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At the beginning of this year, I wrote Baby-steps To A Healthier You. I shared how I was going to make smaller weekly goals to help me reach my overall goal of losing weight and becoming healthier. Last month I shared my reflection about my progress in My Healthy Breakfast Evaluation. Just a quick recap, I am giving myself time to put my goal into action and then additional time to reflect on how things are going and what adjustments I need to make to continue progress toward my goal. I want to make sure that I feel successful so I do not get discouraged and lose momentum. The last thing I want is to revert to old habits. I was going to start with breakfasts first and then move onto snacks.

My breakfasts took a little longer to accomplish than I had anticipated. We all know that life can throw you curve balls and sometimes things can get a little chaotic. For the past two months, my life has been a whirlwind, so I have been living one day at a time. However, I am happy to report that I have lost 5 pounds! Could I have lost more? Certainly. However, I shared that this is a complete lifestyle change for me as I am trying to break old habits. I continue to remind myself that even if I cannot physically see the results, this does not mean that my body is not changing on the inside. After all, slow progress is still progress.

I have officially graduated myself to snacks this week. In preparation, I have done some research to help set myself up for success. If you suffer from Snack Attacks like myself, then I have great news for you! The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has fantastic handouts for healthy snacks. They even have handouts broken down into specific categories. Maybe you are looking for snacks to control your blood sugar, snacks under 100 calories or just a list of healthy snacks in general. You can find all of these handouts, plus more on their patient education health information website.

A snack helps control your appetite.

apples and peanut butter

Think of it as a mini meal to help your body get the nutrients it needs. Make sure your snack has a balance of carbohydrates, fiber and protein. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. 1 small apple with 1 piece of light string cheese
  2. 1 cup of carrots with 1/3 cup hummus
  3. 6 ounces Greek yogurt with ½ a large banana
  4. ¾ cup blueberries and ¼ cup almonds

 

I encourage you to print off one of the snack handouts from the Wexner Medical Center and tape it to the inside of one of your kitchen cabinets. This way if you’re stuck on what to eat you have a quick reference!

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Sources:

Brinkman, P. (2011). Snack Attacks!. Live Healthy, Live Well. livehealthyosu.com/2011/11/23/snack-attacks/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Losing Weight: Getting Started. cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/getting_started.html

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (2018). Patient Education. patienteducation.osumc.edu/Pages/Home.aspx

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IMG_5553One fourth or 25% of a typical person’s daily calories come from snacking. It’s simple to see why choosing healthful snacks are important for all ages.  Smart snacking can help curb hunger between meals and prevent overeating during meals. According to the NPD Group’s Snacking Research study, Baby Boomers outweigh Millennials when it comes to eating ready-to-eat snacks. Boomers consume ready-to-eat snacks 20% more often than Millennials. NPD’s research shows, “annual consumption of ready-to-eat snacks per Boomer is about 1,200, for a total of 90.4 billion annual snack eating events. Boomers tend to eat snacks versus a big meal, because many may not want to eat alone. Whereas Millennials consume the ready-to-eat snacks because they are hungry.

Both groups’ top picks for ready to eat snacks were fruit, chocolate, and potato chips. Fruits are an excellent choice for snacks.They are low in calories, rich in nutrients and fiber, and can be economical especially when purchased in season from a local market.   A calorie comparison was done among 20 fruits and vegetables with 20 conventional snack food items (such as chocolate, cookies, potato chips). Results showed that fruits and vegetables provided an average of 56 calories per snack size portion, compared to a whopping 180 calories for the conventional snack foods. Fruits and vegetables had three times LESS calories!

Here is an easy 10 minute snack recipe that will appeal to both Millennials and Baby Boomers! It has 118 calories, 1 gram of fat, 4 grams protein and 3 grams fiber.

BATIDO SMOOTHIEusdarepci

Prep time: 10 minutes

Makes: 4 Servings

This refreshing smoothie is a blend of papaya, banana, and yogurt and makes a satisfying part of breakfast or any time of day. Mix in frozen or fresh berries for a variety of flavors.

Ingredients

2 cups papaya chunks (fresh or frozen)

2 bananas (overripe, sliced)

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 cup ice cubes

Directions

  1. Put all the ingredients in the blender.
  2. Put the lid on tightly. Turn the blender to a medium setting and blend until the ice is chopped and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.

Notes

  • One cup of low-fat milk, soy, rice, almond or coconut milk can be used instead of yogurt.
  • Strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries can be used in addition to or instead of papaya.

Sources:

https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/2016/millennials-have-nothing-on-boomers-when-it-comes-to-snacking/

https://www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/myplate-cnpp/batido-smoothie#

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

Reviewed by: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Family Nutrition and Wellness, Ohio State University Extension, remley.4@osu.edu

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The weather outside is very cold and I begin to feel that scratchy throat. I am seeing my daughter’s nose running and hear her squashcomplaining about her ear hurting.  Amidst the holiday celebrations and more contact with friends and family, contagious illnesses are making their rounds.  Besides the number one action of washing our hands frequently, how can we best prepare our bodies to fight off these pesky germs?  The American Institute for Cancer Research has a helpful article, “Deck Your Meals with Fruits and Vegetables.”  What a timely topic!  So what are the recommended tips we should put into practice?

Make sure you are eating the rainbow.

  • Deep orange vegetables like pumpkins, winter squash, and sweet potatoes will provide you with Vitamin A and fiber.  See a great reduced fat recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole below.
  • Red Peppers will provide Vitamin E and Vitamin C while tomatoes will provide Beta-Carotene (Vitamin A).
  • Deep red, purple and blue berries and all the varieties of apples are also rich in antioxidants.
  • Green broccoli, mustard and turnip greens (and others), spinach and brussel sprouts all provide a variety of wonderful vitamins and minerals that keep our body healthier and able to battle infections.

Eat a variety of foods and do not overcook them.

  • Red meats and poultry, whole and fortified grains and breads provide the minerals zinc and selenium that help to build our immunity.
  • Grapes, beans, onions, etc.  are part of the many fresh fruits and vegetables and are nature’s vitamin pills.  In addition to their great taste they help to maintain our healthy lifestyles.
  • Overcooking and boiling our foods causes vitamins to escape and be poured down the drain.

Flavor foods naturally.

  • Ginger is known to fight inflammation and colds.  Other herbs and spices also help to keep our bodies running strong.

These food tips along with regular physical activity and drinking lots of water to keep us hydrated will not prevent every sneeze or sniffle this frosty season, but it should help us to prevent some illnesses and shorten the symptoms of the ones that get us down.

Try this tasty slimmed down version of sweet potato casserole for some great Vitamin A:

Sweet Potato Casserole

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients

1 pound sweet potatoes (about 4 medium)

3 egg whites

1⁄2 cup sugar

12 ounces evaporated milk, nonfat

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg

1⁄2 teaspoon ginger

Instructions

1. Rinse sweet potatoes in cold running water and pierce with a fork.

2. Microwave sweet potatoes on full power until tender, about 15 minutes. Turn them half way during baking.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove skin from sweet potatoes and mash with hand beaters or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.

4. Pour mixture in an 8 inch square baking pan. Bake until casserole is firm in the center, about 40 minutes.

5. Remove pan from oven. Allow to stand for 5 minutes then cut into 10 squares.

6. Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers.

Notes:  You may want to experiment with using canned sweet potatoes.

Sources: Deck Your Meals with Fruits and Vegetables, (2013).  American Institute of Cancer Research.  Accessed on December 10, 2013, at http://preventcancer.aicr.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=17467&news_iv_ctrl=2303

Super Foods for Optimal Health, (2013). WebMD.  Accessed on December 10, 2013, at http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/antioxidants-your-immune-system-super-foods-optimal-health

Sweet Potato Casserole, (2013). United States Department of Agriculture:  SNAP-Ed connection.  Accessed on December 10, 2013, at http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/recipes/sweet-potato-casserole

Author:  Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D., SNAP-Ed Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension, West Region, spires.53@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Liz Smith, R.D., L.D., SNAP-Ed Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension, NorthEast Region, smith.3993@osu.edu

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It is time for Memorial Day picnics, graduation parties and summertime.   Most of us have familiar recipes that we fix for these occassions.  Now is a good time to try a new healthy recipe for your special occassion.

A fresh fruit bowl is easy to fix and loved by many.  Select fruits that are in season and make sure you have a variety of colors to make your beautiful fruit bowl.  Garnish with fresh herbs such as mint or lavendar.   fresh_fruit_salad-1.jpg image by Tiara_PerkinsVisit your local farmer’s market for berries or other fruits that are grown in your area.  If adding apples or bananas to your mix, dip in orange juice to keep them from turning brown.

Appetizers and dips are favorites for these special occassions.   Remember to keep your dips refrigerated until serving time.  Allow at least an hour or two for the flavors to blend.   Place your dip in a small bowl and nestle it in a slightly larger bowl of ice to keep it cold.  Vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, zucchini and whole grain crackers are great dippers for this dill dip.

Creamy Dill Dip

Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup sour cream, nonfat
1 cup yogurt, nonfat plain
2 Tablespoons dried dill

Instructions:

1. Put the sour cream, yogurt, and dill in a medium bowl. Stir together.

2. Store the dip in a covered container if you don’t plan to eat it right away.

3. Keep the dip in the fridge until you serve it.

Notes: Serve with cucumber slices. If you want a creamy salad dressing, add a few tablespoons of water to the dip.

Source:
The Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program
Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program, available at SNAP-ED Connection Recipe Finder.  www.recipefinder.nal.usda.gov

Try the Fiesta Hummus Dip for your next picnic or party.  Have fun with your summertime parties and try a new recipe!

Fiesta Hummus

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Calories 120

Total Fat 3 g

Sodium 330 mg

Total Carbohydrate 18 g

Dietary Fiber 3 g

Sugars 2 g

Protein 5 g

Ingredients:1 can garbanzo beans
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1-2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions:
1. Drain and mash garbanzo beans in blender, food processor or
with fork. Add remaining ingredients.2. Blend until smooth. Chill one hour or overnight. Serve on crackers or tortilla chips. Promptly refrigerate leftovers.

Source:
Oregon State University
http://oregonstate.edu/dept/kbrec/sites/default/files/documents/health/Fiesta_Hummus.pdf

Available at SNAP-ED Connection Recipe Finder.  www.recipefinder.nal.usda.gov

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