The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Victoria Alwin

Safe Habits

Nutrition Corner


The summer has unofficially started and the heat is upon us. Now is the time to be more active and more careful. Many of us use the warmer weather to re-start the exercise programs we resolved to have in January or look to salads and lighter foods to lose weight. With these activities, there needs to be more caution taken.

When increasing, changing or especially beginning a new exercise program, start with talking to your doctor. While I think exercise is good for everyone, talking to your doctor before you start anything new, is always a good idea. You wouldn’t walk through an unknown, overgrown yard without trying to find out if there was poison ivy, snakes or other unknown predators lurking. The same can be said about exercising or changing your diet without at least mentioning it to your healthcare provider.

Once you start your summer activities, remember to listen to your body. The old expression “No pain, no gain” is exactly that…old. Pain is a signal your body is sending you to behave, not to ignore it. If you know your body well enough, you should know if the discomfort you feel is soreness from using out-of-shape muscles or something new.

Think about it: soreness comes after the exercise, not during it. Also, mind the temperatures and your sweating. Think about what happens to your car when it gets overheated or lacks radiator fluid. Whether it is your car or your body, neither is fun to experience. The point of being active this time of year is to actually enjoy this time of year, not to be benched early on because of an injury.

This is also the time of year to be more careful of your food choices and habits. The general rule is that food can be at room temperature (75 degrees F) for no more than 2 hours, less if it is warmer. Considering that we have the technology available to keep anything hot or cold for hours, why take the chance? Anything containing eggs or dairy (cooked eggs, mayonnaise, milk, and yogurt) should be kept cold as much as possible or not eaten at all.

While it seems easier to thaw foods outside the refrigerator during the warmth of summer, it is also a better way to grow bacteria that will make your life miserable. Freezing does not kill bacteria, just makes them sleep better. Thaw all foods IN the refrigerator, not outside of it.

Heat also changes the validity of expiration dates.

Milk, if kept properly cold at all times, has been known to last ten days after the expiration date. However, if allowed to get warm too long or too often, milk can spoil sooner than the date on the carton. Same with raw meats or anything with an expiration date. Your best friend is still your nose and taste buds. Remember this mantra: When in doubt, throw it out. Otherwise say “Hi” to your porcelain goddess.


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