Skip to content

How To Take A Road Trip – Safely!

We’re back from a summer blog hiatus!!!

 

Sadly, my daughter Mariella is moving to Portland to pursue a degree in speech and language therapy. She’s driving there with boyfriend Colin and my grand dogs Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr She will still help with blogs from afar! Bless the Interwebs!

 

If you’ve read all my blogs, then you know, my family calls me “MacGyver” because I like to be prepared for everything.

Here are some travel health tips for Mariella, her posse and all my readers:

Health issues:

  • Make sure you know what out-of-state emergencies your insurance covers. Consider extra travel insurance for long-distance trips(e.g., www.insuremytrip.com)

  • If you have chronic health issues, strongly consider a medical ID. There are downright beautiful ones athttp://www.laurenshope.com.

 

Next, be sure you’ve packed all necessary Emergency supplies for long car trips:

Auto necessities:

  • Flashlight (keep batteries separately)

Medical necessities:

  • Water bottles, energy bars, soy nut packets, a water filter – (This one is my favorite)

  • A good first aid kit

  • Sunscreen 

  • Black contractor bags (Can use as a poncho! Thanks to my awesome son-in-law Dan Carson for fixing Mariella’s car pre-trip and for poncho idea!)

  • A liter plastic soda bottle can be cut to make a drinking bowl for dogs on one end, and the other can be a makeshift glass or funnel!

  • Did you say you were bringing clothes???  Sorry, no room. Actually, all of this aside from the water bottles would take very little room.

Happy and safe travel, Mariella, Colin, Franks and Sammy!

- Mom / Dr Emily A Nolfo

 

Summer Grilling: How To Be a Carcinogen-Free Carnivore!

Credit: Gary Larson, Far Side Comics

Ahhhh…..summer grilling! Cooking outdoors during the warm months is certainly one of the finer things in life. In my last post, I spoke about the importance of experiencing nature and spending time relaxing outside of our stressful, busy lives. Grilling meals is a simple and easy way to break out of your “indoor shell” – so today I’d like to talk to you about how to enjoy your outdoor meat cookouts while avoiding the many nasty carcinogens that we expose ourselves to during the grilling process. Thank you to the people at Cure Magazine for this very helpful information!

How does grilling meat expose us to cancerous toxins? 

- Grilling meat can produce two different types of carcinogens:  heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

- (HCAs) form when any animal flesh / muscle (as opposed to organ meat) is cooked at high temperatures.

- (PAHs) form when fat drips from the meat into the open flame on your grill. The chemicals from this process rise in the smoke and fire and contaminate the meat.

How can I prevent my meat from becoming contaminated with carcinogens? 

-  Choose lean meats and light, rather than dark, poultry.  Be sure to remove any skin and excess fat to reduce drippings into your grill.

-  Research has shown that steaming your meat for between 60-90 seconds immediately before grilling can completely eliminate the presence of (PAHs) in both beef and chicken.

-  Marinate your meats in lemon or vinegar-based marinades. Studies have shown that doing so can reduce formation of (HCAs) by up to 88 percent! Thick, sugary marinades tend to increase the level of char on your meat, thus increasing the odds of HCA formation.

-  Avoid charring your meat. Due to the high temperatures required to really “sizzle” your meat, the charring process increases the chances of (HCAs) and (PAHs) latching on to your meal.

-  Purchase a meat thermometer and grill your cut of meat to about 160º F. You don’t want to char the meat, but you need to ensure it is thoroughly cooked!

Other Cancer-Fighting Steps You Can Take This Summer:

- Grill your food on cedar planks or aluminum foil. Be sure to poke holes into the foil to allow the fat to drip – the foil will prevent the rise of fat content from the flame back onto the meat.

- Do not press your meat while it cooks or place your meat directly over the flame. Doing so will increase fat drippings and charring during the grilling process.

- Clean your grill and always replace your charcoal after every use to avoid rehashing any carcinogens that may have formed during your last grilling session.

Important Health Considerations for “Meatheads”

- To avoid a higher risk of colon cancer, limit your consumption of meat to 11-18 ounces per week. Keep your portion sizes to a maximum of 4 oz per serving.

- Avoid processed meats, especially products made with sodium nitrates. Nitrates are chemical preservatives added to processed meat that become carcinogenic during digestion. They also increase the sodium content of your food unnecessarily!

-  Look for organic or grass-fed meats on sale at your local market. Many supermarkets have daily deals on these items, so take advantage if you can and have piece of mind while you cook out!

Hope this had some insightful, summer information! Have a fabulous weekend and start practicing these healthy habits in the beautiful summer weather! Get Cookin’!

Don’t worry Vegan friends…next week something good for your grill!

Dr. Emily Nolfo

sources: Cure Magazine

Nature: A Proven Biochemical Medicine

146

:: Scenic Route 146 between Guilford and Branford, CT ::

See these photographs above? They are snapshots of my daily commute to and from work on Route 146 – voted Connecticut’s best biking route !  As is true for many other types of jobs, my work as a physician is often highly stressful, demanding, and sometimes takes a toll on my body and mind.

I find making this drive  into the office every day a peaceful and calming experience, and lately I have given great thought to the therapeutic benefit of my drive to work. So I wanted to share with you this little-known fact:

Interacting with nature has been scientifically proven to have measurable healing benefits!

In a recent interview conducted by Prevention Magazine, environmental psychologist Roger Ulrich discusses the results of a study, done in hospital settings, where patients’ view was either of a natural setting or a brick wall. The results: “Patients who saw nature needed less pain medication, suffered fewer post-op complications and were discharged faster than those who looked a brick wall” [during their stay].

What is the message for you? Get out and enjoy the outdoors! As early homo sapiens, we spent ALL of our time outside! Nature is ingrained into our psyches – and inhibiting that inherent human connection to the wilderness may be preventing you from enjoying all the health benefits that come with it!

Erik Peper, a Holistic Health Studies professor at San Francisco State University elaborates on this fact: “Nature reduces our stress on a biochemical level. It’s only when you interrupt the fight-or-flight response and make someone feel relaxed and safe that they can begin to regenerate and heal.”

So what is my weekend wisdom for you all? GO OUT AND SEE WHAT’S IN YOUR WORLD! Take a break from your news feeds, your email and your cell phone to check out local hiking trails, take a walk in your neighborhood or bring your dog to your favorite local scenic spot. Time away from our busy lives is extremely important for detaching from our stress levels and should not be taken for granted.

While it may be a short, 10-minute ride, I cherish my time on the road to work. I see all kinds of wildlife: osprey, great blue herons, egrets, fox, cows, deer…..oh my! I love to witness the cycles of life: The osprey have mated and one particular pair, whose eggs were duds the last two years, have a fuzzy little baby right now! As I drive, rocky coast and lush marshland surround me on all sides – and I take the time during these moments to absorb the sights, sounds and smells. I have found, time and time again, that surrendering to the beauty of the outdoors lowers my stress level immensely before my demanding days in the office.

I encourage you all to do the same! Have a fabulous weekend!

Dr. Nolfo

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 264 other followers

%d bloggers like this: