Time to Get Physical!

No matter what is going – don’t forget to stay moving this month! Activity is so important to maintain health, weight, and a strong immune system. Activity is great during all stages of life – children, adults, pregnant, older adults – we all receive benefits from being physically active! Here are some of the benefits:

  • Mental health
  • Stress reduction
  • Boost Immunity
  • Supports and strengthens joint and bone health
  • Reduce risk for chronic disease
  • Manage chronic disease
  • Aid in weight loss
  • And even increases your chances of living longer according to the CDC.

So remember to stay active and moving – go for a walk/jog, gardening, biking, jump rope or dancing with the kids! Make it your challenge this month! Any change you are able to make to reduce your time sitting and being stable and increase your activity will make a huge impact in the long run. Keep it up and get physically active today!

Easy – At Home Lunch!

Are you working from home and not sure quite sure what to make for lunch? This week keep it simple and try to use what you have in the house. Here are a few basic ideas to help you build an awesome lunch!

  1. Start with a base – veggies, like a bagged salad mix or left over lettuce and chopped veggies of your choice from last nights dinner. Get colorful! (1 – 2 servings from this group)
  2. Add a protein – try lean meat like chicken or turkey, or just use what you have from leftovers – egg, low fat cheese, fish or shrimp, even canned tuna or beans are a great option. (1 – 2 servings from this group)
  3. Top with healthy fats – use a dressing of your choice (just read the label and look for whole food ingredients) or try making your own. Try lightening up your favorite recipe using low-fat greek yogurt, avocado, or olive oil for a healthy fat swap. Just watch the portion – try measuring your dressing to avoid overdoing it. (1 servings from this group)
  4. Don’t forget a bonus – add in something to top your lunch with and make it a bit more creative then the everyday. Here are some great ideas – sliced fresh fruits, dried fruit like cranberry or raisins, leftover brown rice or whole wheat pasta, a few tortilla chips, or even some cooked sweet potato or corn. But remember stick to 1 and the try another next time. (1 servings from this group)

Just be sure to watch the portion sizes and serve yourself enough for 1 meal. Make lunch fun today and get more use out of your leftovers! Remember – eat healthy to stay healthy during COVID 19.

Stay Healthy – While working from HOME!

Build in your meal schedule around the work schedule and stick to it. Here are a few key tips to help you continue eating healthy, continue moving, and feeling your best.

  • Do not eat at your computer but find a place for breakfast and lunch.
  • Give yourself 20 minutes to eat and then how about 10-20 minutes to exercise at your desk or a brisk walk outside? It will even give you a bit of energy to get you through the rest of day.
  • Set an alarm and stand up every hour for 5-10 minutes – even do a quick stretch.
  • Can you do some work tasks standing? Try it!
  • Don’t get seduced with easy access to the fridge – make a rule not to go to roaming to the fridge during the work day except for mealtimes.

Ensuring you maintain your nutritional health is an important component to boosting our immune function. Pick foods that are nutrient rich with lots of vitamins and minerals fruits and vegetables are good sources. Remember to stay on your normal healthy routine as much as possible. Eat healthy to stay healthy during COVID 19.

Nutritional Health during COVID 19

Struggling to eat healthy and find your “go to” food items in the stores over the last few weeks – just trying to avoid all the snack foods. Over the next weeks we will post some new ideas and tips for you to continue to eat healthy and feel good during this time!

Start with a plan – make a menu or meal plan for the week. Keep it simple – carbohydrate, protein, and fat sources. So each meal will consist of a protein source animal or plant based, add a high fiber carbohydrate and a vegetables. Make it easy pick up any of the following if available:

Protein: ground meats, chicken or turkey breast (don’t forget to look in the freezer for some whole turkeys or turkey breast), eggs, or dried beans. Don’t forget dairy – milk, cheese and yogurt are good sources of protein too, plus calcium and Vitamin D (for those of us not seeing the sunlight!)

• Carbohydrate – choose high fiber: brown rice, quinoa, barley, wheat or bean pastas and whole grain bread or cereals 

• Vegetables: can be fresh, frozen or canned. Fresh vegetables can be steamed and frozen for another day. Try to consume 1-2 cups per day

• Fruit: can be fresh, frozen or canned in water

Remember – don’t be to hard on yourself if you don’t find something you had planned for, it’s okay to have some flexibility in your menu – just keep it simple. Stay healthy – Check back next week for even more tips and tricks!

Snacking with your Heart!

Not sure what to look for in a snack – thinking you can’t have snacks and eat healthy. Well here are a few things to watch for and some ides of things to reach for when snacking! Limit your intake of saturated fats and trans fats, sugar, and processed foods “junk foods” – often found in foods like candies, donuts, honey buns, fried food, or chips… (packages)!

When looking for snack foods – EAT REAL FOODS!

Go for the whole foods (fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, or air popped popcorn). If going for a packaged food or “grab and go” when in a hurry = read the label! First check the ingredients – the fewer the better — then the nutrition facts. Check the sodium, fat, fiber – the DV or daily value = aim for low numbers with the sodium and fats (5% or less) and higher for the fiber (20% or more)!

For more help and tips understanding processed foods and labels – check out this infographic from the American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/-/media/aha/h4gm/pdf-files/processed-food-infographic.pdf?la=en&hash=62E0D7C18531B0227DC53AC9B121D9980ED23B7A

Fall in LOVE with Fruits & Veggies!

Eat the rainbow – add in heart healthy fruits and vegetable today for a boost ! Great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber – fruits and veggies make the perfect addition to your day!

Try a salad for lunch, add in sliced veggies with your favorite dip as a snacks, or toss leftover veggie with eggs for a delicious breakfast scramble.

Need dinner ideas slow roast tomatoes or peppers with olive oil and spices in the oven for a delicious side dish. Even try a few (1/2 cup) sliced and rinsed berries for dessert with a touch of low fat cool whip!

Fall in LOVE with your favorite fruits and vegetables today!

Cut the Salt!

Do you find yourself with more access to snack foods lately and maybe grabbing some saltier snacks then normal. 

Watch out for the sneaky salt – often packaged, canned, boxed, and bottles food contain a high amount of salt or sodium we don’t even notice. Yes – we do need some sodium but too much can be harmful and not heart healthy. Here are some ideas for salt snack swaps. 

  • Look for “unsalted or low-sodium” when buying foods like cracker, pretzels, or even nuts. 
  • Skip the salt and butter on your popcorn – pop at home popcorn (plain) and try topping with your favorite spices! Even garlic, parmesan, or chili powder, a dash of cinnamon sugar or splenda … add a small amount (1 tsp) of olive oil and get creative! 
  • Finally – opt for whole foods when you can with fresh, frozen, or even canned (and rinsed) fruits and vegetables . EAT real FOODS! 

Ideas and Resources

Do you have questions and in need of some new ideas and creativity…

Are you in need of ideas for cleaning and storing foods?

What kinds of foods should you be buying to stay eating healthy and keep your immunity strong?

Looking for ways to get your family and children involved in cooking – plus give them a break from screen time?

Check out these awesome resources available through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – https://www.eatright.org/coronavirus! You will find lots of helpful information including articles, recipes, and videos/infographics on many topics you will definitely find helpful in this time. So check out these creative ideas – info to get kids involved in the kitchen and even keeping your kitchen clean. Check it out today and stay safe and healthy!

Healthy Eating – at HOME

In times like these it is important to remember that eating at home and having more time for snacking – we can still make healthy choices and keep our immune system strong with good nutrition.

Here are a few simple ideas for you to try:

  • Try a new healthy recipe for dinner – make sure it has some veggies
  • Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables with your favorite healthy protein like peanut butter or low fat cheese/dressing
  • Freeze fresh fruits and veggies (if no plans to use before going bad) to use later in soups or smoothies
  • Make at home dips, dressings, or fruit toppers with greek yogurt instead of cream cheese or sour cream
  • Use whole grains when possible

Bite by Bite – National Nutrition Month!

Did you know – Small changes can mean BIG things in the long term! 

March is National Nutrition Month and we are going to bring you ideas and tricks for small changes that can become big changes for better nutrition and wellness – one bite at a time!

Try a new vegetable today – doesn’t have to be a lot, maybe just one bite, for kids even a pea size amount. Small change can lead to more in the future… so try it today! 

Fiber Friday!

Do you know, increasing fiber in your diet is heart healthy and so much more… here is why. Fiber is great to support weight control, supports fullness and fends off hunger, helps improve blood sugar levels and cholesterol level, and support healthy bowels! Aim for 35 grams fiber each day!

Here is some ideas to increase and get even more fiber in your day –

  • Switch out your morning blueberry muffin for whole grain (100% whole wheat) toast (like Dave’s Killer Bread) or whole wheat wrap – spread with peanut butter and add apple slices for a fiber rich and whole grain breakfast! 
  • Best choice always look for first ingredient as whole wheat or whole oats. Read the label look for fiber content. 
  • Try – oatmeal (1 cup) plus 1 tablespoon flax seed meal and 1 cup blueberries with 2 ounce fat free milk for a fiber rich breakfast or even lunch!

Check out our fiber chart in our new page – Recipes and More!