated food just by looking at it — unless it has obvious mold or rot, but you can be more careful about how you choose the foods that you buy, and how you store and prepare foods.

Be a Smart Food Shopper

Some foods are more likely than others to be contaminated with germs. Likely culprits include:

  • Eggs
  • Foods that contain raw eggs
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and other seafood
  • Dairy products, including milk
  • Unpasteurized milk and juice
  • Vegetables and fruits

How to Clean Refrigerator

unduhan-50Having a healthy home means doing what you can to keep your family well and safe. One simple way to do that is to maintain and clean your refrigerator regularly — it will save energy and money and reduce your family’s risk of food-borne illness.

Smart fridge maintenance involves keeping the refrigerator temperature in the recommended range, properly organizing your fridge food, and cleaning it up. Here’s how to get started.

The Right Refrigerator Temperature

Monitoring and maintaining your refrigerator temperature is one of the best ways to prevent food-borne illness, since keeping foods properly chilled can help prevent or slow the growth of microorganisms, like Salmonella and E. coli, that cause these illnesses. You should keep your refrigerator at or below 40ºF and your freezer at or below 0ºF. Consult the appliance manual to find out how to make these adjustments.

Since your refrigerator’s efficiency can change over time, it is important to check your refrigerator temperature regularly. The best way to do this is to buy and use an appliance thermometer.

You can also help your refrigerator work at its best by positioning it in a relatively cool location, out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources, like the oven or a heat vent. This will help it run more efficiently, which can save energy and money.

Tips for Handling Fridge Food

Refrigerators allow us to keep fresh foods fresh longer, but just because a food is in the fridge doesn’t mean you can keep it indefinitely. Below are some tips for keeping your fridge food safe:

  • Avoid crowding. Allow enough space between items so that air can circulate and keep foods at the proper temperature.
  • Read labels. Follow the directions on food packaging and be sure to promptly refrigerate all foods that require it. Discard any food that may have been mistakenly left out of the fridge for too long.
  • Throw out tainted foods. If food has visible mold on it, a foul odor, or other signs of spoilage — or if you just suspect it might have gone bad — discard it right away.
  • Separate high-risk foods. Keep the foods that are most likely to contaminate other foods — raw meat, poultry, and fish — in plastic bags, bowls, or pans on the lowest shelf of your refrigerator, where drips will not contaminate produce or any other foods.
  • Eat fridge foods promptly. The longer foods are stored in your refrigerator, the more likely microorganisms will grow on them. So regularly go through the contents of your fridge and throw out any foods that are past their prime. Follow these use-by guidelines; for foods that can be frozen, freeze them as soon as you get them home if you’re not sure you will eat them within these time frames:
    • Uncooked ground meat: 1 to 2 days
    • Poultry, fish, or shellfish: 1 to 2 days
    • Uncooked steak, veal, lamb, or pork: 3 to 5 days
    • Meat-based leftovers: 3 to 4 days