Monday, July 22, 2019

Keeping Cool


Hello, and welcome to another busy and fun-filled week!  We hope that you’ll stop by our next delicious Pathfinder Produce market for all your fresh fruit and veggie needs … we’re open on Thursday, July 25, from noon to 5 p.m.  Our friendly staff is eager to assist you with your purchases, and we’ve got some ultra-fresh Pathfinder Hoop House produce for you to enjoy with your family.

The next few weeks will continue to be action-packed at the Village.  Our Camp Pathfinder continues through the end of summer, and our summer concerts at the Pavilion continue throughout August as well – Saturday nights at 7 p.m. (Don’t forget your chair, jacket, and dancin’ shoes).

Our annual American Cross Blood Drive is set for Tuesday, August 6; and we will host a special cruise-in event on Thursday, August 15 for the entire community, courtesy of the community-minded employees of NYCM Insurance.

***

Keeping Cool

This past weekend was the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend in Cooperstown, and it was among the largest held in terms of crowd-size. The heat and humidity in our area made it uncomfortable, and I wondered how the fans were faring under the hot sun. (At my house, a steady breeze helped things feel cooler).

I also read over the weekend about several individuals who had suffered heat exhaustion; unfortunately, one former Giants lineman, Mitch Petrus, succumbed to heatstroke after working in triple-digit temperatures. According to reports, his death was from not having enough electrolytes in his system, although he had been drinking water.

So, I got thinking about ways to keep cool during the hottest of days.  Here’s a list of things to follow, especially as we chart new temperatures for our region through climate change:

  • Stay out of the direct sun: The hottest times of the day are between noon and 3 p.m. Schedule exercise, playtimes, or outdoor work earlier or later in the day.
  • Never leave children, pets, or seniors in cars, where temperatures may build up quickly, even on days with moderate temperatures.
  • Wear light-weight, light-colored clothing.
  • Understand your body’s cues when it needs water. Encourage kids and seniors to drink too. I’ve seen varying advice about drinking very cold drinks after exercise, as they may cause stomach cramps.
  • Eat healthy foods that have naturally occurring electrolytes.  These include milk products, dark leafy greens,  bananas and other fruits.
  • Take a page out of our forebearer’s cookbooks and don’t use the oven. Focus on eating cold salads, sandwiches, or grilling. (Summer kitchens anyone?)
  • Reduce electricity usage when possible; don’t use the dryer or other heat-producing conveniences during the hottest times of the day. IMHO, line-dried towels work better anyhow!
  • Check on elderly friends, neighbors or relatives to make sure they are well.
  • Use the AC strategically and use heat-reflective window shades and curtains during the day. (My house has very high ceilings and wide overhangs, which shade the interior from direct solar gain. At night after things are cooler, we open the windows and blow the hot air out upstairs, which works quickly to make things comfortable for sleeping.
  • Cool down in the shower or bath.
  • Keep an eye on the forecast using a weather app, so you know when it will be hot.
  • Know the symptoms of heatstroke … it can be life-threatening.


Until next time, keep cool!

Lori

Monday, July 15, 2019

Intuitive Eating

Welcome to another delicious week at Pathfinder Produce! We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, July 18, at our fresh veggie and fruit market at the Village Commons, open from noon to 5 p.m. Our friendly and courteous staff is eager to assist you with your purchases.

Life is always full at Pathfinder, and we want to share some dates with you: Our Summer Concert Series is in full swing, each Saturday evening at the Pavilion, starting at 7 p.m.  We have some great bands lined up; learn more at our Facebook Event page.

In addition, we’re planning for our annual American Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday, August 6, starting at 10 a.m. If you are not near us, the Red Cross organizes many community drives throughout your area this summer -- it takes just a short time to make a big impact, and your donation can help up to three patients.

***

Lately, I’ve been hooked on podcasts, listening to NPRs Life Kit.  There was a recent segment on Intuitive Eating, and I was intrigued: While it isn’t a dieting tool geared to weight loss, it is a technique people may use to understand their eating habits and move toward healthier eating. It is the opposite of restricted dieting and encourages people to be in-tune with their hunger.

Dietician Aaron Flores of the National Eating Disorders Association explains:  Intuitive eating is about trusting your inner body wisdom to make choices around foods that feel good in your body, without judgment and without influence from diet culture. We are all born with the skill to eat, to stop when we are full, to eat when we are hungry and to eat satisfying foods. …  When we filter out the noise and influence that diet culture presents to us as false truths, we can then truly listen to what our body wants and needs from food … Intuitive eating is a peace movement. “

Many of us eat “three squares” because we are taught to eat at breakfast, noon, and dinner.  But these, I suspect, are artificial constructs that came about as we transitioned from being hunter-gatherers to farmers and herders in pre-history.  As basic primates, we expended lots of energy wandering in search of life’s necessities (food, water, shelter), and our ancestors would eat sporadically as they found food.

Cooking, the one process that differentiates us from other primates is thought to have become widespread among our species some 250,000 years ago. For neo-lithic farmers who grew plant-based foods (23,000 to 12,000 years ago), edibles required more preparation, and meals would’ve been more efficient if they were held at set times. And thus, I theorize, we scheduled our eating times to dovetail with our work hours (and to cement familial and communal ties). We were hungry at mealtimes because of the physical demands of agrarian work.

Our eating habits held relatively steady, and later became influenced by increases in yield and improvements in transportation from the earliest major civilizations (5,000 to 3000 BCE) onward.  Food production increased greatly with mechanization, improved farm methods, and food preservation techniques during the Industrial Revolution.  Food marketing came to the fore in the late 1800s, and by the mid-20th century, popular media and dieting fads increasingly drove our ideas about beauty and body image. Today, people struggle with maintaining healthy weights, self-image, and a host of food-related and obesity rooted illnesses.

Intuitive eating seeks to rebalance our relationships with foods, body types, and promote better eating.  Click here if you wish to learn about the ten principles of Intuitive Eating.

Until next time, listen to your hunger, respect your fullness.

Lori  

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A newfound zest for Potato Salad


Hello everyone, and welcome to summer!  Come on down to Pathfinder Produce on
7-11 to get all your fresh and delicious fruits and veggies for your summertime meals and get-togethers with friends and family!  We’re convenient, competitively priced, and we’ve got the friendliest market staff around!

After the long weekend with its picnics and Independence Day gatherings, it’s great to know that the good times will continue with family reunions, weddings, showers, and even late graduation parties. For your celebratory meals, you can’t go wrong with veggie and fruit dishes, they are tried and true. Below, my colleague Martha Spiegel relates a new twist on some standard summer fare, potato salad.

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My sister-in-law recently amazed me with something unexpected: potato salad! Amazing? Unexpected? Potato salad? Yes! I’ll explain.

I have never been a fan of most mayo-based salads. And the thought of eating cold, mealy potatoes really turns me off. I have had German Potato Salad, which is served warm and is not very salad-like, so I tend to think of it more as a hot side with a heavy meal, and it’s not something I’d bring to a picnic or barbecue. And with mayo-based salads, you have to be so careful about keeping them cold or they become unsafe to eat.

So a few weeks back we visited with my husband’s three sisters. The one who was hosting this family dinner said she was serving potato salad and she really wanted me to try it because she was sure that I would love it. I cringed inwardly and tried to plan polite things to say about it. Then she brought out this beautiful bowl of potatoes with not a hint of mayo. I was intrigued. She said it was Lemon Potato Salad, and it was made with olive oil.

I scooped a small amount onto my plate and took a bite. It was room temperature, maybe on the cool side, but not refrigerator cold. The potatoes were flavorful, definitely not mealy, and I did love it after all! I’m not ashamed to say that I had seconds. 

Apparently, the secret is pouring some of the dressing, which is made with lemon zest, over the potatoes while they are still hot so they soak it up. Aside from grating a bunch of lemon zest, it’s a very simple recipe, and the recipe blog gives a few options for adding different herbs to put different spins on it.

So yes, I was unexpectedly amazed at how much I enjoyed that potato salad, and now I have something new to bring to my next pot luck!

Until next time, try something new and be well!

Martha (and Lori)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Diet & Mental Outlook


Happy last week in June!  It’s hard to believe how quickly this year is passing, and we know that all our friends and neighbors are very busy during the summer months. Isn’t it good to know that Pathfinder Produce, with its tasty and fresh fruits and veggies, is here to help you with your shopping and meal prep needs?  Come on down and see “what’s in store” at the Village Commons this Thursday from noon to 5 p.m.

Best wishes for bright futures to all our area high school graduates! As you head off to new jobs, the service, or college, remember to eat well and focus on getting enough fresh foods into your diet. With the demands and changes in routine, healthy eating can give you the energy you need and help you stay fit.

And as a reminder, Pathfinder Produce will be closed next Thursday, July 4, so please plan for your fresh food purchases.  Happy Independence Day!

***

More and more, studies published by respected researchers are linking mental health issues to modern diets that are rooted in highly processed, sugar-rich foods. Just ‘google’ the phrase “healthy food and mental health” and you’ll see pages of links referencing research that strongly links what we eat to how we feel mentally. And of course, we also know that how we feel mentally affects our physical health.

One article I found on the Healthline website related individuals’ stories of debilitating mental health issues with diets rich in processed foods and sugars; the upshot was that as patients changed their diets to healthier foods, their mental health issues eased considerably. Research indicates that the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet have helped people overcome their depression and have given people more energy to power through life’s ups-and-downs.

The Healthline article indicates that diet improvements help mental health as:
  • Healthy foods have nutrients and enzymes that increase serotonin levels, which elevate moods.
  • Sugar-rich diets are linked to depression and anxiety.
  • Eating fresh foods can help your gut health, which affects anxiety and mood.
  • Eating better reinforces good habits and increases motivation to adjust other life habits, such as exercising, meditating, and finding other ways to de-stress.
  • Eating better is an active way to reaffirm one’s self-worth, a key component in cognitive behavioral therapy.
In fact, there is a growing tendency for holistic approaches to mental health, in which medical providers “think outside the medicine cabinet” and integrate dietary changes with other key therapies to assist patients. Just “google” the phrase “nutritional psychology.” One website to explore further is that of MooDFood-vu.eu, a consortium and research group led by scientists at VU University that investigated how food intake, nutrient status, food‐related behaviors and obesity are linked to the development of depression.

While individuals who are anxious/depressed or have a mental health diagnosis should seek out appropriate care with trained health professionals, we all can take steps through better nutrition to improve our mental health. The two diets referenced above focus on reducing processed sugars and eating more plant-based whole foods.  In a nutshell, the diets recommend these steps:

Mediterranean Diet Summary:  Adding in healthy omega-3 fats, whole foods, healthy proteins.
  • Fill up on fruits and vegetables
  • Rely on whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, etc.) for your starches.
  • Substitute fatty fish (salmon, tuna) for red meat.
  • Eat healthy fats by adding raw nuts and olive oil to your diet.
  • Limit sweets and wine.
DASH Diet Summary:  Cutting wayyyyy down on sugars!
  • Focus on whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • Eat less red meat in favor of chicken, fish and nuts as protein sources
  • Switch to low-fat or nonfat dairy.
  • Limit sweets, sugary drinks, saturated fats and alcoholic beverages.
Until next time, eat well and feel well,

Lori

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

"Go To" Greek Yogurt!


Hello and welcome to another week full of summer fun!  In our area, families are getting ready for high school graduations and family get-togethers. Of course, there are all kinds of fruit-and-veggie rich possibilities with July 4th cookouts and picnics on the horizon.  We’re here at Pathfinder Produce to help you out with all your entertaining plans with a ready supply of fresh, tasty produce. Stop by this Thursday, June 20, at the Village Commons from noon to 5 p.m.

Plan now for Independence Day … Pathfinder Produce will be closed that Thursday so our Adult Day Services members may enjoy the holiday with their friends and loved ones.

Below, my colleague Maura Iorio, Pathfinder School’s Director of Education, offers up some great ideas using Greek-style yogurt, which is a versatile ingredient in so many fresh and tasty recipes.

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Are you looking to add more protein to your diet? Or to lighten up some of your favorite go-to meals and snacks? Look no further than Greek yogurt! One cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt has 13 grams of protein and only a fraction of the fat and calories of other dairy products it can replace, such as sour cream.

Admittedly, plain nonfat Greek yogurt isn’t necessarily the most delicious on its own—or at the very least it can be considered an acquired taste—but this versatile food can be used in so many recipes!  My personal favorite is Two Ingredient Dough.

Two Ingredient Dough

For this recipe, combine equal parts of nonfat plain Greek yogurt and self-rising flour to create a firm dough. You can then use this dough to make healthier versions of some of the most popular carbs—bagels, pizza, and cinnamon rolls!

Check out this easy bagel recipe: https://www.skinnytaste.com/easy-bagel-recipe/

Yummy Dips

Do you have a favorite homemade dip recipe that calls for sour cream and/or mayonnaise? Instead, add your favorite seasonings and spices to nonfat plain Greek yogurt—it’s the same great taste to accompany your chips and veggies, but none of the guilt!  Try this easy recipe: https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/meal/greek-yogurt-ranch-dip/5626a76c271fc584086cc6e2

Greek Yogurt Berry Smoothie Pops

Switch out your gallon of ice cream or sugar-filled ice pops for these delicious and refreshing Smoothie Pops! Simply blend Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla) with your choice of fruit and a bit of milk and voila! The recipe is here: https://www.momontimeout.com/greek-yogurt-berry-smoothie-pops/


Whether you’re looking to lighten up an entrĂ©e or create a healthy snack, Greek yogurt is the perfect ingredient. What are some of your favorite yogurt recipes?

Have a happy and healthy summer!

Maura (and Lori)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Special Delivery


Good morning!  We hope that you enjoyed the gorgeous weekend … things sure are bustling with end-of-the-year activities at schools, family picnics, community sports events and more.  And Pathfinder Produce is here to help by offering a convenient, affordable and friendly shopping experience.  Come and shop for all your produce needs this Thursday, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Pathfinder Village Commons.


Just a few notes to mention: 

  • The Community Potluck Dinner for the Edmeston Rotary and Rotary Community Corp will be at the Pathfinder Village Pavilion on Wednesday, June 19 at 5:30 p.m.  Bring a dish to share, your ideas about community events, and learn about some great things that are happening in and about Edmeston! 

  • Pathfinder School’s Graduation will feature four seniors this year, and will take place on Friday, June 21, at 1 p.m.  Join us at the Pathfinder Gym for a joyous celebration of scholastic achievement and growth!

  • Pathfinder Produce will be closed on Thursday, July 4 so that our ADS members and staff may enjoy Independence Day with their families. Plan ahead for your produce needs to celebrate America’s 243rd birthday!
Pathfinder’s culture is rooted in human interest stories that reveal individual potential and celebrate the gifts of community. In this week’s post, my colleague Sally Trosset shares just one of the many great stories of Pathfinder lore.

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Pathfinder’s new Mobile Market van has hit the road!  Perhaps you have seen it making its way through the main streets and byways of Otsego County.  It’s hard to miss … a large box truck, crisp white in color, wrapped in a bright veggie-rich graphic with the Pathfinder Produce logo.  It’s truly an amazing story! 

The new Pathfinder Mobile Market vehicle was funded as part of a grant received in late 2018 from the Leatherstocking Collaborative Health Partners.  This grant award partners Pathfinder Village and the Bassett Research Institute through a program that is now providing fruit and vegetable vouchers to eligible families throughout Otsego County.

The Mobile Market and voucher program are extensions of earlier collaborations between Pathfinder and Bassett Healthcare Network.  Working with the Bassett’s 5210 Program, Pathfinder opened its weekly produce market in 2013 to improve local access to fresh foods. Building off the successful and popular market, the partners later offered a pilot fruit and vegetable prescription program, underwritten by a grant from the Greater Utica American Heart Association.  Voucher redemption rates averaged 94% and over half of the recipients continued purchasing fruits and vegetables after the close of the pilot program. 

The Mobile Market concept was the next step solution to reach more individuals in more rural areas of the county or for those who do not drive or have access to a vehicle.  Research shows that mobile markets help remove the barriers of limited access and transportation in underserved areas to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Fast forward a few short months: Pathfinder Produce is on the road three days per week and has made nearly 600 deliveries.  We have a waiting list for people interested in receiving produce vouchers, and a list of organizations who hope to partner with us! 

In addition to removing barriers of access and transportation to support our neighbors, the Mobile Market also provides meaningful employment for individuals with developmental disabilities.  Members of the Pathfinder Adult Day Services program are involved in all aspects of the operation, including food cultivation, packaging, deliveries, and sales/marketing. They create “Feel Good Food Boxes” (similar to ‘Hello Fresh’ or ‘Blue Apron’ branding) that are delivered to voucher recipients.  This weekly distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables also includes several recipe cards, healthy fact sheets, and a personal note with artwork, all prepared by our Adult Day Service participants.

Pathfinder Produce and the Mobile Market are innovative, win-win solutions for all:  Proud ADS members, often under-represented in the workforce, now have enriching work and training opportunities; members of the community who do not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables are now receiving deliveries right to their doorstep. Stay tuned for more good news on this successful service that supports community!

Until next time, eat well and be well!

Sally (and Lori)


Chris and Cheryl get ready for their Thursday morning 
deliveries in Otsego County with the new Mobile Market van.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Colorful Decisions


Hello everyone!  We hope your June is starting out well, and that you’ll drop by this week’s delicious Pathfinder Produce at the Village Commons on Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. Our fresh Hoop House-Pathfinder grown greens are available and all our produce can help you create colorful and healthy meals for your family.

Our thanks go out to all who supported this year’s Splash Path 5k and Fun Walk: On a picture-perfect day, Splash Path had over 350 runners, walkers and guests, 20 vendors, and over 40 key sponsors. We are pleased to announce that through everyone’s generosity, we raised over $21,000 in support of our Pathfinder Produce Mobile Market. This latest initiative, part of Pathfinder’s Adult Day Services programming, is extending our reach into the community and providing area families with greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables. THANK YOU!!!!

Below, my colleague Martha Spiegel shares a fun way to approach the age-old question, “What’s for dinner??!!

***

I heard a story the other day about a family that has a unique way of choosing the vegetable for the evening meal.  To make their young children feel more involved in meal planning, they place a collection of small colored discs in a bag. Each color is assigned to a vegetable—orange for carrots, green for spinach, red for beets, yellow for corn, white for cauliflower, and so on, depending on what’s on hand. A child reaches into the bag and pulls out a disc. Whatever color it is, that’s the vegetable for the meal.

They have found that this method removes a lot of the dinnertime discontent for several reasons. First, it’s a fun game! The children look forward to their turn to choose the vegetable. They also feel invested in the meal, because it was their choice; they had a part in putting the menu together, and thus are less reluctant to eat their vegetables. Another benefit is that mom and dad don’t have to choose every night. (For me, having someone else do part of the meal planning is a big plus!)

Another benefit for this family, and why they started the game to begin with, is that one of their children has Autism.  He has difficulties making decisions, even about such things as “What vegetable would you like with dinner tonight?” All he has to do is pick a disc out of the bag and the choice is made.  The colors are pre-assigned to specific vegetables each night, so the difficulty of deciding is gone, and he still has made the selection.

I could see this game working well for many families with children. It makes choosing the vegetable fun and keeps variety in the menu.  The game could be adapted for other purposes as well when routine choices are made. If you give it a try, let us know how it
goes!

Until next time, make great selections!

Martha (and Lori)