Hurricanes and Healthy Eating While Hiding

— Written By April Lamb and last updated by
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During the beautiful warm weather, we still have to be on the lookout for hurricanes. A hurricane is a storm with a violent wind, in particular a tropical cyclone in the Caribbean. The year 2021 has come with a lot of challenges. This year we have hurricane season starting June 1 through November 30. As we prepare for this season, we can continue with healthy eating. If we were eating a 2,000-calorie diet, we would be full of energy and most importantly, we would hit all of the five food groups. As a reminder, the five food groups are fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy foods. It is important to eat a balanced meal at all times because it can give you loads of energy, aid in weight loss or help maintain a normal weight, boost heart health, increase the strength in bones, improve mood, memory, and brain health. Here is a quick preview of a young woman aged 19 – 30. She can have 1 ½ – 2 cups of FRUIT, 2 ½ – 3 cups of VEGETABLES, 6 – 8 oz of TOTAL GRAINS, or 3 – 4 oz of WHOLE GRAINS, 5 – 6 ½ oz of PROTEIN and 3 cups of DAIRY. If you think about it, being healthy doesn’t mean being hungry. That is a distorted image of healthy eating. A person can consume quite a bit, but you have to be mindful of what to eat and how to eat. Eating a diet that includes leafy greens will help with your mental health.

Who wants a sour mood during a bad storm? Some of you may already undergo being worried, scared, anxious, depressed, and uncertain. You are definitely not alone. Truthfully, when you are developing a safety plan or in your hiding place, you will experience all types of emotions. That is why it is so important to do the best you can with what you have beforehand in a nutritional sense. Let’s look at some options to boost your mental health. Great leafy options are canned spinach and kale. These vegetables are great to be stored for 3 to 5 years. Make sure that you are looking for the no salt added option. Foods that are high or rich in Omega 3 fatty acids would be salmon and tuna. Salmon and tuna in the can will last up to 3 years. You can also stock up on nuts, seeds, and legumes. An example of this would be pumpkin seeds, beans, and lentils. This group of beans will last anywhere from 2 to 5 years. When planning, purchasing, and storing, ensure that you are paying close attention to the outside of the cans. All cans are not safe and ready for consumption. Make certain that there is not any leakage, discoloration, corrosion, open areas, bad smells, dents, and/or bulging from the can. If you detect any of those things, please discard that canned item.

Know that hurricane season is here and we all can be healthy and safe. Quick reminders are to keep all windows and doors facing outside closed during the storm. You do not want to change the air pressure inside. Stay away from windows. Do not go outside if you feel you are in the eye of the storm. Stay together and before it all begins, make sure you have a plan. Below is a quick and simple recipe for you and your family.

Tuna Burgers

Makes 6 servings – Serving Size is 1 patty.


  • 2 (5 ounce) cans low sodium tuna
  • 1 cup whole-grain bread crumbs, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Drain tuna, separate into flakes using a fork.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, ½ cup of breadcrumbs, egg, onion, celery, pepper, and seasonings.
  3. Form six patties. With remaining ½ cup of breadcrumbs, coat each side of the patties.
  4. Spray nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat.
  5. Cook each patty until heated through and golden brown (approximately 5 minutes on each side and internal temperature reaches 160F).

Nutrition Information Per Serving – 90 Calories, Total Fat 2.4g, Saturated Fat 0.6g, Protein 13g, Total Carbohydrate 4g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Sodium 108mg. Good source of calcium and iron.

Be sure that you contact N.C. Cooperative Extension of Sampson County to sign up for the nutrition courses. Sampson Community College’s ACE Program and New Life’s Uplifted Summer Program has a jumpstart with their health. I started this week off with a tasty fruit salad with the ACE Program and a healthy funny face snack with New Life. Oh, what a success it has been! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity with this free program! Contact me via email at