Healthy Eating While Vacationing

By: Jackie Amende, MS, RDN, LD, University of Idaho FCS Extension Educator

If you are road tripping or traveling abroad to a new and exciting place, you can still enjoy all the fun foods that come with traveling without compromising your healthful eating plan. Here are some tips for your upcoming summer vacation:

  • Focus on portion sizes. You don’t have to avoid those new and exciting foods that come with traveling. Share large food portions with your travel partner or go with the small size for just yourself.
  • Keep your regular meal times on vacation. It can be easy to graze on food all day while on vacation but try to stick with your usual eating pattern.
  • Watch what you’re drinking. Focus on water or other unsweetened beverages. Skip the sweetened and various adult beverages which are often loaded with unnecessary calories.
  • Pack non-perishable foods with you. Dried fruit, nuts, and pretzels make for relatively healthy snacks that are nutrient-rich. These non-perishable foods are perfect for a quick snack to satisfy you until your next scheduled meal time.
  • If you are road tripping, pack a cooler with fresh pre-cut vegetables and fruits. Try slicing some bell peppers and cutting up some celery sticks. In addition, keep whole fruit or sliced fruit ready to go.
  • Be physically active! Get outside and walk to enjoy the sites where you are vacationing. If you are on a road trip, schedule frequent stops where you can get out, stretch your legs, and take a short walk.

With these healthful eating tips, food safety is still a priority, especially if you’re road tripping. Bringing perishable foods with you like meats and cheeses may cause some unwanted foodborne illnesses if these items are not stored properly. Don’t store perishable foods unrefrigerated for longer than 2 hours. If stored in a cooler, make sure coolers are 40 degrees or cooler. In addition, don’t leave your cooler directly in the sun or in the trunk of your car on road trips. Putting the cooler in the backseat of the car will generally be cooler than the trunk. Finally, keep hand sanitizer or moist towelettes with you if you don’t have access to a restroom to wash your hands before and after eating. Now, enjoy your trip!

Want to learn more about healthy eating and/or food safety? University of Idaho Extension teaches many classes and programs in the area, like Eating Healthy on a Budget, Nutrition for Healthy Aging, Diabetes Prevention Program, Dining with Diabetes, and more. Check out the Canyon County UI Extension website at https://www.uidaho.edu/extension/county/canyon/family-consumer or call 208-459-6003 for more information.

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Three Ways to Move More

We all know that physical activity is good for us, but it can be a challenge to fit fitness into a busy schedule. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults accumulate 150 minutes of moderate (or 75 minutes of vigorous) physical activity every week. This may seem like a lot, but every minute adds up! Activity bursts of five minutes here and there throughout your day  accumulate to help you reach your movement goals.  Here are three simple ways to add more movement to your day!

Set an Alarm Use an app on your smart phone or set periodic appointments on your calendar to remind yourself to stand up at least once every hour. Movement breaks can include standing to stretch, a quick walk around your office, or some chair squats to really get the blood flowing!

Be an Ele-voider If you think you don’t have time to take the stairs, think again! A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that taking the stairs rather than waiting for the elevator saved about 15 minutes each workday. That’s a 3% savings of time per workday, which could translate into more productivity as well as increased fitness.

Take Your Breaks Break times and lunch hours are the perfect opportunity to get some movement in! Make it a goal to get up and walk for 10-15 minutes each day during lunch. After the work week you will have added 50-75 minutes of activity to your weekly total! The added bonus is that mid-day activity has been shown to boost mood and increase one’s ability to manage stress.

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Care for Your Colon!

Colorectal cancer is preventable and treatable when detected early. There are certain risk factors that affect a person’s chance of getting cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors cannot be changed, such as a person’s age or family history. Other factors can be controlled to minimize a person’s risk for getting cancer. There are six factors that have been linked to colorectal cancer.

1. Eat a Healthy Diet: A diet high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains has been linked to decreased risk of colorectal cancer. Add a variety of vegetables and fruit to your daily diet. Replace refined grain products made with white flour with whole grains like oats, spelt, and whole wheat.

2. Stay Active: Regular physical activity can significantly lower your risk of getting colorectal cancer. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. It all adds up, so it’s okay to start small by adding just a few minutes of movement at a time.

3. Watch Your Weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of getting colorectal cancer. Eating a balanced diet and staying physically active can help you reach or maintain a healthy weight.

4. Don’t Smoke: Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop and die from colorectal cancer. If you smoke and you want to quit, see the American Cancer Society’s Guide to Quitting Smoking or visit Idaho’s ProjectFilter.org.

5. Limit Alcohol: Colon cancer has been linked to heavy drinking. It is recommended to limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. A single drink amounts to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of hard liquor.

6. Get Screened: Screening tests detect cancer before symptoms develop. Colon screenings often find growths called polyps that can be removed before they turn into cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that individuals over 50 years old get screened for colorectal cancer. Depending on family history and other risk factors, there are a variety of tests that screen for colorectal cancers. Talk with your doctor to learn more.

Learn more about colorectal cancer and prevention…

 

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Too much chair time?

Move

There are lots of reasons we don’t move much. Truth is…most of them are excuses. Our bodies are built to move not to mold into an office chair or recliner. Make a resolution to move more. Any chance you get, you move! Your body will thank you.

Tips

What’s your favorite way to put more action into your day?

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Dig in!

Gardening

Digging in the dirt benefits your soil – and your mind, body, and soul make out pretty well, too. It’s that time; spring has taken a long while to arrive this year. Pick up your garden gloves and your trowel and dig in!

The benefits of gardening are everywhere!

Helps you sleep better
Increases hand strength and dexterity

Enter the Wahooz Fun Zone Drawing!

How to Play: Make sure you are registered and logged in to ChooseHealthMatters.com. If you are not already registered, go to the column on the right. Click on “register” to get started.

Make a comment to this blog post by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 by answering this question “What is the biggest benefit you and/or your family receive from gardening – whether it is fruits, veggies, or flowers?” Your comment will automatically enter you into a drawing for a set of two FREE tickets to Wahooz Fun Zone in Meridian, Idaho. You must be a State of Idaho employee to be in the drawing for tickets.

Winners will be posted on Health Matters Stress Center on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

NOTE: IDOC employees are not able to register for blogs. IDOC employees may email their comments to the Blog Administrator.  Their comments will be added to Dig In! by the Administrator; they will be entered into the Wahooz Fun Zone drawing.

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Spring into action!

Spring Into Action

It’s finally here. I thought I would never see green plant life again after this winter. It’s actually exciting to see dirt and mud out my window. Yay for spring and all the changes it brings! Now for some spring cleanup. Looking around, I see stacks of “stuff” in my office and my house, begging to be put away. My pantry appears to be stocked with cold weather food staples, and I have yet to find my good walking shoes.

So I made a little list for you and for me…

What ideas do you have to spring into action and clear the winter clutter out of your life?

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