Posts tagged with "healthy eating"

Beignet illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Air Fryer Hacks × Grilling Tips

Air fryer hacks and grilling tips
for tastier, healthier and greener meals

The Sustainable Chef Gerard Viverito has tips
and recipes to improve your spring and summer cooking

You may have heard that fat equals flavor. It’s why we love a beautifully marbled steak, butter-rich shortbread, or premium ice cream. Fat is also what makes fried foods such as potato chips and chicken nuggets so deliciously crispy and addictive. Today, many people are swapping their deep fryers for air fryers.

This trendy appliance uses swirling super-heated air, instead of hot oil, to cook. But air fried food can also be dry. The Sustainable Chef and culinary instructor Gerard Viverito says the results can be as impressive as oil-fried dishes – and full of crave-worthy crunch – if you follow his tips. Bonus: some of these hacks can also be used on your outdoor grill.

Brush on oil for crave-worthy crunch

“The right air frying techniques will help protect your health and produce more flavorful meals,” says Chef G. For restaurant-quality results, he suggests brushing oil onto your food both before you cook and again half-way through the cooking process. You can also apply it using a spray bottle. “Canned cooking spray will damage the non-stick coating of your air fryer; it may include questionable additives.”  

Use the right fats and cooking oils on your grill

Chef G. suggests you first get to know your cooking fats. “Using the wrong oil is why grilled foods sometimes taste so bad. The oil burns which make the food taste rancid,” he explains. “Some cooking oils are also not as healthful as others.” 

  • Choose vegetable oils carefully. Most canola, corn, soybean oils in the U.S. are made with genetically engineered crops. Many oils, such as corn, sunflower, soybean oil is pro-inflammatory.
  • Be aware of which oil to use for high-heat cooking. “Olive oil is ideal for drizzling over veggies but begins to degrade at 380 degrees. I like to use Malaysian palm oil for high-temperature cooking because its smoke point, the temperature at which it starts to burn and smoke, is in excess of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also nutrient-dense and sustainably produced.”  
  • Use butter for rich flavor. Chef G. is a fan of grass-fed butter because it has more flavor and a stronger nutritional profile. The downside of butter is that it burns easily at high temperatures. “My trick is to put a little red palm oil in the pan with the butter to protect the flavor. Palm oil and butter go together. Palm oil is a nutritious fat for people and even animals. When cows eat palmitic acid, a component in palm oil, they produce more milk with higher fat content.”  

Use sauces and marinades for big flavor

Chef G.’s chicken wing sauce uses bold ingredients such as gochujang Korean chili paste, ginger, and garlic. It also includes a sweetener that comes with a warning: “Sugar burns very quickly at high heat, so it’s important to add sugar-based sauces to your meat just in the last few minutes.” 

He suggests including an oil in your marinade. “Oils are an essential part of a marinade. I like to use garlic, black pepper, and spices. These seasonings are fat-soluble, so you need an oil to carry their flavor into the meat.”

Visit this website for more palm oil recipes. 

Malaysian Inspired Marinade

Recipes by Chef Gerard Viverito

Marinade for two pounds of meat

  • 3 Tbsp Malaysian Red Palm Oil
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only
  • 3 slices fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 shallots, peeled
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt 
  • 2 Tbsp Palm Sugar

Instructions

Blend all the marinade ingredients in a food processor. Add a little water to thin if needed.

Use this marinade for chicken or shrimp. It can be kept for 6 hours in the fridge or is best overnight.

Air-Fryer Beignets

Mardi Gras may have just come and gone, but there is no reason to deny yourself the taste of New Orleans any time you want it! As much as I try to maintain a low-carb life, these little bits of heaven are always a welcome treat and remind me of being in the French Quarter.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup lukewarm water (90 degrees)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar (for yeast proofing)
  • 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of salted butter, brought to room temperature
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter and Malaysian Palm Oil, equal parts
  • 1 ½ cups of confectioners’ sugar

Combine the lukewarm water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and the yeast in a bowl and let proof for 5 minutes. This mixture should froth a little. If it doesn’t, your yeast is not active, and you should try again with a new yeast. Also mind the temperature. If it is too hot, you will kill the yeast.

Mix the flour, a pinch of salt, the room temperature butter and the sugar in a large bowl. 

Add the egg, evaporated milk and yeast mixture to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until it just comes together in a sticky ball. If your dough isn’t forming, add a little more flour, but in really small quantities to avoid having tough beignets. Move the dough to an oiled bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

The longer you let it rise, the better for flavor development. By allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator overnight, which is completely optional, you will develop a deeper flavor, but it is imperative that you bring it to room temperature before proceeding to the next steps.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 24 2”x3” rectangular pieces. 

Preheat your air fryer to 350ºF.

Brush or mist the beignets on both sides with some of the melted butter and palm oil mixture and air-fry in batches at 350ºF for 6 minutes, turning them over halfway through if desired. 

Be mindful to leave some space between the beignets for better and more even browning. 

Once the beignets are finished, transfer them to a plate or parchment lined baking sheet and dust with the confectioners’ sugar.

Enjoy with some nice chicory coffee!

Korean Inspired Air-Fried Gluten Free Chicken Wings

Servings: 4 people

Here’s a fun fact about chefs: As much as we love outdoing each other in the kitchen, we always gravitate back to the simple dishes to soothe our souls after a grueling shift. Just Google favorite chef recipes and you will usually find sandwiches or a 3-step meal. Not to say I don’t love oysters, truffles, and foie gras, but sometimes you just want some down-home fried chicken comfort. With the rise in popularity of Korean-style fried chicken, I took it to a new level with the air fryer.

Traditionally, Korean Fried Chicken is double fried in oil for a spectacular crunch and then covered in a delicious spicy, sweet-and-sour type sauce. 

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Malaysian Palm Oil and butter to cover wings (approximately 1 Tablespoon each)

Chicken Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp gochujang Korean chili paste
  • 3 tbsp agave syrup or honey depending on the level of sweetness desired
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp tamari gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp shallot, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Chopped green onions for garnish

Instructions

Place the chicken wings in a large non-reactive bowl and season with garlic powder, onion powder and ½ tsp salt.

Cover the chicken with cornstarch, let sit for 5 minutes. With a set of tongs to keep your hands clean, stir, to evenly coat the chicken piece. Lightly shake each piece of chicken to remove the excess corn starch and place it in the air fryer basket.

While the wings are sitting, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and butter, heat gently to melt. 

Place the wings in the air fryer basket and lightly spray or brush the tops with the oil and butter mixture.

Close the basket and cook chicken wings at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, turning and rotating chicken about every 10 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce.

Korean Air-Fried Chicken Sauce

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small, non-reactive saucepan over medium heat and whisk until combined. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.

Once the chicken is done cooking, place the sauce and the wings into a bowl and toss to evenly coat.

*Oil may be used to spray and coat the chicken pieces if cornstarch still appears on the chicken after frying. It can be done without oil as the chicken will produce its own oil during cooking.

Healthy Eating illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Food Insecurity

Michelle Obama‘s New Show Addresses Food Insecurity,

Recent Survey Findings Validate the Crisis Behind it

Six in 10 Americans have faced “food insecurity” at some point in their lives, and of those, 73% experienced it for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to this new research. The ongoing issue of food insecuritycontinues to receive more attention from celebrities and programming, like Michelle Obama’s new Waffles and Mochi show, which is directed at children to learn how to eat and prepare healthy meals. 

To understand the true impact and severity of the food insecurity crisis, recent findings from a new study launched yesterday from Feed the Children, a nonprofit dedicated to ending child hunger around the world, and Herbalife Nutrition, not only validate the crisis that’s happening today, but also shows how the U.S. compares to the rest of the world

The global survey of 9,000 respondents in 21 countries touches on families experiencing food insecurity for the first time, how they are managing to keep their families fed, along with some of their biggest concerns.


Below are a few of the U.S. stats that have come out of the survey: 

  • 73% of Americans surveyed experience food insecurity for the first time during the pandemic.
  • 31% of which have said their family has had to skip meals
  • 59% of parents are concerned their children will have lasting health effects as a result of food insecurity
  • 78% of parents rely on their child’s school meals to ensure their kids receive healthy meals
  • 63% of parents feel the government should promote flexible working hours to parents, so they can ensure their kids are eating balanced meals

10 Supersmart Superfoods Your Kids Will Love

Having trouble getting your kids to eat healthy? When you package these superfood hits into a child’s menu you can be sure it’s a surefire way of giving them the nutrients they need and show them great nutrition is just around the corner!

Basil

This superfood packs in vitamins A, C and K, iron, potassium and calcium kids can grow their own basil at home. toss it on pasta sauces or pizza! It’s rich in plant chemicals, chlorophyll and other happy mood plant compounds.

Cocoa

Add cocoa powder and honey to kefir for a healthy quick breakfast for kids who won’t sit still to eat a meal. Or a cup of hot cocoa (at least 70 percent pure cocoa) promotes oral health and helps to protect delicate skin from sun damage over time. You can also sprinkle cocoa powder on fruit, snacks and desserts for a healthy punch of flavor. Plant chemicals and antioxidants increase concentration and decrease inflammation!

Black Beans

Adults aren’t the only ones who suffer from high cholesterol, they just get checked more often than kids. Black beans help kids keep cholesterol levels down and provide plenty of calcium and protein to boot. Make a tasty black bean dip with some fresh veggies for a fun snack.

 Cinnamon

This superfood is great sprinkled on breakfast foods. it regulates blood sugar, which will keep energy from crashing after breakfast in the middle of a school day, tastes great and is so easy to use. Its natural sweetness is a plus and goes with so many foods and beverages!

Avocado

Avocados are full of good fat. Kids need a daily diet of 30% monosaturated fat and a little avocado a day provides more than enough. Use it like ordinary mayo for a great mix-in to creamy dips and sauces or sliced fresh for an afternoon snack. Guacamole is a no brainer for kids!

Tomato

Here’s a switch, a tomato a day can keep cancer away. That’s right, the plant version of vitamin A can best fight off all kinds of stressors and the potassium they contain helps to boost energy and stabilize hydration. In-season tomatoes are amazing with basil and olive oil or lightly sautee for a very tasty sauce for pasta, fish or veggies!

Fruit

A sweet spot you don’t want to ignore, kids have a natural liking for fruit and its energy-boosting plus. Encouraging eating fruit curbs drinking sugary beverages and snacks. Go for seasonal fun and plan a harvesting trip to a local orchard or bring your kiddies to the local green grocers to pick out what they want. A variety of colors provides kids with essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and fiber to keep their bodies healthy. Introduce your kids to a daily fruit plate at a young age and they will probably continue the habit into adulthood.

Sweet Potatoes

These orange tubers are high in Vitamin A which helps kids develop healthy vision and eyes. And they’re delicious roasted, mashed or baked. For an amazing marshmallow flavor, use vanilla extract and honey for a not to be missed sweet treat.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is bursting with Omega-3 fatty acids that little guys need to grow their brains to their full potential. Buy it ground and sprinkle it over their cereal or add 1/4 cup to their favorite baked-good recipe. They’ll get better nutrition without even knowing it.

Oatmeal

Kids who start their day with oatmeal concentrate better in school all day. oatmeal breaks down slowly to give continual bursts of energy over a long period of time. Add honey, nuts or chocolate chips to make it more kid-friendly, for a great way to use oatmeal be sure to check out the recipe section for a granola recipe the whole family will love.

About Nicolette M. Pace MS, RDN, CDE, CBC,CDN, CFCS ,FAND

Nicolette founded NutriSource Inc. ( www.nutrisource.org )  in 2002 to provide high quality education, counseling and nutrition services for a diverse community population. Prior to founding NutriSource Inc, she served as Director of Clinical Nutrition at the NYHQ/Silvercrest Center where she provided both administrative and direct care for sub-acute and chronically ill patients. Nicolette was a key member of performance improvement projects and as Chair of the Nutrition Committee; significant positive changes were made in the standard of care. 

 Nicolette has been featured in CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News, the New York Times, Seventeen, Fitness, Men’s Journal, More, Dr. Oz, Everyday Health, AOL, IVillage, Health, Shape and other magazines. She is also a contributing writer for Minerva Place, as well as an adjunct professor of Nutrition at CUNY and Touro Colleges. She believes in emphasizing a holistic approach toward food, nutrition and preventative healthcare.

Nicolette Pace Demo Reel watch HERE.

 
Susan Bowerman on how to beat diet boredom for 360 Magazine

Beating Diet Boredom

How to Beat Diet Boredom in the “New Normal”

By Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND, Sr. Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training, Herbalife Nutrition

If you’re bored with your diet, you probably won’t stick with it.  Here are some tips to help you beat diet boredom.

Many of us are still spending more time at home during these uncertain times which can lead to boredom – tired of our same routines, limits on autonomy and for some, bored with our diet. While being bored with your diet could be good news it might also be bad news. 

The good news is this: if you’re bored with your diet, it probably means that you’ve been sticking pretty solidly to your meal plan – at least for the moment – and it’s likely you’re seeing some results. When you eat the same foods day in and day out, you do tend to eat less overall.  But the bad news is that the reason you’re eating less is because you’re simply bored with your diet – and that can spell trouble.  When your diet gets boring, you’re more easily tempted – and you’re more likely to stray off your plan.

Why You Get Bored on A Diet

I think there are a couple of reasons people get into ruts with dieting – and they’re legitimate reasons.  For one thing, if you stick to a plan and you’re getting results, you might be worried that if you eat anything else your progress will slow down.  And, if you eat the same thing every day – as boring as it may be – it just makes it easier; you don’t have to do much planning since you know exactly what you’re going to eat at every meal and snack.

But here’s something to keep in mind.  When you say you’re ‘bored on your diet’ it suggests that at some time you’ll be ‘off your diet’…(and, therefore, ‘not bored’).  I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating – weight loss is simply practice for weight maintenance.  In general, the foods and meals you eat while you’re losing are pretty much the same as the ones you’ll be eating when you shift into maintenance mode.  If you’re bored with your diet now, it’s a safe bet that you won’t be able to keep eating this way indefinitely.  And before you know it, you’ll be slipping back into old habits and watching your weight creep back up.

Routine is good – but sometimes you can take things too far.  Just because your diet plan suggests grilled chicken and steamed spinach for dinner doesn’t mean you have to eat exactly those foods every single night.  There are plenty of things you can do that can keep things interesting and help keep you on your plan.

How to Avoid Diet Boredom

Try new fruits and vegetables.  Bite for bite, fruits and vegetables are have fewer calories than protein foods or grains – and they’re loaded with nutrients.  Learning to love a variety of fruits and vegetables helps to keep things interesting, and you’ll be offering your body a whole host of nutrients, too.  If you just can’t face a plate of spinach one more day, try spicy mustard greens, kale or Swiss chard instead.  Just because your meal plan calls for strawberries doesn’t mean you can’t swap in something more exotic like kiwi for a change.

Move meals and meal items around. In general, meal plans are designed to distribute your foods over several meals and snacks throughout the day – partly to help you control hunger, but also to help you maintain your physical and mental energy.  But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t move things around a little bit.  Maybe your plan calls for a mid-morning protein snack, but you don’t feel the need to eat it – by all means, move that snack to later in the day if it works better for you.  If you prefer your larger meal midday, rather than the larger dinner meal that your plan calls for, go ahead and swap.  The time of day that you eat your calories makes little difference as long as you don’t exceed your daily totals.  And, there’s no reason you can’t eat ‘breakfast food’ for dinner and have leftovers in the morning.

Add more seasonings to your food.  It seems to me that some people don’t even try to make their food interesting when they’re dieting.  It’s almost as if they’re trying to punish themselves – and that it would be ‘bad’ to actually enjoy a tasty plate of food. Eating should bring pleasure, not punishment and you can add loads of flavor to foods with seasonings like herbs, spices, citrus juice and zest, garlic, onion or a splash of wine or vinegar.  And don’t forget condiments like mustard, salsa, steak sauce or soy sauce.  Fresh steamed spinach tastes just fine but it’s a whole lot better with a little red onion and a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar.

Give your favorite recipes a makeover.  Diet boredom can also set in when you aren’t eating your usual favorite meals because they’re not very diet-friendly.  But with so many tips and tricks for revamping recipes, you might be able to satisfy your craving for your favorite foods without breaking your diet.  Once you’ve mastered a recipe, share and swap with your friends; it’s amazing how quickly you can build a healthy recipe collection that way.

Find restaurant meals that work with your meal plan.  Dieting can be really boring if you’re convinced you can never enjoy a meal out.  But there’s no reason to avoid restaurants (including curbside pickup) altogether when you’re in dieting mode – the trick is finding items that work with your diet, not against it. Asian and Mediterranean fare, for example, tend to offer diet-friendly vegetables and lean proteins, so that might be a good place to start.  And take advantage of online nutrition information which can be a big help in pre-planning what you’ll order.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Sun

Vitamin D

Magnesium is a mineral that is important to our health because it plays several roles in keeping us healthy, including helping with bone heath, heart rhythm and regulating blood pressure. The RDA for magnesium is 400-420 mg/day. Lots of foods contain magnesium, but in smaller amounts. To get a full day’s worth of the recommended amount of magnesium, you could eat 2 ounces of dry roasted almonds, one cup of boiled spinach, 1 cup of soymilk,2 ounces of dry roasted cashews AND 1 cup of black beans.

In comparison, Vitamin D is important to our health in a variety of ways. It helps calcium and phosphorus to be absorbed from the gut. This is important for bone health. Vitamin D is harder to get from food because not as many foods contain it naturally. However, many food products are fortified with Vitamin D. The RDA is 15-20 micrograms/day. You can get that from 4 oz of rainbow trout, OR 1 tablespoon of cod liver oil OR 1 cup of white mushrooms.

You need vitamin D in order for proper immune system functioning. Having a deficiency leaves you immune compromised. Studies show that adults, especially in Northern climates, are at risk for Vitamin D deficiency. This is in part because there is less sunlight in those regions. It is also important to note that Magnesium is needed to help our bodies make vitamin D from sunlight; it also helps to transport vitamin D in supplement from into the body to be used in cells. 

It might be necessary to take a vitamin D supplement if you aren’t getting enough in your diet (which can be tricky since fewer foods contain it). When choosing a supplement, it is best to opt for one that contains Vitamin D 3. There are lots of options for supplements, and if you aren’t a fan of swallowing pills, you could use a gummy, like vitafusion gummies, or a sublingual, like frunutta, which contains no fillers or additives, and dissolves right under your tongue.

Nicole Avena, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Visiting Professor of Health Psychology at Princeton University. She is the author of several books, including Why Diets Fail, and What to Eat When You’re Pregnant. 

Rita Azar, illustrations, nutrition, 360 MAGAZINE

COVID-19’s Impact on Eating Habits

Amidst the pandemic, a new wave of consumer habits have been ushered in and more than ever, people are motivated to live a healthier lifestyle, eating clean-label, natural and organic foods at home.

According to a recent report from Accenture, 77% of shoppers post-COVID said they will be opting for healthier, clean label meals, versus only 30% in December 2019. According to Kantar’s COVID-19 Barometer, more than 50% of people claim to be eating more healthily and trying new recipes. Saffron Road, a clean-label, natural and organic leader in frozen entrees that focuses on using real, whole ingredients, is already seeing this shift.

According to SPINS NPI Index for the MULO channel, Saffron Road frozen entrée sales have increased 74.9% over the last 12 weeks ending 5/17/20, which is a 50% greater increase than any other natural products (NPI) brand’s growth.

CEO and founder Adnan Durrani, a 30+ year pioneer in the natural and organics food industry (Vermont Pure Water, Stonyfield Yogurt, Delicious Cookies), explains that in past crises, the default has been belly fillers and highly processed food, particularly in times of stress and financial uncertainty. However, due to the nature of the crisis, there’s been a shift towards healthier, cleaner options. And this won’t go away anytime soon as people continue to eat at home.

Barclays analyst Karen Short recently stated that they predict up to $118 billion in U.S. restaurant revenues will mega shift into consumer purchases of meals in grocery stores in the next 6 months.

Nic's on Beverly, 360 MAGAZINE, vaughn lowery, vegan

Nic’s On Beverly

By Krishan Narsinghani

(photos: Vaughn Lowery × copy edit: Paige Gilmar)

360 Magazine had the opportunity to try L.A.’s hottest vegan restaurant, Nic’s on Beverly. Nic’s is a fairly new eatery pioneered by Stephan Bombet and Nic Adler, the man who first opened Monty’s Good Burger and featured his arsenal at Coachella Music and Arts festival in Palm Springs.

Upon entering the establishment, a modern indoor dining area accented with a bar in blues and a patio can be found. The Hollywood heat is cooled by a gaping tree, sprinkled with lights, that shades most of the courtyard. With the smiles of the staff urging its patrons on, picking a seat has never felt more welcoming.

Start your afternoon right with handcrafted cocktails, a signature frozé or a Bloody Mary (for you spice lovers). Vegan waffles, tofu eggs benedict, and falafel burgers are just the start of Nic’s madness. The falafel burger particularly has meat-eaters covered and gets health nuts just a little more nutty. What means the most is the craftsmanship of each dish whether it be the four-step process fries or an in-house jelly. Farm-to-fork is deemed an understatement and perhaps the most overlooked dish would be the summertime peach salad which leaves your pallet refreshed with aromatic tomatoes.

At the end of the day, a foodie trying this establishment won’t care whether they are eating meat or not – the flavor says it all. The fresh gem can be found at 8265 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048, and their Instagram here.

Nic's on Beverly, 360 MAGAZINE, vaughn lowery, vegan

Nic's on Beverly, 360 MAGAZINE, vaughn lowery, vegan

Nic's on Beverly, 360 MAGAZINE, vaughn lowery, vegan, pet-friendly

Nic's on Beverly, 360 MAGAZINE, vaughn lowery, vegan

Nic's on Beverly, 360 MAGAZINE, vaughn lowery, vegan

Nic's on Beverly, 360 MAGAZINE, vaughn lowery, vegan

Nic's on Beverly, 360 MAGAZINE, vaughn lowery, vegan

Nic's on Beverly, 360 MAGAZINE, vaughn lowery, vegan

USDA MyPlate Campaign

USDA Announces Launch of the Start Simple with MyPlate Campaign

In a continuing effort to help Americans make healthy food choices, and in honor of National Nutrition Month, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced a new campaign to help simplify the nutrition information that surrounds us each day.

USDA recommends people visit here to get started with tips on the MyPlate food groups, or to use a variety of simple resources to put these tips into action. Online resources include the MyPlate Plan and widget, a tip sheet, the MyPlate Action Guide, a one-week menu template, as well as a toolkit for nutrition professionals.

USDA also invites Americans to join the #MyPlateChallenge by sharing healthy eating tips or ideas related to the five MyPlate food groups. People can post a MyPlate-inspired healthy eating tip with a photo or video and share it on social media. Once they post their healthy eating tip, people can challenge a family member, friend, or co-worker to share their own tip.

Join USDA as we celebrate the different ways people strive to eat healthy and Start Simple with MyPlate! View more information about the challenge here.

About USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service aims to increase food security and reduce hunger by providing children and low-income people access to food, a healthful diet and nutrition education in a way that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence. In addition to co-developing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and providing nutrition education through MyPlate, the agency administers a network of nutrition assistance programs that comprise America’s nutrition safety net. For more information, visit our website.

How To Care For Your Loved One After A Big Surgery

Fighting cancer is a huge challenge. From radiation to chemotherapy, to target therapy, stem cell transplants – there are many different ways to fight it. Trying to target the cancer this way, however, will never be quite as effective as removing it from its source. Surgery does not always mean amputations, either. You can get cryosurgery in order to freeze and kill the cancer with liquid nitrogen. Or you can kill it with lasers, or even hyperthermia. Most people who have cancer opt for surgery, because if successful it can completely or at least partially remove or kill off the cancer cells, thus stopping, halting, or slowing down their cancer’s growth.

That does not make it easy, however, to recover. In some cases, patients might not be able to move at home by themselves with comfort or ease. That is why you, as their loved one, need to follow this guide on how to care for them after their big surgery:

Prepare for them to be Bed-Ridden

Depending on the surgery, they might need plenty of rest time to heal correctly. If they are completely bed-ridden, then you need to prepare adequately. Though it can be absolutely beneficial for your loved one to heal at home, rather than in a hospital, it means you need to prepare. Aside from specific medical equipment prescribed by your doctor, you will also need a stockpile of items like dry-touch adult diapers with tabs for nighttime, and in case you need to leave the house, sponge-bath equipment, as well as items like a bed tray to make their recovery easier and more comfortable. Even if they are only bed-ridden for a few days, these items can ease the time and make it more comfortable for them.

Make Healthy, Nutrient-Rich Meals

Healthy eating is a key part to healthy living, and that is especially true when you are battling cancer. This is more so true when you are healing after surgery. The only thing to remember is that you cannot give your body “extra doses” of vitamins, because that is not how it works. Instead, focus on providing your loved one a healthy and balanced diet as per the doctor’s instructions. The body needs to be at its best to heal as quickly as possible, and getting those nutrients it needs from food is a great way to go.

Hire an At-Home Nurse

If the at-home care is a bit beyond simply redressing the wound and cleaning them if they are completely bed-ridden, then it could be wise to hire an at-home nurse or getting the training yourself. It will depend, of course, on what your options are based on your health insurance and state. You could even be paid to care for your loved one, depending on your circumstances.

Having cancer is a terrifying battle, for both the patient and their family. Going through surgery can either remove it entirely or significantly reduce the size of it, thus improving their chances. It is your love and compassion, however, that will really help them, because no medicine will compare to the company of a loved one.