Twice Is Nice: Enjoy Your Holiday Leftovers Safely

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine….

familysoccerOne of the best parts of a big meal are the leftovers, and according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine, there are some important safety tips to follow when storing leftovers this holiday season.

“Ideally, your refrigerator should be between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian with Baylor. “If your refrigerator temperature is higher than this, then food safety is compromised.”

She also offered the following tips for storing leftovers:

* Promptly refrigerate leftovers in shallow dishes. Do not left leftovers cool off before putting them in the fridge. The longer the food sits out, the more likely it is to harbor bacteria. Food should be refrigerated within two hours of serving.

* When storing leftover turkey, make sure to take the stuffing out before refrigerating.

* Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.

* Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is correct. When heating up leftover gravy, bring it to a boil.

* Consider freezing leftovers to extend their food safety window

Assessment Can Help Older Drivers Keep Driving Safely

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publications, please share your comments below…..

seniors2Aging may affect vision, hearing, coordination, thinking, visuospatial skills, or reaction time, any of which can have a direct impact on driving. Driver assessment programs help people overcome weaknesses behind the wheel.

Driving skills may decline with age, but don’t assume that getting older brings an automatic end to driving, says the August 2015 Harvard Health Letter.

“Age and health conditions aren’t enough to determine if a person is okay to drive. It requires an individual assessment of skills,” says Lissa Kapust, a social worker at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Many hospitals, sheriff’s offices, and other agencies offer driving assessment programs that can evaluate senior drivers and help them overcome weaknesses behind the wheel. Many of these programs take a team approach to evaluating a person’s driving ability. Social workers, occupational therapists, and neuropsychologists look at the person’s driving history, family concerns, overall health, cognitive function, and driving reflexes. Then it’s on to a road test.

The team looks at all of the information and recommends whether the driver needs to hand over his or her car keys, or whether brushing up on certain skills is needed. “We may suggest working with a driving instructor to focus on errors we found in the driving assessment, such as maintaining lane position,” says Kapust.

Some driving programs can also help seniors get up to speed on the latest driving laws in their state and learn about technologies in newer cars, and can even help them fit better in their cars by adjusting the position of the seat, head restraint, steering wheel, and more.

Read the full-length article: “Stay behind the wheel longer”

Also in the August 2015 Harvard Health Letter:

* Ways to keep relationships strong

* Finding relief for hand pain

* The benefits of nutrient-dense foods

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Sharpen Your Blades Regularly And Skate Safely

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By John Harmata

askmredgeEven the best of skaters can have a bad accident if their blades are not sharpened regularly. Blades can dull gradually to very quickly depending on how often one skates. So why take a chance on that happening to yourself. Before a new season begins be sure and have your blades sharpened by a competent skate sharpener.

A good blade sharpening begins with the individual who does the sharpening, and thus figure skaters will sometimes travel great distances to have their blades sharpened. To be a good blade sharpener requires a keen eye for detail, steady hands, and many hours of practice on a machine. Sometimes it can take several months or more for an individual to perfect the technique to an acceptable level of consistent quality.

Factors Affecting Blade Sharpening

• Ice conditions—hard, medium, or soft ice
• Skating level—beginner, intermediate, or advanced
• Skating discipline—dance, freestyle, recreational, or synchro
• Number of hours per week on the ice
• Carbon or stainless steel blades—stainless holds an edge much longer
• Weight of skater

How Often Blades Should Be Sharpened

figureskatesRecreational indoor skaters; skating a couple hours a week can go as long as 6-8 weeks before needing their skates sharpened again. Outdoor skaters won’t be as lucky and will need a sharpening after about 3-4 hours of skating. Competitive skaters should have their skates sharpened at least once a month.

To increase blade life while maintaining edge sharpness requires honing the blade edges between sharpening. Regular edge honing will determine how long it will be before the next machine sharpening is required. Honing the blade edges is easily done by placing a generous amount of honing oil on a hand stone and running it gently along the edges of the blade.

Advantages of a Good Blade Sharpening

Level edges:

• Provide an identical feel for the ice no matter which edge the skater is on
• Make it easier to spin and maneuver on the ice
• Facilitate landing jumps correctly and on the proper edge

Sharp edges:

• Increase edge bite (grip) in the ice
• Increase speed with less effort
• Make edge jumps easier
• Allow for deeper knee bends without slipping

After sharpening, it is best to check the squareness of the blade edges with one of the many gauges made specifically for this purpose.

Sharpening blades on a regular basis will provide a skater with many hours of enjoyment and not having to worry about slipping, falling and breaking something. It will allow for a smoother transition while on the ice while providing a sense of security as well.

– Guest author, John Harmata

Guest Post – Kac Young PhD, DCH. ND, Heart Easy Tips For Having Fun During The Holidays Without Paying A Price

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heartWith the holiday season upon us some of us have mixed feelings. Flights, lines, delays, junk food, sugary treats, Uncle Fred, gravy, creamed vegetables, Aunt Clara’s desserts…all of these things can be stressful to the person who is trying to eat heart healthy. A small amount of thinking ahead can make all the difference. Here are some tips you can use to keep yourself healthy and still have fun during the holidays:

1) Plan ahead and keep your heart healthy brain engaged. In every social situation take a moment to determine how much control you have over the menu. If you’re doing the entertaining, it’s a breeze. You make the food choices and stay with the heart healthy ones. If you know your host loves to cook with butter, sugar and salt come prepared with your own food. Take fresh veggies you can steam in the microwave, bring healthy snacks, like a handful of almonds or walnuts, and eat before you go.

2) Be alert: survey the buffet table before plunging in. Choose an appetizer size plate and begin with the freshest foods first. Choose veggies. Avoid cheese, crackers and pastry.

Health3) Eat for your heart, not your stomach, or your mood. Many holiday standards are loaded with sodium (read the labels), sugar (corn syrup is the biggest offender), and saturated fats. Select white meat turkey without the skin or a ham slice without the topping. Avoid the butter-laden mashed potatoes and gravy (unless you’ve brought a non fat packet of gravy and made your own.)

4) Be a thinking drinker. Choose a beverage that is not high in sugar and alcohol. Sticking with wine or light beer is best. Avoid mixed drinks and seasonal corn syrup based festive drinks. Keep your consumption moderate and drink a glass of water between each drink.

5) Keep your backside in motion. If you’re visiting cold-weather climates and can’t easily go for a walk after meals, visit the local indoor mall and take a power walk to keep your body moving in the right direction.

cookie6) Skip dessert. Seriously. Unless it’s fresh fruit or frozen yogurt, pass. No good can come from pies, cookies, cakes and bon-bons. Unless they are made from non fat or low fat products and have reduced sugar and salt, you’re best without them. If you must, then have “just a taste” to satisfy your sweet tooth, then quit. One bite is all you need.

7) Listen to your body. It will always tell you when enough is enough or when you need something special. Holidays can deplete the body, so don’t neglect your sleep.

8) Last but not least, enjoy the company. Ask questions of the people you are with, delve into their lives and find out what motivates them. Ask them to share a childhood memory with you. Learn something new about each person in the room. Help with the clean up. Learn a trick or a game to entertain the kids. Bring photos with you that many may not have seen in years. If a new person has been added to the family, include them in the conversations and try to make sure they feel comfortable. Show a little extra kindness to everyone; you’ll feel a lot better, too.

– Dr. Kac Young –