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…make lemonade!

In other words, don’t throw it out just yet! Fruit during any season can quickly overripe and end up in the trash…but don’t throw out the lemon (or fruit) just yet (unless it is moldy of course)! With the high cost of food, this summer I challenged myself to throw out less food, especially fruit, to learn to be more sustainable. I learned that it only takes a few minutes to turn overripe fruit into usable, edible food.

Here are 5 of the easiest (less than 10 minutes) ideas for using up fruits that are past their prime.

  1. Freeze that fruit! Freezing will stop the fruit from ripening any further, so you don’t have to toss it in the trash! If you freeze overripe fruit it can be used at a later time in smoothies or other recipes. Just peel (if needed), chop and freeze!
  • Make fruit roll ups. This is the easiest idea after freezing! Making fruit leathers or “fruit rolls ups” is easier than you think and healthier without the added sugar. All you need to do is puree the overripe fruit (blender or bullet works great) until liquid, then pour onto a rectangle cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, bake at 225 degrees for 4-5 hours and wala…a fruit roll up! The cooking times will vary depending on thickness and your oven. To finish, use a pizza cutter to cut into strips and then store in a container.
  • Toss in a crock pot! Tossing overripe fruit into the crock pot instead of the trash can, which could easily turn into chunky applesauce, peach cobbler or a healthy dessert with very minimal time and effort.
  • Make jams or jellies. Did you now that it only takes four ingredients to make uncooked jam. These include fruit, sugar, pectin and water! No cooking necessary! I made jam this week using overripe strawberries and here is the recipe I used from Ohio State University Extension who provide evidenced based recipes, fact sheets and 30 minute webinars on food preservation.
  • And finally, bake a fruit crisp or crumble! This easy and delicious dessert can be made in a few minutes with only a few ingredients. There are many recipes available, yet basically you would just slice the overripe fruit, place on the bottom of a pan then add the “crumble” on top of fruit (a combination of oatmeal, flour, sugar, spices, and butter) and bake! This can also be easily made into a gluten free dessert by using almond or oat flour!

So, when life does give you lemons…now you’ll know exactly what to do … and see that something good can come from it 😊.

Be well,

Shari

Written by Shari Gallup, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University Extension, Licking County, gallup.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by, Beth Stefura, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, Stefura.2@osu.edu

References:

Jams. Jellies and Other Fruit Spreads: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/HYG-5350

Making Fruit Leathers: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-5361

Selecting storing Serving Ohio Produce: https://fcs.osu.edu/sites/fcs/files/imce/PDFs/Selecting_Storing_Serving_series_published_2021.pdf

Sustainability. Family and Consumer Sciences Ohio State University Extension. https://fcs.osu.edu/programs/resources/sustainability

Caregiving for a loved one can be rewarding and fulfilling. However, the positive feelings often coexist with feelings of stress and strain. Caregivers have reported higher levels of physical, emotional, and financial strains. These stresses can also be compounded for those who are providing long distance caregiving. In today’s world, many families are spread apart geographically. According to the “Caregiving in the U.S. 2020” study by AARP and the National Alliance of Caregiving, eleven percent of family caregivers live an hour or more away from their aging or ailing loved one.

Long-distance caregivers often incur more financial strain due to travel expenses, time off work, and the need to hire help. If loved ones are cared for primarily by a close relative, long-distance caregivers might feel additional emotional strain as feelings of guilt for not being more hands-on with the caregiving role.  

If you live an hour or more away from a loved one who needs care, you might wonder what you can do to help. Long-distance caregivers, however, can take steps to make their situation less burdensome and more fulfilling.

The first step is to develop open communication with all involved. Talking with the primary caregiver, neighbors, and healthcare professionals is the best place to start is to get a realistic view of what is going on with your loved one.

Once you understand your loved one’s condition, the next important step is to consider what skills you have to offer that can be done from a distance.

  • If you have strong financial skills, you can offer to help with money management, following up on insurance benefits and claims, or bill paying.
  • If you have strong people management skills, consider stepping in to locate local resources, coordinate calendars and schedule aides and other home care providers.
  • If you are good at communicating and researching, you could be become the information coordinator. Essentially being the conduit of information to all involved in the loved one’s life and care team. If this is the role that best fits you, be certain to get the permissions needed under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
  • If you have good organization skills, you can play the important role of getting all the paperwork in order. The National Institute on Aging recommends that things such as personal records, financial records, and legal documents should be up to date in case of an emergency.

Long-distance caregivers can contribute in various other ways. The National Institute of Aging provides additional ideas in Getting Started with Long-Distance Caregiving tool. Be thoughtful of what best fits you and your loved ones.

Written by: Kathy Tutt, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University, Clark County, tutt.19@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Lorrissa Dunfee, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University, Belmont County, dunfee.54@osu.edu

References:

Bevan,J.L., Vreeburg, S.K., Verdugo, S. & Sparks, L. (2012) Interpersonal Conflict and Health Perceptions in Long-Distance Caregiving Relationships, Journal of Health Communication, 17:7, 747-761, DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2011.650829

Harrigan, M. P., & Koerin, B. B. (2014). Long-Distance Caregiving: Personal Realities and Practice Implications. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping13(2), 5–16. Retrieved from https://reflectionsnarrativesofprofessionalhelping.org/index.php/Reflections/article/view/988

National Institute on Aging, Getting Started with Long-Distance Caregiving, retrieved from: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/getting-started-long-distance-caregiving

National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. Caregiving in the United States 2020. Washington, DC: AARP. May 2020. https://doi.org/10.26419/ppi.00103.001

How to Beat Brain Fog

Earlier this year I was teaching a Master of Memory class when someone asked me, “how does covid affect memory?” This is a valid question as up to 30% of COVID-19 patients at some clinics report experiencing brain fog weeks to months after they recover from their illness. Brain fog is a term used to describe how you feel when your thinking is sluggish, fuzzy, and not sharp. You might experience brain fog when you are sleep deprived, jet-lagged, recovering from an illness, or experiencing side effects of medication. According to Dr. Tamara Fong, an assistant scientist and associate professor of neurology at the Harvard Medical School “In many cases, brain fog is temporary and gets better on its own. However, we don’t really understand why brain fog happens after COVID-19, or how long these symptoms are likely to last. But we do know that this form of brain fog can affect different aspects of cognition.”

Cognition refers to the processes in the brain that we use to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention. People experiencing brain fog may have trouble paying attention, remembering instructions, making plans, learning, storing, and later recalling information.

To help clear brain fog, doctors recommend practicing the same behaviors that have been shown to protect thinking and memory:

  • Exercise – aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. Moderate intensity is anything that gets your heart beating faster. If 150 minutes is too much, do what you can – every little bit adds up!
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet – fill your plate with nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Limit added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium.
  • Get adequate sleep – at least 7 hours a night.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs – if you don’t drink, don’t start. If you do drink, limit consumption to 1-2 drinks a day.
  • Engage in social activities – virtually, or in person. A simple text or phone call is sometimes all it takes to stay connected.
  • Do brain-stimulating activities like games and puzzles, listening to music, reading, and practicing mindfulness.

For more information on how to protect and improve your memory, whether you’re experiencing brain fog or not, view the Extension Today segment “Master Your Memory” below.

Written by Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Franklin County

Reviewed by Patrice Powers-Barker, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Lucas County

Sources:

Budson, A. E. (2021). What is COVID-19 brain fog – and how can you clear it? Harvard Health Blog. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/what-is-covid-19-brain-fog-and-how-can-you-clear-it-2021030822076

Fong, T. (2022). Brain fog: Memory and attention after COVID-19. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/brain-fog-memory-and-attention-after-covid-19-202203172707

Back to school season is the perfect time to up your game with the goal of having zero or reduced waste lunches. By planning, your family can greatly reduce the amount of food waste created. Here are a few tips from the Ohio State University Extension Sustainability Team:

  • Purchase glass, stainless steel, or food safe bamboo containers for your sandwiches or leftovers. There are a lot of stainless-steel bento style boxes available right now. Avoid using plastic bags or wrap, and aluminum foil.
  • Purchase reusable storage bags, straws, utensils, and cloth napkins that you wash and use over and over. If you use paper napkins, purchase 100% recycled paper napkins.
  • Make sure you use the oldest food in your cupboard, pantry, refrigerator first – as something gets older you may be able to freeze it for later use if you are watching (for example, you can freeze yogurt and fresh fruit for smoothies).
  • Bring your own condiments in small containers – rather than using or purchasing salad dressings or ketchup in single use packaging.
  • Compost your fruit or vegetable scraps. If composting isn’t available at your work or school, consider implementing a program.
  • Recycle what you can and keep up to date on the recycling program available in your community.
  • If you eat out, plan to take part of your meal home for lunch the next day. Eat at restaurants that use brown, eco-friendly to go containers, or better yet, bring your own.
  • The lunch bag options are limitless, so choose one that is easy to care for and fits your personality. Do you like Star Wars, Disney, the NFL, or our beloved Buckeyes? There are handy choices available for the whole family.

You may say that some of these sustainable products are a little pricey, so watch for back-to-school sales or buy these items as gifts for family members and friends gifts. I have been buying my friends glass or bamboo lunch containers the last few years and my daughter bought almost everyone in the family cool decorative mini-coolers last year for the holidays. The coolers work great for lunches or trips. We can’t wait to hear your favorite sustainable practices or lunch packing products.

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

Reviewer: Laura Stanton, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Warren County.

Sources:

Ohio State University Extension, Sustainability Team – https://fcs.osu.edu/programs/resources/sustainability

Stanton, L.M. (2021). Ten Tips for Packing Waste-Free Lunches, Ohio State University Extension. https://go.osu.edu/waste-free-lunches

United States, Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/recycle/reduce-reuse-recycle-resources-students-and-educators.

The Sunday Scaries

When asked in a recent poll, 58% of Americans said that Monday was their least favorite day of the week. For many people, Monday marks the start of a new work week and the tasks and responsibilities that come along with it. Individuals may start to feel some anticipatory anxiety thinking about what Monday will bring, sometimes referred to as the “Sunday Scaries” – a sense of anxiety or dread that comes around each Sunday (or the last day of your weekend). Generally, Sunday Scaries begin in the late afternoon or evening hours, when your mind starts to think of the week ahead.

If you experience these feelings, you are not alone. The shift from “weekend mode” to “work mode” each week is a transition many others struggle with as well. Sunday Scaries may be expressed in different ways, such as: a racing heartbeat, upset stomach, headache, or trouble sleeping.

Woman with a pen at her desk.

There are strategies to try to combat the Scaries:

  • Stay in the Moment – Try to keep your mind on the present and not on tomorrow’s to-do list. Plan fun activities for the day or spend some time with family and friends.
  • Sunday Self-Care Routines – Keep time open for rest and relaxation! Complete household chores and tasks on Saturday, so that Sunday can be left for hobbies and activities that you enjoy. This can help you feel more refreshed for the week ahead.
  • Treat Yourself – Give yourself something to look forward to on Monday. Maybe it’s your favorite food for lunch or plans to meet with friends after work that will make Monday not seem so bad.
  • Exercise – Schedule in some time for movement. Exercise can relieve some of the stress you may be feeling about your week. If you are able, go outside to get in some green exercise.
  • Listen to Your Mind – Is there something in particular about work that you are dreading? Perhaps it is a specific task or co-worker that is causing your worries. By figuring out what exactly you are dreading, you can take steps to make changes in your schedule.

If your life and routines are being greatly impacted by the Sunday Scaries – perhaps you are unable to sleep at all on Sunday nights, your eating habits change drastically, or you feel so anxious that you regularly call off work on Mondays, a mental health professional may be able to help you through different treatment options.

Sources:

Ballard, J. (2021). What is America’s most and least favorite day of the week? YouGov America.  https://today.yougov.com/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2021/03/15/most-and-least-favorite-day-week-poll

Cleveland Clinic (2021). What are the ‘Sunday Scaries’?  https://health.clevelandclinic.org/sunday-scaries/

Schramm, S. (2022). Ways to Beat the ‘Sunday Scaries’. Duke Today.  https://today.duke.edu/2022/04/ways-beat-%E2%80%98sunday-scaries%E2%80%99

Treber, M (2019). Thanks, Doc, for the Nature Prescription. Live Healthy Live Well.  https://livehealthyosu.com/2019/08/29/thanks-doc-for-the-nature-prescription/

Written by:  Jessica Lowe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University, Pickaway County, lowe.495@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition and Wellness, OSU Extension

A waiter with two plates of food
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Let’s face it, it’s really nice to eat out sometimes. You don’t have to prepare food or do the dishes, and can order what you want. However, eating out can leave a large footprint on the environment, depending on what you order, how its served, and what you do with leftovers. Food waste, single use items, and resource intense foods contribute to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is that you can eat out more sustainably by making some small changes. Here are some easy tips that you can do when eating out to help the environment:

  • Choose more plant based foods, smaller portions of meat and fried foods. Plant based and fresh foods are usually less resource intense to produce. Guess what? They’re healthier too!
  • Refuse single use straws, utensils, cups, and bags. Bring your own reusable ones.
  • Take home leftovers. Food waste contributes to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as it rots in landfills. Bring reusable plastic containers to use as a doggy bag for example.
  • Compost or recycle unsoiled paper products such as pizza lids, bags and boxes.
  • Choose restaurants that you feel are ethical and sustainable. You might have to do a little bit of research. Find out if they support your values. Do they pay workers a livable wage, do they source locally, do they offer healthier and sustainable menu items?
  • In general, try to eat out less often. When you eat out, there is also a chance you are leaving food at home to spoil.

Behavior change is hard, so try not to do too many things all at once. Consider setting some small goals. Small goals can lead to big impacts collectively and over the course of time. Think of all the plastic straws you would save from landfills by refusing them over the rest of your life. Choose goals that are really simple and attainable. For example, make a box of reusable items that you could use at restaurant and place in your car. If you go out to lunch 3 days a week, consider cutting back to one day a week.

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

Reviewed by: Jessica Lowe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, lowe.495@osu.edu

Sources:

Lobb, Jenny. (2022). Starting the Year with a SMART goal. Retrieved at https://wordpress.com/post/livehealthyosu.com/12600

Sabate, Joan. (2014). Sustainability of Plant-based Diets: Back to the Future. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/100/suppl_1/476S/4576675.

United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.) Food waste and It’s links to Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change. Retrieved from https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2022/01/24/food-waste-and-its-links-greenhouse-gases-and-climate-change.

For families who have experienced the heartbreak of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), nothing makes sense. However, continued research is offering recommendations that may reduce the risk of future unexplained sleep related deaths.

According to the Mayo Clinic, SIDS is the death of a baby less than a year old who otherwise seems healthy. SIDS often occurs as the child is sleeping. Although the cause is often unknown, SIDS might be associated with breathing issues associated with sleep arousal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the term SIDS is also used to describe sleeping infant deaths that are caused by accidents, including suffocation or entrapment, which account for approximately 27% of sudden unexplained infant deaths.

Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Sam Hanke and his wife Maura, who was a kindergarten teacher at the time of their son Charlie’s death, realized if they could lose a child to SIDS, anyone could. Combining their medical expertise with their personal experience they started Charlie’s Kids Foundation to educate, support and advocate for safe sleep practices for all families.

In a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) it is estimated that approximately 3,500 infants die of sleep-related deaths in the US each year. Although this number has decreased since the 1990’s, research continues to reveal the need for education and prevention efforts.

In July 2022, the AAP released a full list of updated evidence-based recommendations for reducing infant death in the sleep environment that include:

  • Back to sleep for every sleep
  • Feeding of human milk
  • Keep soft objects such as pillows, pillow-like toys, quilts, comforters, mattress toppers, fur-like materials, and loose bedding such as blankets and nonfitted sheets away from the infant’s sleep area
  • Infants sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for at least their first 6 months 

Although there are additional recommendations in the updated report, the message for parents and caregivers is supine (back) sleeping continues to be the safest sleeping position for infants.

Author: Heather Reister, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County, reister.6@osu.edu

Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Franklin County

Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Sudden unexpected infant death and sudden infant death syndrome: Data and statistics. Retrieved June 1, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/sids/data.htm

Charlie’s Story: Turning a tragic loss into a catalyst for change, (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://charlieskids.org/our-story/

Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2022 Recommendations for Reducing Infant Deaths in the Sleep Environment. Publications.aap.org. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2022 from https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/150/1/e2022057990/188304/Sleep-Related-Infant-Deaths-Updated-2022?autologincheck=redirected&_ga=2.254117454.774970786.1658929277-1670574471.1657804696

Sudden infant death syndrome, (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sudden-infant-death-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20352800

Ohio State University Campus

A couple months ago I wrote a blog about teaching our children to fly (from the nest). In three weeks, I will be moving my youngest child in to her college dorm. After surviving her senior year, I must now prepare for her departure and for the empty nest that will result.

As a parent, my life has not revolved solely around my children. I have tried to participate in things I enjoy for myself. I realize that to be the best parent I can be, I need to have things that bring me joy that are not dependent on my children. I want my kids to see that adults can have fun and do things that make them happy and still be good parents.

As my daughter prepares for this exciting new time, I am filled with mixed emotions. I am happy she’s doing well and that she wants to take care preparing herself for campus living. I try to avoid thinking about her leaving because I don’t want to dampen her excitement. I know I will likely experience some empty nest syndrome, though I don’t think it will be too severe.

The signs of empty nest syndrome include:

  • Feeling sad, anxious, and stressed about an empty house.
  • Unable to sleep or eat well due to being distracted by your thoughts.
  • Reverting to memories you shared with your kids when they were still living at home.
  • Reminiscing about their childhood and going through things they left behind.
  • Feeling useless or worthless since you no longer need to take care for your children.
  • Languishing—having less energy and motivation to do things you used to or want to do.
smiling couple

Empty nest syndrome can last for years, though most parents adjust to the new situation in about 2 months. Some parents look forward to the freedom from parenting daily, while others dread the thought of not having the kids around. Some, like me, have mixed feelings of excitement and sadness that my role as a parent of a child has ended. Regardless how parents feel, there are things they can do to help reduce empty nest syndrome:

  • Talk to your partner and your child about your feelings.
  • Reconnect with your partner or other significant people.
  • Respect your child’s new independence.
  • Focus on the future and the upsides of an empty nest, not the past.
  • Stay active and consider exercising regularly.
  • Stay disciplined with money.
  • Invest in yourself by doing things you enjoy and practicing self-care.
  • Don’t feel guilty for having fun and enjoying this new chapter.
  • Join a support group for empty nesters.
  • Seek professional help if feelings of sadness, anxiety, or depression persist.

As you navigate this new chapter, give yourself and your young adult some grace. Focus on getting to know your adult child, relish all you both have accomplished and look forward to all that is to come. Since the only constant in life is change, it is best to embrace it.

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

Reviewer: Shannon Carter, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu

Sources:

Battles, D. M. (2020, November 26). How to cope with empty nest syndrome and be happy again. Lifehack. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://www.lifehack.org/809725/empty-nest-syndrome

Carter, S. (2021, June 14). From languishing to flourishing. Live Healthy Live Well. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://livehealthyosu.com/2021/06/17/from-languishing-to-flourishing/

Carter, S. (2022, July 8). College send-off: Are you ready? Live Healthy Live Well. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://livehealthyosu.com/2022/07/11/college-send-off-are-you-ready/

Educomics. (2021, November 15). Effective ways to combat empty nest syndrome. Educomics.org. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://www.educomics.org/watching-your-children-grow-up/

Harmon, M. (2021, December 14). The only constant is change. Live Healthy Live Well. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://livehealthyosu.com/2021/12/14/the-only-constant-is-change/  

Harmon, M. (2022, May 24). They have wings, just teach them how to fly. Live Healthy Live Well. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://livehealthyosu.com/2022/05/24/they-have-wings-just-teach-them-how-to-fly/

Rupp, M. (2022, April 6). Spring clean your finances! Live Healthy Live Well. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://livehealthyosu.com/2022/03/14/spring-clean-your-finances/State of nevada employee handbook. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2022, from https://hr.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/hrnvgov/Content/Resources/Publications/Employee_Handbook.pdf

As the beginning of the school year quickly approaches, I’m reminded of my family’s rushed mornings out the door where I lack patience and feel frazzled. As those days progressed, I found it difficult to keep myself motivated and to stay focused on tasks on my ever-growing to-do list. At the end of many days, I felt exhausted with very little completed from my list.

Journaling

In preparation to not repeat the rushed and frazzled mornings this coming school year, I’ve started doing some research about how to make the most of my mornings. Research shows that a productive morning routine can have a positive impact on a person’s day. There are lots of different ideas when it comes to creating an energizing morning routine including getting up early, exercising, drinking water, eating a healthy breakfast, and journaling to name a few. I quickly found all the options overwhelming and wanted to find something that made creating a morning routine a little easier.

That’s when I came across a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Hal’s approach to a morning routine made it easier for me to implement. He suggests waking up earlier than you normally would and spending your time doing six personal development habits to transform your morning and your life. The six habits are an acronym SAVERS:

  1. Silence– As you sit in silence, you’re totally present in the now, in the moment. You calm your mind, relax your body, and allow all of your stress to melt away. You develop a deeper sense of peace, purpose, and direction.
  2. Affirmations– Reading over the reminders of how capable you really are, gives you a feeling of confidence. Looking over what you’re committed to, what your purpose is, and what your goals are re-energizes you to take the actions necessary to live the life you truly want, deserve, and now know is possible for you.
  3. Vision– Visualize the change you want to make in your life. Either by creating a vision board or closing your eyes and working through your visualization.
  4. Exercise– Stand up and spend some time getting your heart rate up. Getting energized, waking yourself up and increasing your ability to be alert and to focus.
  5. Reading– Grab a self-help book and read a couple of pages. Learn a new idea, something that you can implement into your day, or discover something new that you can use to be better.
  6. Scribing– Grab a piece of paper and take a minute to write down what you’re grateful for, what you’re proud, or the results you’re committed to creating for today. In doing so, you put yourself in an empowered, an inspired, and a confident state of mind
Quality Wins

The book gives you a base to apply the habits to make them work with your life and I love that I can customize these to fit with my goals. How would you feel if this is how you started your day? How would the quality of your day—your life—improve? I encourage you to wake up each day with more ENERGY, MOTIVATION, and FOCUS to take your day and your life to the next level. 

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

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

Sources:

Elrod, H. (2012). The Miracle Morning . Hal Elrod International, Inc.

Harvard Professional Development. (2016, September 21). 3 Ways to Boost Productivity with a Morning Ritual. Retrieved from https://professional.dce.harvard.edu/blog/3-ways-to-boost-productivity-with-a-morning-ritual/

According to a 2018 Nielsen report, 39% of Americans are shifting toward eating more plant-based foods – for various reasons and to varying degrees. Some potential draws of a plant-based diet include health benefits, food safety, cost savings, ethics, and sustainability. As depicted in the graphic below from Illinois Extension, plant-based eating can range from a diet that proportionally includes more foods from plant-based sources to a vegetarian, plant-based diet that excludes animal flesh foods to a vegan diet that includes no animal foods or products.

Infographic from Illinois Extension on plant-based diets. Plant based includes more foods from plant sources: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Flexitarian is plant-based and occasionally includes eggs, dairy and meat. Vegetarian is plant based and excludes animal flesh foods. Lacto-ovo is vegetarian but includes dairy and eggs. Pescatarian is vegetarian but includes seafood. Vegan is no animal foods. Vitamin B12 needs to be included in the diet.

The plant-based foods industry is responding to this increased demand. The Plant-Based Foods Association, a trade association representing the plant-based foods industry, states that they are working with brands, retailers, distributors, and food service providers to  “build a sustainable infrastructure for this growing demand”. Over the past couple of years, more and more plant-based foods have appeared in the grocery store. For example, “meatless grind”, a product resembling ground beef that can be used in place of ground meat in recipes for hamburgers, tacos, meatloaves, and more is now available from certain brands, and store brands are selling their own versions as well.

While you can certainly make a veggie burger from meatless grind or purchase pre-made veggie burgers in the freezer aisle of your grocery store, there are lots of easy, tasty recipes for homemade veggie burgers available online. These recipes typically include a combination of beans and grains. Here are three options:

  1. Lentil burgers containing shredded carrot and breadcrumbs
  2. Black bean burgers made with brown rice, sweet potato, and breadcrumbs
  3. Chickpea (garbanzo bean) burgers made with green onion, carrot, and flour
a veggie burger

If you have a bit more time and are willing to invest some effort in the creation of your own delicious veggie burgers, homemade beet burgers made with roasted, grated beets, black beans, brown rice, and oats are a central Ohio favorite.

Do you have a favorite veggie burger recipe? If so, please share in the comment box below!

Sources:

Illinois Extension (2020). What’s the best diet? Plant-based eating trend growing. https://extension.illinois.edu/news-releases/whats-best-diet-plant-based-eating-trend-growing

Nielsen IQ (2018). Plant-based food options are sprouting growth for retailers. https://nielseniq.com/global/en/insights/analysis/2018/plant-based-food-options-are-sprouting-growth-for-retailers/

Written by Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Franklin County

Reviewed by Patrice Powers-Barker, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Lucas County