Smart Travel

traveleatingWhen you take a trip, does your diet go on vacation, too? Many people use vacations as an excuse to live it up by eating rich foods they don’t normally eat, or eating supersize restaurant portions all day long.

But it is possible to enjoy your vacation and the local food without packing extra pounds for the trip home. The secrets: choose foods wisely, make “moderation” your vacation mantra, and stay as active as possible during your trip.

Find out more…

 

National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

The National School Lunch ProgramSchool lunch1 is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

GroceryShopping2SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. The Food and Nutrition Service works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and can access benefits. FNS also works with State partners and the retail community to improve program administration and ensure program integrity.

Elderly Nutrition Program

The purpose oSenior men drinking tea togetherf the OAA Nutrition Program (OAA Section 330) is to:

  • Friends Having Lunch Together At A RestaurantReduce hunger and food insecurity
  • Promote socialization of older individuals
  • Promote the health and well-being of older individuals and delay adverse health conditions through access to nutrition and other disease prevention and health promotion services.

Congregate Nutrition Services, established in 1972 and Home-Delivered Nutrition Services, established in 1978, provide meals and related nutrition services to older individuals in a variety of settings including congregate facilities such as senior centers; or by home-delivery to older individuals who are homebound due to illness, disability, or geographic isolation. Services are targeted to those in greatest social and economic need with particular attention to low income individuals, minority individuals, those in rural communities, those with limited English proficiency and those at risk of institutional care. Nutrition Services Programs help older individuals to remain independent and in their communities.  Find out more…

Refrigeration & Food Safety

FoodStorageRefrigeration slows bacterial growth. Bacteria exist everywhere in nature. They are in the soil, air, water, and the foods we eat. When they have nutrients (food), moisture, and favorable temperatures, they grow rapidly, increasing in numbers to the point where some types of bacteria can cause illness. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 °F, the “Danger Zone,” some doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. A refrigerator set at 40 °F or below will protect most foods.
Storage Times for the Refrigerator and Freezer

These short but safe time limits for home-refrigerated foods will keep them from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. The guidelines for freezer storage are for quality only. Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.  Espanol

Consumer Food Safety

safetomatoFoodSafety.gov is the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies.

According to the Key Findings of the Food Safety Working Group:

“The federal government will enhance www.foodsafety.gov to better communicate information to the public and include an improved individual alert system allowing consumers to receive food safety information, such as notification of recalls. Agencies will also use social media to expand public communications.”

Selected Federal Agencies with a Role in Food Safety

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) serve important roles in ensuring food safety in the United States.safeapple

State Agencies

During an investigation of foodborne illness or a recall, federal government agencies may work with state agencies such as the state department of public health.

Food-Drug Interaction

Food-Drug Interaction foodmed2

A food-drug interaction happens when the food you eat affects the ingredients in a medicine you are taking so the medicine cannot work the way it should. Food-drug interactions can happen with both prescription and over-the-counter medicines, including antacids, vitamins and iron pills.

Not all medicines are affected by food, but many medicines can be affected by what you eat and when you eat it. For example, taking some medicines at the same time that you eat may interfere with the way your stomach and intestines absorb the medicine. The food may delay or decrease the absorption of the drug. This is why some medicines should be taken on an empty stomach (1 hour before eating or 2 hours after eating).

Side-Effects of Medications

Dealing With Medicine Side Effects and Interactions

All medicines have side effects. But many people don’t feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them.

Here are some important things to think about:meds

  • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects continue to bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Call your doctor or 911 right away or go to the emergency room if you take a medicine and have trouble breathing, get hives or have swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. These are signs of an allergic reaction to the medicine.

Will you get side effects? meds2

Anyone can feel side effects from a medicine, but there is no way to know for sure if a medicine will cause side effects for you. It may depend on how much of the medicine you take, how old you are, how much you weigh, whether you are male or female, and what other health problems you may have. Older adults are more likely to have side effects than younger adults.

You may notice side effects when you start to take a medicine, change the dose, or stop using the medicine. A medicine you’ve often taken without getting side effects may suddenly cause side effects. Or side effects may stop.

What can you do to prevent side effects?

There are many things you can do to prevent and prepare for side effects. Before you take any medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about:

  • The possible side effects of the medicine and those you may be likely to have.
  • How soon they may start.
  • Whether they may go away on their own.
  • Whether you can do anything to prevent them. For example, taking a medicine with food or at a certain time of day may help with this.
  • Whether you need any tests to check for them.
  • What you can do to manage mild side effects.
  • When and who you should call for help with side effects.
  • Whether you can drink alcohol when you are taking the medicine.

What can you do for mild side effects?

In general, you can ask your doctor if you can take less of the medicine or try another one. Here are some tips to help you manage some common side effects from medicines.

Side effect

What to know or do

Constipation
  • Eat bran and other whole-grain cereals and high-fiber fruits and vegetables, such as apples, prunes, beans, and broccoli.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Get exercise.
Daytime drowsiness
  • This problem may go away as your body gets used to the medicine.
  • Ask your doctor if you can take your medicine at bedtime.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy equipment when you feel drowsy.
Diarrhea
  • Eat mild, low-fiber foods, such as applesauce, rice, and yogurt.
  • Avoid spicy and high-fat foods until you feel better.
Dizziness
  • Get up slowly from sitting or lying down.
Dry mouth
  • Chew sugarless gum, or suck on sugarless candy.
  • Take frequent sips of water throughout the day.
Headaches
  • These may go away as your body gets used to the medicine.
  • Ask your doctor what medicine you can take for a headache.
Loss of appetite
  • Try to eat more often. Have healthy snacks between meals.
  • Include favorite foods at each meal.
  • Take a walk before you eat. This may make you hungrier.
Upset stomach (nausea)
  • Ask your doctor if you can take the medicine with food.
  • Eat several smaller meals a day rather than two or three large meals.
  • Try peppermint candy or gum. Peppermint can help settle your stomach.
  • Eat bland foods, such as dry crackers or plain bread. Avoid fried, greasy, sweet, and spicy foods.
Feeling nervous or on edge
  • This problem may go away as your body gets used to the medicine.
  • Ask your doctor if you can take a lower dose.
Sexual problems
  • Ask your doctor if you can take a lower dose.
  • Ask your doctor if there is another medicine you can try.
Sleep problems
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
  • Don’t exercise in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool. And use a sleep mask and earplugs.
Sensitive to the sun
  • Stay out of the sun, if possible.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats, if possible.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF that your doctor recommends.

Dealing with Medicine Side Effects and Interactions

Community Food Bank

Groceries

A food bank or foodbank is a non-profit, charitable organization that distributes mostly donated food to a wide variety of agencies that in turn feed the hungry. The largest sources of food are for-profit growers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers who in the normal course of business have excess food that they cannot sell. After sorting and inventory, a food bank distributes the food to 100 to 1,000 non-profit community or government agencies, including but not limited to food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, orphanages and schools.

Find a local food pantry near you.