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Archive for the ‘Healthy People’ Category

The Dietary Guidelines encourage you to enjoy your food, but eat less and avoid oversized portions. We all know how tempting it is to finish your large sandwich, beverage, or large bagel. These oversized portions can contribute to weight gain.

If you want to maintain or lose weight, try some of these strategies:

• Eat smaller portions – can you split a breakfast or dinner entrée?
• Fill half your plate with vegetables – summertime is here; fill up on local vegetables and fruits.

Caprese Sandwich• Offer smaller portions for your sandwiches. These Caprese sandwiches were offered at a bridal shower. Fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese with balsamic vinegar made these small sandwiches a hit. They were wrapped in parchment paper and tied with jute so that they were easy to pick up.

• Fill up on salads! Eat darker lettuce varieties or use a Spring Mix Salad. Add fresh strawberries or berries and nuts for a nice crunch. Encourage guests to “drizzle” a little dressing on the salad for added flavor. When you have a variety of flavors in a salad, you may use less dressing. Spring Mix Salad

• Enjoying dessert? Split your dessert or eat a smaller portion. Take your time to savor the taste of your treat.

Want to learn more? Take the Portion Distortion Quiz from US Department of Health and Human Services, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. You will see pictures of food and how portion sizes have expanded over the past 20 years.

Make a decision to eat more veggies and fruits and watch your portion sizes!

Writer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu

Sources:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/eat-right/portion-distortion.htm

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/weight-management/better-choices/decrease-portions.html

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summer heat

Massive heat waves are hitting parts of the country and breaking records.  June has been a hot month with predictions that the heat will continue throughout the summer.  Summer heat can be dangerous.  The best defense against heat-related illness is prevention.  Staying cool and making simple changes in your fluid intake, activities and clothing during hot weather can help you remain safe and healthy.

Extreme Heat Safety Tips:

  • Never leave a person or a pet in the car in hot conditions while you run to do a quick errand.  People and animals can succumb to heat exposure and death very quickly in a hot car.  Cars can become overheated quickly and when overheated become like ovens.  It’s never safe.
  • Drink more fluids (avoid alcohol and high sugar drinks which can lead to dehydration)
  • Wear light clothing
  • Never leave persons, infants, young children or animals in a closed, parked vehicle
  • During the hottest hours of the day, stay inside.
  • Keep blinds and curtains closed from morning until the late afternoon to block extra direct heat from sunlight.
  • Supervise children during outdoor play, being sure to monitor them closely and frequently.
  • Stay on the lowest level of your home.
  • Use small appliances like slow cookers and tabletop grills instead of ovens and stoves.
  • Verify that seat belts and car seat restraints are not too hot before buckling yourself or anyone else into the car.
  • Go to a cool place.  Air conditioned movie theatres, malls or community centers.
  • Call and check on family, friends and neighbors.
  • Seek medical care right away if you become nauseous, start vomiting or experience cramps.

Protect yourself and your family from exposure to the sun and reduce your risk of sunburn, skin cancer and heat stress.

Source: emergency.cdc.gov

Written by:  Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD,LD.  Ohio State University Extension Educator, Mahoning County, Crossroads EERA, stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Joanna Rini, Ohio State University Extension, Medina County, Western Reserve EERA, rini.41@osu.edu. Donna Green, BS, MA, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, Erie Basin EERA, green.308@osu.edu

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While vegetarians go “meatless” every day, there is a growing movement across the country and even the world for the rest of us to do “Meatless Monday’s” once a week. Following this trend can help your health and your bank account too. Meals without meat aren’t a new thing; families were encouraged to take a meatless day during World War II to spread the food around to soldiers and allies in other countries.

The benefits of going meatless today include:

  • Reducing your risk of cancer – There are numerous studies that link consumption of red or processed meats to colon cancer, while studies also show that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits may decrease the risk of certain cancers.
  • Reducing risk of heart disease and stroke – By reducing consumption of the saturated fats in red meats you may also protect yourself again cardiovascular disease and stroke. At the same time an increase in whole grains, vegetables including beans, and fruit provide protective factors against the same health conditions.
  • Preventing obesity – Diets high in vegetables and fruits are higher in fiber, which will make you feel full quicker and typically contain fewer calories.
  • Spreading your food budget further – Most vegetables, beans, grains, and eggs can be used in recipes for less money than meats (red or white). Saving that money for a few months may give you the money for a family fun day, new games for family night, or just reduce your budget when finances are tight.

If you are looking for meatless recipes try:

A new favorite meatless recipe for me is Veggie Taco’s. Replace the ground meat in your taco with a peeled and chopped carrot and sweet potato (to speed up the process after chopping, microwave a few minutes with ¼ cup of water). Add a can of diced tomatoes and rinsed black beans to your seasonings and mix all ingredients in a skillet. Bring to a simmering bowl and heat for about 10 minutes to thicken. Top a whole grain taco shell with your meatless taco mixture, and chopped lettuce, tomato, and cheese. Trust me; you won’t miss the meat at all. Good additions are chopped peppers and a small chopped zucchini too.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County.

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Do you believe you are the only one that can do your job? Do you fear taking time off to avoid returning to a mountain of work? Are you afraid of being seen as replaceable if you take time off? Do you sacrifice your health and well-being to get the job done? If so, you might be a work martyr.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, about 40% of Americans don’t take the vacation they’ve earned, leaving about 430 million days of unused vacation. And that’s not saying much since Americans only get an average of 12 vacation days each year, compared with 20 days a year provided in Europe. Other sources also conclude we aren’t taking our allotted time off. A recent study by the Family and Work Institute reported that 36 percent of workers did not plan to use all their vacation days. Moreover, 37% said they have never taken more than a week off at a time.

In order to understand the attitudes and beliefs driving America’s work culture, the U.S. Travel Association enlisted GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications (GfK). GfK asked more than 1,300 business leaders across the country their top reasons for not taking time off. The most common survey responses included:

  • not wanting to return to a pile of work
  • feeling like no one else can do their job
  • one-third reported they cannot financially afford to use their time off
  • one in five were afraid they could be more easily replaced if they took time off
  • only 32% say their employers encourage them to take time off

The trend to put our ‘nose to the grindstone’ and power through even though we’re stressed out is concerning, and often based on unfounded fears. Face time at work doesn’t always equal dedication. Seventy-five percent of HR professionals report that employees who take most or all of their vacation days tend to “perform better” compared with employees who take less vacation.

Bench at lake shore

If Americans used more of their vacation, they could see improvements in their own physical and mental health and well-being, as well as the health of the economy. American’s unused vacation days could mean an additional $67 billion in travel spending as well as more jobs and earned income, according to estimates in a report by Oxford Economics.

A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health looked at how people feel before, during and after a vacation.

  • During vacation, people felt healthier and had better moods. They also experienced less tension and higher levels of energy and life satisfaction.
  • Interestingly, the positive effects of vacation were found to dissipate within a few days of returning to work. But “that doesn’t mean that one should discount the health benefits of a vacation,” says the article’s author, Jessica de Bloom . “It would be a bit like asking, ‘Why do we sleep despite the fact that we get tired again?’ “

To fend off the depression that can hit when you return from a vacation, author Robert Kriegel suggests you think about what motivates you and plan to have a few things that you love doing on your agenda when you return.

Perhaps we just need some encouragement to take some time off. If you have the sense that your boss doesn’t want you to take too much vacation time, ask what his or her concerns are. Finish your necessary tasks before leaving. Plan ahead for your duties to be covered and coordinate with co-workers. Then let your manager know how you can be reached if necessary. You may find the time off not only benefits you personally, but allows for new perspective and the chance for innovation to flow upon returning to work.

Research concludes that our health declines over time if we don’t take a break from work. Don’t be a work martyr, be a better worker.

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

Reviewed by: Kristen Corry, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Noble & Monroe Counties

Sources:

NPR: Relax! Vacations are Good for Health

Take A Vacation: It’s Good For Productivity And The Economy, According To A New Study

Project Time Off

Many don’t take all their vacation days. But they might be considered nutritional supplements to your professional well-being

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Walking for your HealthShould I walk faster or does it count when I walk slow? That depends on what benefits you are seeking to achieve.

Losing Weight – The waist circumference of each group was reduced the same amount when they walked moderately and briskly in a recent study sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Thus, it did not seem to matter if you walked fast or moderately, just getting out and walking helped. This can help reduce your risk of obesity.

Walking for Cardio-Health – Walking faster does improve your cardiorespiratory fitness. If you choose to walk at a moderate intensity pace you need to walk longer to achieve the same effects. You can also increase the intensity by walking uphill or increasing the incline on your treadmill.

Glucose Tolerance – This study used the glucose tolerance test to see if calories from sugar were efficiently processed by the body within two hours. This test can predict a person’s risk of developing diabetes. Only those walking briskly saw an improvement in the test. Walking moderately for a long period or shorter period of time did not have an effect.

Other benefits from walking 30 minutes a day:
• Improve your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels.
• Lower your stress level.
• Improve your mental health
• Reduce your risk of osteoporosis

Choose the type of walking that works best in your lifestyle and what you will participate in. If you don’t enjoy it, you probably will not do it long. Riding a bike instead of walking can provide similar benefits. Some people enjoy jogging and can cut back on the amount of time they jog due to the higher intensity of the exercise

Do you have a walking routine that needs a change? Try walking alternately fast for a few minutes and then slower, or walk fast for a quarter of a mile and then slower and then fast again. Find a park to walk at and enjoy the beauty of the scenery around you as you walk.

Walk with a friend and/or a dog. I walk with a friend and my dog. My dog gets so excited to take a walk; she starts barking when I get the lease out. Why not try walking with a friend?

Author: Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer: Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension

References:

American Heart Association, (2014). American Heart Association, Available at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/Walking/Why-Walking_UCM_461770_Article.jsp

Neithercott, T., (2012). 4 ways to boost your walking workout, American Diabetes Association, Available at http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2012/mar/4-ways-to-boost-your-walking-workout.html?print=t

Ross, R., Hudson, R., Stotz, P., and Lam, M. (2015). Effects of Exercise Amount and Intensity on Abdominal Obesity and Glucose Tolerance in Obese Adults. Annals of Internal Medicine 162(5), 325-334.

Schardt, D. (2015). The best way to walk to lose weight: slow or brisk?, Nutrition Action, Available at http://www. nutritionaction.com/daily/exercise-for-health/the-best-way-to-walk-to-lose-weight/

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vegetables-752153_1280The weather lately has allowed some of our early season crops to flourish. As we begin to enjoy the fresh vegetables and herbs from our garden, we should think about the best methods for harvesting them and the other vegetables that will mature in the coming months.

Many of us choose to grow our own vegetables so that we can have the best tasting product possible! However, the quality, taste and appearance of vegetables can be affected if they are not harvested at the proper time and in the proper way.

Store bought vegetables are often picked before they are fully ripe to allow time for them to be shipped and stored. The home gardener has the advantage here by knowing when and how to harvest their products. Harvesting most vegetables when they have ripened on the plant will produce the best taste.
Don’t fall into the “bigger is better” trap and allow produce to stay on the plant too long. This can lead to tough, fibrous, or rotten produce. Also, most vegetables are best when harvested early in the morning while they retain the maximum moisture. After you harvest, keep your produce out of direct sunlight and keep them cool.

You should be gentle with your vegetables as you harvest them. Some vegetables will require scissors, a knife or pruners to remove them without damaging the plant. One example of this may be green peppers which have firm stems attaching each individual pepper to the plant. Also, frequent picking of vegetables can prolong the harvest for that plant. If you wait too long to harvest, the plant may stop producing more vegetables since it will sense that its reproduction goal has been reached!

The ripening process continues when the vegetables are harvested and the quality declines rapidly so they should be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator to slow down the process. Some produce that this applies to are tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, and others. The sugar in some of these vegetables can change to starch and affect the taste of the item.

Home gardeners are often not familiar with the proper time to harvest some of the vegetables they have chosen to grow. The information from Clemson Cooperative Extension and Washington State University Extension should provide guidance on the proper stage of maturity for harvesting many common vegetables. Ohio State University Extension provides information on individual vegetables and the proper storage to keep the quality high.

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Joanna Rini, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Medina County, rini.41@osu.edu
Sources:

http://ohioline.osu.edu

http://agr.georgia.gov/harvest-vegetables-at-proper-time-to-ensure-best-taste-and-quality.aspx

http://county.wsu.edu/king/gardening/mg/factsheets/Fact%20Sheets/Harvesting%20Fruits%20and%20Vegetables.pdf

http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/pdf/hgic1262.pdf

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The accumulation of bacteria

The accumulation of bacteria

Top 10 Points to Remember:

(1) The change in the human diet that has had THE BIGGEST impact on our health is (1) the drop in the amount of fiber we eat, and (2) the diversity of the fiber we eat.

(2) When you starve your good bacteria (by not eating plant foods/fiber), they have to eat something, so they start eating YOU! They eat the mucous lining in your colon, and once you begin to degrade that barrier, you expose it to potential problems (like leaky gut syndrome).

(3) Compare your food choices to a necklace—the longer the necklace (carbohydrate chain), the better the food source is for your gut bugs. Choose complex carbohydrates. Most will make it all the way down to the colon to become food for your good bacteria.

(4) Your good bacteria chomp on the food, multiply, and make MORE good bacteria. They also generate short chain fatty acids (SCFA). One in particular, butyrate, helps line and protect the colon.

(5) When you pick comfort foods (or other foods you crave) at the grocery store, they taste good on your tongue, but you also need to pick foods that your bacteria crave (dietary fiber, and lots of it).

(6) Look in your grocery cart and make sure you are feeding your good bacteria a variety (and quantity) of dietary fiber.

(7) When bacteria ferment fiber, it changes the pH of the colon. It makes it more acidic. People on low carb diets have a more alkaline pH. This provides opportunities for pathogens to bloom up somewhere down the road.

(8) Your microbiome is an ecosystem in your colon. If you starve it, you hurt it.

(9) Your good bacteria LOVE resistant starch. Examples include:

o Whole grains
o White rice, pasta, and potatoes after they are cooked and cooled
o Isolated entities—like potato starch
o Beans and legumes
o Some fruits and veggies

(10) Try to consume 15-20 grams of resistant starch every day (Americans average 5).

Written by: Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

Reviewed by: Liz Smith, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Sources:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK109559/
https://www.nutrition.org/education-and-professional-development/the-microbiome-webinar-series/

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