Category Archives: Healthy Living

Intro to Composting: Free Smart Gardening Workshop

Shining With Kindness

By Kelli Gile

WALNUT, CA—Westhoff Elementary launched its Great Kindness Challenge with a “Wheel of Fortune” game show on January 24 starring grade level teams competing to solve word puzzles in three categories: Great Kindness Challenge, Shine, and Rock Garden.

Westhoff Elementary students join a “Wheel of Fortune” game show during the Great Kindness Challenge.

Counselor Erica Robledo performed as television host Pat Sajak during the interactive digital contest assisted by Student Council co-hosts and Elementary Learning Specialist Therapi Kaplan flipping letters in true Vanna White style.

Players took turns spinning the wheel and guessing letters of familiar phrases including Westhoff Shines, Smile at Others, The Golden Rule, Make A New Friend, Give a Compliment, Do Your Best, and more.

You are my sunshine! Westhoff Elementary unveils new rock garden during Great Kindness Challenge kickoff.

The kindness week kickoff also featured the unveiling of the new Westhoff Shines garden.

Six hundred rocks were painted bright yellow and then decorated by students and staff with powerful messages and affirmations aimed at inspiring kindness.

“We’re hoping the impact of this massive kindness movement will create a positive change throughout the school culture,” Robledo said.

“This will help decrease bullying and make kindness shine at Westhoff Elementary!”

Daily activities included students wearing nametags to encourage greeting each other by name, schoolwide Bingo, arts and crafts, and mindfulness exercises promoting the “Shining with Kindness” motto.

Westhoff Elementary’s new kindness rock garden features 600 inspiring messages written by students and staff.

On Thursday, students dressed in sunny colors and classes joined a kindness garden walkthrough taking a moment to read messages written on the rocks like “You are loved” and “Be the light when others are in the dark”.

On January 31, the final day of the challenge, youngsters journaled feelings about kindness, including how they felt about giving and receiving gifts of thoughtfulness.

Fifth grader Sienna Duong successfully completed a personal goal of smiling at 25 schoolmates during the challenge.

“I liked that we set aside a week that was all about kindness – it was really fun!”

“When I look at the rock garden it makes me feel happy inside because of all the kind messages everyone wrote,” added second grader Jolyn Yu.

Teachers and staff members were also observed performing random acts of kindness by inviting students into their classes, making conversations with youngsters sitting alone at lunch, and pulling together to help alleviate the burden of a sick team member.

“This week, Westhoff Elementary took on the Great Kindness Challenge to inspire others, never give up, encourage teamwork, and shine!” said Interim Principal Denise Rendon.

An Invitation for Wellness in 2020

By Nancy Stoops

Make 2020 the year you celebrate yourself.  I would like to extend two invitations to all of you. The first one is to join my new wellness website at and receive a new wellness message daily and lots of other wellness ideas as well. The second one is to attend the Taste of Wellness 2020 event sponsored by the city of Walnut This wonderful and free event will take place Saturday March 28, 2020 from 8a.m. till noon at the Walnut Senior Center located at 21215 La Puente Rd. in the city of Walnut.  Their phone number is (909) 598-6200 and all you have to do is call to reserve your spot today.  This event will offer classes on meditation, the myths of diets, proper stretching techniques, yoga, a sage burning ceremony and a free tea and snack bar. Midnight the therapy dog will be there to comfort your souls and make you smile. This will be the fourth wellness event.  For those of you that have attended before keep on coming back and invite everybody you know.  If this will be your first time attending a wellness event be prepared to be delighted!

              I can’t think of a better way to help you meet your goals then by attending an event that will teach you so many wonderful ways to embrace wellness into 2020!  I personally will be running two of the five workshops offered and would love for all of you readers to come out to this amazing opportunity to enhance your wellbeing. I’m very excited to share all the facets of my very healthy lifestyle that have served me so very well for my life.  I will be discussing so many common sense ways to help yourself and just feel better so you can all improve the very quality of your life.  I look forward to seeing all of you there and sharing all of the secrets that have provided me and my patients with a life of quality and joy!!!!!

This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Nancy is now accepting new clients.  She also works as a motivational speaker.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups for teens and can handle many court mandated needs.  For more information about any of these services contact Nancy at (909) 229-0727.  You may e-mail Nancy at You may purchase Nancy’s books Live Heal and Grow and Midnight the Therapy Dog at

Pastor's Corner: Meet the President

By Mark Hopper

Recently my wife and I were traveling to Texas to meet some friends in San Antonio. Our flight on Southwest airlines took us to Dallas first and then we waited at Love Field for our short flight to San Antonio. After we found our departure gate we noticed a familiar looking person in the waiting area. I had just seen his picture in the Southwest Airline magazine on our last flight. It was Gary Kelly – the president of Southwest. He was going on the same flight we were to San Antonio.

I wasn’t sure it was him until I introduced myself and my wife and asked if he really was Gary Kelly. He greeted us warmly and assured us he was the guy in the magazine and he was glad to take a picture with us. I told him we loved Southwest Airlines and we had been flying Southwest since the time it began in Dallas when I was a graduate student in Dallas in 1971. I enjoyed our brief conversation and told him how much we appreciated the way Southwest has personally helped us on several occasions. I told him we had recently flown on one of the new Southwest flights to Hawaii a few months ago.

He was very gracious and gave the credit to the airlines’ helpful employees. As we prepared to board our flight I noticed Gary and his wife were in line with all the other passengers. He did not request or expect special or preferential treatment. I suspect most of the passengers on our flight had no idea that the president of the airline was flying with us. I have enjoyed reading many of Gary’s articles in the Southwest magazine. Many times he has stressed Southwest’s philosophy of customer service. I am confident he models being a servant leader and putting the needs of others ahead of his own. There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Jesus did not come to be served but to serve others and give his life for us” (Mark 10:45). Let me encourage you to watch for opportunities to serve people around you – in your company, your community and on your school campus. They will be glad you did and you will too.

Autism Mom: Ice Cream

Columnist Melody Kramer, AKA: Autism Mom

By Melody Kramer

“Don’t let your ice cream melt by looking at someone else’s sprinkles” Wow, isn’t that the truth?

 When I heard this the other day,  it was so accurate. I am not sure there’s even a better way to describe not to be envious or jealous of someone’s blessings (sprinkles).
 I used to let my ice cream melt by counting other people’s “sprinkles.”

Having two boys on the spectrum,  it isn’t easy and adjusting to the autism world was something that wasn’t in my plans for my life.  I started to get envious of people conversing with their children. I use to wish that my child could talk with me and hold a conversation.

 I would see people playing with their children and think if I could only do that with my child.  I would see a group of kids playing, and get teary-eyed and think I wish my child could play with other kids like that.

 I spent a lot of time counting the sprinkles of others, but in the meantime, my ice cream was melting.

 One day I decided to look at the heavens above and prayed about it all. The answer came back to count my sprinkles and quit letting my ice cream melt!

My boys are loving, kind, happy, and they may not be able to do all the things out there, but it’s ok. They are uniquely made and have amazing qualities.
My sprinkles, my blessing from above, is precisely that, Blessings!  In no way would I  ever let my ice cream melt again by counting someone else’s sprinkles because I’ve got plenty of sprinkles on my ice cream.

“Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living.” Quote By: Rachel Marie Martin

Never let your ice-cream melt.

Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of Macaroni Kid Jurupa Valley-Eastvale and Autism Mom Adventures. For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email her at:

Sausage recalled due to metal contamination

Jimmy Dean sausage recalled due to metal contamination

9:58 AM EST December 11, 2018

Courtesy CNN

A popular breakfast sausage is taking itself off the menu. CTI Foods LLC, is recalling 29,028 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat poultry and pork sausage links after five people called the US Food Safety and Inspection Service to let them know they had found metal pieces in the sausage, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

The Owingsville, Kentucky-based company recalled the product Monday. There are no reports of anyone getting hurt by the metal, but the USDA said there are some concerns that some people may unknowingly still have the package in their freezers.

These packages were originally shipped to Tennessee and then distributed to retail stores.

If you think you have it in your freezer, look on the package for the code A6382168, with a time stamp range of 11:58 through 01:49. This is the 23.4-oz pouch that is called “Jimmy Dean Heat ‘n Serve Original Sausage Links Made with Pork & Turkey” with a “use by” date of January 31, 2019. It will also have “EST. 19085” on the back of the packaging.

The USDA suggests you throw the package away or return it to the store where you bought it.

If you have questions about the recall you can contact the Jimmy Dean customer service line at (855) 382-3101.

Life Insurance: What Everyone Needs to Know

Photo Courtesy: (c) SolisImages/

By Statepoint

No matter if you’re single or married, in your twenties or your forties, a parent or not, life insurance coverage is important in ways you may not realize, and costs less than you’d expect. And experts now stress that employer-sponsored coverage typically isn’t sufficient to cover most people’s needs.

“Living your best life comes with risks, but don’t let uncertainty deter you from buying a house, traveling or starting a business,” says Sean Scaturro, director of Life and Health Insurance Advice at USAA. “Take the necessary steps to protect loved ones from financial burden in the event of tragedy.”

Whether the money is used to replace your income, pay debts, pay for education or burial expenses, life insurance affords financial safety to loved ones.

Start Young

The 2018 Insurance Barometer Study published by Life Happens and LIMRA indicates that 44 percent of millennials overestimate the cost of life insurance by five times the actual amount and 42 percent believe they wouldn’t qualify. But, in reality, premiums are typically lowest when you’re younger, so it’s a smart decision to get some coverage, and reevaluate as life changes. For many young adults, student loans and housing costs sit atop the list of financial priorities. Without life insurance, the responsibility for these debts could fall to family members.

Mind the Gap

Just because you signed up for life insurance coverage through your employer doesn’t mean you’re adequately covered. Scaturro cites LIMRA data that shows that American households currently have a $200,000 life insurance needs gap. “If 60 percent of people have life insurance and 33 percent of those have group life insurance only, one in five people only have group coverage, which usually doesn’t provide enough,” he says.

Most employer-sponsored coverage provides either a set death benefit, such as $50,000, or a multiple of your base income, and many plans aren’t portable. That means, without a separate individual policy, it could be costly or too late to get coverage if you leave your job.

So, sign up for your employer’s low-cost or free life insurance, but don’t stop there. USAA believes you need enough life insurance to replace five years of your income, plus cover all debts. To determine how much coverage you need, take advantage of a free online calculator, like the one provided by USAA at

Protect Your Family

Families are especially vulnerable following the death of a primary wage earner. In fact, 35 percent of households would feel the financial impact within a month, according to research from LIMRA. That figure rises to nearly 50 percent at six months. How will your spouse pay for extra child care? Can they afford to keep the house? Will your children’s needs be covered?

Experts say that it’s important to review your life insurance needs, discuss them with your loved ones, speak to a financial professional and take action.

Dinner 2 Lunch: Cook it once, eat it twice!

Dinner- Sriracha Pork Chops

                Lunch- Banh Mi Sandwiches


By Hello Fresh


Servings: 4


Cooking Time: 40 mins, Nutrition: 610 Calories


Cooking Time: 5 mins, Nutrition: 500 Calories



  • Scallions- 4
  • Carrots- 2
  • Pork Chops- 36 oz
  • Soy Sauce- 4 tbsp
  • Sriracha- 10 tsp
  • Sugar Snap Peas- 12 oz
  • Sour Cream- 4 tbsp
  • Basmati Rice- 1 cup
  • White Wine Vinegar- 5 tsp
  • Thai Seasoning- 2 tbsp
  • Honey- 3 oz
  • Sesame Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Demi Baguettes- 2
  • Cilantro- 1/4 oz




1  PREHEAT, PREP AND COOK RICE    Wash and dry all produce. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim and thinly slice scallions, separating greens and whites. Melt 2 TBSP butter in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add ¾ cup water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then add rice. Cover, lower heat, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel carrots. Using your peeler, shave carrots lengthwise into ribbons over a medium bowl, rotating until you get to the cores; discard cores.


TOSS CARROTS AND SEAR PORK     Add vinegar and 1 tsp sugar to bowl with carrots, then season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and keep refrigerated until you prep lunch in the morning. In the meantime, heat a large drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Pat pork dry with a paper towel; season all over with salt, pepper, and Thai seasoning. Add to pan and cook until just browned, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to one side of a foil-lined baking sheet.


3 MAKE GLAZE      Add scallion whites to pan used for pork over medium-high heat. Cook until softened, about 30 seconds. Stir in soy sauce, honey, 1 TBSP water, and up to 4 tsp sriracha (to taste; save remainder for lunch). Scrape up any browned bits on bottom of pan. Let simmer until thick and sticky, about 2 minutes.

(TIP: If sauce gets too thick, stir in another 1-2 TBSP.) Remove pan from heat, then stir in sesame oil.


4  ROAST PORK AND SNAP PEAS      Trim any tough ends from snap peas, then place on empty side of baking sheet with pork. Toss with a large drizzle of oil and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Set aside ⅓ of the glaze in a small bowl and save for lunch. Brush top of pork with half the remaining glaze. Roast in oven on middle rack until snap peas are tender and pork reaches desired doneness, 7-10 minutes.


5  FINISH DINNER     Fluff rice with a fork, then stir in half the scallion greens. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between plates, then arrange 2 pork chops on top (save the others for lunch). Add snap peas to the side. Spoon remaining glaze over everything. Garnish with remaining scallion greens. Store remaining ingredients until you’re ready to prep lunch in the morning.



6  MAKE LUNCH The next morning, split baguettes lengthwise. Thinly slice reserved pork. Spread reserved glaze in bowl onto baguette bottoms, then arrange pork on top. Tear cilantro leaves from stems and lay carrots on top. Spread baguette tops with sour cream

and remaining sriracha and place on top to create sandwiches. Wrap up and keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

Unhappy Gut? Some People Suffer for Years Before Seeing a Doctor

By StatePoint

Abdominal pain? Diarrhea? An estimated 16 million Americans live with a type of irritable bowel syndrome called IBS-D (the D stands for diarrhea), and it affects both men and women almost equally. However, only 30 percent of individuals consult a physician about their symptoms.

Why is that?

“People who experience symptoms of IBS-D can feel like their symptoms are not severe enough to seek medical attention or that there isn’t anything doctors can do to help,” says Dr. Howard Franklin, vice president of medical affairs and strategy at Salix Pharmaceuticals. “But doctors want to hear about everything you are feeling so they can determine the underlying cause of your discomfort and help you find a treatment plan that is right for you.”

A closer look at IBS-D

Symptoms of IBS-D, which are different in everyone, include stomach pain and cramping, frequent diarrhea, gas, bloating and an urgency to use the bathroom. Many people experience feeling frustrated, missing out on activities because of symptoms and avoiding situations where there is no bathroom nearby.

IBS-D can be diagnosed based on symptom history, including:

• Abdominal pain at least one day a week during the last three months

• More than 25 percent of bowel movements are loose or watery (diarrhea), and less than 25 percent are hard or lumpy (constipation)

• Symptoms started at least six months ago

What could be the cause?

While the exact cause of IBS-D is unknown, and people may have IBS for more than one reason, an imbalance in the usual numbers and proportions of normally healthy bacteria in the digestive system (the gut microbiota) has been found in many people with IBS-D. The microbiota help digest and absorb food and work with the immune system as a barrier against other microorganisms that can cause disease.

“One study of 109 patients with IBS showed that 73 percent had an imbalance in their gut microbiota, compared with only 16 percent of healthy people,” says Dr. Franklin. “Other potential reasons may include previous gastrointestinal infection or food poisoning, communication problems between the brain and digestive system, a family history of IBS and other causes.”

Treatment options

There is currently no cure, but there are treatments that can help with the symptoms of IBS-D. Lifestyle changes, such as eliminating certain foods and increasing exercise, could help.

“Studies have shown that between 50 and 70 percent of patients failed to respond to either fiber or antispasmodics as a treatment therapy,” says Dr. Franklin. “There are different types of prescription treatments for IBS-D. If one isn’t working, it’s important that patients ask their healthcare professional about trying a different medicine to find what treatment is right for them.”

For more information, visit

If you’re experiencing symptoms of IBS-D, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about all of them. This is the first step toward helping find a treatment plan and getting relief.

Ginger Beef Stir-Fry

with Snappy Asparagus


By Hello Fresh


Cooking Time: 30 mins

Servings: 4

Nutrition: 610 Calories



  • Asparagus- 12 oz
  • Garlic- 4 cloves
  • Scallions- 4
  • Ginger- 2 thumbs
  • Basmati Rice- 1 1/2 cups
  • Soy Sauce- 2 tbsp
  • Hoisin Sauce- 4 tbsp
  • Sirloin Steak Tips- 24 oz
  • White Sesame Seeds- 2 tbsp



1  PREP.    Wash and dry all produce. Bring 1½ cups water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small pot. Trim and discard bottom inch from asparagus, then cut stalks into 2-inch pieces. Mince or grate garlic. Trim and thinly slice scallions. Peel and mince ginger.


COOK RICE.     Once water is boiling, add rice to pot, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered.


3 MAKE SAUCE.       Meanwhile, whisk together garlic, ginger, soy sauce, 1 TBSP water, and 2 TBSP hoisin sauce in a small bowl.


4  SEAR STEAK.       Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Pat steak tips dry with a paper towel, then season with salt and pepper. Add to pan and toss until nearly cooked to desired doneness, 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.


5  MAKE STIR-FRY.     Add asparagus and scallions to same pan over medium heat. (TIP: If veggies seem dry, add a drizzle of oil.) Cook until tender but still crunchy, 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add steak tips and sauce to pan and cook until sauce is thickened and meat reaches desired doneness, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


6  FINISH AND PLATE.     Fluff rice with a fork. Divide between plates, then top with stir-fry and garnish with sesame seeds.

Forget Calorie Counting: New Guidelines for Losing Weight

By StatePoint

For years, the general wisdom was that the only scientifically proven way to shed pounds and inches was to consume fewer calories than one burned each day. Unfortunately, that formula doesn’t work for everybody. Why? Experts say that this is because successful weight loss is associated with a wider range of factors.

“Gaining control of your weight is more complex than the ‘calories in/calories out’ approach that so many dieters subscribe to,” says Margie Adelman, president of Simplipur, a maker of dietary supplements. “Now research shows that powerful factors regulate weight, and that understanding those factors can help you reach your goals.”

According to Adelman, these are clinically proven actions that promote fat loss, which every dieter should know about:

• Rethink your goals. In dieting, your number one goal shouldn’t be to lose pounds but rather to increase your lean body mass. Healthy weight loss is all about burning energy, and the leaner your body mass, the more energy you can burn. It’s by “building lean” that you will lose fat.

• De-stress. Stress triggers a “fight or flight” response, during which the body produces adrenaline that mobilizes stored fuel so you can run away or pick up a stick and fight. That fuel is stolen from muscles and organs, tearing down lean body mass, as well as leaving energy in the bloodstream that the body converts to fat if it’s not used.

To bust stress, first recognize its source and takes steps to manage it. Before going to bed, try relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises. Take a walk or do jumping jacks; find a way to discharge the nervous energy pumped into your bloodstream, so it won’t be stored as fat while you sleep.

• Sleep well. Jealously guard sleep time and don’t let anything interfere with it. The deep sleep states are when anabolic processes take over to build lean body mass, so high-quality, undisturbed sleep is essential. Your bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet. If you need white noise, make sure that it’s constant and not irritating.

• Get exercise and make it fun. Exercise builds lean body mass, so get plenty of it. But make sure it’s something fun so you’ll enjoy it and keep up the habit.

• Eat right. Low carb diets like the Paleo Diet, which feature a wide variety of protein sources, fruits, veggies and healthy fats, have the best profile for losing body fat while building lean body tissue and are much healthier than low-calorie diets. Remember that lean body tissue is made from protein, so if you want to “build the lean” eat plenty of protein. You may also want to consider incorporating a dietary supplement into your routine, such as Lean 2.0 Weight Management, which supports fat loss and helps you increase lean body mass by working directly with your metabolism.

For more information, visit or call (800) 809-8351 for more information.

To get serious about weight loss and reduce body fat, move beyond the old way of thinking. For best results, incorporate dieting principles based on new scientific research.

Sweet ‘N’ Smoky Chicken Cutlets

with Cherry Ancho Barbecue Sauce, Green Beans, and Pineapple Rice


By Hello Fresh


Cooking Time: 30 mins

Servings: 4

Nutrition: 640 Calories



  • Chicken Cutlets- 20 oz
  • Ancho Chili Powder- 2 tsp
  • Scallions- 4
  • Pineapple- 8 oz
  • Thai Chili- 1
  • Basmati Rice- 1 cup
  • Sweet and Smoky Barbecue Seasoning- 2 tbsp
  • Cherry Jam- 4 tbsp
  • White Wine Vinegar- 5 tsp
  • Green Beans- 12 oz
  • Chicken Stock Concentrates- 2


1  PREP   Wash and dry all produce. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Season all over with salt, pepper, and half the chili powder (1 packet). Trim, then thinly slice scallions, separating greens and whites. Drain pineapple over a small bowl, reserving juice. Halve Thai chili lengthwise, then thinly slice. TIP: Remove the ribs and seeds for less heat and wash your hands after handling.


COOK RICE     Melt 2 tbsp butter in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add pineapple chunks and scallion whites. Cook, tossing occasionally, until just softened, about 1 minute. Stir in rice, 1¾ cups water, and salt and pepper. Let come to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender, 12-15 minutes, then let stand off heat, covered, for about 5 minutes.


3  COOK CHICKEN.       Heat a large drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat (we used nonstick). Add chicken and cook until browned on bottom, 5-6 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on other side, 3-4 minutes more. Meanwhile, add barbecue seasoning, jam, remaining chili powder, 1 tsp sugar, and vinegar to pineapple juice in bowl and stir to combine.


4  COOK GREEN BEANS      Place green beans in a medium microwave-safe bowl with 2 TBSP water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in wrap. Microwave on high until tender but still bright green and a little crisp, 2-3 minutes. Drain and toss with 2 TBSP butter. Season with salt and pepper.


5  MAKE SAUCE.     Once chicken is browned on both sides, add jam mixture and stock concentrates to same pan. Flip chicken to coat all over. Let jam and stock mixture simmer until thick and glaze-like, 1-2 minutes. (TIP: It’s ready when it coats the back of a spoon.) Remove pan from heat and add 1 TBSP butter, stirring to melt. Season with salt and pepper.


6  PLATE AND SERVE.    Fluff rice with a fork, the divide between plates along with chicken and green beans. Drizzle any remaining glaze in pan over chicken. Garnish with scallion greens. Sprinkle Thai chili over chicken (to taste—leave it off the kids’ plates).

Double Decker Cheddar Burgers

with Sriracha Lime Mayo and Sweet Potato Wedges

By Hello Fresh


Cooking Time: 35 mins

Servings: 4

Nutrition: 930 Calories



  • Dill Pickle- 1
  • Garlic- 1 Clove
  • Red Onion- 1
  • Beefsteak Tomato- 1
  • Sweet Potatoes- 18 oz
  • Fry Seasoning- 2 tbsp
  • Lime- 1
  • Heinz Real Mayonnaise- 4 tbsp
  • Sour Cream- 6 tbsp
  • Sriracha- 2 tsp
  • Ground Beef- 20 oz
  • Cheddar Cheese- 4 slices
  • Brioche Buns- 4


1  PREHEAT AND  PREP   Wash and dry all produce. Adjust rack to center position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Thinly slice pickle; mince a few slices until you have 1 TBSP. Finely grate 1 clove garlic (use the other as you like). Halve and peel onion. Thinly slice one half; grate other half until you have 2 TBSP (save the rest for another use). Slice tomato into rounds.


ROAST SWEET POTATOES     Cut sweet potatoes into 3-inch long and ½-inch-thick wedges. Toss on a baking sheet with a large drizzle of olive oil, 1 TBSP fry seasoning (save the rest for step 4), and a few large pinches of salt and pepper. Roast in oven until tender and browned, about 20 minutes.


3 MAKE SAUCE      Meanwhile, zest ½ tsp zest from lime and place in a small bowl. Halve lime and squeeze 1 tsp juice into same bowl, then add Heinz mayonnaise, sour cream, minced pickle, and ½ tsp sugar. Stir to combine. Add sriracha to taste (it’s spicy). Season with salt and set aside.


4  SHAPE PATTIES    In a large bowl, mix together beef, grated garlic, grated onion, remaining fry seasoning, and a few large pinches of salt and pepper. Divide into 8 pieces and shape each into a thin, flat patty that’s 2½- to 3-inches wide.


5  COOK BURGERS    Heat a larg e drizzle of olive oil in grated garlic, grated onion, remaining fry seasoning, and a few large pinches of salt and pepper. Divide into 8 pieces and shape each into a thin, flat patty that’s 2½- to 3-inches wide.


6  ASSEMBLE AND SERVE     Split buns in half. (TIP: If you’d like toast them in a toaster or in the oven.) Spread a little bit of sauce onto top halves of buns. Place stacked patties on bottom halves of buns, then top with tomato, sliced onion, and sliced pickle. Serve with sweet potatoes on the side and remaining sauce for dipping.

What Parents Should Know About Their Child’s Eye Health

By StatePoint

Parents know that seeing clearly is important for their kid’s success in the classroom, but many are not taking their child to get annual eye exams. This is a problem because many kids don’t know what seeing clearly looks like.

According to a recent study by VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits provider in the U.S., and market research agency YouGov, eight-in-10 parents (83 percent) agree that a regular eye exam helps kids do their best in school, but four-in-10 (41 percent) wait until their child complains about their vision to schedule an eye exam.

Clear vision is not only important for academic performance, but also for sports and everyday tasks. That’s why a comprehensive eye exam is so important for children. Early detection and treatment provide the opportunity to correct vision problems.

Here are some guidelines to ensure you’re taking care of your child’s eyes properly.

• Watch for signs that indicate a vision problem. Common signals include covering one eye, holding reading materials close to the face, a short attention span and complaining of headaches or other discomfort. Parents need to look for these signs, as many kids, not knowing what seeing clearly looks like, won’t complain.

• First eye exam should be done at six months of age. Most parents don’t know that children should have their first eye exam when they’re only six months old! This is particularly important, as experts say as much as 80 percent of learning is done visually.

• An eye exam can detect early signs of health issues like diabetes. More kids than ever before are developing type 2 diabetes in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An easy way to help detect early signs of diabetes in kids and better manage the condition is through annual comprehensive eye exams.

• Don’t underestimate the importance of eye exams. Yearly trips to the eye doctor are as important as annual visits to pediatricians or dentists. Don’t just assume all is well if your child is not squinting or complaining about his or her eyes. Because vision may change frequently during childhood years, regular eye and vision care becomes even more important. Your child should receive a comprehensive eye exam every year, or more frequently if specific problems or risk factors exist or if recommended by your eye doctor.

• Eye protection during sports and outdoor activities. Playing sports is important for your child’s overall development, however, thousands of children suffer sports-related eye injuries each year, nearly all of which could be prevented by using the proper protective eyewear. That is why it is essential that all children wear appropriate, protective eyewear whenever playing sports or when performing any outdoor activities, such as lawn mowing and trimming.

To find an eye doctor near you, visit

Taking care of your child’s eyes while they are young will help them perform their best in and out of the classroom and will set them up for a lifetime of success.

Moroccan Chicken Sausage Tagine

with Dried Apricots and Chickpeas over Couscous


By Hello Fresh


Cooking Time: 35 mins

Servings: 4

Nutrition: 930 Calories



  • Shallot- 2
  • Garlic- 4 cloves
  • Carrots- 4
  • Roma Tomato- 2
  • Dried Apricots- 2 oz
  • Cilantro- 1/2 oz
  • Chickpeas- 26.8 oz

Chicken Stock Concentrates- 4

  • Couscous- 1 cup

Italian Chicken Sausage Meat- 18 oz

  • Turkish Spice Blend- 2 tbsp
  • Sour Cream- 4 tbsp
  • Hot Sauce- 2 tsp
  • Lemon Juice- 4 packs


1  PREP    Wash and dry all produce. Halve, peel, and mince shallot. Mince or grate garlic. Peel carrots, then thinly slice on an angle. Dice tomato. Roughly chop apricots. Finely chop cilantro. Drain and rinse chickpeas.


COOK COUSCOUS     Heat a drizzle of oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add

half the shallot and half the garlic. Cook, stirring, until just softened, 1-3 minutes. Stir in ¾ cup water, 1 stock concentrate, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then add couscous. Cover, remove from heat, and set aside.


3 COOK SAUSAGE       Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and half the Turkish spice, breaking up meat into pieces. Cook, tossing occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.


4  COOK CHICKPEAS AND VEGGIES      Heat a large drizzle of oil in same pan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and chickpeas. Cook until veggies soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add a large pinch of salt and all of the remaining shallot, garlic, and Turkish spice. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together ⅓ cup water and remaining stock concentrate in a small bowl.


5  SIMMER TAGINE AND MAKE CREMA     Pour stock mixture into pan. Stir in sausage and tomato. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover pan. (TIP: Use a piece of aluminum foil to cover your pan if it doesn’t have a lid.) Cook until liquid is slightly reduced, 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, in another small bowl, mix sour cream, hot sauce (to taste), and a pinch of salt. Add water 1 tsp at a time until mixture has a drizzling consistency.

6  FINISH AND SERVE.     Fluff couscous with a fork, then stir in 1 TBSP butter, a dash of lemon juice (to taste), and half the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between plates. Top with sausage and chickpea mixture from pan. Drizzle with crema. Garnish with remaining cilantro and apricots.

How New Technology is Helping Children Cope with Cancer

By StatePoint

One of the toughest aspects of managing cancer in children is communicating with young patients, say parents and healthcare experts.

“There were many times when my daughter did not want to talk or communicate her feelings,” says Joycelynn Sanchez of now 6-year-old Jiani, who at age 3, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “She grew tired of the pokes and the questions and would become withdrawn.”

Fortunately, many parents and doctors are finding that new technology can help young patients like Jiani better communicate their feelings and manage their condition. For example, My Special Aflac Duck, a creation of Aflac, an insurance industry leader, and Sproutel, a research and development workshop, is an award-winning smart companion that nuzzles, quacks and dances with the lifelike movement of a real duckling. While entertaining, it’s not a toy. It’s specifically designed to help comfort, teach and empower young patients as they go through their journey with cancer, reflecting the belief that children need more than medicine to cope with the stress and loneliness that often come with their disease.

“On average, childhood cancer treatment lasts more than 1,000 days,” says Aaron Horowitz, CEO and co-founder of Sproutel. “We thought there must be a way to help alleviate some of the burden.”

Using the new companion technology, children can communicate their emotions by tapping colorful emoji cards to a sensor on the duck’s chest. Tap an emoji with a happy expression and it responds with delighted quacking. Choose the sad face and it lowers its head and sighs. Children can mirror their care routines through a compatible web-based app, including medical play and feeding and bathing their duck via augmented reality. It also dances, quacks, and nuzzles to help distract and calm them. Its exterior can even be removed, washed and sanitized.

Creation of the comforting companion is an extension of Aflac’s 22-year, $122 million commitment to childhood cancer causes. Their goal is to provide this feathered friend free of charge to all newly diagnosed children, nearly 16,000 each year according to the National Cancer Institute. Distribution, targeted to begin this coming winter, will be through hospitals, and the robotic duck will not be for general consumer sale.

Jiani’s treatment, which lasted three years and included various chemotherapies, as well as countless spinal taps and antibiotics, was completed in December 2017. “There were some tough times, but through it all, she was a champion,” says Sanchez. “Knowing tough times for other children with cancer may be made a little easier with the help of technology makes me very happy.”

Quick Beef Ragu Spaghetti

with Zucchini and Italian Sausage


By Hello Fresh


Cooking Time: 30 mins

Servings: 4

Nutrition: 770 Calories



  • Zucchini- 2
  • Yellow Onions- 2
  • Garlic- 4 cloves
  • Thyme- 1/4 oz
  • Ground Beef- 20 oz
  • Italian Seasoning- 1 tbsp
  • Soy Sauce- 4 tbsp
  • Spaghetti – 12 oz
  • Crushed Tomatoes- 2 boxes
  • Parmesan Cheese – 1/2 cup
  • Chili Flakes- 1 tsp


1  PREP.    Wash and dry all produce. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Quarter zucchini lengthwise, then cut into ½-inch-thick pieces. Halve, peel, and dice onions. Mince garlic. Strip thyme leaves from stems; discard stems. Roughly chop leaves.


COOK BEEF.    Heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add beef, breaking up meat into pieces. Cook, tossing, until browned but not yet cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


3 START RAGU.       Add onions and zucchini to pan with beef. Cook, tossing, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, Italian seasoning, and soy sauce. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


4  COOK SPAGHETTI.      Once water is boiling, add spaghetti to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Carefully scoop out and reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain.


5  SIMMER RAGU.     Add tomatoes and reserved pasta cooking water to pan with beef and veggies. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until thick and saucy, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. TIP: If you have time, let the ragù simmer longer. It’ll just get better!


6  TOSS AND SERVE.     Add spaghetti to pan with ragu and toss to combine. Divide everything between plates, then sprinkle with Parmesan and chili flakes (to taste—you may want to leave them out for the kids).

4 Surprising Insights Into Life With Parkinson’s Disease

By StatePoint

Over 1 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease (PD), and while some symptoms are easier to see, such as tremors, stiffness and slowness of movement, there are a range of harder-to-detect non-movement symptoms that can have an impact on daily life.

Recently, the Parkinson & Movement Disorder Alliance (PMDAlliance), a non-profit organization offering programming for those in the Parkinson’s disease community, surveyed over 650 people with PD as well as care partners to better understand how non-movement symptoms impact their lives and quality of life.

Here are some of their findings and insights:

1. Parkinson’s disease affects more than motor function. Every person with Parkinson’s disease may experience different symptoms, both motor and non-movement related.

In fact, nearly all (90 percent) of survey respondents experienced non-movement symptoms, such as:

• Sleep problems (84 percent)

• Cognitive challenges (75 percent)

• Anxiety (65 percent)

• Depression (55 percent)

• Hallucinations (41 percent)

• Delusions (24 percent)

2. Non-movement symptoms can be more challenging than motor symptoms. Of those who experienced, or reported that their loved one experienced, non-movement symptoms, 84 percent felt that they have a negative impact on quality of life, and about half rated them as more challenging or much more challenging to live with than movement symptoms.

In a survey question about their Parkinson’s experience, one care partner said, “I wish [other people] knew that Parkinson’s looks different in different people. My spouse’s motor symptoms are fairly well controlled, but his REM sleep disorder and dementia have made our lives incredibly challenging and exhausting.”

3. Daily living is impacted by hard-to-see symptoms. Parkinson’s disease changes how patients and their care partners think about the future and cope with day-to-day living.

In fact, non-movement symptoms negatively impacted the ability to:

• Sleep (84 percent)

• Plan for future events (76 percent)

• Socialize (71 percent)

• Make plans with family and friends (70 percent)

• Be intimate with their partner (68 percent)

• Complete household chores (68 percent)

• Run errands (67 percent)

When people with Parkinson’s experience non-movement symptoms, care partners are impacted, too. In fact, psychosis symptoms in patients with PD are a strong predictor of increased care partner burden, and those with hallucinations have a 2.5-fold greater risk for nursing home admission.

4. Reporting symptoms is crucial. Even though non-movement symptoms are common, they are rarely reported. For example, more than half of patients will experience hallucinations or delusions associated with Parkinson’s over the course of their disease, however, only 10-20 percent of patients and care partners voluntarily report these symptoms to their doctors.

It’s important to report all symptoms to a doctor (usually a neurologist), as there are many different treatment options to address both motor and non-movement symptoms.

“Those with Parkinson’s and their families are not alone. Talking to your doctor is just the start of getting support and treatment,” says Sarah Jones, CEO of PMDAlliance. “We urge the entire Parkinson’s community to continue initiating conversations about symptoms, especially the non-movement ones that greatly impact day-to-day living.”

New educational resources about the onset and impact of non-movement symptoms of Parkinson’s can be found by visiting and

The survey was sponsored by ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.

National Preparedness Month: Keep Your Family Safe in an Emergency

By StatePoint

September is National Preparedness Month, and with wildfires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes occurring around the world, having access to safe drinking water in the event of an emergency should be top of mind no matter where you live.

Natural disasters can contaminate and disrupt water supplies, making it difficult to access safe drinking water at home. Emergencies also force families out of their homes, making it necessary to hydrate from natural water resources where harmful contaminants like bacteria, chemicals, microplastics and heavy metals may be present.

“The everyday public health concern of water contamination is elevated during emergencies, when water can be unreliable for drinking,” says Alison Hill, managing director of LifeStraw, a manufacturer of water filtration systems that is often involved in disaster relief both in the U.S, and around the globe.

“If an emergency has your family on the move, being able to hydrate safely from any fresh water source — fountains, streams, rivers and ponds is key,” points out Hill.

When building your emergency supply kit, be sure to include a portable filter to help eliminate harmful contaminants from your drinking source.

LifeStraw makes it easy to hydrate safely at home and outdoors. LifeStraw Go is a refillable bottle that incorporates a two-stage filter removing bacteria, chemicals, microplastics and bad taste from drinking water. Another good option for personal use is LifeStraw Flex, a multi-use filter that removes heavy metals including lead as well as bacteria and parasites. Finally, those traveling in groups may find it more efficient to use a filter specifically designed for a crowd, such as the brand’s Mission model, a high-volume gravity-powered purifier that also filters viruses, available in a 12-liter compact roll bag.

Being prepared for any situation will help keep your family safe and healthy, for whatever comes your way. This National Preparedness Month, gain the confidence of knowing that you will have access to safe water for days, weeks and even months should your water supply be compromised by a natural disaster or other emergency.

Rapid Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli

with Yakisoba Noodles


By Hello Fresh


Cooking Time: 20 mins

Servings: 4

Nutrition: 788 Calories



  • Scallions- 4
  • Garlic- 4 cloves
  • Ginger- 1 thumb
  • Sesame Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Ketchup- 1 tbsp
  • Soy Sauce- 2 tbsp
  • Hoisin- 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Broccoli Florets- 8 oz
  • Sirloin Steak Tips- 12 oz
  • Cornstarch- 1 tbsp
  • Yakisoba Noodles- 8 oz
  • Sriracha- 1 tsp


1  PREP AND MAKE SAUCE  Wash and dry all produce. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Trim and thinly slice scallions. Mince or grate garlic. Peel and mince ginger. Whisk together sesame oil, 1 TBSP ketchup, soy sauce, 1½ TBSP hoisin sauce, and 1 TBSP water in a small bowl.


COOK BROCCOLI     Add broccoli to boiling water and cook until tender but still crisp, 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.


3 COOK BEEF     Toss steak tips with cornstarch in a large bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large drizzle of oil in a large pan over high heat. (TIP: If you have a nonstick pan, break it out.) Toss in steak tips and cook to desired doneness, 3-4 minutes. Remove and set aside.


4  COOK AROMATICS AND NOODLES      Heat a drizzle of oil in same pan over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions and cook until fragrant, 1 minute, tossing. Toss in half the noodles from the package (we sent more) and a drizzle of oil. Break up noodles until they no longer stick together, using tongs or two wooden spoons.


5  STEAM NOODLES    Pour in 1 cup water, cover, and steam until noodles are tender, 3 minutes.  (TIP:

If your pan doesn’t have a lid, carefully cover it with aluminum foil.) Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and toss until noodles are tender, 3-4 minutes. Add sauce and toss to coat. Cook until sauce is thickened, 1 minute.


6  FINISH AND SERVE.     Toss broccoli and steak into noodles to warm through. Season with as much sriracha as you like (careful, it’s spicy). Season with salt and pepper. Divide between plates and serve.