Keep your blood pressure in check by eating plenty of local produce– your kidney will thank you for it. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables ensures there is adequate potassium to balance out the negative effect salt has on our blood pressure. Kidneys regulate our blood pressure, so give them a hand, eat more potassium rich foods so they don’t have to work so hard. During March and early April, up your potassium levels by enjoying storage potatoes, onions, carrots and sweet potatoes. Dried cherries and apricots are also potassium powerhouses.
This year, consider what you should add into your daily diet rather than remove. Moving beyond restrictive diets is one of TLD’s top health goals for you in 2019.
Did you know that The American Cranberry is native to Michigan? While we are not the national leader in growing this fruit, our sandy soil, access to water and climate make them part of our fruit belt with major future growing potential. When you follow the seasons to guide your meals and menu planning, it is no surprise that the cranberry is part of our nation’s traditions.
Almost every decent meal starts with onions.
Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBA ISD) is using gardening as a tool to improve student health. Thanks to SNAP-ED funding through the USDA and the Michigan Fitness Foundation, TBA ISD implements a program called LifeSPAN, which performs cooking and nutrition lessons year round in the classroom to increase students fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity levels. Currently, they’re running summer garden camps where kids partake in nutrition lessons, help in school gardens, and cook healthy meals using produce they harvest.
Summer grilling is in full swing! Local vegetables are ready to join the picnic.
Here are our favorite vegetables to throw on the grill:
• Green Beans
• Summer squash & zucchini
Grilling vegetables is a good way to meet your daily vegetable intake goals or event go meat free at the next family barbecue. Find these veggies at a farmers market near you.
The National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, has identified that a high consumption of well-done, barbecued meats is associated with an increased risk of colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer due to the formation of harmful chemicals when they are cooked. Fruits and vegetables do not pose the same risk when grilled as long as you avoid charring by:
• Soaking wooden skewers in water to prevent burning kabobs;
• Using a grill basket to prevent small pieces from falling, which may cause flare-ups; &
• Staying attentive to the grill while cooking.
One of my favorite things to swap into the menu during the summer is this easy grilled sandwich when I’m ready for a break from the traditional BBQ fare. It’s high in dietary fiber, Vitamins A & C, and good source of protein- PLUS it is filling & tastes great!
Grilled Vegetable Sub Sandwich: (makes one serving)
½ sweet bell pepper (green, red, yellow) ¼ purple eggplant, skin on
¼ small summer squash, like zucchini, skin on 1 tbs. balsamic and olive oil dressing
¼ small onion, peeled 1 large Kaiser Roll or sandwich bun
1 slice provolone cheese (optional) olive oil, for lightly brushing
Cut the vegetables in uniform sizes. Lightly brush with olive oil. Place in a grill basket. Grill on low to medium heat until wilted or fork tender. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, toss with the TLD recommended The Redhead’s balsamic vinaigrette. Place vegetables (as many as can fit) on the Kaiser Roll and top with provolone cheese. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts: Cal 442 , Fat 23g, Sat Fat 5g, Carb 46g, Dietary Fiber 7g, Pro 14g, Vit A 40% DV, Vit C 136% DV, Calcium 17%
Paula Martin is the Community Health Coordinator for TLD and a registered dietitian. Contact here at email@example.com
February is Heart Health Month and also includes Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
Heart Health is a primary concern for those with disordered eating patterns. Disordered eating can cause heart health to suffer. The links are clear:
• The restriction of calories, food, and beverages causes rapid weight loss, and malnutrition, leading to accelerated muscle loss, and the heart muscle will weaken
• Significant changes or shifts in body weight can cause sudden cardiac arrest with permanent damage to the heart
• Certain disordered eating behaviors harm the electrolyte balance between sodium and potassium, promote dehydration, and may lower blood pressure or cause a slowing of the heart rate all of which are serious problems for heart health
• Binge eating or compulsive overeating may lead to high blood pressure, accumulation of fat deposits around the heart muscle, high cholesterol, diabetes and hormonal imbalances, which are known risk factors for the heart.
Disordered eating is a stress on the body; this stress can affect both physical and emotional health. Here are some suggestions to move into a heart-positive state of mind:
Feed your heart
Feeding your heart means learning to enjoy the power of healthful eating. It means learning to relate to food as nourishing friend, rather than a fattening enemy, and giving you permission to enjoy all foods. Feeding your heart means learning to fuel your body for health and wellness rather than eating in response to emotions –eating because “I’m stressed “ or recreation, as in “I’m bored”. Nourishment is found in our local fruits, vegetables, whole grains and reduced fat milk products.
Move your heart
Moving your heart means returning to the joy of childhood play. It means forgetting the ‘should’ about exercise, and changing the concept from grueling work-out to burn calories for weight loss to zestful playtime. Moving your heart is also the best way to keep physical hunger signals on cue and to naturally lift a sagging sprit.
Love your heart
Loving your heart and the body in which it resides is very hard in our fat-phobic, diet-obsessed world. It means accepting the diversity of human bodies and recognizing that no one should be discriminated against because of the shape of their skin. Loving your heart means celebrating your uniqueness, your many abilities and finally making friends with the mirror on the wall.
This information was adapted from D.Hayes, 1996 Moving Away from Diets.
Paula Martin, MS, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian and TLD’s Community Health Coordinator. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
What we choose to eat has huge implications on the planet’s ability to sustain us. Globally, food production accounts for approximately 33% of our total greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is, collectively, we have the power to mitigate some of the effects of climate change by choosing sustainable dietary patterns.
Learn from TLD’s Registered Dietitians about how your food choices can reduce your climate footprint: