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Archive for November, 2017

liquor-264470_640Wine and Beer drinkers often like to tout the health benefits of their favorite pastimes. However, if you read the peer-reviewed studies on alcohol consumption and health, most aren’t very supportive of drinking. I’ve heard friends proclaim that in the “blue zone” Mediterranean region where people live long lives, wine is a central part of the diet. However, wine and alcohol are not common factors in all of the blue zones around the world such as Loma Linda California. Yes, there are some phytochemicals in wine, but there’s also phytochemicals in fruity snacks too- catch my drift? The point is that alcoholic beverages, like juices, and sweetened beverages, are low in nutrition and high in calories. Excessive and regular alcohol consumption has been associated with obesity, heart disease, cancers (especially throat and stomach), high blood pressure, diabetes, and liver disease.

OK so I know that this information is probably not going to stop you from having a few this holiday season (it’s not going to stop me!) To be fair as well, most of the studies linking alcohol to disease are population-based and not randomly controlled which is the research gold standard. Ethically, it’s really hard to randomly assign people to a drinking group if they haven’t touched alcohol and follow them to see if they get sick. Instead, epidemiologist often look at self-report surveys of drinking behavior (which are flawed) and compare with disease occurrence. Although many of these studies report that drinking is linked with health problems, most also conclude that there isn’t an association between MODERATE drinking and problems.

Moderate drinking is defined as 2 servings per day for men, and 1 serving per day for women. A serving is defined as 12 ounce beer (4 ABV), 5 oz of wine, and 1.5 oz of 80 (1/2 shot glass) proof distilled liquor. Each serving stands at about 150 calories each. Be sure to read labels- products with higher alcohol and added sugar will have far more calories. For example, a 12 oz fruit malt-liquor beer (8 ABV) may have as many as 350 calories compared to a 12 oz lite beer with only a 100 calories! However, since alcohol is not regulated by the FDA, there aren’t label requirements. You may have to visit websites such as Calorieking or ChooseMyPlate Supertracker to find out calorie or other nutrition information.

People with diabetes and other chronic diseases need to be especially cautious. Beer and wine can gradually raise blood sugar, and stimulate overeating. Again, label reading is key. Most 12 oz beers have about 12-15 grams of carbohydrate but flavored beers might have as much as 50g per 12 oz which is equivalent to 11 teaspoons of sugar! Flavored drinks like Margaritas can be even worse. Distilled liquor is high in calories but low in carbohydrate, that doesn’t mean a person with diabetes should finish off a flask! Excess alcohol consumption can also lower blood sugar because it inhibits the liver’s ability to release glucose.

Here are some holiday drinking tips for you.

  • Just like with deserts, drink slowly and use all your senses to appreciate the product. Drink during or after meals to avoid overeating.
  • Read labels, and stick with sugar-free products, lite beers or white wine as much as possible.
  • If you have diabetes, check blood sugars before and after you drink to understand how alcohol impacts your blood sugars.
  • Most importantly, STAY OFF THE ROAD and be careful!! Accidents, falls and injury aren’t much fun for anyone during the holidays!!

Author: Dan Remley, MSPH, PhD, Assistant Professor, Field Specialist, OSU Extension

Reviewer: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Wood County

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control. (2015). Alcohol Fact Sheet. Retrieved from cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/moderate-drinking.htm

American Diabetes Association. (2015). Alcohol. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/alcohol.html

U.S.D.A. (2015-2020) Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Retrieved from http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietary-guidelines-2015

 

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Country-Dancing-Arthur_Murray_Dance_Studio_in_The_Woodlands_TX1080x720

I love to watch people dance, and obviously others do as well because competitive dance shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance are dominating the world of reality television.

But what’s even better than watching someone dance is actually getting up and dancing.  You don’t need to be a dance pro to move to music, you just need to let go of your inhibitions and enjoy the process of moving to music.

If you’ve ever watched young children at a wedding reception, they love to get on the dance floor and move around.  They’re not self-conscious or embarrassed. However, as we age, our fear of looking foolish or of not doing something perfectly keeps us from enjoying the moment.

That’s a shame, because the physical and mental benefits of dancing are numerous.  Regardless of the type of dance—be it ballroom, ballet, Zumba, salsa, hip-hop or line dancing—each style can play a role in helping us stay fit.

Why Dance?

The fitness and health benefits of dancing are numerous.  A recent study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that older adults who participated in dance once a week for 18 months actually had an increase in their brain’s hippocampus size.

This is great news, as the hippocampus plays a key role in learning and memory.  Dance is an art form, merging creativity, self-expression and physical activity—all of which boost mental health.

Other Fitness & Health Benefits of Dance include:

  • Weight loss
  • Safe and easy on the joints
  • Improves strength, flexibility, agility and balance
  • Requires good posture and better control of the body’s movements
  • Conditions the heart and cardiovascular system
  • Improves lung capacity
  • Increases energy
  • Reduces stress
  • Builds confidence and self esteem
  • Lifts spirits and fights depression
  • Boosts memory and keeps the brain active
  • A great social activity, hobby and a positive way to meet people

So what are you waiting for? Play some music, get up, and dance!

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.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/dancing-better-health

http://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/dancing-and-brain

http://search.creativecommons.org/

 

 

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dinnerTomorrow is Thanksgiving and many of us will be preparing traditional celebrations which usually include generous amounts of food.  I think that besides the time spent with family and friends, my favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast are the leftovers that can be enjoyed for the next day or two.

This is a good time to think about the potential leftovers you will have and how to handle them safely to prevent food borne illness.

The first step to ensuring safe leftovers is to make sure that you are handling the food safely from the time you purchase it until you have prepared it.  Keep the four basic food safety guidelines in mind:

  1. Clean. Begin by washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after handling food. Be sure that counter-tops are clean by washing with hot soapy water after preparing food, and keep cutting boards and utensils bacteria free by washing with hot soapy water or running through the dishwasher. Rinse fruits and vegetables that are not being cooked under cool running water.
  2. Separate. Help prevent cross contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry and seafood away from ready to eat foods in your shopping cart and your refrigerator. Use one cutting board for these raw foods and another for salads and ready to eat food.
  3. Cook. Use a food thermometer to tell if food is cooked to a safe temperature – just going by color is not sufficient. Always bring sauces, soups, etc. to a rolling boil when re-heating. If using a microwave oven, cover, stir and rotate the food to ensure even cooking.
  4. Chill. Remember the “danger zone” where bacteria can grow rapidly, 40° – 140°F. Keep the refrigerator below 40°, use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature. Chill leftover foods within 2 hours and put food into shallow containers to allow for quick cooling. Thaw meat, poultry and seafood in the refrigerator, not on the counter.

When you have prepared your dinner and are ready to serve, keep the time and temperature in mind for keeping the food safe for everyone. If an item that should be refrigerated inadvertently gets left out over two hours, throw it out!  No one likes to waste food but it is better than getting ill or even worse, making someone else ill.

Another thing to consider is how long you can safely keep leftovers.  Our colleagues at Illinois State University Extension have put together a list of safe times for keeping many holiday leftovers safely.

You might also be interested in trying some new recipes using your leftovers. The Illinois site lists several including this one for Turkey Posole (stew) that sounds great!

So, enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with your family and use good food safety practices to keep everyone healthy and happy!turkey-966496__480

Writer: Marilyn Rabe, OSU Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, rabe.9@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, OSU Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, Treber.1@osu.edu

Resources:

University of Illinois Extension. Turkey for the Holidays. Turkey Leftovers. http://extension.illinois.edu/turkey/leftovers.cfm

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service . Leftovers and food safety. (Rev. ed.). Washington, DC: Author. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/leftovers-and-food-safety/ct_index

Michigan State University Extension. There are Limits to Leftovers http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/there_are_limits_to_leftovers

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Check Your Steps: Food Safe Families   https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/teach-others/fsis-educational-campaigns/check-your-steps/check-your-steps

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During the upcoming holiday season, I encourage you to make time to enjoy an extra family meal together. Family meals can nourish your mind, body and soul. They provide a great opportunity to enjoy better conversations and strengthen your family ties by spending quality, focused mealtimes together.

You can also use family mealtime to encourage good manners and conversations. Not sure how to start a conversation with your children? Download these conversation starter cards provided from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. You will find a  variety of topics which are available for teens, families, and children.


Did you know that regular family meals create a routine that helps children feel more secure? According to Ruth Litchfield, Ph.D., R.D., Extension Nutritionist, Iowa State University, children who often eat dinner with their families do better in school and have lower levels of stress.

Still sound too hard to do? Check out these simple tips to make it easier to have a family mealtime available from USDA’s MyPlate MyWins.

Have you tried fixing a crock-pot or skillet meal? Using a crock-pot can help you have that meal ready when you get home. If you do not have a crock-pot, you can try one of these easy and tasty skillet recipes. Add a small salad, fresh fruit and low-fat milk for a quick meal that your family can enjoy together.

What tips can you share to make family mealtimes work? Send those tips via the comment section on this blog.

As we enter this special week of Thanksgiving, I encourage you to take time to plan and enjoy an extra family meal with your family.

 

Sources:

Litchfield, R. (2015). Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Say “YES” to family meals. Retrieved from https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/5414

Mealtime Conversation cards. Retrieved from https://store.extension.iastate.edu/ProductList?Keyword=conversation

MyPlate MyWins: Tips Making family meals. Retrieved from https://www.choosemyplate.gov/myplate-mywins-tips-making-family-meals

USDA What’s Cooking? Retrieved from https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/

 

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

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

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This is a perfect time of year to teach our children aboutHappy Thanksgiving word cloud being thankful.  The Thanksgiving holiday has many opportunities to create new family traditions that will bring the real meaning of thankfulness and gratitude to a personal level for our children.  Even is the mist of extremely challenging circumstances, we can find something to be thankful for.  In addition to helping us cope with challenges, this kind of grateful attitude can be contagious and is a wonderful life lesson to share with our children.  Learning to be truly grateful can change your life. The Greater Good Science Center at University of California-Berkeley notes three key reasons to teach children to be grateful.

  • Grateful kids are more kind
  • Grateful teens are happier and get better grades
  • Grateful kids become stewards of the environment

Teaching children to be thankful helps them resist their natural urge to be self-centered and self-absorbed.  Thankfulness is an important character trait that allows young people to develop meaningful relationships with others, and is directly related to happiness.  Understanding the good things in our lives will go a long way during adversity.

Kids are never too young to start learning how to show thanks for the good things in their lives.  Although Thanksgiving, by its name alone, makes us think about giving thanks, we should teach our children by example, that being thankful and telling others how much they are appreciated should happen every day. Parents and caregivers are the main ingredient in teaching young children no matter how young or old about being grateful.  We teach with our actions more than words.  So, it will take some thoughtful planning to find time around our busy work schedules but many things can be incorporated in our day-to-day lives with very little effort.

Here are some ideas to try with your family:

A Thanksgiving Tree:  Get each child to trace their hand on a piece of paper.  Have each child write various things they are thankful for on the fingers.

The Thankful Paper Chain:  Cut strips of paper.  On each strip have the child write about something they are thankful for, such as “Grandma plays games with me” or “I have a nice teacher.”  Connect them into loops.  It would be fun to add to the chain as other holidays approach.

Giving Thanks Placemats:  The goal of this craft is to create a collage filled with pictures of all the things your children are grateful for.  Using magazine pictures or pictures from the computer, glue them on a placemat size piece of paper.  Older children could write captions.  You can even laminate it to use again and again.

A Thank You Note Project:  Teach your children to write thank you notes for presents they receive or kindnesses that are shown to them.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Resource:

Rothenberg, W. A., Hussong, A. M., Langley, H. A., Egerton, G. A., Halberstadt, A. G., Coffman, J. L., Mokrova, I., & Costanzo, P. R., Grateful parents raising grateful children: Niche selection and the socialization of child gratitude, Applied Developmental Science Vol. 21, Iss. 2, 2017

Written by: Kathy Green, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, green.1405@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Janet Wasko Myers, Program Assistant, Horticulture, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, myers.31@osu.edu

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Holiday meals are a wonderful way to re-connect with family and friends. We tend to spend more money and time preparing special holiday foods. USDA offers some tips on preparing a healthy, low-cost holiday meal:

Plan ahead. Deciding early on your menu can save both time and money. You can look for sales and coupons to help lower food costs. Check your cupboards and use what you have along with items you need to purchase. For more help in planning your meal, check out USDA’s Countdown to Thanksgiving.

Use canned and frozen produce. Because these foods can be stored longer, you can purchase them when they are on sale.

thanksgiving.jpgConsider frozen meat. Meat tends to be the most expensive part of the meal. In general, frozen meats tend to cost less. Make sure you have space in your freezer to store and your refrigerator later for thawing before cooking and also for storing leftovers.

Have a potluck. Invite family members to bring a dish with them. You can coordinate these dishes with your menu so there is a nice variety. This can save you both time and money.

Healthy and homemade. While store-bought dishes or desserts can save you time, they can be expensive. Making them yourself can help save money and you can adjust the amount of salt, sugar and fat as your prepare the food.

Try a new recipe. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service offers a variety of healthy, low-cost recipes. You can also read more on the MyPlate Holiday Makeover.

Use your leftovers. You want to make sure all leftovers are stored safely so they can become part of a tasty dish. Freeze what you cannot use within 7 days.

Our Live Healthy Live Well team wishes you and yours a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Sources:

Rowe, A. (2013). Stretching a Holiday Food Budget during the Busy Holiday Season. United States Department of Agriculture. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2013/12/3/stretching-holiday-food-budget-during-busy-holiday-season

Countdown to the Thanksgiving Holiday. (2013) United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/seasonal-food-safety/countdown-to-the-thanksgiving-holiday/CT_Index

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County.

Reviewed by:  Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County.

 

 

 

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When your pet ingests a toxin, time can be of the essence. Immediately contacting the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 24-hour hotline (1-888-426-4435) will give you and your veterinarianpetsan potentially life-saving information regarding the treatment of your loved one.

 

 

To protect your pet, we recommend that you follow these simple guidelines:

  • Always follow instructions on the label of prescription medications.
  • Never give your pet any of your prescription or over-the-counter                            medications unless explicitly instructed to do so by a veterinarian.
  • Keep common household cleaning products safely stored away from pet access.
  • Prevent access to the garbage by keeping a tight lid on all cans or store out of reach of your pets.
  • Only have your home treated with chemicals that are nontoxic to pets.
  • Seek emergency care if your pet has ingested a toxin.

During the holidays, there are other things that should be of special concern to our pets, Here are some of the things that might be “eye-catching” to your pet during the holiday season?

  • Alcohol (including eggnog & punch)Bones (chicken & turkey)
  • Car enginesoutdoor cats seek warmth
  • Christmas treescats climb and like ornaments & tinsel, strands of lights,      stagnant or fertilized tree water, pine needles
  • Chocolate
  • Confetti
  • Electrical cords & wires
  • Grapes & raisins
  • Lighted candles
  • Outdoor hazardsantifreeze, frostbite, frozen water bowl (outdoors), rock salt, sub-zero temperatures
  • PlantsChristmas cactus, lilies, holly
  • Ribbons, bows & giftwrap
  • Rich foods
  • Sugar-free desserts/gum (with Xylitol)
  • Trash cans with discarded/moldy foods

Remember to always work in partnership with your family veterinarian.

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.  –George Eliot

 Adapted by:  Janet Wasko Myers, Program Assistant, Horticulture, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, myers.31@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, green.1405@osu.edu

Sources:

Information is provided by The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center.  Contact The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center at:  http://vet.osu.edu/vmc/  (614) 292-3551, 24/7 Operating Center.

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine at:  http://vet.osu.edu

Protect your Pet from Household Hazards at:  http://vet.osu.edu/vmc/companion/owner-education/protect-your-pet-household-hazards

General Safety info pdf and HolidaySafetyHazards.pdf at the bottom of the page at:  http://vet.osu.edu/vmc/companion/owner-education/protect-your-pet-household-hazards

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