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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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!

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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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Get your sparkle on!

Holiday Sparkle

Holiday time can bring out the best – and the worst – in people. Don’t let the stress and hub-bub dull your attitude. Try these things to keep your sparkle on!

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Wage a little hope.

Hope

Why bother? Because hope is all about possibility. Hope feeds your energy, creativity, and problem solving skills; it affects your sense of happiness and optimism. Hope recognizes that everyone and everything matters. It makes life worth living. That’s why you should bother.

When hope gets damaged, it has a ripple effect. It can knock you out of equilibrium with your world, with your existence. It’s important to regain your balance and reconnect with a hopeful life.

How, you ask?

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Can this just be over?

Election

Voting stress. Enough said. Most of us would probably agree that the last year has been fraught with “political stress“. As we get closer to election day, stress heightens, blood pressures rise, and nerves are on edge. Election talk seems to permeate every corner from the home and office to social media to neighborhood talk. In some cases, election talk creates rifts between family members and friends. It can become one hot mess.

Here are some tips to keep you sane…

  • Educate yourself on the candidates
  • Accept that we all have a right to our opinion
  • Accept that you probably will not change another person’s opinion
  • Realize that your opinion may be just as “objectionable” to others as theirs is to you!
  • Remember –  political parties and politics are labels; at the bottom of it all is a person
  • Choose how much media you let into your life from polling info, to the evening news, to social media banter
  • Take care of yourself; that means step away from a discussion when you need to; don’t engage
  • Keep perspective in all things
  • Manage your stress and practice good health habits
  • Be kind
  • Vote!
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Monday Blues?

Monday Blues

Are Mondays your least favorite day of the week? The Monday Blues can be a passing tiredness, an indication of a poor job fit, or a screaming need for an attitude adjustment. If hopeless, tired, sad, stressed, overwhelmed, impatient, and unpleasant pretty much describe you on Monday mornings – you may need to do something. Why? Because you deserve better and so do your co-workers!

If Monday Madness has grabbed you and you feel you may be a victim of The Blues, check out some of these ideas…

  • Identify the problem; if your work leaves you feeling underappreciated, stressed, and overwhelmed – name it and claim it; then you can start dealing with it
  • Don’t dwell on Mondays like a looming dark cloud that dumps on your weekend
  • Get sunlight and fresh air on your weekend – refresh!
  • Be ready for Monday … start on Sunday by getting your food and clothes lined out; synch up your calendar
  • Dress like you want to be at work – it makes a difference!
  • Practice good self-care – don’t overdo Sunday with heavy foods/drinks
  • Get some sleep! Lack of shut eye makes everything and everyone more difficult
  • Focus on the things you are excited about in the week ahead
  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Try not to over-pack your weekend; have some down time
  • Have a positive attitude; use positive self-talk while you drive into work
  • Maintain a manageable Monday work schedule – keep it light when you can

Share what you do to make Mondays work for you…

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