Summer Pests – Prevention and Treatment Guide

The summer is upon us and we tend to spend more time outdoors. Who here likes to go camping and hiking? When we go out into the wild, there are some dreaded pests that we must watch out for.

This includes:

–       Poison ivy

–       Mosquitos (and West Nile Virus at the extreme)

–       Ticks (and Lyme disease at the extreme)

 

Here is a guide on how to avoid these, the symptoms you may experience, and what to do once you have exposure.

 

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is easy to look for – I remember the simple rhyme:
Leaves of three, leave them be.

They look like this:

poison-ivy

When in contact with skin, they can leave an itchy rash for about 1 to 3 weeks.

Unfortunately, the only way to remove the rash is time, but there are immediate steps that you can act upon to reduce the itchiness and redness of the rash. First, strip off your clothes and placing it in a separate load to wash than your other clothes.  Then, wash the area well with rubbing alcohol and water, making sure to get every area the ivy has touched – including under fingernails. As tempting as it is, be careful not to scratch the area and apply a cool compress to it. A natural cream/lotion solution to apply to the itchiness is tea tree oil.

 

Mosquitoes

Female mosquitoes feast on blood to make their eggs. Mosquitoes are annoying, and they can leave a red welt, and possibly a deadly virus. But did you notice that as you swat away yet another mosquito, that your friend has barely any bites? How can this be? Well, experts from WebMD say that it is based on the different concentrations of compounds in the body. From genetics to cholesterol to uric acids and carbon dioxide, there are many factors to attraction to a prey. More details on this research can be found here http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/are-you-mosquito-magnet.

Mosquito_Tasmania_crop

 

 

Since we’re always looking for natural ways of prevention, here are seven natural itch remedies  and possible solutions for homemade bug spray.

 

Ticks

ticks

 

 

Ticks don’t jump, fly, or blow in the wind. Rather, they move slowly, but can. To prevent the infection of ticks, wear long-sleeve shirts, apply DEET insect repellent, and clear leaves, branches, and woodpiles from your garden. As deer may be a carrier of ticks, they can also attract ticks near you – remove plants that attract dear to your yard.

Remove all clothing that may have come in contact with ticks, put your clothes in a hot dryer or hang them out to dry for at least 15 minutes.

When removing ticks, use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, grabbing as close to its mouth as you can (not its belly as it can excrete infected fluid into your body). Gently pull the tick straight out, then place in a ziplock bag or a dry jar for later examination.

Ticks can transmit Lyme disease to the person it bites. However, not every tick is a carrier, as most do not carry disease. So, if bitten, it is important to keep the tick in good condition for later testing. Place it in a damp paper towel, inside a zip-lock bag to prevent dehydration of the specimen. A dehydrated specimen makes it harder to identify.

More information on the removal of ticks can be found here.

Guest post

 

Eat Healthy and Drop the Pounds – Patio Edition

Eat Healthy and Drop the Pounds – Patio Edition

patio

To prevent that post-party regret, let’s go over some helpful tips to keep you on track with your health goals:

  1. Bring a healthy dish.  (This works especially well when it’s a pot luck) Your healthy dish should be something you can enjoy too. Some healthy examples include: guacamole & organic blue corn chips, baked chicken kabobs with herbs, spring mix salad with walnuts and mandarin oranges, grilled shrimp-just to name a few.
  2. Don’t hang out by the food table. This creates added temptation to just continue munching. Grab a plate, put some food on it, and go introduce yourself to someone new who is far, far away from where the food is.
  3. On the grill – along with the meaty proteins, try grilling some veggies to allow for a healthy side dish. Try them on a stick – kabob style. Grilled pineapple is one of my new favorites – so sweet that it can count as a dessert. Use herbs and healthy oils “like olive” to season meat, rather than salt and preservative packed sauces found at the supermarkets.
  4. Watch your beverage intake. Many of us do not realize how many calories are in those alcoholic beverages – sangrias, margaritas, martinis, beer, and even those hard liquors. These beverages are empty calories which offer no nutritional value. Along with the consistent advice to limit alcohol intake, try alternating your drinks with water.  Water is a zero calorie beverage. To make water more interesting, try adding cucumber and lemon slices, watermelon, or even strawberries to give it some natural flavor and color without the added calories.

These are just some of the great tips that the Oakville Nutritionist has to offer. Eating healthy is not difficult, when you know what to look for and how to make those healthy choices. Come visit us so that we can teach you lifelong skills on how to make the healthy choice!

Assess Your Nutritional Levels Before You Contact Us! Fill out our free Online Nutritional Assessment Form Here!

Be sure to check out these great recipes with more tips on how to eat healthy on the grill:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_grilling_recipes

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20390719_3,00.html

http://www.canadianliving.com/food/bbq/healthy_bbq_ideas.php

Make your own: Natural Popsicles

It’s starting to feel like the summer…wouldn’t you love to cool down with an icy treat? Here are some recipes to make natural popsicles:

Ginger Peach Green Tea Popsicles

Ginger-Peach-Green-Tea-Popsicles-2-willcookforsmiles.com_

Recipe and Image from Will Cook for Smiles

Yield: 8-12 popsicles (depending of size of your ice pop forms)

 Ingredients
  • 6-7 ripe peaches, pitted and skinned
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup of strong green tea, hot

Instructions

  1. Combine skinned and pitted peaches and fresh grated ginger in a blender and pulse until all smooth.
  2. Combine hot green tea with sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add sweetened green tea to the blender and pulse a few more times to make sure all is well combined.
  4. Divide among popsicle molds.
  5. *If your mold doesn’t have tops, use wooden popsicle sticks: cover the mold tightly with saran wrap and quickly poke wooden sticks through the center of each mold. Saran wrap will keep the sticks standing up while the popsicles freeze.

 Roasted Strawberry, Coconut & Lime Icy Pops

raspberry lime coconut popsicles

 

 

 

Recipe and Image from Two Loves Studio.com

 

Makes approximately 9 icy pops (600ml / 20oz total mold capacity)

Ingredients

Roasted Strawberries

  • 2 heaped cups of strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon corn flour (corn starch)

Icy Pop Base

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • juice of half a lime

Icy Pop molds (600ml / 20oz capacity. Double the recipe if you have larger or more molds to fill)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Place the hulled and halved strawberries in a baking tray. (If the strawberries are large, you may need to quarter them). Lightly dust them with corn flour using a sifter, make sure there are no clumps of corn flour. Roast the strawberries for 30 minutes or until the juice is slightly caramelised. Remove and allow to cool.
  2. In a blender, add the coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut water, lime juice and half of the roasted strawberries. Blend until smooth. Divide the remaining roasted strawberries between each icy pop mold. Pour the blended coconut mixture into each icy pop mold to fill. Freeze overnight.
  3. If you have excess, store it in an airtight container in the fridge until your icy pops have set over night. Take the icy pops from the molds and store in an airtight container in the freezer, layering with baking paper in between pops to make sure they don’t stick together.

Guest Post