Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Snow, ice or both are here!  Are you prepared with some emergency food supplies?  Do youpicture of ice on tree branch have emergency supplies of water?  Knowing what to purchase and being prepared can provide you with some peace of mind during this season of snow and ice storms.

Since snow and ice can last for awhile, try to have at least a three day supply of non-perishable food.  If possible, it would be best to have a one week supply.  Make sure you have a least a three-day supply of water which means at least 1 gallon a day for each person.  Don’t forget medical needs and supplies for infants and pets.

What nonperishable foods should you have on your grocery list?

  • Water – at least one gallon a day per person for a minimum of three days. If you purchase water pay attention to expiration dates. You can store your own water but make sure you have enough containers.  If you store your own water you will want to change the water every few days.
  • Grains – 100% whole-wheat or whole-grain bread, crackers, un-refrigerated whole-wheat tortillas, ready to eat cereals, canned pasta or rice, granola bars
  • Vpictures of canned foods on grocery store shelvesegetables – canned vegetables, canned tomato sauce and salsa, canned soup or chili, canned vegetable salads like three-bean or potato, canned vegetable juices
  • Fruits – canned (in fruit juice or light syrup) and dried fruit, unsweetened applesauce, fruit cups, freeze-dried fruits, bottled/canned or boxed 100% fruit juices, fresh fruit with a longer shelf life like oranges, apples or pears
  • Dairy – dry milk powder, shelf-stable (ultra-pasteurized), or/and evaporated milk
  • Protein – beans (canned pinto, black, kidney, pork and beans), canned refried beans, jerky, nuts, trail mix, peanuts, peanut butter and other nut butters, canned nuts, canned or vacuum-sealed pouches of tuna, chicken, meats or sausages or dried meats

Only buy foods you or your family will eat.  Some foods such as the fresh fruit you will need to rotate the supply more quickly than on canned items.  OSU Extension has a fact sheet with a three day menu using emergency supplies “Eating Nutritiously When the Power is Out.”  The fact sheet will provide you with equipment and safety precautions when preparing food without heat and aiming for no leftovers.

It is not recommended to eat canned food without heating it first but when you don’t have any power it may become necessary.  The factsheet will provide you with the information and some suggested recipes to help you eat healthy and have variety in your meals.

If you don’t have any power remember to keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed.  A full freezer will hold temperature for approximately 48 hours, or at least 24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed.  If the freezer is in a cold area food in the freezer will be safe longer. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if unopened.picture of FEMA fact sheet

Tips on “How to Prepare for a Winter Storm” can provide you with other information to be prepared for a winter storm emergency. Be safe and stay warm.  Let’s hope we all have electricity and heat all winter.

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County, brinkman.93@osu.edu

Reviewer: Shannon Carter, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension Fairfield County

References:

American Red Cross, (2019).  Survival Kit Supplies.  Available at https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/survival-kit-supplies.html

Brinkman, P., Coplin, S., & Medeiros, L. (2016).  Eating Nutritiously When the Power is Out, HYG-5582.  Available at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-5582

FEMA, Department of Homeland Security, How to Prepare for a Winter Storm. Available at https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494008826172-76da095c3a5d6502ec66e3b81d5bb12a/FEMA_2017_WinterStorm_HTP_FINAL.pdf

 

Advertisements

Could you use a little more money? Perhaps, you spent too much over the holidays or your spouse has been impacted by the government shutdown..? Did your teen just wreck the family car? For a variety of reasons, many of us find budgets tight this time of year and we need to find ways to cut expenses.  Here are a few saving tips:

  • Save windfalls – don’t spend them on bonus things. Deposit them in the bank or put them towards a bill. (Did you get cash from a family member for your birthday? Get a bonus or work overtime? Win the 50/50 at the school ball game? Don’t spend it with nothing to show for it.)
  • Cut food-shopping costs – be sure to use regular or online coupons, purchase store-brands, get rain checks, and watch the prices at the checkout. (Also, try to shop alone since each additional person adds things to the cart.)
  • Save your loose change – put all change in a jar and save it towards vacation or deposit it every few weeks.
  • Use the 24 hour rule – think about a purchase for 24 hours (or over-night) before hitting submit on the shopping cart (for online) or buying unnecessary items. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should wait to buy medication, but do you need that cute top or those boots that were marked down?
  • Unsubscribe to marketing emails – just hit unsubscribe at the bottom of the email and cut out temptation. You can always add yourself back when your budget is stronger.
  • Take credit cards out of your wallet – put them in the freezer or your desk, so it is inconvenient and you have to plan to use them.
  • Make a big deal out of a stay home family or friend night – cook at home (taco bar, homemade pizza, breakfast for supper), play games, eat popcorn, or watch a family/comedy together instead of everyone running off to their own rooms.
  • Sell things you don’t need – clothes you don’t wear anymore, sports equipment, tools, collectibles, toys, or baseball cards. Make sure the items you sell are your own of course. Resale shops or social media buy/sell sections both are options.
  • Drink water or iced tea – stop buying disposable water in bottles, use refillable ones and make your own iced tea or coffee. You can save hundreds each year.
  • Don’t buy snacks from machines – measure your own pretzels, nuts, or fruit in a small container rather than paying vending markup. Bonus: you control what’s in your snack.
  • Take leftovers for lunch – even doing this a couple times could save $15 or $20 a week.
  • Cut utility costs – make sure you are using a low-flow showerhead, turn off appliances and lights, unplug charged devices, and lower your water heater to 120 degrees.
  • Eliminate plastic – don’t use disposable plates, plastic forks/spoons, or plastic storage bags. While you may have to do a few more dishes, you help the environment and cut an expense.

Almost everyone has a way that they have found to save money or something they can sell to add a little extra income – feel free to share your favorite in the comments. For additional information go the Personal Finance section of eXtension.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County.

Sources:

America Saves: https://americasaves.org/for-savers/make-a-plan-how-to-save-money/54-ways-to-save-money

North Carolina State Extension, Take Control of Your Future, https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/ideas-to-help-you-save-money-at-home.

eXtension: https://articles.extension.org/pages/16136/stretching-your-food-dollar

simplify

2019 is here. January is the perfect time to focus on the creation of a simpler life. The hustle and bustle of the holidays is over, there are no outdoor chores such as yard work to worry about yet, and the cold weather allows us the opportunity to slow down and reflect. Imagine having more time to do the things you enjoy with less stress!  Simplifying allows you to have more control of your life, reduces wasted time, incurs less stress, and increases opportunities for more happiness.

Learning to simplify your life can completely change your life for the better. We are all trying to manage life, work, finances, family, etc.  This can be overwhelming and exhausting.  Why not create a plan to simplify this year by choosing one or more of the following suggestions to begin with:

  • Simplify your Commitments
    • Look at your calendar. Is there an activity every single day? Reevaluate these activities, based on their value and reduce them.
  • Simplify your Shopping
    • If you are overspending due to impulse shopping, create a shopping list and stick to it.
  • Simplify your Entertainment
    • There are hundreds of channels to choose from as well as websites, podcasts, YouTube channels, and video games. Make it a priority to spend at least some of your time detached from technology. Do you really want to look back on 2019 and know that your biggest accomplishment for the year was how many shows you binge-watched??
  • Simplify your gadgets
    • We all have an abundance of gadgets, cleaning supplies and digital services. Downsize and use what you determine is absolutely needed. Only use one type of calendar for schedules.
  • Simplify your budget
    • Reduce expenses, create a spending plan, and stop unnecessary spending.
  • Simplify your health
    • Eat healthy food
    • Get enough sleep
    • Exercise
    • Get outside every day
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Reduce intake of sugar/junk food
    • Reduce stress
  • Organize one section of your home
    • Choose one area of your home or workspace to organize. It will make a huge impact on your peace of mind every time you enter it to see the clutter and possessions reduced.

Enjoy 2019!

Written by: Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, green.308@osu.edu

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201807/5-ways-simplify-your-life

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prescriptions-life/201901/change-your-life-pick-one-thing-and-do-it

 

 

person in brown cable knife sweater holding white and black puppy

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Winter has arrived, and many animals go into hibernation. Ever wonder why some nights it is easier to fall sleep than others? There are many factors that can influence our sleep patterns. Some are obvious such as, not drinking too much caffeine before going to sleep. Other factors can be less obvious. As the brain develops and ages, our sleeping habits, and patterns may change but are also influenced by many internal and external factors. Newborns sporadically sleep 16-20 hours, and young children sleep more consistently for about 11-12 hours. Teenage natural sleep patterns tend to favor late nights and late mornings. As we age, we generally have shorter periods of deep sleep and sleep less consistently. Whatever your stage of life, here some interesting facts about sleep and some tips to create the ideal situation for your winter hibernation:

  • Avoid too much caffeine and alcohol right before bed. Caffeine counteracts the hormone adenosine which promotes sleep. Caffeine should be consumed 4-6 hours before bed. Alcohol promotes sleep but then acts as a stimulant as it is metabolized,  disrupting sleep. Limit alcohol consumption to 2 or fewer servings (12 oz beer, 6 oz wine, 1.5 oz distilled spirit) and consume at least 3 hours prior to sleep.
  • Choose a dark, quiet, and cool environment, just like a bat would. Artificial light disrupts your sleep cycle. Turn off all TVs, computers, phones, and devices that emit blue light. Use heavy curtains, blackout shades, or eye masks. For noise problems, use earplugs or play soft, soothing white noise. Ideal room temperature should be around 60-75 degrees F.
  • Find a soothing pre-sleep routine. Activities might be reading a book, meditation, or relaxation activities. Avoid having emotional discussions before bed.
  • Go to sleep when you are tired. Seems like a silly tip, doesn’t it? However, think about all the times we stay up looking at our cell phones when we feel like sleeping. If you can’t sleep after 20 minutes, get up, go to another room, read, watch TV, etc. until you are tired. Watching the clock only makes you more stressed and anxious which stimulates alertness.
  • Take advantage of natural light. Sunlight promotes a healthy sleep-alert cycle. Open your windows in the morning and spend time outdoors during the day.
  • Choose consistent sleep schedules. Try to go to bed and awaken consistently especially between weekdays and weekends. Naps are OK but should be consistent in length, time, and not after 5 pm.
  • Exercise at appropriate times. Exercise can promote sleep but if it occurs too late it acts as a stimulant. Exercise at least 3 hours prior to sleeping.
  • Avoid spicy, greasy food, or food that might promote indigestion right before bedtime. Also, balance fluid intake to avoid dehydration, but also to prevent excess urination during the night.

Happy winter hibernation!

Author: Dan Remley, MSPH, PhD, Associate Professor, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness

Reviewer: Alisha Barton, FCS Extension Educator, Miami County

Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard University, Twelve Simple Steps to Promote your Sleep http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/getting/overcoming/tips

Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard University, Changes in Sleep with Age http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/science/variations/changes-in-sleep-with-age

Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard University, External Factors that Affect Sleep http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/science/how/external-factors

Pressure-cooking is a food preparation method that uses trapped steam. The food is sealed inside of a vessel with liquid, heat is used to create steam, and this increases pressure inside the vessel. The appliance traps or releases steam to control the level of pressure within the unit. With the added pressure, the boiling point rises and allows the food to cook faster at a higher temperature. Pressure-cooking retains the flavor and nutrients of your food while saving you energy in the process. Pressure-cooking is not a new technique and has been around for over 350 years. Home pressure-cooking became popular in 1938 when it debuted at a Trade Show in New York.

Electric pressure cookers have increased in popularity over the last several years. There are currently several brands of electric pressure cookers available. Some of the most popular brands include: Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, Breville, Black & Decker, Cuisinart, GoWISE, Power Pressure Cooker, and the most recent Ninja Foodi. You can find a comparison of a few brands by Utah State Extension. Did you find yourself with one of these as a Christmas present? Intimidated by the appliance and don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind as you begin to use your electric pressure-cooker.adding water to electric pressure cooker

  1. Use ½ to 1 cup liquid in the inner pot when pressure-cooking.

When you pressure cook you need to have at least ½ to 1 cup of liquid in the inner pot. The liquid is needed to pressurize the unit. Too much liquid will cause the unit to take longer to get up to pressure and to release the pressure when cooking is finished.

  1. Use multiple buttons in a cooking session.

Cooking for the whole meal can be done in the same inner pot. You can use the Sauté button to brown the meat or cook onions or garlic. Then, add your ingredients and set to pressure cook. Once it’s done, use the Keep Warm button to keep the food warm until the whole family is ready to eat.

  1. Add about 10-20 minutes to listed cooking time.

When you are pressure cooking the unit takes about 10 minutes to come to pressure. Therefore, if your recipe calls for 30 minutes at High Pressure cooking time, then your total time will be 40 minutes. You may even need to add time to the end of cooking to de-pressurizing the unit.  Depending on the unit and the item you are cooking, de-pressurizing could take anywhere from 5-20 additional minutes.

  1. Perform regular safety checks.

The lid of the pressure cooker contains a silicone-sealing ring and it can deform over time. Get into the habit to check it every time. It is recommended to replace the sealing ring every 18-24 months or when you notice cracks or other deformations. Don’t forget to check your vents to make sure they are clean and clear of food clogs.

Please keep in mind that an electric pressure cooker is different from a pressure canner. A pressure cooker is not a pressure canner and should NEVER be used for canning.

Geiger, M. (2016, November 21). Electric Pressure Cookers. Retrieved from https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/answerline/2016/11/21/electric-pressure-cookers/

Kendle, C. (2018, January 30). Electric Multi Cooker Tips and Tricks.

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Miami County, barton.345@osu.edu

I hope that you enjoy this blog post written by Ashley Barto, a dietetic intern at The Ohio State University. She shares her insights about yoga and relaxation.

The holidays are over for many of us. If not, they will be in the next few weeks. Are you hoping to be more “calm” in the New Year? If so, now is a great time to explore calming practices including breathing and yoga. My favorite way to stay grounded and grateful during this busy season is through Yoga. Let’s focus on two of the main parts of Yoga: physical poses and breathing. Use these techniques to help you regroup and stay grounded when chaos ensues. Yoga is for everybody and every body. It doesn’t require anything more than your own body and mind to incorporate yoga both on and off the mat.

Let’s start with the breath. For a long time, breathing has been connected to the relaxation response. This means that our breath is closely linked with the fight-or-flight response our body experiences while under stress. We can help to control our body’s response by taking control of our breathing. Slow, deep breaths help to shift our nervous system from a high stress response to one of control and calm. While there are many different types of breathing techniques, “Square Breathing” is an easy one that can be practiced anywhere. Start by inhaling for a count of 4, holding for 4, slowing exhaling for 4, and holding again for 4. Repeat this as many times as you like until you feel a greater sense of calm.

Yoga Pose

Mountain Pose

When you want to take your calming practice a step further, you can incorporate some simple yoga poses into your day. Typically, calming poses are ones that involve strong contact with the floor or ground – with your feet, legs, or even back. Even sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor is considering grounding. Standing poses such as “Mountain Pose” can be done anywhere and requires no more space than the spot you are standing on. The biggest thing to focus on is making contact with the floor and the four points of your feet.

Turning inward is another practice that helps to calm the mind. In yoga, one of the ways we do this is by folding forward. You can do this while you are standing, seated on the floor, or even in a chair. If your hamstrings feel particularly tight, simply take a modification of bending your knees so your stomach can make contact with your thighs. Another option if you are in a chair is to place a pillow on your lap.

Picture of Calm - rocks and flower

Focus on Calm

Finding just a few moments of quiet for some deep breathing or simple yoga moves can make all the difference in your mindset. Help keep your calm with these techniques and let us know if you’ve tried them!

 

 

Sources:

Harvard University; April 2018

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response

Sengupta P. Health Impacts of Yoga and Pranayama: A State-of-the-Art Review. Int J Prev Med. 2012;3(7):444-458.

https://kripalu.org/resources/benefits-forward-bends

https://kripalu.org/resources/get-grounded-mountain-pose

Written by: Ashley Barto, Dietetic Intern, Ohio State University, barto.21@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu

Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

feet

I don’t know about you, but 2018 was a whirlwind of a year for me! It was full of exciting events, like my younger son’s high school graduation, my daughter’s first year of high school and marching band, and several concerts that my husband and I attended. Professionally, I participated in a leadership program with extension colleagues from Ohio and 11 other states. I presented at two national conferences and a few here in Ohio as well. I attended numerous trainings in order to stay up-to-date on the latest information to better help meet the needs of the state. Finally, I taught numerous classes including parenting, fall prevention, food safety, mental health, nutrition, substance use prevention, and activity/exercise. All in all, it was an busy and exciting year.

Each year I am required to enter information and data about the programs, presentations, classes, etc. that I have instructed or presented during that year. Being the procrastinator that I am, I usually wait until December OR January to start entering this required (by January 15th) information in to our tracking system. While every year I tell myself I am going to enter the data on a more regular basis, somehow December rolls around and I find the stack of papers and files still waiting for me. Putting this dreaded task off (yes, I dread entering data) until the end of the year or the beginning of the next year adds stress to my workload, but it also allows me to reflect back over the past year and to remember and think about those programs and classes that I might have forgotten. photography

The leadership program that I participated in for about 10 months, incorporated reflection in to every session. This was not something I was accustomed to doing regularly, so it was a little awkward for me at first. I quickly realized the benefits of both individual and group reflection. Reflection is a very important component for success and growth, which is why the majority of us were participating in the program to begin with. In order to grow in our leadership abilities and competencies we had to be more self-aware and reflection certainly helps you become more aware.

Reflection serves many purposes and can be used for a variety of reasons including:

  1. Help create confidence.
  2. Make you responsible for yourself.
  3. Encourage innovation.
  4. Encourage engagement.
  5. Create an environment centered around learning.
  6. Increased self-awareness and character development.
  7. Increased diversity and relationships.
  8. Dialogue.
  9. Tools for growth.

So, if you atransformationre not accustomed to reflecting, start small. Perhaps set aside 5-15 minutes each day on your calendar to think about and reflect upon your day. Some people prefer to jot down some thoughts, others prefer to discuss their thoughts with someone. Think of some important questions that will help you process your day or to gain new insight, like, “What am I proud of?” or “If I lived today over again, what would I have done differently?”

As you practice reflection, you will gain more self-awareness. This can lead to more personal and professional satisfaction and success. Give yourself a break if reflection does not come easily. Keep looking for ways to incorporate reflection in to your personal and professional life to help keep you engaged and happy. I would love to hear what have reflected on in 2018 or what you will be reflecting on in 2019.

Writer: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu.

Reviewer: Lisa Barlage , Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension,  Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu.

Photo:

https://pixabay.com/en/feet-footwear-man-outdoors-person-1845598/

https://pixabay.com/en/photography-balls-mirroring-586888/

https://pixabay.com/en/transformation-awareness-awakening-2937517/

Sources:

Harmon, M. (2018). Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Off to School They Go. Live Smart Ohio Retrieved from: https://livesmartohio.osu.edu/uncategorized/harmon-416osu-edu/hi-ho-hi-ho-its-off-to-school-they-go/

Porter, J. (March 2017).  Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It). Harvard Business Review. Retrieved at: https://hbr.org/2017/03/why-you-should-make-time-for-self-reflection-even-if-you-hate-doing-it

Eisenbach, B. (Feb. 2016). Student Reflection: A Tool for Growth and Development, Weekly Reflections Guide Teaching and Learning. Association for Middle Level Education. Retrieved from: https://www.amle.org/BrowsebyTopic/WhatsNew/WNDet/TabId/270/ArtMID/888/ArticleID/586/Student-Reflection-A-Tool-for-Growth-and-Development.aspx

Walsh, D. (Dec. 2016). How Self-Reflection Can Make You a Better Leader. Kellogg Insight. Retrieved from: https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/how-self-reflection-can-make-you-a-better-leader