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Healthy Living: Stay out of the heat

We talked a little bit earlier this month about the importance of staying hydrated during these extreme summer temperatures. With Texas temperatures reaching all-time highs, it is getting harder and harder to get anything done outside. For those of you who have active daily exercise routines, this could spell trouble.

Hydration and body regulation is the key! Only you can tell yourself when to keep going and when to throw in the towel, and as far as summer exercising is concerned, it’s not worth a hospital visit. Even a well-conditioned athlete can experience one of several heat-related illnesses if working out too intensely in heat that’s this extreme. Know your limits, and the warning signs of heat illnesses:

Heat cramps: Cramping up during exercises you can normally do with no pain? You might be experiencing heat cramps. This is a painful tightening of muscles, usually in your arms or legs, but sometimes in your glutes or stomach as well. If you think you are experiencing heat-related cramps, it’s important to cool down, by resting in the shade, even if your skin is still cool.

Heat exhaustion: What we sometimes call “heat stroke” is often heat exhaustion, which is serious but not usually life-threatening. The typical symptoms are extreme thirst, dizziness, weakness and nausea. You may also feel a loss in coordination, and your pulse may speed up. Again, if you feel these symptoms, get to a cooler place, drink some cool fluids, and rest; your body is sending you an important signal!

Heat stroke: This is the most serious heat-related illness and can be fatal. If you ignore the symptoms of heat exhaustion, heat stroke can occur. A case of heat stroke occurs when your body temperature reaches more than 104 degrees. You may faint, feel confused, have difficulty breathing, and have either a rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse.  If you suspect you or your workout partner may be experience heat stroke, get out of the heat immediately, rest, drink fluids and contact 911!

To avoid heat-related illnesses, try scheduling your outdoor exercises early in the morning, before work, or even later in the evenings. No matter what time of day, hydrate! If you are a busy person like yours truly, and the lunch hour is the only free hour in the day, it would be well worth your time and energy to get a gym membership and utilize indoor fitness facilities, at least until the worst of the summer heat is past.  If biking and running are your main sports, mix things up a bit and try swimming!

I have not only heard some summer horror stories as far as heat related issues are concerned, but I have also treated too many patients myself. So no matter what fitness route you decide to take this summer, be sure to drink as much water as possible and listen to your body!

My slogan is usually “Get out there!” This summer however, I am going to make a slight exception and say, “Get in there!” in regards to the gym!

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Posted in: Healthy Living

Dine-In: BBQ Chicken Pizza

Growing up, I was never a fan of pizza. As I got older, though, I discovered I really disliked the tomato sauce on pizza, not pizza itself. So now, I love making homemade pizza, using different, interesting sauces on my crust to replace the tomato sauce. Pesto sauce, with fragrant basil, is one of my new favorite pizza toppings. And here’s another idea: barbecue sauce. This quick recipe ought to please both the pizza-lovers AND the bbq-lovers in your family. 

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 8

2 Tbs barbecue sauce
1 (12-inch) premade pizza crust
2 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked in barbeque sauce, cubed
1/4 purple onion, sliced
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 450° F. Spread barbeque sauce over pizza crust. Place cubed chicken, onion and cheese onto crust. Bake pizza for 20 to 25 minutes or according to crust package directions. Sprinkle cilantro over pizza.

*Check temperature and cook time on pizza crust. 

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 252, Fat: 9 g (Saturated Fat 4 g), Cholesterol: 36 mg, Sodium: 236 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 18 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: Dine In

Family Matters: New from Huggies!

Diapers would be a lot easier to change if babies would just sit still.

But as any parent knows, babies have a lot more interesting stuff to do than just sit there while you’re trying to change that dirty diaper – grab your necklace, practice sitting up and rolling over, or flat-out making a break for it.

So parents of escape artists and wiggleworms should check out the new style of diaper from Huggies. Just arriving in stores, Huggies’ Little Movers Slip-On diapers are designed to slip on and off faster and easier.

They look much like training pants, but with the same great absorbency and leak protection as disposable diapers.

The design of Little Movers, in fact, does look similar to Huggies’ Pull-Ups. Little Movers are all one piece, with stretchy, pre-attached sides that allow them to be pulled on quickly, just like underwear. No tabs to line up and fasten (or re-fasten, if your baby squirms.) And if your baby balks at lying down on a changing table, you can pull these on even while she’s standing or sitting.

They also have breakaway sides, so you can remove soiled ones as quickly and easily as taking off a regular diaper.

These come in three sizes. The smallest size will work for babies as small as 16 pounds. By the time most children grow out of the largest size, they will be old enough to begin potty training, so you can move them right into the thinner, less-absorbent training  pants. Or, if you’re really brave, underpants.

They are arriving in many stores now; check in the diaper aisle.

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Posted in: Family Matters

Shop the Sale: Homemade potpies

School is back in session and afterschool sports schedules are picking up. So just getting dinner on the table these days can be a struggle – much less serving something that’s fresh, homemade, and doesn’t come in a paper bag from a drive-through.

Here’s my new favorite solution:  Our new hand-made potpies, made fresh in our store’s delis. They’re even on sale starting today!

You can buy our potpies hot and fresh, ready to serve right away. Or you can pick one up that’s baked but chilled, to take home and warm in your home oven at your convenience.

Either way, it’s a great one-dish dinnertime solution: classic, filling comfort food, with meat and vegetables all wrapped up in one pastry crust.

Each potpie serves one or two people, depending on their appetite. Try all kinds and let your family pick their favorite:

Classic Chicken: This is the classic potpie, with a flaky top and bottom crust holding white-meat chicken, potatoes, carrots, English peas, and creamy chicken broth.

Chicken Primavera: This unique dish has a definite Italian flair! Double-crust pie holds white meat chicken, penne pasta, julienned carrots and squash, all in a rich, creamy Alfredo sauce.

Southwest Chicken Bake: Stuffed with white-meat chicken, Mexican rice, pinto beans and whole-kernel corn, this one gets spiced up with a fresh-baked cornbread crust and sliced jalapenos.

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Posted in: Shop the Sale

Healthy Living: Fall Sports Safety

A new school year is upon us, and kids are getting ready to get back into their daily routines. And the new school year also means the beginning of sports season. 

The big sport, of course, is football. Every Friday night, two teams go head to head to battle it out on the field under the roar of cheering fans and bright stadium lights. With all the hard hits, tackles and the yards of running to the end zone comes the risk of injuries. But, unfortunately, injuries are part of the game in just about every sport your children may pursue this fall, from soccer to softball to volleyball and gymnastics. 

Since no one wants to be watching from the sidelines, here are some quick tips to keep your All-Star on the field. 

1. Make sure each child has had a recent physical to check for any possible risk factors.

2. Make sure each player has properly fitted safety equipment.

3. Make sure all athletes have proper hydration. This is especially important because of the abnormally high temperatures we’ve been seeing this summer. The best way to stay hydrated is just to drink plenty of water! However, if your athlete doesn’t like the taste of water, you can offer sports drinks such as Gatorade or PowerAde. These types of sports drinks help replenish the electrolytes lost in sweat, which keep energy up and help muscles function properly. If you’re concerned about the sugar content of such drinks, there are now lower-sugar, and even no-calorie, no-sugar sports drinks.

4. Encourage proper nutrition, including healthy snacks. Athletes may not want to eat a heavy meal before a big game, and may even get butterflies the day of a game that makes them not want to eat much all day. But providing high-energy, high-nutrient snacks – such as bananas, nuts, peanut butter, yogurt, smoothies and trail mix – can make sure your athlete has the energy to perform.

5. If your young athlete requires any regular medication or equipment – such as an inhaler – make sure the coach knows about this requirement, and that your child has access to this equipment from the sidelines if necessary.

6. Finally, remind them one of the most important things is to have fun! 

Go out and support your hometown team.

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Posted in: Healthy Living

Product Talk: The whole chicken

Back in the day, any cook worth her (or his) salt knew how to handle a whole chicken. Whether you roasted it, stewed it, or cut it apart for frying, that’s just how chickens came at the market.

Today, however, many people seem to be intimidated by a whole chicken –even though it is a much more economical choice. It’s just too easy to pick up a package of skinless breasts, or thigh quarters, rather than wrestle with a full chicken, bones, skin, and all.

But if you know how to cook a real chicken, you’ll save money , as they can cost less than half what you might pay for specialized packages of prepared, boned or skinless chicken. And, you’ll find the flavor is often richer and deeper, since you’re getting flavor from all the fat, skin and bones.

If you don’t want to mess with cutting up a chicken, there are three easy ways to cook the bird whole, with almost no mess and fuss. Note: Always remove any “innards” such as neck or giblets, from inside the chicken cavity, before cooking.

Crockpot: This is stupid-simple, and produces a really moist dish.  Roughly chop a couple of onions and carrots and place in the crockpot, then add a three-to-four-pound chicken, seasoned with salt, pepper and any herbs or spices you like. You don’t need liquid. Cook for four-five hours, and the chicken will be falling-off-the-bone tender. Bonus: If you pick the meat off the bones before serving, you can make chicken stock from the carcass. Just add more carrots, chopped celery, and maybe some thyme, and enough water to reach the top of the crockpot. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.

Stew: Almost as easy as the crockpot. Use the same carrot-onion-herb combo as in a crockpot chicken; you may also want to add some celery. Place everything in a large stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook on low up to about 90 minutes. Again, it’s done when the meat is tender and pulls away easily from the bone. Tip: For a richer flavor, replace some of the water with chicken broth.

Roast: Baking a chicken can be the trickiest way to go, because it’s easy to overcook it and end up with a dry bird. I recommend the use of a meat thermometer. This country-style roasted chicken, reminiscent of an old-fashioned Sunday dinner, is a good recipe to start with:

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Posted in: Product Talk

Dine In: Summery shrimp ceviche

Ceviche is a wonderful summer dish, especially when you don’t want to cook. Well, when you don’t want to cook with heat, that is.

The fish or shellfish in ceviche IS cooked, but with acid, usually from citrus juice. It has the same texture as if it had been cooked on the stove, but the acid in the lime or lemon juice is what causes the chemical reaction and produces the “cooked” texture.

If you are new to ceviche, or have not prepared it at home, I like to suggest starting with shrimp. Shrimp “cooked” in lime/lemon juice has a really nice, firm texture. And, for some reason, even people who might be a little squeamish about the whole ceviche concept are usually willing to try this version. Serve with chips or tortillas, and maybe a side of guacamole, and you’ve got a great summer dinner – without turning on a single burner. 

Shrimp Ceviche

1 lb large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound)
1 tsp lime zest (about 1 lime)
1/2 cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced fine
1 jalapeño stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 garlic clove , minced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 scallions , sliced thin
1 cup cherry tomatoes , quartered
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 ripe avocado, pitted and finely
Ground black pepper

Peel shrimp, devein, and slice each shrimp in half lengthwise using a paring knife.

Stir the lime zest, lime juice, lemon juice, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt together in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the shrimp, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the seafood is firm, opaque, and appears cooked, 45 to 60 minutes, stirring halfway through the marinating time.

Place the mixture in a fine-mesh strainer, leaving it a little wet, then return to the bowl. Gently stir in the oil, scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, and sugar followed by the avocado. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

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Posted in: Dine In

Shop the Sale: Blue Diamond Almonds

Already the most popular nut in the U.S., the almond has gotten a lot of attention lately. Almonds keep showing up on the list of “superfoods”, recommended by dietitians and doctors because they pack a lot of nutritional punch per calorie.

The argument that almonds are a “superfood” is pretty compelling:

  • Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fat – the kind we’re supposed to be eating.
  • Studies have shown that eating them regularly can help reduce your risk of heart disease and lower your cholesterol.
  • Almonds can help you lose weight! Some research shows that because almonds contain a balance of protein, fat and fiber, eating them helps you feel full and satisfied, leading you to reduce food intake during the rest of your day.
  • They’re gluten-free.
  • They’re often tolerated by individuals who are allergic to peanuts (which are actually a legume, not a tree nut.)
  • Ounce for ounce, almonds have more protein, fiber, calcium and Vitamin E than any other nut.

This week is a great time to get into the almond habit: Blue Diamond almonds, a trusted brand for more than 100 years, are on sale at Brookshire’s.

My favorite way to eat almonds is just right out of the container. But you can also toss a few into your morning yogurt or oatmeal; use flavored or salted ones to add crunch to a salad; add a few for crunch into tuna or chicken salad; or substitute them for other types of nuts in your favorite cookie or dessert recipe.

Blue Diamond has also developed several flavored almond varieties, both savory and sweet. I find these make a great, mid-afternoon snack that’s much healthier than heading to the vending machine for a bag of chips.

Or try this recipe, courtesy Blue Diamond, which adds even more flavor, but very little extra fat, to plain almonds.

Roasted Almonds with Coriander, Chili and Olive Oil 

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups blanched almonds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 to 3 small dried red chili peppers
2 generous pinches of sea salt

Add the olive oil and almonds to a hot saute pan. Saute and toast the almonds until golden brown, shaking the pan regularly to color them evenly and accentuate their nutty flavor. Crumble in the coriander and chili to taste, and add the sea salt. Toss over and serve hot on a large plate.

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Posted in: Shop the Sale

Healthy Living: Staying hydrated

If you grew up hearing you needed to drink 6-8 glasses of water every day to stay healthy, you may have been surprised to hear recent news reports that this advice might be,  well, all wet.

Several studies over the last several years, including a widely reported report from a British medical journal this summer, have come up with new recommendations. The gist of it: There’s no magic number when it comes to water. You just need to drink enough liquids to avoid being thirsty.

That said – in a broiling hot summer like we’ve been enduring this year, it’s good advice to make sure you’re ingesting enough cool, clear water, to make up for what you naturally lose during the day.  This is especially important if you work outdoors;  exercise outside (even in the morning or evening); if you are pregnant or nursing; or if you are taking medications that lead to dehydration.

Beverages such as tea, coffee, milk or juice can make up part of your daily beverage allotment. But plain water is still the best, because it doesn’t add fat, sugar or calories to your daily diet.

If you don’t particularly like the taste of water, or you just forget to make yourself drink, here are simple ways to keep up your water intake.

  • Keep a water bottle at your desk, in your car, and in your gym bag, so you’re not tempted to always down a soft drink when thirst strikes.
  • Try sparkling water (with no sugar or sodium added) instead of plain tap or bottled water. Look for plain sparkling water, or those that have the added flavor of lime, grapefruit, lemon or other citrus flavors, without added sugar.
  • Add lemon or lime slices for a splash of flavor with no calories. You can also add a few slices of cucumber, or even a couple of sprigs of fresh mint.
  • Eat foods with high water content, like watermelon, cucumber, lettuce and grapefruit. Each of these foods are more than 90 percent water.
  • Try one of the powdered mixes that can be added to a bottle of water  for an instant, refreshing fruit-flavored beverage. Just be careful if you’re watching your weight; some of these do contain added sugar and calories.
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Posted in: Healthy Living

Product talk: Delicious “donut” peaches

A doughnut peach isn’t much to look at, at least compared to a beautifully shaped, traditional peach. A doughnut peach is small, flat and kind of squashed, almost like it got stuck under the wheels of a grocery buggy.

But once you try one, you’ll understand why your mother always told you to never judge a book by its cover.  Doughnut peaches are really delicious – sweeter and often juicier than most regular, full-sized peaches, with a slightly different flavor that some people think tastes like almonds.

Doughnut peaches – which are also called saucer peaches, Saturn peaches and UFO peaches by some growers – are not some weird, recently developed hybrid. They’re an actual peach variety that has been grown for centuries in China, and was first planted in the United States more than 100 years ago. It’s only been a few years, however, that doughnut peaches were rediscovered by U.S. growers, and have been widely available in supermarkets here.

They’re getting more popular fast, though, and as a peach fan, I understand why.  Because they’re small and fit nicely in the palm of your hand, they’re easier, and less messy, to eat than a regular peach. (Kids especially seem to like them, because of their cute, petite size.  And the name. Who doesn’t want to eat something called “donut”?)

Doughnut peaches are also freestone, meaning  the small  pit doesn’t cling to the flesh of the peach. Again, that makes it easier, and less messy, to eat. The skin has just a thin layer of fuzz,  so if you’re one of those who don’t like the fuzzy skin of regular peaches, you may happily eat this one without peeling it.

Finally, doughnut peaches also have a slightly later growing season than many other varieties. They’re at peak freshness now and into the fall.

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Posted in: Product Talk

Copyright © 2010-2014, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
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.

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