Tag Archives: holiday

Prepare for Holiday Travel

Vantage Point: The Gift of Preparedness

The holidays provide the perfect time for people to be out and about, traveling to various destinations.

You think about if you have all the gifts and various outfits with you in case different events arise. Did your family members pack what they need, and did you pack your toothbrush? Those are all very important things to focus on, but have you thought about what you might need if something during your travels goes awry?

Do you have what you need to make it through an unplanned emergency? Yes, I know it’s not fun to think about things that could go wrong. But if you do, it just might help or even be lifesaving, depending on the circumstance. Just one tip to remember when you’re playing the mental game of what could go wrong that I like to remember: not fear, just prepare. Don’t live in fear. Just try to have the basics covered.

Let’s imagine that you’re taking a holiday trip by car to visit family. Let’s say that they are pretty far away, a few hours, and the weather hasn’t been the greatest lately, but today it’s OK. They are forecasting snow closer to where your family lives, but you think you’ll beat the snow by an hour or so. But what if you don’t?

What if the car breaks down, and it throws your timeline off, and you do encounter that snowstorm? And what if you didn’t break down, but the storm is worse than predicted, and you can’t get to your destination? Do you have the supplies you’d need to get help or wait out the storm?

I know it’s literally impossible to plan for all the potential issues, but thinking of it in categories can help you plan the best items to have for you and your family. Think shelter, food, and water as a basic start. Your vehicle can hopefully be your shelter, so what about the other variables?

  • Stay hydrated and fed. 

    Because you’re traveling, you might pass through an area where there aren’t any stores close by, and now the family is hungry, and it doesn’t look like you’ll be moving toward your destination anytime soon. The first item you should think about having with you is water. It’s always smart to have water, from a few jugs or bottles to a whole case. You can never go wrong having extra handy. Next you should think about food. These can range from snack items to protein bars and high-calorie survival bars.

     
  • Keep warm. 

    Because you’re traveling in the winter in our imagined scenario, it’s probably going to be cold in your area. If something happens where you lose the heat in your car, do you have supplies to keep everyone warm? You might think about having warm blankets, hand warmer packets, layers of clothes to put on, and a thermos of warm soup, water, cocoa, or coffee. (And this isn’t the be-all-end-all list, but just some ideas to get you thinking!)

If you’re thinking that those are great starter ideas, but you might need more robust supplies, there are plenty of things out there to help. Winter travel kits at the local box stores make it easy to be prepared in a variety of situations. You can also search for more winter car travel safety tips online.

The possibilities are endless, and you really can tailor your needs to your family and their well-being. Happy travels!

Breck Obermeyer is a community liaison with Health Alliance Northwest, serving Yakima County. She is a small-town girl from Naches and has a great husband who can fix anything and 2 kids who are her world.

National Pomegranate Month

National Pomegranate Month

It’s National Pomegranate Month, and you can work the in-season fruit into both sweet and savory recipes for a fresh burst of flavor. These healthy pomegranate recipes can help you get started.

First up is a beautiful dish for holiday breakfast, Cinnamon Spice and Pomegranate Oatmeal.

Cinnamon Spice and Pomegranate Oatmeal

 

Baked Balsamic Goat Cheese Stuffed Pomegranate Chicken is an easy weeknight dinner for the family.

Baked Balsamic Goat Cheese Stuffed Pomegranate Chicken

 

Lighten up everyone’s favorite with this Caramelized Butternut, Crispy Kale, and Fontina Pizza with pomegranate salsa.

Caramelized Butternut, Crispy Kale, and Fontina Pizza

Caramelized Butternut, Crispy Kale + Fontina Pizza

 

This beautiful Apple-Pomegranate Breakfast Crumble would be perfect for a Christmas morning surprise.

Apple-Pomegranate Breakfast Crumble (Gluten and Grain Free!)

 

Whip up a romantic date night with Beef Filets with Pomegranate-Pinot Sauce.

Fall Farro Salad with Halloumi & Pomegranates
Image and Recipe via My Fitness Pal

 

This Fall Farro Salad with Halloumi & Pomegranates is a celebration of colorful in-season veggies.

Fall Farro Salad w/ Halloumi & Pomegranates

 

Go vegetarian for dinner tonight with Baked Pumpkin with Rocket, Feta, and Pomegranate.

Baked Pumpkin with Rocket, Feta, and Pomegranate
Image and Recipe via Adeline and Lumiere

Apple Month

Apple Month

Apples don’t just have to be for dessert this fall. Make the most of your produce this Apple Month with these healthy, savory apple recipes.

First up, try this Apple Cider Chicken Skillet for a dish that is packed with fall flavors.

Apple Cider Chicken Skillet
Image and Recipe via Well Plated

 

This simple Cauliflower Salad with Fennel & Green Apple is the perfect dish to bring along for holiday meals.

Cauliflower Salad w/ Fennel & Green Apple

 

Try Scallops with Apple Sauce for a light meal that is one of the most unique ways to use an apple.

Scallops with Apple Sauce
Image and Recipe via Bon Appetit

 

Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage and Apples has all your favorite seasonal flavors in one tasty dish.

Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage and Apples Image and Recipe via Melanie Makes

 

Savory Apple, Oat, and Herb Scones are best served with a bowl of hot butternut squash soup.

Savory Apple, Oat, and Herb Scones
Image and Recipe via cannelle et vanille

 

This Bacon-Wrapped Fig and Honeycrisp Salad is rich enough for fancy dinners or an afternoon craving.

Bacon-Wrapped Fig and Honeycrisp Salad

Bacon Wrapped Fig and Honeycrisp Apple Salad with Salted Caramel Pecans.

 

This Seared Salmon with Caramelized Apples and Onions is the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

Seared Salmon with Caramelized Apples and Onions
Image and Recipe via Shape

National Panini Month

National Panini Month

It’s National Panini Month, and you can lighten up your lunch with these homemade, healthy panini recipes.

First up is a classic combination in this Apple, Cheddar, and Turkey Panini.

Apple, Cheddar, and Turkey Panini
Image and Recipe via The Novice Chef

 

Go meatless with this light and satisfying Vegan Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Panini.

Vegan Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Panini
Image and Recipe via Serious Eats

 

Skip the lunch takeout at your local bakery with this homemade Southwest Avocado Chicken Panini.

Southwest Avocado Chicken Panini Recipe

 

Get a taste of classic Italian with this Spinach, Artichoke, and Sun-Dried Tomato Panini.

Spinach, Artichoke & Sun-dried Tomato Panini

 

Perfect with soup or a salad, whip up a Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini for a hearty lunch.

Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini

 

This Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Panini is a great replacement for your go-to egg salad sandwich.

Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Panini

Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Panini

 

Get a taste of the holidays year-round with a Turkey, Brie, and Cranberry Mustard Panini.

Turkey, Brie, and Cranberry Mustard PaniniImage and Recipe via Just a Little Bit of Bacon

National Hot Dog Month

National Hot Dog Month

It’s National Hot Dog Month, and there are many ways to enjoy the family favorite with health in mind.

These Homemade Veggie Dogs are a delicious summer staple for your meatless Mondays. 

Homemade Veggie Dogs

 

Mix up the traditional condiments with Turkey Dogs with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Cream.

Turkey Dogs with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Cream
Image and Recipe via NatureBoxBlog

 

Gluten-Free Vegan Hot Dogs are prefect to have at a BBQ for the non-meat eaters.

Gluten-Free Vegan Hot Dogs
Image and Recipe via Vegan a la Mode

 

If you’re cutting back on carbs, you can skip the bun with these Sweet Potato Sausage Dogs.

Sweet Potato Sausage Dogs
Image and Recipe via Plating Pixels

 

These Smoky Barbecue Carrot Hot Dogs with Creamy Chickpea Salad are packed with veggies.

Smoky Barbecue Carrot Hot Dogs with Creamy Chickpea Salad
Image and Recipe via Vegan Sandra

 

Use turkey dogs to make these Thai Style Hot Dogs better for you.

Thai Style Hot Dogs

 

Whether you’re a vegetarian, or just looking for topping ideas, these Healthy Vegetarian Hot Dog Toppings are great inspiration.

Healthy Vegetarian Hot Dog Toppings
Image and Recipe via Ricotta and Radishes

Purposeful Connections

Vantage Point: Purposeful Connections

Everyone knows that February is the month of love. It’s the month with the holiday where we buy our loved ones candy, flowers, a card, and maybe even dinner as a token of our love for them. We purposefully connect.

With that being said, how much time do we really spend purposefully connecting with the people around us, including loved ones, outside of designated holidays?

Technology has really enhanced our social connections with those far away, but in my opinion, it may be hampering our social connections with those close to us. What would happen if we took the time to connect to the people in our lives, no matter the day or relation?

If you want to connect to those in your life more, these are my ideas to get started:

  1. Call (yes, actually call) a friend or family member that may have moved away or who you haven’t talked to in a while, and start up a conversation. If the conversation sparks that I’ve-really-missed-this-person feeling for you, maybe invite them to something, like coffee.

  2. Give a compliment to someone, and really mean it! Plus, don’t forget to smile. If you want extra credit, maybe leave a nice note for your loved one where they will see it. No texts, actual paper and a pen.

  3. Limit technology time. I know this is a popular suggestion, but maybe just limiting the times that family can be on their phones, tablets, or video games, or even limiting phone usage while out at dinner will help.

And if you’re looking to make more meaningful social connections, volunteering in the community might be a good idea. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, all while giving back. The Harman Center is always looking for volunteers. Contact them at 509-575-6166 for more information.

This isn’t a be-all-end-all list, but it’s a list to get your creative ideas going. What are other ways that you can connect with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers? Someone in your life or community might really benefit from a kind smile and a sincere compliment. You never know what people are going through.

Breck Obermeyer is a community liaison with Health Alliance Northwest, serving Yakima County. She is a homegrown girl from Naches and has a great husband who can fix anything and 2 kids who are her world. When not attending community events or providing Medicare education throughout the Valley, she can be found indulging in her hobbies of homesteading, pioneer cooking, and learning new survival techniques. She also has a strong love for all things Halloween.

Healthy Root Vegetable Recipes

Healthy Root Vegetable Recipes

It’s Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruits Month, and we’re featuring healthy root vegetable recipes to help you make the most of them.

First up is an easy and light Heirloom Tomato and Beet Salad, perfect alongside family favorites like pasta and pizza.

Heirloom Tomato & Beet Salad

 

Whip up this Sweet Potato Parsnip Bisque and serve with sandwiches for a hearty lunch.

Sweet Potato Parsnip Bisque

 

This Vegan Christmas Salad is a beautiful addition to your holiday spreads.

Vegan Christmas salad

 

Make an easy one-bowl meal with Tumeric Rice Bowl with Garam Masala, Root Vegetables & Chickpeas.

Tumeric Rice Bowl with Garam Masala, Root Vegetables & Chickpeas
Image and Recipe via Eating Well

 

This beautiful Beet and Root Vegetable Tian with Apple Cider Reduction is a perfect holiday addition.

Beet and Root Vegetable Tian with Apple Cider Reduction
Image and Recipe via Food For My Family

 

Lighten up the winter classic with these Vegan Root Vegetable Pot Pies.

Vegan Root Vegetable Pot Pies

 

Dinner is made easy with these delicious Wild Rice & Roasted Root Vegetable Bowls.

Wild Rice & Roasted Root Vegetable Bowls