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clear glass with a red colored beverage sitting on a pool ledge

As thoughts of summer activities start to fill people’s minds, images of beaches, pool trips, and one’s favorite refreshing beverage are often visualized. As the weather heats up, people all over the world swarm to bodies of water to find a refreshing relief from the hot sun. However, what about our bodies of water? The human body is 55-65% water, and so often, people neglect to replenish themselves, which can lead to dehydration.

What causes dehydration?

            Dehydration happens when water losses from the body exceed water replacement.  Did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? Dehydration can be caused by a variety of medical issues, but in general, it can be caused by:

  • Failure to replenish water losses.
  • Excessive water loss from the skin due to exercise, heat, or even sunburns.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Excessive vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Increased aging.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

            Dehydration can be fatal, so it is essential to know the common signs and symptoms of dehydration to prevent it from progressing to a deadly point. According to the National Health Service4, common signs and symptoms of dehydration are:

  • feeling thirsty
  • dark yellow and strong-smelling pee
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • feeling tired
  • a dry mouth, lips, and eyes
  • peeing little, and fewer than four times daily

It is important to note that individuals with specific conditions such as diabetes or certain medications such as diuretics are more prone to dehydration.A quick and easy way to access dehydration is with a simple test of someone’s skin turgor, often called the dehydration pinch test. The great thing about knowing this tool is that it is quick, easy, and can be performed by anyone.

How to Avoid Dehydration

            As the weather continues to heat up, consuming the appropriate amount of water is vital for one’s overall health. Adequate amounts for water have been determined for generally healthy people and are based on age and gender. For women, the amount of total water is about 11.5 cups per day, and for men, about 15.5 cups. Basic tips to help meet your recommended daily fluid intakes and avoid dehydration are:

  • Eat foods with high amounts of water like fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid or limit drinks with alcohol.
  • Drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage consumed.
  • Carry around a full water bottle with you wherever you go.

Not everyone is a fan of plain water, and if you are one of these people, try one of these recipes to not only spice up your water but help increase your daily water consumption.

If you or your loved one has severe dehydration symptoms, including excessive thirst, fever, rapid heartbeat, fast breathing, little or no urine, concentrated urine with a dark color and pungent odor or confusion, contact your doctor immediately!

Written by: Madison Barker, Guest Author from Middle Tennessee State University, Nutrition and Food Science major with a concentration in Dietetics.

Reviewed by: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Wood County

References

  1. Taylor K, Jones EB. Adult Dehydration. [Updated 2020 Apr 22]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555956/
  2. Alcohol use and health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm. Accessed April 11, 2021.
  3. Schols JM, De Groot CP, van der Cammen TJ, Olde Rikkert MG. Preventing and treating dehydration in the elderly during periods of illness and warm weather. J Nutr Health Aging. 2009;13(2):150-157. doi:10.1007/s12603-009-0023-z
  4. Dehydration. National Health Service UK. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration/. Published August 9, 2019. Accessed April 11, 2021.
  5. Gordon B. How Much Water Do You Need. EatRight. https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/how-much-water-do-you-need. Published November 6, 2019. Accessed April 11, 2021.

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“Finish your vegetables before you can leave the table” was a daily mantra my mother had for me at our dinner table. It always seemed like it was her objective in life to force those vegetables that simply could not compare to the extremely over-sweetened treats that had spoiled my taste buds. I never understood why I had to eat her under-seasoned steamed carrots or corn, and now my mother is still unable to give a solid explanation why she wanted me to eat my vegetables. She had been told from her mother to eat her vegetables and this has been shared from mother to child over time.  The more I have learned about nutrition, the more I understand just how important vegetables are in our diet.

basket of fresh vegetables

Eating the same steamed vegetables can be boring but using seasonal vegetables and making dishes with many colorful vegetables are much more enjoyable. One dish I enjoyed trying with vegetables as the star was a vegetable galette. Of course, when making a dish with many vegetables it is more economical, convenient and tasty to use vegetables that are in season. A salad with out-of-season tomatoes will simply not compare to fresh tomatoes grown in the summer. Before trying a new vegetable, be sure to check if they are in season. Eating vegetables in season means that your diet will change throughout the year and you will have new and different recipes to try out!

Vegetables not only provide many different flavors and color to a dish; they are also a vital part of a healthy diet. Vegetables provide important nutrients like: fiber, vitamins, and minerals that can have a positive impact on our health. High fiber foods like vegetables have been shown to decrease cholesterol, help regulate blood sugar, and increase fullness. Trying out different seasonal vegetables and using them in different recipes is a fun way to eat healthier.

About the author: Landon Griffin is a senior Nutrition and Food Science-Dietetics dietetics student at Middle Tennessee University with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance from the University of Tennessee at Martin. He works as a dietetic aide at NHC Healthcare and on the MT Nutrition Team. In fall 2020, he will attend Eastern Illinois University for a Master of Science Nutrition and Dietetics. In the future, he wants to work with athletes to help them reach their full potential through nutrition.

Author: Landon Griffin, senior dietetics student at Middle Tennessee State University, future dietetic intern at Eastern Illinois University

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

Sources:

Maynard, D.N. and G. Hochmuth. 1997. Knott’s Handbook for Vegetable Growers 4th Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York. Retrieved from: https://extension.psu.edu/seasonal-classification-of-vegetables

Retrieved from: https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/vegetables

Holly Larson. March 1, 2021. EatRight. Retrieved from: https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/types-of-vitamins-and-nutrients/easy-ways-to-boost-fiber-in-your-daily-diet

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We all know we’re supposed to eat healthy, but how often do we use the excuse that it’s just too expensive? Fresh, perishable food and shelf-stable food can have a vast difference in price. Let’s look at canned tomatoes versus fresh tomatoes. My local grocer carries a national brand of 14.5-ounce canned diced tomatoes for 99 cents. Fresh tomatoes from the same grocery store sell for $2.49 per pound or roughly, $1.40 each. By volume, you end up with about the same amount of product: approximately ½ cup.

Canned tomatoes on a shelf

So why the huge difference in price? At the time of writing this article it’s late February here in Nashville, Tennessee. Tomatoes, being out of season, are going to be more expensive this time of year compared to any other. Have you noticed that tomatoes in February just aren’t as good as tomatoes in July? The tomatoes that get sold in the grocery store throughout the winter are typically grown and harvested in warmer parts of the country, namely Florida. They are picked before they fully ripen; while still green or at what’s called the breaker stage where the tomato is breaking in color from green to yellowish-red. They are then washed, cooled, and stored in warehouses awaiting distribution. This process is costly for the farmer and ultimately those costs are passed on to you, the consumer.

Fresh tomatoes

So why do growers use this procedure instead of allowing tomatoes to ripen on the vine? It would taste better, but the tomatoes would decompose by the time they reached the grocery store shelves. Another reason is to keep up with demand. In the United States we expect to see tomatoes at the grocery store any day of the week, any time of year. Additionally, produce is grown and sold based on how they look and not on how they taste. The trick to eating fresh, great tasting, healthy foods on a budget is eating locally and seasonally. The less time a tomato (or any produce) spends traveling from the farm to your plate, the more nutrients it retains. When fruits and vegetables start to decompose, so do those beneficial nutrients. We may have to wait until the summer to enjoy a juicy tomato around here but in the meantime, our local farmers are producing hearty root vegetables and nutrient-dense leafy greens. Skip the expensive, mealy grocery store tomato and enjoy this sweet potato and kale with grits dish instead. Check your local farmer’s markets for seasonally available foods in your area. It will be lighter on the wallet and heavier on the nutrition.

Sources:

Boyhan, G. E., & Coolong, T. (2019, April 01). Commercial Tomato Production Handbook. Retrieved March 1, 2021, from https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1312

Harper, J., & Orzolek, M. (2021, February 25). Tomato production. Retrieved March 1, 2021, from https://extension.psu.edu/tomato-production

Staff, N., & Estabrook, B. (2011, July 09). The troubled history of the Supermarket tomato. Retrieved March 1, 2021, from https://www.npr.org/2011/07/09/137623954/the-troubled-history-of-the-supermarket-tomato

Eggs over kale and sweet Potato GRITS. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2021, from https://www.myplate.gov/recipes/myplate-cnpp/eggs-over-kale-and-sweet-potato-grits

Author: Bridget Russell, Senior Dietetics Student, Middle Tennessee State University, ber3h@mtmail.mtsu.edu

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

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While many of us are just happy to be able to watch the madness of basketball tournaments this March – we know that it will not be like other tournament years. We will not be gathering for parties, many of us are still not eating in restaurants/pubs, and we cannot watch the games live yet (in most cases) – so you will likely be fixing the game day snacks yourself. When you plan your game-day menu, do not throw out your goals of a healthy diet – keep in mind that there are better snack choices.

You may have heard of the new 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which focus on several messages that you can follow for a great game-day snack plan:fruit tray

  • Limit food and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium
  • Limit alcoholic beverages (eat your calories instead of drinking them)
  • Focus on eating nutrient dense foods which include a variety of vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins (including meatless meals, nuts, eggs, and fish)

Looking at those guidelines lets choose a few tourney time snack options that keep us on track for a more healthful diet overall:

  • A vegetable tray with hummus or bean dip instead of high fat (and usually sodium) dip
  • Cheese and whole grain crackers or bread
  • Fresh fruit skewers with yogurt and nut butter dip
  • English muffin mini pizzas with veggies on top (instead of ordering takeout pizza)
  • Buffalo cauliflower bites (instead of wings, I personally LOVE these!!)
  • Homemade Banana Nice Cream
  • Infused water made with fruits the color of your favorite team (mine will be scarlet berries)

Most of these snacks can be made the night before for easy game-time serving, you will just need to make your mini pizzas quickly and heat your buffalo bites. I will share a buffalo bite recipe that I enjoyed recently (and I do not even like cauliflower). If you compare this recipe to many others online, it has no butter and a lot less breadcrumbs – and trust me – it still tastes great! I preferred the oven-baked to air-fryer, but air-fryer was super quick.

I cannot wait to hear your favorite healthy versions of tourney time snacks. Comment below to let us know what you serve.

Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe

 

Source: Start Simple with MyPlate Today, file:///C:/Users/barlage.7/Documents/Dietary%20Guidelines%202010/2021%20-%202025/DGA_2020-2025_StartSimple_withMyPlate_English_color.pdf

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

Reviewer: Roseanne Scammahorn, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Darke County.

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If you are out and about at farmers markets this summer, don’t be afraid of the monster zucchini! Finding fresh and unique food for a bargain is always exciting.  This weekend at the market I found a zucchini the size of Texas for .50 cents!  I hesitated to buy it because I was taught that they “aren’t as tender and have more seeds.” But I wanted to find out for myself if this were true, plus I was really curious how many dishes I could make from one large zucchini.

Traditional harvesting instruction for zucchini says to pick when they are young and tender, bright green, about 6-8 inches long and with no signs of bruising or softness.

While experimenting with this monster zucchini I learned:

  1. The inside was not tough. The inside was very edible and tasted almost as good as smaller ones. However, it did have a giant seed pocket that I removed.
  2. Large zucchini have longer shelf lives.  While smaller zucchinis have skin that is softer, large zucchinis skin may be tougher (think of it like a pumpkin shell) to protect the flesh for a long time and allow it to continue to grow inside without getting soft quickly.  This tougher skin can help keep large zucchini fresh for at least a month after harvesting instead of 3-5 days. If you find that the skin is too tough to eat, just peel it! Then use the inside to cook and eat as you would normally.
  3. You can save the big seeds inside for planting next year. One large zucchini could have hundreds of seeds in it! Just like pumpkin seeds you just need to dry them out, then you can save them and plant next year…free food!
  • You can make baked goods with zucchini that can be frozen for later use.  Making zucchini bread is one of my favorite things to do to use up zucchini! If you need some inspiration, try this Zucchini Cheddar Bread recipe that won first place for quick breads at last year’s Ohio State Fair. If you don’t want to freeze baked bread, you can also grate and freeze zucchini, then thaw and use it to bake with later.
  • You can use large zucchini slices to make zucchini lasagna. Simply follow your regular lasagna recipes but use zucchini in place of lasagna noodles.  Cutting the zucchini lengthwise lends itself to the perfect lasagna “noodle” and softens as it cooks. How perfect is that! No mess with boiling a noodle first, and you get extra veggies in your meal. 

In the end, my .50 cent monster zucchini experiment paid off!   I made lasagna that served 10 nurses on my son’s cardiac unit, 2 loaves of zucchini bread, and baked zucchini rounds rolled in egg, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. PLUS, I even saved some of the big seeds to plant for next year!

Author: Shari Gallup, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Licking County

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

Sources:

University of Minnesota Extension (2018). Growing Summer Squash and Zucchini in Home Gardens. https://extension.umn.edu/vegetables/growing-summer-squash-and-zucchini-home-gardens#harvest-and-storage-341015

Homegrown & Healthy (2020). What to do with overgrown zucchini. https://homegrownandhealthy.com/what-to-do-with-overgrown-zucchini/

Ohio State University Extension (2015). Food Preservation: Freezing Vegetables. https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/HYG-5333

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Have you had a bounty of okra in your garden this summer? My co-workers have had great luck with the okra they grew – evidently the plants like the heat and extra rain we had in Southern Ohio. Because of their bountiful okra harvests, we have had a number of discussions of recipes and how to prepare this vegetable that you may not be as familiar with as others. Here are some okra basics.

Selection – okra pods are best when they are small to medium in size, about 2 to 4 inches long and bright in green color. Okra plant

Storage – the pods can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For best storage, refrigerate unwashed (but dry) okra pods in a vegetable crisper. They may be loosely wrapped in a perforated plastic bag. The ridges and tips of the pods will turn dark, which indicates deterioration and need for immediate use.

Freezing for Longer Storage – By water blanching okra for 3 minutes you can hold the quality when freezing. Start by carefully washing, then lower okra into a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Use a metal blanching basket if you have one. Immediately plunge blanched okra into an ice bath for 3 minutes and carefully dry. Package into freezer containers and date.

Okra can also be pressure canned, follow this link to more information on that process OKRA.

Nutritional Value – 7 okra pods = a 25 calorie serving. They contain no fat or cholesterol, and are very low in sodium. They have 6 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber. You can also get 30% of your Vitamin C for the day, as well as some folate, and magnesium with okra.

Skillet of roasted vegetables with okra, tomatoes, onions, and beansHow to Prepare – while there are a number of ways to prepare okra, several popular choices are roasted, grilled, or with tomatoes. Here is a link to several from the USDA Mixing Bowl – go.osu.edu/okra. The Italian Vegetable Medley with Okra, the Spicy Okra, or the Veggie Stir-Fry with Okra look like great ways to clean out the end of summer produce in your garden or to use up wonderful Ohio produce from the Farmer’s Market. Leave a comment below to let us know your favorite okra dish, especially something creative like the roasted okra, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and beans with olive oil and mixed herbs that my co-worker fixed this week.

Sources:

National Center for Home Food Preservation, https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/okra.html.

USDA Mixing Bowl, http://go.osu.edu/okra.

Michigan State University Extension, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/resources/michigan_fresh_okra

Photo credit: Debra Calvin, Program Assistant, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

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

Reviewer:  Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County.

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Dairy monthJune is National Dairy Month. There are over 2,500 dairy farms in Ohio and West Virginia. These hardworking dairy families work around-the-clock to produce safe, high quality milk. Let’s take the time this month to honor these families that provide us with milk and dairy foods. The American Dairy Association Mideast is having Farmer Fridays on Facebook during the month of June. Every Friday at noon you can watch them go live from a different Ohio dairy farm. They will tour the farm so you can see what goes on behind the scenes.

Dairy products provide us with calcium, potassium, Vitamin D, and protein. They can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes. Dairy products can help lower blood pressure and of course, they are good for bones.

When selecting dairy products look for low-fat or fat-free varieties. A serving size of 3 cups is recommended for anyone over the age of nine. Check this list to find what the equivalent is for 1 cup of dairy.

Do you struggle with getting enough dairy? Try some of these tips:

  • Yogurt fruit smoothie
  • Add milk to oatmeal
  • Top casseroles with low-fat shredded cheese
  • Make pudding with fat-free or low-fat milk for a dessert
  • Include milk as a beverage at meals

One dairy product I would like to highlight that isn’t consumed enough is plain, nonfat Greek yogurt. All yogurts provide us with calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. However, Greek yogurt is thicker, creamier, lower in lactose, contains probiotic cultures, and has twice the amount of protein! Since there is more protein in Greek yogurt, it helps keep you feeling full longer which helps with weight control. What’s your favorite way to eat plain, nonfat Greek yogurt?

Greek Yogurt Recipes to try:Greek Yogurt

Honey Mustard Yogurt Chicken Skewers

Overnight Oatmeal

Banana Split Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Roasted Red Pepper Greek Yogurt Hummus

Light and Creamy Barbecue Chicken Salad

 

Sources:

Goard, L., & Oliveri, C. (2015, February 20). Putting MyPlate on Your Table: Dairy. Retrieved from https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/SS-150

Higgins, S. (2018, June 1). June Dairy Month. Retrieved from https://www.drink-milk.com/june-dairy-month/

National Center for Complimentary Health (October 2016). Probiotics: In Depth. Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm

Zelman, K. M. (2010). 6 Best Foods You’re Not Eating. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/best-foods-you-are-not-eating#1

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

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Do you recall this childhood playground song?  In celebration of National Bean Day, take a minute to learn why you should be eating bebean-1684304_1280ans.

Although beans are not a fruit, they may be magical because they fit under not one, but two food groups. Within USDA’s MyPlate they are found under the vegetable and protein groups because they are so packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.

Beans are a mature form of legumes. They include kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, and garbanzo beans (chickpeas). All are available in dry, canned, and frozen forms. These foods provide other nutrients such as iron and zinc and are excellent sources of plant protein. They are similar to meats, poultry, and fish in their contribution of these nutrients.  Thus, they are considered part of the protein group. Many consider beans a vegetarian alternative for meat. However, they are also considered part of the vegetable group because they are excellent sources of dietary fiber and nutrients such as folate and potassium.

The high nutrient content makes consuming beans recommended for everyone, including people who also eat meat, poultry, and fish regularly. The USDA classifies beans as a subgroup of the vegetable group. The USDA also indicates that beans may be counted as part of the protein group. This allows individuals to count beans as either a vegetable or a protein food.

Beans are convenient and cost effective. They are available in the dry form in sealed bags and precooked in cans. A can of cooked dry beans can easily be used in dips, main dishes, soups, or salads.

How do canned beans compare to dry-packaged beans?

Canned beans are convenient since they don’t have to be presoaked and cooked. They can be eaten straight from the can or heated in recipes. According to the American Dry Bean Council, one 15-ounce can of beans equals one and one-half cups of cooked dry beans, drained. For most recipes, one form of beans can be substituted for the other.

Unless canned without salt, precooked canned beans generally are higher in sodium than dry-packaged beans. Always thoroughly drain and rinse canned beans in a colander or strainer under cold running water before using them in a recipe. This may help lower the amount of sodium by 41% and may help remove some of their potential gas-producing properties.

Bean Benefits

  • Beans are low in fat and calories and high in dietary fiber and protein. The fiber in beans provides a sense of fullness that helps keep food cravings down. Depending on the variety, a half cup of cooked dry beans is only about 120 calories.
  • Because of their high fiber, low glycemic index, and high nutrient content, eating beans may help reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.

Recipes and Uses

Navy beans are great for soups, stews, or baked beans. Kidney beans are used in chili and three-bean salads. Pinto beans are used refried in stews and dips.  Black beans are used in casserolechili-bean-dip-bean-blogs, soups or baked bean

dishes.  Great northern beans and lentils are used in soups and stews. Garbonzo beans are used in salads and hummus.  Check out these “no recipe required” bean meals and snacks.

 

Writer: Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County, jones.5640@osu.edu

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

Sources

The Bean Institute, http://beaninstitute.com/no-recipe-required-pdf/

The Bean Institute, http://beaninstitute.com/volume-6-number-2-2015-dietary-guidelines/

Michigan State University Extension, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/eat_more_dry_beans_enjoying_their_health_benefits

United States Department of Agriculture, https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/factsheets/HHFS_BEANS_BLACK_110020.pdf

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, http://food.unl.edu/chili-bean-dip

US Dry Bean Council, http://www.usdrybeans.com/

 

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As the air cools in the fall we often lean towards fixing those comfort foods for our family. Things like: mac and cheese, chili soup, spaghetti sauce and pasta, chicken and noodles all taste good to us. Many of us are also concerned with making our meals as healthy as possible to prevent chronic disease risk, or just improve our health in general. Here are some ideas to “Soup UP” your next pot of chili:chili-2

  • Ground meats – Switch your regular ground chuck out for a ground sirloin or lean ground turkey (even turkey sausage). Look at the fat or % lean and go as lean as you can for the price. Another protein option could be meatless veggie protein crumbles – they will reduce the fat, but still have the same texture as other ground meats. This product is typically found in the freezer section of stores.
  • Beans – Instead of using just red kidney beans, try 2 different kinds of beans. Beans that are brighter color will have higher antioxidant properties (red, black or brown). Some research studies have found diets rich in the antioxidants in beans to result in lower cancer risks for breast, stomach, colorectal, kidney and prostate cancer. By combining the types of beans you can pick up the benefits from several different varieties.
  • Diced Vegetables – Replace your chopped onion with a variety of chopped vegetables. Choose from onions, peppers, sweet potatoes, corn, celery, pumpkin, and/or butternut squash. This is a great way to clean out the crisper drawer in your refrigerator and to ramp up the vegetables in your pot. I recently peeled and cubed a small sweet potato into a pot of chili – it tasted great and helped thicken it up too.
  • Tomato Products – Most chili is a combination of tomato products – sauce, paste, juice, and stewed or diced. Tomatoes are packed with vitamins A, C, B6, potassium, and even fiber. Research studies support the consumption of tomatoes with heart health benefits and even skin health. With tomato products look to “No Salt Added” products when purchasing canned.
  • Seasonings – Combine a variety of spices and herbs to suit your own taste preferences – cumin, black and cayenne pepper, oregano, and chili powder are all good choices. Keep your salt to a minimum. For some people higher sodium intake is linked with higher blood pressure.

A few other perks for a big pot of chili soup are that it is almost a one dish meal; by adding a dairy, fruit, and bread you can have a tasty meal. Soups also freeze well for left-over meals or to carry for lunch. And last-but-not-least you can use up left-overs in chili soup by switching ground meat for pulled chicken or pork, and almost any vegetable can be dumped in the pot. I can’t wait to hear your favorite chili combination.

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

Reviewer: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fayette County.

Sources:

American Heart Association, (2016). Myths About High Blood Pressure, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Myths-About-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_430836_Article.jsp#.WApYz4MrLct

North Dakota State University, “All About Beans Nutrition, Health Benefits, Preparation and Use in Menus”, Garden-Robinson, J. and McNeal, K., https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/food-nutrition/all-about-beans-nutrition-health-benefits-preparation-and-use-in-menus#section-3.

Penn State Extension, “Eating Tomatoes May Very Well Save Your Life”, Kralj, R., http://extension.psu.edu/health/news/2014/eating-tomatoes-may-very-well-safe-your-life.

 

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We are at a point in our life where all our children are adults and moving out on their own. As they leave my home, one hope is that they appreciated the importance of family meals. Family meals go beyond the food that is prepared and consumed.  A great fact sheet from University of Flopink reciperida Extension used the letters in the word RECIPE to breakdown the importance of effective communication that family meals can provide.  Communicating with everyone in the family about healthy eating and the importance of physical activity is a great idea!  As attention increases over childhood weight issues and obesity, these discussions gain more significance.

The article breaks down each letter in the word RECIPE.  Each letter and an accompanying description follow:

– Reflective Listening

E – Encouragementrecipe

– Compromise and Cooperation

– “I”-messages

P – Practice

E – Engagement

The “R” is for Reflective listening, the vital skill of actively listening to those who are speaking.  Someone who is actively listening may ask questions, restate what was said, and understand or put themselves in other person’s shoes.  To a child’s statement of “I don’t want to eat that” a reflective listener might respond with a statement such as, “Sometimes it is hard to try new things”.

Encouragement, “E”, is appreciating what another has to say.  These responses may praise one another and offer supportive.  Encouragement helps keep the lines of communication open.

“C” doubly represents Compromise and Cooperation which allow family members to find solutions to conflict and disagreements.  When parents role model and encourage, “compromise and cooperation” conversations will likely lead to solutions that can be agreed upon by all.

“I” Messages are a s
pecific way of telling others how one feels.  An “I” message communicates to another how his or her behavior causes you to think or feel.  An example of an “I” message would be “I feel badly when I cook a big meal and no one is home to eat it” as opposed to a “You” statement such as “I don’t like what you have made for dinner.  I’ll make something myself.”

Practice is for “P” the fifth letter in the RECIPE communication acronym.  Practice is needed for any new skill to become a habit.  Practice requires patience and effort.

The “E” in RECIPE stands for Engagement.  This is defined as the level of involvement of each family member in the communication process.  This requires giving others your full attention.

Once all the letters of the RECIPE communication technique are blended together effective communication can start to take place.  This requires time and patience but can lead to better health and wellness for everyone in the family.

Author: Liz Smith, M.S., RDN, L.D. Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences.

Reviewed by:  Cheryl Barber Spires, RD, LD, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences.

Source: Family Nutrition: A RECIPE for Good Communication.  Retrieved from: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy1060.

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