Healthy Lifestyle

Food Shelf Life and Storage Tips

 

 

Awareness of the shelf life of food is a twofold concern, balancing food safety and concerns of not being wasteful of money and resources. Americans throw away nearly 40% of the food grown in the country. This amounts to 1,400 calories per person per day, around $400 per person, per year. Shockingly, 31 million tons of food are added to landfills each year! To help balance good health, thriftiness and being a conscientious citizen of the planet, we’ve put together a list of the shelf life of many common foods and best ways to store them to preserve freshness!

Shelf Life of Fruits and Vegetables

Apples – Refrigerator: 3-5 months

Oranges – Room Temp: 3-4 days  Refrigerator: 5-6 weeks

Lemons & Limes – Room Temp: 1 week  Refrigerator: 2-5 weeks

Grapefruit – Room Temp: 1 weeks  Refrigerator: 2 weeks

Stone fruits (apricots, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums) – Refrigerator: 3-5 days

Avocados (ripe) – Room Temp: 2-3 days   Refrigerator: 5-10 days

Berries and Cherries – Refrigerator: 2-3 days

Grapes – Refrigerator: 1-2 weeks

Commercially frozen fruits – 1 year

Canned Fruits – Refrigerator, unopened: 1-2 years.

                         Opened (stored in airtight container): 2-3 days

 

Asparagus – Refrigerator: 3-5 days

Carrots – Refrigerator: 2-4 weeks

Green Beans – Refrigerator: 1 week

Bell Peppers – Refrigerator: 1-2 weeks

Tomatoes – Room Temperature: 2-5 days depending on size and ripeness.

Mushrooms – Refrigerator: 1-2 days

Commercially frozen vegetables – 8-12 months

Canned vegetables – Room Temperature: 1 year  

          Refrigerator (opened, stored in airtight container): 3-5 days
Shelf Life of Meat, Poultry, Fish and Eggs

Bacon – Refrigerator: 7 days  Freezer: 1 month

Raw Sausage – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 1-2 months

Hard Sausage – Refrigerator: 2-3 weeks  Freezer: 1-2 months

Ground Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Lamb, Pork – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 3-4 months

Steaks/Chops/Roasts (Beef, Pork, Lamb) – Refrigerator: 3-5 days

Freezer varies: Steaks – 6-12 months, Chops – 4-6 months, Roasts – 4-12 months

Fresh Poultry (whole) – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 1 year

Fresh Poultry (pieces) – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 9 months

Fish – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: Lean fish (cod, haddock, flounder) – 6 months

   Fatty Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) – 2-3 months

Eggs – Refrigerator: Will maintain their best quality for around 3 weeks after the “sell by” or expiration date on the carton. To determine if an egg is still good, you can do a “float test” by putting it in a bowl of waters. If it sinks, it is safe to use. If it floats, it means that gases have built up in it’s shell and it’s not safe for consumption.

Pantry Staples ( kept in airtight storage)

Flour: 6-8 months

Milk (Evaporated, Powdered, Sweetened/Condensed): 1 year

Nuts: Shelled 4 months, Unshelled 6 months

Peanut Butter: 6-9 months unopened

Baking Soda: 2 years

Baking Powder: 18 months

Rice: White, Jasmine and Basmati – 2 years Brown and Wild – 6 months

Pasta: 2 years

Oil: Olive – 6 months, Canola – 1 year

 

Most vinegars are at their best within 2 years but is safe indefinitely. The following pantry staples will keep forever. . .

Salt

Sugar

Honey

Real Vanilla Extract

Whole Foods Spotlight – Cashews

 

Native to Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, cashew trees bear copious amounts of a false fruit called a cashew apple. Botanically, the nut we consume is a drupe or a stone fruit with a hard outer shell enclosing the edible kernel. Cashews spread throughout the world thanks to Indian and Portuguese explorers and is enjoyed both as a sweet snack and in the preparation of curries and other dishes.

They provide a host of valuable nutrients, vitamins and minerals that make them a great choice in a healthy diet. Particularly abundant is copper which is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, elastin and collagen and offer protection to nerve fibers. There are .6mg of copper in a one ounce serving of roasted cashews, around 30% of the recommended daily intake. They also offer magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, potassium, selenium and calcium.

Cashews sometimes get a bad rap for being high in fat. However, the fats contained within are essential, monounsaturated fatty acids which actually assist the body in lowering harmful LDL-cholesterol and increasing the good HDL cholesterol. Diets which include monounsaturated fatty acids help to prevent stroke and coronary artery disease.

Vitamin K, needed for proper blood clotting and preventing excessive bleeding, is also abundant in cashews. As is vitamin B6 which helps maintain a healthy nervous system, boost mood,balance blood sugar levels and acts as a natural pain reliever.

There are also antioxidant compounds in the nut, including proanthocyanidins which are being researched for their ability to stop the growth of certain cancer cells by preventing them from dividing. Cashews are of particular interest to researchers in the study of colon cancer.

The cashew and other nuts have also been researched for their ability to lower the risk of gallstones. The Nurses’ Health study collected dietary data on 80,000 women over a twenty year period and concluded that women who eat at least one ounce of nuts or nut butter each week have a 25% lower risk of developing gallstones.

Other than grabbing a handful as a snack or throwing some into a granola mix, there are plenty of delicious ways to incorporate cashews into your meal planning. Below are some links to delicious recipes that include cashews!

 

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

Crunchy Pea Salad with Bacon & Cashews

Pumpkin Chickpea Cashew Curry

Whole Foods Spotlight – Asparagus

 

Springtime is the perfect time to enjoy thin, tender, flavorful stalks of asparagus! This vegetable has long been consumed and valued for its nutritional properties. An Egyptian frieze dating at around 3000 BC pictures asparagus as an offering and it’s name comes from a Persian word meaning stalk or shoot. During Roman times, Emperor Augustus coined the phrase “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action, as the vegetable is best when lightly and quickly steamed, broiled or sauteed. The thickness of the stem indicates the age of the plant and newer, slender stalks are the most tender. The stalks of older plants can be woody but can be peeled or easily snapped off.

While we typically think of asparagus as green, there are white and purple varieties of the vegetable as well. Purple asparagus grows naturally and has a fruitier flavor that makes the purple variety a great choice for eating raw. White asparagus has no chlorophyll to give it its green color as it’s grown underground or under plastic domes, completely shaded. Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally balanced vegetables. It’s low in calories and sodium, has no cholesterol and is a great source of fiber. It’s also loaded with minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc as well as vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B9 (folate), C, E and K.

The abundance of B vitamins, including folate, helps to maintain healthy levels of homocysteine, produced by the blood when amino acids break down. A deficiency of B vitamins will elevate these homocysteine levels leading to ailments such as damaged blood vessels, venous thrombosis which is the clotting of blood in the veins and other cardiac disorders. Folate is also linked to preventing neural health disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s also crucial for a developing fetus and women who are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant are strongly encouraged to increase their intake of folate.

Asparagus supports kidney health as well. A known diuretic, it helps to flush out excess salt and fluids from the body and helps to prevent toxins from building up in the kidneys and the formation of kidney stones. However, if you have uric acid kidney stones, your physician may tell you to avoid the vegetable to keep your urine from getting too acidic and worsening your condition. If you’ve ever noticed that eating a lot of asparagus causes urine to smell strong, this is because it’s the only food to contain a chemical called asparagusic acid. During digestion, this acid breaks down into compounds which contain sulfur which leads to the strong scent that everyone produces but only a small percentage of people can smell.

In addition, the high fiber content of asparagus and it’s prebiotic nature which acts as a food source for good gut bacteria makes it a fantastic choice for good digestive health. It also helps to support the immune system, provides protection for the thyroid gland and has anti-inflammatory benefits as well. All great reasons to pick up a bundle the next time you are at the farmer’s market or grocery store!

 

Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

Asparagus Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Grilled Sriracha Meatball Skewers with Coconut Rice and Asparagus

re:iimmune and Direct Relief Mobilize to Bring Medical Resources to Peru & Colombia

Direct Relief and re:iimmune Mobilize to Bring Medical Resources to Peru & Colombia 

– 35,000 doses of re:iimmune will be included in family hygiene kits to provide clinical strength hydration and intestinal immune support-

Springfield, MO, May 19, 2017— In the midst of historic flooding and mudslides that have impacted hundreds of thousands of people in Peru, Make People Better, LLC has joined forces with Direct Relief to provide essential medical supplies to those in need.

Over 35,000 doses of re:iimmune, a hydrobiotic recovery formula that provides clinical strength hydration and intestinal support, will be donated to Direct Relief to aid in recovery efforts. The doses are part of $32 million in medical inventories that the nonprofit organization has made available in Peru and Colombia.

“In disaster situations when IVs are scarce, many patients don’t get enough liquids to get better and stay better,” says Make People Better founder Dr. Kerri Miller. “I have seen the devastating impact on families and children firsthand. Even with proper nutrition, they often can’t absorb the nutrients from the food. I created re:iimmune to not only provide clinical strength hydration, but also intestinal support so people can get healthy, and stay healthy.”

Since 2014, Miller has donated over 160,000 doses of re:iimmune to sick patients worldwide in the U.S. and abroad. For every box purchased, Make People Better donates one dose to organizations such as Direct Relief who are working daily to improve the health of under-served populations. “We are grateful to our partnerships with Bartell Drug, Kinney Drug, and Walgreens stores, where direct sales make this type of giving program possible,” says Miller.

According to Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe, “Families are facing severe risks in the wake of these devastating storms. Water sources often become compromised after serious flooding, which can lead to a host of health issues. In addition to dehydration, cholera and other diseases related to poor sanitation pose additional threats to public health. The donation of re:iimmune will be incredibly helpful to promote healing from the inside out.”

About re:iimmune

re:iimmune is the first oral hydrobiotic recovery formula designed to provide clinical strength hydration and intestinal immune support, so patients’ bodies can absorb key nutrients from food and metabolize medications efficiently. re:iimmune delivers amino acid L-glutamine to help repair tissue, a prebiotic to feed the body’s “good” bacteria, zinc, ginger  and a blend of 14 probiotics to help boost immunity, plus ginger root to ease nausea.

About Make People Better

Founded by Dr. Kerri Miller in 2013, Make People Better, LLC is dedicated to addressing the missing components in wellness and bridging the gap in healthcare. The company’s core product, re:iimmune, is a hydrobiotic recovery formula that provides clinical strength hydration and intestinal immune support following illness and hospitalization. Do you know a community that needs help? Want to raise funds to donate more re:iimmune to those in need? Make People Better is looking to align with individuals and organizations who share our same vision of giving back. For more information, contact: https://reiimmune.com/contact/

About Direct Relief

Established in 1948 with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world – without regard to politics, religion, ethnic identities, or ability to pay. With operations spanning more than 80 countries and 50 U.S. states, Direct Relief is the only charitable nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD) accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief earns a perfect score of 100 from independent evaluator Charity Navigator, has received the CECP Directors’ Award, the Drucker Prize for Nonprofit Innovation, the President’s Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping, and been named among the world’s most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company. For more information, please visit https://www.directrelief.org/.

 

 

 

Essential Vitamin List

We all want to feel and look our best, have lots of energy and keep our bodies healthy. Making sure we are getting the right amounts of essential vitamins is key to all of that! Today we’ve put together a list of the essential vitamins your body needs, what they do for your health and great sources to incorporate more into your diet!

A

What doesn’t Vitamin A do? This powerhouse is in charge of general growth and development. It’s crucial for eye health, teeth, skin and helps to boost the immune system and cuts the risk of heart disease.

You know you are getting a dose of A when you are eating foods with an orange hue, caused by the carotene pigment. Carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe are all packed with Vitamin A.

The recommended daily dosage is 2,300 IU. Be advised that it can be toxic in large doses so stick with the recommended amount.

B VITAMINS

The eight B vitamins include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), B12 and Folic acid. These are responsible for energy production, maintaining metabolism, muscle tone, iron absorption, immune function and memory.

These nutrients can be found in whole foods including potatoes, bananas, lentils, peppers, beans, whole grains, yeast and molasses. Recommended daily allowance is as follows. . .

  • B1: 2-10 mg/day
  • B2: 5-10mg/day
  • B3: 15-30mg/day
  • B5: 1-15mgs
  • B6: 6-12mg/day
  • B7 : 100-300 mcgs
  • B12: 12-100 mcg
  • Folic acid: 200-400 mcg/day

C

Known for boosting the immune system, Vitamin C is also hard at work giving skin elasticity, strengthening blood vessels, assisting in iron absorption, helping wounds heal faster and preventing heart disease.

Oranges, guava, bell peppers, kiwi, grapefruit, strawberries, Brussel sprouts and cantaloupe are all great sources for C. A single orange covers your recommended daily dosage, 75 mg.

D

Here’s one of the essential vitamins you may want to strongly consider supplementing. While milk, eggs, orange juice, fish and mushrooms provide Vitamin D, the amounts are not enough. The recommended daily dosage is 1,000 to 2,000 IU.

The best source of Vitamin D is spending time in the sun. However, with rising skin cancer rates we have to balance how much time we spend in the sun without sunscreen with our need for Vitamin D. It’s necessary for strong, healthy bones and optimum muscle function. It’s believed that it can reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 50 percent!

E

Many cells of our body use vitamin E to carry out important functions. It gives a boost to the immune system, widen blood vessels, prevents clots and offers protection against free radicals.

Almonds are absolutely packed with Vitamin E and other nuts like peanuts and hazelnuts and sunflower seeds are also good sources. For adults, the recommended daily allowance is 15 mg or 22.4 IU.

K

Blood coagulation, the process by which blood clots is dependent upon K. Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli and brussel sprouts are the best natural sources.

The recommended daily doses differ for men and women at 120 mcg for men and 90 mcg for women. Research is finding that vitamin K has been shown to help improve insulin resistance in older men.  

#TBT – Dandelions – History and Benefits

Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We’ll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care. This week we focus on dandelions and their many benefits!

Folks who want perfectly manicured lawns fight against the dandelion but this herbaceous plant has so many benefits to us and our ecosystem, you might think twice about mowing over them or spraying them with chemicals. Dandelions have been around for so long in the Northern Hemisphere that it’s impossible to pinpoint their nonnative status but their use was recorded in Roman times and by Anglo Saxon tribes of Britain and the Normans of France and Arabian and Indian peoples. European settlers found them so useful that they brought them on their long ocean journey across to America.

This perennial flower, botanically related to the sunflower family, which also includes daisies and thistles, grows year round unless in an area that experiences a cold winter in which case they go dormant. They have a thick taproot that can penetrate 10 to 15 feet into the soil and because they spread via seeds that can travel on the wind for hundreds of miles, they spread quickly. The name dandelion is from the French term “dent de lion” which means “tooth of the lion”.  All parts of the plant are edible and dandelions have long been used as a food source, in making wine and for medicinal benefits.

Kidneys and Liver

Dandelions are very diuretic, helping to eliminate toxic substances in the kidneys and urinary tract. In France, they are also called “pissenlit” which translates to “urinate in bed”. So be under advisement! That said, dandelions can be very helpful in eliminating fat from the body as well as eliminating jaundice. Jaundice occurs when the liver begins over-producing bile which will then enter the bloodstream and messes with metabolism. The disorder causes the skin and eyes to develop a yellow tint. How interesting that the sunny colored dandelion is excellent for helping to eliminate jaundice from the body! It regulates bile production and because of its diuretic nature, it aids in eliminating excess bile.

Skin Care

The sap, called dandelion milk, is alkaline and fights against various germs and fungi. It’s traditionally been used in the treatment of ringworm, eczema and acne. The greens of the plant contain over 100% of the daily minimum of vitamin A which also benefits the skin as well as mucus membranes and vision.

Protect Bee Populations

Dandelions are one of the major food sources for bees in the springtime. Because bee populations are in serious decline and we rely on their existence for so many other foods, it’s important to keep this in mind. Show a little love to the bees not only by leaving dandelions alone but also by avoiding the chemicals in sprays that are directly linked to their decline.

 

How to Cook Dandelion Greens

Dandelion Wine

DIY Fine and Dandy Facial Serum

 

Natural Anxiety Buster Suggestions

Anxiety and stress can be detrimental to your health and well being. You may have a head of swirling thoughts, life’s pressures weighing down on you or perhaps battling phobias or bouts of panic. Each natural anxiety buster listed below can be incorporated into your life to help soothe and calm your brain and body.

Anxiety Buster #1 – Simply acknowledge what you are feeling. Just saying to yourself or even out loud, “I’m feeling stressed. I’m feeling anxious.” without any judgement on yourself can lift a bit of the weight of your feelings. After that, seek out a friend to talk to and share your feelings with. Releasing and connecting with another person helps take weight off your shoulders and strengthen the bonds of friendship.

Anxiety Buster #2 – Breathe. Breathe. Then breathe some more. Deep cleansing breaths help to steady your heart rate, relieve tension and release pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain to elevate moods. Deep breathing means breathing into the belly, not just the chest, and doing so stimulates the vagus nerve, part of your parasympathetic nervous system which calms you down.

Anxiety Buster #3 – Hear what Tibetan Buddhist Master, Mingyur Rinpoche has to say about simple meditation and training your “monkey mind.” This simple exercise can bring much relief and help to train your brain away from constant worrying.

 

Anxiety Buster #4 – Rev up your serotonin levels with exercise, time in nature and music that you love! A neurotransmitter, known for improving mood, serotonin affects many areas of the body including the gut. Many people feeling the pressures of stress and anxiety often have accompanying digestion issues, which leads us to our final anxiety buster. . .

Anxiety Buster #5 – Promote good gut health with proper nutrition and making sure your intestinal health is in balance. The re:iimmune formula was created to provide hydration support and through the addition of probiotics and a prebiotic, a food source for good gut bacteria to thrive, to help those battling with digestion issues. The gut and the mind are closely connected and taking care of each, helps the other!

 

Superstars of the Summer Garden

When it comes to gardening, you always have to think ahead. So even though it’s barely spring, today we want to focus on the plants that will be superstars of your summer garden. By putting in the time, research and effort now, you’ll be reaping the rewards of your summer garden with satisfaction! Once again, these are all items that are relatively easy to grow for the newbie or inexperienced gardener. All three require a good amount of direct sunlight and can be started from seed indoors now or you can pick up seedlings from your local nursery when ready to plant in the ground.

Tomatoes – No summer garden is complete without tomatoes and nothing compares to the taste of a homegrown tomato! They will want lots of sunshine, water and nitrogen in the soil. If you notice the plants turning yellow, this means they are lacking nitrogen. Adding a little bone or blood meal around the base of each plant is a quick fix. Just be sure to keep companion planting in mind and keep your tomatoes at a distance from our next suggested plant. . . bell peppers.

Bell Peppers – Bees will cross pollinate peppers and tomatoes, ruining the flavor of tomatoes which is why they should not be planted together. Bell peppers love heat which makes them a superstar of the summer garden. They want sun all day long and do best in well drained soil, spaced about 4-6 inches apart. When they first begin to ripen, they’ll be a lighter shade of their color and are ready to pick when they turn bright and waxy.

Summer Squash – These vining plants either needs ample ground space to run or you’ll need a sturdy trellis. This summer garden group includes both green and yellow zucchini, crookneck and scallop squash, all of which are typically ready to pick 60-70 days after planting. They also produce squash blossoms which are delicious sauteed, stuffed or dipped in batter and fried.

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to get out and get gardening! Here’s hoping for a great growing season and an ample harvest!

Spring Cleaning For Better Health

A good spring cleaning of the house is on many people’s to-do lists at this time of the year. Clearing out the dirt, dust and clutter can make for a healthier and happier home. Today we have a few areas to keep in mind as you tackle your spring cleaning chores.

Tackle the Dust Collectors

Dust is no friend at a time of year when people may also be dealing with seasonal allergies. Start high with ceiling fans, curtains and upholstery and then move on to furniture and floors.

 

Get Ready to Open Those Windows Wide

Cleaning the dust away from the tops of window sashes and getting rid of the winter dirt and grime from the glass will make those spring views even more enjoyable. Opening the windows to get some fresh air means also making sure that screens are cleaned and in good repair.

 

Renew the Refrigerator

Give the fridge a total overhaul as part of your spring cleaning routine. Throw out expired foods and condiments and get rid of any spills and debris which can breed bacteria and mold. This is also a good time to clean the condenser coil, typically found behind the toe grill. You can usually do this with a long handled bottle brush or vacuum cleaner attachment hose. Getting rid of dust and lint can help prevent the refrigerator to overheat. If coils are attached to the back of the fridge, don’t hurt yourself pulling it out, ask for help to get to the area!

 

Declutter and LET GO

Go through clothes, books, household items and such to see what isn’t working or you don’t need anymore. Purging items that you don’t really love, wear or use can be extremely satisfying. Remember, more stuff means more stuff you have to take care of and it might just be a good time to eliminate that burden.

 

Fire Alarms/Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Do a thorough test of existing units, change batteries and add alarms and detectors where needed. The American Red Cross has some valuable information on the importance of having working alarms and estimates that, “The fire death rate in homes with working smoke alarms is 51% less than the rate for homes without this protection.”

Snow Safety: Part One – Driving Snow and Ice Covered Roads

 

The kids are all singing “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” hoping for days off school and time for snowball fights and sled rides. While it sure is beautiful, most adults find it to be a pain, especially when it comes to driving snow covered streets and roads. At the very least, it can make life inconvenient but at worst it can be downright dangerous. We’ve put together a three part series on staying safe and healthy in the snow. Driving snow covered roads and icy streets can be a challenge, so today we focus on navigating the white stuff!

We are one snowy nation! Around 70% of U.S. roads will see 5 or more inches of snow each year and vehicle accidents result in about 1,300 fatalities per year. Here are some tips to keep you safe as you navigate the ice, slush and snow. . .

  • Bridges, overpasses and rarely travelled roads are the first to freeze. If conditions are wet, these areas can become icy before the temperatures even drop below freezing.
  • Be sure to brake gently when driving snow or ice covered streets and roads. If standard brakes lock, pump gently and if anti-lock brakes do lock up, apply steady pressure (they may begin to pulse and make noise when doing so).
  • Never pass a snowplow. These vehicles have limited visibility and conditions ahead of them are more than likely worse than behind them.
  • Allow enough space between you and the car ahead of you. About 3 car lengths for every 10mph you are travelling.
  • If you begin to slide and it’s your rear tires, take your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels then begin sliding in the opposite direction, ease the steering wheel in the same direction as the tires. Repeat gently until the car is under control. If your front tires are sliding, take your foot off the accelerator and put the car in neutral. When traction returns, gently steer the car in the direction you want to go, put the vehicle back in drive and slowly accelerate.
  • If you get stuck, turn your wheels from side to side to push the snow. If needed, get out and try to shovel some snow away from the tires and undercarriage. Go easy with gentle acceleration to avoid spinning your tires.