June is Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month!
Therefore, this newsletter is about why fruits and vegetables are so important and the recommended amount to eat.
A great way to find organic, fresh and colorful produce, is visiting a Farmer’s Market. Stay tuned to find helpful links to find your nearest farmer’s market.
Lastly, who doesn’t love a good salad? Hopefully you will love the recipe of the month, a simple but adventurous, nutritious and delicious hearty salad.
Why Fruits and Vegetables?
These inspiring foods: ¨Are full of vitamins and minerals to help you feel healthy and energized.
¨ Have fiber, which fills you up and helps your digestion.
¨ Reduce disease risk, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer
¨ Are nature’s convenience food – easy to prepare and eat
¨ Add variety and color to your plate
How many Fruits and Vegetables?
Maybe you’ve heard all the reasons before, but Americans are still not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Here is what to aim for:
¨1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit per day . This is about 3 servings of fruit daily
¨Try ½ cup blueberries with breakfast, 1 peach at lunch, and
½cup strawberries in the evening
¨2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. This is about 3 servings of vegetables per day
¨Try ½c up spinach scrambled with an egg for breakfast,
½ cup carrot and pepper slices in the afternoon, and 1 to 2 cups of colorful mixed green salad (with dark lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and more) with dinner.
Have you visited a farmers’ market lately?
There are a number of reasons why Farmer’s Markets are a great idea to both the consumer and the producer. The main one being that these smaller companies cannot afford to got through organic certification, so they do not label their produce organic. … but their farming principles are by true definition, organic”
Here are a few other wonderful reasons to visit a local farmer’s market:
SNAP and WIC cards are accepted at most farmers markets.
You can try a new fruit or vegetable!
Have you ever tasted gooseberries or rhubarb? Many farmers markets offer lesser known fruits and vegetables, providing a variety that can be both tasty and nutritious.
Farmers often have good recommendations on ways to prepare their products.
Farmers markets can be important anchors for vibrant communities.
Meet your local farmers, learn about foods grown in your area and catch up with friends and neighbors while stocking up with local goods. Supporting your local farmers market strengthens your community.
It’s a great way to get kids involved.
Let them pick out something new to try, then they can help prepare a meal or snack.
Shopping at farmers markets supports your local farmers and keeps the money you spend closer to your neighborhood.
Freshly picked ripe food is at its peak in flavor and nutrition.
Stop by your local farmers market today, learn about where your food comes from, and enjoy some delicious and nutritious food.
The United States Department of Agriculture can help you find the nearest farmers’ market!
Wash fruits and vegetables correctly.
Tips to washing produce (as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA))
- Wash produce. Many pre-cut, bagged produce items like lettuce are pre-washed. If so, it will be stated on the packaging. This pre-washed, bagged produce can be used without further washing.
- As an extra measure of caution, you can wash the produce again just before you use it. Pre-cut or pre-washed produce in open bags should be washed before using.
- Begin with clean hands. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
- Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables before preparing or eating. Produce that looks rotten should be discarded.
- All unpacked fruits and vegetables, as well as those packaged and not marked pre-washed, should be thoroughly washed before eating. This suggestion includes produce grown conventionally or organically at home, or produce that is purchased from a grocery store or farmer’s market.
Wash fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking.
- Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first.
- Washing fruits and vegetables with soap or detergent or using commercial produce washes is not recommended.
- Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
- Drying produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel may further reduce bacteria that may be present.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH:
TOSS A SIMPLE BUT HEARTY SALAD
- Combine washed salad greens, chopped red cabbage, fresh basil or cilantro, and a variety of sliced vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, snow peas, carrots, onions, cucumbers, and more.
- Top with your favorite protein, such as grilled steak, rotisserie chicken, cooked shrimp, garbanzo beans, tempeh, walnuts or edamame.
- Toss with a light dressing or a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
FITNESS TIPS TO STAY MOTIVATED
- Set goals
Start with simple goals and then progress to longer range goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious.
For example, if you haven’t exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be to walk 10 minutes a day three days a week. An intermediate goal might be to walk 30 minutes five days a week. A long-term goal might be to complete a 5K walk.
- Make it fun
Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes. If you’re not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Join a volleyball or softball league. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a health club or martial arts center. Discover your hidden athletic talent. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery — and you’re more likely to stick with a fitness program if you’re having fun.
- Make physical activity part of your daily routine
If it’s hard to find time for exercise, don’t fall back on excuses. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity. You can also slip in physical activity throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk up and down sidelines while watching the kids play sports. Pedal a stationary bike or do strength training exercises while you watch TV at night.
- Put it on paper
Are you hoping to lose weight? Boost your energy? Sleep better? Manage a chronic condition? Write it down. Seeing the benefits of regular exercise on paper may help you stay motivated.
You may also find it helps to keep an exercise diary. Record what you did during each exercise session, how long you exercised and how you felt afterward. Recording your efforts can help you work toward your goals — and remind you that you’re making progress.
- Join forces with friends, neighbors or others
You’re not in this alone. Invite friends or co-workers to join you when you exercise. Work out with your partner or other loved ones. Play soccer with your kids. Organize a group of neighbors to take fitness classes at a local health club.
- Reward yourself
After each exercise session, take a few minutes to savor the good feelings that exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise. External rewards can help, too. When you reach a longer range goal, treat yourself to a new pair of walking shoes or new tunes to enjoy while you exercise.
- Be flexible
If you’re too busy to work out or simply don’t feel up to it, take a day or two off. Be gentle with yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can.
Now that you’ve regained your enthusiasm, get moving! Set your goals, make it fun and pat yourself on the back from time to time. Remember, physical activity is for life. Review these tips whenever you feel your motivation slipping.
WISHING YOU A HEALTHY MONTH,