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Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss

Do you know of a new diet or fitness routine that you'd like us to review? Or perhaps you want to write a review yourself and see it in print! Got a great recipe you want to share? Let us know at

In this Section....

July Recipes - Click Here

This is celebration month!! We have Fouth of July, or Independence Day on the fourth, and Canada has Canada Day on the first! Lots of parties and cookouts this month, along with vacations that take us all over the country and out of the country too! Since we use the grill alot more in summer, our meal is done almost exclusively on the grill, with a dessert that is yummy and comforting that reminds us of sitting around the campfire. Remember, be careful with fireworks, and have a great July!!! Happy Canada Day, and Happy Fourth of July!!!!

We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!

Handling Food Safely on the Road

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N! Oh, how we long for that eight letter word every summer, when millions of us eagerly get away from school and work. We take to the road, live on boats, relax in vacation homes; and camp. No matter where we go or what we do, there is a common denominator that runs through all of our summer travels and relaxation — it's called F-O-O-D! The "road" to food safety, however, can either be a bumpy one or smooth — depending on what precautions are taken handling meals as we travel this summer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's nationwide, toll-free Meat and Poultry Hotline reminds everyone that some simple, common-sense food safety rules can save a vacation from disaster. Following this advice could make the difference between a vacation to remember and one that is remembered because people got sick from improperly handled food. Some general rules, while traveling this summer:

Plan Ahead...

If you are traveling with perishable food, place it in a cooler with ice or freezer packs. When carrying drinks, consider packing them in a separate cooler so the food cooler is not opened frequently. Have plenty of ice or frozen gel-packs on hand before starting to pack food. If you take perishable foods along (for example, meat, poultry, eggs, and salads) for eating on the road or to cook at your vacation spot, plan to keep everything on ice in your cooler.

Pack Safely...

Pack perishable foods directly from the refrigerator or freezer into the cooler. Meat and poultry may be packed while it is still frozen; in that way it stays colder longer. Also, a full cooler will maintain its cold temperatures longer than one that is partially filled. Be sure to keep raw meat and poultry wrapped separately from cooked foods, or foods meant to be eaten raw such as fruits. If the cooler is only partially filled, pack the remaining space with more ice. For long trips to the shore or the mountains, take along two coolers — one for the day's immediate food needs, such as lunch, drinks or snacks, and the other for perishable foods to be used later in the vacation. Limit the times the cooler is opened. Open and close the lid quickly.

Now, follow these food safety tips:

When Camping...

Remember to keep the cooler in a shady spot. Keep it covered with a blanket, tarp or poncho, preferably one that is light in color to reflect heat. Bring along bottled water or other canned or bottled drinks. Always assume that streams and rivers are not safe for drinking. If camping in a remote area, bring along water purification tablets or equipment. These are available at camping supply stores. Keep hands and all utensils clean when preparing food. Use disposable moist towelettes to clean hands. When planning meals, think about buying and using shelf-stable food to ensure food safety.

When Boating...

If boating on vacation, or out for the day, make sure the all-important cooler is along. Don't let perishable food sit out while swimming or fishing. Remember, food sitting out for more than 2 hours is not safe. The time frame is reduced to just 1 hour if the outside temperature is above 90 °F. Now, about that "catch" of fish — assuming the big one did not get away. For fin fish: scale, gut and clean the fish as soon as they are caught. Wrap both whole and cleaned fish in water-tight plastic and store on ice. Keep 3-4 inches of ice on the bottom of the cooler. Alternate layers of fish and ice. Cook the fish in 1-2 days, or freeze. After cooking, eat within 3-4 days. Make sure the raw fish stays separate from cooked foods. Crabs, lobsters and other shellfish must be kept alive until cooked. Store in a bushel or laundry basket under wet burlap. Crabs and lobsters are best eaten the day they are caught. Live oysters can keep 7-10 days; mussels and clams, 4-5 days.

Caution: Be aware of the potential dangers of eating raw shellfish. This is especially true for persons with liver disorders or weakened immune systems. However, no one should eat raw shellfish.

When at the Beach

Plan ahead. Take along only the amount of food that can be eaten to avoid having leftovers. If grilling, make sure local ordinances allow it. Bring the cooler! Partially bury it in the sand, cover with blankets, and shade with a beach umbrella. Bring along disposable moist towelettes for cleaning hands. If dining along the boardwalk, make sure the food stands frequented look clean, and that hot foods are served hot and cold foods cold. Don't eat anything that has been sitting out in the hot sun for more than 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F) — a real invitation for foodborne illness and a spoiled vacation.

When in the Vacation Home or the Recreation Vehicle...

If a vacation home or a recreational vehicle has not been used for a while, check leftover canned food from last year. The Meat and Poultry Hotline recommends that canned foods which may have been exposed to freezing and thawing temperatures over the winter be discarded. Also, check the refrigerator. If unplugged from last year, thoroughly clean it before using. Make sure the refrigerator, food preparation areas, and utensils in the vacation home or in the recreational vehicle are thoroughly cleaned with hot soapy water.

REMEMBER! In hot weather (above 90°F), food should never sit out for more than 1 hour. Discard any food left out more than 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are above 90°F).


Submitted by: Maria Albus

Pressure to Eat

We are moving towards a season where there will be more invitations to eat. Whether you have company coming over or you’re invited to a party, visiting with friends or relatives puts excessive pressure on you to eat more than you what you had planned.

Remember that if you tend to feel pressure to eat more than planned, try to work out exactly what makes you feel this way. Are you concerned that people will be offended if you do no eat everything you are offered, or that you will draw attention to yourself if you do not eat as much as everyone else? If you can work out precisely what the problem is, it will be easier to think of ways to cope. For example, if you are concerned that your host will be offended if you do not eat much, you might decide that it would be helpful to practice saying “No” politely but firmly. You could test out whether politely declining foods is likely to cause offence. You might do this by thinking about how you would feel if you were the host and someone declined food in this way.

If you are concerned about drawing attention to yourself by not doing what everyone else is doing, you might observe the reactions of others to people who, for example, are not drinking alcohol, perhaps because they are driving, or perhaps simply because it is their preference not to do so. Ask yourself whether you would react negatively to someone making a conscious decision not to drink to excess. I suspect it is unlikely. So, don’t be influenced by others. Eat what is appropriate for you and no more, drink what is appropriate for you and no more, and be happy and self-confident with your decision.

If it’s an unexpected situation, where someone drops over or phones and wants to go out for lunch, take some time in responding, so that you know how best to handle the situation. If you have already had something to eat, arrange another time to go out with that person or explain that you will accompany her/him but that you will only have a small amount as you have already eaten. Don’t let someone else take you off track simply because you want to appear ‘kind.’ Pause, decide what is best for you, and follow through with that decision.

Sometimes in social situations you might feel ‘deprived’ because you are surrounded by high-calorie food and drink. This is a normal feeling. But ask yourself, “Just because I’m going to eat less and drink less than others, does it really make the event less enjoyable?” Focus on the event itself as a source of relaxation, and a time to talk to friends, not as an event that will ‘allow’ you to eat excessively.

Always be on your guard. Always remember that you are eating for you and not to please someone else.

You can do it. Just keep trying. Don’t ever give up.

Submitted by: Dr. Doug

Weight Loss Surgery can be scary words or they can be words of hope. Most SSBBWs have thought of or had someone mention weight loss surgery. It's obviously not for everyone. There are SSBBWs who have accepted that they are large and always will be. There are some who like being large and don't want to change. And there are others who live day to day with pain, both physical and emotional, of carrying the extra weight that have various reasons for wanting to do something about it.

Everyone has a view on weight loss surgery be it good or bad or even neutral. Which is perfectly fine as we are all entitled to our opinions. One reader has made the decision to have weight loss surgery and will take us on her journey. What are your thoughts on weight loss surgery? Have you had weight loss surgery? Our forums are available for you to discuss and give your views on this topic.

Click here to read about our readers journey with weight loss surgery.

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