Let your ‘mother’ know you love her Sunday

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mother’s day is this Sun., May 8.

We would like to extend best wishes and a Happy Mother’s Day to all the “special women” in your life that have shown you some “motherly love” through the years.

It could be your aunt, auntie, co-worker, daughter, friend, grandma, granny, mama, mi mi, memaw, mommy, mother, nana, sister, sister-in-law or a “female.”

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It’s a time we recognize the importance of being a female and the beauty and responsibility that it entails. However, May is also a time for women to think about their health and what they can do to make it better.

One action women can take is to make an appointment with their doctor or their health care provider for screenings they have been putting off doing (especially their yearly check-up). Are you aware that women between the ages of 40 and 49 should have a thyroid test done every five years? At age 45, women should have a blood glucose test done if they haven’t had one done prior. They should get an eye and ear exam at age 40, then every two to four years or as their doctor advises.

All adults should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster vaccine every 10 years. For more information about women’s health screenings visit the following website: www.womenshealth.gov/WHW/health-resources/screening-tool/index.cfm.

Another step women can do is to look at things in their lives that may be negatively affecting their health, such as smoking, high stress, overeating or obesity. After assessing each situation, decide which areas need changes, learn how to manage these areas better or get some assistance from friends and family that have dealt with the issue successfully.

Talk to health care professionals and let them know you are serious about quitting smoking. Call the free 1-800-QUITNOW phone counseling program offered in Alabama. You may be eligible for free nicotine patches.

Vaccinations are important and women often don’t take the time to get vaccinated. When women are the caregivers of ill family members, they often don’t realize that being vaccinated will help them as well as the people they are caring for.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System offers many courses that may provide an opportunity for women and men to learn how to make necessary lifestyle changes that will have a positive effect on their health. Two of the priority programs are The Right Bite Diabetes Cooking School and DEEP (Diabetes Empowerment Education Program). The Right Bite Diabetes Cooking School is a six-week series program that shows people how to enjoy preparing and eating healthy food. Through hands-on experiences the group learned to prepare delicious meals and snacks to help control and prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases. The DEEP (Diabetes Empowerment Education Program) is also a six-week series program The main goals of the DEEP are: To improve and maintain the quality of life of persons with diabetes; to prevent complications and incapacities; to improve eating habits and maintain adequate nutrition; to increase physical activity; to develop self-care skills; and to improve the relationship between patients and health care providers.

Please call the Escambia County Agent’s Office at 251-867-7760 if you are your group is interested in participating in either of these programs. Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/whw.


Go Strawberry Picking!

Strawberries are now in season! If you live near a farm, or a patch, it can be fun to pick your own. Eat them whole or check out “What’s Cooking” for tasty strawberry recipes.

They are chock full of vitamin C, A, proteins and antioxidants. These recipes are ideal to try for Mother’s Day or any time:


Strawberry, white bean, and edamame salad

1 1/ 2 cups strawberries

1 1/ 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/ 4 cup apple juice

1/ 4 teaspoon salt

1/ 8 teaspoon pepper

1 1/ 2 cups shelled edamame

15 ounces canned low sodium white beans (drained and rinsed)

1/ 2 cup red onion (chopped)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/ 2 cup crumbled feta cheese

6 cups baby spinach


1. Cook edamame according to package directions, while preparing remaining ingredients.

2. Rinse under cool water and drain.

3. In a small bowl, whisk vinaigrette ingredients.

4. In a medium bowl, toss all ingredients except spinach and vinaigrette.

5. Serve on individual plates by nesting strawberry, white bean and edamame mix atop spinach.

6. Drizzle with dressing.


Whole grain strawberries pancakes


1 1/ 2 cups whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/ 2 teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

1 container vanilla low-fat yogurt (6 oz)

3/ 4 cup water

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 3/ 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1 container strawberry low-fat yogurt (6 oz)


1. Heat griddle to 375°F or heat 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Grease with canola oil if necessary (or spray with cooking spray before heating).

2. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. In medium bowl, beat eggs, vanilla yogurt, water and oil with egg beater or wire whisk until well blended.

4. Pour egg mixture all at once into flour mixture; stir until moistened.

5. For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter from cup or pitcher onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbly on top, puffed and dry around edges. Turn; cook other sides 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Top each serving (2 pancakes) with 1/4 cup sliced strawberries and 1 to 2 tablespoons strawberry yogurt.

Notes: The “Grain Chain,” a group of MyPlate National Strategic Partners committed to promoting and supporting grains, offers a series of recipes featuring whole grains. Members include American Bakers Association, Wheat Food Council, Grains Food Foundation, National Pasta Association, USA Rice Federation, General Mills and Kellogg’s. Source: Recipes: ChooseMyPlate.gov