5 ways to be active on vacation

Vacations are often a time of indulgence, and many vacationers relish having the time to kick back and relax. However, throwing away all of your hard work at the gym while vacationing can lead to a depressing reality when you get home. Staying active while traveling can seem tough, but there are plenty of ways to stay active no matter how long your trip lasts. Whether you’re traveling across the country or around the globe, the effort you put in to keep yourself feeling your best will pay off when your vacation comes to an end.

Make a plan & schedule time to be active. Depending what you are doing on your trip, schedule time each day to be active. If you are not planning to do something active during the day, make a plan to fit it in before your day starts. Book your stay at a hotel with a gym or a pool if you like access to those facilities. You can always go out for a walk along the beach or near your hotel. Use this as a chance to explore the area and find places where you might want to come back to later in your trip.

Get active as a family. Find things that are fun to do but active for everyone. Bring a football to toss around the beach or set up a volleyball net, go snorkeling, or kayaking. Get the family involved and have fun!

Do some research. Before you even arrive at your destination, do some research to see what opportunities there are to be active. Are there any local trails? Or hikes? Can you walk to most destinations? Can you rent bikes and ride around? What unique opportunities does your vacation offer that will be active and most of all memorable?  Try something new and be willing to go out of your comfort zone.

Ditch the car. Walking is an ideal physical activity because of its low cost, low impact, and portability. Nothing beats the sights, smells, and sounds of the beach. If you are in a big city, skip the cab rides and subways, and walk everywhere. You might just come across a great little restaurant or shop to stop in. If you’re at Disneyland, well, there is really no choice but to walk. Wherever you are, make sure you wear comfortable clothes and sneakers so you don’t end up with blisters or foot pain of any kind.

Take the stairs. Skip the elevator and sneak in some extra cardio.

Whenever you can make the healthy, active choice, do so and you won’t regret it.

Enjoy your vacation!

Healthy employees are productive employees!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Check out this video to see how health programs in one town in Maine are making the community healthier. How can your workplace promote more walking?

 http://bit.ly/1TaWZLG 

 

 

Enhance the flavor of your food when cooking at home

Cooking at home can be healthy, rewarding and cost-effective. And, according to research, taste tops nutrition as the main reason why Americans buy one food over another. The foods you enjoy are likely the ones you eat the most, so make taste a kitchen priority when preparing healthy, nutritious meals.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers cooking tips to enhance flavor and retain nutrients without adding extra fat, calories or salt. To maximize food’s flavor and nutrition, start with high-quality ingredients at their peak quality. They don’t need to be the most expensive foods — or served in big portions. It’s also important to handle and store foods properly, because poor storage destroys flavor and quality.

Overcooking can destroy flavor and nutrients. So cook to retain nutrients, flavor, color, texture and overall appeal. Cooking can’t improve poor-quality foods, but it can enhance the flavors of high-quality foods.

Try these seven simple techniques to enhance flavor and experiment with flavor combinations.

-Intensify the flavors of meat, poultry and fish with high-heat cooking techniques such as pan-searing, grilling or broiling, which help to brown meat and add flavor.
-Grill or roast veggies in a very hot (450°F) oven or grill for a sweet, smoky flavor. Before popping them into the oven, brush or spray lightly with oil so they don’t dry out and sprinkle with herbs.
-Caramelize sliced onions to bring out their natural sugar flavor by cooking them slowly over low heat in a small amount of oil. Use them to make a rich, dark sauce for meat or poultry.
-Pep it up with peppers! Use red, green and yellow peppers of all varieties — sweet, hot and dried. Or, add a dash of hot pepper sauce.
-Add a tangy taste with citrus juice or grated citrus peel: lemon, lime or orange. Acidic ingredients help lift and balance flavor.
-Use small amounts of ingredients with bold flavors such as pomegranate seeds, chipotle pepper or cilantro.
-Give a flavor burst with good-quality condiments such as horseradish, flavored mustard, chutney, wasabi, bean purees, tapenade and salsas of all kinds.

Establishing healthy behaviors during childhood is easier and more effective than trying to change unhealthy behaviors during adulthood. Schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behaviors. Research shows a link between health behaviors of young people - like physical activity - and their academic success.

In 2014, the Nevada School Wellness Policy was updated and in May 2015 the Clark County School District subsequently updated and adopted their Student Wellness Regulation. This regulation outlines nutrition, physical activity and wellness standards for schools in the Clark County School District. Learn more about the school wellness policy and how you can support healthy environments in our schools using the resources below.

What can parents do to promote a healthy school environment?

Survey for the Spencer Greenway Trail

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada needs your feedback for the Spencer Greenway Trail and UNLV Campus Bike Plan, a year-long project to develop conceptual plans for a trail along the Spencer utility corridor and identify a bicycle network on the UNLV Main Campus. The RTC of Southern Nevada is conducting this study to determine the level of community support and the desired design elements for a paved path connecting UNLV and Downtown Las Vegas. The proposed path would be primarily be constructed along a 100-foot wide existing NV Energy utility corridor that runs adjacent to Spencer Street. Additionally, the project team will develop a plan for improved bicycle connectivity and associated amenities such as bicycle parking at the UNLV Main Campus on Maryland Parkway. Participate in the plan by taking the online survey or attending an upcoming event. More information is available at www.rtcsnv.com.

Link to the Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/spencerunlv

Being realistic about your goals.

With all the fad diets, weight-loss programs and promised quick fixes it can be difficult to wade through all the ways in which you can achieve your weight loss goals. It is easy to get swayed into thinking these types of gimmicks can help you find lasting success. However, the time tested foundation of permanent change remains the same. Successful weight loss combines healthy calorie-controlled diet combined with exercise. How can you make these changes permanent?

Set realistic goals
It may seem obvious to set realistic weight-loss goals. But do you really know what’s realistic? Over the long term, it’s best to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. Generally to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular exercise. When you’re setting goals, think about both process and outcome goals. “Exercise every day” is an example of a process goal. “Lose 30 pounds” is an example of an outcome goal. It isn’t essential that you have an outcome goal, but you should set process goals because changing your habits is a key to weight loss.

Understand how much and why you eat
Use a food diary or tracking app for a while to gain an understanding of what, how much, and when you are eating. If you tend to snack late at night or visit fast food restaurants several times a day or week, those might be opportunities to make healthier choices. Being mindful of your eating habits and aware of common roadblocks and excuses in your efforts to lose weight can help you set and reach realistic goals.

Change your perspective
It’s not enough to eat healthy foods and exercise for only a few weeks or even months if you want long-term, successful weight loss. These habits must become a way of life. Lifestyle changes start with taking an honest look at your eating patterns and daily routine.
After assessing your personal challenges to weight loss, try working out a strategy to gradually change habits and attitudes that have sabotaged your past efforts. And you have to move beyond simply recognizing your challenges — you have to plan for how you’ll deal with them if you’re going to succeed in losing weight once and for all.

You likely will have an occasional setback. But instead of giving up entirely after a setback, simply start fresh the next day. Remember that you’re planning to change your life. It won’t happen all at once. Stick to your healthy lifestyle and the results will be worth it.

National Park Week. Free admission!

National Park Week, April 16 to 24, 2016, is America’s largest celebration of national heritage. It’s about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations and enhancing America’s best idea—the national parks! It’s all happening in your national parks.

Now’s The Time!
Plan your visit by what you want to do or where you want to go.  

Here are some highlights during National Park Week:

April 16–24: Visit for free!
Throughout National Park Week in 2016, every national park will give you free admission! Find a park close to you!

April 16: National Junior Ranger Day
Explore, Learn, Protect! Kids can take part in fun programs and earn a junior ranger badge or become a Centennial Junior Ranger.

April 22: Earth Day
On Earth Day, if you want to roll up your sleeves and pitch in with a project, look for a park where you can help out.

April 23: National Park Instameet
Join an InstaMeet in a park. Gather in a designated place at a specific time to take photos and short videos to post on Instagram (and other social media) with the same hashtag: #FindYourParkInstaMeet, #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, #NPS100

April 24: Park Rx Day
On Park Rx Day, parks will host fun recreational activities that encourage healthy lifestyles and promote physical and mental well being. (Looking to host your own event? Download A Guide to Planning Your Own National Park Rx Day Celebration

Don’t forget to check out www.nationalparkweek.org. There you can share your national park photos, videos, and tips. While you’re there, learn all about the ways you can help support your national parks all year round.

If you can’t visit a National Park, check out a local park near your home. Neon to Nature.

Fit more Fitness in your Day

Here is a ist of some great ways to fit more strolling into your daily routine — no sweat required:

Take your next phone call on foot. Whether it’s your boss calling, your neighbor or a friend, stand up and go for a stroll while you’re having a conversation.

Take the stairs. Stair climbing has moved beyond the broken elevator option. It not only saves time (especially during peak hours when it seems to stop at every floor), but it increases strength and is good for your heart!

Walk the dog. Fido needs exercise, too! So strap on the leash and take a walk around the neighborhood or to the dog park.

Take a family stroll. Grab the gang and head outside for a walk, especially now that the weather is warming up. It’s a great way to burn energy either pre- or post-dinner!

Park farther away. Driving to the office, school, the mall or even the bank? Then you can easily add more steps into your day by picking the farthest parking spot possible.

Get off one stop early. If you’re taking public transportation, such as the bus or subway, why not get off one stop sooner, and walk those extra blocks to your destination?

Looking for motivation to be more active? Check out our Walk Around Nevada app!

List of Farmers Markets near you in Las Vegas

Looking for a farmers market in your neighborhood. Check out our list of markets here in Clark County.

Farmers Markets Accepting EBT Debit and Credit

Now offering SNAP recipients $2 free for every $5 spent at the market.

*Las Vegas Farmers Market - Gardens Park external link
Thursday, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
10401 Gardens Park Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89135

*Las Vegas Farmers Market - Bruce Trent Park external link
Wednesday, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
1600 N. Rampart, Las Vegas, NV 89128
*Las Vegas Farmers Market - Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs external link
First and 3rd Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
9200 Tule Springs Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89131

*Fresh 52 @ Tivoli Village external link
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
302 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89145

*Fresh 52 @ Sansone Park Place external link
Sunday, 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
9480 S. Eastern, Las Vegas, NV 89123

*The Green Chefs Farmers Market external link
Closed until Spring 2016
333 S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107

On The Ranch Farmers Market  external link
Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
628 W. Craig Road, North Las Vegas, NV 89032

On the Ranch Farmers & Artisan Market  external link
Elks Lodge #1468
Monday, 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
4100 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89102

*The Farms at Fantastic external link - Hours subject to change.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
1717 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89128

*Vegas Roots Community Garden
Summer Hours: Tuesday - Thursday and Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Winter Hours: Tuesday - Thursday and Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
715 N. Tonopah Drive, Las Vegas NV, 89106
Wholesome Wave*Funding for this program comes from Wholesome Wave’s Nutrition Incentive Program Support and Innovations Grant (NIPSIG) and will run from March through September 2016 or until grant funds are exhausted.
Other Farmers Markets Around Town

Country Fresh Farmers Market external link
Thursday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
240 S. Water St., Henderson, NV 89015

Country Fresh Farmer’s Market II external link
Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
200 S. Green Valley Pkwy., Henderson, NV 89012

Downtown 3rd Farmers Market external link
Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
300 N. Casino Center Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89101
(Casino Center and Stewart)
Parking is complimentary, in the adjacent lot.

Downtown Summerlin Farmers Market external link
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. under the Pavilion
Sahara Ave. & 215 Beltway, Las Vegas, NV 89135

Snack ideas with 200 calories or less

Make snacks work for you by choosing nutrient-rich foods from the grains, fruit, vegetable, dairy and protein food groups. Snacks can boost your energy between meals and supply essential vitamins and minerals. There is a place for snacks in a healthy eating plan. Just choose wisely!
Think of snacks as mini-meals that contribute nutrient-rich foods. You can fit snack calories into your personal healthy eating plan without over-spending your day’s calorie budget. Snack only when you’re hungry. Skip the urge to nibble when you’re bored, frustrated or stressed. Feed the urge to do something by walking the dog or working in the garden. Keep portion control in mind. Have a single-serve container of yogurt or put a small serving of nuts in a bowl. Eating directly from a multiple serving package can lead to overeating. Plan snacks ahead of time. Keep a variety of nutritious ready-to-eat supplies on hand, such as whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese.

Get creative with the following snack suggestions by swapping out different fruits, vegetables and
grains to keep your snacking exciting!

Snacks with 200 calories or less:
• One tablespoon peanut butter spread on slices of a medium apple
• One cup tomato soup with five whole-grain crackers
• Three cups air-popped popcorn sprinkled with three tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
• Tri-color veggie snack: 6 baby carrots, 10 sugar snap peas (or green pepper strips), 6 cherry tomatoes and 2 tablespoons reduced-fat ranch dressing for dipping
• Small baked potato topped with salsa and 1 ounce low-fat cheese
• Toaster waffle topped with ½ cup blueberries and 2 tablespoons low-fat yogurt
• Six whole-wheat crackers and one slice lowfat Colby cheese
• Fruit smoothie: Blend 1 cup fat-free milk, ½ cup frozen strawberries and ½ banana
• One 6-inch flour tortilla with ¼ cup black beans and 2 tablespoons fresh salsa
• Quick-to-fix salad: 2 cups mixed greens with ½ cup mandarin oranges, 1 tablespoon sliced almonds and 2 tablespoons reduced fat dressing
• Mini-sandwich: Whole-grain dinner roll with 1 slice deli turkey, 1 slice low-fat cheese and mustard
• One 4-ounce fat-free, ready-to-eat vanilla pudding with ½ cup fresh fruit and 5 vanilla wafers
• Veggie pizzas: Split whole wheat English muffin. Top with 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese, ½ cup diced fresh veggies and one ounce low-fat mozzarella cheese
• Cinnamon-raisin mini-bagel spread with one tablespoon peanut butter
• Hot chocolate made with low-fat or fat-free milk and a small oatmeal cookie
• Whole-grain toaster waffle with 1 ½ tablespoons chocolate-flavored hazelnut spread
• Banana split: banana sliced length-wise topped with ½ cup frozen yogurt and a tablespoon of chopped nuts

For more healthy eating tips, visit www.eatright.org.