Archive for September, 2013

Do you ever find yourself eating and realize that you don’t even feel hungry or don’t know why you started eating in the first place? If so, don’t feel guilty, you are not alone. Recent studies suggest that over 75% of overeating is caused by our emotions. Instead of eating due to physical cues from our bodies, such as a growling stomach, emotional eating is when our feelings trigger us to indulge and typically cause us to eat unhealthy foods. Studies show that we turn to comfort foods that are sweet, high-fat foods in response to emotional stress. Many of us are programmed to turn to food for comfort at an early age. As an infant we are held in the security of a loved one’s arms while eating, this begins the emotional phase of eating. As a young child, our family doctor gives a lollipop as a reward at the end of a visit, and some teacher’s celebrate classroom success with pizza or ice cream parties. It’s no wonder we learn to eat to satisfy emotions and not our body’s physical need for nourishment.
Emotional eating is one of the largest weight loss obstacles. Depression, boredom, loneliness, chronic anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, problems with interpersonal relationships, and low self-esteem can result in overeating and weight gain. When we ignore our body’s physical cues and eat anytime we feel bored, emotional, or stressed, our body receives unwanted extra calories which are then stored as excess fat leading to increased weight gain and health risks. Even when you feel full, if you are eating to fulfill an emotional need, you are more likely to continue eating. If you eat because you are physically hungry, you are more likely to stop when you are full.
Rather than reaching for those comfort foods, we must develop new skills for dealing with boredom, stress, and self-esteem issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some suggestions to help you battle emotional eating:

1. Create a list of your eating habits. Keeping a food diary for a few days, in which you write down everything you eat and the time of day you ate it, will help you uncover your habits. Use this diary to help: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/pdf/food_diary_cdc.pdf It’s good to note how you were feeling when you decided to eat, especially if you were eating when not hungry. Were you tired? Stressed out?

2. Highlight the habits on your list that may be leading you to overeat. Look at the unhealthy eating habits you’ve highlighted. Be sure you’ve identified all the triggers that cause you to engage in those habits. Identify a few you’d like to work on improving first.

3. Replace unhealthy habits with new, healthy ones. For example, in reflecting on your eating habits, you may realize that you eat too fast when you eat alone. So, make a commitment to share a lunch each week with a colleague, or have a neighbor over for dinner one night a week. If you find yourself eating when you are experiencing an emotion besides hunger, such as boredom or anxiety, try to find a non-eating activity to do instead. Take a walk, enjoy a book or spend time on a hobby.

4. Reinforce your new, healthy habits and be patient with yourself. Habits take time to develop. It doesn’t happen overnight. When you do find yourself engaging in an unhealthy habit, stop as quickly as possible and ask yourself: Why do I do this? When did I start doing this?
Lastly, don’t deny yourself all treats. This can lead to cravings and binge eating. Instead, allow yourself to have your favorite foods occasionally and in smaller portions. Limit the amount of chips or candy by putting a few in a small bowl instead of mindlessly eating them out of the bag.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2013). Healthy Weight-it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/eating_habits.html
Oliver, G., Wardle, J., & Gibson, E.L. (2000). Stress and food choice: A laboratory study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62, 853-865.

Writer: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County, Miami Valley EERA, green.1405@osu.edu
Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu


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Fitness apps help people develop an exercise routine and track their progress. There are new apps out that offer social encouragement for exercise and are entertaining! It’s a great way to meet your fitness goals and improve your health.
Imagine virtually climbing Mount Everest by achieving small bursts of exercise and completing short work outs to move to the next level. Listed below are some fitness apps that strive to keeping exercise interesting.


Platform: iPhone and Android, free

Method: Users achieve the next game level by logging workoutsThis app uses social network to motivate people. For every workout logged on, users get points which are awarded based on specific exercise and workout’s intensity. As users build up points, they aquire virtual badges and medals. Users may follow friends, offer advice or give props on social media. Also, there are special workout groups for diabetics, weight loss, and marathon runners.


Platform: iPhone, free

Method: Encourages groups to take on big challenges.
Ever dream of running 100 miles or biking 5,000 miles within a set period? This app lets you compete as part of a challenge. Often, this type of friendly competition can be just the push needed to get people motivated and exercising! The app provides points and virtual medals and will randomly send rewards that can be redeemed for discounts on running apparel or free music downloads.



Platform: iPhone, Android, free

Method: Runners draw virtual pictures on a map as the app traces their route.
The phone’s GPS traces their route to draw virtual pictures on a map. The more they run the more colors available to trace their routes. The concept is to motivate people to explore new places and be creative while they run.


Platform: iPhone, free

Method: Users work as teams to move through challenging adventures to climb Mount Everest or hike the Inca Trail.
Through exercise, teams can accomplish big achievements using this text based adventure app. Users move through a virtual map and a story by completing push-ups or jumping jacks, to move to the next spot. A team of 2-3 people, such as office co-workers, friends or family members may do three or four exercises a day and complete a challenge within a week to win a virtual trophy. This is a great way to motivate one another to achieve the challenge!
All of these apps are fun and motivational and offer encouragement to get active. As the smart phone use increases, this is a great way to put them to good use!

Sources: macworld.com.category/apps

Writer: Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD,LD. Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewer: Liz Smith, M.S, RDN., L.D, NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED Ohio State University Extension, smith.3993@osu.edu

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Clutter means different things to different people, but can generally be categorized into the following groups:

• Unused things or things with no sentimental value

• Unfinished things

• Disorganized things

• Too many things in too small a place

Clutter says something about you! Maybe you are holding on to the past, unable to make up your mind, or just seriously messy! Whatever the case, clutter holds you back. office_clutter

The main clutter styles are listed below. Recognizing your clutter behavior is the first step towards changing the habits that create it.

• The Accumulator – Aka, the classic pack rat, acquires more and more things and lets nothing go, thinking that items may be valuable someday or indecisive about what to do with them.

• The Collector – Seems to collect specific items (like commemorative plates), but collections are rarely complete, and lead to starting other collections.

• The Concealer – Neatly labels and packs away clutter in storage containers. While organized, the Concealer keeps everything instead of making decisions about what to keep and what to discard.

• The Tosser – Has no clutter problem. But, throws away not only their own things, but everyone else’s too. The Tosser has little sentimental attachment to things and has difficulty understanding others’ attachments to things.

Clutter adds about 40% more housework in the average American home, and can challenge even the most organized person. Sometimes you just don’t know what to do with something, have no place to put it, or don’t have time to deal with it.

Key Principles for Creating Order – If you want to clear out clutter, focus your mind on creating order. Getting organized means changing habits. You make organization happen by taking control. ACT to reduce clutter:

• Assess the situation

• Commit to a plan

• Take action

Get rid of things you don’t use and that have no personal value. Start small and set realistic goals. For example, begin with the kitchen catchall drawer. Attack clutter drawer by drawer, cupboard by cupboard, shelf by shelf.

The QUICK method, detailed in Cut the Clutter and Stow the Stuff, edited by Lori Baird, is a compilation of techniques and advice that many expert organizers use to create order.

Quantify  – Think about your clutter and the space you have to store it. What are your needs? Why are they important? Maybe you love books, but your bookshelves are a mess. Write down how you want to organize them (author, subject, fiction, nonfiction, etc.). Set aside time like a regularly scheduled appointment. By assessing and sorting your books, you have begun to quantify your clutter.

Unload – Getting rid of clutter means letting it go. Things can be given away, donated to charity, sold at a garage sale, or thrown away. One way or another, items must leave the premises.

Isolate – After unloading, isolate the items that are left. These are the things you have decided to keep, so organize them in a way that makes sense to you. For example, you’ve gone through the Christmas decorations, thrown out the threadbare garlands, and separated the tangled lights. Now, sort the items. Fragile ornaments in one group, wreaths in another, wrapping paper and bows in another. You get the idea.

Contain – Decide what storage containers to use for your things and where to put them (bookshelf, closet, garage, etc.). Don’t buy new containers if you don’t need them. Just make sure that containers are adequate for the content. Now you can see the results of your efforts: Items neatly labeled and stored in a practical location.

Keep it up – Maintaining organization is an ongoing process. No worries. The hard part is over! Just quantify, unload, isolate, and contain as needed. With a system for creating order already in place, eliminating clutter is easy.

With a little determination, you can conquer clutter.

Written by: Kathryn K Dodrill, MA, CFCS Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Washington County.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ross County.


  • Dean, Shea“Clutter & Chaos, How I got out From Under This Mess.” Reader’s Digest, May 2002:      90-97.
  • Garson, Christine “Closet Cases.” Real Simple, Oct. 2003: 158-167.
  • Baird, Lori, ed.Cut the Clutter and Stow the Stuff: The QUICK Way to Bring Lasting Order to Household Chaos. USA: Yankee Publishing, Inc., 2002.
  • Bykofsky , Sheree500 Terrific Ideas for Organizing Everything: The Best Techniques and Tools for Organizing Anything and Everything in your Life. New York: Round Stone Press, Inc., 1992.
  • Lambert, MaryClearing the Clutter for Good Feng Shui. New York: Barnes & Noble Inc., 2001.
  • Smallin, Donna Organizing Plain & Simple: A Ready Reference Guide With Hundreds of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 2002.
  • www.realsimple.com

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The search for the Fountain of Youth dates back to at least the fifth century BC and unfortunately everyone from Herodotus of ancient Greece to Ponce de Leon of Spain has been unsuccessful in their ventures. While there may not be a flowing spring that promises long life, the secret to longevity might be in the plants growing all around us.

Recently the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine investigated over 70,000 people and found a 12% lower risk of mortality for vegetarians. Additionally, the University of Oxford found a 32% lower risk of hospitalization and death from heart disease among herbivores in a cohort of approximately 45,000 volunteers. Other studies have illustrated lower risks of cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases with adherence to a plant based diet. Clearing out your freezer of all animals may not be necessary, but we could all benefit from a few more plant based meals.

“No meat?? Where do you get your protein??”
Animal flesh is the most protein dense food, but it is certainly not the only source of protein. And it’s not the cheapest either: 1 pound of black beans costs roughly $1.39 while boneless, skinless chicken breast clocks in at around $2.39/lb. The pound of beans will also yield far more than the pound of meat.

Food Protein
Beans/legumes 15 g/cup
Nuts 6 g/1 oz
Quinoa 11 g/cup
Soy milk 7 g/cup
Tofu 9 g/3oz
Seitan 18 g/3oz
Tempeh 18 g/3oz
Peanut butter 7 g/2 tbsp

Tofu, tempeh, and seitan are some of the most protein dense plant foods. They act as great meat substitutes, but also tend to frighten people who haven’t experienced them before. Tofu is essentially curdled soy milk (just like cheese, right?) while tempeh is cooked and fermented soybeans (we’ll save refuting the anti-soy argument for another blog). Wheat based seitan is created by removing all of the starch of wheat leaving only the gluten.

Tofu can be grilled, baked, or fried and used in salads, sandwiches, or stir-fries. Crumbling tempeh creates a ground meat type texture ideal for chili or Sloppy Joes. Seitan, commonly sold in cubes and strips, has a grainy texture similar to chicken or steak and is great in fajitas, stir-fries, or grilled on kabobs.

Feeling intimidated? Most likely.

But don’t be! Preparing these foods may be new, but it is no more difficult or time consuming than meat based dishes. Try this tofu lasagna, Chipotle Spiced Seitan Tacos, or my super easy Sloppy Joe recipe below in place of some meat based meals to add variety and possibly even a few years to your life!

8 oz tempeh

2 tbsp olive oil

1 green pepper, diced small

1 small onion, diced small

1 can Sloppy Joe sauce (my favorite is Manwich®)

Whole wheat buns, toasted

Break up tempeh into 4 pieces. Simmer in a pot for about 30 minutes*. While tempeh is simmering, prepare veggies. When there is 10 minutes left for the tempeh, heat 1 T of the oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add onion and pepper to skillet and sauté until softened, about 7-10 minutes. Drain tempeh and crumble into pan. Add the other 1 T of oil and sauté an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up chunks of tempeh. Reduce heat to low and add sauce. Stir until heated through. Serve over buns.

*This step produces a milder flavor of the tempeh, but it can be omitted if you want to save time.


  1. Orlich MJ, Singh PN, Sabaté J, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fan J, Knutsen S, Beeson WL, Fraser GE. Vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality in Adventist health study 2JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013 DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6473.
  1. Crowe FJ, Appleby PN, Travis RC, Key TJ. Risk of hospitalization or death from ischemic heart disease among British vegetarians and nonvegetarians: results from the EPIC-Oxford cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 March; 97: 604-611.

Recipes Taken from:



Written By: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, FCS, Wood County and Ryan Leone,  Program Assistant, Wood County with IGNITE: Sparking Youth to Create Healthy Communities Project

Reviewed by: Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D. Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed,OSU Extension, West Region

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Time to stand up! Standing up is good for your health. Research is showing that even if you are physically active, sitting a good portion of the day can be a risk factor for poor health and office meeting -standingpossibly even premature death. Most of us spend a lot of time sitting at computers and driving. Time to stand!

Dr. Joan Vernikos, author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals and former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division, provides an explanation of why sitting affects our health in ill ways. Dr. Vernikos states that we were not designed to sit so much. She feels we were actually designed to squat and kneel. Hours of uninterrupted sitting causes your body to be more affected by the force of gravity. We need to exert our body to overcome the force of gravity and the effects it can have on our body. Thus, we need to stand up often, especially when we are sitting for awhile.

By standing up often or interrupting our sitting we change our posture. It’s our change in posture that helps up overcome the force of gravity that causes us to age. Dr. Vernikos found that simply standing up at least once every hour caused good cardiovascular and metabolic changes in your body. Simply, standing up from a seated position increases an enzyme that transports fat to muscles in your body to be used as fuel. Those other movements you do around the office or at home, like reaching to get something, bending down to pick something up, are not really exercise activities but do interrupt your sitting which are effective against aging. She suggests we try to do more of them in a day. One way at work, might be to put your coffee out of your reach so you have to get up to drink it.

Are you sitting up straight reading this? Dr. Vernikos recommends a straight back chair for your office or home. She is not really in favor of standing desks, as it’s the movement of up and down that is more important. Good posture helps your body function properly. If you think that you can stand up and sit down repeatedly for a few minutes and that will help, she found it didn’t really work. We have to spread out the times we stand up throughout the day, to get the effect of delaying or preventing the damage associated with aging and our loss of flexibility.timer

So, set the timer on your cell phone or your computer and stand up at least once or more an hour. Just standing up can help counteract the process of aging on your body. You may already have damage but good news! You can reverse the damage and your body can recover. The older we are the longer it may take, but it can be done. So, take a standing break and stand up straight.

Author: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County, Miami Valley EERA, brinkman.93@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Smith, M.S., RDN., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed, Ohio State University Extension.

Mercola, Dr., [2013]. Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, Available at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/23/vernikos-sitting-kills.aspx
Vernikos, J. [2013]. Are Standup Desks the Solution? YouTube video, Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAblfJBvYOA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUjs924QtuVACKIVqUqlKdWw

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It seems that every week or month there is a different health observance being mentioned on the news, social media, or highlighted with a walk or run. These health observances encourage us to become aware of preventable health problems and diseases through early detection and treatment. Here are a few basic health recommendations:Pair of Human Hands Checking the Blood Pressure of a Patient

• Schedule regular checkups – this includes visits to your family physician, dentist, optometrist, or gynecologist (for our women readers).
• Have regular and recommended screenings – this includes blood pressure and cholesterol (that you may be able to get at a Health Fair), colorectal cancer screenings (over age 50), skin cancer screenings (for those with a family history or blonde/red heads with numerous burns), and hearing tests. For a list of recommended tests depending on your sex and age go to the Department of Health and Human Services Health Finder site at http://www.healthfinder.gov/myhealthfinder/.
• Don’t forget the basics – wear your seat belt, bike helmet, quit smoking, and don’t text and drive.

How do I find a credible source?

There are a number of websites with both Women’s and Men’s Health resources from trusted, research-based sites. My colleagues at our local library recommend the following tips to ensure you are reading the most recent information from an unbiased source. Ask yourself these questions: Who wrote the article? What are their credentials? How current is the information? Look to sites that end with .gov or .edu. If you can’t find what you are looking for go to your local library; they really are experts at finding information. Some of the sources for Men’s and Women’s health information include:

The CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Men’s and Women’s Health

National Institutes of Health – Men’s Health and Women’s Health http://health.nih.gov/category/MensHealth

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center – https://patienteducation.osumc.edu/Pages/Home.aspx.


Women’s Health Project, http://womenshealth.gov/.

Getting All The Facts: Determining Credibility of Medical Information, L. Hartley, hartlele@oplin.org.

WebMD, http://women.webmd.com/tc/early-disease-detection-overview.

Others listed above.

Author: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu.

Reviewer: Cynthia R. Shuster, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA.

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100 years ago, if you developed diabetes, you endured a variety of treatments ranging from starvation to amputations. Today, diabetes is managed with a variety of treatments ranging from insulin injections to medication to lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, depending on the type of diabetes you were diagnosed with and when you received the diagnosis. What a difference a century makes!

Exercise is an extremely important cornerstone in the management of diabetes. Exercise, in addition to clearing out glucose (blood sugar), makes your body more responsive to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar from the blood stream into your cells. If you can only know one hormone, it should be insulin. The pancreas (an organ that regulates blood sugar) secretes insulin in response to high blood sugar, and your cells absorb blood sugar when stimulated by insulin.

Why so much emphasis on moving? Because an active person’s cells respond better to insulin. Moderate levels of exercise such asWalking for your Health walking for 30 minutes will help your muscle cells sweep up nearly 20 times more glucose. When someone exercises on a regular basis, their muscle fibers change and adapt to a form that is more sensitive and responsive to insulin. Those enhanced muscle fibers also have higher capillary density and greater blood supply. All of this adds up to lower blood sugar levels and a lowered risk of diabetes.

Picture a dry sponge. You spill water on the counter and grab the sponge to clean it up. The sponge will absorb until it is saturated, and at that point will no longer absorb any more water, unless you squeeze it out. The same principle holds true for your muscle cells. After you eat a meal, the carbohydrates digest into glucose and get swept into your muscle cells. If you don’t move and “squeeze out” the glucose in those cells before the next meal, the next wave of glucose that comes down won’t be absorbed. Leaving too much glucose in the blood can lead to not only type 2 diabetes, but cardiovascular damage as well. To paraphrase an old saying, “you can lead a muscle to glucose, but you can’t make it drink.” Exercise is very important for people with diabetes to stay healthy, as well as people without diabetes to help lower their risk for incurring the disease.

Written by:
Donna Green
Extension Educator
Family & Consumer Sciences
Ohio State University Extension

Reviewed by:
Liz Smith, M.S, RDN., L.D


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