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Shelf Life Terminology 

18 Sep


When you have to eat your food by can be very confusing so lets break down shelf life terminology!


This is a guideline for stores to be certain whether or not a food will look good. It has very little to do with whether a food is safe to eat.

Best Before/If Used By

A general indicator of a food’s look and flavor, but not necessarily an indicator of whether a food is safe to eat.

Use By/Expiration Date

This is the most important label for food safety! If you consume a food past a “use by” date you are taking a risk for catching a foodborne illness.

Food Safety Q & A with HAWA’s Nutritionist

11 Sep


Q: Where does food safety begin?

A: Food safety really begins with grocery shopping. The best approach is to save your refrigerated items (dairy, meat, eggs) until the end so they don’t sit in your cart and warm up. It is also important to quickly get them into the refrigerator or freezer once home!

Q: When you do meal prep, how do you practice food safety?

A: First and foremost, use different utensils and cutting boards for meat and vegetables! Never use the same knife or board you cut raw meat with to cut your vegetables. I always wash my meat cutting board immediately, and sanitize the counter space around it. Wash your hands frequently as well before touching anything else.

Q: How do you store your prepped food in the fridge?

A: I prefer to keep my meats away from my veggies, even if it is a mixed dish. I do this for two different reasons: 1, they have different shelf lives and 2, they heat up differently and to different temperatures. 

For more fun and helpful tips, or general nutrition inquiries, visit your HAWA Member Dashboard and schedule a consultation with Valerie today!

Foodborne Illness

4 Sep


Each year, 48 million people in the U.S. get sick from contaminated food. Common culprits include bacteria, parasites and viruses. Symptoms range from mild to serious.

They include:

• Abdominal cramps
• Nausea and vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Fever
• Dehydration

Harmful bacteria are the most common cause of foodborne illness. Foods may have some bacteria on them when you buy them. Raw meat may become contaminated during slaughter. Fruits and vegetables may become contaminated when they are growing or when they are processed. But it can also happen in your kitchen if you leave food out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. Handling food safely can help prevent foodborne illnesses.

The treatment in most cases is increasing your fluid intake. For more serious illness, you may need treatment at a hospital.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Annual Physical

21 Aug


Everyone should make an appointment to see their primary physician every year. It is one of the best and easiest ways for adults to keep themselves healthy. Your primary physician can make sure you get recommended exams, screenings and immunizations. Screenings are designed to help detect some diseases in their early, most treatable stages. Prior to attending your annual physical, it is helpful to have the results of your yearly HAWA HealthPoint Check-Up. Your doctor can use these results to help ensure you get the most out of your appointment.

By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. Your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices (what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), and other important factors, impact what and how often you need healthcare.

Another benefit of getting an annual physical is to help you maintain a relationship with your provider in case you do get sick. When you have a good relationship with you provider, he or she will be able to encourage healthy behaviors that relate to your lifestyle, and will have a better idea of what health risks you may have.

Dental Check Up

14 Aug


According to the American Dental Association, everyone should have a dental cleaning every 6 months. You should also notify your doctor if you have one of the following problems:

– Gums that bleed during brushing and flossing

– Red, swollen or tender gums

– Gums that have pulled away from your teeth

– Persistent bad breath

– A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

– A change in the fit of a partial denture

Like most of your body, your mouth also has bacteria in it. It is important to have good dental care to prevent this bacteria from causing problems. Also, many medications may cause you to not make as much saliva. Saliva is an important part of keeping teeth clean by washing away food and bacteria from your teeth. People with diabetes and pregnant women need to be even more cautious about keeping good oral health.

In between your dental cleanings, it is important to brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and clean between your teeth daily, with floss. Limit the intake of sugary snacks, and do not smoke or chew tobacco.

Be Proactive and Prepared

7 Aug

Doctor greating patient

It can be easy to put your doctor appointments aside when life gets busy and you feel healthy, or maybe you’ve moved and no longer have the same doctors reminding you to make appointments. August’s newsletter is about becoming proactive and finding the time to make your health a priority.

When you attend your doctor appointments, how you communicate with each other is one of the most important parts of getting good healthcare. Being prepared can help make the most of your visit. Here are some things you can bring:

– Lists of your concerns, allergies and all the medicines, herbs, or vitamins you take
– A copy of your most recent HAWA HealthPoint Check-Up results
– A description of your symptoms, when they started and what makes them better
– A trusted friend or family member
– A way to take notes during your appointment

Make sure you understand your diagnosis and any treatments. Ask your healthcare provider to write down his or her instructions to you. If you still have trouble understanding, ask where you can go for more information.

Learn to Manage Stress

1 Aug


We all feel stress at one time or another. It’s a normal and healthy reaction to change or a challenge. But stress that goes on for more than a few weeks can affect your health. Keep stress from making you sick by learning healthy ways to manage it.


The first step in managing stress is recognizing it in your life. Everyone feels stress in a different way. You may get angry or irritable, lose sleep, or have headaches or stomach upset. What are your signs of stress? Once you know what signals to look for, you can start to manage it.

Also identify the situations that cause you stress. These are called stressors. Your stressors could be family, work, relationships, money, or health problems. Once you understand where your stress is coming from, you can come up with ways to deal with your stressors.


When you feel stressed, you may fall back on unhealthy behaviors to help you relax. These may include:

Eating too much
Smoking cigarettes
Drinking alcohol or using drugs
Sleeping too much or not sleeping enough
These behaviors may help you feel better at first, but they may hurt you more than they help. Instead, use the tips below to find healthy ways to reduce your stress.


There are many healthy ways to manage stress. Try a few and see which ones work best for you.

Recognize the things you can’t change. Accepting that you can’t change certain things allows you to let go and not get upset. For instance, you cannot change the fact that you have to drive during rush hour. But you can look for ways to relax during your commute, such as listening to a podcast or book.

Avoid stressful situations. When you can, remove yourself from the source of stress.

Get exercise. Getting physical activity every day is one of the easiest and best ways to cope with stress. When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals that make you feel good. It can also help you release built-up energy or frustration. Find something you enjoy, whether it is walking, cycling, softball, swimming, or dancing, and do it for at least 30 minutes on most days.

Change your outlook. Try to develop a more positive attitude toward challenges. You can do this by replacing negative thoughts with more positive ones. For example, rather than thinking, “Why does everything always go wrong?” change this thought to, “I can find a way to get through this.” It may seem hard or silly at first, but with practice, you may find it helps turn your outlook around.

Do something you enjoy. When stress has you down, do something you enjoy to help pick you up. It could be as simple as reading a good book, listening to music, watching a favorite movie, or having dinner with a friend. Or, take up a new hobby or class.

Whatever you choose, try to do at least one thing a day that’s just for you.
Learn new ways to relax. Practicing relaxation techniques is a great way to handle daily stress. Relaxation techniques help slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. There are many types, from deep breathing and meditation to yoga and tai chi. Take a class, or try learning from books, videos, or online sources.

Connect with loved ones. Do not let stress get in the way of being social. Spending time with family and friends can help you feel better and forget about your stress. Confiding in a friend may also help you work out your problems.

Get enough sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep can help you think more clearly and have more energy. This will make it easier to handle any problems that crop up. Aim for about 7 to 9 hours each night.

Eat a healthy diet. Eating healthy foods helps fuel your body and mind. Skip the high-sugar snack foods and load up on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy, and lean proteins.

Learn to say no. If your stress comes from taking on too much at home or work, learn to set limits. Ask others for help when you need it.

Article Posted by: MedlinePlus