Patrol. Protect. PREPARE.

July is the hottest month of the year and what better way to cool down and have some fun than playing in water?  Whether it’s along the Colorado River, the shores of Lake Mead, or your own backyard pool, you must always be prepared for a water emergency.  Preparing for such an emergency is one of the three P’s (patrol, protect and prepare) of being a water watcher.  Here are some ways that you can prepare yourself:

  • Enroll children in swim lessons taught by qualified instructors
  • Learn CPR, rescue techniques and how to call 9-1-1
  • CPR skills save lives and prevent brain damage

Taking swim lessons in the summer is great, but it’s also important to maintain those skills by taking year-round lessons. CPR classes are also strongly encouraged, but you can also take a refresher on proper technique by following these steps.

Enjoy the summer and remember to always be a water watcher!

Take advantage of seasonal summer fruits and veggies!

We can easily think of summer time in Las Vegas as the worst time of year, but summer time also brings a variety of fruits and veggies that are in season. This is a good time to take advantage and spark your desire to eat healthier. Seasonal summer fruits and veggies can be a nice change because they add variety in flavors, but also nutrients. Eating a colorful variety can also keep you from getting bored of eating the same things.

Here are some simple ways to include a colorful variety of fruits and veggies throughout your day:

Start the Day Right

•Substitute some spinach, onions, or mushrooms for one of the eggs or half of the cheese in your morning omelet. The vegetables will add volume and flavor to the dish with fewer calories than the egg or cheese.
•Cut back on the amount of cereal in your bowl to make room for some cut-up bananas, peaches, or strawberries. You can still eat a full bowl, but with fewer calories.
•Blend up a fruit smoothie. Add your favorite frozen fruit, almond milk, nonfat vanilla yogurt and blend with some ice.
•Set out a bowl of fresh fruit that is easy to grab in the morning on the way out the door. Get in the habit of taking fruit on the road for a snack. 

Lighten Up Your Lunch

•Skip the chips and bring cut up veggies and hummus as a side with your lunch. 
•Add apple chunks, pineapple, grapes, or raisins to tuna or chicken salad.
•Reduce the amount of meat or cheese and replace with veggies like cucumbers, peppers, and lettuce.
•Add ½ slice of banana to your peanut butter sandwich and reduce the amount of peanut butter by half.
•When eating out, choose the vegetarian option that usually has lots of fruits and veggies.

Mix it up at Dinner

•Add in 1 cup of chopped vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, squash, onions, or peppers, while removing 1 cup of the rice or pasta in your favorite dish. The dish with the vegetables will be just as satisfying but has fewer calories than the same amount in the original version.
•Take a good look at your dinner plate. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains should take up the largest portion of your plate. If they do not, replace some of the meat, cheese, white pasta, or rice with legumes, steamed broccoli, asparagus, greens, or another favorite vegetable.
•Use the grill. Skip the stove and try cooking fruits and veggies on your outdoor grill. This is a fun and different method of cooking that can lead to new flavors and recipes. Another bonus is that you can keep your house cooler too.

Also check out this list of what fruits and veggies are in season during the summer. Try something new!

Join our 30 day quit smoking Facebook event!

Looking to quit smoking, or know someone who is? Join us for 30 Smokefree Days, an online 30-day quit smoking Facebook event that provides a built-in community of people like you who want to build a healthier life! The event will be taking place entirely online. Simply RSVP on the Facebook event page and get free access to mobile quit apps, tips, “quitspiration” posts, and video streams from experts to help you overcome challenges and meet your goal of becoming smokefree. We’ll be sharing content on the Facebook page daily from July 10th - August 9th. Together we can quit for good! The event is from July 10 to August 9, and Facebook users can RSVP starting June 26 at

Click to start building your quit plan! And for more information on living tobacco-free visit our website or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for additional resources.





Pledge to be soda free this summer!

We are kicking off our annual Soda Free Summer Challenge. The challenge is designed to inspire you to make a lasting commitment to health by reducing or eliminating sweetened beverages over the summer months.

Pledge to go soda free or to reduce your soda consumption over the summer!

A little reminder of all the alternatives you can drink instead of soda: 

•Water: Try water with added citrus or sliced cucumbers. Always refreshing and is great for the skin. Try some of these great flavored water recipes as well to mix it up a bit!
•100% fruit juice: A sweet treat full of vitamins and it counts as a serving of fruit. Don’t overdo it though, limit yourself to 6oz.
•Vegetable juice or V8: Packed with flavor; high in vitamins C, A, and potassium and around 50 calories per cup. If possible choose the low sodium versions.
•Non-fat or low-fat milk: High in calcium and protein—and you need both. You could also try soy milk, rice milk or almond milk.
•Light yogurt and fruit smoothie: Creamy and sweet, high in calcium and only about 170 calories per cup.
•Tea, unsweetened: Get a boost on less than five calories per cup, plus it’s high in antioxidants.

Join us this summer and pledge to drink more water & less soda!

Patrol. Protect. PREPARE. Become a Water Watcher!

June means summer is in full swing here in the valley.  Schools out, temperatures continue to rise and most importantly, pools are open!  We hope you make the most of this summer and you can do that by being a water watcher.  This includes following the three P’s, “Patrol, Protect, and Prepare”.  Patrolling the water while children are at play is essential, but another layer of safety is to protect. 

-Install a four-sided pool fence that completely separates the pool area from the house and yard
-Use door and pool alarms to alert you if a child manages to get outside and to the pool or spa unsupervised
-Remove floats, balls and other toys from the pool and surrounding area immediately after use so children are not tempted to enter the pool area unsupervised

Each state varies in their pool code so make sure to review what is required for Southern Nevada at the webpage Pool Code SNHD. A swimming pool can be a great source of relief from the heat, but make sure to always patrol, protect and prepare so everyone can enjoy many summers to come.

Eating right when money is tight

Making healthy food choices on a budget can sometimes feel like a challenge. By following a few guidelines you can eat better and stretch your dollars. The best way to accomplish this goal is to develop a healthy eating plan and that begins with shopping smarter. Here are some tips from SNAP-Ed on how to stretch your food dollars by planning ahead and making smart food choices.

BEFORE Shopping

-Plan your weekly meals and snacks. Before you even go to the store scribble down what’s already in the fridge, freezer and cupboards. Get an idea of what you already have and what you can use to form your planned meals. Need recipe ideas? Check out our SNAP app!

-Know how much money you have to spend on food. Make a shopping list based on the money you have to spend and what foods you will need.

DURING Shopping

-Have something to eat before you go shopping. It’s easier to stick to your shopping list when you are not hungry.
-Stick to the perimeter. Most foods for a health- and cost-conscious eating plan are found by shopping the supermarket’s boundary. Then, with your shopping list in tow, visit just the aisles you need to balance fresh selections. This will keep you from adding unnecessary items to your cart.

-Pick the produce. Choose a variety of in-season whole fresh fruits and vegetables. They’ll be most abundant, most nutritious and least expensive. Alternatively, pick by sports seasons — enjoy citrus fruits and sweet potatoes during football season; buy berries and tomatoes during baseball season.

-Try store brands. They are the same quality and cost less.

-Compare products for the best deal. Use unit pricing and also the Nutrition Facts labels to get the best product for your money. For more info on food labels.

-Check “sell by” or “use by” dates. Buy the freshest food possible. Buy only the amount of food you can use before it spoils. Remember, frozen, canned, or shelf-stable foods last longer!

AFTER Shopping

-Store food right away in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it fresh and safe.
-If you buy a large amount of fresh food, like meat, poultry, or fish, divide it into meal-size packages, label the food, and freeze it for later use.
-Use foods with the earliest expiration dates first.
-Stick to your planned meals and use the food that you bought.

It can take time adjusting to a new plan, so be patient with yourself as you figure out what works best for you and your family!

Healthy Eating While Eating Out

Eating out at a restaurant doesn’t have to mean eating unhealthy. Use some of these smart strategies to plan ahead and choose foods carefully.

Think ahead. Consider meal options at different restaurants and look for places with a wide range of menu items. Check online menus, if available, for nutrition information ahead of time.

Be deliberate when ordering. Balance your meal by including healthier selections from all the different food groups such as lean protein foods, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Look for freshly made entrée salads that give you “balance in a bowl.” For example, entrée salads with baked or grilled chicken, beans or seafood provide protein along with fiber and other nutrients. Ask for dressing on the side so you can control the portion size.
For sandwich toppings, go with veggie options including lettuce, tomato, avocado and onion; if using condiments, choose ketchup, mustard, relish or salsa.

Round out your meal by ordering healthy side dishes, such as a side salad, baked potato or fruit. Boost the nutritional value of your baked potato by topping it with vegetables, salsa or chili.

Substitute. Ask for a side salad with dressing on the side to replace fries in a combination meal.

Control portions. Many restaurants serve huge portions, sometimes enough for two or three people. Eat a smaller portion and bring leftovers home for another meal. Or, order an appetizer in place of an entrée and add a small soup or salad.

Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that you are no longer hungry. Fast eaters often are overeaters, while slow eaters tend to eat less and are still satisfied.

Patrol. Protect. Prepare. Become a Water Watcher!

May is National Water Safety month and we are here to help keep you and your children safe! In April, SNHD released our new drowning prevention campaign, “Be a Water Watcher”.  This encourages adults to be vigilant and always designate a water watcher when children are in or around water.  Being a water watcher means focusing on the three P’s, “Patrol, Protect, and Prepare”.  The data shows that the number one preventative measure is constant supervision which lands under, “Patrol”.

-Always designate an adult to actively watch children in the water.
-Most tragedies occur in seconds, the time it takes to answer your phone.
-Do not drink alcohol while supervising children in and around water.

When it comes to pool safety there are many layers of protection that should always be implemented.  Designating a water watcher is just one of those layers. Click on the American Red Cross link to see other layers of protection that can help save a child’s life!

Be sugar savy this summer! Drink more water.

What are sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)? Sugar-sweetened beverages are beverages that contain added sugars and include popular drinks such as:

• Soft drinks/soda pop/ soda
• Fruit drinks, punches, or “-ades”
• Sports drinks
• Tea and Coffee drinks
• Energy drinks
• Sweetened/Flavored milks

What’s the problem with sugar-sweetened beverages?

• Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) including non-diet sodas, energy drinks, and fruit drinks have been associated with obesity, and obesity-related illnesses.
• Nevada has the second highest prevalence of fruit drink consumption among persons aged 18-34 years and is the highest prevalence of African-Americans and     Hispanics who consume fruit-drinks on a regular basis.
• Children and adolescents are major consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages and this consumption has been associated with the rising levels of childhood      obesity.
• Calories from liquid beverages contribute to weight gain at higher levels than solids foods do, and also lack comparable nutrient content when compared to     calories consumed from solid foods.
• Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugar to the American diet.
• Several health conditions have been linked to consumption of excess SSB’s including diabetes, dental carries, and cardiovascular disease.

Healthy Alternatives:

• Water: Try water infused with added citrus or sliced cucumbers.
• 100% Vegetable Juice: Packed with flavor; high in vitamins C, A, and potassium and around 50 calories per cup. If possible choose the low sodium versions.
• Non-fat or low-fat milk: High in calcium and protein—and you need both. You could also try soy milk, rice milk or almond milk.
• Light yogurt and fruit smoothie: Creamy and sweet, high in calcium and only about 170 calories per cup.
• Tea, unsweetened: Get a boost on less than five calories per cup, plus it’s high in antioxidants

For more information concerning sugar-sweetened beverages & to find other delicious drink recipes, please visit our website at:

May is National Stroke Awareness Month

A stroke can happen to anyone, at any time, at any age. It is important to know what the symptoms are and what to do if you spot them. A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is restricted because it is blocked by a clot. The brain cells deprived of blood flow begin to die because there is no oxygen and nutrients to the area needed to survive.
There are two types of stroke. The most common type of stroke, called ischemic, is caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel in the brain.  The second type of stroke, called hemorrhagic, occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures. Hemorrhagic stroke is commonly caused by high blood pressure and brain aneurysms.
Use the letters FAST to spot stroke signs and know when to call 911.
F – Face Drooping. Is one side of the face drooping or feel numb?
A – Arm weakness. Does the suddenly drift downward on one side of the body?
S – Speech. Trouble speaking or slurred speech? Unable to speak or hard to understand?
T – Time counts. Notice any of these warning signs? If so, call 9-1-1 immediately, even if the symptoms go away.

Unsure if it’s a stroke?? Call 911 anyway! Don’t wait! Sometimes other symptoms, beyond FAST appear like, numbness, confusion, trouble seeing or walking and severe headache.
Want to learn more about stroke?
•Talk to your healthcare provider about your personal risk factor for having a stroke.
•If you or someone you know is a stroke survivor, local support groups are available.

Check out these support groups and educational groups in our local area:

Mountain View Hospital
Diagnosis, treatment, education and outreach
Program serves patients, caregivers, and families
When: First Tuesday of every month from 2:00pm-3:00pm
Location: Mountain View H2U Office Suite 114
For more information, call (702) 233-5474

Spring Valley Hospital
Learn about life after a stroke from survivors and experts.
When: Third Friday of each month from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: Use the main entrance of the hospital and follow the signage for the Stroke Support Group
For more information, call 702-853-3162.

Did you Know?
•Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and disability nationwide and fifth in Nevada.
•On average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke.
•Stroke can happen to anyone, at any age. An estimated, 80% of strokes are preventable by taking small steps to reduce personal risk.
•The risk of having a stroke increases each decade in people over the age of 55.
•To reduce your risk for stroke make simple lifestyle changes by; maintain a healthy diet, manage blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, get physically active, lower cholesterol, reduce blood sugar and don’t smoke.
•Stroke is treatable. If you or someone you know was having a stroke.