How to Handle Groceries During Coronavirus

woman wearing mask in supermarket

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

There have been a lot of mixed messages swirling around the internet about how groceries should be handled, including some potentially dangerous recommendations. Here are the safety guidelines put together by Toby Amidor, R.D., a registered dietitian and a food safety expert, to follow when at the store and once you get home.

At the Store:

  • Stay home if you’re sick: If you’re showing any symptoms of coronavirus or another illness, or caring for someone who is sick, then stay home. Ask a friend or neighbor to go food shopping for you, order online, or see if your local market delivers.
  • Buy what you need: There are no nationwide shortages on food, according to the FDA. That said, you may find that certain foods at your supermarket are temporarily low before they can restock. Food production and manufacturing are done throughout the country and, currently, there are no major disruptions reported in the supply chain. The FDA is closely monitoring our food supply chain by being in regular contact with food manufacturers and grocery stores. As such, there’s no need to stockpile food for months; only purchase enough food for a week or two. Fresh produce and dairy tend to last shorter periods of time, so compliment them with frozen and canned produce and shelf-stable milk. (See: The Best Staple Foods to Keep In Your Kitchen At All Times)
  • Keep a safe distance: Go to the grocery store when there are fewer people in the store and keep six feet away from other shoppers and store clerks.
  • Sanitize shopping carts: Many stores provide sanitizing wipes as you enter the store (or you can bring your own). Use them immediately to wipe down the handles of the cart before using it.
  • Sanitize hands before handing produce: Consider using PURE’s Skin Defense, before and after selecting produce items and avoid touching multiple produce items when making selections.
  • Make wise decisions when choosing produce: Choose produce that’s not bruised or damaged, according to the FDA. When buying pre-cut, bagged, or packaged produce (think: baby spinach), choose only those that are refrigerated or surrounded by ice. When you’re packing fresh fruit and vegetables at the checkout counter, keep them in a separate bag from raw meat, poultry, and seafood. (These recs stand even when COVID-19 isn’t a concern.)
  • Sanitize hands after paying: Whether you’re using the credit card machine or using self-checkout, both get touched a lot by human hands. Although this is an area that local retailers are cleaning more frequently, it’s not a bad idea to sanitize your hands after touching it.
  • Minimize bringing objects and purses into stores: The fewer items that come into contact with humans in public areas, the better. That means you should minimize touching your phone (consider writing your shopping list on an old-fashioned piece of paper), and only bring essential items into the store only essential items (like your credit card, shopping list, and keys). Sanitize everything before heading home.

For Home Deliveries:

  • Ask for curbside drop off: In order to avoid human interaction, ask the delivery person to leave the groceries outside your front door or other location of your choosing outside of your house.
  • Use your own pen: If you must sign for the delivery (though many places have forgone this step), then make sure to use your own pen and have the delivery person leave the slip on the packages and not hand it to you.
  • Tip your delivery people. Remember, delivery folks are at the front lines delivering to many people (some who may not be able to leave their homes) so don’t forget to tip them. You can often ask to leave the tip on the credit card when you pay for the groceries upfront—but you can also leave cash in an envelope outside, or drop it on your doorstep when you see them. Just remember to stay 6 feet away, and don’t hand it directly to the person.

At Home:

  • Wash your hands properly: Once you’re home from the market or have handled delivered food or food packages, the first thing you should do is wash your hands using soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. You should also wash your hands after removing food from any packaging.
  • Clean and sanitize touch points: Any place where people touch often (like door handles or doorbells) should be cleaned and sanitized frequently.
  • Wash reusable grocery bags: If you use reusable grocery bags, toss them in the wash or wash them with soap and water between uses.
  • To wipe or not to wipe food packages: COVID-19 can live on cardboard surfaces for up to 24 hours; however, the USDA says that there’s no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of the virus. If it does make you feel safer, feel free to do so, just make sure the sanitizing wipes or cleaner you’re using doesn’t come into contact with the food. (If it does, it can potentially make you sick from ingesting the chemicals.)
  • Put away your groceries: You do not want to leave your groceries outside, in your trunk, or in the garage for more than two hours (or 1 hour if it is higher than 90°F outside) as that can lead to food-borne illness, especially with foods like dairy, raw meats and poultry, and others that need to be refrigerated or frozen. Those should be put away immediately.
  • Wash and prepare produce: You should not use soap, detergent, chlorine, or bleach to wash produce. These are all cleaners that are not meant to touch food and can ultimately get you sick. (Yes, even if you rinse really well; just the residue of these cleaning items can have negative effects if ingested.) The FDA recommends washing your hands properly with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce. Cut off any damaged or bruised areas before eating or handling. Gently rub the produce while holding under plain running water. Use a clean vegetable brush to clean firm produce like melons or potatoes. Be sure to rinse produce before you peel it, so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife or peeler onto the fruit or vegetable. Dry produce with a paper towel or clean cloth to reduce bacteria that may be present. If you’re washing cabbage or lettuce, remove the outermost leaves. In addition, you don’t need to wash produce labeled “ready-to-eat,” “washed,” or “triple washed” as you have more of a chance of contaminating it in your own home. (This is a long-time recommendation from the FDA. If you’ve been washing this kind of produce anyway, now is the perfect time to stop.)
  • Clean and disinfect your kitchen: Regularly clean and disinfect countertops and surfaces in your kitchen and dining area.

Always Follow the 4 Key Steps to Food Safety

These safety tips should always be followed (COVID-19 or not) to protect against foodborne illness.

  1. Clean surfaces and your hands before and after handling food.
  2. Separate raw and ready-to-eat foods.
  3. Cook foods to proper minimum internal temperatures.
  4. Chill foods in the refrigerator or freezer.

 

Toby Amidor, R.D., is a registered dietitian and a food safety expert. She has taught food safety at The Art Institute of New York City culinary school since 1999 and at Teachers College, Columbia University for a decade

 

 

LEVEL UP YOUR GERM-FIGHTING GAME: Top Foods to Keep your Immune System Strong

So, you’re home. And so are the kids. With all of the changes everyone is going through right now, one thing hasn’t changed: the need to eat! Whether you’re over-snacking or trying to make a positive change in your diet while having more time around the house, doing all we can to make sure our immune systems are running in top form is top of mind for most of us these days.

So next time you venture out for the highlight of your day—a run to the grocery store (ha!)—make sure you toss a few of these powerful immune-boosting ingredients and foods into your cart. You’ll not only add some flavor to your day but also some extra peace-of-mind that you’re giving your body what it needs to stay strong and healthy during an unsettling time for all of us.

stew with meat and vegetables placed in white ceramic bowl

Photo by Cook Eat on Pexels.com

Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is a staple for surviving cold and flu season, and not just because the warm comfort food is a nostalgic throwback to mom taking care of you. According to studies done by the University of Los Angeles California, this soup has an anti-inflammatory effect and calms down inflammation in the upper respiratory tract that takes place when you develop a cold. The university also noted that the soup helps relieve nasal congestion.

woman wearing mask in supermarket

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Ginger
When it comes to treating a common cold, ginger is one of the best foods for relief. In a review published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, researchers summarized that ginger’s potent anti-inflammatory properties were key in the root’s powers to combat a cold or flu. Because inflammation can affect your body’s immune response, anti-inflammatory ginger can play a key role in boosting your immunity.

Green Tea
Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved.

Papaya
Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. Papayas have decent amounts of potassium, B vitamins, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health.

close up colors delicious dieting

Photo by Alexander Mils on Pexels.com

Kiwi
Like papayas, kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells, and is also found in PURE products Daily Build, Metabolic One and Sleeptrim.

Poultry
When you’re sick, chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food with a placebo effect. It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of B-6.

Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.

four brown wooden spoons screenshot

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorousmagnesium, and vitamin B-6. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens.

Garlic
Garlic is found in almost every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative HealthTrusted Source, garlic may also help lower blood pressure and slow down hardening of the arteries. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.

 Spinach
Spinach made our list not just because it’s rich in vitamin C. It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.

food healthy almond almonds

Photo by Keegan Evans on Pexels.com

Almonds
When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.

assorted cooking spices

Photo by Shantanu Pal on Pexels.com

Tumeric
You may know turmeric as a key ingredient in many curries. But this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, researchTrusted Source shows that high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.

Shellfish
Shellfish isn’t what jumps to mind for many who are trying to boost their immune system, but some types of shellfish are packed with zinc. Zinc doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it so that our immune cells can function as intended.

Varieties of shellfish that are high in zinc include:

  • crab
  • clams
  • lobster
  • mussels

Note that you don’t want to have more than the daily recommended amount of zinc in your diet. For adult men, it’s 11 milligrams (mg), and for women, it’s 8 mg. Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.

The PURE Immunity Line-up
Keep in mind that eating right ­­­­­will give you the foundation your immune system needs to fight off potential illness. In addition to including these immune-boosting ingredients into your new day-to-day routine, go a step further by using some of PURE’s top immunity-strengthening products as an added layer of defense.

Immune6 

  • Gives your body the vitamins and fortification it needs to sustain health and well-being.
  • Excellent source of Vitamin C, an antioxidant which can contribute to healthy immune function.
  • Excellent source of Vitamin D3, which supports both bone health and the immune system through enhanced muscle strength.
  • Excellent source of Selenium, which neutralizes free radicals and supports a healthy immune system.
  • Inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) may boost the immune system and offers antioxidant properties.

Probiotic 

  • Supports good digestion*
  • Promotes a healthy immune system*
  • Encourages an optimal balance of friendly gut bacteria*
  • Helps prevent overgrowth of yeasts and pathogenic enterobacteria*
  • Assists in nutrient absorption*
  • May help relieve occasional intestinal distress and discomfort*
  • Contains inulin and acacia, prebiotic fibers that support the colonization of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract

Silver 

  • Patented SilverSol nanotechnology allows for safe internal usage to boost the immune system.
  • Supports respiratory maintenance. Helps maintain sinus clarity

Skin Defense 

  • Bolsters the body’s external immune fighting capabilities.
  • A high concentration of stabilized hypochlorous acid (HOCI) kills bacteria, viruses and fungi without harming cells important to the healing process.
  • Works with a non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing formula. Antibiotic-free, steroid-free, alcohol-free, and environmentally safe.

Fusion 

  • Fusion contains all four PURE superfruits: goji berry, acai berry, noni fruit, and mangosteen fruit.
  • All superfruits are recognized for their health-promoting properties in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM seeks to promote harmony and balance between the mind, body, and spirit.

*Nutritional Source: healthline.com

 

Mealtime: Healthy Alternatives to Family Faves

We’ve all seen the grocery stores over the last several days: barren canned-food and toilet paper aisles, cleared-out meat bins and near-empty frozen-food refrigerators. But what’s notable right now are the abundant fresh produce sections—stands full of color and ripe-for-the-picking goodness.

Although it may take a little extra effort right now to cook fresh at home, focusing on good health and nutrition has never been more important.

With so many of us hunkering down at home, now may be the perfect time to put that extra muscle into mealtime and find out just how much better we feel when we level up our healthy eating game. Another huge plus when you raid the fresh produce section? You’ll be a lot more likely to find everything you need on your next grocery run.

Give these fresh recipes a go:

Screen Shot 2020-03-23 at 11.20.53 AMJeweled Asparagus & Wheat Berry Salad
This Zesty Wheat Berry Salad Will Help You Reach Your Daily Fiber Quota
Serves: 4

Ingredients
Salad and Asparagus

  • 1 3/4 cups raw wheat berries (4 cups cooked)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small lemons, very thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 bunches asparagus (2 pounds), ends trimmed
  • 2 cups parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dill, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced on the bias

Dressing

  • 3/4 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1/2 small shallot, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine wheat berries, 10 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until wheat berries are soft, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain well, and let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss sliced lemon rounds with 1 teaspoon oil on the prepared baking sheet, and spread in a single layer. Roast until lemon slices are caramelized, watching carefully toward the end and flipping halfway through, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool, then finely chop 8 slices. Keep remaining slices whole.
  3. Increase oven to 400°F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until bright green and crisp tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. To make the dressing, in a blender or food processor, pulse the cilantro, shallot, lime juice, honey, cumin, and coriander until finely chopped. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil in a slow stream. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Scrape the dressing into a medium bowl. Add the cooked wheat berries, chopped roasted lemon, parsley, dill, pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and scallions. Season with salt, and toss to combine.
  6. 6. Arrange asparagus on the bottom of a platter. Spoon wheat berry salad over asparagus. Garnish with remaining roasted lemon slices. Drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Healthy Chicken TendersScreen Shot 2020-03-23 at 2.21.57 PM
You Won’t Believe How Healthy These Homemade Chicken Tenders Are
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 2 cups cornflakes, finely crushed
  • Dash of black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut chicken into 3- by 3/4-inch strips. In a shallow dish, combine egg, honey, and mustard. In another dish, stir together cornflake crumbs and pepper.
  2. Dip chicken strips into the egg mixture; roll in crumb mixture to coat. Arrange chicken strips on an ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Bake about 12 minutes, or until outsides are golden and chicken is no longer pink.

Nutrition facts per serving: 212 calories, 23g protein, 23g carbohydrate, 3g fat (1g saturated), 0g fiber

Healthy Chicken Tender Dipping Sauces
Ditch the standard ranch dressing and stir up one of these healthy chicken tender dipping sauces. (Or pair these healthy chicken tenders with one of these mash-up sauces you’ll want to slather on just about everything.)

  • Homemade Honey Mustard = 1/4 cup Dijon mustard + 1 teaspoon honey
  • Kicked-Up Ketchup = 1/4 cup ketchup + pinch chili powder
  • Zesty Sour Cream = 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream + fresh lime + fresh cilantro
  • Spiced Mayo = 1/2 cup low-fat mayo + 1 teaspoon dried dill + 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Screen Shot 2020-03-23 at 11.52.47 AMHealthy French Fries
How to Make Healthy French Fries That Taste Just as Good as Fast Food

Serves 4

Can everyone please stop hating on fries as an “indulgent”, “cheat-day” food?

A small potato packs about 130 calories, no fat, 18 percent of your daily vitamin C intake, and more potassium than a banana. Any potential to turn them into an “unhealthy” choice comes with how you cook them. Many restaurants double fry French fries to make them extra crispy. For this riff on healthy French fries, you’ll score the same result by boiling the sliced potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes (to release moisture), then draining, tossing with olive oil, and baking. As a result, these healthy French fries have less than one-third the fat you would get from a medium order at a fast-food joint.

For a bonus fiber boost, keep the skin on the potatoes. It contains at least 50 percent of the root vegetable’s fiber.

The secret ingredient for these healthy French fries: Parmesan, which makes these fries taste decadent. It also adds a hint of salt, so you don’t have to shake on more of the seasoning before you dig in.

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 medium baking potatoes (1 1/2 pounds total), scrubbed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; brush with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining olive oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle potato wedges with the salt and black pepper, tossing to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake in a 450° F oven for 12 minutes. Turn potatoes; sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes more or until tender and golden.

Nutrition facts per serving (8 wedges): 155 calories, 4g protein, 22g carbohydrate, 6g fat (1.5g saturated), 3g fiber

Flavor Twists on Healthy French Fries
If you’re in the mood to mix things up, skip the Parmesan and try these three takes on the classic side dish.

  • Chili: Prep the healthy French fries as above, adding 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon paprika when you sprinkle with salt and black pepper. After baking, top each serving with 1/2 cup low-sodium canned chili or one of your favorite homemade chili recipes you can whip up in your slow cooker or Instant Pot
  • Garlic: Prep the healthy French fries as above, adding 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder when you sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Sweet Potato: Prep the healthy French fries as above, substituting 4 medium sweet potatoes for baking potatoes. Instead of salt and black pepper, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Bake in a 425° F oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until brown and tender, turning once.

Screen Shot 2020-03-23 at 11.56.42 AMGrilled Romaine with Cherry Tomatoes, Charred Corn, and Avocado Cream Dressing
You’ll never want to go back to whatever it was you were eating before!

Everything tastes better on the grill, including vegetables. The best part about cooking on an open flame is the nice smoky finish that adds a depth of flavor to any food. This salad features, ruby red cherry tomatoes and sweet corn. And mixing those two with grilled whole romaine and topping the whole thing off with a creamy avocado dressing will change the way you look at salad forever.

Deconstructed Grilled Romaine Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Charred Corn, and Avocado Cream Dressing
Serves: 3 to 4

Ingredients

  • 2 ears corn, shucked
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

For the dressing

  • 1 avocado, pitted with skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove

Directions

  1. Heat a grill or oven burner to medium-high heat. Place shucked corn directly on the grill or lay flat on the oven burner. Once kernels are evenly charred (but not burnt), turn the ear of corn. Repeat this process until both ears are charred (about 10 to 12 minutes). Set aside to cool.
  2. Place lettuce on the grill (or grill pan in the oven) and char the outside (about 1 minute on each side). Set aside to cool.
  3. While corn and lettuce cool, make the dressing. Add avocado, lime juice, salt, yogurt, oil, and garlic to a food processor, and blend until smooth.
  4. Once the corn is cool enough to touch, cut kernels from the ear. Combine corn with cherry tomatoes and toss with dressing (or dollop dressing on at the end to control the amount). Place corn and tomato mixture on top of the lettuce and enjoy.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta SaladScreen Shot 2020-03-23 at 12.40.57 PM
Carbs don’t count when they’re tossed with so many veggies, right?

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt
  • 1 package fresh mushroom or chicken prosciutto or spinach filled tortellini (recommended: Contadina or Buitoni brands) available on dairy aisle in most markets
  • 1/2 pound fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (15-ounce) can baby artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
  • 1 red roasted pepper, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, cracked from skin
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, the juice of 1 wedge
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, a couple of splashes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried leaves, eyeball it
  • Black pepper
  • A handful sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Bring 5 or 6 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Salt boiling water and add pasta. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until pasta is just tender and the tortellini are floating like buoys. Drain tortellini, then cool the cooked pasta by spreading them out on a large plate or a cookie sheet in a single layer.
  2. Coarsely chop baby spinach. Combine with artichoke pieces, roasted red pepper and red onion. Chop garlic, then add salt to it and mash it into a paste with the flat of your knife. Transfer garlic paste to a small bowl and add lemon zest, lemon juice and vinegar to it. Whisk in oil, thyme and pepper. Add pasta and sun-dried tomatoes to the salad. Dress salad and gently toss. Serve or refrigerate.

 

 

 

 

 

PROS OF WORKING IN THE GIG ECONOMY

woman in gray sweater drinking coffee

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij on Pexels.com

Within the last week, most major U.S. companies, restaurants, bars and other small businesses closed their doors (at least temporarily) with the onset and spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). What this means for the U.S. economy as a whole is unnerving and uncertain, but one thing that seems certain: the growth of direct sellers in the already strong gig economy may soon be on the rise.

KEY POINTS OF THE GIG ECONOMY

  • The gig economy is now composed of 60 million workers, and it is now an ever-bigger slice of the American workforce.
  • By 2027, the majority of workers in the U.S. will be contract workers.1

No matter what they’re called—freelancers, independent contractors, business owners, or flex workers—the people who make up the gig economy now total nearly 60 million, and they are becoming an ever-bigger slice of the American workforce.

The rise is owed to these four main trends: blockchain systems, F500 utilizing more contract employees, an uptick in fully remote companies and more robust networking among freelancers.

In fact, a recent survey commissioned by online freelancing platform Upwork and Freelancers Union shows that the freelance workforce is growing three times faster than the overall U.S. workforce and that the majority of people will be working independently by 2027.

This change has major implications for how the American workforce will look in the years ahead, the role corporations will play in this new landscape, and the technologies that are helping to drive the marketplace shift.

So, for those gig workers who are a part of the direct selling market, what impact will the recent COVID-19 have on their business? Although daily life changing for all of us right now, direct sellers have a distinct advantage to keep their businesses going strong.

The good news for gig workers, says Trinia Hoefling, author of “Working Virtually: Transforming the Mobile Workplace” (2nd edition). Is that they are no longer are they constrained by their location—they can access opportunities that fit their skills and interests anywhere in the world.

Pros of Working in the Gig Economy
The gig economy offers an abundance of opportunities to earn extra cash or a full-time living. It can open the door to your creativity or provide a way to achieve your financial goals. Here are some other pros of working in the gig economy.

Flexibility
Working in the gig economy provides freedom and flexibility that other income opportunities may not. Those who choose to pursue gig economy employment and make a career out of freelancing have the luxury to determine their own hours, work location, clients and sometimes even rates. They’re able to shape their entire professional career around their personal preferences which enables them to pursue some of the aspects of their lives that may not provide fiscal reward. From mothers who want more time with their children to individuals who want to travel the world and maintain enough income to foot the bill, freelancing enables many professionals to pursue their passions and accommodate their preferred lifestyle.

Working in the gig economy allows you to become your own boss and live by your own rules. With the advancements to technology, you can connect to clients around your city or even the world. No longer do you have to punch in and out. With this type of employment, you can simply complete a task on your own time or log into an app to market your skills to clients. You’re in complete control of your time clock and the tasks you wish to complete.

Harry Campbell, founder of The Rideshare Guy and author of The Rideshare Guide , says, “The flexibility is by far the best part about working in the gig economy since you can literally work as much or as little as you want. I’ve worked all sorts of jobs over the years but it wasn’t until I started driving with Uber and Lyft that I realized just how flexible the gig can be.”

Alternative Career Choice
When Washington D.C resident Charlie Heck lost her government job, she turned to the gig economy for supplemental income. Instead of heading back to work, she started pet sitting and walking dogs for high-end clients in Washington D.C. during her downtime. She established clients for her multimedia freelancing gig, which lead to a full-blown small business. She adds, “It was quite a balancing act in the beginning but through the trust I established with my pet clients, a few eventually became multimedia clients and connections as well.”

Like Heck, many professionals are choosing to transform their part-time gigs into full-time sources of income. According to MBO Partners State of Independence In America 2018, 3.3 million independent workers made over six figures. Depending on your skill set and the side gig you choose to pursue, working independently can offer significant monetary rewards.

Variety of Work
Working in the gig economy gives professionals the opportunity to work on a broad spectrum of projects and clientele. Instead of working with one boss on a regular basis, your projects require you to juggle multiple clients and deadlines and often encourage your creativity. This gives gig workers the ability to enhance their skills and continue to stay current with the industry they work in.

If you enjoy tasks and projects that’ll challenge your creativity and problem-solving skills, the gig economy may be the best place to exercise your talents.

Working in the gig economy also gives you the ability to build your portfolio and resume. It allows you to connect with people you may not have otherwise connected with in your professional community. It opens the door to endless possibilities you may not have been aware were available.

expAnnouncment_MomentThe PURE Difference
Now may be the time to turn your focus toward a life with an enriching side hustle. Working in the gig economy can be a great way to earn some extra cash or even create the career of your dreams.

At PURE, we believe in you, and in a concept called Whole Health. Our passion is helping people achieve Whole Health so that every man, woman and child can enjoy a lifetime of head-to-toe health and happiness. Find out how you can deliver Whole Health to others through nutrient–rich products while earning income and other rewards. It’s all up to you—visit livepure.comto join us today!

1. https://serraview.com/gig-economy-impacting-corporate-workplace/

 

 

 

How to Work from Home During the Coronavirus: TIPS FOR STAYING MOTIVATED, SANE & PRODUCTIVE

apartment comfortable contemporary couch

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a slew of companies, including the PURE Corporate Office, to work remotely during social distancing periods. Working from home definitely has its perks, but it also requires a few adjustments if you’ve never done it before. It can be difficult to stay motivated, focused and productive when you have distractions like kids getting cabin fever, daytime TV, a potentially noisy partner and laundry visibly piling up right before your eyes. But don’t worry, if you’re wondering how to work from home during coronavirus, we got you.

In fact, you may find that the silver lining of COVID-19 is just how much you love working from home and the extra time in the day that you save otherwise commuting. These expert tips can help you make the most of your work-from-home time—so you have more time to play when you log off.

  1. Maintain a Routine

“Keep your routines as best you can,” Janel Dyan, executive brand strategist and author of Story. Style. Brand. Why Corporate Results Are a Matter of Personal Style warns. “Too much ‘downtime’ is not a good thing when times are uncertain, and keeping your usual routines helps us have a sense of control. Wake up and go to bed as usual, eat healthy, manage your work hours and find time to do the things that you always do.”

  1. Make Sure You Have the Right Gear

Jono Bacon, CEO of Jono Bacon Consulting, community strategist and author of People Powered: How Communities Can Supercharge Your Business, Brand, and Teamspoints out that a lot of us suddenly relegated to working remotely don’t always have what we need. He recommends the following to be efficient and comfortable outside of your usual office setting:

  • A computer and high-quality Internet connection that can (where possible) support video-calls
  • A desk for your computer, papers, and other items (standing desks are becoming increasingly popular as an option)
  • A comfortable, ergonomic chair
  • Ideally, a separate monitor, keyboard, and mouse (to reduce eye and wrist strain)
  1. Test Your Tech and Keep It Secure

Be sure you can actually physically do your job from home! “If you aren’t already quarantined by now, test your ability to effectively send emails, access and edit documents, access all applications, answer phone calls, and use your webcam for video chats, and make a note of any issues in advance so your company’s IT team can resolve,” Heinan Landa, CEO of Optimal Networks and author of The Modern Law Firm: How to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Technological Change recommended. “To ensure a secure workspace, if you can, use company-provided equipment that has centralized and up-to-date anti-malware, backup, screen lock, etc. and don’t let kids or family on it. For critical applications and accounts, be sure to use two-factor authentication; never use WiFi without using a VPN (Virtualized Personal Network); stay vigilant against suspicious emails or phone calls that ask for personal information; and stick to official health websites when communicating important messages about the pandemic to your team.”

  1. Get Dressed …

Bacon recommends getting dressed when working from home to create structure for yourself and help you stick to your schedule. “Always get dressed, always make time for breakfast and lunch, and take breaks,” he said. “You are not a robot. This solidification of the schedule will make your work feel more predictable and managed.”

  1. Or Don’t

Listen, pants aren’t for all of us. Don’t feel bad about it! “Embrace the mess. I see a lot of people advising others to ‘get dressed’ and ‘look the part’ for the new virtual office hours,” Miri Rodriguez, creative journalist for Microsoft and author of Brand Storytelling: Put Customers at the Heart of Your Brand Story says. “If we’re gonna be honest, attempting to recreate an IRL working experience during these stressful times will only add to the stress. Instead, go with the flow that feels best for you. Your dog might be barking in the background. You may be on the phone while also trying to put puzzles together with your toddler. It is all messy and it is alright. These are not normal times, so it’s OK to not be normal. Besides, normal is just a setting on the dryer.”

  1. Plan Your Distractions

Brooklyn psychologist and author of #AreYouHereYet: How to STFU And Show Up for Yourself Dr. Tony Ortega recognizes that you’re inevitably going to get distracted—so do it in a more efficient way as a means of rewarding yourself. “Set you timer and dedicate 20 minutes to your work task. Then set you timer to five minutes where you can distract yourself with something mindless like TikTok videos,” he recommends. “By doing this, distractions become purposeful and not a means to deviate from work.”

  1. Maximize Your Productivity Peaks

Now that you’re not spending time commuting to and from the office, you may find that the hour you normally spend driving to or from work is actually when you’re most efficient. Since you have more time, pay attention to how you use it, Dr. Ortega recommends. “Chart your most productive times of the day while you are working from home. This will later help you when you return to the office,” he says. “While you work from home, this can tell you what time of the day to tackle the important tasks and which ones to leave for other times of the day. Get to know yourself. You have the time!”

  1. Set Clear Boundaries Between Work and Play

    silver and black camera silver and black laptop blue ceramic mug

    Photo by Alexander Mils on Pexels.com

Working from home, especially if you aren’t used to doing so, can blur the lines between when you’re working and when you’re off the clock. Do not let this happen! “Set very realistic work-life boundaries,” Dr. Ortega says. “If you ware anything like me, you likely don’t stop until your body tells you to. This is the time to really hunker down and set a balance as it will seem difficult working from home. Have a set cut off time every day when work you ends and person you begins and vice versa.”

  1. Sequester Yourself

While you’re social distancing from the world, extend that isolation into your own home while you’re working, Bacon advises.

“Ideally, your office will have a door that you can close when you are at work. You need to be able to signal clearly to your family, roommates, and anyone else that when you are at work you shouldn’t be disturbed,” he told us. “If you don’t have a separate room, set the expectation with other people that when you are in front of the computer or at your desk during your working hours, you should not be disturbed. You should be intentional about this expectation so everyone is clear.” You can try wearing headphones during this time, or sitting in a designated place (if you don’t have a desk) to send the message.

One warning: “As a general rule, avoid lounging around on the couch or lying in bed with your laptop to work. Part of the goal here is to build a routine, and part of it have a dedicated place and time where you work,” Bacon notes. “This will also help to ease the mental separation between being at work and unplugging when you finish for the day.”

  1. Take Turns with the Kids—and Give Someone in Need a Break

If both you and your partner are working from home, keeping your kids entertained can be like a second job for both of you. Balance is key. “Stagger childcare with your partner—kind of like the person on look out,” Dr. Ortega says. “While one works, the other does the childcare. If you have children and are working but don’t have a partner, hire someone temporarily who is in the entertainment or food service industry (who are all basically out of work and income at the moment) to watch your children.”

  1. Find an Online Side Hustle

Relegated to your laptop for the time being? Find ways to make income at home. For PURE IBOs (Independent Business Owners) this is a great time to reach out to potential customers online, as many people are working from home and connected in ways they may normally not be. Take advantage of the shift in people’s schedules to connect with others who may have more time on their hands and are also dealing with the new ‘normal.’

  1. Check in Often

Checking in while working remotely isn’t to keep tabs on your employees (if you’re a boss) or to make your boss know you’re working and not Netflix bingeing (if you’re an employee). It’s to maintain a sense of teamwork and humanity! “Simply asking the question, ‘How are you doing?’ with genuine interest goes a long way,” Julie Kratz, CEO of Next Pivot Point and inclusion expert, says. “Listen with empathy and respond with statements like ‘I am sorry to hear that’ or ‘I am so glad you shared that with me.’”

photo of woman using laptop

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

13. Remember—and Remind Others—That We’re All in This Together

Maggie Craddock, president and founder of Workplace Relationships Coaching, urges all of us—from entry level newbies to middle management and C-suite execs—to create a sense of safety and collaboration during this time of crisis. “One of the ways that the Titanic survivors beat the odds was by adopting the mindset that they were all in it together. No one was to be left behind,” she says. “This tone of unity helped these brave individuals beat the odds by tapping into a shared sense of hope, loyalty and courage—inner resources that are hard to quantify in monetary terms but priceless to us all when we grapple with unexpected change.”

Be especially mindful of your communication during this time. “Give others the benefit of the doubt, particularly when you are working remotely,” she told us. “If they react in a manner that seems dismissive or defensive, remember that this person may be trying to deflect overwhelming feelings of vulnerability through temporary displays of false bravado. Strive to maintain a tone of gentleness in terms of your expectations of others, and of yourself, as we all pull together.”

*Tips courtesy of Parade Daily

 

 

WOMEN, STRONG. Lifting up the Women of PURE

IWD-Socialcard-Facebook-equal

Celebrated on March 8 every year, International Women’s Day is a day dedicated to honoring the achievements of women throughout history and all across the globe, and is typically a day for women from all different backgrounds and cultures to band together to fight for gender parity and women’s rights

What is International Women’s Day?

Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 11.42.02 AM

International Women’s Day (IWD) is dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements in the social, economic, cultural and political spheres. The day, collectively founded by women, also brings attention to gender parity and women’s rights.

Of course, the global celebration of International Women’s Day is a time for reflection of how far women have come, advocacy for what is still needed, and action to continue breaking down barriers. With over a century of history, IWD is a growing movement centered around unity and strength.

What is the theme for International Women’s Day 2020?
In 1975, the United Nations officially recognized International Women’s Day, and, in 1996, began to adopt an annual theme for every year. The first theme was “Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future.” This year’s theme #EachforEqual is meant to be a shared goal throughout 2020.

“We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations, and celebrate women’s achievements,” states the organization’s site. “Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world. Let’s all be #EachforEqual.”

The IWD 2020 campaign theme draws on the notion of “collective individualism,” which refers to the idea that every individual is a part of a whole, and that an individual’s actions, behaviors, and mindsets can all have an impact on larger society.

Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 11.41.43 AMHere at PURE, we are so proud of all the women who have contributed to the success of this company that spans the globe today. Join us in lifting up these women and celebrating how far we have come in helping support women’s aspirations and goals over the last several decades.

PROUD MOMENTS
The Women of PURE
Here are just a few snapshots of some of the amazing women of PURE and their most proud achievements. We are so glad you are part of PURE!

“I am most proud of becoming a mom and having a strong, healthy family.”
– Kristen Shoemaker, PURE Event Manager

Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 11.42.16 AM
“When I lived in Kansas City, Missouri, I was a volunteer for The Dream Factory of Kansas City.  We granted dreams for children who were living with a chronic disease. Myself, and a few others organized an event at my job at the time to raise money for the Dream Factory.  It was very successful, and I was able to present the check to the Dream Factory with another co-worker. Volunteering with them for 3 years, I would hear so many different stories from parents, and the children themselves. The stories just pull at your heart strings, so to help raise money, to make a small difference in these families’ lives, really filled me with gratitude.”
– Marci Surls, PURE Sales Support Representative  

 

“I’m really proud of completing my degree. It shows how much time and effort I’ve dedicated to my personal growth and education. It’s an impactful milestone in my life since I’m still young. But, it has led me to many new friends and now leads me through this new chapter of my life—starting my career at PURE.”
– Aimee Srioudom, PURE Graphic Designer

“Chudaporn Lippatana (Jeap) has worked hard every single day since joining PURE.  She understands our mission of being People United Reaching Everyone.  She has been a pleasure to work with and I am blessed to call her my friend. Jeap continues to be a true pioneer and valuable leader in the success of Thailand.  She focuses on the individual achievements of each member of her team.
–James Watson, PURE Vice President of Southeast Asia

“Nantida Hongthong (Toon) is a modern example of today’s woman. She has a very busy life.  Entrepreneur, mother of two and a successful marriage, Toon has many responsibilities. After many years in the beauty industry, Toon wanted a networking opportunity which would allow her to take control of her destiny based on her passion, hard work and commitment. I am amazed at her passion and dedication to her team.  She is an inspiration to us all.”
–James Watson, PURE Vice President of Southeast Asia

ZHANGLI_01“I am proud to have an ideal career that helps me have a happy life. PURE provides me the opportunities to realize my dreams, as well as enjoy a great quality of life with its high-quality and effective products. At PURE, everyone is encouraged to become the best version of themselves.”
Zhang Li, Sapphire Executive, South Korea (right)

SONY

 

“I am a mother of two sons, and I had my own fashion shop for many years. I always imagined having lifestyle in which I could enjoy financial freedom as well as a life with more time to spend with my children. PURE has helped me achieve my dream!”
–Sony Xu, Gold Director, South Korea (left)

“My husband and I help lead a church in Sachse. We’ve built a family there for the young adults. We love seeing people’s lives change and being part of that journey with them has been the most rewarding part.”
–Alina Bui, PURE Digital Content Specialist

The Coronavirus Disease: Myth vs. Fact & What You Can do to Stay Healthy

person washing his hand

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

With the recent media frenzy around the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID), it can be difficult to decipher between fact and fiction. There is a lot of misinformation circulating about the disease, so it’s important to know what’s true and what’s not.

Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H. senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins, helps clarify information to help keep you and your family healthy and safe.

TRUE OR FALSE? A vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available.

FALSE.

True: There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists have already begun working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in human beings may take many months.

TRUE or FALSE? You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by gargling with bleach, taking acetic acid or steroids, or using essential oils, salt water, ethanol or other substances.

FALSE.

True: None of these recommendations protects you from getting COVID-19, and some of these practices may be dangerous. The best ways to protect yourself from this coronavirus (and other viruses) include:

  • Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, using soap and hot water.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick, sneezing or coughing.
  • In addition, you can avoid spreading your own germs by coughing into the crook of your elbow and staying home when you are sick.

TRUE or FALSE? A face mask will protect you from COVID-19.

FALSE.

True: Certain models of professional, tight-fitting respirators (such as the N95) can protect health care workers as they care for infected patients.

For the general public without respiratory illness, wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not recommended. Because they don’t fit tightly, they may allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes. Also, people with the virus on their hands who touch their face under a mask might become infected.

People with a respiratory illness can wear these masks to lessen their chance of infecting others. Bear in mind that stocking up on masks makes fewer available for sick patients and health care workers who need them.

TRUE or FALSE? The Coronavirus is affecting many more people than the Flu.

FALSE.

True. As of Mar. 3, 2020, the flu is showing much more of an impact on Americans than COVID-19. You can find up-to-date information on COVID-19 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Similarities: COVID-19 and the Flu

Symptoms

  • Both cause fever, cough, body aches, fatigue; sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
    Can be mild or severe, even fatal in rare cases. Can result in pneumonia.

Transmission

  • Both can be spread from person to person through droplets in the air from an infected person coughing, sneezing or talking.
  • A possible difference: COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route (see details below under Differences).
  • Flu can be spread by an infected person for several days before their symptoms appear, and COVID-19 is believed to be spread in the same manner, but we don’t yet know for sure.

Treatment

  • Neither virus is treatable with antibiotics, which only work on bacterial infections.
    Both may be treated by addressing symptoms, such as reducing fever. Severe cases may require hospitalization and support such as mechanical ventilation.

Prevention

Both may be prevented by frequent, thorough hand washing, coughing into the crook of your elbow, staying home when sick and limiting contact with people who are infected.

Differences: COVID-19 and the Flu

Cause
COVID-19: Caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus, now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.

Flu: Caused by any of several different types and strains of influenza viruses.

Transmission
While both the flu and COVID-19 may be transmitted in similar ways (see the Similarities section above), there is also a possible difference: COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route, meaning that tiny droplets remaining in the air could cause disease in others even after the ill person is no longer near.

Antiviral Medications
COVID-19: Antiviral medications are currently being tested to see if they can address symptoms.

Flu: Antiviral medications can address symptoms and sometimes shorten the duration of the illness.

Vaccine
COVID-19: No vaccine is available at this time, though it is in progress.

Flu: A vaccine is available and effective to prevent some of the most dangerous types or to reduce the severity of the flu.

Infections
COVID-19: Approximately 92,818 cases worldwide; 118 cases in the U.S. as of Mar. 3, 2020.

Flu: Estimated 1 billion cases worldwide; 9.3 million to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year.

Deaths
COVID-19
: Approximately 3,159 deaths reported worldwide; 7 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 3, 2020.

Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly. Since this is a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be many months away. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19, but at present, it is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu.

HOW CAN WE BOOST OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS?

Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
  • Try to minimize stress.

The PURE Advantage
Additionally, PURE’s line of Immune-strengthening products is here for added support and peace of mind.

Immune6 is a capsule taken once a day (two capsules a day) to help support the immune system. It contains graviola fruit which helps sustain a healthy immune system.

Additionally, each serving of Immune6 contains 140% of the daily value of selenium, found mainly in nuts, seeds and whole grains. Selenium helps lower oxidative stress. Studies have linked a higher level of selenium in the body with an enhanced immune response. In addition to selenium, Immune6 contains vitamins C and D3, both of which work to help support a healthy immune system.

Another PURE product that works from the outside in is Skin Defense—a spray that is safe for all ages. It contains hypochlorous acid, a naturally occurring chemical found in white blood cells. It is also:
– non-toxic
– non-irritating
– non-sensitizing
– antibiotic-free
– steroid-free
– alcohol-free

Because Skin Defense contains no alcohol, it is a non-drying alternative to typical hand sanitizers that can dry out skin. It actually helps to keep skin hydrated and moisturized.
Simply toss the travel size bottle in your bag and travel with knowing you have extra protection on board.

Another product in the  PURE Immunity family is Silver, a patented SilverSol Technology of nano-sized particles that travel through the body to boost the immune system and are flushed out within approximately 48 hours. The formula contains 10 parts per million of elemental silver with purified water.

So, when it comes to keeping our immune systems in top form and avoiding illness, the best defense is a healthy lifestyle and knowing the facts about how illness is transmitted. For another layer of support, let PURE’s line of Immunity-boosting products are here to provide added peace of mind.

PURE DISCLAIMER INFORMATION:  The information in this post is intended for educational purposes only. The PURE products mentioned are intended to nutritionally support and maintain a healthy immune system. PURE products do not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, including the COVID-19 Coronavirus.