Stay Hydrated!


All you hear during the summer are moms telling their kids to “stay hydrated!” With all the summer sports and running around kids do, it’s easy to sweat the water out of their bodies. But did you know hydration is important for adults too?

Getting enough to drink is important no matter what your age or activity level. Staying hydrated helps the body in so many ways. According to the Natural Society website (https://goo.gl/X1K2Pn) there are plenty of reasons that staying hydrated is so important.

Among them are:

  • Combat Fatigue – Water is one of the most important sources of energy for your body. It helps cells complete important enzymatic activities that contribute to good sleep, restoration of bodily systems, and the production of ample energy to get you through your day.
  • Reduce High Blood Pressure – When the body is fully hydrated, the blood is approximately 92% water. This helps to keep the blood moving freely through the veins and arteries, helping to prevent high blood pressure along with other cardiovascular ailments.
  • Halt Allergies and Asthma – When the body is dehydrated, it creates more histamines – organic nitrous compounds which help to regulate our immune response. If we have too many histamines circulating, we will feel congested and have difficulty breathing, along with other allergic reactions caused by the body’s response to foreign bodies.
  • Reduce Acne, Dermatitis, Psoriasis, and Premature Aging of the Skin – With proper hydration, the skin practically glows. Without it, our skin cannot properly rid itself of toxins and so it becomes irritated, inflamed, and congested, causing a host of unsavory results ranging from itching, blackheads, redness, acne, and general blotchiness.
  • Stop High Cholesterol – When the body hasn’t had enough water, it will start to produce more cholesterol so that cells can still function properly.
  • Eliminate Digestive Disorders – A well-hydrated body simply purges toxins and metabolic wastes better. Water can help eliminate and reduce the incidence of ulcers, bloating, gas, gastritis, acid reflux, IBS, and constipation.
  • Flush Out Unwanted Bacteria from the Bladder and Kidneys  People who are well hydrated experience less frequent bladder or kidney infections since water helps to flush out any unwanted microbes that try to accumulate in these eliminative organs.
  • Speed Up Joint and Cartilage Repair – Most of the padding in our cartilage is made up of water, so if we don’t drink enough of it, our bones will feel stiff and our joints will take a beating. Joint repair after workouts or injuries is also expedited by proper hydration.
  • Slow the Aging Process – All of our organs require copious amounts of water to function properly. If we stay dehydrated for long stretches, every cell, organ, and system in the body has to work harder, which means we will age faster. Drinking enough water literally keeps you feeling, looking, and acting younger.


You should also never consider sweet juices, soda, tea, or coffee as substitutes for pure water. They simply won’t hydrate you as well. Sugar and salt as well as caffeine dehydrate the body. Keep it simple. Keep it water. Keep that water bottle filled at work and on the go.

Your body will thank you for it.

 

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The tag on my shirt says to dry clean, must I?

The time to consider this is when the purchase is made. Most things that say dry clean only, I put back on the rack. Many times manufacturers aren’t sure how to care for a garment and error on the side of safety. Sometimes dry cleaning is recommended because of buttons, dyeing techniques or trim. Start by reading the fabric content and directions. I would research the fiber online to start with, and read the directions on the garment. Most wool shouldn’t be washed, but some are made specifically for washing and generally are identified as “washable wool”. Many fine fabrics (rayons, some silks and many blends) can be successfully hand washed and reshaped to dry. A secret to success is using a small amount (more is not better) of mild soap or detergent and making sure to rinse well, really well. When you are done, do it again. Reshape and dry flat or hang to dry based on shape of garment.

If you have any more questions contact:

Barbara George, CFCS Category Director Family & Consumer SciencesBarbara George, CFCS

Category Director

Family & Consumer Sciences

bgeorge@enasco.com or leave a comment on our Facebook

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Food safety secrets in my school foods lab

Label everything with an expiration date as you put it in the refrigerator. The best way is to purchase commercial labeling equipment and follow the instructions. My economy version is to keep a fine point marker on a string on the refrigerator with a magnet and put a date on the cellophane or foil that is used or have some tape handy to write a date on reusable container covers. NOTHING GOES IN WITHOUT A DISPOSAL DATE.

If you have any more questions contact:

Barbara George, CFCS Category Director Family & Consumer Sciences

Barbara George, CFCS

Category Director

Family & Consumer Sciences

bgeorge@enasco.com or leave a comment on our Facebook

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Sewing machine needles are so confusing! Does it really matter what I use?

Using the correct tools always makes the job easier and usually ends with better results. The biggest problem most of us have with needles is not changing them often enough. Damaged and worn needles will cause problems like broken stitches, puckering, or damage to the fabric to name just a few. The type of needle is determined by the fabric, while the size is determined by the thread you plan to use. We will cover thread another day.

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Using the correct needle makes the job easier and ends with better results.

The first number is a European number, the second American. The larger the number, the larger the needle. This is true only for sewing machine needles. Hand sewing needles are just the opposite. Use the smallest number that will pierce the fabric easily. A needle that is too large will leave a hole.  A universal needle has a slightly rounded point that works for both woven fabrics and many knits. I often use a universal size 12 with all-purpose thread for general sewing.  A ballpoint needle has a rounded point to prevent splitting fibers on knits or stretch fabrics. It could damage tightly woven fabrics.

• A Microtex or sharp needle is good for tightly woven fabrics. Works well on micro-fibers and polyesters with high thread counts. 

• A denim needle has a sharp point with a stiffened blade, and would work well for quilting, too. The quilting needle has a sharp point and a tapered tip for sewing through many layers, which also requires frequent replacement. 

• In addition to needles with coatings and special materials that handle iron-on adhesives and various glues, there are special needles for embroidery and top stitching.

You can find many good resources online by needle manufacturers that can answer more specific questions, along with wonderful diagrams of the parts of a needle. 

If you have any more questions contact:

Barbara George, CFCS Category Director Family & Consumer Sciences

Barbara George, CFCS
Category Director
Family & Consumer Sciences

bgeorge@enasco.com or leave a comment on our Facebook

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I want to make pastry dough but don’t have a pastry blender. Is there a reasonable substitute in my kitchen?

Usually, the first thought is to use a fork. A fork will work, BUT the chance of a beginner making the dough tough is pretty high. If a fork is your first choice, be sure to not overwork the dough.

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Try a whisk, its thin wires are like a pastry blender and will cut the fat into the flour.

It would be better to use something simple like two table knives and literally “cut” the fat in. The other option might be a whisk, because the wires are thin like the pastry blender and will cut the fat into the flour.

The trick to pastry dough is to handle it as little as possible, and to use ice-cold liquid. I recommend refrigerating your dough before rolling it out.

A few random tips to try would be to add a tablespoon of powdered sugar to the flour, and to use a tablespoon or so of vodka instead of some of the water. The vodka helps to make rolling easy, but the alcohol evaporate so the crust is still flaky.

If you have any more questions contact:

Barbara George, CFCS Category Director Family & Consumer Sciences

Barbara George, CFCS
Category Director
Family & Consumer Sciences

bgeorge@enasco.com or leave a comment on our Facebook

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