Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Be Good to Your Heart this Month!

What a whirlwind of a week … things are certainly busy here at Pathfinder Produce, where our team members spent time getting the Mobile Market on the road for our regular weekly deliveries, cleaning up our market space for Thursday’s delicious Pathfinder Produce market, and cleaning out the Button Greenhouse at the Village Commons to start prepping for a busy planting season at our very own Pathfinder Hoop Houses (yummmmm … fresh tomatoes).

Down at Pathfinder School, the students are taking part in their annual Heart Heroes fundraiser to benefit the American Heart Association. The Pathfinder students put up some big numbers last year; we’re eager to see how much these kind-hearted and determined kids can raise this year. More details are at this link.

We hope your week will bring you to our doorstep for the next Pathfinder Produce fresh market, this Thursday, February 6, from noon to 5 p.m. This week’s market will feature some citrusy clementines, and who knows what great recipe Chef Eric will share this week. Stop on by!

Below, my colleague Sally Trosset turns her attention to American Heart Month. We encourage everyone to Wear Red this Friday, February 7, in support of the AHA’s Go Red for Women campaign. 


February is American Heart Month. It is the perfect time for you to learn about the risks of heart disease and the steps you can take to help keep your heart healthy. While we are in the middle of the coldest and snowiest part of the season (if you live in North country), and health-related New Year’s resolutions may be sidelined, there are simple ways to get back on track or start living a heart-healthy life.

The American Heart Association has easy-to-follow steps on staying heart healthy over a long winter. Healthier eating habits and 30 minutes of physical activity a day are a great way to start, and if that is the only thing you do, it alone can make a huge difference! For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking short walks throughout your day at work or home, parking further away in a parking lot for a longer walk to your destination, or going for a 30-minute walk during the day can help tremendously. Exercise can also take place indoors in a formal setting as well, such as taking a class at a fitness or community center. Yoga, spin class, tai chi, bowling, team sports (basketball, futsol, squash) or indoor walking clubs are a few ideas that come to mind. The key is to make winter activity enjoyable and social.

Easy steps to eating healthy include adding winter seasonal fruits and veggies (grapefruit, oranges, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower) to your diet. While fresh is best, (and most are available at the Pathfinder Produce Market, Thursdays, Noon to 5 p.m.), don’t be afraid to stock your freezer with affordable and easy additions to any meal. Great winter warmers to consider are stews and casseroles. Keep them healthy by adding extra vegetables, trimming the fat off meat, and being mindful of your portion sizes when loading your plate.

In addition to stews and casseroles, don’t forget warm beverages to comfort you during the winter.  Hot tea has many health benefits. Drinking tea dates back to ancient China and in recent years has been in the spotlight for its health benefits.

Simple steps can make a big difference: All this research motivated me to prepare a healthy Super Bowl Sunday casserole, take a brisk pre-game walk and settle into the game with a hot cup of green tea. Unfortunately, my team did not win in the end, but there’s always next year!

Until next time, be good to your heart!

Sally (and Lori)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Chef Eric's Hurricane Carrots

Plan to stop by our delicious, fresh Pathfinder Produce market at the Village Commons this Thursday, January 30, from noon to 5 p.m. to check out all the great buys.  Last week, Chef Eric prepared the “Hurricane Carrots” recipe below.  We wonder what new recipe he’ll come up with this week for you to try? 

Hurricane Carrots

1c. shredded carrots
1 c. chopped apple
1 c. raisins
½ c. vegetable oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Toss carrots, apple, and raisins with oil in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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.”


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!


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.


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!