Summertime and the Eating Is Healthy

Summer is bursting with fresh, succulent fruits and vegetables, which should make it easy to eat healthy. But it’s also the season of tempting snacks. Resist temptation with these tips for healthy summer eating.

Load Up on Summer’s Bounty Don’t underestimate the power of produce. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, tastes amazing and is less expensive in season. Check out a farmer’s market and try locally grown fruits and vegetables. Or start your own garden for fresh-picked flavor anytime.

Blueberries. What CAN’T They Do? These powerhouses of health can help reduce plaque in your arteries, keep blood sugar levels under control, keep bones healthy, support your immune system and prevent the development of some diseases. Grab a handful and enjoy a far healthier snack than a candy bar.

Aha! Avocados
Vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, potassium and healthy fat are on the avocado’s list of credentials. Its levels of monosaturated fat (the good kind) have been shown to improve cholesterol, protect you from developing heart disease and help control your blood sugar. Smash some avocados to make guacamole, or slice them and top your favorite sandwich. Also, make a cold avocado soup for pure summer refreshment and health.

Water, Water and More Water
Water keeps your entire body running properly. In summer, you lose water, so it’s very important that you replace it to regulate your body temperature and remove toxins. You can stay hydrated and get your vitamins and minerals at the same time by eating watermelon, radishes and zucchini. Keep the fluids coming!

Did You Know?
The Mayo Clinic suggests 9 cups of water for women and 13 cups for men every day.

Just for Kids Kids are always on the go, so give them something easy to take along. Popcorn, almonds, and trail mix travel well and are good sources of nutrition. To keep kids cool, give them frozen yogurt, chocolate-covered banana pops and frozen grapes. They’re healthy and refreshing alternatives to sugar-laden snacks.


30 Minutes to a Clean Fridge

There are plenty of reasons to clean a fridge (unidentifiable leftovers, funky odors) and one big excuse not to — namely, lack of time. But you don’t need to set aside several hours to complete a basic cleanout and scrub down. Get it done in 30 minutes when you follow this guide.

Before you start. There’s no reason to clean out your fridge the day after a big supermarket trip. Pick a day just before you go shopping, when your fridge is relatively empty.  For safety reasons, it’s a good idea to unplug your fridge before you start cleaning it.  Gather your supplies:  small bucket small cleaning brush terrycloth towel large sponge new box of baking soda.

Get to it. Take food from the fridge and place it on the table or counter. As you do this, check expiration dates and toss anything that’s no longer edible.  Fill the bucket with warm water, and add a half cup of baking soda. (Save the rest of the baking soda — you can put the box in the fridge later to neutralize odors.) Use this solution to wipe down the empty shelves and interior with a sponge, starting from the top and working your way down.  Use a brush to clean around brackets and gaskets and to dislodge any dried food. Wipe the interior dry with a terrycloth towel.

Rearrange, reseal, restock.  Before you put the food back in the fridge, take a moment to group similar foods together. This will help you find items easier. Separate ethylene-sensitive produce (e.g., apples, broccoli) from produce that releases ethylene gas (e.g., bananas, pears) to prevent premature decay. Make sure that all containers are sealed properly and that anything wrapped is covered completely. Airtight storage will help prevent spills and spoilage.  As you begin to put items back in the fridge, be careful to space food out to allow a free flow of air. Keep eggs, poultry, meat and seafood separate from all other items to help limit the spread of bacteria. For more food safety tips, visit  . And if you’ve unplugged your fridge, don’t forget to plug it back in!  A final note: A basic cleanout like this is no substitute for a thorough cleaning, which your fridge and freezer require periodically. To do that, you’ll need to remove and clean shelves, vacuum coils and wipe down the exterior.

American Home Shield is providing the information for general guidance only. Due to the general nature of the property maintenance and improvement advice in this material, neither American Home Shield Corporation, nor its licensed subsidiaries assumes any responsibility for any loss or damage which may be suffered by the use of this information.

from AHS August Newsletter Inside & Out

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Mushrooms – Infection Fighters!

Sure the shiitake mushroom is a brown fungus, but it’s also a food that can fight infections and enhance your immune system.  “There’s a pharmacy in food,” says Julie Daniluk, a registered holistic nutritionist and author of the June book Meals That Heal Inflammation, which includes reference charts and recipes.  Here are her tips about just one anti-inflammatory food, the shiitake mushroom:

3 powers of shiitake –

It fights the flu.  Shiitake mushrooms contain a compound called AHCC that boosts your immune response after you’ve been exposed to the flu virus.

It slows aging.  When your immune system is up to speed, Daniluk says, you slow the clock of aging.

It helps cancer patientsShiitakes contain polysaccharides, which Daniluk says can help ease the nausea, pain and hair loss associated with chemotherapy and radiation.

2 buying tips –

* The darker the mushroom, the healthier it is, Daniluk says.

*Don’t fixate on fresh; dried shiitakes have the nutrients, too.

You’re not a fan of mushrooms? –

Daniluk says these foods also are infection fighters:  Garlic, Squash and pumpkins, Papaya, Sesame seeds

from Reno Gazette Journal USA Weekend

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Reno Ballroom
November 11, 2011 – November 12, 2011

3:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Reno, Nev. will once again turn into the center of the canned microbrew universe this November, as it puts on CANFEST – Reno International Canned Beer Festival, the world’s first canned beer festival, for a third straight year.

More than 30 breweries from around the world including, Oskar Blues, Maui Brewing, Big Sky Brewing and Bohemian Brewing, along with a collection of small craft can breweries and international brews in cans, will take part in the biggest celebration of the canned beer revolutionat the Reno Ballroom, November 12, offering up their canned creations to beer enthusiasts from around the region.  Winners of a judged canned beer competition will be announced the night before the event at an awards dinner at the Silver Legacy. The dinner will feature past award winners and various brewery participants.

CANFEST is the first event of its kind and serves as both a recognition of the fast-growing popularity of canned craft beer and a celebration of the benefits of the aluminum cylinder. Long regarded as a symbol of inferior beer, the can has come into its own in recent years as beer drinkers realize that cans offer superior protection from sunlight and oxygen infiltration, and the containers are much more portable and environmentally friendly than their glass counterpart. CANFEST also strives to be an event that brings quality canned beer to an area of the world it would otherwise never reach. Many breweries that attend CANFEST don’t have distribution outside of their regions.

The notion that world-class beer can be delivered in a can has caught on, and now the number of microbrews offering canned beer is growing at an astonishing rate. In 2002 the first microbrewery began canning craft beer; today more than 130 microbreweries can at least one of their beers, according to the database. .

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Do’s & Don’ts for your Garbage Disposal

If your kitchen has a garbage disposal, you know how easy it makes mealtime clean up. But what you may not realize is that your disposal comes with some pretty important rules. Here are some of the most vital:

Insert food slowly. Stuffing it all into your disposal at once can cause clogs and shorten the life of your system.
• Grind hard materials. Many people think food like chicken bones or small fruit pits are a no-no, but they can actually help clean the walls of the disposal.
• Use cold water for at least 20 seconds. This will solidify grease so that it can be ground up. Also, make sure that all food particles are washed completely down the drain.
• Keep it clean. One good way to eliminate drain smells is by grinding citrus fruit peels. You can also add a few drops of dish soap and let the disposal run for a few minutes.

• Use hot water. This will make grease liquefy and build up, which can clog the drain.
• Grind fibrous or expandable foods. The former, like celery stalks and onionskins, can tangle up the disposal. The latter, like pasta and rice, can clog it.
• Turn off the motor too quickly. You’ll want to make sure all food particles are completely ground. Once done, continue to run the water for at least 15 seconds to flush out particles.
• Wash coffee grounds down the drain. While they won’t harm the disposal itself, they can clog pipes and drains.
• Forget to use it. Lack of use can cause rusting and corrosion, which can lead to premature system replacement.

From American Home Shield “Inside & Out” September 2010

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