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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!



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.



Healthy Living: Healthy Lunches


It’s that time of year again, summer is ending and school is just around the corner. Parents prepare their children for the start of the school year by purchasing new school uniforms, new school supplies, and helping to finish all the school summer projects. What parents may fail to adequately prepare is healthy school lunches. As you prepare your child for the school year, do not neglect their nutrition. A healthy mind stems from a healthy body and a healthy diet. 

A healthy diet includes all three nutrient classes: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. All three nutrients make the body healthy and strong. A proper diet is essential in children, as they need these nutrients in order to grow strong, both physically and mentally. A carbohydrate is the body’s energy source. Good carbohydrates to include in your child’s lunch are: fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread products, and low-fat dairy products. Try to avoid empty, unhealthy carbohydrates, such as: chips, cookies, crackers, and sweets. Protein is important in normal growth and development. It helps children develop strong muscles. Good protein sources include: beans, nuts, turkey, ham, and peanut butter. Lastly, healthy fats are important in your child’s development. Healthy fats include: salad dressings, such as Italian dressing and low-fat Ranch dressing as a nice side to dip their carrots or celery in. 

Just because your child needs a healthy lunch, does not mean it needs to be boring. A few tips to encourage your child to eat their healthy lunch include:

  1. Include a low-fat dip, such as peanut butter or low-fat ranch with the vegetables (carrots, celery) so that your kids enjoy the taste more.
  2. Instead of a sweet dessert, include a low-fat yogurt, Jell-O, or fruit choice, as these are sweet and healthy substitutes.
  3. Instead of including regular potato chips, use baked chips or pretzels as a healthier alternative.
  4. When preparing sandwiches, use whole-grain bread instead of white bread. Go easy on the mayonnaise.
  5. As for drinks, include low-fat milk or water frequently. Use juice or soda sparingly. These are full of sugar and empty calories.           


Family Matters: Exercise


Kids need plenty of physical activity, but if they’re couch potatoes, that can be a challenge. 

Take the lead and be a good example: play WITH your kids!

  •  Ride bikes, jump rope, climb stairs, skate and swim.
  •  Take a family walk or bike ride after dinner every night.
  •  Learn new sports.
  •  Build activity into special gatherings. Hold a scavenger hunt or play volleyball at family events.


Healthy Living: Craving Sweets?


If you’re craving something sweet, eat fewer reduced-fat cookies and eat more fruit! Fruit provides fiber, vitamins and minerals that cookies may not provide.  Some high NuVal scoring fruits are apricots, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, cranberries and starfruit. All these fruits score a 100!



Healthy Living: Which Cereal to Choose?


Cereals have the largest range of NuVal scores in the store. The scores can range from as low as 2, all the way up to a perfect 100. The scores of cereals are mainly influenced by three nutrients sodium, sugar and fiber. Sugar and sodium will lower the score, whereas fiber will increase the score.

Hodgson Mill Unprocessed Wheat Bran has a score you can’t bet, 100! Both Food Club Bite Size Shredded Wheat and Food Club Essential Choice Puffed Wheat have a high score of a 91. Pick up one of these Food Club cereals for an inexpensive, nutritious and delicious breakfast. 



Family Matters: Granola


Granola tends to be under the health halo, but can be high in sugar. Here is a recipe for a delicious crisp, chunky granola that would be delicious with creamy Greek yogurt. 

Banana Nut Granola

Serves: 16

Prep Time: 10 minutes        Cook Time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients:

2 cups Food Club Regular Oatmeal

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup dried bananas

1/2 cup Food Club Honey

2 Tbs Food Club Canola Oil 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl combine oatmeal, walnuts and dried bananas; mix well.  Add honey and canola oil to mix; make sure granola is evenly coated. Spread granola over a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let granola cool before serving. 

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 115, Fat: 5 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 2 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. 



Healthy Living: Emotional Eating


Emotions and foods are closely tide together. We all have that one food we turn to when emotions strike, whether it is sad, anxious, home sick, or mad, all we want to do is eat that one food for relief.

It’s ok from time to time to have your comfort food in moderation, but finding a healthy outlet for your emotions is very important.  When your emotions strike and all you want to do is eat chocolate, ice cream or whatever your go to food is, pick another outlet to relieve stress like walking.

Lately, when I feel stressed out or overwhelmed instead of picking up a candy bar and eating a bowl of ice cream I go for a walk in the park.



Healthy Living: Light Sandwich


When you think of sandwiches and salads you tend to think they are the healthier choice on a menu, but sandwiches and salads can quickly turn into a nutrition nightmare.

When making a sandwich at home, pick bread with a high NuVal score, such as whole wheat breads and thin bread. Then pick up either lite mayonnaise, mustard or both. Spread about a teaspoon of mayonnaise or mustard over a slice of bread. Place one slice of cheese and meat onto your bread, the cheese and meat should be about an ounce each.

Last, but not least load your sandwich with vegetables, like onions, tomatoes, lettuce and pickles. Avoid stuffing your sandwich with meat and cheese; stuff it with fresh vegetables with a little lite spread of your choice.



Healthy Living: February is American Heart Month


February is American Hearth month and that means it’s a good moment to think about a disease that kills more than 600,000 Americans each year. Heart disease is the leading killer amongst both men and women.

But there are lots you can do to stay heart healthy. According to the CDC, making these healthy lifestyle choices can help:

  • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
  • Select fat-free, 1percent fat, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
  • Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day.
  • Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
  • Select and purchase foods lower in salt/sodium.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day if you’re a woman and two drinks per day if you’re a man.
  • Keep an eye on your portion sizes.

It’s also important to know the signs of an impending heart attack, because they can start slowly and symptoms may seem mild. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, these are the signs that may mean a heart attack is in progress.

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

February is American Heart Month, heart disease has probably already touched you or someone you know. Make it your mission to fight heart disease and stop the No.1 killer in America. Go RED for someone you love.



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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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