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JODY HOLTON — Staying the course in difficult times

And just like that … it’s hurricane season.

With that comes the possibility of thousands of folks being without power for days. Let’s look at the practical aspect, not only will nerves be frayed, your whole routine is turned upside down, but if you have dietary restrictions or are trying very hard to live a healthy life, you have the problem of what to eat.

Sure, the first inclination is to go wherever is open and eat what is there. Next choice is going to the store and load up on chips, sandwich fixings, sodas and assorted junk foods. And you will end up feeling bloated and even more out of sorts than expected.

Now is the time to do some sensible preparation. With a little planning, there are some good choices to be made. First, rather than a lot of individual bottles of water, start picking up a few 1-gallon bottles of drinking water each week.

Set them in the bottom of a closet, out of the way. Lots less waste when drinking by the cup. Plus, you can pour what you need for additional food prep.

Next, raw almonds. The go to snack item, every one-ounce serving (about 23 almonds) provides 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, plus vitamin E (35 percent DV [daily value]), magnesium (20 percent DV), riboflavin (20 percent DV), calcium (8 percent DV) and potassium (6 percent DV). In addition, almonds are a low-glycemic index food. Bonus, it has a satisfying crunch!

An option for chips is a red quinoa and flax tortilla chips, it is low in sodium and high in fiber. To make it a nutritious meal, skip the bean dip and use fat free, low sodium refried beans. Very filling, high in protein.

If salt isn’t a health restriction for you, stock up on some turkey jerky. Again, a high protein snack that is filling.

We eat fresh fruit every day. But when there is no power and keeping fruit fresh is not possible, a good option is canned fruit packed in its own juice. Stock up on pineapple, fruit cocktail, pears and mandarin orange slices, are all good fiber choices. Apples and oranges will stay usable for a couple of weeks, keep a bowl of these on the counter all of the time.

Cereal is a great way to start the day, stored in sealed containers. Shredded wheat (no frosting), or one of the high fiber varieties. Almond milk or one of the shelf stable milks that can be stored long term, once opened, keep on ice.

These come in quart sized waxed boxes. Sweeten with a drizzle of honey, it never goes bad and a little goes a long way.

Packages of dry packed tuna is a great choice. A 2.5-ounce pack has 19 grams of protein. They come in flavors like Lemon Pepper and Hickory Smoked. Serve with Whole Wheat saltines or unsalted top crackers.

Of course, this is not gourmet dining, but it is good quality food that nourishes the body. And in stressful times, sound nourishment is important.

Keep on hand, paper plates, plastic flatware, wet wipes and throw away cups. If you have a gas grill, have some old pots that you can use to cook on the grill surface.

While you are prepping, make sure you have the right size batteries for all of your flashlights, lanterns and assorted devices. Keep a Quick Charger for each phone owner in the house. If you haven’t already, stock up on toilet paper, tissue and paper towels.

Baby wipes are great for quick cleanups. Make sure your first aid supplies are up to date and well stocked. Think outside the box, I’ll bet you can come up with some great ideas. Through it all, stay healthy, my friends.

Jody Holton writes about health in The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at jholton@ymcasetx.org.