Cranberries the Super Food

When I think of Cranberries, I think of cranberry juice but did you know there’s so many other uses for them! They were first used by Native Americans for food, medicine, and a symbol of peace. Commonly, the berries were pounded into a paste and mixed with dried meats.  

• Cranberries are thought to be part of the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621. They were commonly used for red dye by the Indians and early American settlers.  

• Did you know that Wisconsin is Cranberry Capital of the World!  Wisconsin produces 60% of the 700 million pounds of cranberries grown in the United States. 

When choosing what kind of cranberries you want, keep these things in mind! Fresh cranberries are usually only found in the fall and winter and come bagged.  

• Look for cranberries that are bright red, plump, hard, and shiny.  

• Pick out any berries that are shriveled, soft, spongy, or brown. • Cranberries are at their peak in November, just in time for Thanksgiving!  

• When cranberries are not in season, they can be enjoyed canned, frozen, dried, or as juice. 

How should you use your cranberries? Cranberries can be used in juice, sprinkled on salads, paired with other fruits and vegetables to enhance flavor; made into a sauce to compliment poultry and other meats; incorporated into breads, muffins, pancakes and scones; sprinkled on yogurt or cereal; jellied, canned, frozen, or dried.  

• Cranberries can be used as the main ingredient but they are more often used as an accent flavoring to other foods.  

• Cranberries can be substituted for dried cherries, currants, or raisins. 

Make sure your produce stays fresh while it’s stored in your home!

• Fresh cranberries can be refrigerated for up to two months if stored in a sealed plastic bag.  

• Cranberries require very little preparation. They need only a quick wash and rinse, and they are ready to go!  

• The natural tartness in cranberries repels bugs so they are not usually sprayed with pesticides.  

• Cranberries are sold in 12 oz. bags which is equal to 3 cups or 2 ½ cups chopped. • As cranberries cook, the skins burst open making a popping sound.  

• Fresh cranberries can be enjoyed all year round if they are frozen. They can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.  

• Most recipes use only a small amount of cranberries. One freezer tip is to first chop the cranberries with a food processor or knife, then individually bag one-cup portions. It will be a cinch to add extra flavor and nutrients to recipes when you can just grab a bag from the freezer and dump it in your favorite recipe!  

• Like other frozen fruits, cranberries should be added to recipes still frozen to prevent the juices from flowing out of the fruit.  

• Fresh cranberries require the addition of a sweetener of some kind to offset the tartness. Some sweeteners can be sugar, honey, apple juice, orange juice, or the natural sweetness of other fruits. 

 • Dried cranberries, or craisins, are sweetened during processing and will not need any other sweeteners. 

USDA recipes

https://www.myplate.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/brussel-sprouts-cranberry-and-bulgur-salad
https://www.myplate.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/cranberry-pumpkin-muffins
https://www.myplate.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/chicken-and-cranberry-salad

Food Safety Tips for your Holiday Meal

When you think “Thanksgiving”, what comes to mind?   Turkey!  According the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 46 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the United States at Thanksgiving. That number represents one-sixth of all the turkeys sold in the U.S. each year.  There are a few tips that will ensure that your holiday meal is safe and delicious.

“Thawing and cooking are the two challenges any holiday cook will face,” according to Barbara Ingham, Extension food safety specialist with the University of Wisconsin, Division of Extension.   When thawing the turkey in the refrigerator, the USDA recommends allowing 24 hours for every four to five pounds of meat. For example, a 16 to 20-pound turkey would need at least three or four days to thaw. Some newer, more efficient refrigerators can add a day or two to that time. Turkeys can also be thawed in the microwave, or in a sink filled with cold water—just change the water every 30 minutes.  It’s also possible to cook a turkey directly from the frozen state, adds Ingham.

In addition to the challenge of thawing a turkey, consumers struggle with other questions such as knowing when a turkey is sufficiently cooked, and how to handle leftovers, says Sandy Tarter, FoodWIse Nutrition Coordinator, Division of Extension. 

Tarter recommends cooking your Thanksgiving turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F, as measured with a food thermometer. Check the temperature several places, the thickest part of the breast, the inner thigh, and the wing. Check the temperature of stuffing too.  All turkey meat, including any that remains pink, is safe as soon as all parts reach 165°F, notes Tarter. 

Once thoroughly cooked, proper cooling and handling of leftover is a key food safety step.  “Refrigerate leftovers within two hours,” notes Ingham. Cut turkey into smaller pieces and place in shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator. Place leftover sauces, dressing, and any side dishes in the refrigerator within two hours as well. Use leftovers within four days or freeze for longer storage.  

Ingham likes to joke that she often refers to leftovers as “planned overs,” with family and guests sometimes preferring meal items reheated or eaten cold the next day.   

Dessert is a part of many holiday meals and pumpkin pie, custard pie and cheesecake must also be handled safely. Bake these festive desserts to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160°F. Once cool, refrigerate until the big meal. Tarter notes that pumpkin or cream pie that you purchase from the market or grocery are also safest stored in the refrigerator once you bring them home. 

Contact your local Division of Extension office to help answer your holiday meal preparation questions. For last minute questions, refer to these holiday hotlines.

USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline1-888-674-68549 am – 5 pm weekdays (Central)7 am – 1 pm Thanksgiving DayEmail: mphotline.fsis@usda.govChat Ask USDA! (English/Spanish)Ask.USDA.gov PregunteleaKaren.gov  
Live chat during hotline hours
Butterball Turkey Talk-LineOnline, via phone, even help from Alexa-enabled devices800-288-8372Text 844-877-3456https://www.butterball.com/online-turkey-talk-line
Jennie-O Turkey HotlineLive chat, via phone, text or social media800-887-5397Text the word Turkey to 73876https://www.jennieo.com/hotline/ 

Sandy Tarter is the FoodWIse Nutrition Coordinator for Chippewa, Dunn, and Eau Claire Counties, UW Madison-Division of Extension. She can be reached at 715-232-1636, sandy.tarter@wisc.edu

Diabetes Prevention Program

The National Diabetes Prevention Program—or National DPP—was created in 2010 to address the increasing burden of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in the United States. This national effort created partnerships between public and private organizations to offer evidence-based, cost-effective interventions that help prevent type 2 diabetes in communities across the United States.

One key feature of the National DPP is the CDC-recognized lifestyle change program, a research-based program focusing on healthy eating and physical activity which showed that people with prediabetes who take part in a structured lifestyle change program can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (71% for people over 60 years old).

Send an email to wes.prediabetes@marshfieldclinic.org to join an informational webinar to learn more!

Prescription Pill Disposal

Have you ever taken a look at your medicine cabinet and realized how many prescription bottles with pills that you don’t need anymore? There’s a way to dispose of these properly to ensure they’re not harming our environment or getting into the wrong hands!

Within Dunn County there’s several Permanent Prescription Drug Drop Off Locations! Check them out below!

Menomonie:

  • Mayo Clinic Health System – Red Cedar in Menomonie
    • 2321 Stout Road, Menomonie WI
    • Box is located in the pharmacy, available during normal business hours
    • Protocols for entering the building:
      • Customers/patients must wear a mask upon entering the building and staff/volunteers will take the customer’s/patient’s temperature
  • CVS Menomonie
    • 433 Broadway St S, Menomonie WI
    • Box is located in the pharmacy, available during normal business hours
    • Protocols for entering the building:
      • No PPE required upon entering the building (Staff will be wearing masks for the customers/participants safety)

Boyceville:

  • Boyceville Police Department
    • 903 Main Street, Boyceville WI
    • Box is located in the police department office
    • Protocols:
      • Please call ahead at 715-643-2215 to set up a drop time with an officer or office personnel

Colfax

  • Colfax Police Department
    • 613 Main Street, Colfax WI
    • Box is located in the police department office
    • Protocols:
      • Please call ahead at 715-962-3136 to set up a drop time with an officer or office personnel

You can also discuss drug disposal options with your pharmacist.

Kiss the Ground – Film Showing!

Come join our Healthy Environment Action Team for a FREE showing of Kiss the Ground!

Following the showing there will be a panel discussion with local experts on how to implement these practices within Dunn County!

Kiss the Ground is a documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson that sheds light on an “new, old approach” to farming called “regenerative agriculture” that has the potential to balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about something that so heavily impacts the environment of Dunn County! Plus it gives you the opportunity to chat with experts within this specific field of study! Learn more about this event on our Facebook Page!

Health & Wellness: What is it?

Health and wellness are two concepts that often are used to mean the same thing; however, there is a few key differences!

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (illness).”

WHO defines wellness as “the optimal state of health of individuals and groups,” and wellness is expressed as “a positive approach to living.”

Wellness is the steps that you take to reach the goal of being healthy. For example, wellness is seeking out activities and nutritious foods, taking time for your mental health, and making lifestyle changes that lead to an overall improvement in your wellbeing. An individuals Health is compromised anytime they have an injury or an illness/disease diagnosis.

There are 6 layers to Wellness that we’ll unpack right now:

  1. Physical: Remaining healthy is a key pillar to wellness! This is based off of our diet and our ability to stay mobile.
  2. Intellectual: Your brain is a lot like a muscle, it enjoys being exercised!
  3. Emotional: Our emotions can directly impact how we feel physically! When we’re in emotional pain, our tolerance for physical pain is lower and vice versa.
  4. Environmental: Being able to live in a safe and happy environment directly impact our wellbeing!
  5. Social: Humans are social creatures and we desire to interact with each other!
  6. Spiritual: Spirituality is the recognition of something bigger than yourself!

Keep these things in mind when you think about your health and wellness! Are there certain aspects that you could change in these 6 categories that could you lead you to a healthier happier life?!

Virtual Burn Out

Since March of 2020 pretty much everything has gone virtual; our classrooms, our workout classes, how we interact with loved ones, and so much more. Unfortunately, this form of communication can create a type of fatigue that we’re not used too!

To help avoid this burn out:

  • Avoid multitasking: If you were at an in person work meeting, you wouldn’t be working on four different projects on the side! Your attention would be given to the meeting. Do your best to be present by closing other internet tabs, silencing your phone, and put a pause on other projects.
  • Build in Breaks: When I started working from home, I didn’t feel like I could take breaks; this caused me to burn out quickly! Take time to get up and move around or stretch!
  • Switch to Phone Calls: While nothing beats face-to-face interactions, take a break from video chatting and give your loved ones a phone call for some social interaction!
  • Switch Offline: Online, optional, classes have made working out or learning a new skill from home extremely easy. Sometimes it might be best to work on things you already know how to do or do a simple home workout.

Zoom meetings and virtual classes aren’t going anywhere anytime soon; with that said, it’s important to remind yourself that you don’t always have to be “on”. It’s important to insure that you’re getting enough offline time in order to recharge and reset.

Health Dunn Right Calendar

Are you ever looking for something to do but unsure of where to find all the events going on in town? Problem solved!

Here at Health Dunn Right we’ve created our own Community Events calendar! You can come to this page for future updates to the calendar or you can click here!

Do you have an event you want us to promote or an addition to our calendar? Then click here to send us a message!

Online Mental Health Resources

Happy New Year everyone!

We want to start the New Year on the right foot by packing this first blog post full of Mental Health Resources! In 2019, Within Dunn County 11% of the population reported frequent Mental Health distress (you can read more about this here). Our goal is to give the Dunn County community the tools it needs to reduce that number or help alleviate some of the symptoms related to this distress.

Feel free to check out any of these great resources of share them with a friend!

The Jacob’s Swag Foundation: The Got Your Back App powered by Jacob’s SWAG is a new digital platform for suicide awareness, prevention, and education. There are tools custom built for the user to help cope with anxiety and  depression.

Taking Care of You: Taking Care of You is workshop where adults learn effective stress reduction strategies for their body, mind, and spirit. By completing the full workshop, participants gain more than 30 possible techniques to support their well-being.

SMART Recovery: Self-Management And Recovery Training (SMART) is a global community of mutual-support groups. At meetings, participants help one another resolve problems with any addiction (to drugs or alcohol or to activities such as gambling or over-eating). Participants find and develop the power within themselves to change and lead fulfilling and balanced lives.

Smiling Mind: Smiling Mind is a unique tool developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to your life.We suggest 10 minutes a day.
What are you waiting for?

These are just a few of the resources available for free online! You can always do a quick Google search to find quite a more options!