Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Reducing Salt

Reducing Salt

My goodness, time is flying this New Year!  If you’re like me, you’ve already got a full list of tasks and chores to take on at home, as well as a full work schedule.  Isn’t it good to know that our friendly staff at Pathfinder Produce is here to help with all our fresh veggie and fruit needs? 

Plan to stop by our delicious market at the Pathfinder Village Commons this Thursday, January 23, from noon to 5 p.m. to check out all the great buys.  Our staff is starting a new discount table too, for those “ugly fruits and veggies” that our Quality Control Expert deems “not quite ready for prime time.”

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Recently, I’ve been looking more closely at my food labels while shopping and I’ve been astonished by the levels of salt that are in processed and prepared foods.  I mean, I knew that the salt was in there but I really had no idea how much.

For instance, one brand of oat breakfast cereal that I’ve purchased – because I thought its organic ingredients were healthy – has 240 mg salt per each serving.  That amounts to 10% of one’s daily recommended salt intake.  I’ve found another brand with healthy ingredients which is less salty – 150 mg or 7%.  It’s not perfect but it’s a start.

Jars of pasta sauce are also salty (and sneaky); one brand that we’ve come to like has a whopping 500 mg of salt or 22% of one’s RDA.  I think I’ll try to use canned tomato puree and paste (low salt versions) and my own spices for our next spaghetti dinner.  It may take a few extra steps, but it should help bring our salt levels down.


So why am I so concerned about salt?  Sodium chloride is tied to having higher blood pressure, and it’s always a good idea to reduce one’s BP as one can.  American Heart Association guidelines recommend having your pressure checked regularly; a rate of more than 90 over 60 (90/60) and less than 120 over 80 is ideal.  A reading of 140 over 90 (140/90) or higher (taken consistently over a number of weeks) is considered too high.  Hypertension can lead to stroke, heart disease, renal failure, and vision loss.

(Not Fun Fact:  1 of every 3 American adults --75 million-- has high blood pressure. In 2011, total costs for hypertension-related issues amounted to $46 billion in health care services, medications, and missed days of work).

There are ways to lower your blood pressure in addition to diet, of course.  My online research shows that Transcendental Meditation is a good practice to get control of your stress and lower blood pressure. Regular exercise and habits like yoga are also good; watching one’s weight, eating right, and avoiding alcohol can also be helpful.

So until next time, watch the salt, get into some healthy habits, and be well!

Lori

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Checking in from Pathfinder Produce!



Welcome to another busy week!  The weather has been unusual as of late … take advantage of the lack of snow by getting in a brisk walk, run or bike ride!  Have fun with the kids outside by playing touch football, kickball or going to the local playground. 

We look forward to serving all our friends and neighbors at our next delicious Pathfinder Produce fresh market from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 16, 2020.  Our friendly staff is ready to assist you with your fresh fruit and veggie purchases; we hope to see you at the Village Commons.
Until next time, eat well and be well!



Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Welcome to 2020!


Hello everyone, and we hope that you are doing well in 2020, Pathfinder Village’s 40th anniversary year!  We invite you to visit our friendly and well-stocked market for all your produce needs at the Pathfinder Village Common this Thursday, January 9, from noon to 5 p.m.

Our entire market staff, members of Pathfinder Adult Day Services, are excited to serve you as you select fresh, healthy produce to share with your friends and loved ones. Pathfinder Produce … we’re rooted in community!




Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Lori’s Top Health & Food Stories of 2019


Hello everyone, and welcome to the last week of 2019 for Pathfinder Produce. We invite you to visit our friendly and well-stocked market for your holiday meal produce needs at the Pathfinder Village Common this Thursday, December 19 from noon to 5 p.m.
Our entire market staff, members of Pathfinder Adult Day Services, wish you and yours a very happy holiday season and New Year.  We’ll be reopening our fresh market on Thursday, January 9 for your shopping convenience.

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The close of the year is always an appropriate time to reflect on the news in health and nutrition, especially as our society addresses the pervasive consequences of bad health and poor eating/fitness habits.  Here are a few stories that have caught my attention:

·       Impulsivity Eating:  How many times have you had overwhelming cravings and eaten something when you weren’t hungry, just because you saw or smelled food or were triggered in some other way? A team of researchers led by Emily Noble, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, has identified a specific circuit in the brain that alters food impulsivity. Studying this neural pathway may lead to therapies to address overeating (and perhaps other addictive or impulsive behaviors).

·       Addictions & Loneliness:  I confess to being hooked on podcasts --although I don’t get to listen to all the TED Talks I’d like to, I do like to listen to NPR’s TED Radio Hour.  In one recent segment, Neuroscientist Rachel Wurzman Ph.D., the director of the nonprofit  SeekHealing, spoke on the ways her organization creatively connects to build communities resilient to addiction. Her complete TED Talk is here.  There is a growing body of research that is building the case for social connections to curtail the bad health effects of isolation, and how creating communities is a net positive.

·       The Ugly Comeback of Measles:  As a youngster, I would sometimes wonder about the inch- round scar on my Grandma’s arm. Later, as an adult, I recognized it as an inoculation scar, probably for smallpox (I have a scar too, but it’s smaller). Today, I think about how increased medical knowledge and vaccinations have really reduced the high rates of deaths and lifelong injuries from what were once common childhood diseases – whooping cough, rubella, polio, and so on.

Although we had boldly declared it eradicated here in 2000, this was the year that measles made a comeback in the U.S. The disease is
particularly dangerous to newborns, older people, and others with suppressed immunity. Sadly, around the globe, the virus is causing deaths, and other severe consequences (pneumonia, encephalitis, deafness, cognitive disabilities).  According to one website, anyone who received the vaccine between 1962 and 1969 should consider being re-immunized with the current vaccine. I’ll be making a call to my doctor to follow up!

Other stories that have had a staying presence in the news include the opioid crisis and deaths and serious injuries from unregulated vitamin E acetate-laced vaping fluids.

In closing, the story that I am saddest to list is reminiscent of the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge in the opening scenes of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”: The Administration’s plans to cut back on SNAP eligibility for the unemployed. A means-tested program, SNAP provides important nutritional support for low-wage working families, low-income seniors and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes. 

More information on the cuts are here: while the cuts are targeted to “able-bodied adults without dependents,” it should be said that in today’s non-traditional family environment, some of these individuals contribute their benefits to their non-dependent children who live with other family members. Unfortunately, there won’t be any holiday miracle for affected SNAP recipients; the changes are set to go into effect on April 1, 2020.

Until next time, eat well and be well.  Best wishes for the holidays!

Lori

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Welcome back, Brussels Sprouts!


Good afternoon! We hope that you are well and getting into the holiday swing. To help where we may, Pathfinder Produce will be open at the Pathfinder Village Commons on Thursday, December 12 and 19, from noon to 5 p.m. to assist you with all your fresh produce needs. We’re adding a few holiday-themed items – rutabagas and acorn squash – to add to your family meals and gatherings!

Speaking of holiday dishes, for many brussels sprouts are a reminder of family traditions, especially if your ancestors hail from the UK. Below, my colleague Sally Trosset recalls her own “seasons of sprouts past.”

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After getting a bad rap for many years, brussels sprouts have reclaimed their role as one of the most popular vegetables.
My earliest childhood memory of brussels sprouts is me at about 6 years old, sitting at the kitchen table, well past the dinner hour. My brothers and sisters and my father are long gone; off doing homework or watching tv. I am in the kitchen, still sitting at the table and my mother is not far away, frustrated with my stubbornness, and busying herself as I stare at my dinner plate -- everything eaten except for the, now cold, dreaded, brussels sprouts.
I’m not sure how that night ended; I probably ate a few and hid the rest in the flower box we had at the end of our kitchen table. I probably managed to stuff a couple in my pockets as well. I didn’t even bother trying to feed them to the dog; I knew he wasn’t going to eat them.

Fast forward, it’s decades later: I’m out to dinner with my daughters and they order roasted brussels sprouts as an appetizer. They arrive at the table, roasted to perfection, in a balsamic glaze with small bacon pieces on top. They were delicious! Served this way was not the healthiest option, but they sure were tasty! I decided to do some research when I got home. There had to be so many healthy ways to eat brussels sprouts.

Allrecipes.com has some delicious and healthy recipes I’m looking forward to trying. Some include a basic side dish of just roasting the sprouts on a preheated baking sheet in a very hot (450 degree) oven, with just salt, pepper and olive oil. Some recipes are full meals, roasting the sprouts with chicken or sausage and other vegetables, or baking them au gratin style.

I also looked at Delish.com, which had very interesting appetizers, side dishes and entrees featuring sprouts. They also include a beautiful photo gallery, so you’ll definitely be cooking brussels sprouts after looking at this website!
As luck would have it, brussels sprouts are available anytime during the year, but they are most plentiful in late fall, just in time for the holidays. It is suggested that if you want the ultimate brussels sprouts experience, to purchase them right after a frost, still on the stalk. It is said that when the plant experiences the frost, the sprouts increase their sweetness and that helps the plant keep from freezing (think antifreeze).

Personally, ordinary loose brussels sprouts from Pathfinder Produce or the grocery store fit the bill for me, both with taste and nutrition. According to healthline.com, sprouts are low in calories, but high in many nutrients, especially fiber, vitamin K and vitamin C. A half cup of cooked sprouts offers: 

  • Calories: 28
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin K: 137% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 81% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 12% of the RDI
  • Folate: 12% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 9% of the RDI

Being high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, brussels sprouts are definitely a nutritious addition to your diet. Adding sprouts to a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains has the potential to make a major positive impact on your health.

Simple to prepare and enjoyable in a variety of side dishes or main courses, I’m happy to have brussels sprouts back in my life. My mother would be so proud, and she’s probably reading this saying, “I told you so!”

Until next time, enjoy your brussels sprouts!

Sally (and Lori)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

This Week's Produce Pricing


Hello! We trust you are enjoying our first real taste of winter this week: Pathfinder Village’s grounds are snow covered, making it look magical for the holidays!  We send out our thanks to all our dedicated community emergency services folks and the road maintenance crews who keep us all safer during winter storms.

I’d also like to “tip my hat” to our hard-working Pathfinder Produce crew, who work hard each week to bring you the freshest, most delicious fruits and veggies at affordable prices.  Having a reliable source of fresh produce is so important to everyone’s health, and our Adult Day Services members and staff are dedicated to helping customers. Stop by this week on Thursday between noon and 5 p.m. to enjoy a unique and fun shopping experience.  Pathfinder Produce … we’re rooted in the community!

Upcoming events:

Don’t forget our regular ZUMBA sessions with Zoe Curtis each Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.at the Pathfinder Gym.  It’s a great way to meet up with friends, get moving and raise your spirits.  Classes are only $5 per session – give yourself a holiday gift through fitness!
Saturday, December 7 at 2 p.m.:  The Pathfinder Village Hand Bell Choir will perform at the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s DECK THE HALL event in Cooperstown. Event details are here. Guests should bring a new, unwrapped toy or five non-perishable food items for free admission.

December 8 at 3 p.m.:  The Sidney Community Band will perform a Holiday Concert at the Pathfinder Village Gym.  All are invited to this free heartwarming concert.
Until next time, enjoy life!

Lori


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