No Brainer: Back To School Immunizations
Parents, grandparents, guardians and babysitters, we’ve made it: the start of the school year is officially just around the corner!  Pardon my jubilation but as my daughters recently paraded around the house in new back-to-school clothes, I couldn’t help but click my heels in anticipation (of course I waited until they left the room like any good parent).
Back to School Immunizations at Brookshire Brothers
 
Look, we are at the approximate point in summer when the nuance of the season has long faded.  It’s hot, the kids are restless, parents are exhausted and most importantly, parents are exhausted.  Our kids need to go back to school—whether they’ll admit it or not—and it’s our job as parents to get them ready.
 
So yes, get the new clothes, shoes and haircuts.  Download the school supply list and stock their backpacks.  But sending our young pupils into the world of academe amply supplied with loose leaf paper is only part of our job as parents.  Making sure our children are up to date on all required and recommended vaccines is a far greater responsibility to ensure the health of our kids and our communities.
Little boy in math class overwhelmed by the math formula.
Another no brainer—healthy lunches! Read Angela Larson (RD)'s 9 Suggestions for School Lunches
 
Depending on the state and even the school district, different vaccines are required for children prior to entering Kindergarten.  By this age (4 to 6 years-old), kids should receive booster doses for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella according to the Centers Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
 
At age 11, the CDC recommends vaccines for meningitis, human papillomavirus and again for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.  Additional vaccines against another type of meningitis (group B) are recommended in certain adolescents and teens who may be at higher risk of infection.
 
Many of these required immunizations are not one-time vaccines but require several vaccines in a series to achieve full immunity.  This can equate to multiple trips to the pediatrician’s office or local health clinic which can be hard to schedule for busy or working parents.
 
Why not let your local Brookshire Brothers pharmacist help?  As an adult, you may have visited your pharmacists for vaccines against a myriad of ailments including influenza, pneumococcal disease, shingles, tetanus, pertussis and hepatitis just to name a few.  Did you also know that your pharmacist can immunize your child against many of the required or recommended vaccines he or she needs?
Pharmacist applying bandaid after giving a shot
In sickness and in health—we're your pharmacy! View our complete list of immunizations here
 
In Texas, pharmacists can administer vaccines to teens over 14 years of age without a prescription (over 7 years old without a prescription for the annual flu shot) and adolescents age 7 to 13 with a prescription.  Simply have your child’s physician issue a prescription (to be given to you or sent directly to the pharmacy electronically) for any needed vaccines.
Your pharmacist will report what vaccines were given and when to your child’s doctor and your state immunization registry.  Many insurance plans pay for vaccines given at the pharmacy, but a quick phone call to your plan can clear up any questions you may have about coverage.
 
Letting your Brookshire Brothers pharmacist help in keeping your child or teen up to date on immunizations is a win for both your child and you!  Talk to your pharmacist today about how we can be a part of getting your kiddo ready for school and keeping them healthy all year long.
 
 

Matt Baker, Pharm.D., RPh

Matt Baker is a pharmacist with Brookshire Brothers Pharmacy in Lufkin.  He received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in 2005 and his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Houston in 2010.  He writes a monthly pharmacy and wellness article for the Lufkin Daily News and is active in the community.  Matt's passion is serving his patients while ensuring that they are equipped to understand and take their medications properly. 

View more of Matt's articles on the Brookshire Brothers blog.
 
One Chicken, Three Easy Meals

Real Fresh, Real Delicious, and Real Satisfying

 
Need some meal ideas that are protein-rich, veggie-packed, quick-n-portable, and top-of-the-line DELICIOUS? With one roast chicken, you can make all three of these healthy dishes below. Pick up a tasty rotiserrie chicken from your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers or make time over the weekend to slow roast a chicken yourself. From there, try one (or all three) of these crowdpleasing variations for an easy lunch or a no-fuss dinner.
 
Get even more meal mileage out of your chicken with this thrifty and delicious idea: save the chicken bones and scraps (before and after roasting) and add them to a crockpot with water to cover and simmer on low for 24 hours. The result? Real fresh, real delicious chicken bone broth for a soup later in the week!
 
Someone carving a delicious roast chicken
 

Slow-Roasted Extra Juicy Whole Chicken

Note: I used red pepper flakes and fennel seeds for a hint of spice and an herby flavor, but it tastes great with just salt and pepper or any spice mix of your choosing.
 
Ingredients
1 whole chicken, giblets removed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
(Optional) ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
(Optional) 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
 

Feeling adventurous? Here are three more takes on roast chickenMediterranean Roast Chicken with Green Olives, Fennel Seeds, and Thyme, Peruvian Roast Chicken with Cilantro and Jalapeño Sauce, Balsamic Roast Chicken and Potatoes

 
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rub chicken all over with extra virgin olive oil. Generously season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on added seasoning, as desired.
  • Roast, breast side up for 70-90 minutes, until breast registers 160 degrees on a thermometer.
  • Let cool and shred meat. Shredded meat may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

A coconut wrap filled with veggies and turkeyDouble Protein Veggie Wrapper’s Delight

Ingredients
Wraps, such as tortilla, pita, etc. (I used coconut wraps for a grain-free option)
Turkey slices
Guacamole (I love the single serving cups for individual wraps)
Spring mix lettuce
Shredded carrots or broccoli carrot slaw
Sugar snap peas, split in half
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Shredded chicken pieces
Salad dressing (as desired)
 
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on the ingredients!
 
Directions
  • Assemble wraps by placing turkey on top of wrap following by guacamole, lettuce, shredded carrots, snap peas, shredded chicken, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Drizzle with salad dressing if desired.
  • Roll up and take a walk while you eat!

Garden Salad with Shredded Chicken and Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients
Spring mix lettuce or baby spinach
Cherry tomatoes
Shredded carrots
Fresh broccoli cut into small pieces
Shredded chicken
Pine nuts, slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, or chopped pecans
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
 
For another option, check out this Crunchy Asian Chopped Salad recipe previously featured in "Cooking with Kate: Take the Labor Out of Labor Day, PART II"
 
Directions
    • Assemble salad with lettuce and vegetables, topping with chicken and nuts, as desired. Add black pepper to salad as desired.
    • To prepare dressing, add equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil to a mason jar with a pinch of salt, seal tightly with lid and shake until emulsified.
    • Drizzle salad with dressing and serve.

A delicious looking plate of chicken salad on lettuceSweet and Crunchy Chicken Salad

Ingredients
Shredded chicken, chopped fine
Golden raisins
Dates, pitted and chopped
Pecans, toasted and chopped fine
Mayonnaise
Applesauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lettuce, tortillas, bread, or other wrap for serving
 
Directions
Mix shredded chicken, golden raisins, dates, and pecans in a bowl (proportioned as desired).
Add mayonnaise and a spoon full of applesauce for sweetness and stir until desired consistency is achieved.
Serve.
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers to get cookin' today! 
 

 

Angela Larson

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 

 
Together, we HOPE

While October is oft-celebrated with candy and creepy crawlies, don't forget to take time and reflect on this month's message of hope. Find out more below with Pharmacist Matt Baker's discussion of Breast Cancer Awareness.

Together we HOPE. Employee owners, Breast cancer survivors. Shop With Someone You Know
 
October has always been that charming time of year where your otherwise normal neighbors erect an 18-foot blow-up witch and fake tombstones across their yard. Large spiders adorn the hedges while the fake webs from whence they crept waft eerily in the breeze. Whatever in the world possesses such people to flaunt all their haunts, I will never know.
 
PS - Don't miss these Wicked Good Snacks from Catering Coordinator Kate Rudasill (perfect for Halloween!)
 
Thankfully, October means more than just a month of ghosts and ghouls these days. Halloween no longer defines October (blow-up scary things notwithstanding); instead, the month boasts something far more altruistic—Breast Cancer Awareness.
 
October also includes Hispanic Heritage Month! Celebrate with these two Cooking with Kate recipes: Bolivian-Style Empanadas and Spanish Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon.
 
The rampant colors of candy corn now compete with pink ribbons pinned everywhere as a reminder to celebrate those who have survived the awful disease and to remember those who did not. Pink also serves as a signpost of the seriousness of this diagnosis and the benefits of screening and early detection.
 
 
As it stands, 1 in 8 women across the U.S. will be diagnosed with some type of invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. That’s 12.4% of our mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters.  And while mortality rates have been declining since 1989, almost 41,000 women are expected to die in 2018—a figure more frightening than any front-yard Frankenstein.
 
Read more: Find out Pharmacist Kelly Kinney's four suggestions on how to "Fight Like A Girl" when it comes to breast cancer awareness
 
There’s good news though: women under age 50 have experienced an even larger decline in death rates due to advances in treatment and October’s message of awareness. While society is moving in the right direction, this small step is no reason to rest on our laurels; breast cancer is still dangerous and awareness remains a key weapon in the battle against this disease.
 
Group of smiling ladies with pink ribbons cheering and holding hands
 
As such, it is important to remember a few important points about breast cancer in order to fight it more effectively:
 
  • A woman’s risk of breast cancer doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) who has/had the disease; however, 85% of breast cancers develop in women with no family history.
  • Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes result in a significantly higher lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.
  • In women under age 45, African-American women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Among women of all ages, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer.
  • All women should begin having mammograms at age 45 and can decrease to every other year at age 55.  Women who wish to start screening early can do so beginning at age 40.
  • An astounding 2,550 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in men in 2018. A man has about a 1 in 1,000 chance of developing breast cancer over his life.
Next time you see pink ribbons or pink socks (or even pink gloves on an NFL wide receiver), be hopeful.  As awareness increases among the population, we can hope for more frequent screenings, more early detection, and more survivors of this dreadful disease.
 
Talk with your local pharmacist to find out more. Visit a Brookshire Brothers pharmacy near you today!
 

Matt Baker, Pharm.D., RPh

Matt Baker is a pharmacist with Brookshire Brothers Pharmacy in Lufkin.  He received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in 2005 and his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Houston in 2010.  He writes a monthly pharmacy and wellness article for the Lufkin Daily News and is active in the community.  Matt's passion is serving his patients while ensuring that they are equipped to understand and take their medications properly. 

View more of Matt's articles on the Brookshire Brothers blog.
 
 
 
 
 
Healthy Living: Sunscreen and Sun Safety
Fact: Summer in Texas is hot.
 
Some folks would blame the humidity, to which my wife’s hair will attest, but most know it’s the summer sun that reigns as King of the Heat. Yes, our state star emits an exhausting, relentless warmth that we Texans, never short on pride, will pit against Death Valley any day of the week. However, the sun also emits dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays that, while less famous than the heat, can do real damage to skin, ranging from wrinkling to sunburns to melanoma. Protection from the sun is something to take seriously, especially in the South.
 
Sunscreen and Sun Safety
Apart from avoiding the sun altogether, our best protection against UV rays is to use sunscreen. Even though it seems like a simple concept, sunscreen and sun safety are often associated with countless myths and misperceptions. Allow me to illuminate some of the more common misunderstandings, untruths, and legends.
 
Myth #1: It’s cloudy outside today, so I don’t need sunscreen.
Wrong. Play it safe and apply sunscreen even on cloudy days. Clouds will only block about 20% of the sun’s UV rays. Likewise, water is only minimally effective at blocking UV rays. That is, jumping in a pool isn’t going to protect you either. Plus, the water’s surface can actually reflect UV rays, thus leading to even greater exposure.
 
Read more: Prioritize your health before you hit the road this summer. Check out these 4 tips for making sure you're all set with your medications while on holiday.
 
Myth #2: I like tanning but am careful not to get burned. I should be safe from sun damage.
Ultraviolet light exposure (from any source) increases your risk for skin cancer, much like cigarette smoke increases your risk for lung cancer. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is more often linked to tanning than lung cancer is linked to smoking. Sunburns are also dangerous; just five or more sunburns in a lifetime will double a person’s risk for melanoma.
 
Myth #3:The higher the SPF in my sunscreen the better.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), SPF or Sun Protection Factor peaks at around 30. At this level, about 97% of the sun’s rays are blocked. Since no sunscreen can block all of the sun’s rays, formulations with a SPF greater than 30 provide only incrementally higher protection. Whatever you use, choose a broad spectrum that blocks both types of UV rays (A and B) with an SPF of at minimum 15.
 
Sunscreen and Sun Safety
 
Myth #4: I covered my face, shoulders and arms with sunscreen. I’m good to go.
Don’t forget the other areas of your body that suffer from UV damage: ears, neck, eyes and surrounding skin and lips. Wearing hats, sunglasses and lip balm with a SPF of at least 30 is ideal. Even clothing can allow penetration of UV rays, so be generous with your application. It’s best to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, or after swimming or sweating. The AAD recommends using about 1 ounce of sunscreen (about the volume needed to fill a shot glass) to cover the exposed area of skin for an individual of average size.
 
P.S. - All sunscreen products are 15% OFF with this week's Member Monday offer (07/23). Not a member? Sign up TODAY
 
Myth #5: I am dark-skinned and should be protected against burning and sun damage.
While it is true that darker skinned individuals do not burn as easily as light or fair skinned people, everyone is subject to the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. Dark skinned individuals should still be diligent in limiting time in the sun and applying sunscreen using the same guidelines as lighter skinned people. Keep in mind that medications and medical conditions can also impact your sensitivity to the sun. Ask your pharmacist if you are at risk based on what medications you are taking.
 

Matt Baker, Pharm.D., RPh

Matt Baker is a pharmacist with Brookshire Brothers Pharmacy in Lufkin.  He received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in 2005 and his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Houston in 2010.  He writes a monthly pharmacy and wellness article for the Lufkin Daily News and is active in the community.  Matt's passion is serving his patients while ensuring that they are equipped to understand and take their medications properly. 

View more of Matt's articles on the Brookshire Brothers blog.
 
Real Fresh, Real Delicious, Really Green Smoothie
With Saint Patrick’s Day around the corner, spring in the air, and the produce section at my neighborhood Brookshire Brothers overflowing with fresh seasonal produce, what better way to celebrate than with a tasty green treat?  No need for artificial food coloring when you can use nature’s pantry to create a delectable green smoothie that will please kids and adults alike. Plus, smoothies are a quick and tasty way to get in your daily fruits and veggies!
 
Healthy Shamrock Smoothie Recipe
 
The art of the smoothie is all about the combination of ingredients. At my local Brookshire Brothers, I spotted plenty of farm fresh produce for inspiration. I decided to blend fresh apples and cucumbers in my recipe, but feel free to swap out ingredients and make it your own. You can sub in fresh oranges, bananas, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, double the frozen fruit, or whatever you feel inspired to do!
 
Shamrock Smoothie Ingredients: Fresh Kale
 
For a sweeter drink, choose frozen mango or frozen pineapple and use coconut water or 100% juice for the liquid component.  For a mildly sweet lower calorie smoothie, I used an almond/coconut milk blend.  If using the drink as a meal replacement, try using regular milk or half yogurt half milk to boost the protein.
 
DON'T FORGET: Check your weekly ad for special savings on these ingredients!
 
Shamrock Smoothie Ingredients: Coconut Water
 
I added a spoon full of chia seeds for some healthy omega-3 fats, but flax seed works as well or you can skip them all together.  For the green stuff, try hand fulls of fresh spinach, kale, or Swiss chard to make it as beautiful as it is healthy.
 
Healthy Shamrock Smoothie Ingredients
 
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to make your own pot of (green smoothie) gold at the end of the rainbow.  Wishing you good luck and good health!  Enjoy!
 
THIS WEEKEND ONLY: Join our text promotions and get 10% OFF ANY FROZEN FOODS—perfect for adding frozen fruits to your smoothie recipe! To sign up, text JOIN [insert your store number] to 59652.
Don't know your store number? You can use our store locator or shoot us an email at customerexperience@brookshirebros.com
 
 

SHAMROCK SMOOTHIE
 
Healthy Shamrock Smoothie RecipeIngredients
1 cup frozen mango, pineapple, or other frozen fruit of choice
Two small or one large apple, cored and cut into chunks
1/2 cucumber or one mini cucumber cut into chunks
1 cup almond milk, coconut milk, regular milk, yogurt, coconut water, or 100% juice of choice
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or half a lemon squeezed)
1 Tablespoon of whole chia seeds or flax seeds (optional)
Two big hand fulls (about two cups packed) of fresh spinach, kale, or Swiss chard
 
Find a nearby Brookshire Brothers to pick up any ingredients you don't already have on hand!
 
Directions
Add all ingredients to blender and mix until well blended. Add greens in batches as needed.  
Makes 4 cups (32 ounces)
 
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
 
Lent: A Time for Mindfulness
The forty days of Lent are a time of reflection, fasting, and prayer in preparation for the celebration of Easter. Many who participate in Lent choose to fast from certain things, typically personal vices. Here are a few ideas on what you can give up (or take on) so that your time is purposeful, meditative, and constructive.
 
Lent: A Time for Mindfulness
 
TECHNOLOGY
Taking a rest from social media is a great way to improve mindfulness and well-being—particularly while eating.  When you avoid screen time and other distractions, you can fully engage and enjoy the company of who you’re with, whether it’s friends, family, or others. If eating alone, you might find yourself appreciating the subtlest of sensory inputs from what you’re eating—taste, smell, texture, appearance, even the sounds made while chewing—without the distraction of technology.
 
SWEETS
Sweets are another popular choice to give up during Lent. Whether you sacrifice soda, added sugars, or sweets in general, just the exercise of giving up sweets can show you how often you are tempted to indulge. For the best chance at success, have a plan in place when cravings strike. One classic strategy is to drink a glass of water, which comes from the fact that dehydration triggers snack cravings. Keeping fresh fruit handy is another great alternative.
 
SNACKING
Snacking mindlessly can be a problem if it leads to excess calorie intake, plus many snack foods can be full of empty calories without any intrinsic nutritional benefit. Consider limiting your snacks to one purposefully planned snack each day. Pick a time for your snack—such as mid-morning or mid-afternoon—as well as a choice with nutritional quality, such as nuts, seeds, fruit, cheese, popcorn, or dried veggie products.
 
Read more: Here’s 20+ ideas for mixing up a healthy snack with cottage cheese
 
SLEEP
Making wise choices to improve sleep habits is another excellent way to spend the Lenten season.  An earlier bedtime can lead to better sleep, in addition to more time for meditation and morning walks.
 
Did you know poor sleep can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more? Find out more about healthy habits and why they're so important
 
NATURE
Make a commitment to spend some time outdoors every day. Whether it’s a walk, a picnic, a trip to the park, or work in the garden, being outdoors is a great time for reflection while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of fresh air, increased movement, and even vitamin D production from the sunshine on your skin.
 
Lent Suggestion #5: Enjoy nature
 
 
FISH ON FRIDAY
If you’re taking the more traditional "fish on Friday" path for Lent—in other words, a meatless forty days except for seafood on Fridays—plan wisely to make sure your diet is rich in the nutrients you might be missing out on.  Choose nutritious starches with plenty of protein such as beans, peas, Lentils, and quinoa. Eggs and dairy are also nutrient dense foods helpful with balancing the diet and providing protein. With your Friday seafood, be sure to choose a variety of selections to meet all your nutritional needs and alleviate boredom.  Your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers has a great selection of fresh, frozen, and packaged seafood options.

 


 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
6 Nutrition Tips for Surviving Midterms

Healthy suggestions for making the most of your brain when it's needed most

 
It’s that time of the year again. Fall is full-on pumpkin, Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and—dun dun DUN—college midterms are here! For those of you who know a student—or you yourself!—that could use a little extra brainpower during the long study sessions and test taking, I’m here to save the day with my favorite brain-boosting study foods, plus some tips and tricks for acing those exams.
 
(P.S. – While these tips are particularly important during times when the brain is working extra hard—like midterms—they’re also great to keep in mind for your everyday habits!)
 
 
Read more: Brighten a college student’s spirits with a care package during midterms—order one online today!
 

Fatty Fish

You may have heard it before, but I’m telling you again omega-3 fats really are good for the brain. Keep your noggin filled with good vibes by eating at least 3-4 oz each week of fatty fish like salmon or sardines.  Your dorm mates or coworkers don’t appreciate you microwaving a filet of salmon? No problem. Try ready-to-eat foods like canned sardines instead, or—my favorite—packages of wild caught Alaskan salmon. Slap it on some bread with mayo and a little relish, and you’ve got a full-fledged feast that’s on-the-go convenient.  Thank you… your brain says.

Read more: How to grocery shop on a college student budget—the ultimate guide
 

Dark Chocolate

Do I really need to give you an excuse to eat chocolate?  Chocolate is rich in antioxidants and brain-boosting minerals like iron and magnesium.  Best of all, it has a little bit of caffeine to get you through a slow slump, and I would wager that snacking on such a treat would help ease some anxiety (exam-related or otherwise).

 

Nuts and Seeds

Take your snack a step further by pairing the dark chocolate with some nuts and seeds. When you eat a variety of nuts and seeds, you also get a variety of brain boosting benefits.  Case in point: brazil nuts are loaded with the antioxidant selenium; walnuts are rich in omega-3;  almonds are full of vitamin E; and pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc and magnesium.  Mix up some trail mix and munch away.

Read more: Try this Cocoa Almond Trail Mix recipe from our catering coordinator Kate Rudasill! 
 

Mozart

Okay, so not exactly a nutrient, but listening to some calming yet stimulating music can help maintain focus—a particularly useful perk during long study sessions.  Besides, Mozart was pretty smart, so maybe listening to his music will make you smarter by osmosis.

Read more: Music is one way to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Here are six other healthy habits  
 

Coffee or Green Tea

A little caffeine has been shown to improve alertness and mental acuity, so an hour or so before heading into an exam (or, say, a major meeting) have a small cup of coffee or green tea.  Be cautious, however, about using caffeine to stay up late to study or work. It may interfere with your much-needed sleep.

Read more: Don’t forget about breakfast! Check out this recipe for Avocado Toast with Poached or Shirred Eggs.
 

Peppermint

One last trick to use is to pop a peppermint into your mouth before the big event (test, meeting, interview, etc). Studies have show that eating a mint is stimulating and can help improve blood flow to the brain.

 
While these tips will help sharpen your memory and ace that test, they’re also just great way to keep eating real fresh, real delicious. Don’t forget to visit a local Brookshire Brothers to pick up what you need—and good luck!!
 
 

 
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas.
 
 
 
A Day in the Life: My Organized and Healthy Kitchen

A minute saved, is a minute earned. After December's busy happenings, this is the time of the year that I have to really plan ahead to get everything accomplished. For me, it all starts in the kitchen.

I’m sure we can all agree that cooking and eating at home is healthier and less expensive, but can sometimes be time consuming. With a little pre-planning and cooking at home, you can actually save time and money (and it can even be healthier)!

To save my sanity…I mean time, I create a shopping list for the week. No running to the store for a missing ingredient in our house. I send my (wonderful) husband to the grocery store with the list in-hand and he purchases everything that we need for a week’s worth of meals.

While he is at the store, I begin the meal planning process. With input from my twin girls, I plan our weekly lunches and dinners. This is where planning becomes your friend! Save yourself from the “what’s for lunch?” question by packing leftovers. Eating leftovers can save so much money if you’re willing to spend some time planning on how to utilize the leftovers. Here's an example of what my calendar looked like for December -

For my family of four, this is the norm for us. We all work like a well-oiled machine when it comes to lunch and dinner. I hope this gives you a glimpse into my crazy, but organized life. I love all things healthy and planned and hope to bring more ideas for 2016 from my kitchen.