Wellness is a more than the absence of sickness. Wellness is more than just living a long, healthy, and active lifestyle. Wellness is making conscientious and deliberate decisions that will greatly improve the quality of your life overall by reducing a variety of risk factors. Wellness is establishing new habits that emphasize exercise and proper diet.
Nutrition coupled with an exercise routine are great steps towards enhancing our quality of life and are the leading factors that determine our overall wellness. Of course, I am assuming that you’re serious about improving your health and are not engaging in risky behaviors such as smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages to excess. Wellness requires commitment to change and these 10 tips will point you in the right direction.
Properly handling of raw meat and prepared meals will lessen your chances of ingesting contaminated food and spending your precious time in the emergency room. Food safety plays an extremely important role in kitchen safety.
1. Handle ground meats carefully. Ground meat is more perishable than other meats. Once the meat is ground it has a larger surface area, giving bacteria an easier target to grow and cause food poisoning.
2. Don’t use the egg rack. The middle shelf of the refrigerator is cooler than the door; eggs will keep better in their carton on the middle rack of the refrigerator instead of the egg rack in the door.
3. Use a thermometer in the fridge. The temperature inside your fridge should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Invest in a quality thermometer, place it inside the fridge where it can be easily monitored. Check it often and adjust the temperature accordingly — allowing at least 24 hours for the correction before making additional adjustments.
4. Keep bacteria out of your food. Wash your hands prior to preparing meals. Wash hands and all equipment (between steps) that comes in contact with food including the cutting boards, countertop and can-opener. Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or the microwave oven. Reheat foods to at least 165 degrees F to be sure that any harmful microorganisms are destroyed.
5. Questions on food safety? If your curious about the leftover turkey’s shelf life, call the United States Department of Agriculture’s toll-free Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHOTLINE (674-6854) weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern Time.
Reduce fat intake
Dietary fat plays an important role in our daily food intake, but not necessarily a good one. Fat has been linked to heart disease, obesity and weight gain. Penn Medicine warns, “While we all need some fat in our diets, too much saturated fat and cholesterol may increase your blood cholesterol, as well as your risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer. “
6. Choose skinless turkey breast. Turkey breast meat is extremely lean. A three-ounce portion has less than a gram of fat, which translates into 5% of the 120 calories. Choose plain roast turkey breast. Turkey cold cuts and self-basting turkeys can be high in fat.
7. Reduce the amount of fat in your hamburger. To lower the proportion of fat in your hamburger, the Wellness Letter from the University of California suggests substituting beans(such as mashed black beans) or grains (such as cooked bulgur or rice) for some or the chopped meat. The beans and grains will not only extend the quantity of meat for your burgers, they’ll enhance the flavor as well.
8. Try substituting applesauce in baking recipes. To cut down on the amount of fat in homemade baked goods, try substituting applesauce or another fruit puree (such as banana or pumpkin) for an equal amount of oil, margarine, or butter in the recipe.
9. Pass up the bacon and cheese. A bacon cheeseburger averages 250 more calories than a plain burger at the local fast-food joint. Plus, they have a great deal more saturated fat and cholesterol.
10. Try pork. Look for lean cuts of pork. Many cuts are around one-third leaner than they were 20 years ago. The leanest cut is the tenderloin. A well-trimmed 3-ounce serving of pork tenderloin has just 4 grams of fat and 133 calories — 27% of which are fat calories.
Be advised that I am not a registered dietitian, nurse or doctor. These tips are meant solely as an informational guide to increase your overall health and should be discussed with your doctor or other health professional prior to beginning any type of weight loss or exercise program — especially if you’re currently taking medications for heart conditions, diabetes or other serious illnesses.
Penn Medicine; University of Pennsylvania
Wellness Programs; Texas Department of State Health Services
Wellness Letter (1995); University of California at Berkeley
Yahoo! Contributor Network
The USDA; food safety and inspection service (fsis).