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Packing a safe lunch 101

safelunch

With another school year in full swing, I thought it would be a good time to write about food-safe school lunches. Many parents or kids make school lunches to take to school. Each day their lunches are packed with nutritious foods (I hope!) that are safely wrapped or packaged. Even so, the contents can leak or spill. You may be packing a nutritional lunch, but is it safe? Here are a few tips to keep your little one’s lunchbox clean and healthy.

Washing

  • Before handling any food that will be consumed, wash your hands.
  • Wash any surfaces and utensils you will be using to cut or prepare the food, including counters, cutting boards, plates, knives, etc.
  • Rinse fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables, even ones that have tough rinds or skins that won’t be consumed. Dry before packing.
  • While it is preferable to wash soft fruits such as strawberries or blueberries just prior to consumption to avoid wilting, chances are your child will not have a chance to do so at school. To preserve as much of the fruit’s integrity and still provide safe foods for them to eat, wash these and then blot them dry immediately. Put in them in a dry, airtight container.
  • If your child’s lunch bag can be washed, do so on a weekly basis, or more frequently if you notice any stains or spills. If the bag cannot be washed, wipe it with a moist, clean disposable wipe or a disinfectant wipe. Then let it dry.

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Top 5 things you and others will notice when you quit tobacco

quittingtobacco

Freeing yourself from tobacco can be a challenge, but it’s a challenge that is well worth it. While there may be temporary discomforts during the process, the permanent rewards for giving up the habit and addiction far outweigh any struggles you may encounter. Being mindful of benefits during the process can keep your spirits up and push you to commit to being nicotine free. There are many benefits to look forward to, including;

  1. The amount of money saved from not buying tobacco will help you to feel more financially secure. The average smoker spends approximately $2,200 per year on cigarettes – imagine what you could do with that money.
  2. The lingering smell of smoke will be gone. Not only will you smell better, but people may feel more comfortable around you since you won’t have that smoky smell in your house or car anymore.
  3. Others will notice you have more time to spend with them instead of having to leave the room to smoke. Think of the conversations you won’t be missing!
  4. Others and yourself will notice you have more energy and are more productive. Breathing will become much easier, so exercise and vigorous activities won’t cause as much shortness of breath.
  5. You will notice a better sense of taste and smell. The world around you will become more enjoyable!

Continue Reading »

Combating cancer-related fatigue

cancerfatigue

According to the American Cancer Society, fatigue is the most common side effect found in individuals going through cancer treatments. In fact, about 90 percent of patients have fatigue while they are receiving treatment. While working with various individuals throughout different stages of diagnosis in treatment I have found this to be a fairly accurate symptom assessment. The main difference that most people do not understand is that cancer-related fatigue is completely different from everyday tiredness or fatigue. Cancer-related fatigue makes general activities such as shopping, showering, dressing, household chores or work extremely difficult. The other major difference is that it can occur without warning and is not relieved with rest. Cancer-related fatigue is physically, mentally and emotionally draining for an individual, and it affects their ability to actively participate in daily life.

Some sings of cancer-related fatigue are: Continue Reading »

Spot a stroke F.A.S.T.

stroke1

May is Stroke Awareness Month. It’s a good time to educate yourself about the warning signs of a stroke and how you can help save lives and improve recovery by responding F.A.S.T.

Last year, many of the 795,000 Americans who suffered a stroke did not get the right lifesaving treatment in time. In an effort to help decrease that number, we want to help educate people about the signs and symptoms of a stroke. It’s easy to remember through the acronym F.A.S.T.

Face drooping – Does one side of the face droop, or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?

Arm weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech difficultly – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like, “The grass is green.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 9-1-1 – If any of these symptoms are shown, even if they appear to go away, call 9-1-1, and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you know when the first symptoms appeared.

Other symptoms to be aware of:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

To learn more about the warning signs go to strokeassociation.org/warningsigns.

If you think you are at risk for a stroke, talk to your health care provider so they can work together with you to prevent or treat medical conditions that can lead to stroke.

Staying Healthy During Flu Season

sneezingWhile the best way to stay healthy this flu season is to get vaccinated, there are some other things you can do to protect yourself.

Here are a few:

1.  Practice good hand hygiene. Encourage everyone in your family to practice regular handwashing, especially after using the bathroom, before and after handling or eating food and after coming in from the outdoors. Handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to others.

2.  Take cover. Get into the habit of sneezing into your inner elbow. If you have a tissue, cover your nose and mouth with it when you sneeze or cough.

3.  Don’t touch. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with your hands.

4.  Replace and wash items. Buy a new toothbrush after a cold or other illness. Wash your bedding at least once a week, especially pillow covers. Wash gloves, scarves and any other attire that covers your face or mouth. This is helpful in keeping germs away.

5.  Stay hydrated. Dry nasal passages make it easier for the flu virus to breed, so its important to drink plenty of fluids. Water is a natural moisturizer for the inside of your body. Aim for eight cups of water a day. Swap out fizzy carbonated drinks for herbal tea. Increase your fluid intake if you are on a high-fiber or high-protein diet. Continue Reading »

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