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Healthy Living: Vacations hinder weight loss goals?

With summer in full swing, vacations are the topic of the day! Have you ever considered that your vacation plans can hinder your weight loss goals? “I deserve to cheat a little” are famous last words.

When planning your summer vacation, keep your fitness and eating habits in mind. If you’re not planning on exercising, remember to keep your portion sizes in moderation. You may also consider the type of vacation that you are going to take. Hiking, camping, water sports, walking, climbing and adventure vacations all give you the opportunity to stay on the move while providing a fun trip for your family.

Remember that you don’t need a gym to maintain your fitness routine for a week or two. Basic exercises like pushups, sit-ups done in sets of 50 (or as many as you can do up to 50) will not only help to maintain your level of cardio, but your resistance training as well.  The current fitness program you are on, and/or your fitness goals will determine the types of exercises you can do. If you are looking to lean your figure, exercises like lunges and squats will get your heart rate up and burn more calories. If you are trying to build muscle, pull-ups and push-ups can be done in many different variations based on the muscle groups you are working out. Get out there and do something physical on your summer vacation!

Healthy Living: Potato Salad or Macaroni Salad?

You may wonder which one would be better for me, potato salad or macaroni salad? Go for the potato salad. It has 358 calories, 21 grams fat and 28 grams carbohydrate for a 1-cup serving, where a cup of macaroni salad has 550 calories, 48 grams fat and 29 grams carbohydrates.

Family Matters: Weight Gain in Pregnancy

For most women, a gain of 25 to 35 pounds is normal. If women gain a lot more than that during pregnancy, they may experience more discomforts, including pelvic pressure, back pain and leg swelling. They are also at risk for more serious conditions, including gestational diabetes. Doctors rarely advise dieting to lose weight during pregnancy, but they do believe that moderate, healthy eating is a wise option.

Summer Lunch Fun is in the Bag!

Your children will have a ball learning how to make their own lunches, but even more, they’ll love sharing time with you.

Do you like eating the same thing for lunch every day?
Odds are, you don’t. And you know what? Neither do most kids. Sack lunches can get boring, but there’s no reason they need to be. With a little fun and imagination, you can get your children excited about what’s in their lunches, and you can get them fired up about helping you make them.

First up, sit down and talk to your kids about the kinds of foods they might like to eat for lunch. And not just what they already know and like. Give them some new things to think about. Even better, have the conversation in the grocery store where they can see what you’re talking about. Help them understand all the different options they have to choose from. Tired of wheat bread? Let’s try a tortilla. Or a pita. Or a hoagie roll. I know you love American cheese, but how about trying cheddar, pepper jack or mozzarella instead?

From breads and proteins, to cheeses, toppings and condiments, let your children pick out some fun, new lunch choices. Then, go home and, together, set your kitchen up like a deli so THEY can learn how to make the world’s best sandwich. How fun is that?


First, lay out all your main course ingredients in four different columns. In the first column, set aside all your different bread and wrap options. In the second column, have the kids choose what’s going in the sandwich or wrap, like different meats or peanut butter and jelly. The third column is for all the different cheeses they may want to add. Finally, column 4 is for toppings like condiments and vegetables. Let your kids fill out the order the night before by checking one item from each column. That way you can easily prepare their sandwich and not have to make those “morning rush” decisions.

Once their sandwich is made, have them go to the fridge and pick out what else they want to add to their lunch. To make it easy for them, have two containers in the fridge—one for fresh vegetables and the other for fresh, cut-up fruit, like watermelon, pineapple and grapes. You could also put out a chip/cracker basket they could choose from and every so often offer a cookie or brownie as a special treat.

Brookshire’s makes it easy and fun to pack lunches. Keeping a vegetable tray on hand makes choosing a variety of healthy snacks easy. Don’t forget the fruit. The USDA recommends 2 – 4 servings daily. Pineapple is a great source of vitamins and Brookshire’s does all the work for you with fresh cored pineapple in the produce department. Brookshire’s brownies make an excellent sweet snack to pack in your kids lunches. You can find our 8×8 pans in the bakery department.

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Posted in: Cooking, Kids, Nutrition

So What’s So Cool About Hatch Chiles

Grilled Hatch Pepper Potato SaladTrue chileheads know what’s special about August: It’s the start of the short-but-sweet Hatch Chile season.

Grown only in a tiny portion of New Mexico and available fresh only in late summer through early fall, these bright green chiles have become the darling of fiery-food fans all over.

Hatch, N.M., about 75 miles northwest of El Paso, calls itself the chile capital of the world, and the only true Hatch Chiles come from this area. The secret? Hot days, cool nights, a 4,000 foot elevation and rich volcanic soil, which combine for a medium-hot, earthy chile that’s meatier and spicier than the more common Anaheim chile, its look-a-like.

Roadside stands selling roasted Hatch Chiles are a seasonal tradition in New Mexico, and the chile’s fame spread to Texas a generation ago. Now, thanks to Food Network specials and celeb chefs, who use them in everything from green enchiladas to chile-spiked candy, Hatch Chiles are loved nationwide.

When Hatch Chiles finish ripening and turn deep red, the skin can no longer be separated from the flesh, and the chiles are usually ground into powder. So get them while you can! Fresh Hatch Chile season usually ends in late September.

Hatch Chiles should be glossy, bright green, heavy for their size and firm. Relatively straight, flat peppers are best for roasting; they’ll turn easily and blacken evenly.

You can often purchase Hatch Chiles roasted, but it’s easy to do yourself. (Use tongs to turn them, so chiles blacken evenly.)
Oven/broiler: Turn on broiler and place chiles in a single layer on a cookie sheet; broil for 6 – 8 minutes, or until skin blisters and blackens.

Outdoor grill: Place a single layer of chiles on the grill, about 5 – 6 inches above the charcoal or other heat source. Grill up to six minutes.

Comal: Place the comal (a round, cast-iron griddle used for tortillas) on the stove top, on high heat. Griddle several chiles at once.

Finishing: After removing blackened chiles from heat, place in a plastic or paper bag and close. In about ten minutes, the steam will soften the skin so that it peels off easily, using your hands or a knife. Peeled, roasted chiles can be frozen in plastic bags. Frozen chiles will keep up to two years, but usually get hotter the longer you keep them around.

Grilled Hatch Pepper Potato Salad
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

4 quarts water
1 1/2 lbs new potatoes, 2-3 inches long, scrubbed, un-peeled, cut into eighths
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 cup corn kernels, cooked, cut from 2 ears grilled or boiled corn
2 Hatch Chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
3 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
4 Tbs olive oil
3 scallions, white parts only, sliced thin
3 Tbs cilantro leaves, minced

In large Dutch oven or stock pot, bring 4 quarts water to boil over high heat; add 1 tsp salt. Place potato pieces on skewers. Drop skewers into boiling water and boil until knife slips in and out of potato easily, about 10 minutes. With tongs, remove skewers to paper towel and pat dry. Brush all sides of potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.

Place skewers on hot grill; cook, turning skewers twice with tongs, until all sides are browned, 4 – 5 minutes per side over medium or medium-low heat. Slide hot potatoes off skewers into medium bowl and use immediately. Toss potatoes with vinegar, salt and pepper. Add corn, Hatch Chilies and jalapeños.

Whisk lime juice and sugar in small bowl until sugar dissolves; whisk in olive oil and salt, to taste. Pour mixture over potatoes and add scallions and cilantro; toss to combine.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 337, Fat: 21 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 629 mg, Carbohydrates: 36 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 4 g

© 2010, 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, Produce

Healthy Living: Spaghetti Sauce

Who says you can not have spaghetti sauce just because you can not have spaghetti. Have you ever thought about putting tomato sauce in your scrambled eggs? If you love putting ketchup in your scrambled eggs try add spaghetti sauce.  

Italian Scramble Eggs
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

4 eggs
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded*
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded*
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup Food Club spaghetti sauce

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. In a skillet, add egg mixture and cook until eggs are set.

* Check ingredients list sometime gluten product are used in shredded cheese as an anti-caking product. You can always buy these cheeses and shredded them yourself.

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 126, Fat: 8 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol:195 mg, Sodium: 270 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 10 g

© 2010, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician

Healthy Living: Trends and Workout Regimens

Even with the summer heat in full swing, it is important to continue our healthy living trends and good workout regimens.  Staying hydrated is one of the most important things that you can do to not only help in your weight loss goals, but keep your body healthy.

As a volunteer fire fighter, I visit Texas A&M once a year to attend Fire fighting school. This last summer of classes, my class in particular, lost 25% of its students in the first 4 hours due to poor hydration.  Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can affect you even if you are not working out and are potentially life threatening conditions.

Drink plenty of water especially if you know that you will be working outside in the hot sun and especially if you are planning on doing intense cardio. Even coming out of the gym, the heat can still cause you to fall ill. A good investment for the summer might even be a small portable cooler that you can carry around in your car. This will allow you to carry water and your favorite sports drinks, to help maintain electrolyte balance, wherever you go. You should also avoid working out during the peak heat hours of the day. Try to get your workout in either first thing in the morning, or later in the evening.

Following the simple tips above you should be able to avoid dehydration. Here are some basic symptoms of dehydration in children and adults, if you start to experience these symptoms; treatment is usually as simple as rehydration. In children however treatment will vary based on the cause of dehydration, so it is important to always consult your pediatrician:

• thirst
• less-frequent urination
• dry skin
• fatigue
• light-headedness
• dizziness
• confusion
• dry mouth and mucous membranes
• increased heart rate and breathing

In children, additional symptoms may include:

• dry mouth and tongue
• no tears when crying
• no wet diapers for more than 3 hours
• sunken abdomen, eyes or cheeks
• high fever
• listlessness
• irritability
• skin that does not flatten when pinched and released

Remember these simple tips to prevent dehydration:

• Drink plenty of fluids, especially when working or playing in the sun.
• Make sure you are taking in more fluid than you are losing.
• Try to schedule physical outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day.
• Drink appropriate sports drinks to help maintain electrolyte balance.
• For infants and young children, solutions like Pedialyte will help maintain electrolyte balance during illness or heat exposure. Do not try to make fluid and salt solutions at home for children

Be safe in the summer heat and remember hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! 

Healthy Living: Sports Safety Blog

As a new year is quickly approaching, not only are kids getting ready to head back to school and get back into their daily routines. The new school year means the beginning of sports season. The sport that everyone looks forward to is football season, every Friday night under the roar of cheering fans and bright stadium lights two teams go head to head to battle it out on the field.

Through the hard hits, tackles and the yards of running to cross the end zone line to have the ref throw both arms up in the air saying touchdown, comes the risk of injuries.

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

1. Have each child a physical for any possible risk factors

2. Be sure each play has properly fitted safety equipment

3. Make sure all athletes have proper nutrition and hydration

4. But the most important thing is to have fun

With these quick tips you won’t have to miss out on Friday night lights. So go out and support your hometown team.

Product Talk: Hatch Chili Pepper Bread

Hatch Chili Pepper Season is almost here!  I am told that the small town of Hatch, New Mexico turns into a pretty big city during the Hatch Chili Pepper Festival!

The folks at note that this small city of about 2,000 residents or so swells about fifteen times to about 30,000 during Labor Day weekend!   Is it any wonder that this city is known as the home of “The World’s Best Chili Pepper?”

If you are familiar with Hatch Peppers, or for some reason you are not, let me share some info with you from the Hatch Valley Chile Festival web site.  It seems that just one fresh medium-sized chili pod has as much Vitamin C as six oranges!  Also, hot chili peppers burn calories by triggering a thermodynamic burn in the body, which speeds up metabolism.  Now that’s pretty cool (actually hot)!

Having said all of this, we want to let you know that we will have Fresh Baked Hatch Chili Pepper Focaccia Bread available in our bakeries around August 1st.  We’ve sent the recipe out to our Bakery Managers who will begin the process of baking this really fun bread in our bakeries.

If you are heading to Hatch, New Mexico, how about taking some of this bread with you for mealtime along the way!  If you’re sticking closer to home this summer, we invite you to stop by next week at one of our bakeries sometime and try a loaf!

Family Matters: Modified Ice Cream Bar Pie

Some of you have been asking me how my son’s ice cream birthday cake turned out…let me tell you, my new teenager was thrilled with his ice cream bar pie!

I had to adjust the original recipe from the Celebrate Cooking magazine because my son does not eat chocolate. Yes, you read that right he does not like chocolate! Apparently he did not inherit my taste buds.

The dessert was easy and took only minutes to make, leaving me with lots of time to enjoy his party!

Here are my modifications to the Ice Cream Bar Pie.

Ice Cream Bar Pie
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus chill time
Serves 18

1 (12 Ct) box Blue Bunny Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches (it uses vanilla wafers)
1 (12 oz) tub fat-free frozen whipped topping
1 (16 oz) pkg frozen sweetened strawberries or fresh strawberries

In a 13×9 dish, line the bottom of dish with ice cream sandwiches. Spread the thawed frozen strawberries over sandwiches. Spread whipped topping over frozen strawberries. Freeze pie for 30 minutes. Top with fresh strawberries before serving.

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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