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Healthy Living: Diabetic Foot Care

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, so let’s take a few minutes to learn more about better foot care for those living with diabetes.

For someone with diabetes, careful tending to the feet is very important. Even small injuries to the foot such as a minor cut can produce serious consequences.  Diabetes may cause nerve damage that can take away the feeling in your feet, making those small injuries go unnoticed.  Diabetes may also reduce the blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal injuries or resist infection.  An infection or non-healing wound could put you at risk for an amputation.  To avoid these serious complication of diabetes follow these guidelines when caring for your feet.

Inspect your feet daily.  Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems.  Use a magnifying hand mirror to look at the bottom of your feet.  Call your doctor if you notice anything.

Wash your feet in lukewarm (not hot) water.  Keep your feet clean by washing them daily.  Use only lukewarm water – the temperature that you would use on a newborn baby.

Be gentle when bathing your feet.  Wash feet with a soft washcloth or sponge.  Dry by blotting or patting, and always carefully dry between the toes.

Moisturize your feet – but not between your toes.  Use a moisturizer daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking.  But DO NOT moisturize between the toes. Doing so could encourage a fungal infection.

Cut nails carefully.  Always cut nails straight across and file the edges.  Don’t cut nails too short, as this could lead to ingrown toe nails.  If you have concerns or questions about your nails, your doctor is a good source of information.

Never treat corns or calluses yourself.  Always visit your doctor for treatment.

Wear clean, dry socks.  Change them daily.

Avoid the wrong type of socks.  Avoid tight elastic bands which can reduce circulation.  Don’t wear thick or bulky socks (they can fit poorly and irritate the skin.)

Wear socks to bed.  If your feet get cold at night, wear socks.  NEVER use a heating pad or hot water bottle.

Shake out your shoes and feel the inside before wearing.  Remember, your feet may not be able to feel a pebble or other foreign object, so always inspect your shoes before putting them on.

Keep your feet warm and dry.  Don’t let your feet get wet in snow or rain.  Wear warm socks and shoes in winter.

Never walk barefoot.  Not even at home.  Always wear shoes or slippers.  You could step on something and get a scratch or cut.

Take care of your diabetes.  Keep your blood sugar levels under control.

Don’t smoke.  Smoking restricts the blood flow in your feet.

Get periodic foot exams.  In addition to daily foot inspections at home, it is important to see your foot and ankle doctor on a regular basis.  This will help prevent the foot complications of diabetes.

While feet may not be the prettiest or most popular part of our body, their care plays an important role in our overall health.  Take the time to pamper them!

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Posted in: Healthy Living

Product Talk: Pomelos

If you’ve noticed the giant, greenish pomelos in the produce department, you may have just thought these citrus fruits were just freakishly large, unripened grapefruit.

Actually, the pomelo is just a distant cousin of the grapefruit – but you may find you like them even better.  Most people will find them juicier, sweeter and milder than most grapefruit.

In fact, if it weren’t for pomelos, we probably wouldn’t even have grapefruit today. Pomelos (sometimes called “pummelos” ) are native to southeast Asia, and were particularly common in  Malaysia, Indonesia and southern China, even as far back as thousands of years ago.

According to the authoritative Oxford Companion to Food, food historians believe that sailors brought pomelos to the Carribbean West Indies in the 17th century. There, they were cultivated, cross-bred and refined until the modern grapefruit was produced.

Only in the last few years have pomelos been common in U.S. supermarkets again. Maybe that’s because of appearances: The pomelo does look like an ungainly stepsister to more common, petite citrus fruits. Its skin is usually green or yellowish-green, and slightly rough.  Pomelos are usually at least an inch or two larger in diameter than even the largest grapefruit.

The skin, or rind, is also very thick and soft, with a thick white pith. Rather than eating it on the half-shell like a grapefruit, it’s easier to eat a pomelo like an orange, by peeling away the rind and separating the fruit into sections. The flesh doesn’t have the tart edge of a grapefruit or the high acidity of other citrus fruits.

You can use pomelo in just about the same way as you would a grapefruit, in a salad or by itself. Peak season is now through late winter.

Dine-In: Pumpkin Pudding

I love pumpkin! On cool fall mornings, I enjoy a warm pumpkin spice latté, and on Thanksgiving, you’d better be prepared to fight me for the last piece of pumpkin pie.

What can you not like about pumpkin when it has a NuVal score of 94! (That’s just six points away from the perfect NuVal score of 100, meaning it’s about a nutritious a food as you can get.) One cup of pumpkin has 763% of your daily recommendation of vitamin A.  Vitamin A not only helps fight infections, but it helps prevent night blindness and contributes to red blood cell production, growth and development. Pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, iron, potassium and fiber.

When Thanksgiving rolls around, skip the 316 calories, 14 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat in a slice of pumpkin pie and go for a lower-fat pumpkin treat. This year, I’ve been asked to make this pudding instead of the traditional pie. Serve this pumpkin pudding over crushed gingersnaps and you won’t even miss your pumpkin pie.  

Easy Pumpkin Pie Pudding
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus refrigerating
Serves: 8

2 (1.34 oz) boxes Food Club Sugar Free Instant Vanilla Pudding
4 cups Full Circle Fat Free Milk
1 cup Food Club Canned Pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup Food Club Fat Free Whipped Topping
1/4 cup pecan, chopped

In a large bowl prepare pudding with milk. In a medium bowl, mix together pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Fold pumpkin into pudding. Spoon filling into glasses. Refrigerate glasses for 1 hour. Garnish with whipped topping and pecans.

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 114, Fat: 3 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 2 mg, Sodium: 496 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 5 g

© 2011, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.

Family Matters: Eating Right Through the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for indulging in your favorite festive foods, from grandma’s stuffing at Thanksgiving all the way to your sweet neighbor’s warm, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies at Christmas. Many of us feel that once the holiday season starts, nutrition is out the door. With the help of NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, however, you can take some of your favorite holiday foods and “trade them up” for a more nutritious product.

NuVal is a Nutritional Scoring System that is in place at Brookshire’s. NuVal rates foods on a scale of 1 to 100; the higher the score the better the nutrition. All you have to do is look right at the price tag to find the score. It really is as easy as that!

Look how easy it is to make holiday meals just a little healthier:

  • When eating that holiday turkey this year, skip the drumstick and go for the skinless turkey breast. This little trade-up increases the NuVal score from a 30 to a 48.
  • We all love our grandmother’s stuffing! Nothing feels more like home than when you see the steam rising from the stuffing and the kitchen filling up with the smell of sage. This holiday season, add a few nutritious ingredients to that traditional recipe. My personal favorite is adding chopped apples (NuVal 96) or diced pears (NuVal 96). Other fruit options are apricots (NuVal 100) or cranberries (NuVal 100). Winter squash is another nutritious added-in to your grandmother’s stuffing. Acorn squash scores a 99 and butternut squash has a perfect score of 100. Vegetables like collard greens (NuVal 100) or kale (NuVal 99) add a lot of nutrients too! I also like a little crunch, like nuts, in my dressing.  I love adding pecans (NuVal 65) or walnuts (NuVal 82) for that little crunch.
  • Side dishes are my favorite at dinner time! English peas, green beans and mashed potatoes are always my request when the family gets together. Sometimes when we have a lot to cook, we don’t really like preparing all things fresh. The good news is you can find canned and frozen vegetables that have almost as high, if not the same score, as fresh produce score. For example, if someone has requested a green bean casserole, you can use fresh, canned or frozen green beans. Del Monte Fresh Cut Canned Green Beans and Food Club Frozen Green Beans both score a perfect 100.

With the NuVal Scoring System, finding nutritious products in the grocery store is not hard at all. I hope you and your family have a great and nutritious holiday season!

Shop the sale: Bake-at-home breads

Warm, fresh-from-the-oven bread is a sure way to turn an everyday meal into something special.

But who has time to bake their own bread, especially on a weeknight and with the holiday season right around the corner?

Our Tasty Bakery tear & share breads – on sale starting today – are the easy answer.  These breads are as good as you’d get in an upscale bakery or a specialty restaurant, but they’re designed for you to finish off in just minutes in your own oven.

Available in cheese and garlic & herb varieties, our tear & share breads come in their own disposable, bakeable tray, so you don’t even have a baking dish to wash. Just remove the wrapper and pop them in a hot oven for 8-10 minutes; then serve in a bread basket and let guests simply pull apart their portion at the table. They’re perfect alongside pasta, meat, fish or chicken.

You can also try our Tasty Bakery flat breads, available in garlic and herb, sweet tomato and cheese, and basil pesto. These are sold fully baked, but they’re best reheated for 8-10 minutes in a hot oven. Serve with soup or salad, make them into an Italian Panini with salami, ham and cheese, or even use them as personal pizza crusts. (The sweet tomato and cheese is especially good as a pizza.)

All these breads are all-natural, vegetarian-friendly, and contain no trans-fat. Just like you’d bake them yourself – if you only had a few extra hours in your day.

Macaroni and Cheese Cups

Macaroni and Cheese Cups
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 24

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Food Club All-Purpose Flour
3 cups Full Circle Fat Free Milk
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese
1 lb elbow macaroni noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 tsp Food Club Salt
1/2 tsp Food Club Ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan melt butter. Add flour to saucepan, stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and continue until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted.

In a large bowl add noodles and cheese mixture; mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of macaroni mixture into each cup of mini muffin pan. Bake macaroni and cheese for 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 207, Fat: 10 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 245 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 11 g

© 2011, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.

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Posted in: Entertaining

Healthy Living: Avoiding holiday weight gain

During the roughly six-week winter holiday season, which begins right about now, the average American gains from 1 to 7 pounds, depending on which source you believe.

But the really bad news? Most of us never get around to losing that extra holiday weight, according to a widely cited study published in the respected The New England Journal of Medicine. So, even if you gain on the low end of that spread, you could easily be carting around five or ten extra unwanted pounds in just a few years.

The trick, obviously, is keeping the pounds off in the first place. Easier said than done.  And most “tips” about avoiding holiday weight gain are, frankly, sort of hard to follow. Who really wants to just eat carrot sticks instead of Christmas cookies at the office Christmas party? And that often-repeated tip about eating a full meal before heading to a holiday gathering – well, won’t most people just end up eating twice as much?

Instead, here are a few simpler ideas for minimizing your holiday weight gain:

Don’t tempt yourself at home. Since the office and every holiday gathering will be well-stocked with sweets and snacks, cut back in the environment you can control – your house. For instance, stop buying chips, and skip the chocolate-chip cookie you often enjoy after dinner.  If you receive gifts of nuts or candy, consider taking them to work to spread the enjoyment – and the potential weight gain – among your colleagues. And if you are baking treats for a party or friends, don’t make extras; try a cookie or two just to make sure they’re good enough to give away, but then package up the whole batch and get them out of your house.

Indulge in one or two treats per party – not the whole buffet. When you arrive at a holiday party, size up the offerings and eat only your favorites. Station yourself in a room far from the buffet table if you are easily tempted or prone to mindless eating while chatting.

Limit the alcohol. Especially if you don’t drink that often, a few alcoholic drinks can quickly add up to a bunch of empty, unexpected calories, and may also make you more apt to pig out at the buffet later. So go ahead and have that glass of champagne – one. Then switch to sparkling water with a slice of citrus.

Eat lightly the day of a big party, but don’t skip meals. If you know you’re going to be over-indulging in the evening, eat about one-third less than you might normally eat at breakfast and lunch, so you “save” some calories. If you skip meals and starve all day, you’re that much more likely to overeat as soon as you see the cocktail wienies. Along the same line, it’s often recommended to eat a healthy, protein-heavy snack right before heading to a party – so that you’re not as hungry. However, if you know that won’t stop you from eating just as much once you arrive at the party, skip the snack and save those calories.

Make your own party treats healthy: If you’re bringing goodies to a potluck, take something healthy, so you know there will be at least one lower-calorie offering to fill up on. Magazines like Cooking Light are filled with delicious, but lighter, holiday ideas this time of year.

Moderation in all things, even moderation:  Choose one or two events  – maybe Thanksgiving dinner and your neighborhood potluck – where you eat whatever you want, guilt-free. It will make it easier to limit your eating the rest of the season. The rest of the time, strive for moderation. If you do overeat at a party, don’t feel guilty or, worse, let it spiral into weeks of over-indulging. Shake it off, spend an extra 30 minutes at the gym, eat a salad for lunch, and then go about your holidays – hopefully, without any extra pounds in tow.

Product talk: Eggnog: A BGC tradition

Nobody’s really sure who invented eggnog. The holiday tradition is usually credited to the English, but some food historians seem to think it’s just a modernized version of a milk-based toddy that has been enjoyed in the winter since the Middle Ages.

What I do know is this: We make some pretty fine eggnog right here at Brookshire’s.

Our Food Club eggnog, made locally, is now in stores, carrying on a tradition that has now been going on for nearly 20 years.

The recipe for our rich, fragrant eggnog was developed in 1992 in our own BGC Dairy. It uses a secret blend of spices and vanilla, and fresh whole milk that comes to us from family dairy farmers in the nearby countryside.

And it’s part of an even bigger dairy tradition that dates back to 1927, when the first working dairy was founded on the site of the current BGC plant in Tyler, Texas.  The dairy changed hands several times before Brookshire’s purchased it in 1990 in order to bring its own fresh milk products to customers.

We’re proud of our dairy’s strong history of quality. In spring 2005 the dairy became the first dairy in Texas certified to process organic milk. And we’ve won the All Star Dairy Association’s “Best Fluid Plant” Award the last 5 out of 7 years.

At the dairy, we gear up to make eggnog just in the fall, in time for all those holiday parties. It’s available by the quart, perfect for enjoying yourself, or the half-gallon, enough for the whole family or special holiday parties. Dust it with ground cinnamon or nutmeg, top it with real whipped cream, or even spike it with a little brandy or rum, if you are so inclined.

Just make sure you enjoy it while you can; at the end of the holidays, it will disappear again from our stores, not to return until the 2012 winter holiday season.

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Posted in: Product Talk

Family Matters: Cold-weather flea protection

True or false: Pet owners don’t need to worry about fleas in the winter.

False! While this may have once been commonly accepted, we now know that fleas can and do survive in colder weather – especially indoors, and especially in the milder climates of the southern U.S.

In fact, fleas may even be a bigger threat in the cooler months, as many pet owners slack off on the preventative measures for dogs and cats in the fall and winter – meaning more fleas are breeding and just itching to get into your home and onto your pet.

So, to keep fleas at bay, veterinarians and pet experts advise that pet owners treat their four-legged friends all year long. Otherwise, you’ll risk flea infestations, which can lead to more than just nasty little fleas on the carpet and annoying flea bites. Flea bites can cause allergies, infections, and skin disorders. They can also spread tapeworms, tularemia (a disease spread by fleas and ticks that causes headache, fever, and fatigue), and even Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a potentially fatal illness that can affect both dogs and humans.

These flea-prevention tips are courtesy our friends at Sergeant’s, which makes many effective flea- and tick-control products for pet and home.

Prevention goes a long way: Follow your veterinarian’s advice and treat every pet in your household every month, all year long. If you keep fleas from getting a foothold in your home in the first place, you won’t have the more-difficult task of getting rid of them later.

Treat each pet monthly – preferably on the same date so you don’t forget a dose. Bathe your pet to remove dirt and as a first step in treating flea or tick infestations. A flea comb removes flea dirt (flea feces) and dead fleas.

Treat the home, too. Regularly wash pet bedding. If you have or suspect an infestation, wash pet bedding again, then vacuum carpets, and treat your home with a household spray, powder or fogger.

Don’t forget the yard. Spray your yard and your home’s foundation, to kill fleas lurking outside.

Use an effective anti-flea treatment. Squeeze-on, topical treatments are easy to use and very well tolerated by pets. You can now purchase topical treatments at grocery stores and other retailers, eliminating an extra trip to the veterinarian’s office. For instance, Sergeant’s™ Flea and Tick Squeeze-On protects pets against adult fleas and ticks and prevents eggs and larvae from developing into adults. It contains Bitrex, a bittering agent, to help prevent ingestion. Sergeant’s Evolve™ Flea and Tick Squeeze-On is specifically formulated for the weight of your pet, both in dosage and active ingredients. It not only protects against adult fleas, but also prevents infestation and protects against flea eggs and larvae for up to nine weeks.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Serves: 10

2 cups Food Club All-Purpose Flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Food Club Salt
3 tsp Food Club Sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; mix well. Cut butter into mixture, until dough is crumbly and pale yellow. Make a well in dough and pour in buttermilk; mix well.

On a floured surface roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thick. With a round cookie cutter or glass cut dough into 2-inch circles. Combine remaining dough and cut more biscuits. Place biscuits on baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Serve with butter and honey.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 186, Fat: 10 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 317 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 3 g

© 2011, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.

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Posted in: Cooking

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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

Product Talk

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