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fruit infused water

Are you getting enough water? The old hard and fast rule was that you were to drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. However, the rule was actually just an estimate and the amount you should be drinking can vary based on gender, weight, activity level and other special considerations. You can check out this article to calculate how much water you should be drinking.

According to the CDC water helps your body:

  • Keep your temperature normal
  • Lubricate and cushion joints
  • Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
  • Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements

They also report that your body needs more water when you are:

  • In hot climates
  • More physically active
  • Running a fever
  • Having diarrhea or vomiting

Do you find yourself struggling to get your water intake in? I grew up with a pitcher of sweet tea in the refrigerator at all times so drinking plain water was very difficult for me. I craved flavor. So I started to infuse my water with fruit. If you are new to fruit infused water you may be taken back by the fact that it’s not sweetened. It’s a little hard on the taste buds at first especially if you are used to drinking sweetened beverages. I would recommend starting with fruit that is already really sweet, like pineapple, to help trick your taste buds since there is no added sugar. Then, as you become accustom to things less sweet you can try and experiment with other flavors. Check out this blog post where another extension educator lists the steps to making infused water and different combinations to try. A couple of my favorites are: lemon water

  • Orange Pineapple – 16 oz water, 4-6 inch pineapple spear, 1 small orange sliced
  • Berry Splash – 16 oz water, 4 raspberries, 2 blackberries, 2 strawberries
  • Grape Pineapple – 16 oz water, 6 grapes and a 3-4 inch pineapple spear

Maybe you infuse your water already. I encourage you to think about what fruits and vegetables are in season where you live and try different combinations. Are you feeling a little more adventurous in your selection? Why not try going gourmet with these flavors:

  • Green Apple Raspberry Rosemary – Sliced apple, whole raspberry and 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • Orange Chai Spice – Sliced oranges, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, allspice
  • Vanilla Basil Strawberry – Vanilla bean (remove seeds first), handful fresh basil, 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • Mango Pineapple Mint – Slice of firm-ripe mango, slices of pineapple, handful fresh mint

Make sure to prepare your infused water at least 2 to 3 hours before you plan to drink it to allow time for flavors to blend. Refrigerated infused water can be kept for up to 3 days before drinking. What’s your favorite combination of infused water?

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/index.html

http://livesmartohio.osu.edu/food/kendle-4osu-edu/water-with-a-twist/

https://www.umsystem.edu/newscentral/totalrewards/2014/06/19/how-to-calculate-how-much-water-you-should-drink/

http://www.washington.edu/wholeu/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Drinks-in-a-Jar5.pdf

http://u.osu.edu/powers-barker.1/2015/07/06/ohio-local-foods-infused-water-experiment/

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

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

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The holidays are a time for eating delicious food and spending time with friends and family. Studies show the average American gains one pound during the holiday season.  If you are on a special diet due to elevated blood pressure or high cholesterol, holiday foods can be tricky.  No one food or beverage is good or bad, but some have more health properties than others.

Review the following five holiday foods to indulge in this year (and the seven to limit consumption of) to ensure a healthy holiday season.

NICE Holiday Foods

  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Tangerines
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Nuts

Eat these lighter, nutrient rich foods more often during the holiday season. Make it a challenge to try and get the healthiest version of each dish available.

NAUGHTY Holiday Foods

  • Egg Nog
  • Pecan Pie
  • Gravy/Sauces/Dips
  • Cheese Cake
  • Fudge
  • Croissants
  • Coffee Beverages

These foods and drinks are special occasion foods to enjoy on a limited basis. Reach for these foods less often or modify the recipes to make the dishes healthier.  Choose wisely during the holidays.  Plan ahead for holiday parties, drink water prior to eating out, and eat the “naughty foods” in moderation.

Take care of yourself this holiday season, and remember that fitness, stress management and sleep also play important roles during the holidays!

Written by: Beth Stefura, RD,LD, Ohio State University, Extension Educator, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu

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

Resources: http://www.webmd.com/doet/healthy-holidays-8/holiday-food

Healthandwellness.vanderbilt.edu/files/hpHTSHolidayTips.pdf

 

 

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SunburnOuch!  You didn’t think you were out in the sun that long.  What happened?  Now, your skin is red and really hurts.  What do you do?

•First get out of the sun and indoors, if possible.

•Put a towel dampened in cold water on your skin. Change the towel every 10 to 15 minutes. This will help remove some of the heat out of your skin. You can also take a cool shower or bath. Just gently pat your skin dry, leaving some water on your skin.

•To help relieve dryness of the skin you can apply a moisturizer with aloe vera or soy. This will help trap the water in your skin. Aloe vera has a soothing action on the skin. However, be careful with lotions and creams as those containing petroleum, benzocaine or lidocaine should not be used. Petroleum products can trap heat in your skin and make you more uncomfortable. Benzocaine and lidocaine can irritate your skin. Hydrocortisone cream may help if you have an area that feels especially uncomfortable.

•You can take an over the counter pain reliever to help reduce discomfort, swelling, and redness. Don’t use home remedies as these can slow or prevent healing.

•Drink extra water. Being sunburned dries you out so you need to drink extra water to prevent dehydration.

•Don’t pop blisters. Popping blisters can make your sunburn worse. If you have blisters you have a second-degree sunburn. Blisters protect you from infection if you allow them to heal naturally and don’t pop them. If they do pop on their own, apply an antibacterial ointment in the area.

•If you feel dizzy, weak, sick to your stomach, cold, itchy, feverish, or if you develop a rash or are just not feeling well, you should seek medical help. These symptoms signal the sunburn may be making you really sick, or you may be very dehydrated and need medical attention. Heat exhaustion is also a possibility requiring medical attention.Sun hat and applying sun screen

•Be careful until your sunburn heals. Skin healing from a sunburn can easily burn again in the sun. Wear sunscreen and additionally protect your skin with tightly-woven clothing in dark or medium colors.

Sunburns cause damage to your skin which can last for some time. Sunburns increase your risk of skin cancer in the future. Protect your skin with a 30 SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen when going outside and reapply every two hours. Learn and follow other sun safety tips.

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

Reviewer: Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D., SNAP-Ed Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension, West Region, spires.53@osu.edu

References:
American Academy of Dermatology, (2014). Treating Sunburn, Available at http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/for-kids/about-skin/skin-cancer/treating-sunburn

Mayo Clinic, (2012). Sunburn: First Aid, Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-sunburn/basics/art-20056643

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Fall and Winter are a great time for feeling toasty and warm, wrapped up in cozy sweaters or blankets, or settled in front of a fire. But freezing temperatures, low humidity, and furnace-blasted dry air can leave your skin dry, flaky, and itchy. Everyone needs to protect their skin from drying out in the winter. But if you have a skin condition, you should step up your routine to stay supple.

The signs (what you see) and symptoms (what you feel) of dry skin are:
Soft Hands
• Rough, scaly, or flaking skin.
• Itching.
• Gray, ashy skin in people with dark skin.
• Cracks in the skin, which may bleed if severe.
• Chapped or cracked lips.

Here are tips that can prevent dry skin or keep it from getting worse:

• Do not use hot water. Hot water removes your natural skin oils more quickly. Warm water is best for bathing.
• Use a gentle cleanser. Soaps can strip oils from the skin. Stop using deodorant bars, antibacterial soaps, perfumed soaps, and skin care products containing alcohol, like hand sanitizers. Look for either a mild, fragrance-free soap or a soap substitute that moisturizes.
• Limit time in the bathtub or shower. A 5- to 10-minute bath or shower adds moisture to the skin. Spending more time in the water often leaves your skin less hydrated than before you started. Do not bathe more often than once a day.
• Moisturize right after baths and showers. To lock in moisture from a bath or shower, apply a moisturizer while the skin is still damp.
• Before you shave, soften skin. It is best to shave right after bathing, when hairs are soft. To lessen the irritating effects of shaving your face or legs, use a shaving cream or gel. Leave the product on your skin about 3 minutes before starting to shave. Shave in the direction that the hair grows.
• Change razor blades after 5 to 7 shaves. A dull blade bothers dry skin.
• Use a humidifier. Keep the air in your home moist with a humidifier. Portable humidifiers or those that work with your heating system put moisture in the air that will be absorbed by your skin and hair.
• For redness and inflammation, apply cool cloths to itchy dry skin or an over the counter hydrocortisone cream on the area for a week. If these don’t provide relief, talk to your doctor.
• Soothe chapped lips. At bedtime, apply a lip balm that contains petroleum. Other names for this ingredient are petroleum jelly and mineral oil.
• Cover up outdoors in winter. In the cold, wear a scarf and gloves to help prevent chapped lips and hands.
• Be good to your face. If you have very dry skin, cleanse your face just once a day, at night. In the morning, rinse your face with cool water.
• Drink plenty of water.
• Eat omega-3 foods. Essential fatty acids can help fortify the skin’s natural oil-retaining barriers. Foods rich in omega-3 include cold-water fish (salmon, halibut, sardines), flax, walnuts, and safflower oil.

Writer: Melissa Welker, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County.

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

Sources:
American Academy of Dermatology, http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/a—d/dry-skin
WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/beauty/dry-skin-13/winter-dry-skin

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The goodies of the Holidays are hard to resist.  Now that the holidays are almost over how do you stop your body from wanting more of those goodies you ate?   How do you stop the mid-afternoon, evening or all-day cravings?

First, it may help to understand your body.  Our body thrives on routine and wants us to eat at the same times.  The fat and sugar in many goodies satisfies our tests preferences.  Thus, our body actually opposes us when we make changes in the way we eat.

There is hope!  Although our body likes the goodies and constant eating, we just have to replace with good habits and follow them.  Every time you resist temptations you set up a pattern to resist the next one.   Each time you eat a healthy meal, one you planned to eat at a set time, you start up a positive eating cycle.  So, if you have not been a breakfast eater and start eating breakfast every morning, before long your body will desire breakfast everyday.   You can make your body work for you.

When you are hungry try to eat a healthy food instead of candy or left over cookies.  Eat an apple or orange.   By eating a healthy food you actually weaken your urge to eat the high-calorie treats when you are “starving.”  It will probably be hard at first, but it does work

Don’t watch the food commercials or the food channel on television when you have low resistance.  Turn pages quickly in magazines when you see food or recipes.  It’s hard to resist tempting foods when we smell them too.  So, breathe through you mouth when you are around tempting foods.

By eating regular meals and snacks you can avoid being very hungry which will help  decrease your cravings for certain foods.  Setting up this planned meal and snacks routine will help as your body likes structure.  Your body will be less likely to encourage you to break the rules.

You can use the tapping technique which has been proven to work to help people resist cravings.  Place your five fingers of one hand on your forehead.   Tap each finger in turn at intervals of one second while watching each one carefully as it taps.  Keep repeating until the craving disappears.  Other suggestions when trying to stop a craving include tell yourself “not today”  and wait 15-20 minutes while you call a friend, chew a piece of sugar-free gum, brush your teeth, drink a glass of water, go for a walk or meditate.  Keep a record of your thoughts and feelings leading to the craving and what methods worked best.

Starting some healthier habits can be hard.  One way is to make it a gradual transition from the old way to the new healthier way.  Give yourself some time but remember that each time you resist or change to eating healthier you are making progress.

References:

Roberts, S. and Sargent, B.K. (2009).  The Instinct Diet, Tufts Media., Medford, MA.

USDA website, Choose My Plate available at http://www.choosemyplate.com

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