Check out our newest app for eating healthy

If you’re looking for a fun way to motivate yourself to eat more fruits and vegetables, look no further than the Half My Plate app, which is a customizable tracker that helps you reach your goals for a healthy diet by inspiring you make half your plate fruits and vegetables. This app includes personalized fruit and vegetable recommended amounts and a searchable database of recipes that feature fruits and vegetables. Download with apple or android.

Plus, if you download the app now and email your physical address to gethealthy@snhdmail.org, we’ll mail you a free colander to help you wash all of your fruits and vegetables! (While supplies last). Your new get healthy colander will make washing your fruits and veggies even more exciting! Download the app and email us!

Patrol.Protect.Prepare.

This week marks the kick off of the annual “April Pools Day” drowning prevention awareness campaign. The focus of this campaign is to promote drowning prevention during the spring and summer months when swimming pools are in highest use in the Las Vegas Valley.

As part of this year’s event, the Southern Nevada Health District in cooperation with agencies and the Drowning Prevention Coalition unveiled a new outreach campaign that reminds the public to always keep these key steps in mind to prevent drownings:

1.Patrol – Always designate an adult Water Watcher to actively watch children in the water, including pools, bathtubs, or other bodies of water.

2.Protect – Install barriers between your home and pool to ensure safety including fences, door alarms, locks and spa safety covers. Lock doggie doors children can’t crawl through them.

3.Prepare – Create a water safety plan for your family. Enroll children in swimming lessons, take adult CPR classes, and be sure to equip your pool with proper safety equipment including life jackets, personal floatation devices and rescue tools. If an emergency happens, have a telephone nearby to call 9-1-1.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among Clark County children aged 1-4 years. With more than 100,000 residential swimming pools and 5,000 public pools in Clark County the drowning risk for young children is ever present.

As part of the new rebranded drowning prevention campaign, Child Drowning Prevention Coalition members are encouraging all adults to take a pledge to be a Water Watcher every time children in their care are in or near water, and when children are under the supervision of other adults, to ask those parents about their Water Watcher plans.

Pledge cards will be distributed in English and Spanish at outreach events in the community and available at www.GetHealthyClarkCounty.org to be printed out. Photos and video of the public taking the pledge and supporting the effort can be shared on Facebook using the hashtags #NVWaterWatchers and #PoolSafely. The Health District also has Water Watcher lanyards that are available while supplies last for adults who take the pledge.

Visit the Get Healthy Clark County website for more information about the “Be a Water Watcher” pledge effort, a partnership with the national Pool Safely campaign sponsored by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. 

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Getting the most nutrition for your food budget starts with a little extra planning before you shop. There are many ways to save money on the foods that you eat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have some budget-friendly tips for eating right.

Plan what you’re going to eat. Before you head for the grocery store, plan your meals and snacks for the week. Review recipes for what ingredients are needed. Check to see what foods you already have and make a list of what you need to buy. When you shop with a list, you will be less likely to buy extra items that are not on it.

Decide how much to make. Making a large batch by doubling a recipe will save time in the kitchen later on. Extra portions can be used for lunches or meals later in the week, or freeze leftovers in individual containers for future use. Plus, foods purchased in bulk are almost always cheaper.

Shop for foods that are in season. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually easier to get and may be a lot less expensive. Your local farmer’s market is also a great source of seasonal produce. Just remember that some fresh fruits and vegetables don’t last long. Buy small amounts at a time to avoid having to throw away spoiled produce.

Try canned or frozen produce. At certain times of the year, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables may be less expensive than fresh. For canned items, choose fruit canned in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with “low sodium” or “no salt added” on the label.

Cook more, eat out less. Many foods prepared at home are cheaper and more nutritious. Also, convenience foods like frozen dinners, pre-cut vegetables and instant rice or oatmeal will cost you more than if you make them from scratch. Go back to basics and find a few simple and healthy recipes that your family enjoys.

Watch portion sizes. Eating too much of even lower cost foods and beverages can add up to extra dollars and calories. Use smaller plates, bowls and glasses to help keep portions under control. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and the other half with whole grains and lean meat, poultry, seafood or beans. This is an easy way to eat a balanced meal while controlling portions and cost. To complete the meal, add a glass of fat-free or low-fat milk or a serving of fat-free yogurt for dessert.

Make your own healthy snacks. Convenience costs money, so many snacks, even healthy ones, usually cost more when sold individually. Make your own snacks by purchasing large tubs of low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese and dividing them into one cup containers. For trail mix, combine nuts, dried fruit and whole grain pretzels or cereal; store small portions in airtight containers. Air-popped popcorn and whole fresh fruits in season also tend to cost less compared to prepackaged items.

Healthy Recipe Ideas

Looking for some fresh new ideas to jumpstart your healthy meal planning? Check out these resources for some new recipes to help you eat more fruits and veggies.

Get Healthy Recipes

Flavors of the Heart Cookbook

More Matters Recipes

Fruits and vegetables are part of a well-balanced and healthy eating plan. Helping control your weight is not the only benefit of eating more fruits and vegetables. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health. The more you can incorporate them into your cooking, the easier it will be to eat them. You can create lower-calorie versions of some of your favorite dishes by substituting low-calorie fruits and vegetables in place of higher-calorie ingredients. The water and fiber in fruits and vegetables will add volume to your dishes, so you can eat the same amount of food with fewer calories. And you will leave feeling full after your meal!

Put Your best fork forward

The Get Healthy team is encouraging everyone to “Put Your Best Fork Forward” for National Nutrition Month.  The annual observance was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and serves as a reminder that every bite counts. In addition to inspiring everyone to take small steps to improve their healthy eating habits – one forkful at a time – this month is also a time to encourage people to incorporate more physical activities into their daily routines. For moderately active adults, the recommended daily amount of fruit is 2 cups each day and 2 ½ half cups of vegetables. This is a great time to download many of our resources to help you develop healthier eating habits and eat the recommended of fruits and veggies.  We have several free nutrition related mobile apps and resources to make eating healthier fun and easier.

Half My Plate mobile app helps you eat a healthy diet and track how many servings of fruit and vegetables you are consuming each day.

SNAP Cooking app to allows users to search for healthy recipes based on ingredients or by recipe name. Users can also bookmark their favorites and create a shopping list. Those using federal SNAP benefits can use a feature that enables them to enter their ZIP code to locate SNAP retailers in their area.

Sugar Savvy Beverage app tells users how much sugar is in the beverages they are consuming.

The Nutrition Challenge is a free 8-week online program will help you increase the number of fruits and vegetables you eat each day.

And don’t forget about our mobile apps that promote being active. Check out the Walk Around Nevada and Neon to Nature and get moving in our great city! Download free from iTunes and Google Play.

10 ways to eat more fruits and veggies!

Building a healthy plate is easy when you make half your plate fruits and vegetables. It’s also a great way to add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and fiber. All this is packed in fruits and vegetables that are low in calories and fat. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. Try the following tips to enjoy more fruits and vegetables every day:

1. Variety abounds when using vegetables as pizza topping. Try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.

2. Mix up a breakfast smoothie made with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.

3. Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla.

4. Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite low-fat salad dressing for dipping.

5. Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.

6. Add color to salads with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach leaves or mandarin oranges.

7. Keep cut vegetables handy for mid-afternoon snacks, side dishes, lunch box additions or a quick nibble while waiting for dinner. Ready-to-eat favorites: red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas or whole radishes.

8. Place colorful fruit where everyone can easily grab something for a snack-on-the run. Keep a bowl of fresh, just ripe whole fruit in the center of your kitchen or dining table.

9. Get saucy with fruit. Puree apples, berries, peaches or pears in a blender for a thick, sweet sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry, or on pancakes, French toast or waffles.

10. Stuff an omelet with vegetables. Turn any omelet into a hearty meal with broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes or onions with low-fat sharp cheddar cheese.

Save time and money at the grocery store

It is National Nutrition Month and we want to focus on the ways we can all eat healthier. Making just small shifts in our food choices, can add up over time. And the grocery store is a great place to start. There is more variety on today’s grocery store shelves than ever before. With so many choices, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Make shopping easier by following these 10 guidelines:

Don’t shop when you’re hungry. You’re more likely to make impulse purchases on less nutritious items that cost more.
Make a shopping list and stick to it. If you keep a running list at home of items that need to be replaced, you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything.
Organize your list into sections according to the layout of the supermarket. This cuts down on time and the number of passes you need to make through the aisles.
Check for supermarket specials. These are printed in the newspaper or online. Plan your shopping trip around what’s on sale.

If you are a single-person household, there are special ways to maximize your food dollars at the grocery store.

Buy frozen fruit and vegetables. This gives you the ability to take out the portions you need and buy these staples in bulk without worry about spoilage.
Look for foods sold in single servings. You’ll find juice, yogurt, frozen meals, soup and pudding.
Shop from bulk bins. You can buy smaller amounts, and reduce food waste.
Talk to the butchers. Ask them, or the produce managers, for a smaller amount of prepackaged items.
Buy produce that keeps longer in the refrigerator. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and carrots.
Buy small loaves of bread. Then, wrap and freeze bread you won’t use right away.

Watch out for the Salty Six

A lot of the packaged food we eat is processed and made more palatable by adding a lot of salt. About 77 percent of the salt we consume is already in the prepared foods we eat—it’s not coming from our saltshakers. It is not easy to combat this salt overload, but it can be done. The outer edges of the grocery store contain fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat and dairy—all of the fresh items that are vital to a balanced, low-sodium diet. The inner edges of the grocery store are home to the Salty Six, the six foods that can add the highest levels of sodium into our diets. Focus on eating less of these and you can reduce your sodium intake!  

1. Bread and rolls
Most bread will have 100 to 200 milligrams of sodium per slice. If you’re eating a sandwich, those numbers add up quickly. Read the label and find a whole-grain bread that has less than 200 milligrams of sodium per serving. Also consider switching to whole-grain pita pockets, whole-grain English muffins or whole-grain bagel thins, all of which have fewer than 150 milligrams of sodium. And limit how much bread you eat throughout the day. Two slices should be the maximum.

2. Cold cuts and cured meats
Just six thin slices of deli meat can add up to half of a day’s worth of recommended sodium intake. Ham is a particularly high offender, and there’s no close alternative. If you do indulge in lunch meats, find a low-sodium variety, but be sure to read the labels; even those cold cuts marketed as low-sodium may run high. One viable alternative is to substitute hummus, egg whites, veggies or low sodium tuna, as alternate sandwich options.

3. Pizza
Pizza brings together a melting pot of high-sodium ingredients: cheese, pepperoni, sausage, tomato sauce and crust. Lessen the blow by choosing an olive oil sauce instead of tomato, ask them to go light on the cheese and opt for veggie toppings instead of meat. Limit yourself to two small slices, and have a salad or steamed vegetable to round out the meal.

4. Poultry
This one can be sneaky. What looks like a natural fresh or frozen piece of chicken could actually be injected with broth or sodium solution preservatives that boost sodium content up to 200 milligrams per serving. Read the label, and if has anything other than “chicken,” look for another brand. Even fresh poultry will have some inherent sodium. When purchasing chicken, avoid any prepared or processed products, which are packed with seasonings and sodium and are often fried. Consider fresh fish to bake or grill as another low-sodium alternative.

5. Soup
Many prepared soups are a hidden bunker of salt. You can easily blow an entire day’s worth of your allotted sodium intake just by eating a single serving which often measures in at 600 to 1,000 milligrams per serving (with two servings per can). It helps to choose a lower-sodium variety, but even those can score 400-plus milligrams per cup. Homemade soups (ones made without store-bought broth or bullion) are an option, but for those people who are used to high-sodium soups, the transition may seem flavorless and bland but with time your taste buds will adjust.

6. Sandwiches
Burgers and sandwiches are another hidden trove of salt, particularly if the meal is coming from a restaurant. It’s extremely challenging to follow a low-sodium diet if you dine out, particularly if you eat at fast food spots, where a single sandwich can contain a day’s worth of sodium. One way to lower sodium content is to request the burger or sandwich grilled and not fried, without cheese and with the condiments on the side (BBQ sauce and ketchup, in particular, add sodium and sugar). A better way to go is to share a sandwich and order a fresh side, such as a salad, fruit or low fat yogurt.

Myth or Fact: Heart Health Month

There are common myths about cardiovascular medications that can give false information to people who need them. In addition to lifestyle changes to control your high blood pressure your doctor may determine that you need prescription medication. When you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, your medication can help you regulate and lower your blood pressure.  By treating high blood pressure, you can help prevent a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure and peripheral artery disease.

Check out these common myths about cardiovascular medications:

Myth: I feel fine, so I can stop taking my medication.

Fact: For your medication to work properly, you should always take it as prescribed. Feeling fine is a good thing, but also could indicate that the medication is working. Never stop taking medication without first talking to your healthcare provider and always remember to follow the recommendations of your healthcare team.
 

Myth: I eat healthy and exercise so I don’t need to or can eventually stop taking my medication.

Fact: High blood pressure or high cholesterol can be lifelong issues. Healthy eating and exercise can make a difference, but these changes may not always be enough to control high blood pressure or high cholesterol. If you need medication, taking it as prescribed can reduce your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. Remember to talk to your healthcare provider about your personal health history and what’s right for you.
 

MYTH: I’m taking my medication, so I can eat whatever I want.

Fact: Taking medication does not eliminate the need for a healthy lifestyle. While medication can help control your high blood pressure or high cholesterol, it’s important to eat healthy and enjoy regular physical activity as well. Consider grilling or baking instead of frying, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and check nutrition labels to find foods with 140 mg or less of sodium. Above all, always remember to follow your healthcare provider’s advice.

 

Tips to reduce sodium

Most of us consume too much sodium in our diets. In fact, most of us consume nearly 50% more than the daily recommended limit. It is not hard to understand why when a large portion of the sodium consumed comes from processed and prepared foods, not just the salt shaker. Here is a breakdown of where the sodium in our diet comes from; 5% added during cooking, 6% added at the table, 77% processed or prepared foods. Excess sodium increases the risk for high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.  One in three Americans adults has high blood pressure. Taking steps to reduce sodium intake can help prevent premature deaths and heart conditions.

What Can You Do? Here are some tips on reducing sodium in your diet.
1.Prepare meals at home.

2.Limit foods with more than 200mg of sodium per serving.

3.Learn to read food labels for percent Daily Value or amount of sodium in milligrams.

4.Use herbs and spices to flavor foods instead of reaching for the saltshaker.

5.Select fresh or frozen food over canned foods. If using canned goods select the lowest level of sodium and rinse before using to remove additional sodium.

6.Prepare your own meals to control the sodium content. 

7.When available, buy low-sodium, lower sodium, reduced-sodium, or no salt-added.