Tag Archives: fruits

Essential Summer Safety Tips

Essential Summer Safety Tips

The summer season is finally here! But as we start to enjoy the outdoors and more adventurous activities, hospitals and urgent care facilities are bracing themselves for “trauma season” as they call it in the healthcare industry. 

Emergency rooms usually see injuries and traumas double in the summer compared to the winter months. The most common causes of injuries during the summer include car accidents, severe sunburns, water-sports injuries, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and falls.

But many of these can easily be avoided by following these essential summer safety tips that will keep you and your family safe and healthy during the summer months.

WaterTo avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water or beverages high in electrolytes. Avoid drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, both of which actually make your system lose water. Eat fruits and vegetables which contain a lot of water like grapefruits, peaches, eggplants, and spinach.

Sun ProtectionTo avoid sunburns, apply sunscreen with an at least SPF 30 and make sure you’re using a waterproof formula if you’re swimming. Stay in the shade from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., cover your skin, and wear a hat if you’re exposed. Keep children in the shade as much as possible.

Heat ProtectionTo avoid heat exhaustion and heatstroke, don’t engage in physical activities during the hottest hours of the day. Get acclimated to the hot weather by slowly increasing the amount of time you spend outside.

Water SafetyTo avoid water-related injuries, always bring a buddy along while participating in water sports and follow the lifeguards’ instructions. Take time to get used to the difference in temperature between in and out of the water. Don’t drink alcohol before water activities.

Car SafetyTo reduce the risk of car accidents, make sure all your car maintenance is done before you leave on a trip. Allow plenty of time to arrive and try to drive during off-peak hours. Stop and take breaks every 100 miles or 2 hours, and if possible, take turns with a passenger.

 

Sometimes accidents, illnesses, and injuries cannot be avoided, even for the most careful traveler. If you find yourself injured or sick, remember that our travel emergency partner, Assist America is here to help. 

You can download the free Assist America Mobile App to access your membership details, membership ID card, list of services, or to call the 24/7 Operations Center with the tap of a button.

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Go Red for Heart Health

Long View: You Can’t Beat a Healthy Heart or 6 More Weeks of Winter

Just when you think the holidays are over and the thrill of the new year has finally tapered down, here comes February — Groundhog Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Mardis Gras, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents Day. February is a multi-themed, food-filled month of celebration.

We anticipate the shadow reveal of Punxsutawney Phil, we break out the football-shaped cheese ball to root for our team, we plan our menu of anything and everything on Fat Tuesday, and if that isn’t enough, we love to eat chocolates on the day of love. Then when it’s all over (and after a slight weight gain), we hit the mall for some comfy stretch wear with Presidents Day sale bargains!

But wait, how about doing something this month to celebrate our health and focus on our heart? If we can take advice from a small woodchuck about the weather, we surely can take advice from the American Heart Association about our health!

February is American Heart Month, and part of that is National Wear Red Day. For those of you who know me, my wardrobe pretty much consists of drab colors and neutrals, but this year, I broke out my red floral scarf for a splash of color as a symbol of support!

The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute encourage all of us to take action against this killer disease. Studies show that 80% of cardiac and stroke events may be preventable with education and action.

Find time to talk to your family and get everyone on board with heart health. Encourage healthy eating habits by making healthier versions of your favorite food. Choose foods and recipes low in sodium and with no added sugar or trans fats. When you shop, buy colorful fruits and vegetables, which are all powerhouses when it comes to nutrition, and stay away from dairy and meat products that are high in fat.

Fiber is important in your diet, and you can find fiber not only in fruits and vegetables, but also in beans, nuts, and whole grain. Take the time to read the nutrition labels on items, and check out the sodium content. (A general rule is, if anything has more than 250 mg of sodium, you may want to search for something with less.)

Physical activity can also help you stay heart healthy. It’s not only what you put into your body, it’s also what you put out. Exercise helps to improve heart health, and it can even help reverse certain heart disease risk factors. Our heart becomes stronger from exercise, which helps it pump more blood through the body and work at maximum level without strain.

Aerobic activities at least 3 to 4 times a week are the best. Choose walking, swimming, or biking, and allow for a good 5 minutes of stretching beforehand to warm up your muscles and a cool down period after you’re through. And of course, always check with your doctor before starting any new physical routine.

So this February, maybe forego indulging in lavish holiday food choices (remember that New Year’s resolution?) and celebrate in a new way. Go out and buy something red to wear to celebrate heart health AND 6 more weeks of winter, or will it be an early spring? Better check with Punxsutawney Phil before you go!

Mervet Adams is a community liaison with Health Alliance. She loves her grandson, family, nature, and fashion.

Farmers Market Recipes

Farmers Market Recipes

In honor of National Farmers Market Week, we have farmers market recipes packed with fresh fruits and veggies to help you use your in-season summer finds.

This super simple Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss will be a crowd-pleaser.

Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss
Image and Recipe via My Recipes

 

Seared Salmon with Sugar Snap-Fennel Slaw is a light and delicious summer meal.

Seared Salmon with Sugar Snap-Fennel Slaw
Image and Recipe via Eating Well

 

For rainy or sick days, this rich Andean Potato & Cheese Soup is sure to please.

Andean Potato & Cheese Soup
Image and Recipe via The Kitchn

 

Mix sweet and savory with these Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce.

Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce
Image and Recipe via Real Simple

 

Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad is the summer lunch you’ve been missing.

Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad
Image and Recipe via Cooking Light

 

Use the summer staple to make Honey-Chipotle Grilled Corn.

Honey-Chipotle Grilled Corn
Image and Recipe via My Recipes

 

Skip the expensive restaurant and make Pepper Steak Fajitas at home.

Pepper Steak Fajitas
Image and Recipe via Health

Family Fun Month

Family Fun Month

It’s Family Fun Month, and in honor of it, we’re helping you make exercise fun so you can get moving with your whole family.

Go for pre- or post-dinner walks as a family. They’ll help with your digestion, and walks are the perfect time to explore your neighborhood.

Dinner Walks

 

Crank a record or a playlist, move the furniture, and have a dance party. Music can help cognitive development. You’ll get moving, and you can hand down your favorites.

Make a game out of household chores to improve imagination and get active. Put on capes and have your kids save their toys from the slimy pit of the rug by putting them away.

Clean-Up Made Fun

 

Have a weekly sports night. Go to your kid’s baseball game, play tag or catch in the backyard, or make or buy an exercise deck of cards.

A New Kind of Sports Night

 

Walk or run for charity. Teach your kids the value of helping others and about good causes, and meet people while working out.

Moving for a Good Cause

 

Put kids to work in the yard. Tell them they can only jump in the leaf pile if they help rake and bag them too.

Yard Work Made Fun

 

Garden together! Kids already love playing in the dirt, so have them help you plant a garden and learn about healthy fruits and veggies.

Learning Through Gardening

Healthy Endive Recipes

Healthy Endive Recipes

This week in food, we’re featuring healthy in-season endive recipes that are perfect for entertaining this summer.

First up is a light Endive Radish Salad with a Lemony Vinaigrette, perfect for lunch.

Endive Radish Salad with Lemony Vinaigrette + spring ricotta toasts!

Smoked Salmon Goat Cheese Endive Bites are a great summer version of the classic app.

Smoked Salmon Goat Cheese Endive Bites

Smoked Salmon Goat Cheese Endive Bites

Roasted Endives with Thyme are a refreshing side any time of year.

Roasted Endives with Thyme

Grapefruit, Endive, and Arugula Salad is a citrusy and light meal for summer.

Grapefruit, Endive, and Arugula Salad
Image and Recipe via Cooking Light

 

Endive Salad Bites with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Pecans is an easy way to serve salad at a party.

Endive Salad Bites with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Pecans

Beet, Endive & Quinoa Rainbow Salad has a great serving of fruits and veggies.

Beet, Endive & Quinoa Rainbow Salad

Beet, Endive & Quinoa Rainbow Salad

If you love BLTs, cut back on the mayo without losing any flavor with these BLT Endive Bites.

BLT Endive Bites
Image and Recipe via Paleo Leap

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

It’s National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, and with in-season summer fruits and veggies and grilling season upon us, it’s time to make them a part of healthy meals.

First up, Grilled Veggie Kababs that are perfect with whatever you throw on the grill.

Grilled Veggie Kebabs with Creamer Potatoes & Tofu

Whip up this Loaded Veggie Salad with Chickpeas and Black Beans for a picnic.

Loaded Veggie Salad with Chickpeas and Black Beans Image and Recipe via Pip and Ebby

 

Strawberry Mango Chia Popsicles will be a great cool treat all summer long.

Strawberry Mango Chia Popsicles

This Grilled Hawaiian BBQ Chicken in Foil is an easy, all-in-one summer dinner.

Grilled Hawaiian Barbecue Chicken in Foil

Make this 4-Ingredient Fruit Salad Pineapple Boat for an impressive and easy party dish.

4-Ingredient Fruit Salad Platter and a Pineapple Boat

Light Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad will be delicious at your summer BBQs.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
Image and Recipe via Salt & Lavender

 

Easy Balsamic Grilled Vegetables with Goat Cheese will be your new go-to side dish.

Balsamic Grilled VegetablesImage and Recipe via NeighborFood

National Salsa Month

National Salsa Month Recipes

It’s National Salsa Month, which is a great way to sneak in fruits and veggies to snacks and wraps or on top of your dinner.

First up, try this delicious Homemade Salsa Verde.

Homemade Salsa Verde (Tomatillo Salsa)

Eat this Mediterranean Salsa with pita bread for a hearty snack.

Mediterranean Salsa

Use your favorite summer fruit in this savory Watermelon Salsa.

Watermelon Salsa

Make Avocado Salsa instead of guac to go with your weeknight tacos.

Avocado Salsa
Image and Recipe via Closet Cooking

 

This Fresh Strawberry Salsa mixes sweet and savory in-season produce.

5 Ingredient Strawberry Salsa

This filling Black Bean Salsa with rice and chicken makes a perfect burrito bowl.

Black Bean Salsa

This tropical Pineapple Salsa is a tasty topping for your grilled fish.

Pineapple Salsa