Five Healthy Habits for Summer

Five Healthy Habits to Incorporate this Summer

Summer sets the stage for creating healthy habits while having fun in the sun! Take advantage of these five tips to help you incorporate a healthier lifestyle that you may continue even beyond the summer months.

1. Get outdoors

It is no secret that spending time outdoors is good for many aspects of life, particularly for our mental health. There is no better time to get outdoors than during the beautiful summer months when the weather is warm and the days are long. Sun exposure is important for getting our daily dose of vitamin D, a vitamin that many of us are lacking. Vitamin D is essential for keeping bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. To get your daily dose of vitamin D, all it takes is 10 minutes of direct sun exposure to your arms and legs.

2. Be more active

In the summer months, the possibilities are endless: walking, hiking, swimming, playing Frisbee, or even outdoor yoga. The important thing is to choose something you like to do, you can and will do. When you choose an activity you enjoy, it is much easier to meet the physical activity guidelines for Americans. For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. If 150 minutes a week seems like a lot to fit in, consider breaking it up into smaller 10-15 minute bouts of exercise throughout the week.

3. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies

Produce is especially delicious in the summer months when most varieties are in season. Chances are fruits and veggies will be more locally sourced and more affordable during the summer months too. Eating more produces helps to lower your chances of developing chronic disease. Aim for 7-10 servings of fruits vegetables each day. Include at least one serving of dark leafy greens, reach for the real deal rather than juice and choose options prepared with little or no added fat, sugar or salt.

4. Drink more water

During the warm summer months, it is important to stay hydrated. Hydration is essential for supplying nutrients throughout the body, removing waste, blood circulation and maintaining body temperature. There is no one size fits all formula for daily water intake. The amount you should drink daily depends on your body, health conditions, medications and other factors like activity level. A good standard is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.

5. Make time for sleep

Good quality sleep is more important than you may think and has many benefits beyond providing energy for the day. In the long term, getting enough sleep can help boost immunity, maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of developing chronic disease. For most people, enough sleep is approximately 7 hours but can range between 5-10 hours per night. Spending time outdoors during the day can promote better sleep quality as well as having a consistent bed/wake up time every day. To help you fall asleep faster, avoid strenuous activities, artificial light (electronics) and large meals an hour before bed.

The summer months set the stage for creating healthy habits such as increased physical activity, increased fruit and veggie intake, improved hydration and better quality of sleep. You will feel the benefits of improved mental, physical and emotional health. Get outside and enjoy all the fun that summer has to offer!

Alison Fenske, MS, RDN, CD

Immune Boosting Foods

Cold and flu season aren’t over just yet (not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic) and in addition to good handwashing techniques, you can help to boost your immune system through the foods that you eat. 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant (stops oxidation/damage to cells) and helps your body to better absorb iron. Both of these functions are important for your immune system. You’ll find vitamin C in foods like:

  • Citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and grapefruit)
  • Red bell peppers
  • Papaya 
  • Mango
  • Spinach and other dark leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Zinc is an important part of making protein for the healing process. Some zinc containing foods include:

  • Beef
  • Dark meat chicken
  • Pork chops
  • Crab
  • Clams
  • Chickpeas
  • Hemp seeds
  • Lentils
  • Oatmeal

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant. It also helps keep your immune system strong against viruses and other bacteria because it helps with the creation of your red blood cells. Vitamin E is found in: 

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Avocados
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Rainbow trout
  • Kiwi

Flavonoids rich in antioxidants and can help your body stay healthy and possibly decrease your risk of some chronic health conditions. Various flavonoids are found in:

  • Green tea
  • Black tea
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Elderberries

Check out the following recipes for a few ways to include some of these immune-boosting foods in your diet. Recipes from MayoClinic.org. 

Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe or other melon chunks
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Remove rind from pineapple and melon. Cut into chunks. Remove stems from strawberries. Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Serve cold.

Fresh Fruit Kebabs

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces low-fat, sugar-free lemon yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 4 pineapple chunks (about 1/2 inch each)
  • 4 strawberries
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 banana, cut into 4 1/2-inch chunks
  • 4 red grapes
  • 4 wooden skewers

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lime juice and lime zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Thread 1 of each fruit onto the skewer. Repeat with the other skewers until the fruit is gone. Serve with the lemon lime dip.

Whole-Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole blueberries

Directions

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon together.

In another bowl, beat milk, egg and oil together. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until the flour is moistened.

Add blueberries and stir gently.

Coat a griddle or skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium-high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot griddle and cook until browned. Flip and brown the other side.

Written by Keri Smith, Lead Dietitian

Rise and Shine! It’s Breakfast Time

Mornings are busy! Often times the last thing we think of before we rush out the door is breakfast. We are hurried getting the kids to school and ourselves to work on-time, maybe the kiddos are complaining they aren’t hungry, maybe they are hungry but nobody is in the mood for cold cereal, we haven’t been able to get to the grocery store and there aren’t many options…the list goes on. Yet, we know that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. So, what can we do to make sure our children get their day started with full bellies and fueled brains?

• Take advantage of the school breakfast program: Typically,
school breakfast begins serving about 30 minutes before school
starts. Not only is it a time-saver, but it is a cost effective and healthy
option. Free and reduced meal costs are available to families who
qualify (see your child’s school for an application).

• Plan ahead: Think about breakfast the night before and even have
the kids help in breakfast planning. Put together a crockpot breakfast
meal, pre-cut fruit or veggies, assemble breakfast burritos or bake a
breakfast casserole that only needs reheating in the morning.

• Keep it simple: Whole grain toast with peanut butter, fruit
smoothie with Greek yogurt and leafy greens, bagel and cream
cheese, oatmeal with fruit, hard boiled eggs with whole grain English
muffin, and yogurt parfaits with granola and fruit are nutritious and
portable options that can be made in less than 10 minutes.

• Think outside the box: Breakfast does not have to be limited to
typical breakfast food! Dinner leftovers, quick grilled cheese and
fruit, veggie wrap, reheated pizza or even a mug of chicken soup can
be a healthful morning breakfast choice!

• Make breakfast a family habit: Be a positive role model for
your child by eating breakfast yourself every day, create breakfast
meals together and try to develop a morning routine that allows you
to sit down and have a breakfast meal together.

By Annette Anderson
RDN, CD

 

Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 3

Ingredients

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds (if salted, scale back on added salt)

3 Tbsp vegan mayo (sub tahini for a more earthy, nutty flavor)

1/2 tsp dijon or spicy mustard (if using tahini instead of mayo, use 1/4 tsp)

1 Tbsp maple syrup (or sub agave or honey if not vegan)

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 Tbsp fresh (or 1 Tbsp dried) dill, finely chopped

healthy pinch each salt and pepper (to taste)

4 pieces rustic bread, lightly toasted (gluten-free for GF eaters)

optional: Sliced avocado, onion, tomato, and or lettuce for serving

 

Garlic Herb Sauce (optional)

1/4 cup hummus

juice of 1/2 lemon (~1 Tbsp)

3/4 – 1 tsp dried dill (or sub 2-3 tsp fresh)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Water or unsweetened almond milk to thin

 

Instructions

  1. Prepare garlic herb sauce and set aside.
  2. Add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and lightly mash with a fork for texture. Then add sunflower seeds, mayo, mustard, maple syrup, red onion, dill, salt, and pepper and mix with a spoon. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Toast bread (if desired) and prepare any other sandwich toppings you desire (tomato, onion, lettuce).
  4. Scoop a healthy amount of filling onto two of the pieces of bread, add desired toppings and sauce, and top with other two slices of bread.
  5. Sunflower-chickpea mixture will keep covered in the fridge for up to a few days, making it great for quick weekday lunches!

Nutrition Information (without sauce, bread or toppings)

Serving size: 1/3 of recipe Calories: 311 Fat: 16g Saturated fat: 1.7g Carbohydrates: 26g Sugar: 7.3g Sodium: 107mg Fiber: 9g Protein: 11.5g

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers and Avocado in a Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Servings: 8

Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

3 ears fresh cooked corn, kernels cut off the cob

2 red bell peppers, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons minced shallots, from one medium shallot

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons honey

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lime zest (be sure to zest limes before juicing them)

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

2 Hass avocados, chopped

Instructions

Combine first five ingredients (through shallots) in a large bowl. Whisk together the next seven ingredients (through cilantro) in a small bowl. Toss the dressing with the salad. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. Right before serving, add avocados and mix gently, being careful not to mash avocados. Garnish with a more chopped cilantro if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Serving size:  1 cup

Calories: 464, Fat: 24g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 52g, Sugar: 7g, Fiber:15g, Protein:13g, Sodium: 591mg, Cholesterol: 0mg

 

Video

Recipe: Sweet Chili Salmon With Coconut Jasmine Rice and Broccoli

Sweet Chili Salmon with Coconut Jasmine Rice and Roasted Broccoli

 

Time: 25 minutes      Serves: 4-6

 

Ingredients  

  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • salt and pepper
  • sweet chili sauce (pick your favorite brand)
  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • salmon fillets as needed
  • olive oil
  • Optional: fresh cilantro, green onions, honey roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, lime

 

Instructions

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

 

  1. Combine coconut milk, water, jasmine rice, and a sprinkle of salt in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

 

  1. Spread out the broccoli and salmon fillets on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season to your liking with salt and pepper. Brush the salmon with the sweet chili sauce. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

 

  1. After your rice is done, remove lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

 

  1. Plate your food! Combine a small amount of rice with a salmon fillet and as much broccoli as you’d like. Top with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds, and extra chili sauce!

Healthy Choices for Kids.

Do you know why there’s so much talk these days about obesity in children?

Children who are overweight when they are young have a much harder time losing weight when they are older than adults who were not overweight as kids. If you make improvements in your child’s diet and increase the amount of physical activity he gets now, you will have a much better chance of keeping him healthy as an adult.

Here are a few ideas to make changes in your family’s diet:

  •   Drink water!  (no juice, no soda)
  •   Eat at home!  (don’t eat out more than once or twice a week)
  •   Keep cut up fruits or vegetables around so your kids will snack on them instead of chips
  •   Eat together! Keep the TV off!
  •   Make sure you have 20-30 minutes to eat together (eating too fast makes it easy to over- do it)
  •   Eat 3 meals a day! (skipping leads to overeating )
  •   Keep junk food out of your house!
  •   Make salads with vegetables, not eggs, meat or cheese
  •   Toss your salad to use less dressing
  •   Treat yourselves sometimes!

Here’s some suggestions to increase physical activity in your family:

bike-helmet-child

  •   Ride a bike
  •   Go for a walk after dinner
  •   Dance
  •   Swim
  •   Play sports
  •   Walk when you talk on the phone
  •   Take a martial arts class
  •   Limit TV and video games to 1-2 hours per day

 

Good luck and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Summer Kebabs

Beef KebabsSummer is unofficially here in the Inland Northwest and what better way to welcome it than to break out the barbecue grill! Grilling is a great way to cook a variety of foods. It is also a healthier way to cook meats because it will reduce the fat content as the fat drips away from the food. Try these beef and vegetable kebabs tonight!

Kebabs

Serves 2

Ingredients

-½ cup brown rice

-2 cups water

-4 ounces top sirloin (choice)

-4 tablespoons fat-free Italian dressing

-1 green pepper, seeded and cut into 4 pieces

-4 cherry tomatoes

-1 small onion, cut into 4 wedges

-2 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes, or metal skewers

 

Directions

  • In a saucepan over high heat, combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Add more water if necessary to keep the rice from drying out. Transfer to a small bowl to keep warm.
  • Cut the meat into 4 equal portions. Put the meat in a small bowl and pour Italian dressing over the top. Put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to marinate, turning as needed.
  • Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or a broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.
  • Thread 2 cubes of meat, 2 green pepper pieces, 2 cherry tomatoes and 2 onion wedges onto each skewer. Place the kebabs on the grill rack or broiler pan. Grill or broil the kebabs for about 5 to 10 minutes, turning as needed.
  • Divide the rice onto individual plates. Top with 1 kebab and serve immediately.

 

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size: 1 kebab and ¾ cup rice

Calories 300

Total carbohydrate 49 g

Dietary fiber 4 g

Sugars 0 g

Sodium 450 mg

Total fat 3 g

Saturated fat 1 g

Monounsaturated fat 1 g

Trans fat trace

Cholesterol 39 mg

Protein 18 g

 

By Keri Smith, Registered Dietician

Eating Disorder Awareness

In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life. Eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening conditions that affect a person’s emotional and physical health.

February 22-28, 2015 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. The goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is to highlight the seriousness of eating disorders and to improve general public understanding of the causes, triggers, and treatments available for eating disorders. Increasing awareness and access to valuable resources can encourage early detection and interventions.

The theme for this years’ National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is “I Had No Idea”. This theme hopes to recognize that early intervention is crucial and spotlight the diversity of those affected by eating disorders (men and women alike of all ages). Early intervention is a key component because it often increases the chances of a full recovery for those who seek professional help.

black-and-white-girl-magazine-2936

The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorders, or other specified eating or feeding disorders. Identifying the early signs or symptoms of an eating disorder can greatly impact the course for recovery. Learn more about the warning signs of eating disorders below.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation and extreme weight loss. This deprives the body of important nutrients that it needs for proper functioning. Health consequences from anorexia nervosa may include slow heart rate, low blood pressure, severe dehydration, and fatigue or fainting. Some of the warning signs of anorexia nervosa are:

  • Extreme or dramatic weight loss
  • Overly occupied with weight, calories, and food
  • Severe food restrictions (refuses to eat certain food groups or types of food)
  • Often comments about appearance related to weight  and exhibits anxiety related to weight
  • May develop food rituals (how many bites to eat or chewing each piece a specific number of times)
  • Avoids meal times and situations that involve food
  • Excessive exercise routines
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and usual activities

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by a cycle of binging and compensatory behaviors, such as self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives. Electrolyte imbalances, tooth decay, esophageal inflammation, and possible gastric rupture are just a few of the health consequences of bulimia nervosa. Some of the warning signs can be:

  • Sudden disappearance of large amounts of food (or finding wrappers or containers from foods)
  • Frequent bathroom trips with or without the smell of vomiting or evidence of laxatives (packaging from laxatives)
  • Excessive exercise routines
  • Swelling of cheeks or jaw area
  • Calluses or scars on hands or knuckles (from self-induced vomiting)
  • Discolored teeth (or stained teeth)
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and usual activities

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by recurrent binge eating without the use of compensatory behaviors. High blood pressure, high cholesterols, diabetes, or musculoskeletal issues are a few of the health consequences of BED. Warning signs of BED may be:

  • Frequent episodes of eating large amounts of food
  • Eating when not hungry
  • Eating to the point of feeling/acting uncomfortable

Other Specified Eating or Feeding Disorders

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED), is a feeding or eating disorder that causes significant distress or impairment, but does not meet the criteria for another feeding or eating disorder. These can include:

  • Atypical anorexia nervosa (weight is not below normal)
  • Bulimia nervosa with less frequent behaviors
  • Binge-eating disorder(with less frequent occurrences
  • Purging disorder (purging without binge eating)
  • Night eating syndrome

 

If you’re wondering how you can become involved in raising awareness, consider educating yourself about eating disorders. Spreading the truth about eating disorders can help squash the myths and misinformation that hinder early intervention and recovery. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association (nedawareness.org or nationaleatingdisorders.org) for more information.