Red, White and Blue Pita Pockets Recipe

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Ingredients

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 teaspoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound beef top sirloin steak, thinly sliced

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

4 whole wheat pita pocket halves

2 cups torn red leaf lettuce

1/2 cup roasted sweet red peppers, drained and cut into strips

1/4 cup sliced red onion

Directions

  • In a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine the vinegar, oil and garlic; add the beef. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  • In a small bowl, combine sour cream and blue cheese; set aside. Drain and discard marinade.

In a large nonstick skillet or wok coated with cooking spray, stir-fry beef for 2-3 minutes or until no longer pink. Line pita halves with lettuce, red peppers and onion; fill each with 1/3 cup beef. Serve with sour cream mixture. Makes 4 servings.

Plan a Perfect Getaway

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Summer is here so it’s time to make those plans for your perfect getaway! Whether you’re planning a trip to sunny Florida, or taking an exotic cruise to the Caribbean, or a spa weekend it’s sure to be a whirlwind of excitement!  Effectively preparing for your vacation is essential for a stress-free experience.  The key to a relaxing vacation is PLANNING AHEAD!!   Here are a few tips to assist you in organizing the perfect escape.

If you’re heading to Barbados, Fiji, or another tropical destination, it’s important to allot enough time to obtain passports for everyone going on the trip. Check the “U.S. Department of State Travel” page months in advance to determine current process times for passports so you can get all your documents in order.

Knowing what to pack is the next big thing when planning a vacation.  You want to keep it simple, but still include all of the essentials.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Make a List.   Making your list weeks in advance of every item you expect to take with you. This is the best way to guarantee you don’t forget anything.  Those last minute runs to the store while on vacation can be costly.  Plan ahead so you can relax on your trip. Keep this list in a Word Document and you will be able to use every time you travel.
  2. Pack Basic Colors.  Black, white, and khaki shorts or skirts are ideal clothing items for vacation.  These are basic colors that can be worn with just about anything. And you can recycle by wearing them more than once. This will limit the bulk in your suitcase and make packing an easy task. White shorts with a breezy tank top and flip-flops are the perfect outfit for a stroll on the beach.
  3. Use Packing Aids. Vacuum-packed compression bags are great for minimizing your clothes and fitting them into your suitcase. Check Bed, Bath and Beyond, Amazon, or eBay for a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate you.
  4. Go Travel-sized.  Using travel-sized face cream, lotions, sunblock, etc., makes going through security a breeze and or it’s a great way to reduce the bulk in your accessories bag.  Stop by the spa to stock up on all of your travel-sized personal items to make your vacation more enjoyable.
  5. Planning your Pets’ Vacation.  Where will your pet stay while you are on your vacation?  Don’t wait for the last minute to find a pet sitter or pet motel.

Your summer vacation will be great with just a little planning.  So, pull out those travel brochures and start dreaming.  Your journey is about to begin!

Fun in the Sun…the Cancer-Free Way!

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Fun in the Sun…the Cancer-Free Way!

July is UV Safety Month…a perfect opportunity to freshen up on the importance of UV safety.  Did you know that the skin is the largest organ in the body?  It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Though we all love to be out in the sun, the harm it causes is vast.  The sun causes wrinkles, blotchy skin as well as skin cancer, the most common type of cancer.  How can you protect yourself and your loved ones?

First, it’s important to understand the different types of skin cancers that can develop from the sun’s harmful rays.   Basal cell is the most common but least dangerous skin cancer. Squamous cell is less common but more likely to spread, and may become fatal if not treated. Melanoma is the least common, but most aggressive, most likely to spread, and may become fatal if not treated. All three of these types of skin cancer require painful, costly removal methods. 

The Skin Cancer Foundation actively promotes the use of sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher when outdoors for any length of time. Here are some additional guidelines they recommend for keeping your skin safe this summer:

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM. This is when the sun’s rays are the harshest.
  • Do not burn.  Every sunburn increases your chance of melanoma.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Clothing can be your most effective form of sun protection, so make the most of it
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.  Look for any changes in your skin.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.  Regular total-body checkups are the best way to make sure your skin is healthy.

Most people like to frolic in the sun during the summer months.   But, it’s important to enjoy the sun responsibly by protecting your skin and that of your family members. So, enjoy the outdoors this summer.  Just don’t forget these important tips for keeping you and your family cancer-free! 

Be sure to stop by the spa to pick up your sunscreen along with additional tips for keeping your skin vibrant and healthy while playing outdoors!

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