Celebrating Responsibly This Holiday Season

By: Catie Wiseman, Education Manager, Idaho State Liquor Division

Idaho sets the perfect holiday stage for us every year.  We hear songs like, “Let It Snow,” “Winter Wonderland” and “O Christmas Tree” that put us all in the holiday spirit. We also hear, however, many songs that reference and promote alcohol and being drunk during the holidays such as “Drunk on Christmas,” “One More Christmas Beer” and “All I Want for Christmas is Whiskey.” They tell us to “Eat, Drink and be Merry,” and many of us do. In fact, 16% of adults say they drink more than usual during the holidays and 97% of adults went to work hung over after a party, or know someone who did1. If you decide to consume alcohol this holiday season, it is important to know how to do so in a fun and responsible way.

First, it is estimated that 97+ million Americans will hit the roads between December 23 and January 12.  It is illegal to drive with a 0.05% blood alcohol content (BAC) or higher which most women can reach by having just 2 standard drinks; for men, it is around 3 standard drinks. It can be easy to drink more when socializing, so you are encouraged to plan ahead.

Second, it is important to know what you are drinking, how much you are drinking and over what period of time. The standard used when relating alcohol equivalency is: one 12 fl. oz. beer (5% alcohol) = one 5 fl. oz. glass of wine (12% alcohol) = one 1.5 fl. oz. shot of 80-proof liquor (40% alcohol). This can be a bit misleading, however, as many cocktails have 2.0-2.5 fl. oz. of 80-proof liquor in them so if the standard equivalency rule is used, you will actually consume almost two drinks in one. Also, as the proof of the alcohol gets higher, or the amount of time lessons between drinks, the effects on the body can change dramatically.

Third, mixing alcohol and medication is a no-no. Serious harm can come to you and others so do not combine the two.

Fourth, there are so many opportunities to be with friends and family during the holiday and it is fine and legal to enjoy alcohol if you are over the age of 21; and it can be a lot of fun when done responsibly. Mixblendenjoy.com is the state of Idaho’s retail website where you can find more information about party planning, drink recipes and product availability around the state. It is a great tool to have when planning your holiday event.

Last, but certainly not least, if you are driving, entertaining or headed to a family function with children, make sure there are non-alcoholic drinks available. A fun and easy drink is a Cranberry Lime Mule Mocktail. Start with a copper cup (if available), fill with ice, add one part cranberry juice, two parts non-alcoholic ginger beer or ginger ale, add a squeeze of lime, then garnish with a lime and a few cranberries. Delicious and festive!

Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and fun holiday season and make sure to keep singing -“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Let’s Start the New Year Right!”

Sources:
1 Harris Interactive Survey for Caron Treatment Centers, 2017.
2 Newsroom.AAA.com

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Journey Towards Wellness

By: Kara Federonick, MPH, Treasure Valley YMCA

With National Diabetes Awareness Month in full swing, I want to touch on the value, importance and process of journeying towards wellness.  Every human walking this earth knows just how challenging change can be, but there is question as to whether everyone knows just how valuable change is- and not only change, but also how important the journey and struggle towards change is.  Taking a look at examples in the natural world around us, butterflies would not be able to fly if they did not struggle in breaking out of the cocoon after metamorphosis.  Diamonds and pearls would not be formed if not for the immense amount of pressure they endure, and gold not refined if it does not pass through the fire.

Anytime we hear words like diabetes and obesity, there is often an immediate response to run in the opposite direction; they are often considered taboo topics.  I ask, however, what has running in the opposite direction from an issue ever helped?  When we examine the health landscape of our nation, we see obesity affecting not only our adults, but now our children as well.  We see diabetes and prediabetes on the rise and affecting an ever increasing portion of our society with 84 million with prediabetes and over 30 million with diabetes.  Change is absolutely essential and crucial to turning the health of our nation around, but what might this journey towards change look like?  Here are a few steps on the journey towards wellness:

  1. Know and recognize the value of the life you have. You bring value to those around you and can make an incredible impact on society, but you need to make that choice.  You need to know and realize this, and know you are a gift and your life has a purpose.  You are needed but if you do not see this, if you do not pursue to change and grow into the best version of yourself, you rob yourself and others of the gift you have to offer.  Your health matters, you matter!
  2. There is a gap between knowing you need to change and wanting to change and an even greater gap between wanting to change and actually being ready to change and starting to implement change in your life. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself where you are on this journey and what it will take to get you from where you are to the next step in this journey.  If you need help processing and identifying where you are, ask for help from a friend, family, or community resource.  Asking for help does not mean one is weak, rather it shows how strong someone is for realizing we weren’t meant to journey life alone.
  3. Once you have identified where you are on the journey towards wellness, get connected with the tools, resources and individuals around you available to help you progress towards the best you. Whether that starts with a friend, health professional, church or community group, or local gym or YMCA, find out where you stand, what you need to change, and get plugged in!

 

Remember, you are a priceless gift and gem in the making.  But first comes the struggle; the struggle is good and has a purpose.  Let’s journey together towards wellness and change!

Resources for Diabetes and Prediabetes 

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Stay Well-Connected with Idaho Libraries

By: Allison Floyd, LiLI Librarian, Idaho Commission for Libraries

Health may be wealth, but free is still everybody’s favorite price, right? Did you know there are several health resources freely available to all Idahoans on lili.org? LiLI stands for Libraries Linking Idaho, and lili.org is a collection of electronic resources—mainly databases, but some eBooks as well—for a variety of information needs, including all things wellness-related! LiLI is brought to you by the Idaho Commission for Libraries, with additional support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Read on for an overview of some of the great health and wellness eBooks and databases available at lili.org:

  • Alt HealthWatch: This database focuses on many perspectives of complementary, holistic, and integrated approaches to healthcare and wellness.
  • Consumer Health Complete: Comprehensive resources for consumer-oriented health content. Designed to support the needs of the patient and to foster an overall understanding of health-related topics. Covers all areas of health and wellness. Includes fact sheets and pamphlets, drug and herb information, alternative sources, and content from popular journals like Yoga Journal, Men’s Fitness, and Fit Pregnancy.
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Prescription Drugs: This online encyclopedia features entries on the most commonly prescribed drugs. It describes potential side effects, drug and food interactions, recommended dosages, and warnings and precautions.
  • Health Source: Consumer Edition: Contains content from consumer health magazines, current health-related pamphlets, and full-text health reference books.
  • Life and Career Skills Series: Health & Wellness: This eBook guides readers in making healthy choices about hygiene, diet, exercise, and medical care. It contains easy-to-understand information about healthcare coverage options and offers overviews of different types of available medical care, from general practitioners to alternative medicine and mental health providers.
  • MedicLatina: A collection of Spanish-language periodical content on health and wellness topics.

For these and other great health resources, visit http://lili.org/dbs/category/9.

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Three Simple Tips for Summer Food Safety

These three simple tips for summer food safety apply all year round! However they are especially important to keep in mind during the summer months when warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to flourish.

Use a Thermometer: A thermometer is the number one way to ensure that foods are cooked to the correct temperature to destroy germs that can cause food poisoning. The color of a food, like the inside of a hamburger, is not a reliable way to check that it has been cooked to the proper temperature.

  • Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures
    • Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3 minute rest time
    • Ground meats: 160 °F
    • Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165 °F

Keep ‘em Separated: …raw foods and cooked foods, that is! To prevent cross-contamination keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods in your refrigerator.  It is a best practice to keep raw foods on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so juices do not drip on any ready-to-eat food or produce. Never reuse items that have come in contact with raw meat or poultry for cooked food.  Always use clean plates and utensils when serving foods once they’re cooked.

Avoid the Danger Zone: Most bacteria grow rapidly between 40 °F and 140 °F. This temperature range is known as the “Danger Zone.” If left in the Danger Zone bacteria in food can reach dangerous levels. That is why it is important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Never let perishable foods sit out for more than two hours. In hot weather (above 90 °F), food should NEVER sit out for more than one hour.

More information and resources about summer food safety can be found at foodsafety.gov.

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Enter the Contest!

Healthy Choice

Eating healthy during the summer isn’t always easy – the days are long and families are on the go. Planning a healthy meal can take time away from all the fun. So, let’s make it easier! Do you have a favorite healthy summer recipe?

Share the recipe and its ingredients on this blog and you will automatically be entered into a drawing for one of four sets of two FREE tickets to Roaring Springs Waterpark in Meridian, ID. 

How to play:

Make sure you are registered and logged in to ChooseHealthMatters.com. If you are not already a registered user, please register in the right hand column. Click on the “register” button to get started.

Make a comment on this blog post by answering the question: “What is your favorite healthy summer recipe?”. Be sure to include the ingredients and any special instructions.

Winners will be drawn from all comments on Thursday, 8/8/13 @ 1:30 p.m., Mountain Time.

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Fatigued?

Fatigued

Of course I’m “fatigued” – isn’t everybody? I have a pretty good idea why and like most people, I just want to know how to fix it. Fatigue is a feeling of weariness, tiredness, or a lack of energy. Fatigue can often be traced to habits and routines…sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress, schedules, unrealistic expectations and on and on. So, how do you kick vigor back into life without making a major life change or upsetting everything? Check out these tips to boost energy levels. Two that always surprise me are relaxation and exercise. They seem so wrong when I am already dragging my wagon! Relaxation techniques – yoga, breathing, mindfulness – actually break the drain that anxiety has on your energy level. Movement and exercise boost energy. Another close link exists between the quality of your sleep and fatigue. For tips on getting a better night’s sleep, check out How’s Your Sleep?  Fight fatigue! check out 10 Ways to Reduce Stress and Revitalize Your Life.

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