Every January, you resolve to get more active and be better connected to your health, and, for many, life happens, and your plans get moved aside. But you know you will feel better, lower blood pressure, maintain healthier weight, strengthen heart and bones, and so much more if you can create sustainable routines. Therefore, making it easy to get going and keep moving will help you hit your health and movement targets and be the healthier person and family you want to be!
First – understand that every move counts. For adults, that means walking around the office, gardening, house cleaning, lifting or mowing – whatever you do as part of your day on a regular basis. For children, it may mean walking to the bus stop or school, playing in a park or backyard, doing chores and playing sports. Think about how much you are moving, and how much your family moves – could you do more?
Second – consider how you feel. How is your energy? How well are you sleeping? For children, ask the same questions – are they chronically cranky? Sleep 8+ hours per night? Getting more active can really change energy management – literally, energy creates energy! Moving more also lowers the negative energy of anxiety that impacts overall wellness and facilitates better sleep due to the energy “cost” of physical movement. Better sleep = better energy, and creates a positive feedback loop you can tap into to keep everyone on a better schedule.
Third – set the stage to move more. What do you like to do, or what would you like to try? Set yourself up for success by making it easy to get going. Headed to work? Put your sneakers in your work bag and walk at lunch or stop and walk in the park on the way home. Kids getting restless? Take a family walk! Many families have a Sunday meal together – how about a Sunday morning hike? Try 2 or 3 different places in your area to keep it fresh and enjoy different environments. Get other family members to share their ideas and give everyone a chance to lead the way! Count steps with the apps built into phones and add them up each week.
Finally – set goals and give credit for effort, versus only the result. Can you walk the neighborhood twice per week? How can you make it 3 times? Or can you walk for 10 minutes this week, and make it 15 minutes next week? Praise partners and children for the work/play and for trying – with a side of how to recover or understand that no one is an expert at any activity the first time they try it! Share your excitement about a new option or a favorite activity – that builds confidence and memories for family members, and models being adventurous and open to new ideas.
Enjoy moving toward a higher quality of life!
Diabetes and Chronic Illness - Fresh Tips on Food Safety
Living well with a chronic health issue like diabetes is challenging. Prevention is key – enjoying foods that support good blood sugar control and following medication directions enhance long-term health and quality of life. To maximize the benefits of better food choices, be sure good food safety practices are on the menu.
The immune system protects health best when your body is well-nourished. Following food safety and nutrition care guidance should support good diabetes management and healthy immune systems. Diabetes may impact immune function by weakening immune system response, and slowing down digestion, allowing bacteria on food to multiply. Once infection has begun, it can be very difficult to treat. Adults 65 and older with diabetes can be especially vulnerable. Check out the tips and tools you can use to ensure you and your family can navigate successfully prevent food safety concerns.
Know Foodborne Illness Symptoms and Get Medical Care Quickly
Foodborne Illness Symptoms can worsen diabetes/all chronic illness symptoms, including elevating blood sugar and risk of dehydration. If you suspect foodborne illness, call your healthcare provider, or seek emergency care immediately.
- Many shoppers use recycled bags for packing groceries. Be sure to wipe these out or wash them each time you unpack them, with antibacterial wipes or spray and clean paper towels.
- Meat, seafood and fresh produce should be bagged before placing in a cart or shopping bag, so they don’t become cross-contaminated. If your grocery store limits plastic bags, bring your own clean bags to place foods in – clear bags allow for scanning prices and safe handling.
- Purchase pasteurized eggs and dairy products and use best-by and sell-by dates to ensure food purchases are fresh.
- Read labels to be sure foods will meet your needs for enjoyment and diabetes management.
Smart Storage and Prep
- Go directly home – if travel time is extended, use insulated bags and/or coolers to maintain food temperatures.
As soon as possible after shopping or grocery delivery, get chilled and frozen foods put away safely.
Cool tools available in the grocery store to keep food safe:
- Clean shopping bags, reusable ice packs, insulated shopping bags, and coolers.
- Appliance thermometer for the refrigerator – store food at 40 degrees F or lower.
- Cooking thermometer – find temperature charts to ensure foods are cooked to safe serving temps.
- Easy-clean plastic cutting boards (some are color-coded for meat, seafood, produce). Use clean knives and utensils while preparing foods, and do not reuse utensils, bowls or plates that have had raw food contact.
- Hot, soapy water, bleach and antibacterial wipes assist with cleaning cutting boards, utensils, and shopping bags.
- Moisturizing hand soap – keeping hands clean and skin in good condition are both important to diabetes management. BONUS – Good handwashing reduces risk of of flu, pneumonia, COVID-19, and other high-risk infections for those with chronic health conditions.
- Store raw and cooked foods safely in regularly cleaned designated refrigerator sections. If any items are damaged or have any indication of spoilage, don’t hesitate to discard. Follow the food safety mantra of “When in doubt, throw it out!”
Diabetes - Shopping Well On A Budget
Everyone is on a budget, which impacts most purchases, including the food we buy. For those managing diabetes, smart food choices are recognized as key to overall wellness. Balancing the budget and balancing health is possible, with a few insights and a little planning.
Planning is the first hurdle – everyone is so busy; we find it easy to ignore the concept. However, most of us plan “accidentally” – we have a set routine for meals/foods we eat throughout the week, as well as typical items we buy or prepare for lunch, dinner and snacks. It changes seasonally – salads in summer, with meat on the grill, soup in the fall and winter, as well as air fryer/Instant Pot or slow cooker meals. The first step to planning is just putting your “usuals’ down on paper, with dollar amounts you usually spend (or the budget amount you are trying to stick to!) Then, determine if there are a few tweaks you can make to put better-for-you in the basket on your budget.
It may be tough to find a good starting place. If you have diabetes, or are at risk, personalized nutrition care from a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist (RDN) is the gold standard. If you haven’t seen a dietitian in the last year, consider getting a referral from your healthcare provider. Your health needs change over time, along with research and food items available, medications – make it personal “policy” to meet with the RDN at least once per year. Check your grocery store for nutrition information and resources – like the Know Your Colors nutrition guides at Price Chopper/Market 32, and the Diabetes AdvantEdge program Diabetes AdvantEdge program at the store pharmacies. Food and medications are increasingly important to health and care, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the resources your grocery store offers.
Tips and Hacks
Hate to cook on Monday? A Price Chopper Rotisserie Chicken could be a problem-solver. Serve with a scoop of frozen broccoli microwaved with a small potato – done, healthy, fast, and cheap. Both the frozen broccoli (as well as any other frozen vegetable or fruit) and the potato are smart/budget-buster choices for eating well.
Breakfast is essential to blood sugar management. Eggs are an inexpensive source of good protein, and easy to mix up with leftover/frozen vegetables for an omelet. Like toast with that? Check the shelf tag or online for Carb Smart choices and read labels to be sure they meet your needs. Carb Smart, Low Sodium, Heart Smart and more tags can be found on the shelf and online – you can plan your smart shopping in a snap. Enjoy eating well when you shop at Price Chopper and Market 32!
Shop Carb Smart!
Back-to-School Allergy Planning - What You Need to Know
Food allergies are a very stressful issue for children and families. Given how diverse our food supply is, and the potential for foods to be ingredients or potential exposure to allergens in kitchens and prep areas means every mouthful is meaningful.
There are nine food allergens identified as having significant prevalence that must be clearly labeled by law. The Food Allergen Labeling and Protection Act was rolled out in 2004 and has been an important tool for those navigating these issues. The original eight allergens are: milk, soy, peanut, fish, shellfish, wheat, (tree) nuts, and eggs, and sesame was added to the federal list in the Spring of 2021.
One of the most common and most concerning is peanut allergy. Sensitivity can range from slight to life-threatening, and the issue may not be on the radar until a frightening health episode. For many with peanut and other severe allergies, it is critical to maintain and carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of accidental exposure. Family, childcare providers, friends, school nurses and teachers should all be trained to read food labels to avoid allergenic foods, understand signs of exposure and have an emergency response plan. To ease this process, Food Allergy Research and Education, a non-profit supporting those with allergies, has an emergency plan resource document.
The Price Chopper/Market 32 Pharmacy Team is conducting an awareness campaign about epinephrine auto-injector management, ask your pharmacist to assist with keeping these vital devices ready if they are needed. Work with your healthcare provider to ensure an emergency plan is in place.
There is some good news – strong research has shown it is possible to avoid developing a peanut allergy. Infants that show early signs of possible allergy issues, including family history, eczema and egg allergy may be on the road to a peanut allergy as well. If identified early, and coordinated/supervised by an allergist, pediatrician and registered dietitian-nutritionist, it has been shown that peanut allergy development can be mitigated/reduced with very controlled micro-doses (6-7 grams) of peanuts over time, and timing of that intervention is key. Ideally, the process should start when the baby is just starting on foods, at about the 6-month mark. It should NOT be attempted without coordination and supervision of experienced healthcare providers. It is a recent development in allergy prevention and care, discussion of any concerns should occur at one of the first pediatrician visits, so risks can be assessed as soon as possible. Early and medically supervised intervention could offer significant health and quality of life benefits if peanut allergy can be avoided.
 Togias A, Cooper SF, Acebal ML, et al. Addendum Guidelines for the Prevention of Peanut Allergy in the United States: Summary of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-Sponsored Expert Panel. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017;117(5):788-793.
Come Pay Your Due Against The Flu!
Did you know that the single best way to avoid getting the flu is to get a yearly flu shot? During the 2017-2018 flu season, the flu vaccine prevented 7.1 million cases of the flu, 109,000 hospitalizations, and 8000 deaths.1 That’s with only about 42% of adults getting a flu shot! Flu season typically begins around October and can extend well into May but these are just the most common months. You can get the flu any time of year so it is always recommended to get your flu shot early!
For a healthy adult the flu may not seem to be that big of a deal but, the flu can greatly increase the chance of heart attack or stroke. Adults over 35 with a confirmed case of the flu are 6-10 times more likely to suffer their first heart attack and are about 8 times more likely to suffer their first stroke.2,3 Those of high risk stand to benefit from flu vaccines as well. People with type II diabetes who also receive yearly flu vaccines are 30% less likely to have a stroke, 22% less likely to suffer from heart failure, and 19% less likely to have a heart attack.4
Getting a flu vaccine not only helps the recipient but everyone around the recipient. This is especially important for infants under 6 months and those with conditions preventing them from getting a flu shot. Those unable to be vaccinated depend on the rest of us for protection from the flu. The more flu shots that are received, the less flu will spread, and the safer we’ll all be. So head over to your local Price Chopper or Market 32 pharmacy and get your shot!
- Can the flu shot give me the flu?
- No! Flu vaccines are made using dead viruses or pieces of the virus’s genetic code that don’t have the capability to cause illness. It takes 1-2 weeks for your body to develop immunity after receiving the flu shot, another good reason to get your shot early this season!
- Why do I need to get a flu shot every year?
- Each year the flu virus changes, undergoing mutations that can make the previous vaccinations ineffective. Getting a flu shot yearly ensures you have immunity from the latest strain of the flu.
- Is getting a flu shot the only thing I can do to prevent catching the flu?
- While the flu vaccine is the single best way to avoid the flu, there are many things you can do to protect yourself. Frequent hand washing and avoiding those with the flu can go a long way to prevent it from spreading. If you do fall ill it is important to stay home, cover all coughs/sneezes, and limit contact with those around you.
Written by Eugene Kupiec Pharmacy Intern
- “2017-2018 Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical Visits, and Hospitalizations Averted by Vaccination in the United States | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed August 14, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/averted-estimates.htm.
- Warren-Gash C, Blackburn R, Whitaker H, McMenamin J, Hayward AC. Laboratory-confirmed respiratory infections as triggers for acute myocardial infarction and stroke: a self-controlled case series analysis of national linked datasets from Scotland. Eur Respir J. 2018;51. doi:10.1183/13993003.01794-2017
- Kwong JC, Schwartz KL, Campitelli MA, et al. Acute myocardial infarction after laboratory-confirmed influenza infection. N Engl J Med. 2018;378:345-353.
- Vamos EP, Pape UJ, Curcin V, et al. Effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in preventing admission to hospital and death in people with type 2 diabetes. CMAJ. 2016;188:E342-E351.
Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior NutritionistApples are amazing – sweet, tart, crunchy and crave-worthy! This is apple season, and we have the benefit of enjoying local apples and apple cider, especially the super crunchy, super juicy Snapdragon® born and raised in New York! Sweet and spicy, with hints of vanilla, it is a variety that has the bonus of being the product of a cross with the super popular Honey Crisp – YUM! Fun fact – New York ranks second in the U.S. for apple production, with more than 1 billion pounds grown each year! Apples are an important part of New York agriculture: Learn more at applesfromny.com. Apples bring a lot of health benefits to your family – high in soluble and insoluble fiber, they support weight loss, heart and digestive health. Science is uncovering more about their antioxidant powers, too – quercetin, catechin and chlorogenic acid add to the health properties of apples. Check out all of the great varieties we have at your local store, and don’t forget to try the Washington State star, the Piñata from Stemilt! This is a cross of 3 heirloom varieties that resulted in a classic crunchy, juicy apple, with a surprisingly tropical flavor twist! Great in salads, sandwiches, baking and snacking – learn more and find delicious recipes at https://www.stemilt.com/fruits/apples/pinata-apples/. #eatmoreapples!
Activate Wellness: November is National Diabetes Month
Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior NutritionistDiabetes is a rising concern for many – almost 10% of Americans have diabetes, and another 30% are at risk. The good news is, eating well to prevent or manage diabetes is the same for everyone. Some quick tips:
- Make half your plate veggies and fruit for most meals, and you have taken a giant step in the right direction. Fresh, frozen and canned fruits and veggies can all be part of your solution.
- Watch quantities on starchy foods – a small serving of potatoes is fine, whole grain sides like rice and quinoa in smaller servings, and whole grain breads are all okay.
- Lean proteins in moderate portions, including seafood twice per week, dairy, beans and legumes, lean chicken, pork or beef – all fit.
- Good fats, like olive oil, avocados and olives, are important to ensuring food tastes good and enhances absorption of key nutrients.
- Even dessert – small servings, or low/no calorie treats, are a good way to make delicious and carb-conscious choices.
- Milk or water round out your meals and snacks, and offer vital nutrients and hydration.
- Our Pharmacy team is also a wonderful resource and has a free medication and supplies program. https://www.pricechopper.com/pharmacy#/
Keep Your Food and Family Safe This Summer!After a long winter and cool spring, temperatures are finally warming up making everyone eager for outdoor picnics and barbecues. While these temperatures are ideal for that, they also provide a perfect environment for bacteria and other pathogens in food to multiply rapidly and cause foodborne illness. You can help prevent harmful bacteria from making your family sick by avoiding the “Danger Zone” and following the “Core Four”. The Danger Zone: temperature range between 40°F and 140°F
- Keep food out of this range as foodborne bacteria can grow rapidly to dangerous levels that can result in illness
- Always keep cold food COLD, at or below 40°F, in coolers or in containers with ice or frozen gel packs
- Keep hot foods HOT, at or above 140°F, on the grill or in insulated containers, heated chafing dishes, warming trays or slow cookers
- Reheat foods to 165°F
- Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food
- Clean kitchen surfaces, dishes and utensils with hot water and soap
- Have one cutting board for produce and another one for meat, poultry and seafood
- Use separate plates and utensils for raw and cooked foods
- Wash plates, utensils, and cutting boards that held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs before reusing
- Marinate in the refrigerator and not on the counter keeping raw meat/poultry separate from any veggies you might be using
- If you plan to reuse the marinade as a sauce be sure to boil it first to destroy any harmful bacteria or make extra to set aside before adding raw meat/poultry
- Cook: Cook to safe internal temperatures
- Use a food thermometer to ensure food is thoroughly cooked
- Whole cuts of meat (steaks, chops and roasts) – 145°F with a 3 minute rest time
- Ground beef, pork, lamb and veal- 160°F
- Poultry, including ground poultry- 165°F
- Fish – 145°F
- Leftovers – 165°F
- Refrigerate perishable food within one hour in hot weather (above 90°F) and within two hours if temperatures are below 90°F
- Place leftover foods in shallow containers for quick cooling
Raise a Glass to Dairy Month!
Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior Nutritionist
June 1st is a holiday for our dairy farmers – it is World Milk Day, and kicks off the annual celebration of Dairy Month and all that dairy brings us! Full of flavor and nutrients, packed with protein, familiar and affordable, wholesome dairy brings richness to so many foods. Across the Northeast, dairy is considered a unique “natural resource”, which supports healthy people, healthy communities and a substantial and sustainable positive impact on local economies. We use milk, yogurt, butter, and cheese to bake, batch, sip, and savor our way through delicious and nutritious meals and snacks. Welcome to Dairy Month, an annual national celebration of all that dairy brings us. There would be no dairy without dairy farming, which encompasses time-honored heritage and forward-thinking scholarship – this industry keeps innovating, and is full of hard working, passionate people that ensure animals have the best care, and milk is the highest quality. About 97% of dairy farms are family-owned, generation after generation that have moved the industry forward and treat animals, land and the future with reverence and respect. Dairy also delivers crucial nutrients – milk, yogurt and cheese contribute 51% of calcium and 58% of Vitamin D for just 10% of the calories in the overall American diet. The Great American Milk Drive also kicks off in our stores today – with a $1 or $5 donation at the register, you can join in and get milk to children and families that are less food secure. Check out our Facebook Live visit with our friends at Ivey Lakes Dairy in Stanley, NY, follow the blog, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram learn more about how fresh, nourishing dairy foods make their way from the farm to your table, and the delicious ways you can enjoy them. In case you couldn’t tell, we love dairy – Price Chopper and Market 32 are highlighting dairy and dairy case items all month – you will love the selection and the savings. Celebrate with us!