HAHRC Beats: Eat right, your way, every day

The message on the whimsical sign at Cody Farms in Odell can apply to pears, right, as well as apples. Fresh fruits such as those grown here in the valley are one key to positive nutrition and wellness.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
The message on the whimsical sign at Cody Farms in Odell can apply to pears, right, as well as apples. Fresh fruits such as those grown here in the valley are one key to positive nutrition and wellness.

March is national nutrition month. This year’s theme is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day."

We all have different lifestyles and dietary needs. So it is important to remember there is no one perfect diet for all of us.

Here are some tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website (www.eatright.org) on how to eat healthier:

Workers: Busy work days and business travel can lead to on-the-fly meals.

Keep single-serve packages of crackers, fruit, peanut butter, low sodium soup or canned tuna in a desk drawer.

Always on the go? Tuck these in a purse, briefcase or backpack: granola bars, peanut butter and crackers, fresh fruit, trail mix or single-serve packages of whole grain cereal or crackers.

Athletes: Whether you are a competitive athlete or just enjoy working out, what you eat will affect your performance.

Your body needs fuel to function, so eat a light breakfast or snack before you exercise.

Try low-fat yogurt, graham crackers with peanut butter, a banana or cereal with low-fat milk.

Before, during and after exercise, replace fluids with water.

Students: Stock up on smart snacks and eat a breakfast that combines protein and carbohydrates to fuel you.

Apples with peanut butter, carrots and hummus, hard-boiled eggs and fruit, banana and yogurt, or almonds with low-fat cheese or whole grain cereal.

At the cafeteria, salad bars are a great choice; just go easy on the cheese, bacon, and creamy dressing.

Families: Family meals allow parents to be role models for healthy eating. Quick-to-prepare meals can be healthy too.

Keep things simple. Collect recipes for quick and easy family favorites. Choose ingredients that you can use for more than one meal. For example, cook extra grilled chicken for chicken salad or fajitas the next day.

Ask for help. Get the kids involved making a salad, setting the table or other simple tasks.

Vegetarians: A vegetarian diet can include just as many tasty foods as one that includes meat. For example, beans are recommended for everyone.

Enjoy vegetarian chili, a hummus-filled pita sandwich or veggie burger.

Many popular items are or can be vegetarian: pasta primavera, veggie pizza and tofu-vegetable stir-fry.

If it is hard for you to make healthy lifestyle changes, consider making an appointment with a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians can create an eating plan that fits your lifestyle and nutritional needs. To contact a registered dietitian at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital please call 541-387-6133 or 541-387-6379.

Healthy Active Hood River County (HAHRC) is our community healthy living coalition. HAHRC promotes wellness through increased physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco use prevention and policy and environmental change. The public is invited to join the next meeting on March 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the board room of Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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