Dump Chicken Recipes That Are (Almost) Completely Hands-Off
When you don’t have the time for a lot of chopping and prepping, make one of our chicken dump recipes for dinner. These dishes keep it simple—just stir (after dumping) the ingredients together, and bake, slow cook, or pressure cook. Since they’re mostly hands-off, these dump chicken dinners will save you some clean-up afterwards, too.
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1 16 ounce jar salsa
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 bolilio rolls or hoagie buns, split
- Queso fresco cheese, crumbled (optional)
- Shredded lettuce
- Fresh Cilantro
- Step 1
- Step 2
397 calories, (1 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 110 mg cholesterol, 987 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 43 g protein.
Top of Form
- 1 ½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 8 ounces uncooked chorizo, casings removed if present
- 1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
- 3 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 – 2 canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped*
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried Mexican oregano or dried regular oregano, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Thinly sliced fresh jalapeño chile pepper,* queso fresco, and/or chopped red onion (optional)
- Flour and/or corn tortillas (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Step 1
- Step 2
Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.
399 calories, (9 g saturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 11 g monounsaturated fat), 89 mg cholesterol, 649 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 35 g protein.
10 Ways to Manage Sundown Syndrome
How dementia caregivers can soothe anxiety in the evening
by Amy Goyer, AARP, Updated November 7, 2019
If your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you may be seeing changes in their behavior in the late afternoon or early evening — a phenomenon known as sundown syndrome, sundowners or sundowning.
Research indicates that as many as 20 percent of people with Alzheimer’s experience sundown syndrome, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. With this symptom of dementia (and some other conditions, as well), the approach of sundown can trigger sudden emotional, behavioral or cognitive changes. These might include:
- mood swings
- energy surges
- increased confusion
For some, the behavior soon abates. For others it continues for hours, flipping their sleep schedules so they are wide awake all night and sleepy during the day.
There are many theories about why this happens. It may have to do with the dimming light — a sense that it’s time to change activities or “go home” — or other factors, including extreme fatigue, hunger, thirst, pain or discomfort, or hormonal changes that occur as the sun goes down. Evening and darkness may tap into fears of being unsafe and insecure.
Whatever the cause, seeing their loved one with these symptoms can be a nightmare for family members.
My father had Alzheimer’s, and we first noticed sundown syndrome when he was in the disease’s moderate stage. Questions or observations that were occasional for most of the day — “What’s the plan?” “What should I be doing?” “We’d better get going!” — got more frequent, and more urgent, around 5 or 6 in the evening. As the disease progressed, his symptoms improved, and I think that’s thanks at least in part to a variety of techniques we used on a regular basis.
Tips for managing sundown symptoms
Observe and minimize triggers. Watch for fatigue and other things that seem to spur on sundowning behaviors. Afternoon transitions and activities that you consider normal can be anxiety-producing for your loved ones.
For example, does the household get chaotic and noisy as people get home from work? Does the TV get switched to something loud or intense, like a crime show or the news? Is there are a lot of cross talk during mealtimes? Is there a caregiver shift change?
Watch, too, for nutritional triggers and adjust eating and drinking schedules. Cut back on caffeine and sugar, which can be too stimulating, and limit liquids later in the day, as they can cause increased toileting needs.
2. Maintain routines and structure activity. Maximize activity earlier in the day and minimize napping (especially if your loved one isn’t sleeping well at night). Try to avoid challenging, stressful tasks around dusk and at night. Keep to a regular daily routine — there’s security in the familiar.
3. Simplify surroundings and adjust the sleep environment. Too much sensory stimulation can cause anxiety and confusion, worsened by changing light. Try to minimize physical, visual and auditory clutter in your loved one’s bedroom.
At night, keep it calm and comfortable (experts often suggest a temperature around 68 to 70 degrees), and dark (try light-blocking curtains or an eye mask, plus dim night-lights for safe navigation). Evaluate your loved one for sleep disturbances such as sleep apnea.
4. Validate and distract. Simply trying to reason with someone in the midst of sundowning probably won’t work. Instead, try to validate your loved one’s feelings (even if they don’t make sense to you) to let them know you are listening. Try to draw them away from troubling thoughts and anxieties by diverting or redirecting attention to favorite activities, foods, animals and people.
For example, maybe they are soothed by watching a favorite TV show, taking a walk, snuggling with a pet or reminiscing. My dad loved The Lawrence Welk Show; we would give him TV earphones to amplify the volume and limit other sounds. It was almost always an effective distraction.
5. Adjust light exposure. Some experts theorize that our hormones and body clocks are regulated by exposure to light, and that when light is limited it throws us off. If adequate exposure to direct sunlight isn’t possible, try a light box and use bright lights in the room.
As it gets dark outside, increase indoor lighting. In the winter, when days got shorter, I would often turn on the bright back porch lights outside our dining-room window, which helped prevent Dad from thinking it was already bedtime.
6. Play music and calming sounds. We used music throughout the day for Daddy — instrumental music as he woke up, sing-along favorites or show tunes to activate him, and calming music when sundowning set in. I recommend trying solo piano or classical guitar, or creating a “relaxation” channel on a music app such as Pandora, Spotify or Amazon Prime Music.
If Dad got anxious, my sister and I started singing his favorite songs and he would join in — a great diversion. Playing nature sounds like rain or ocean waves all night, or just white noise, helped him fall asleep and slumber longer.
7. Use essential oils. Lavender, rose, ylang-ylang, chamomile, blue tansy, frankincense and other essential oils can be calming. If you want to encourage waking up and activity during the day, try bergamot, jasmine, peppermint, rosemary or a citrus such as grapefruit, lemon or orange. Test which scents your loved one responds to.
Essential oils also can be used for aromatherapy. (We used lavender oil in a diffuser for Dad, but you can also use it to scent a cotton ball, or mix with water and spray it in the air.) They can be potent, so be sure to use appropriate amounts and dilutions
8. Give healing touch. Never underestimate the value of a hand or foot massage to relax tense muscles and increase feel-good hormones. For example, when Dad was at the height of sundowning, we prepared a warm footbath with herbs and essential oils and soaked and massaged his feet every evening, which eased him through the transition incredibly well.
He always loved having his head rubbed and scratched, so doing that immediately calmed him. He also got a professional massage once a week, which helped on an ongoing basis. A loving hug or holding hands can be physically calming and emotionally reassuring for your loved ones, breaking the cycle of anxiety.
9. Try acupuncture. Acupuncture has been used to treat anxiety and depression for many generations and is increasingly being accepted by Western medicine. I started taking Dad to acupuncture to help with grief, depression and anxiety and was pleased at how it relaxed him; he continued acupuncture for the last five years of his life. The sessions would start with a short massage to calm him (very important), and he generally slept through the treatment. Talk with your loved one’s doctor about this option, and find an acupuncturist who understands dementia.
10. Use herbs, supplements and medications wisely. Ask the doctor about medications that might help with symptoms, such as antianxiety drugs and antidepressants. Be sure to ask about and monitor possible side effects; for some people with dementia, sedating drugs can cause the opposite effect. (A geriatric psychiatrist is an excellent resource.)
Also ask about herbs and supplements, such as lemon balm, valerian, chamomile, kava and holy basil. There are many supplements that claim to be calming and stress-reducing, including melatonin, magnesium, and B, C and E vitamins. Keep in mind that a brain with dementia may react differently to certain treatments.
Managing sundown syndrome requires creativity, flexibility, empathy and strong observational skills as we try to determine what triggers our loved ones and how to address the behaviors. No two people with dementia are exactly alike, so be prepared to test different approaches. Some may not work, but others will. Successes might be temporary or intermittent. But even a little bit of success can greatly ease your loved one’s anxieties, as well as your own stress.
Editor’s note: This column, originally published in May 2017, has been updated to reflect that Amy’s father died in 2018.
Amy Goyer is AARP's Family and Caregiving Expert and author of Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving. Connect with Amy on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, amygoyer.com and in our Online Community.
Medicare Premiums, Deductibles to Increase in 2020
Enrollees will pay more out of pocket for parts A and B
by Dena Bunis, AARP, November 8, 2019
Medicare premiums and deductibles for parts A and B will increase in 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Friday. Standard monthly premiums for Part B will cost $9.10 more, rising to $144.60 in 2020, up from $135.50 in 2019.
Because premiums are based on income, Part B beneficiaries with annual incomes greater than $87,000 will pay more ($202.40 for individuals with incomes between $87,000 and $109,000, for instance). Part B covers doctor visits and other outpatient services, such as lab tests and diagnostic screenings. Annual Part B deductibles will rise $13 next year to $198, up from this year's $185, according to CMS.
The Part B increases for 2020 are larger than the slight ones levied on beneficiaries for this year. Federal officials attributed the increases to rising spending on drugs administered in doctors’ offices. “These higher costs have a ripple effect and result in higher Part B premiums and deductibles,” CMS said Friday in announcing the 2020 out-of-pocket costs.
Part A covers hospitalization and some nursing home and home health care services. The inpatient deductible that patients will pay for each hospital admission will increase by $44 in 2020 to $1,408, up from $1,364 this year. Almost all Medicare beneficiaries (99 percent) pay no Part A premium.
Open enrollment for Medicare began Oct. 15 and continues through Dec. 7. This is the one period during the year when beneficiaries can take stock of their coverage and make the choices that will best meet their health care needs.
Free Stuff You Can Really Use
Dozens of freebies worth paying for, but you don't have to spend a dollar
by Shelley Emling, Tamara Lytle and David Schiff, AARP, October 4, 2019
For shoppers who love finding great deals, free is the best price of all. Our curated list of coast-to-coast freebies has products and services for home, health, family, food and fun.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables. Folks 60 and older who have an income under about $23,000 ($31,000 for a two-person household) can get coupons to use at authorized farm stands and farmers markets. At fns.usda.gov, click on Programs at the top of the page; then select Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program from the drop-down menu.
- Birthday presents. Score a free beverage at Starbucks if it's your special day and you're a rewards member. Baskin-Robbins doles out a free scoop if you have an account with the ice cream chain.
- Meals for the grandkids. Taking your grandchildren the next time you dine out won't cost you extra at restaurants where kids eat for free. Go to WalletHacks.com/kids-eat-free for a list of eateries. Call ahead to confirm that this deal is still available.
- Healthy recipes. To make food that's both good and good for you, get free recipes at websites including EatYourselfSkinny.com, which includes options that are gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and dairy free; AllRecipes.com and Delish.com (search for “healthy” on either site); and DeliciousMeetsHealthy.com.
- National parks. You don't have to pay an entry fee on certain dates each year; the last in 2019 is Veterans Day, Nov. 11. For 2020 dates, go to nps.gov/PlanYourVisit/fee-free-parks.htm.
- Travel guides, maps and planners. Yes, your navigation app is great for getting you there, but paper guidebooks and planners are rugged, and they never run out of juice. You'll find guides, maps and planners for many states at FreeTravelGuides.com. Or just search a state name plus “travel guides."
- Hotel amenities. From luxury to budget-friendly lodging, most hotels and motels offer an array of free amenities to attract guests. Marriott's Residence Inn delivers groceries to your room, Kimpton Hotels lends you a bike, and Hard Rock Hotel lets you borrow a Fender guitar. For a list, see GoBankingRates.com/saving-money/hotels/things-hotel-give-free.
- Wi-Fi when you fly. Many airports and airlines now offer free Wi-Fi. To find the airports where it's offered, go to WifiFreeSpot.com. For a current lineup of gratis in-flight Wi-Fi, visit pointmetotheplane.boardingarea.com/airlines-free-wifi.
- Hotel room. If you search online for “third night free,” you'll see dozens of hotels, such as Four Seasons and Fairmont, that give you the last night at no charge for stays of at least three nights.
- Vacation home. You might get free accommodations on your next trip by swapping houses with someone who lives at the destination. Some swapping sites include HomeExchange.com and Intervac-HomeExchange.com.
- Cancer screening. The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program helps low-income and underinsured women get lifesaving early screening and diagnostic services for breast and cervical cancers. To learn if you qualify and to locate a provider near you, go to cdc.gov/cancer and click on National Programs.
- Peace of mind. Search online for “UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center” to get free guided meditations (in English or Spanish) that you can practice on your own. Some other no-cost meditation phone apps include InsightTimer and Stop, Breathe & Think.
- Fitness tips. Run by the American Council on Exercise, the ACE Exercise Library offers a free trove of exercises that target specific areas of the body. Each comes with photos to ensure proper form. At AceFitness.org, click on Education; then, under For All, click on Exercise Library.
- Dental care. If you or a loved one don't have dental coverage, look into Donated Dental Services, a network of dentists and labs across the country that provide free dental work for the elderly, the medically fragile, the disabled and those who can't afford dental care. Eligibility varies by state, and there may be a waiting list. Go to DentalLifeline.org.
- Medicare advice. Trained counselors in the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) can help you choose the best Medicare plan for your situation from among the numerous options. Go to shiptacenter.org for contact information for your state.
- Brisk walks. Many apps focus specifically on walking. Some track your route, speed and distance. Others are geared more toward tracking your daily steps and activity. And some do all of the above. Free apps include Map My Walk, Endomondo and the Fitbit app's MobileTrack (which doesn't require a Fitbit).
- Time off for caregivers. If you are looking after a veteran, you may be able to get free respite care. Go to va.gov and click on Family Member Benefits near the middle of the page. Caring for a civilian? At n4a.org you can find your local Area Agency on Aging, which can tell you if free respite care is available.
- Dietary encouragement. An online weight-loss support group can supply you with a free and helpful cheering section. Shape magazine's Goal Crushers Facebook group, for one, has attracted more than 9,500 members. If you prefer face-to-face motivation, go on Meetup.com to locate a weight-loss support group near you.
- Fitness. One of the most popular gratis exercise apps is Runkeeper, which will track your running, your cycling or even your skating routine. Avid cyclists can try Strava, which maps your trips and also compares your abilities with those of others who have traveled the same route.
- Gym test-drive. Membership can be expensive, so it's a good idea to try before you buy. It's easy to find fitness centers that offer free introductory guest passes ranging from one to seven days. Contact gyms near you to check out what they have to offer.
- Eyeglasses. Many chapters of Lions Clubs International provide free eye exams and recycled glasses to children and adults in need. To find chapters near you, go to directory.lionsclubs.org.
- Health screenings. Sam's Club, Costco and CVS offer free health screenings that, depending on the retailer and location, may include blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index and osteoporosis checks. Visit your local store or the retailers’ websites to discover what's available near you.
- Checkup (for Fido!) Set up a free pet health exam at your local VCA Animal Hospital, which has 800 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Visit vcahospitals.com/free-pet-exam.
- Electric-car money. The Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle tax credit, worth up to $7,500, is available for most electric cars sold in the U.S. For a list of eligible vehicles, go to fueleconomy.gov, click on Advanced Cars & Fuels, then, on the drop-down menu, select All-Electric Vehicles/Tax Incentives.
- Local rides. Many counties and towns offer seniors free or discount transportation through their local Area Agency on Aging. Go to n4a.org to find the agency near you.
- Autos for disabled veterans. Vets and military members who have suffered certain service-related disabilities can receive up to $19,817 toward the purchase of a vehicle, plus free adaptive equipment required because of their disability. Go to benefits.gov/benefit/278.
- Pension recovery. Having trouble tracking down a pension you're owed — maybe because your employer merged or changed owners? Get help from the Pension Rights Center, at PensionRights.org.
- Legal services. Federally funded programs, aimed at older people with a social or financial need, provide advice on a wide range of legal issues, including access to Social Security and Medicare. Go to ElderCare.acl.gov to find legal aid in your area.
- Credit monitoring. WalletHub.com, CreditSesame.com and CreditKarma.com will monitor your credit score for free and let you know if something changes. Many other companies require payment after a trial period.
- Tax preparation. The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program's volunteers prepare returns at no charge for people of low to moderate income. There is no age requirement. For a location near you, visit aarp.org/taxaide during tax season.
- School. Whether you want to hone your job skills or just love to learn, you'll find that many colleges and universities waive tuition for older people. Type in “free tuition for seniors” at ThePennyHoarder.com to discover how to find schools in every state.
- Museums. If you hold a Bank of America, Merrill Lynch or U.S. Trust credit or debit card, stop by BankofAmerica.com and do a search for “museums on us.” The companies offer cardholders one free admission to participating museums around the country on the first full weekend of each month.
- Animal adventures for grandkids. Many zoos allow kids in gratis on select days of the month. Just search for the zoo of your choice to find out if and when.
- Theater. Many local theaters will let you watch the show for free if you volunteer as an usher. Wear comfy shoes — you'll probably be standing during the performance.
- Weatherization. The Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program covers costs to make homes more energy efficient, helping consumers save an average of $283 or more each year. Any recipient of Supplemental Security Income qualifies; otherwise, eligibility varies by state. For more info, go to benefits.gov/benefit/580.
- Phone and internet. People with low incomes can get help paying for cellphone or landline service as well as broadband under the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program. The benefit is $9.25 per month toward your monthly bill. Go to LifelineSupport.org to discover if you qualify.
- Odds and ends. The Freecycle Network is a grassroots nonprofit movement providing a forum for giving and receiving free stuff in cities and neighborhoods across the country. Go to Freecycle.org to find a group near you. You can also get items for your home and garden on Craigslist; simply search for “free stuff."
- Repairs. At Repair Café events — held nationwide, usually about once a month — volunteer coaches help you fix small appliances, furniture, lamps or whatever else you can carry in. Find the nearest one at RepairCafe.org/en/visit. Can't wait? Go online to Fixya.com to get no-cost expert advice for fixing just about anything.
- Money for heat. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance program helps consumers cover the cost of heating and cooling their homes. Learn more at benefits.gov/benefit/623.
- DIY school. Home Depot offers do-it-yourself classes for free, such as one on how to install a ceiling fan. Go to homedepot.com and search for “workshops.” Michaels craft stores also offer classes, some of which are gratis. Go to michaels.com/classes.
- Room design. Want to remodel or renovate a room? Even deciding on furniture placement can be a challenge. But visualizing your plans with a free, easy-to-use online room-design application can help. Check out floorplanner.com or 3dream.net.
- Garden plotting. Free online tools make it easy to decide the contents and layout of your garden. Search online for “plan-a-garden,” or go to gardeners.com and type in “garden planner."
- Assistive electronics. People who have both significant hearing loss and vision loss can get free smartphones, computers, screen readers and other technology, along with help setting up the devices. The federally funded program is for individuals earning up to $49,960 or two-person households making no more than $67,640. Go to ICanConnect.org.
- Color scheming. Who hasn't painted a room and later wished for a different hue? Next time try one of the free online tools that let you upload a picture of a room and try different shades. Three options are ColorSnap from Sherwin-Williams, Personal Color Viewer from Benjamin Moore and Glidden's Room Visualizer.
New Insights about Getting Active and Staying Active
By Author Karen Collins
Posted on July 17, 2019
If you are 45-65 or older and your lifestyle has been more “couch potato” than active, can adding more physical activity still make a difference in your health and longevity?
Many studies show that people who regularly do some kind of physical activity have a lower risk of cancer and heart disease than people who are sedentary. But few studies provide a longer-term view of health when active people become less active, and sedentary people start becoming more active. A new study of more than 14,000 men and women provides helpful insights.
Men and women in the UK aged 40 to 79 answered questions about their weekly physical activity at the start of the study and about 3 to 4 years later. Then about 12 years later, researchers looked at whether the changes in physical activity all those years ago might be related to deaths in the years that followed.
Here are some reasonable take-home messages based on these findings combined with past research:
- Don’t give up on yourself. People who initially had a sedentary job and did no leisure-time physical activity, but then increased physical activity in the next few years, had significantly fewer deaths over the next 12 to 13 years than those who continued a sedentary lifestyle. And this was true even after researchers adjusted for factors like smoking, alcohol, weight and diet quality. Likewise, these findings did not change based on whether or not someone had a history of heart disease or cancer at the start of the study.
- Use it or lose it (at least partially). People who were active at the beginning of the study but then decreased activity had fewer deaths than those who started off sedentary and stayed that way. But those who decreased activity didn’t hold on to the health protection experienced by people who maintained or increased their physical activity over time.
- Some is good; more is better. People who got the recommended average of 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week had fewer deaths in the next 12 years than people who were sedentary. And there were even fewer deaths among those who participated in the equivalent of at least an hour of moderate activity (or 30 minutes of vigorous activity) five days a week.
Aim for Progress, Not Perfection
The findings in this study make sense in the context of other research. For example, one study followed almost 200,000 adults who did not initially have heart disease, cancer or diabetes. After classifying their baseline leisure-time physical activity level compared to the recommendation for an average of 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week, researchers tracked their development of obesity, diabetes and heart disease risk factors over about six years. Compared to people initially classified as inactive, those who met even half of the recommended target had lower risk of developing obesity, diabetes or a constellation of risk factors called metabolic syndrome. Those with the highest level of physical activity – more than double the recommended target – had even lower risk.
This second study did not report on any differences in cancer incidence related to levels of physical activity. However, a decreased incidence of obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome suggests less insulin resistance, inflammation and hormone levels – and that would likely reduce risk of cancer. Analysis for the AICR Third Expert Report found strong evidence that physical activity lowers risk of colorectal, breast and endometrial cancers, with potential to reduce risk of other types, too. Likewise, the new British Medical Journal study found fewer deaths from both heart disease and cancer-related to baseline and increases in physical activity.
Especially until activity time becomes a normal part of your routine, change your mindset from “finding time” to “making time”.
- Find a fit for you. As noted in the studies above, the goal is to find a way of being active that works for you long-term. That will be far easier when exercise meets your individual preferences, rather than leaving it categorized as something you “should” do.
- Socializing with others, Family time or Private time? What type of activity will you give you more joy, better stress relief and an easier fit in your lifestyle? You may want to focus on one of these or go for a mix.
- Quiet or Exhilarating? For example, yoga or walks in nature can be perfect for some people. Others thrive with sports like pickleball or dance classes like the swing.
- Are you more likely to stick with a walking habit by combining it with something else you enjoy? Stay safe by keeping volume low enough that you remain aware of human and vehicle traffic around you. But listening to music, podcasts or audio books can have you so engaged that you want to walk a little longer. You can download audio books for free from your local library and listen to them on your smartphone as you walk.
You don’t have to go it alone. New habits can be easier to establish with at least one other person.
- Set a daily or weekly “date” to walk with friends or neighbors. Many friends and patients have told me that having people expecting you to show up removes a major hurdle to getting out the door.
- If you don’t have friends or family who want to be active with you, check options at your local Y and community or senior center. Consider learning a new skill. Everyone in the class will be a novice like you, and you’ll meet new people who share an interest in being active.
- Fit it in and Schedule it in. Little bits of activity accumulate when you park farther from the door, take the stairs, and get off public transportation one stop earlier. For many people, however, reaching the recommended minimum of 30 minutes a day will take a bit more planning.
Try the Move Your Way weekly activity planner to create a personalized mix of activities that meet targets recommended for lower cancer risk and better overall health.
- Author: Karen Collins
- Karen Collins, MS, RDN, CDN, is AICR’s Nutrition Advisor. Karen is a speaker, writer and consultant who specializes in helping people make sense of nutrition news. You can follow her blog, Smart Bytes®, through her website and follow her on Twitter @KarenCollinsRD and Facebook @KarenCollinsNutrition. View all posts by Karen Collins
Fun and Interesting Facts
McDonald’s once made bubblegum-flavored broccoli
This interesting fact will have your taste buds crawling. Unsurprisingly, the attempt to get kids to eat healthier didn’t go over well with the child testers, who were “confused by the taste.”
The first oranges weren’t orange
The original oranges from Southeast Asia were a tangerine-pomelo hybrid, and they were actually green. In fact, oranges in warmer regions like Vietnam and Thailand still stay green through maturity.
There’s only one letter that doesn’t appear in any U.S. state name
Can you guess the answer to this random fact? You’ll find a Z (Arizona), a J (New Jersey), and even two X’s (New Mexico and Texas)--but not a single Q.
Peanuts aren’t technically nuts
They’re legumes. According to Merriam-Webster, a nut is only a nut if it’s “a hard-shelled dry fruit or seed with a separable rind or shell and interior kernel.” That means walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios aren’t nuts either. They’re seeds.
Kleenex tissues were originally intended for gas masks
When there was a cotton shortage during World War I, Kimberly-Clark developed a thin, flat cotton substitute that the army tried to use as a filter in gas masks. The war ended before scientists perfected the material for gas masks, so the company redeveloped it to be smoother and softer, then marketed Kleenex as facial tissue instead.