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In the News: Self-Care Tips for December – Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

The month of December is notoriously known for being the busiest month for most people. Because of all the hustle and bustle, many people find themselves feeling overwhelmed. Here we offer you some tips for making the month of December a little less overwhelming.

 

Keep a gratitude journal. Include things that you are grateful for as well as things you accomplished each day. This will help you to remain grateful and positive.

Make a new holiday recipe. Trying a new recipe will challenge you and keep your mind active. You might even find a new holiday treat.

Get creative by writing and/or crafting. Creative expression and overall well-being are linked. These activities help you express yourself through art and keep your creativity flowing.

Think of something that you want to improve. Maybe you want to practice a foreign language or pick the guitar back up, whatever it is challenge yourself and you will find that through success you will be rewarded. 

Show love to someone. Reach out to an old friend or family member. Go out of your way to make someone feel special. Even a simple thank you card can be very meaningful. 

Write about a fun memory that you have had. If you are feeling in a funk, remembering a good time can sometimes help you get back into the happy mindset. 

At least for one day, take a break from your phone. Stay away from social media and the news. Spend more time getting to know yourself during this holiday season.

 

Continued in Part II…

Eating Healthy Spotlight on: Turkey

Written by Lisa Jillanza

It’s that time again for Thanksgiving and while Americans eat it nearly every year to celebrate Thanksgiving, how much do you know about turkey?

  • Turkey is very low in fat and high in protein. It is also a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins. 
  • The fat and calorie amounts vary because white meat has fewer calories and less fat than dark meat and skin.
  • Turkey is also naturally low in sodium. It typically contains less than 25 milligrams (mg) of sodium per ounce on average.

Recipe: Turkey Chili

  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 (35 oz.) cans stewed tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¾ cup chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more if desired to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 to 4 cups shredded, cooked turkey meat
  • Sugar
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream for optional garnishes

In a large, 8-quart thick bottom pot, cook the onion and green pepper over medium heat, stirring until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, for a minute or two more.  Add a bit more olive oil if needed.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, beans, oregano, salt, pepper and cooked turkey meat.  Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low.  Simmer uncovered for an hour.

 

Recipe: Creamed Turkey

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ cup hot chicken broth
  • 1 small jar diced pimento, drained
  • 4 cups diced cooked turkey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Melt butter over medium-low heat. Sauté mushrooms until golden and tender. Add flour; stir until smooth. Slowly pour on milk and broth, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Add pimiento, turkey, salt, and pepper. Cook until heated through, but do not boil. Serve with rice or toast.

Fitness for All “Fun-Sized” October Fitness Challenge

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Every candy on the market seems to have a “fun-sized” version these days. And while it may seem “fun” and harmless, those candies still pack a powerful punch when it comes to calories.

 

This October, combat the extra calories of your favorite candies with these exercises. 

Snickers – 80 calories = 13 minutes of Pilates

Milky Way – 80 calories = 10 minutes of walking up stairs

Milk Duds – 40 calories = 5 minutes with an agility ladder

Peanut M&M’s – 90 calories = 11 minutes of running 5 MPH

Kit Kat – 70 calories = 13 minutes of gardening

Nestle Crunch – 60 calories = 12 minutes of Yoga

Sour Patch Kids – 105 calories = 10 minutes of kickboxing

Pay Day – 90 calories = 15 minutes of swimming

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – 110 calories = 12 minutes of jumping rope

Butterfinger – 85 calories = 12 minutes on the elliptical

Snickers Peanut Butter – 130 calories = 15 minutes of burpees

Starbursts – 40 calories = 5 minutes of walking upstairs

Nerds – 50 calories = 11 minutes of sit ups

Skittles – 80 calories = 11 minutes on a stair master

Baby Ruth – 85 calories = 12 minutes of walking lunges

Twix – 80 calories = 10 minutes of moderate spinning

Atomic Fire Ball – 40 calories = 10 minutes of Zumba

Swedish Fish – 100 calories = 5 minutes of kettlebell swings

Hershey Chocolate Bar – 67 calories = 13 minutes of push-ups

Hershey Kiss – 22 calories = 5 minutes of jumping jacks

Food 101: Never Do This with Your Potatoes

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Potatoes are one of the most popular vegetables in Americans homes and a quick and easy item to have on hand for meals. But did you know that there are some things that you should never do with potatoes?

Here are what you shouldn’t be doing with your spuds:

Never store your potatoes with your apples- apples produce high amounts of ethylene gas, which causes potatoes to spoil prematurely.

Never store them in a cold, dry environment – instead, keep them in cool, dark place away from other fruits and vegetables.

Never store potatoes near bananas, melons, onions, pears, peaches, avocados, and tomatoes – these also produce high levels of ethylene gas and should be stored separately.

Healthy Living Foods that You Shouldn’t Keep in Your Refrigerator

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Since 1913, refrigerators have been keeping our foods cold, but not everything stays fresher in the fridge!

 

Here are the top foods that you shouldn’t be keeping in your refrigerator, thereby keeping your foods fresher and freeing up some space on your shelves.

Avocados – they will reach their peak ripeness at room temperature.

Basil – best left at room temperature with stems submerged in water. (This is also true for many herbs.)

Bell peppers – the skin loses its crunch when kept at cold temperatures.

Cucumbers – keeping them in the fridge make them watery and pitted.

Pickles – they don’t need to be refrigerated because they are already preserved.

Onions – store them in a cool, dry place but never in a plastic bag or near potatoes.

Garlic – keep it in a cool, dry place so it doesn’t become rubbery.

Potatoes – best stored in a paper bag. The moisture in the fridge makes them gritty and sweet.

Tomatoes – store at room temperature for optimal flavor.

Bananas – need warmer temperatures to ripen.

Berries – stay fresher in room temperature, as the moisture will ruin them.

Citrus fruits – leave those on the counter and be sure to get rid of moldy ones, as the mold spreads quickly.

Melons – whole melons should be left at room temperature. Only refrigerate once they are cut.

Hot sauce – only creamy condiments should be refrigerated.

Soy sauce – thanks to fermentation, soy sauce can be left unrefrigerated for a year.