If you can’t say no, focus on portion control !

The holidays are almost here and we all know that means great food and lots of treats. Our office breakrooms and houses are full of lots of once a year goodies. We all have our favorite treats that we wait all year to enjoy. The temptation might be too hard to resist so if you can’t say no, focus on portion control. Instead of two yummy pieces of fudge just eat one or share your treat with someone else. Place your treats in the cupboard and out of sight every time you go into the kitchen.

How will you know a reasonable portion of food when you see it? Visualize the objects mentioned below when eating out, planning a meal, or grabbing a snack.
•Vegetables or fruit = a handful
•Pasta = a scoop of ice cream
•Meat, fish or poultry = a deck of cards
•Snacks such as pretzels or chips = a cupped hand
•Potato = a computer mouse
•Bagel =half an English muffin
•Pancake = a CD
•Cheese = a pair of dice or the size of your whole thumb (from the tip to the base)
•2 Tbsp. of peanut butter = a ping pong ball

•Less is More! Use smaller dishes and don’t go back for seconds.
•Table Tip. Don’t keep platters of food on the table; you are more likely to “pick” at it or have a second serving without even realizing it.
•Split it.  If you are eating Christmas dinner out this year, ask for half or smaller portions or immediately put half of your entrée into a to-go box to take home with you.
•Dessert Dilemma.  If you can’t resist that piece of pie for dessert, split it with someone.
•Don’t “Graze”.  Avoid those pre-dinner snacks like the chips and cheese and cracker platters. When snacking go for the fruits and veggies, or place a few chips, crackers or cookies on a small plate to help prevent overeating.
•Stop eating when you begin to feel full.   Sit down and enjoy your meal.  Chew slowly and pay attention to textures and flavors and when you are full, focus on enjoying the setting and your friends or family for the rest of the meal.
•Take A Walk.  If you can’t resist that second portion, then take a walk after dinner and burn some of those calories off.
•Size Matters.  Download the NHLBI serving size card, to help you remember normal what serving sizes look like. http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion/servingcard7.pdf  
•Join the Nutrition Challenge.  This free 8-week online program will help you increase the number of fruits and vegetables you eat each day. You will be able to track your daily and weekly progress throughout the program.  Register Now.


Healthy Gift Giving Ideas

Thinking of giving cookies, fudge or a box of chocolates as a holiday gift? That’s so 2005.  This year, think about giving something healthy to your loved ones, co-workers, neighbors and friends.  Here are some gift ideas for the health-conscious on your list.

Stocking Stuffers

•Pedometer.  Know someone who’s trying to start a simple exercise program? A pedometer, which counts each step a person takes, and the distance they’ve walked, makes a perfect present for someone who’s trying to be more active.

•IPod or ITunes gift card.  Combining entertainment and exercise often motivates people to jump on the treadmill who would otherwise be bored by going for a run or walk.  You don’t just have to download music either; you can download books or movies to watch or listen to while exercising. 

•Orange. Every complete stocking has a orange in the foot!


•Active Video Games for Kids and Adults. Your children want to play video games. You want them to go outside and get some exercise. Now there’s a solution you both can love and enjoy. Active video games, such as Dance Dance Revolution, the Nintendo Wii force players to get off the couch and burn calories.

•A massage gift certificate. Purchase a relaxing massage at a spa. Or create a home spa basket with essential oils, bath salts, massage oil, body lotions, and a pumice stone.  Relaxation and stress relief are important for overall good health. 

A bicycle. Bikes are a great way for kids and adults to get exercise.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money either, check out goodwill stores or second hand shops.  They often have good bikes that might need just a little work.

•Healthy Cookbooks.  How about a new cookbook that includes healthy recipes — maybe one with healthy soups, salads, vegetable sides dishes, whole grains or whole grain breads.

•Subscription to a magazine. Consider giving a year subscription to a magazine. There are several magazines that offer healthy recipes and tips, as well as magazines that focus on physical activity (biking, hiking, running, etc.) and relaxation.

•Cooking Classes. We typically eat healthier and eat less when we cook on our own, so give the gift of eating in. 

• Gym membership or personal trainer. Give the gift of getting in shape. Paying for a gym membership and a personal trainer would make a wonderful present to give somebody.  

•Treadmill or weight set. Start the new year off right with a new treadmill or weight set. The kind of gift that can last all year round.

Hostess Gifts

•Oil and vinegar. Why not give high-quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil as a gift. If someone is trying to lose weight by eating a lot of salads, some aged balsamic vinegar and a dash or two of good olive oil can make the difference between a boring salad and a nice treat.

•A Healthy Goody Basket.  A fruit basket of exotic or specialty fruits or other gift basket of healthy specialty foods is always welcome. Try putting together your own basket.  You could include some of your favorite healthy recipes and some homemade healthy treats.

Eating Healthy when Eating Out

It seems like we are always on the go and eating on the run. Fast food is a staple in many Americans lives. In fact, every day one out of four Americans eats fast food.

The good news is that many restaurants are adding healthier menu options so it’s possible to get a fairly nutritious meal on the go. Making good choices when eating out will help you maintain a healthy diet.

Here are tips for when you eat out:

Keep portion sizes small: Choose the smallest size, order half a sandwich or eat only half and take the rest to go.
•Choose a healthier side dish: Instead of French fries, choose a side salad with low-fat dressing, a baked potato or add a fruit bowl. Other healthier choices include apple slices, corn on the cob, steamed rice, vegetable soup or baked potato chips.
Go for the greens: Go for the salad bar or choose a large entree salad with grilled chicken or shrimp with fat-free or low-fat dressing on the side.
Smart choice: Select grilled or roasted lean meats — such as turkey, chicken breast, lean ham or lean roast beef. Also choose items that are steamed, fresh, broiled or poached.
Just say no: Avoid fried, breaded, crispy, au-gratin foods and dishes with “cream” in the title.
Have it your way: Don’t settle for what comes with your sandwich or meal. Ask for healthier options and substitutions.
Watch what you drink: Many beverages contain a large number of calories. Order water or unsweetened iced tea. If you must have soda, make it diet. Also, make shakes and other ice-cream drinks as an occasional treat.
Visit the Healthy Dining Finder  website to locate restaurants that have joined the Healthy Dining Program to support American’s health and nutrition goals. Below are links to nutrition information for fast food establishments.

New bike law makes it safer for cyclist

If you haven’t heard there was a new law passed related to cyclists and vehicles. It states: 

Motorists must give at least 3 feet of space when passing bicyclists or electric bicycles in Nevada.
The 3 Foot Passing Bill, SB248, was signed into law in Nevada on October 1.  This bill requires a driver of a motor vehicle to overtake and pass a bicycle or an electric bicycle proceeding in the same direction by: (1) moving the vehicle into the immediate left lane, if there is more than one lane traveling in the same direction and it is safe to move into the lane; or (2) passing to the left of the bicycle or electric bicycle at a distance of not less than 3 feet from the bicycle or electric bicycle.
We have many people who cycle here in the valley and the intent of this new law is to make it safer for everyone trying to get around. Hopefully it will also encourage more people to get out and ride their bike!

To help you get your feet wet with cycling, the RTC is providing classes about bike maintenance and safety. Learn how to change a flat, the laws of the road, wheel and brake maintenance and much more.

Another great benefit from the RTC is Bike valet at the First Friday event. If you have ever been to First Friday then you know that it is a busy event and parking can sometimes be a pain. Thanks to the RTC, you can ride your bike to the Bonneville Transit Center and valet your bike in their indoor bike facility.    http://youtu.be/KaOS1-jZ1AU