Archive for November, 2015

Sleep or Exercise? Both activities are critical for maintaining good health. But let’s be real; it’s much more fun to do an extra hour in bed instead of on the treadmill. Have you ever made the decision to wake up early in the morning to workout, only to find yourself feeling like an extra hour of sleep would be more beneficial to your body than forcing yourself to exercise?sleep

But how can you tell if the desire for sleep is biologically dictated and not just procrastination? Is exercise even beneficial after a short sleep cycle? There is no quick, one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but looking at sleep/exercise research may help you make an informed decision when faced with those groggy “Should I really get up to work out?” thoughts in your head:

  • Adequate sleep and exercise are both critical for optimum health
  • Sleep and exercise promote one another – physical activity promotes high-quality sleep, and high-quality sleep promotes physical performance
  • Adults need a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, but if you are averaging around this amount, it’s okay to skip a half hour of sleep a couple of times per week to get in a morning workout
  • The CDC and American Heart Association recommend a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week.
  • Some experts, when absolutely pressed to choose one that would be considered more important, choose sleep. But (and this is a big but), it simply is not advisable to recommend opting out of exercise completely, and exercise should be considered a “must” for a healthy lifestyle.

**These facts are based on average adults. Those with sleep disorders or other health conditions that affect their ability to sleep or exercise should consult a health care professional when making decisions related to these activities.

For those who cannot find time for adequate sleep and exercise, try to evaluate and organize your schedule to:

  • Go to sleep a little earlier so you don’t feel like you have to sacrifice sleep time.
  • Schedule time in the evening to allow for exercise so you can sleep longer in the morning.

Once you make a conscious effort to live in a way that allows you to practice habits that are healthy – and that includes both adequate sleep and adequate exercise – you will feel much more balanced. We can’t take best care of others and our responsibilities until we take best care of ourselves.

Written by: Joanna Rini, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Medina County

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









Read Full Post »

Do you have turkey left-overs from the big meal today? Instead of the usual ways to do leftovers try some of these ideas. First, plan to use the leftover turkey you have refrigerated within three to four days. If it is going to be longer, freeze the leftovers in freezer bags for later use. Remember when reheating leftovers we should always reheat to 165°F.

Below are some ideas and short recipes for using your leftover turkey meat:
• Turkey Stir-Fry – Cut up the turkey into small strips. Stir fry vegetables taco(fresh or frozen) your choice, until just tender and add the turkey pieces. Heat until 165°F or very hot. You can add herbs, low-sodium soy sauce, Teriyaki, or Asian stir-fry sauce for flavor. (Quick meal in 15 minutes.)
• Turkey Tacos – Cut up the turkey meat and reheat adding taco seasonings. Serve with beans, tomatoes, salsa, lettuce, lite shredded cheese and/or sour cream.
• Turkey Quesadillas – Cut up turkey meat and add to lite cheese on a tortilla. Heat until very hot and tortilla is lightly brown. fried rice
• Turkey Fried Rice – Cook a scrambled egg. Add cut up turkey, scrambled egg, frozen peas, cut up carrots and onions to leftover rice. Heat to 165° F and then add low-sodium soy sauce.
• White Turkey Chili is delicious. It has beans and a southwestern flavor. Try this recipe or other recipes for leftover turkey at University of Nebraska Extension website.
• Pizza – Start with a flatbread or a pizza crust. Add some tomato or pesto sauce, cut-up turkey and lots of chopped up vegetables. Top with some low-fat cheese and pop in the oven until the cheese melts about 15 to 20 minutes.
• Turkey Chow Mein has been a favorite with my family. Cut up the leftover turkey and add to Chow Mein vegetables. Heat until 165°F. Serve over hot cooked brown rice.

potato-soup-237760__180Have leftover mashed potatoes and turkey? Turn it into this Turkey Mashed Potato Soup.

Turkey leftovers can be delicious and nutritious. Leftovers can also make a fast and speedy dinner. If you are hunting for more healthy recipes try the USDA’s “What’s Cooking” website.

Author: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County
Reviewer: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Wood County.

Henneman, A. Recipes for Turning Turkey Leftovers into Planned-Overs

Henneman, A. “Soup”er Soups from Turkey Leftovers, handout available online at

Tufts University, (2015). Make your leftovers healthier the second time around, Health & Nutrition Letter, November 2015, 33 (9) 1-3

United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), (2015). What Cooking! Website at http://www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/

Read Full Post »


DWD Postcard_ScarletBand3_425x6


Join the American Diabetes Association® to put good food and good health on the table during American Diabetes Month® this November. Whether you are one of the nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes or the 86 million Americans with prediabetes, or you simply want to live a healthier lifestyle, the Eat Well, America!sm campaign will show you how easy and joyful healthy eating can be for everyone in our Ohio State community!

Looking to prepare a healthy Thanksgiving Day meal? They have seasonal recipes and tips to ensure you don’t miss out on the autumn and holiday flavors you love. Also, view the American Diabetes month newsletter for facts and figures on diabetes in the United States.

 Interested in learning how make healthy choices when eating out and grocery shopping? Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educators/Program and Field Specialist designed an online course with your needs in mind. “Dining with Diabetes: Beyond The Kitchen” is a dynamic, free online course that provides three modules that you can work on at your own pace. The first module addresses carbohydrates and diabetes. The second covers fats and sodium, and the third explains the role of vitamins, minerals and fiber. In this online educational program you can share ideas and experiences with your classmates, chat with a health professional, and learn about new technology including websites and mobile apps.

Why not sign up today and learn how to make healthy choices for yourself and family members!

For more information or to enroll please contact Dr. Dan Remley at remley.4@osu.edu

Written by: Susan Zies, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, Erie Basin EERA,  zies.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Dan Remley, MSPH, PhD, Assistant Professor, Field Specialist, Food Nutrtition and Wellness,   remley.4@osu.edu




Read Full Post »

treadmillWhen you exercise, you generate heat. If the exercise is vigorous or sustained, you produce so much heat that you become hot and sweaty. How many calories did you burn? Check your METS.

What is a MET?

MET stands for Metabolic Equivalent Task. One MET is equal to the rate you burn calories while you are sitting. Obviously, as you begin to move or exercise, you will burn more calories and this will increase your METS. Some of you may have noticed that the exercise equipment you currently use measures METS. If the treadmill, for example, shows five METS, then that means that you are burning calories at a rate five times faster than if you were sitting.

However, the actual number of calories a person burns varies based on age, weight and fitness level. As an example, let’s say you meet a group of women at the mall every morning for a one mile walk. Every one of the women walks the full distance, but some walk faster than the others. Those that can walk faster will acquire more METS.

METS and Disease Risk

To get enough exercise to reduce your risk for disease, you need to acquire 15-20 MET/hours per week. How can you do that? We’ll use walking as an example.

“Lady A” walks two miles every day in 30 minutes (15 minutes/mile). She will accrue 2 METS, because a person who can walk a 15 minute mile (which is pretty fast walking), gets 1 MET for every 15 minutes walked.  Assuming she walks every day of the week, “Lady A” would accumulate 14 METS (2 METS x 7 days = 14 METS). However, since 15-20 is the goal, she should walk a little longer every day (say 45 minutes instead of 30), or walk her two miles at an even faster pace.

There are charts available to help you determine how many METS you accrue per activity, but remember they are predicated on speed and intensity of the workout.

Want to learn more?

For more information on METS, refer to the following sources. Dr. Susan Love has an excellent fact sheet on the relationship between METS and breast cancer.

As well, The Cooper Institute and Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas website provides healthy information in an easy-to-read format.

Written by: Donna Green, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, Erie Basin EERA, green.308@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Beth Stefura, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu





Read Full Post »

Have you noticed that the winter holidays are associated with food more than at any other time of the year? From Thanksgiving turkey with all of the trimmings through New Year’s Eve celebrations, there are many temptations put in front of us. Cookies seem to magically show up at the office and there are multiple events to attend where it is very easy to indulge more than we should.cookie-585903_640

If you’ve been working hard this year at healthier eating or increased physical activity, don’t let the holiday season set you back. If you do slip into some old habits don’t let it get you down.

Here are some hints to help you have a healthier holiday:

• Schedule time for physical activity – if it is on your calendar you are more likely to follow through.
• Cut back on what you eat a little for a few days but not too much.
• Look for a couple of new recipes to incorporate healthy fruits and vegetables into your diet. The fiber will help you feel full longer. For example, green bean almandine with lemon is a much healthier choice than the traditional green bean casserole!
• Be more conscious of your portion sizes. Use a smaller plate and remember to fill at least half of it with vegetables and fruits.
• Try to eat a light, healthy snack before a party. This might curb your appetite and make it easier to avoid temptation! Eat a low fat Greek yogurt, string cheese or other protein food to help you feel fuller.
• Track what you eat each day. Being aware of what we are actually consuming can help us make any necessary adjustment.
• If you have a favorite holiday treat, make it, enjoy a serving or two and give the rest away!

Studies show that the average American gains one to two pounds over the holidays and these pounds usually don’t go away. You might make it your goal to maintain your weight over the holidays instead of trying to loose. If you try to deny yourself your favorite holiday foods, you are more likely to “fall off the wagon” and go overboard on eating. Enjoy our favorites and then get back to your wellness plans of healthy eating and exercise after the New Year!

Writer: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu
Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Treber.1@osu.edu


Read Full Post »

As we head into November, temperatures and humidity start to drop and winds become blustery. The winter season can be tough on people with dry skin. It is important to be aware of the functions of the skin and how to keep it healthy. Skin is considered an organ and needs gentle care, as it can suffer from a variety of conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, and rosacea to name a few.

  • Wear sunscreen year-round: The sun’s rays are more powerful in the summer, but they can still cause damage in the winter. Don’t forget the sunscreen and protective clothing and hats when going on your mid-winter beach vacation.
  • Eat a healthy diet: What we put into our body is just as important as what we put on our body. Aim for a diet that also includes fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
  • Reduce stress: Stress is a huge contributor to skin problems, including acne. skin care
  • Avoid long, hot showers or baths: Although it may feel great as the temperature drops, it also causes a loss of natural oils. Use warm water versus hot. Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it.
  • Shave carefully: Protect and lubricate the skin with a shaving cream, gel or lotion. Use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction of hair growth, not against it to reduce irritation.
  • Moisturize: Your skin needs to be hydrated to be healthy. Apply moisturizer to your entire body every morning and at night before you go to bed. It is best to apply moisturizer after bathing while skin is still slightly damp. Some fragranced lotions can be irritating or drying to the skin. Keep hand cream with you or at your desk. Don’t forget your lips and use a lip balm with SPF to prevent chapping.
  • Add moisture to the air: Humidifiers can be a helpful addition to prevent your skin from drying out.
  • Don’t smoke: Smoking damages collagen and elastin and decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. November 19 is the Great American Smokeout Day. What a great time to help your skin!
  • Have your skin checked regularly: Be aware of any changing, growing, or bleeding spots or moles on your body. See a dermatologist yearly for a skin cancer screening or look for a free screening in your community.






Written by:  Melissa Welker M.Ed., B.S., Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County, Maumee Valley EERA, welker.87@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Donna Green, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, Erie Basin EERA, green.308@osu.edu

Read Full Post »

Did you know that about 90 billion pounds of edible food goes uneaten each year?  That constitutes 30 – 40% of the food supply in the USA, or about 20 pounds per person, and weighs 123x the Empire State Building!  If you convert this to calories, this means 1 in 4 calories is never eaten.  This waste also comes at a high economic cost to consumers of $370 per person per year.  Protein foods comprise $140 of the total annual amount while vegetables constitute $66 and dairy $60.

While the statistics are discouraging, we as consumers can do a lot to change the situation.  By following a few simple strategies, you can reduce wasted food in your home with simple shopping, storage, and cooking practices:


Plan and Save:

Be a smart shopper  – plan your weekly menu and make a grocery list.  Buy only what you need and can use.  Think about what you are buying and when it will be eaten.

Be Food Safe:

Shop for refrigerated or frozen foods just before you check out at the grocery store.  Use a thermal bag or cooler to transport items that will spoil easily and refrigerate within two hours of shopping.  Frozen foods are a good alternative to fresh and may help you reduce food waste.  Since they are picked at peak harvest and frozen within a few hours, they can be as nutritious as fresh

Check for Quality:

The date on a food package helps the store determine how long it will keep the product for sale.  It can also help consumer choose a product at its best quality.

Set Storage Reminders:

Keep track of storage times for different foods using The FoodKeeper Application.  This handy tool will remind you when foods are close to the end of their storage date.  Setting the right humidity in your crisper drawer will keep produce from spoiling before you can use it.

Be Organized:

Keep your refrigerator and pantry clean and organized so you can see what foods need to be eaten first.  Use a refrigerator thermometer and maintain a temperature at 40▫ or below.


Use leftovers in recipes by giving them a makeover.  Overripe bananas are perfect in quick breads, cooked vegetables can be tossed into soups, stews or salads, and leafy greens are perfect in smoothies.  Just mix 2 cups of kale, spinach, collards, or other greens with 2 cups of water or milk (cow’s or almond, coconut, etc.) and 3 cups of ripe fruit (berries, bananas, mangoes, peaches, pears, etc.).


Organizations such as food banks, shelters, and faith-based organizations collect non-perishable food items.  If you have something in your pantry that is taking up space – a can of soup, a box of pasta or cereal, a bag of dried beans, a jar of peanut butter or a can of tuna – that you won’t use, find a local agency that will accept your donation.

Recycle and Compost:

Have a compost bin for leftover food.  If you don’t have a yard or room to compost, your city may have options that will work for you.  Most food items can be composted except meat and dairy products, bones, fats and oils.

Become a more mindful eater – be aware of how much food you throw out.  Throwing food away can be a subconscious act.  When eating out, try ordering half portions or take leftovers home in a reusable container.  In the long run, you’ll be saving more than the food dollar; you’ll be saving the environment as well.

Source(s):  United States Department of Agriculture, “Let’s Talk Trash”, September 2015.  ChooseMyPlate.gov/lets-talk-trash.

United States Committee for FAO, World Food Day, “Food Waste: the Facts”.

National Resources Defense Council, “Waste Free Kitchen Handbook”. Dana Gunders, 2015.

Author:  Jenny Even, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences/EFNEP, Hamilton County.

Reviewed by:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Franklin County.

Read Full Post »