Healing with Honey

Honey is a natural remedy  and functional food used by ancient civilizations for thousands of years. This sweet liquid is a great addition to meals and drinks as a more natural replacement for energy from sugar but the benefits go even further than that. Honey1

7 A+’s for Liquid Gold-

  • Antimicrobial and AntibacterialResearch shows that honey can help reduce incidence of infectious diseases by killing bad bacteria [1]. Ingesting honey could be an effective natural medicine for food borne illnesses.
  • Antibiotic and Antiseptic – The antibiotic and antiseptic properties in honey make it a great natural remedy to prevent infections for cuts, burns, scrapes and even bug bites. It’s content of concentrated sugars and acidity also aid in the wound healing process by  providing an environment that promotes fast repair and regeneration of tissues with no adverse effects to the skin.
  • Antioxidant – Honey contains antioxidant properties from it’s polyphenol plant components, which have been shown to reduce effects of aging and can be helpful in preventing cancer [2].
  • Anti-inflammatory – Soothing effects from honey are due to it’s ability to reduce inflammation. When applied to the skin, honey can reduce swelling and irritation by reducing the effects of damaging free radicals. When ingested, honey can be a great remedy for a sore throat or irritating cough!
  • Allergy Protection- Honey has also been shown to be a natural fighter against allergies reducing those annoying allergy symptoms [3].

Honey is also a humectant, meaning it easily retains moisture and humidity, making it even more beneficial whenHoney2 applied to skin or hair as a natural moisturizer.

When selecting a honey, research recommends that monofloral honey has the most effective healing properties. This means the honey is sourced from only one type of flower’s pollen. Darker colored honey has also been shown to have more antioxidant properties. Manuka honey is a well known beneficial dark and monofloral honey. Honey basically never goes bad making it a great staple to add to the pantry or medicine cabinet.


  1. Rani et al. Antimicrobial Activity of Honey with Special Reference to Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Methicillin Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). J Clin Diagn Res. 2017 Aug; 11(8): DC05–DC08.
  2. Alvarez-Suarez et al. The Composition and Biological Activity of Honey: A Focus on Manuka Honey. Foods 2014, 3, 420-432; doi:10.3390/foods3030420.
  3. Asha’ari ZA, Ahmad MZ, Wan Din WSJ, Hussin CMC, Leman I. Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Ann Saudi Med 2013; 33(5): 469-475. 
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Friday Fitness Flow!

As the summer vibes fade away, along with the heat and the fireflies, remember to incorporate strength and flexibility training into your regular fitness routine or just take a few minutes out of your day to move! These three easy postures help to increase joint mobility, muscle strength and raise your energy and confidence levels, giving you that extra boost you need as vacation time comes to its close.

 

Chest Opens

Healthy Living Ambassador Jy’Naiah

 

  • Warrior: Step the feet apart and keeping the back leg straight, angle back foot about 45 degrees away from you. The front toes should be facing forward, with the front leg bent so that the knee is directly over the ankle. Raise arms straight to shoulder height and parallel to the floor with the palms facing down.  Press with the feet into the mat and lengthen through the top of the head towards to sky.

 

Waterfall

Nutrition Assistant Michelle

 

  • Waterfall: Standing up with feet about two fists distance apart. Slowly begin to reach the arms straight above you reaching for the sky as high as you can. Begin to slowly and just slightly reach behind you, pulling the shoulder blades back and down towards the back of your ribcage. Keep the head in line with upper back and be sure not to tilt the neck too far back. Focus on a deep inhale and exhale as you release the arms back down.

 

Tree.png

Healthy Living Ambassador Jenna

 

  • Tree: Begin by standing up tall, and lifting the bottom of one foot to the inside of the other thigh. If more balance is needed, you may rest the foot with the toes on the ground, or place the foot on the inside of the calf. Lift the arms straight above you and keep the belly button tucked in towards the spine. Hold for 30 seconds, focusing on the breath and repeat with the other leg. 

These poses will take you just a few minutes to complete and the benefits will last you all day! 

 

Is There a Rumble In Your Tummy?

Between the rush of our everyday lives and financial restrictions, it is not always easy to pack lunch let alone a healthy one. However, it is very important to have a nutritious lunch in order to keep our mind alert and body going while we are at school and work.

back to school

Here are a few quick tips on how to pack a healthy, easy, and cheap lunch this school year:

  1. Look at ads to see what is on sale.

  2. Choose foods that are safe to keep at room temperature.

  3. Plan out your lunches ahead of time (try to plan a full week).

  4. Pack food from at least three different food groups.

Below is a list of foods that are healthy and safe to keep at room temperature:

  • Fruits (whole): clementine, orange, grapefruit, peach, nectarine, plum, banana, pear, apple, cherries, vacuum sealed fruit cup, dried fruit, 100% fruit juice in a box
  • Vegetables (whole): baby carrots, baby cucumbers, small peppers, grape tomato, celery, broccoli
  • Grains: whole wheat bread, whole wheat crackers, popcorn, whole grain chips, whole grain tortillas, whole grain bagel, whole grain English muffin
  • Protein: peanut butter, sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews
  • Dairy: string cheese, hard cheeses like cheddar, pudding pack, swiss cheese

By: Michelle Ernst Voegele, EFNEP Nutrition Assistant

The Perfect Picnic

Be a Picnic ProAugust is a great month to head to the park with a few friends and a basket full of fresh goodies. Here are some easy tips and tricks to crafting the best personal outdoor lunch lounge.

  • The venue. Bring a comfortable yet thin blanket to the park or beach incase there are no picnic tables. The thinness allows you to still feel and appreciate the natural earth beneath you but the comfort brings relaxation and a more chill atmosphere to your meal. Our Healthy Living Coordinator says bringing a tapestry with you can add a fun design to the atmosphere and is often a good size for groups because you want to make sure it’s large enough so everyone can fit and feel included! Pick a spot under a tree or umbrella if it’s a really sunny day and bring along a few items from a first aid kit for safety. A trash bag is a good idea to bring to stay environmentally friendly. basket
  • The snacks. Picnics are all about fresh finger foods and delicious snacks. Pack your treats in a basket or tote bag just before leaving so that temperature sensitive foods don’t spoil (2 hours is the magic time before food starts to go bad!). If you pack foods that aren’t going to spoil you can maintain your relaxed attitude by not having to worry about food safety. Remember to bring drinks to stay hydrated and refreshed. Don’t forget your essentials like napkins, plates and silverware. Here are some fun, healthy and safe picnic friendly foods: hard artisan cheeses and crackers, bread rolls, whole fruits and vegetables, dried fruit and dried meat like jerky, jams and jellies, peanut butter and recipes…yum.cucumbersandwiches
      • Tomato, Peach and Red Onion Salad (Serves 4)
        • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
        • 1 ripe peach, diced
        • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
        • 2 tablespoons olive oil
        • juice from half a lemon
        • salt and pepper
        • Combine everything in a large jar or plastic container. Seal the container and shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Best made the day of.
      • Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade (Serves 8)
        • 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon
        • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
        • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
        • 5 tablespoons honey
        • 2 cups water
        • Combine ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
      • Cucumber Sandwiches (Serves 2)
        • 9 tablespoons cream cheese (can substitute goat cheese)
        • 5 tablespoons sour cream
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
        • 3 tablespoons dried dill weed
        • Lettuce Leaves, romaine or iceberg recommended
        • 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced about 6 inches long
        • 2 thinned whole wheat bread slices
        • Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and garlic. Spread over slices of bread. Lay lettuce leaf on top of spread.  Lay 3 to 4 cucumber slices onto lettuce. Sprinkle with dried dill. 
  • The entertainment. Plan a few fun outdoor friendly games for the day. Have some activities prepared that can be played in a group either lounging on the blanket or more active games to move around. Games like Heads up!, Apples to Apples or Uno can be fun for the whole family on the blanket or bring a book to relax and read. A volleyball or frisbee is an easy activity to toss around with a group by playing keep it up or just take a walk and enjoy the scenery. marbles.png

Fire Safety and Prevention

As we all know, summer is a time to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. Although I know everyone deserves a break from responsibility, it is important for the whole family to remember to keep up with easy actions to keep summertime fun safe. 4-H is here to remind you of a few key steps to make sure your home and family are prepared for the dangers of a possible house fire. The most frequent cause of house fires are cooking fires. Remember to be attentive to food, and remember to put a lid on grease fires, never water. Another common cause of house fires are dryer fires. Do not forget to clean the lint trap after every use, and frequently check the dryer vent area for buildup.

FireSafetyPic2It is best to have an up to date plan if the worst happens, and there is a fire in your home. Have all family members practice a fire drill twice a year. Everyone should be comfortable executing the plan at night and during the day. During the drill, make sure everyone has two different exit paths out of the home, and that all doors are shut behind them in order to stop the spread of fire. Lastly, remember to never go back into a burning building. We hope you use these tips to have a safe and fun-filled end to the summer.

Written by Health Rocks Program Coordinator, Mariah Gillespie

 

Taking a Mindful Minute, or Two

Try this quick mindfulness exercise to help you stay aware and present! The technique will take you less than two minutes to complete but the relaxing effects will last all day.

Begin by sitting on the floor or in a chair, finding a comfortable position where the spine is tall and straight and all the muscles of the body are relaxed. If in a chair, place both feet flat on the ground and if on the floor, sit on the shins or with legs crossed. Place the hands palms down on the tops of the thighs. Close the eyes if you are comfortable doing so.

Take a deep breath in through your nose, imagining a glass being filled with water. Fill your body with air just like the glass fills with water, from the bottom up. First filling the belly, than the ribs, the chest and then the collar bone. Exhale and imagine the glass of water being poured out, emptying from the top down. Exhaling air through your nose from the collarbone, then chest, then ribs and finally the belly. Breathe in this way for about 10 breaths and return to your normal breath.be calm (1)

 

 

Market Mastery

MastertheMarket

A trip to your local Farmer’s Market in the Summer is a great way to involve the whole family in a fun and holistic healthy living activity! Delaware Farmer’s Markets sell inexpensive locally grown and in season produce as well as other market items like meats, eggs and cheeses from near by farms. As if the delicious local foods weren’t enough, many of the markets also have entertainment and activities that are fun for all ages. Music, crafts, recipe demos (shout out to UD Cooperative Extension), and there are even Kid’s Days. Click here for the Delaware Farmer’s Market Guide to find a market near you.

Delaware 4-H wants you to make the most of your market experience by following these three simple tips:

  • Know what’s in season.

When it comes to produce, looking for items that are in season will maximize the quality of the product and help minimize your cost.

Summer Seasonal Fruits

Sweet summer fruits are a great way to refresh and cool off after a hot day outside. The bright colors also make them fun to eat and to add to salads with summer vegetables.

Summer Vegetables

  • Show up early or late.

The market will be less crowded at these times. We recommend arriving at the very start of the market to ensure the best selection of items or arriving later in the market for the best prices. Check the Farmer’s Market Guide (link is above) for times.

  • Plan your recipes ahead of time.

Having recipes in mind when you head to the market will make it easier to select items. Here are some delicious in season chef-developed and kid approved summer recipes from the USDA:

Share your Farmer’s Market experience with us by posting to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #DE4HealthyLiving or #FarmDE