Today is May 24
One of the first vegetables to pop out of the ground during the spring is asparagus. This vegetable can be eaten with a fork or fingers. It is yummy.
Asparagus is the second best whole food source of folic acid, a B vitamin that lowers risk of heart and liver disease. It also contains large amounts of Glutathione, riboflavin, vitamin B6, copper, vitamin A, iron, phosphorus and zinc.
This vegetable comes in three different colors: green, white and purple. The color that is seen the most is green. White is more tender, but less favorable and purple has a fruity taste. When shopping, select brightly colored asparagus with closed, compact, firm tips. Make sure that the stalks are not yellowing or limp. Remember to refrigerate asparagus in a covered container or plastic storage bag for up to three days.
Before cooking asparagus, snap off the bottom part of the stalk and wash well in cold water to remove any dirt or sand. Asparagus can be cooked in several different ways:
- Steamed and served hot with butter and seasoning or a sauce
- Blanched and served cold with a vinaigrette or mustard sauce
- Pureed as a soup
- Grilled for a smoky flavor
- Chopped in pieces for stir fries, pasta dishes, omelets/quiches and salads
Recipe: Creamy Asparagus Soup
- 1 pound of asparagus, cleaned and chopped
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
- ½ tsp. Herbs de Provence
- 1 cup milk or Half-n-Half
- 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
Over medium heat, add oil, celery and onions to a large soup pot. Sauté until soft. Add asparagus, potato, Herbs de Provence and soup stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Puree soup until smooth with a stick blender, food processor or blender. Stir in milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Healthy and Safe Swimming Week
The importance of safety when swimming in backyard pools
Backyard pools provide families with ample opportunities for recreation. It’s easy to be distracted by all the fun when swimming in a backyard pool, but it is crucial that homeowners take steps to ensure everyone is safe when spending time in the pool.
Establish a barrier
The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children between the ages of one and four in the United States. Pools attract curious children, so maintaining a barrier between the home and the pool is essential. Many municipalities require some sort of fencing around pools or ladders that self-latch or can be closed off to climbing.
Locks and alarms on windows and doors that face or provide access to the backyard also can serve as barriers.
Keep play under control
Children and even adults may be swept up in the fun and engage in potentially dangerous behaviors. Pool users should not be allowed to run around the perimeter of an inground pool, as the cement can get slippery when wet and lead to falls that can cause injuries
Exercise caution when using diving boards or diving into pools. It’s easy for divers to hit their heads when diving off a board into a pool due to close proximity of the transition wall in the deep end of the pool or by diving into shallow water. The Red Cross recommends a water depth of 11.5 feet for safe diving and the transition wall should be at least 16.5 feet from the tip of the diving board. However, the standard depth for many pools is 7.5 feet of water and a slope beginning seven feet from the board.
Exercise caution with inflatables
The Good Housekeeping Research Institute found that inflatable pool toys are especially dangerous. Such toys can flip easily, putting children at risk for injury (from striking the sides of the pool) or drowning (especially if the children were ejected into deep water). Inflatables also can prevent access to the surface of the water for submerged swimmers.
Choose a backyard lifeguard
At least one person should be designated as backyard lifeguard when the pool is in use. This person should always direct his or her focus on the pool, counting swimmers and keeping track of who enters and leaves the pool. Safe Kids Worldwide suggests rotating water watchers every 15 minutes.
Pools are fun places to spend summer afternoons, especially when every step is taken to ensure the safety of swimmers.
Older Americans Mental Health Week
Geriatric psychiatry provides support through aging
Many positive changes come with aging. Financial independence, freedom to pursue hobbies and more time to spend with loved ones are some such benefits.
But as men and women age, they also must give consideration to those changes few consider until they’re happening. Retirement, loss of a spouse, distance from family, downsizing, and fears of illness must be given their due attention so aging adults can get the assistance they need when they need it. Geriatric psychiatrists can fill the gaps where others cannot.
The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry defines the profession as a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders that may occur in older adults. These disorders may include, but are not limited to, dementia, depression, anxiety, late life addiction disorders, and schizophrenia. Although geriatric psychiatrists can treat these and more, they also may help adults navigate emotional, physical and social needs that come with getting older.
The AAGP estimates that the rate of mental illness among older adults will double over the next 10 years from what it was in 2000. Many of the people treated will need assistance with symptoms of dementia. The organization Alzheimer’s Disease International indicates there are more than 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide.
Geriatric psychiatrists can provide specialized care to this unique demographic. Geriatric psychiatrists often focus on prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental and emotional disorders in the elderly, says the American Psychiatric Association, an advocate for improvement of psychiatric care for elderly patients. Geriatric psychiatrists understand how medication dosage and therapy treatments may need to be customized as one ages. These psychiatrics also can consult with experts in neurology and primary care physicians when there are symptoms across various fields, which may be the case when patients are experiencing memory impairment, anxiety and depression.
Geriatric psychiatrists suggest speaking with mental health professionals early on if symptoms of low mood, restlessness, insomnia, and other hallmarks of potential mental dysfunction are present in elderly patients. This way doctors can step in early and improve their quality of life.