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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Reflections

Reflections

Another year gone by. Some of us are happy; some can’t wait to hail in 2016. No matter where you sit with 2015, it is worth reflecting on what has been. Here are some questions to ponder as you close out the year…

  • What happened in 2015 that you will remember for the rest of your life?
  • What are you most proud of accomplishing?
  • What do you wish you had done more of … or less of?
  • What was the biggest risk you took?
  • What was the smartest decision you made?
  • What was the most unexpected joy or obstacle?
  • What was the nicest thing someone did for you?
  • What was the nicest thing you did for someone else?
  • What would you change about 2015, if you could?
  • What was the biggest personal change you made?
  • How has your wellness journey changed?
  • Who or what had the biggest impact on your life?
  • How are you different this year than last?
  • What are the top three fun or exciting events you participated in?
  • What do you need to let go of?
  • Pick three words that describe 2015 for you
  • Ask your significant other to choose three words that he/she thinks describes your year … discuss!
  • For what are you most grateful?

Share your favorite question(s) you like to reflect upon at the end of the year.

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Hunger Wars?

Fruits and Veggies

Having small wars when you try to get fruits and veggies into your family’s meals? It can be a buzz kill for kids to see half their plate covered in veggies when they’ve been eyeing the bread… Don’t give up! There are many ways to supplement your family’s diet with fruits and veggies – without bringing down the house. Here are some tips to make it more fun!

Read this month’s Success Story – The Hunger Games, Family Edition
Get the family involved – go to the local Farmers Market; have family members choose a new veggie each week
Keep fruits/veggies on hand and in supply, washed and ready to eat
Make low-calorie dips and spreads from yogurts, seasonings, and herbs. It makes veggies more fun!
Put fruits and veggies in a smoothie or frosty treat
Add veggies to mashed potatoes or soups

Share tips to make fruits and/or veggies a fun and welcomed part of your family’s day. Making a comment to this post will automatically enter you into a drawing for WaterPark Tickets!

Enter the WaterPark Contest!

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. 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 Hunger Wars by the Administrator; they will also be entered into the contest.

Make a comment on this blog post by 10:00 a.m. on 6/25/15 by answering the question, “What tips do you have to make fruits and veggies a fun and welcomed part of your family’s day?”… You must be a State of Idaho employee to win tickets. Winners will be posted on Health Matters Health Tools webpage on 6/26/15.

This is a great way to get ideas and to share what works. Join in the conversation. You could be a winner!

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Are you a sitting target?

Sitting Target

I was talking with a group of women last week about breast cancer. It seems the majority fell into two groups…”I don’t want to hear any more about breast cancer; I am sick of it” and “I am scared to death; I don’t want a mammogram – I just hope for the best”. I can appreciate both perspectives but doesn’t it just make us sitting targets? Cancer feeds on ignorance and fear; they are cancer’s allies.

Idaho has a low mammography screening rate and we need to change that. Please know that you don’t have to participate in a cancer walk, you don’t have to wear pink, you don’t have to pledge support, you don’t have to listen to surviviors. All you have to do is get a mammogram. No more excuses. Make the call; get it done.

For breast cancer resources, visit Health Matters. For financial assistance with a mammogram, visit Women’s Health Check and Operation Pink Bag.

Do you have a breast cancer story you would like to share?

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Being last isn’t good.

In 2011, Idaho had the lowest breast cancer screening rate in the United States. More than 1/3 of Idaho women over the age of 40 did not receive important breast cancer screening. Girls, GIRLS, GIRLS! Get in the game. If you are over 40, read the guidelines, get screened. Grab your Blue Cross of Idaho ID Card and call the Customer Service number on the back; ask about your preventive screening coverage. Don’t put it off. When you finish reading this post, make the call. Early detection literally means the difference between life and death. I know it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient, and takes time. So does cancer treatment; I know. You may think you have better things to do, but really you don’t. Being last isn’t good. Make your appointment. Now.

Read this month’s Success Story. For more resources on breast cancer detection and screening, see Health Matters and Operation Pink B.A.G.

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