Our Health & Wellness/Fitness Educators at CCE Clinton are working hard to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. In an effort to keep engagement and continue programming via the web, they will be sharing health and wellness information as well as creating video content. This page will serve as a blog of sorts, updating frequently and listing information by most recent at the top with older posts further down the page.
Note: CCE Clinton is now offering online fitness programs. These live classes will be streamed using Zoom. Please notice the schedule below. For information on how to join any of these classes contact Mary P. Breyette at email@example.com
Range of Motion: Monday from 9:00-10 a.m.
Growing Stronger/Balance: Tuesday from 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Growing Stronger-Strong Bones: Wednesday from 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Chair Chi: Thursday from 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Sponsored by Clinton County Office of Aging, collaborating with Senior Planet and Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County
For information on how to join any of these classes contact Mary P. Breyette at firstname.lastname@example.org
Detailed class information can be found at the following link: http://cceclinton.org/resources/exercise-programs-description
Fact Sheet: Sun Exposure Tips
Recipe: Dilly Cucumber Salad
Fact Sheet: Produce Storage Guide
Recipe: Grilled Vegetable Quesadilla
Fact Sheet: 10 Tips for Vegetarians
Recipe: Vegetable Lo Mein
Fact Sheet: My Plate: Enjoying Local Foods
Recipe: Bulgur Chickpea Salad
As the holiday weekend approaches, here is a set of guidelines from the CDC on hosting gatherings and cook-outs. I have found it easiest to discuss everyone’s expectations and comfort level before the gathering. This is easiest when only gathering with limited numbers of people. Have fun, but be safe. If you decide to skip any gatherings, remember that many of us are doing the same and try to find a special way to celebrate.
Hosting gatherings or cook-outs
Remind guests to stay home if they are sick
Encourage social distancing
Wear cloth face coverings
Clean hands often
Limit the number of people handling or serving food
Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items
Recipe: Dilly Cucumber Salad.pdf
Have a great weekend and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments: email@example.com
Now that the weather is heating up and our region is opening up a little, maybe you have been tempted to go through the drive through for a refreshing beverage (I know I have been tempted!). I think the message of the health risk that consuming sweetened beverages regularly has gotten through to many of us in regards to soda (though quitting that habit can be very difficult and behavior change is challenging!)but not many people think of sweetened beverages beyond soft drinks. Many people I know who never drink soda, will drink coffee or tea based beverages regularly with little thought to their nutrition.
Consider that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommend that we consume no more than 10% of our total calories from added sugar. In a 2,000 calorie diet, that would be 12 tsps of sugar per day. The reason for this recommendation is that more added sugar (added sugar is not naturally occurring amounts of sugar, like we would experience in fruit or plain milk) is a major contributor not only to diabetes, but also heart disease and certain types of cancer. Added sugar is bad for our health and regularly consuming excessive amounts puts us at risk.
Since it is hot out- let’s take a minute to think of frozen coffee drinks and iced teas. These can be healthy choices, neither contains sugar, fat, or really many calories on their own, but often the drinks we see advertised in fast food places are shockingly full of added sugar and even saturated fat. Here are a few examples- and I do not mean to pick on any one establishment- these can be found all over!
-A large butter pecan frozen coffee with cream=1,160 calories, over 100% DV saturated fat, and 42 tsp of sugar.
-A Trenta smores Frappuccino= over 900 calories, over 100% DV saturated fat, and 30 tsp of sugar
So a few things to note-
These are the big drinks! Getting a small drink dramatically reduces all of sugar, fat and calories. Get a small, then drink water!
Ask for less- the sugar is added to each drink individually, often pumps of syrup- ask your server what the typical amount is and reduce from there, you may find you like it better with less sugar as you can taste the coffee more.
Reduce the fat- most places offering these sorts of drinks can substitute in lower fat and even skim milk- which not only makes a big difference in saturated fat, but also in calories.
Iced tea and other fruity cold drinks can have a lot of added sugar- ask if it is possible to get your favorite drink with less.
Staying home, but miss your favorites? Would love to treat yourself, but feel these drinks cost too much? Try making your own! There are a lot of copycat recipes on the internet, complete with healthy modifications that can fit your dietary needs and tastes. Try it out!
As always- feel free to reach out with questions and comments, I would love to hear from you! Jbw47@cornell.edu
It is grilling season! I think we often think of protein when we think of the grill, but the grill can add a lot of flavor to vegetables (even fruit) and be a great way to work towards the recommended 2 ½ to 3 cups per day recommended. Vegetables are considered a nutrient dense food- a food that has a lot of nutrition per calorie. Eating a variety of produce is a great way to ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals, as well as enough fiber. Making half of the food we consume vegetables and fruit is a good way to reduce our risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Wrapping vegetables in foil is a good way to grill them, but you get a steamed vegetable packet; a decent side dish, but missing that grilled smoky flavor. I often cook vegetables on a cooler part of the grill. Keep in mind how long vegetables will take to cook in the oven- a slab of sweet potato will take a lot longer than a sliced zucchini. Here are a few ways to try other vegetables on the grill:
Another thing to try is grilling your dessert- slices of fresh pineapple, halves of peaches, or citrus fruit. You may want to omit oil and a sprinkle of sugar or drizzle of honey can enhance the caramelization on the fruit.
Keep food safety in mind while grilling- if you are grilling meat- do not use marinade used for meat on the vegetables (keep them separate as vegetables cook much quicker and may not come to safe temperature for bacteria found in meat). Also wash anything that has come in contact with raw meat or seafood in hot soapy water prior to using again.
Here is a link to black bean burgers from the MyPlate Kitchen:
Do you have a favorite grill recipe? Questions about grilling or food safety? Feel free to reach out to me, Jordy, Nutrition Educator, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
I hope all is well! This week’s topic: hydration!
Being sufficiently hydrated is really important. Water is vital for our bodies in all of its functions. In a 2009 study, even mild dehydration (a 1-2% loss of body weight, which is typical of water loss during a modest amount of exercise, without regular rehydration, or just typical of one who does not drink enough water daily) participants demonstrated cognitive impacts, like negative mood, fatigue and confusion*.
The CDC lists these important functions the hydration plays in our bodies:
As a nutrition educator, I often hear people cite the “8 glasses of water a day” amount for being sufficiently hydrated, but the good news is that is not exactly correct, so do not feel overwhelmed if have had a hard time reaching that mark. The CDC does not actually recommend an amount- but recommends that everyone drink water daily. It is also recommended that you should intentionally consume additional water if you are physical exerting yourself, are in a very warm environment, or experiencing a fever or vomiting/diarrhea.
There is water in many foods that we consume- which is why there is probably not a specific guideline- diet plays a role in hydration. So while you should consume water regularly- also choosing foods like fruits and vegetables- will also help you to stay hydrated. Apples are 84% water!
Here are a few ideas to help you to consume extra water:
Feel free to get in touch with questions or comments- Jordy at email@example.com.
Have a great week!
Hope all is well after last week’s surprisingly hot weather. The included infographic ( Takeout Infographic) shows how to safely handle takeout- takeout food is low risk and a great way to support our local community. Restaurants and their employees benefit from takeout orders and some are able to offer delivery options as well as takeout. Check out your local favorites; some restaurants have modified their menus to better serve take out customers. I personally have been doing takeout almost once a week- and it is my favorite night!
For an easy main dish recipe check out this one from Food Hero: https://foodhero.org/recipes/spinach-chicken-italian It has only 4 ingredients and would taste great served with whole grain pasta or bread. If you do not have the chicken breast or would like to have a higher fiber protein choice, try it with chick peas. Reduce the cheese to reduce the saturated fat.
Do not forget, if you have any questions about food (planning, shopping, handling, recipe ideas, storage/preservation) feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you!
I hope everyone has been enjoying the warmth and sunshine. Remember that social distancing measures are still in place and if you cannot avoid being within 6 feet of others, please wear a mask. Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when returning from public and use hand sanitizer and avoid touching our face in the meantime. I am sorry, I know this sounds redundant, but with Clinton County cases of COVID-19 rising again, it is worth the reminder.
The good news, is that you do not need to (and actually should NOT be) sanitizing your groceries! For more information on food safety during this pandemic- check out Cornell’s Food Safety Resources: https://instituteforfoodsafety.cornell.edu/coronavirus-covid-19/food-safety-recommendation-consumer/ and feel free to reach out to me for specific questions or guidance: Jordy @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Though there is not much variety of local food available yet- it is asparagus time! This is my first year getting actual stalks of asparagus in my garden- but I think we will only have a few. Here is a recipe in hopes you have more of it than I do, or pick some up from a farmer or at the grocery store. https://foodhero.org/recipes/ginger-almond-asparagus
Have a great week!
Between the beautiful weather and entering phase 1 of reopening, I think we are all pretty anxious to get out of the house. Many of us in the North Country are fortunate enough to have at least a small outdoor space, our own yards. If you are going into a public space- social distancing guidelines are still in place and there is still an individual and community risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19. Here are a few guidelines from the CDC regarding how to reduce your risk for infection in public.
Stay home if sick
Order online or use curbside pickup
Protect yourself while shopping
Use hand sanitizer
Limit in person contact if possible
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after accepting deliveries or collecting mail
Bank online whenever possible
Use disinfecting wipes on handles or buttons before you touch them
Talk to your doctor online, by phone, or e-mail
If you must visit in-person, protect yourself and others
Limit in-person visits to the pharmacy
If you or a member of your household has signs of COVID-19, call your doctor first, instead of going to the office or the emergency department.
Call 911 if you believe it is an emergency.
Here are the recipes of the week: Red Potato and Asparagus Salad/Baked Rhubarb Recipes
Stay well! And as always, reach out to us at Extension with any questions or comments. I would love to hear what you have been cooking or answer questions about substitutions, food preservation, or ideas for random pantry items!
Hope you are all well! This week I would like to focus on the basics of label reading- largely because I have felt a little more relaxed in the kitchen (bedtimes have officially shifted with school out for the foreseeable future), meaning I have been looking at packaging more and taking note of the nutrition facts on the foods we eat.
Recently, all food manufacturers had to update their product nutrition labels to comply with new FDA guidelines. The “New” label looks a lot like the previous nutrition facts label, as you can see below. The changes are all meant to benefit the consumer by being easier to read and more reflective of consumer choices (some serving sizes changed) and consumer interest and needs (now includes more information, such as added sugar).
A few pointers for using the nutrition facts label:
For more information, check out this publication:
Here is a recipe:
With a little extra time at home, this could be a great time to set some goals and work towards them with fewer distractions. Many of us want to make changes in our diet, but often get distracted by the hurdles life throws our way. This is a good time to focus on yourself and a goal and make steps towards that goal.
To goal set- first try to think about a positive change you would like to see. It is very helpful to frame a goal in a positive way, vs. a negative way. Often the outcome of a negative goal is positive, so it is the same idea, just framed differently.
For example: I would like to stop eating so many sweets.
This is negative; I am identifying what I want to stop doing. I happen to snack on sweets at night, before bed. To reflect a positive goal I could say:
I would like to choose healthier evening snacks.
Next make sure your goal is specific, both in the “what” and “when”. My goal: I would like to choose healthier evening snacks, is positive but could be more specific in both areas. The what here: healthier snacks, is not that specific. I know that I often eat less fruit than is recommended. So to make the what more specific: I would like to choose fruit as part of my evening snack. Now the when. It is evening, but realistically, I should start with a few days per week, work in more if I can. New specific goal:
I would like to choose fruit as my evening snack, Monday-Thursday, this week.
To make you goal successful, a few more tips:
Looking for some help to get that specific goal? You can always email myself, email@example.com. I have years of nutrition experience, especially in behavior change and would love to hear from you! You can also check out the USDA’s Choose My Plate Plan to get an individualized plan with targets for each food group and physical activity recommendations.
And a recipe:
Video and recipe. Feel free to substitute any vegetables that you see on this or add a little grated cheese, like mozzarella, if you do not have feta. This is an easy meal for 1 or 2 or for a whole family.
I hope everyone is well and staying safe. Remember we should continue to practice social distancing. That said, the weather is getting nicer- this is a great time to get started on yard work and maybe even a little gardening (I am still expecting frost). Yard work can be a great form of physical activity. Here are a few tips to stay safe and comfortable.
For nutrition this week: Peaches! It is almost time for fresh peaches to be in season, but keeping fresh, frozen and canned fruit is a great way to ensure you have fruit to eat every day.
I hope you are all well and continuing to practice social distancing. Keep in mind that distancing does not mean isolation. Most of us are feeling more isolated than usual with the disruption to our routines and limited contact with others, but here are a few safe ways to connect:
Please remember while doing any of these, stay safe- keep 6 feet away, use a mask when in public, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer often. But please, connect! It is very important for our wellness to do so and I bet whomever you are connecting with will be encouraged by hearing from/seeing you!
Food Tip: Broccoli 5 Ways
Have a great week! Please reach out with any questions, concerns, or just to say hello- firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope that you all are well. Today I thought I would talk a little about mental health and its impact on our physical health. I had the opportunity to take a whole health training while working at a mental health facility and the thing that struck me most as we learned about various ways to manage one’s whole health (and guiding those techniques in others) was how often cardiologist and cardiovascular studies were cited as evidence for the importance of managing mental health. Meditation and mindfulness were cited again and again as a healthy, safe ways to manage stress.
According to the American Heart Association, “Meditation and mindfulness are practices — often using breathing, quiet contemplation or sustained focus on something, such as an image, phrase or sound — that help you let go of stress and feel more calm and peaceful.” Stress is something we all face, in varying degrees, every day. These days, the disruption to our regular schedules, anxiety about illness, lack of control and so many unanswered questions, we are all facing an additional load of stress. This manifests itself in a variety of ways mentally, but also impacts us physically, both in the short term and long term. This is a great time to try meditation and mindfulness.
When you begin these practices it can help to have guidance. Keep in mind it is a practice, which means you should do it regularly and will improve over time. As a response to Covid-19, NYS has made a portion of Headspace’s content available for free. Headspace is an online source for guided meditation and mindfulness activities. To try this, go to www.headspace.com/ny . There are a variety of formats, these recordings are just one way to start. Another great way to reduce stress is with mindful movement- like Mary’s Chair Chi class, now broadcast on Thursday mornings, from 9-10. Email Mary, email@example.com to participate!
Mindfulness can help you to make better food choices as well. Check out this info-graphic from The American Heart Association:
If you want to put healthier eating habits on the menu, mindfulness may be a simple and effective place to start! It's not about dieting or restriction- it's about taking a moment to take it in.
Try these easy ways to incorporate mindful eating into your day, so you can Eat Smart at every meal:
Ponder: Check in with yourself about your hunger before you eat- you may actually be thirsty, bored or stressed/
Appraise: Take a moment to take it in. How does it smell? Do you really want it? IS it more than you need?
Slow: Slow down so your brain can keep up with your stomach. Put your fork down between bites and focus on the flavor.
Savor: Enjoy your food. Take a moment to savor the satisfaction of each bite- the taste, texture, everything!
Stop: Stop when you're full- there's no need to join the clean plate club if it means overeating/
Try one or more of these tactics to help you eat more mindfully. And for more ways to be Healthy for Good, visit https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living
I hope everyone is doing well. As always, feel free to reach out to me: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or topics you would like to hear more about.
Substitutions- Now is a good time to get creative in the kitchen. We should all being trying hard to limit our trips into public spaces, even essential ones, like grocery stores. So what can you do if you run out of a kitchen staple before you need to do a big shop? Substitute! Here are a few ideas (keep in mind, the substitution may not be perfect, but every trip out means potential exposure or potentially exposing others).
Eggs: here are a few ideas for baking without eggs. I have tried the first two and they work best in a recipe with only 1-2 eggs. The last idea can be whipped and used in a variety of ways.
Dairy: Here are a few ideas for different dairy items.
There are so many ways to substitute- check out this Extension publication for a very thorough list!
Physical Activity Tip:
Hopefully we are all building a new routine by now. If you attended fitness class regularly prior to this period, you might want to schedule in regular physical activity alternatives to these. And yes, schedule them! Write down what you plan to do during the week and when. It is easy to come up with excuses to not exercise or simply let it slip your mind until another day has passed. Plan on being active regularly throughout the week, schedule it and stay committed. Actually have a day of the week and time of day, just like other important things we schedule. For example: M, W,F take a 30 minute afternoon walk, T, Th do the Chair Chi video posted below, also before dinner.
I hope you are all doing well. Remember that social distancing is still in effect and it is very important for all of us to avoid contact with people outside of our households and limit our trips to public places. Again, please feel free to email me email@example.com or call (518) 561-7450 to leave a message for me (I will receive the message remotely and be able to return your call). I would love to hear from you, either a hello, a question, or a topic you would like covered.
Social distancing means less trips to the grocery store. If you do not make a shopping list- this is the time to start! Here are a few tips to consider when making a list:
Take a walk! Walking is a wonderful form of exercise and a good way to not only stay in shape, but also to relieve stress. Consider safety while walking- use any assistive devices you may need- remember a fall can be devastating to your health. A walker can be a real asset when you need a rest, as most have built in seats. Also- walk in well-lit area with highly visible attire- bright colors/reflective gear/lights if needed. If your street is not safe for walking, drive to a quiet place with a walking trail or sidewalk; just keep your distance if you cross paths with others. I find it nice to be out and wave and say hello, not to mention the exercise is important.
In this video, CCE Clinton's Executive Director/Health & Wellness Educator Mary P. Breyette, instructs a virtual Chair-Chi class.
It is quite bizarre not seeing each other during this time. I hope everyone is well! I will be reaching out weekly with a brief post, a recipe idea and a wellness tip- similar to the handouts offered at our fitness classes. Feel free to share with anyone who may be interested and please reach out to me with any questions, concerns, or just to say hello! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear your ideas, coping strategies, and questions (especially food related- I am a nutrition educator as well and love a good kitchen question!).
For this week- I would like to remind everyone to stretch. Often tension will display itself physically, as well as emotionally. So everyone reading this, try a few rounds of gentle shoulder rolls and some gentle neck stretches, remember look over the shoulder, hold and switch and then gently tilt your head/ear towards your shoulder, hold and switch. We often hold tension in our neck and upper back and these stretches will help with that.
Take stock of your refrigerator! Now is a great time to reduce waste. If you have any fresh produce or other products that need to be consumed soon plan on using them soon. Many things can be frozen- remember to blanch your vegetables, fruit can be frozen once washed and trimmed, and many other products can be frozen as well. Email me with specific questions! Also stay tuned to the Nutrition Educators of CCE Clinton County on Facebook for a blanching video this week!
Breathing! Try this as a way to relax and get better breathing habits, from the American Lung Association. Check out the video: https://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/protecting-your-lungs/breathing-exercises.html
Pursed Lip Breathing:
This exercise reduces the number of breaths you take and keeps your airways open longer. More air is able to flow in and out of your lungs so you can be more physically active. To practice it, simply breathe in through your nose and breathe out at least twice as long through your mouth, with pursed lips.
Belly Breathing, aka D iaphragmatic Breathing:
As with pursed lip breathing, start by breathing in through your nose. Pay attention to how your belly fills up with air. You can put your hands lightly on your stomach, or place a tissue box on it, so you can be aware of your belly rising and falling. Breathe out through your mouth at least two to three times as long as your inhale. Be sure to relax your neck and shoulders as you retrain your diaphragm to take on the work of helping to fill and empty your lungs.
Last updated July 2, 2020