New Year Resolution 2017: Be more active

The New Year is always a great time to recommit to being more active and getting in some daily exercise. The recommended amount of physical activity for adults is 150 minutes a week. That may sound like a lot of time, but it doesn’t have to be done all at once. You can break it up into 30 or 10 minute increments throughout the day or week. Everyday activities like gardening, housecleaning, shoveling snow and walking up the stairs can get the heart beating and strengthen muscles. The important thing to remember is to start slowly, choose activities that you enjoy and recognize your success along the way. No matter what you choose to do, doing something is better than doing nothing. Even small amount of physical activity can have positive results. If you are looking for some small ways to incorporate physical activity we have some suggestions.

Download the Walk Around Nevada app. This free app helps you track your physical activity. Complete one virtual lap around Nevada and receive a hall of fame t-shirt.

Get off to the right start by hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and more in a national park. Find a national park near you

Download the Neon to Nature app. Find parks and walking trails in your neighborhood.


New Year Resolution 2017: More Meals at Home

Whether you are cooking for just yourself, one to two people, or a larger group, planning meals is a good place to start improving your food choices. Taking the time to plan a healthy evening meal can help you avoid a less healthful “drive-through” dinner.
You might want to use SuperTracker: My Plan or check out our SNAP app for more meal ideas. The plan will show you your daily food group targets — what and how much to eat within your calorie allowance. It can help you plan your upcoming meals to meet your weight goals and suggest ways to improve choices. Once you’ve planned your meals, make a grocery list. Take some time on your visit to the grocery store to choose lower-calorie ingredients. Here are some ideas that may help:

•Many casseroles and meat sauces use cream soups as a base. Use a low-fat cream soup.
•Substitute a low-fat cheese in casseroles and vegetable sauces. When using sharply flavored cheese, such as cheddar and parmesan, you can usually reduce the amount in a recipe to save calories without sacrificing flavor.
•Try a non-stick cooking spray or a small amount of cooking oil for sautéing instead of frying with solid fat.
•If you’re using ground beef for tacos or meat sauce for spaghetti, look for a lower-fat variety such as ground round or ground sirloin or try using skinless ground turkey breast. Once you’ve browned the meat, drain to remove excess fat.
•Instead of full-fat versions of mayonnaises, butter, and salad dressings, try those that are lower in calories, total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat.
•Check out the frozen food aisles for quick, low-calorie vegetable side dishes. You can find cut green beans, sliced carrots, and other chopped vegetables in the frozen food section. Avoid the ones with added cream, butter, or cheese sauces as these ingredients can add calories. You can steam these vegetables quickly in the microwave.
•In some soups and entrees, you may also be able to add dry beans to extend the recipe and improve the nutritional value. This is easy to do in vegetable-based soups and chili. You can just add a cup of canned white beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans to the recipe. As another example, if you are making enchiladas, rinse a can of black beans and add these to the ground meat.
Research shows that people get full by the amount of food they eat, not the number of calories they take in. You can cut calories in your favorite foods by lowering the amount of fat and or increasing the amount of fiber-rich ingredients, such as vegetables or fruit. Eating fewer calories doesn’t necessarily mean eating less food.
To learn more, visit Eat More, Weigh Less? And see How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight for more information.

Happy Healthy New Year!

Did the holidays sabotage your healthy eating habits? Don’t beat yourself up, the new year is a perfect time to get back on track. We want to make healthy eating easier for you  in the new year, so we have put together a list of simple tips to help get you started.  Take small steps every day, and you can achieve a healthy diet in 2017! 

Foods to INCLUDE:
•Fruits and vegetables
•Whole grains
•Beans and legumes
•Nuts and seeds
•Fish and skinless poultry
•Fat-free and low-fat dairy products

Foods to LIMIT:
•Sodium and salt
•Saturated fat
•Sweets and added sugars, including sugar-sweetened beverages
•Red meats – if you choose to eat red meat, select lean cuts

Foods to AVOID:
•Trans fat and partially hydrogenated oils

Overall TIPS:
•Compare nutrition information on package labels and select products with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars, saturated fat and trans fat.
•Watch your calorie intake. To maintain weight, consume only as many calories as you use up through physical activity. If you want to lose weight, consume fewer calories or burn more calories.
•Eat reasonable portions. Often this is less than you are served.
•Eat a wide variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs.
•Prepare and eat healthier meals at home. You’ll have more control over ingredients.
Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Healthy Holiday Season to You!

The holidays are a very busy time for many families.  There is shopping to do, parties to attend, children’s activities, oh and guests at your house!  During this busy time, we can often forget about the healthy habits that we have adopted through the rest of the year.  This holiday season, don’t let those healthy habits slip, pick one or two of these healthy habits to do with your family.

-Plan a healthy dish. Use fruits or veggies.
-Take a walk with the family.
-Play in the snow, if you are heading somewhere cold.
-Have a dance party.
-Eat less.
-Get more sleep.
-Skip the soda.
-Eat your meals at home.

Wishing you a healthy holiday season! Enjoy time with your friends and family this week. We look forward to keeping you healthy in the New Year.

Curb Your Cravings

This time of year there is constant access to candy, goodies, chocolates and sweets. And although complete avoidance this time of year is not very realistic, it can be really difficult to moderate amounts. The calories in these sweet treats add up quickly, making it difficult to maintain weight control. Coming up with a personal goal for eating sweets in moderation is only part of the problem. The bigger challenge is sticking with it. Here are a few tips to help you curb your cravings.

Identify the sweets you enjoy most in life and stick to small amounts of them. Don’t bother eating things that you don’t really like but are available. Save your sweet picks for things that you really want to eat or things that you only eat this time of year.

Limit the variety around you. If chocolate or cookies are your weakness, stock your home with only one flavor at a time. If you’re eating out, avoid multi-dessert buffets where you’re tempted to sample many kinds of desserts.

Focus on what you will do not what you won’t do. Instead of thinking about the treats you are not going to eat, think about what you are doing to do instead.  Eat a piece of fruit or drink some water instead.

The holidays are about more than food so plan activities and new traditions to keep the focus off of all the treats and food. Most of all enjoy this time of year with family and friends!

Wishing you a safe holiday season

Although we probably won’t be traveling over the river and through the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh to see our families this holiday season, coming home for the holidays is exciting. Before you pack up the car and bundle up the kids– or whatever else is on your list before you go – here are five quick tips to help you and your family stay safe for the holiday.

•In the car: Colder weather means lots of layers of clothing. But remember, bulky winter clothes and coats can keep a car seat from doing its job. Instead, cover your child with a thick blanket to stay warm after you’ve securely strapped him or her into the car seat.

•In the kitchen: During the holidays, things are guaranteed to get a little busy. To help keep hot food out of the reach of little hands, be sure that pot handles and other dishes aren’t close to the edge of the counter or table where they could be pulled down by curious kids.

•Around the house. Always use the proper step ladder; don’t stand on chairs or other furniture. Make sure paths are clear so no one trips on wrapping paper, decorations, or toys,

•Wherever the medicine is stored: Kids get into medication in all sorts of places, like in purses and nightstands. In fact, in 67 percent of medicine-related ER visits, the medicine was within reach of a child, such as in a purse, left on a counter or dresser, or found on the ground. A good rule of thumb: “Up, up and away.” Keep medications out of reach and out of sight. 

•In the room where you sleep: For many of us, holiday travel means we’ll be spending the night away from home. While you might be fine sleeping on the couch or an air mattress, make sure your baby always sleeps in a safe crib, bassinet or pack-n-play.

Have a Safe Holiday Season!

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

It’s Thanksgiving this week and that means food, family & friends, and FUN ! Everyone has their favorite dishes and desserts they are looking forward to eating this week. It’s also fun to get together and make memories. And this year make some memories beyond the table with your family and friends. Start the day off with a new tradition of burning a few calories and spending some quality time together. Here are a few ideas:

Instead of watching football this year get the family together to play some football. Hit up a local park and throw around the football or baseball. Play a pickup game of basketball or volleyball.  Find a park near you.

Sign up for a 5K walk/run as a family. Do a little turkey trot before your big meal. Check out this link from the RJ about races and walks all around town this weekend.

Plan or morning hike or walk. Check out Neon to Nature to find a trail near you.

Help clean up. After a big meal there is always a lot to do. Instead of parking in front of the TV, give the host a hand and help put away tables and chairs, do some dishes, or take out the trash. Focus on things that will get you moving!

Take the relatives down to the Strip for some sightseeing. We all know taking a trip to the strip means a lot of walking! That’s okay! Get out there and show them the sights while you burn off some of that turkey dinner.

Have a post-dinner dance party! Crank up the music and turn the living room into a dance floor. Get everyone moving and they will be having so much fun they won’t even know they are being active.

You may not have time to do all of these if you only get together for an afternoon or evening. If you’re with family for the entire weekend there’s plenty of time to try out being active together. All it takes is a little initiative and the fun times will follow.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a safe holiday home!

As you welcome older adult family and friends this holiday season, pay special attention to your home environment and what might add to a fall risk. Falls do not have to be an inevitable part of life for older adults but many people think falls are a normal part of aging. The truth is falls can be prevented and you have the power to reduce the risk of falls for you and your family members. The risk of falling and fall-related problems can rise with age, so take action now to prevent falls from ever happening.

Here are four things you can do to prevent falls:

•Begin an exercise program or do activities to improve balance. Exercise helps to counter the effects of muscle deterioration. Focus on strengthening leg and ankle muscles and doing resistance training and exercises done while standing. Check out this website to see what exercises you can do to improve your balance
•Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year to make sure your vision is fine or that your eyeglasses do not need to be replaced.
•Be mindful about what shoes you wear. Be sure to have firm slip-resistant soles that can be worn inside and outside the house.
•Keep floors clutter free.  Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.  Add grab bars in the bathroom—next to and inside the tub, and next to the toilet. Have handrails and lights installed on all staircases. 
•Talk openly with your loved ones and your healthcare provider about fall risks and prevention.

Making some of these small changes can prevent you or a family member from experiencing falls that can lead to bigger problems. Look over the “Check for Safety Checklist” for more ways to prevent falls.

National Healthy Lunch Day November 15th

There is often confusion about what to eat that is healthy and what is not. Often the foods choices people make are full of calories, yet lack the nutritional value the body needs. The result is expanding waistlines, low energy, and rising rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity-related illnesses. Our goal is to promote the importance of good nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle, and help people make better food choices. To start, let’s do lunch—a healthy lunch! We invite you to participate in National Healthy Lunch Day on November 15th by eating a healthy lunch that day!
7 Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas

1. Put a healthy spin on the traditional sandwich.
Use 2 pieces of thin whole grain bread and
include 2 ounces reduced-sodium lean turkey,
hummus, spinach, bell pepper slices, and
mustard. Add some carrot sticks and light
ranch dressing on the side.

2. Mix together some cooked quinoa, rinsed and
drained canned white beans, chopped bell
pepper, carrots. and broccoli to make a whole
grain and veggie salad. Toss with some olive oil,
lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add a nectarine or
some grapes on the side and a small handful of
dry roasted almonds, if desired.

3. Make a tuna salad with canned light tuna
packed in water, light mayo, diced celery,
lemon juice, and freshly ground pepper. Serve
it over greens with an apple and peanut
butter on the side.

4. Pack a cup of leftover chili or vegetable soup.
Top it with some fresh tomatoes and nonfat
plain yogurt instead of sour cream.

5. Fill a whole wheat tortilla wrap with rotisserie
chicken, hummus, and greens. For more veggie
goodness, add roasted or fresh pepper strips.

6. Pack a hard-boiled egg, a piece of fruit,
a string cheese stick, and 5 whole wheat
crackers. And bring as many carrot or celery
sticks as you like!

7. Throw together a salad with romaine
lettuce or spinach and any other nonstarchy
vegetables that you like. Top with some
cottage cheese, a sprinkle of chopped nuts,
and a tablespoon of light salad dressing.

National Diabetes Prevention Month

Every November we observe National Diabetes Prevention month to help educate everyone about how to prevent this deadly disease.
Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have “pre-diabetes” — which means blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Doctors sometimes refer to prediabetes as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), depending on what test was used when it was detected. This condition puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, so, you may have it and not know it.
Some people with prediabetes may have some of the symptoms of diabetes or even problems from diabetes already. You usually find out that you have prediabetes when being tested for diabetes by your doctor. 

If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every one to two years.
You will not develop type 2 diabetes automatically if you have prediabetes. For some people with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range.

Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by:
•Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds)
•Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week

The following symptoms of diabetes are typical. However, some people with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed.
Common symptoms of diabetes:
•Urinating often
•Feeling very thirsty
•Feeling very hungry - even though you are eating
•Extreme fatigue
•Blurry vision
•Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
•Weight loss - even though you are eating more (type 1)
•Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes. To learn more about how to prevent diabetes check out our Diabetes Prevention Program. It is a free online program to help you reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.