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Today is May 25, 2021

National Brown-Bag-It Day

Simple ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet

Parents imploring their children to eat their fruits and vegetables is a nightly occurrence at many dinner tables. Reluctant youngsters may have a seemingly innate resistance to vegetables, but parents should stay the course, as the importance of making fruit and vegetables a routine part of one’s daily diet is hard to overstate.

Children might be seen as the most resistant to fruits and vegetables, but reports indicate they’re not alone. A 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that just 12 percent of adults in the United States are meeting the standards for fruit consumption as established by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are determined by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Even fewer people (9 percent) are meeting the standard for vegetables. The picture is somewhat better in Canada, where the Canadian Community Health Survey, 2017, found that 28.6 percent of Canadians age 12 and older report consuming fruits and vegetables more than five times per day. However, that figure steadily declined since 2015. That’s unfortunate, as fruits and vegetables have been linked to a host of health benefits.

Why eat fruit and vegetables?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that fruits do not contain cholesterol and are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories. In addition, fruits contain a host of essential nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate, that are historically underconsumed. Similarly, studies have shown that vegetables, which also are great sources of vitamins and minerals, can help people reduce their risk for a variety of conditions, including heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.

How can I include more fruits and vegetables in my diet?

Routine is a big part of many people’s lives, and some may find it hard to change their dietary routines. But people who aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables likely don’t need to completely overhaul their diets in order to include more fruits and vegetables. In fact, the American Heart Association notes that the following are some easy ways for people to sneak more fruits and vegetables into their diets.

· Breakfast: When sitting down for a bowl of cereal, add some bananas, raisins or berries to your bowl. When making eggs or breakfast potatoes, add chopped up onions, celery, green or red bell peppers, or spinach.

· Lunch: Forgo sandwiches in favor of fruit or vegetable salads at lunchtime. If you must have a sandwich, top it off with vegetables like cucumbers, sprouts, tomatoes, lettuce, and/or avocado.

· Dinner: Replace less healthy side dishes with fruit or vegetable salads, and don’t forget to include steamed vegetables, even frozen ones, on your dinner plate every night. Add chopped vegetables, such as onions, garlic and celery, when creating soups, stews or sauces.

A few simple strategies can help people eat more fruits and vegetables and reap the many rewards that such foods provide.

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Wine Day

Explore a nearby winery or vineyard

Those who enjoy sipping from a bottle of red, white or blush wine but find that a trip to the Bordeaux region of France simply isn’t in the cards right now needn’t give up their desires to visit a winery or vineyard. Wineries and fully functioning vineyards dot the landscape of North America. In fact, wine aficionados may be surprised to learn of a winery or vineyard is just a short drive from home.

The American Winery Guide offers that visitors can find a winery and tasting room in just about every state. Colorado boasts 107, Texas has 296, and even Rhode Island, the smallest state, is home to five wineries.

If the goal is to travel to northern regions of North America, Alaska has four wineries, and areas of Novia Scotia, British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec have famed wineries for Canadian oenophiles.

Visiting a local winery or vineyard can be educational and fun. Wine tours can be entertaining because some allow visitors to choose their own tasting adventure depending on their level of interest in wine, their budget and what they would like to get out of the experience. Some wineries and vineyards offer extensive tours of the harvesting and production aspects of wine-making. Others will give visitors a chance to mingle among wine barrels and witness the fermentation process. Still, some wineries or vineyards may limit visitors to tasting rooms where they can sample select vintages.

In regions such as Napa Valley where there are many wineries and vineyards in close proximity to one another, guided tours may be available, or wine aficionados can explore areas on their own.

Thanks to the diverse North American climate, the types of grape varietals available in one state or province to the next will be quite different. For example, vineyards that thrive in New Jersey are subject to similar climates to those in many areas of France and Germany. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find varieties like Cabernet, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Noir available at facilities in New Jersey.

According to viniculture experts from Professional Friends of Wine, grapevines are fairly adaptable plants that can thrive in a variety of soil types and temperatures. Soil, sun exposure, drainage, and topography all play roles in how the grapes will ripen and taste.

The chance to support a local business is another reason to make a trip to a nearby winery or vineyard. These facilities often produce wine and sell it close to home. By supporting small business, consumers can contribute to the success and the diversity of offerings where they live.

Wine tastings are an enjoyable recreational pursuit. Remember to drink responsibly, and join the mailing lists of nearby wineries and vineyards to learn more about tasting events and food pairings.

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1803 American Author, Ralph Waldo Emerson is born. Emerson was part of movement called Transcendentalism. The belief that everything in our world—even a drop of dew—is a microcosm of the universe.

Quotes include:

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.

Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.

To read some of Emerson’s works visit here.