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Preparing an Emergency Plan for Your Unique Needs

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Features) Disasters such as hurricanes, floods, fires and other emergency situations are all too common these days. In fact, about 4 out of 5 Americans live in counties hit by weather events since 2007, according to disaster declaration data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). That illustrates how these events can impact nearly everyone and the importance of having a plan.

This is particularly true for older people and people with disabilities. Health issues, mobility concerns and use of assistive devices can create additional challenges during emergencies. However, there are simple steps everyone can take to prepare now for what may come later.

  • Discuss your plan. Talk about preparedness with friends, neighbors and family members. Contact your city or county emergency management office as well as service providers, such as meals programs. Discussing the topic can help you create a support network, find local resources for preparation and identify contents for a custom emergency kit.
  • Create a contact list. Make a list of people and places you can turn to for support in an emergency, including people you may need to help or notify of your safety. Include phone numbers, email addresses and physical addresses. Also include insurance providers, health care professionals and medical supply companies. Keep one copy on hand and put another copy in a watertight container in your emergency kit.
  • Prep for power outages. Ask your health care providers about how to prepare for power outages, especially if you depend on medical devices that use electricity, such as oxygen, dialysis or a power wheelchair. Write down your plan, along with information about your devices, and keep a copy in your emergency kit.
  • Make a list of all medications and medical supplies. Keep a list of your medicines, including dosages and allergies, along with other essential supplies like extra eyeglasses, hearing-aid batteries and at least a week’s supply of all prescription medicines in your emergency kit.
  • Plan for transportation. Have a plan in place in case you need to evacuate or get to health care services during an emergency. Know what equipment you need and how you will transport it. Perhaps a neighbor or family member can include you in their evacuation plans. Set this up beforehand and plan how to coordinate in the event of a disaster.
  • Plan for pets and service animals. Include food, medications and other supplies your pets may need in your emergency kit, too.
  • Pack the essentials. In addition to your medical information and needs, don’t forget essentials such as non-perishable food, water, a weather radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, blankets, cash, extra clothing and personal hygiene items. Keep your emergency kit in an easy-to-access location.

 

Learn more about preparedness at acl.gov/programs/emergency-preparedness.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

November 7, 2018 |

Simplify and Savor Dinner with Bold Flavors

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In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) A busy day doesn’t have to come between you and your favorite people at mealtime. With a little creativity and a simple ingredient like olive oil, you can set the table with flavorful meals and surround yourself with the company of friends and family, enjoying the experience together.

There’s no need to get complicated when you have quality ingredients like olive oil to add some extra zest. You can have flavor at the ready with Olive Oil Ice Cubes, for example. Add fresh herbs from your garden to an ice cube tray then fill with smooth, light and flavorful olive oil and freeze. Whenever you need to get the flavor sizzling, simply toss a cube into the pan.

Create a nearly effortless dressing with olive oil for a recipe like Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Berries and Pecans. White fish fillets like cod also pair well with an olive oil-based pesto, which can help ensure you’re prepared for any stressful day that dares to challenge your time around the table, allowing you to enjoy life’s pure moments. Olive oil even adds flavor to sweet and succulent desserts, such as Chocolate-Pumpkin Cake.

When the minutes start to slip away, capture them back with recipes that use olive oil to create meals you can feel good about while savoring the company of those around you.

Make every moment count and find more simple, enjoyable recipes at Bertolli.com.

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Berries and Pecans

Prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: 1-2

7          cups arugula

2          ounces goat cheese

1/2       cup pecans, toasted

1          cup mixed berries (such as blackberries or strawberries)

 

Dressing:

2          tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1          tablespoon finely minced shallots

1          tablespoon honey

1/4       teaspoon kosher salt

1/4       cup Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

In bowl, toss arugula, goat cheese, pecans and mixed berries.

To make dressing: In bowl, mix lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt and olive oil.

Add dressing to salad for serving.

 

White Fish Fillets with Pesto

Total time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2

Fish:

2          cod fillets (about 7 ounces each)

salt, to taste

Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to taste

Red Pesto:

1          bunch basil

1          ounce cashews

3/4       ounce Parmesan cheese

Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil

water

To prepare fish: Rub both sides of fillets with salt and olive oil while heating saucepan.

Sear fillets meat-side first followed by skin-side.

Heat oven to 350 F.

To make Red Pesto: Puree basil, cashews, Parmesan cheese and olive oil while adding small amount of water.

Add additional olive oil as necessary, ensuring sauce is thick enough to cover fish.

Place fish in oven tray, cover with Red Pesto and bake 5 minutes.

 

Chocolate-Pumpkin Cake

Total time: 20 minutes

2          eggs

4 1/2    ounces sugar

4 1/2    ounces Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 1/2    ounces flour

1/3       ounce cocoa powder

1/8       ounce salt

5 1/4    ounces pumpkin

1/10     ounce baking powder

Heat oven to 350 F.

Mix eggs with sugar thoroughly and beat until bubbles form. Slowly add in olive oil while continuing to stir mixture.

Add flour, cocoa powder, salt, pumpkin and baking powder; using whisk, mix well.

Pour into cake mold lined with baking paper and bake 15 minutes.

Let cool and remove cake from mold.

 

Olive Oil Cubes

Assorted herbs

ice cube trays

Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Break up herbs by hand. Add herbs to trays. Fill trays with olive oil and gently set in freezer; allow to solidify.

When cooking, use cubes for added flavor.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Berries and Pecans, Olive Oil Cubes)

 

 

 

 

November 7, 2018 |

Autumn Splendor and Pumpkin Flavors

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Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

Each year the warm colors of autumn inspire me to shift the interior decor of our house away from the pastel tones of summer. Changes do not have to be costly, and over the years sale purchases have been made to reflect a seasonal makeover that is both easy and inexpensive. Think of the red, gold, orange, rust, browns, and deep maroon colors we see on the changing leaves.

There are easy projects that will give your home a cozy, autumn feeling now that more time will be spent indoors. Walk around your house and review each room, making mental notes of potential changes. I started with our kitchen and switched to placemats depicting falling leaves and took out hand towels with similar patterns. A new floor mat by the sink also reflects that theme. We have one wall where I replace framed pictures according to season and switch to a beautiful fall scene from a summer fruit one. Dining room changes are made simple by just changing the tablecloth to a fall color and replacing pastel candles on the holders. The centerpiece is an autumn arrangement of silk flowers. On the coffee table I have a large bowl of colorful, miniature gourds to complement the room décor as well as cloth placemats with fall images placed beneath the lamps.

Garden Centers

This is a beautiful time of year to visit your local garden center for decorating both the interior and exterior of your home. I love to see homes where the front steps or lawn have gorgeous chrysanthemums, haystacks, Indian corn clusters on the door, and corn husk decorations. And of course, the most important decoration for autumn — pumpkins! Placing several pumpkins on the front steps is both a welcoming and a pleasurable sight.

Speaking of the glorious pumpkin, don’t forget to enjoy the flavors of the season that are just about everywhere you look now. Advertisers jump on the proverbial bandwagon to boast about their menus and baked goods that include pumpkin flavors. My daughter called us the last week of September just to say, “It’s started.” and I questioned “What?” She laughed and said “pumpkin season!” and had her first pumpkin latte that day. Now we will see pumpkin pancakes, muffins, donuts and pies on restaurant menus. Last year I even noticed one ice cream company offered “a limited edition” pumpkin flavored ice cream.

Several years ago our other daughter, whose specialty is pasta dishes, found a recipe for ravioli and sausage with a pumpkin sauce from a Rachel Ray cookbook. When she invited us for dinner and told me what she was serving, I was a bit hesitant about what it would taste like since it was replacing the typical red sauce. We were pleasantly surprised! Our other daughter continually teases her somewhat timid parents when it comes to trying something new…“Step out of the box,” she chides. We have, and the reward is often worth it. I can’t imagine someone who doesn’t care for pumpkin flavor and will miss out on the treats in store just for this time of year.

Happy autumn!

 

 

 

 

October 31, 2018 |

Help Kids Falling Short on Nutrients They Need this School Year

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milk is one of the most requested, but least donated items at food banks, meaning children in need may be missing out on essential nutrients

(Family Features) The school year should be filled with playing, learning and growing, but for many children who face hunger, even basic staples like milk are missing. According to experts, one out of two kids ages 9 and up fall short on calcium, vitamin D and potassium – essential nutrients they need to grow strong. Milk is the top food source for these nutrients, and the likelihood of kids missing out is even greater when they don’t have access to fresh, nutritious foods like milk.

More than 46 million Americans – including 12 million children – are served by Feeding America® food banks each year. From the kitchen to the classroom, kids in your own community may be missing out on essential nutrients they need to be set up for success this fall.

Here are a few ways you can help kids facing hunger:

  • Give highly desired, nutrient-rich milk. Milk’s nutrition helps get kids ready to learn. Yet, on average, people served by Feeding America food banks receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. To help fill this need, The Great American Milk Drive and Feeding America – alongside America’s dairy farmers and milk companies – make it easy for people to donate milk directly in their communities. With nine essential nutrients, milk is an easy and affordable way to help ensure kids facing hunger have more access to nutrients they might otherwise be missing. By entering your zip code when you donate at milklife.com/give, you can ensure that the milk is delivered to a local Feeding America food bank in your very own community.
  • Collect food donations from friends and family. Hosting family dinners, football tailgates or Thanksgiving this year? You can benefit families in need by asking guests to bring something to donate to a food bank. While most people think of canned or dry goods, perishable foods like fresh produce and milk are harder to donate and often needed. Find your nearest food bank and check its immediate needs or any donation guidelines at FeedingAmerica.org.
  • Volunteer at your local food bank or food pantry. Gather your friends and family to fight hunger in your community by donating what many food banks may need most – your time. Spending a few hours sorting, packing or stacking food can make a big difference for the food banks and the families they serve. Visit FeedingAmerica.org and find a local Feeding America food bank near you.

Since it began in 2014, The Great American Milk Drive has delivered more than 1.8 million gallons of milk – more than 28 million servings – to food banks across the country. Learn more about milk’s nutrition and the need for milk in food banks at milklife.com/give.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

October 31, 2018 |

Exquisite Eating

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In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small plates to make for appealing dishes

(Family Features) Imagine treating yourself and your dinner guests to a delicious, restaurant-caliber meal without leaving your dining room or hiring a personal chef. Small plates, also known as tapas, are lighter, bite-sized indulgences that you can prepare and style seamlessly. By putting your own artful, unique spin on small plates, you can indulge in a meal that appeals to the senses and conveys sophistication.

It can be easy to create delicious small plates: all you need are wholesome, seasonal ingredients to pair with an artisan-crafted, quality olive oil such as Carapelli. The line, with three varieties to explore, brings a renaissance to the modern kitchen and is ideal for endeavoring chefs looking to try new flavors and experiment with tastes or recipes. It embodies a true passion for the art of creating extra-virgin olive oils and is designed to lift cooks out of the everyday cooking experience.

Keep in mind that when it comes to small plates, what’s important isn’t just the recipe, but the plate – and plating – of the cuisine itself. Foods that appeal to the eye are likely to tempt the taste buds as well. Invest in appropriate-sized dishware for small plates that allows the food to take center-stage.

For a true multi-sensory indulgence, also take time to garnish your dishes, big and small, with edible enhancements that lend a subtle complement to the main attraction. A selection of fresh greens, sprinkling of herbs and even a light drizzle of olive oil can do the trick.

Plan how you’ll adapt your favorite dishes for size – and season – with more tips and recipes at carapelliusa.com.

Carrots and Fresh Herbs with Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette:

2          tablespoons champagne vinegar

1          teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1          tablespoon clover honey

1/2       cup Carapelli Organic Olive Oil

1/2       teaspoon garlic, minced

1/2       teaspoon sea salt

1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1          teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1          teaspoon basil, finely chopped

1          pound carrots, peeled and finely shredded

2          tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

2          tablespoons chives, thinly sliced, plus more cut into 3/4-inch pieces, for garnish

1/3       cup Champagne Vinaigrette

fine sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

chive sticks, for garnish

 

In medium mixing bowl, combine champagne vinegar, Dijon and honey. Whisk constantly until well combined. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify. Add garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and basil: whisk to combine.

In mixing bowl, toss carrots, parsley and chives. Add dressing. Season, to taste, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with chive sticks.

Notes: Vinaigrette can be stored in refrigerator up to five days. For zestier salad, add additional 2 tablespoons vinaigrette to carrots; serve with crusty bread.

Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese Beet Skewers

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 3 hours, plus cooling time

Servings: 42 skewers

Beets:

2          beets (about 1 pound), 3 inches in diameter, peeled and sliced into 3/4-inch chunks

1          tablespoon Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling

1/2       teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1          teaspoon sea salt

arugula, for garnish

flaked sea salt, for garnish

Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese:

4          ounces goat cheese

1/4       cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1          tablespoon Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4       teaspoon lemon zest

1/8       teaspoon sea salt

1/8       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Heat sous vide water bath to 185 F.

In mixing bowl, combine beets, olive oil, thyme and salt; toss to coat. Remove beets from liquid and divide, placing them in single layer into two quart-sized vacuum-seal bags, leaving any excess liquid behind.

Use vacuum sealer to remove air and double-seal bag. To use zip-top bags instead, slowly dip slightly open bags into large container filled with water, allowing water to displace air. Seal bags when air is removed.

Place vacuum-sealed bag into prepared water bath, placing heavy, heat-resistant bowl on top of beets to keep them submerged, if necessary. Cook 3 hours.

If you do not have a sous vide machine, bring large stock pot filled with water to rolling boil. Place vacuum-sealed bags in water. Reduce to gentle simmer, cover and cook 1 hour.

Carefully remove beets from water bath and cool in sealed bag until they reach room temperature, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes more before serving.

In mini food processor, cream goat cheese, ricotta and olive oil until smooth. Add zest, salt and pepper: stir to combine.

Transfer cheese mixture to piping bag fitted with star tip and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, remove beets from bag and arrange on serving platter. Pipe dollop of Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese onto each beet. Drizzle with olive oil.

Garnish with arugula and pinch of flaked sea salt; place skewer through each beet to serve.

Olive Oil Drizzled Pecorino Popcorn

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Servings: 4

1/2       cup grated pecorino, plus more for garnish

1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish

3          tablespoons Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

1/3       cup yellow popcorn kernels

In bowl, combine pecorino and pepper; mix until well combined and there are no cheese clumps.

In small saucepan over low flame, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil; keep warm.

Add remaining olive oil and popcorn to large Dutch oven. Stir until all popcorn kernels are coated in oil.

Cover Dutch oven with lid and cook over medium-high heat, shaking pot periodically. Once popcorn begins to pop, lower heat to medium and continue to shake pot approximately every 15 seconds. When popping slows considerably, remove Dutch oven from heat and allow to rest until popping ceases, about 30 seconds.

Remove lid and transfer popcorn to large mixing bowl. Drizzle warm olive oil over popcorn; toss to coat. Sprinkle cheese mixture over popcorn; toss to coat.

Divide popcorn into bowls. Sprinkle some freshly grated pecorino and dash of freshly ground black pepper over top; serve.

October 31, 2018 |

More Tools: Read Smart, Read More

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ROI by Frank J. Rich

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Frank J. Rich

 

 

Effective managers are usually good readers. But maybe reading wasn’t a strong suit growing up, and despite the fact that you are doing well in your field, you always wanted to be a better reader. Your instincts are right. Better readers are more successful. It’s true, for a lot of reasons, but for one in particular — good readers have more information on which to make better judgments. It’s that simple.

But, how do you become a good reader? For years my children and others would pose the question to me. So, I began to consider the question more carefully. And while there are many “tools” that aid the goal of becoming a good reader, a few simple basics can make a big difference. Consider the strategies below, compiled over the years, among the tools that improve your odds at success … in anything you do — not least, reading.

#1 Determine what you want to know — First ask: Why am I reading this text? Is it with a purpose (in learning) or just for pleasure? What do I want to know after reading it? Once you know this, you can examine the text to see whether it is going to satisfy your goal.

An easy way of doing this is to look at the introduction and the chapter headings. The introduction should reveal the target audience and what the material seeks to achieve. Chapter headings provide an overall view of the structure of the subject.

Finally, ask whether the book meets your needs. Does it presume too much or too little knowledge (on the part of the reader)? If it doesn’t fit your need, find another.

#2 Determine how deeply to study the material
 — When you only need the shallowest knowledge of the subject, you can skim material. Read only chapter headings, introductions and summaries when this is your goal.

If you need a moderate level of information on a subject, scan the text. Here, you would read the chapter introductions and summaries in detail. You may then “speed read” the contents of chapters, selecting and understanding key words and concepts. Diagrams and graphs help at this level.

Only when you need detailed knowledge of a subject must you study the text. First skim the material to get an overview of the subject. This gives you an understanding of its structure, into which you can fit the detail gained from a full reading of the material. SQ3R is a good technique for getting a deep understanding of a text. This is the technique that follows a sequential method of examining any document, as outlined below.

Survey Survey the document: scan the contents, introduction, chapter introductions and chapter summaries to pick up a shallow overview of the text. Form an opinion of whether it will be of any help. If it does not give you the information you want, discard it.

Question — Make a note of any questions on the subject that come to mind, or particularly interest you following your survey. Even scan the document again to see if any stand out. These questions may be considered as study goals; understanding the answers can help structure the information in your own mind.

Read Now read the document. Read through useful sections in detail, taking care to understand all the points that are relevant. For some texts this reading may be very slow, especially when it contains a lot of dense and complicated information. While you are reading, it can help to take notes in “concept” or mind mapping format. (More on that next week)

Recall —
 Once you have read appropriate sections of the document, run through it in your mind several times. Isolate the core facts or the essential processes behind the subject and then see how other information fits around them.

Review — Once you have run through the exercise of recalling the information, you can move on to the stage of reviewing it. Reread the document, expand your notes, or discuss the material with colleagues. A particularly effective method of reviewing information is to teach it to someone else!

#3 Active Reading 
— When you are reading a document in detail, it often helps if you highlight, underline and annotate it as you go on. This emphasizes information in your mind, and helps you to review important points later. This also helps to keep your mind focused on the material and keeps it from wandering.

If active reading helps, you may want to photocopy information in more expensive texts, then read and mark the photocopies. If the benefit you get by active reading reasonably exceeds the value of the book, then the book is disposable, so don’t buy it.

#4 How to study different sorts of material
 — Different sorts of documents hold information in different places and in different ways. They have different depths and breadths of coverage. By understanding the layout of the material you are reading, you can extract useful information much more efficiently.

Reading Magazines and Newspapers These tend to give a very fragmented coverage of a topical area. They typically concentrate on the most interesting and glamorous parts of a topic. This helps to sell copies! They will often ignore less interesting information that may be essential to a full understanding of a subject. Typically areas of useful information are padded out with large amounts of irrelevant waffle or with advertising.

The most effective way of getting information from magazines is to scan the contents tables or indexes and turn directly to articles of interest. If you find an article useful, then cut it out and file it in a folder specifically covering that sort of information. In this way you will build up sets of related articles that may begin to explain the subject.

Newspapers tend to be arranged in sections. If you read a paper often, you can learn quickly which sections are useful and which ones you can skip altogether.

Reading Individual ArticlesArticles within newspapers and magazines tend to be of three main types:

News Articles — Here, the most important information is presented first; the information is generally less useful as the article progresses. News articles are designed to explain the key points first, followed by detail.

Opinion Pieces — Opinion articles present a point of view. Here, the most important information is contained in the introduction and the summary, with the middle of the article containing supporting arguments.

Features — These are written to provide entertainment or background on a subject. Typically the most important information is in the body of the text. If you know what you want from an article, and recognize its type, you can extract information from it quickly and efficiently.

#5 Reading “whole subject” documents
 — When you are reading an important document, it is easy to accept the writer’s structure of thought. This can mean that you may not notice that important information has been omitted or that irrelevant detail has been included. A good way of recognizing this is to compile your own table of contents before you open the document. You can then use this table of contents to read the document in the order that you want. You will be able to spot omissions quickly. This is why left margin subtitles with right margin text make easy reading of this kind of material.

Background This project developed out of a need for easy access to playground equipment as a way to encourage physical activity in secondary school children.

Basic Science & Philosophy Exertion leads to accomplishment. Things not ventured are not gained. The natural urge to accomplish and fit in is more easily satisfied with simple exercise and equipment. Not everyone is a natural athlete, but most find acceptable levels of athleticism when exercise is cooperative and fun, such as pushing a merry-go-round and jumping on to join others in the accomplishment.

#6 Using glossaries with technical documents
 — If you are reading large amounts of difficult technical material, it may be useful to photocopy or compile a glossary. Keep this beside you as you read. It will probably also be useful to note down the key concepts in your own words and refer to them when necessary, again using “concept” mapping — a good study method for students.

Whatever your need or desire for reading, good readers are made, not born. Give it a try. If you do, I’m betting that you’ll be reading more success in your tealeaves.

October 26, 2018 |
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