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National Nutrition Month and Live Well Lawrence County

March 1 marks the beginning of National Nutrition Month®. National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The 2012 theme is Get Your Plate in Shape! Check back often as we explore the nutrition messages in this theme.

To kick off National Nutrition Month®, Live Well Lawrence County will begin on March 3! Live Well Lawrence County is an 8-week, county wide wellness challenge that encourages the Lawrence County community to take a step (or steps) towards living a healthy lifestyle. The main goal of this program is to provide support through a variety of health screenings and educational programs to help participants make positive lifestyle changes. This program starts by encouraging people to form a team and set personal nutrition and fitness goals all while having some fun and learning a lot along the way!

This year's program will run Sunday, March 4th through Saturday, April 28th. The kick-off event for Live Well will be Saturday March 3rd in the main room of the Comfort Inn. Participants will receive baseline evaluations and instruction from IU Health Bedford and St Vincent Dunn, as well as instruction from various local fitness instructors. This year there will be two types of teams. Competitive Team Challenge members pay an entry fee of $25 and will receive a t-shirt, a pedometer, free weekly health checks, and have a chance of winning $500. Participating Team Challenge and Youth Team Members are free and have a chance to win $100.

Each Tuesday evening throughout the 8 weeks a different program will be presented at the Bedford Chamber of Commerce meeting room, featuring a health and wellness speaker and a healthy cooking demonstration. This Tuesday, I will be giving a presentation telling you "How to Get Your Plate in Shape". Healthy snack foods will be available to taste!


How will YOU spend Leap Day?

Today is Leap Day! Although not a holiday or day off of work, it's still kind of exciting because it only comes around every four years. How will you spend your extra day?

Here is one idea – take some time this Leap Day to take care of Y-O-U! Do at least one thing to recharge your batteries and make yourself a little healthier.

  • Cook yourself something nice for dinner at home.
  • Make an extra effort to actually get 7-8 hours of sleep tonight.
  • Read a good book.
  • Go for a walk during your lunch hour.
  • Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while.
  • Set a new fitness goal.
  • Try out a yoga class.
  • Take a break from technology (after reading this blog, of course!).
  • Take a bubble bath.


Happy Leap Day!

Know the Numbers that Count

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. The good news is that there are steps you can take to maintain your heart health and prevent heart disease. Knowing the numbers that count is important for heart health.


The following are goals for numbers that can affect your risk for heart disease:




Total cholesterol

less than 200 mg/dL

LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol)

<150 mg/dL

HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol)

men 50 mg/dL or higher

women 40 mg/dL or higher


<150 mg/dL

Blood pressure

<120/80 mm/Hg

Fasting glucose

<100 mg/dL

Body Mass Index (BMI)

<25 kg/m2

Waist circumference

women 35 inches or less

men 40 inches or less

Physical activity

30 minutes 5 days per week



For more information, visit the American Heart Association webpage.

Just a Little Heart Attack

February is American Heart Month! While you celebrate Valentine's Day with your loved ones this year, take a few moments to check up on the physical health of your heart. Check out these videos by Go Red for Women ™.


Eating Healthy During the Holidays Program


The holidays are a stressful time for many as we buy gifts, organize family gatherings, and plan many holiday meals. This stress can lead to overeating and get us off track with our health goals. This lesson will discuss tactics for reducing holiday stress and provide a few healthy upgrades for our favorite holiday foods.


When: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time: 6:00-7:30 P.M.


Healthy Balance

1201 5th Street

Bedford, IN 47421

For more information, contact Bethany Daugherty at 812.275.4623 or bdaugherty@purdue.edu.

Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Veggies

The new MyPlate recommends that Americans fill half of their plate with fruits and vegetables. In doing this, it is important to include many different colors of fruits and vegetables. Each color represents a different health benefit. Here is a list of fruits and vegetable colors with their corresponding health benefit. You'll even see that the color white is listed!


  • Green produce has antioxidant benefits that help promote healthy vision.

    Examples: avocados, apples, honeydew, kiwi, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers, and spinach


  • Orange/deep yellow produce contain nutrients that promote healthy vision and maintain a healthy immune system.

    Examples: apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, carrots, yellow peppers, corn, and sweet potatoes


  • Purple/blue produce has anti-aging benefits that help maintain memory and promote a healthy urinary tract.

    Examples: blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins, eggplant, and purple cabbage


  • Red produce helps maintain a healthy heart, vision, and immune function.

    Examples: cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, watermelon, beets, red peppers, rhubarb, and tomatoes


  • White/tan/brown produce contain nutrients that may promote heart health.

    Examples: bananas, brown pears, dates, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, and parsnips.



Fill your plate with all colors of the rainbow to maximize the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Your plate will look appealing and be tasty and healthy at the same time!

For more information visit: www.choosemyplate.gov.

Wondering what to do with that extra Halloween candy?

A week has passed since Halloween. Do you still have a pile of Halloween candy in your house? If you have the will power, it is ok to keep that extra candy and allow yourself one piece per day to satisfy your sweet tooth. Some of us do not have that will power, however! Here are some ideas for using up that candy or getting it of your house.

  • Donate it. Many community groups accept donations of Halloween candy to send to troops overseas.


  • Sell it. Some dentists pay for candy by the pound in hopes of preventing at least a few cavities. Check out your local dentists to see if this is an option for you.


  • Repurpose it. Save hard candies, gumdrops, and M&M's for decorating your gingerbread house next month.



Image courtesy of the National Cancer Institute, Renee Comet, photographer

Eating at Your Desk Could Make You Sick!
Written by Michelle R. Meadors, Dietetic Intern, Purdue University Coordinated Program in Dietetics

Recently released from the American Dietetic Association (ADA), was the statistic that 83 percent of Americans typically eat at their desk. Reasons for this practice are an effort to save time and money. However this comes at a health risk, due to the fact that Americans are not properly cleaning the desks at which they are eating. Eating at a soiled desk can compromise the safety of the food being consumed.

Bacteria are present in abundant numbers on different components of many American’s desks. From the keyboard of their computer to the telephone, bacteria is living and breathing waiting for another host to compromise. In this case, food is the perfect fit!  When a multitasking employee sits their lunch down on their desk to eat, bacteria is free to attack. Once this happens, the bacteria will live, multiply, and could lead to foodborne illness.  Some populations, such as young children, pregnant women, and older adults are at a higher risk for bacterial infections, due to a weaker immune system.

Here are some tips for reducing the amount of bacteria being introduced to your food while eating at your desk:

Wash Your Hands

The ADA reported that only half of all Americans say they always wash their hands before eating lunch. In order to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, it is recommended that you wash your hands before and after handling food. Effective hand washing includes use of soap and warm water, along with vigorous scrubbing for 20 seconds. Moist towelettes or hand sanitizer are suggested for those times you cannot get to the sink, but should not be used as a substitute for washing your hands.

Clean all work areas and surfaces

Wipe down all areas you touch with an alcohol based sanitizer before and after your work day. This will only take a maximum of five minutes out of your work day, and by doing this, you are severely reducing the number of bacteria present with the potential to be transferred to your food.

Proper use of the break room refrigerator

To ensure food safety, food should be stored below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid food residing in the temperature danger zone. The temperature danger zone is the temperature range in which microorganisms grow quickly and sometimes reach levels that can make people ill. The temperature danger zone has been identified to be 41 °F to 135 °F. A thermometer should be placed in the refrigerator and checked daily to ensure the temperature danger zone is being avoided. For safe consumption, perishable food should be refrigerated within two hours. When food is cooked and left out for more than 2 hours in the temperature danger zone, bacteria can multiply quickly. Most bacteria can grow undetected, because they do not change the taste or texture of the food, and most bacteria are odorless. Due to this, consuming food after this time period greatly increases the risk of foodborne illness.

The refrigerator should also be cleaned and maintained routinely. All shelves and drawers should be cleaned using an alcohol based wipe. Also, all vents should be inspected and maintained to ensure proper function.

Ultimately, in order to reduce the risk of foodborne illness all food should be consumed at a sanitary location. If the only available option is to eat at the work desk, taking the safety measures of properly washing your hands, cleaning all work surfaces, and using the workplace refrigerator correctly could reduce your risk of becoming ill due to foodborne illness.
*This article appeared in the September 10 edition of the Bedford Times-Mail.
Picky Eaters Can Meet Nutrition Guidelines Too

Written by Michelle Meadors, Dietetic Intern, Purdue University Coordinated Program in Dietetics

The American Dietetic Association sets guidelines that encourage American's to fill their plate with a certain number of grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and dairy. However, it may seem that if you have a picky child on your hands, this is next to impossible. Here are a few tips to get your child to try something they normally wouldn't:

Include children in the planning, shopping, and preparation of meals. This will give the child a sense of pride in what they have helped to make. After the child sees how much time and effort has gone in to the meal, they might be more likely to try it. Give the child a role, even if it's as simple as giving the child options of different meals to prepare and letting them decide what to make.

Parents need to model the behavior they want their child to exhibit. If the child sees Mom or Dad turning up their nose at the food, they will do the same. It is important that parents put a smile on their face and eat a few bites of the food to show their children that it's good to try new foods, even if the parent hates that food.

Develop a system to encourage adventuring to new foods. This might be as simple as giving the children the challenge of trying one bite of something new each meal, and for each new food the children try, the child will receive a point. Then come up with small prizes for a certain number of points. Remember to never reward children with unhealthy snacks, such as cookies or ice cream.

It is important to eat meals as a family to see results. Family meals give children a sense of security, where they might be likely to try something out of the ordinary if they are in the comfort of their own home, with people they love. Also, at mealtime, keep conversation light and the atmosphere fun, so children won't feel like mealtime with their family is torture.

Quick and Healthy Recipes

If you are looking for new recipes that are easy and healthy, visit this new recipe database developed by the eXtension Families, Food, and Fitness Community of Practice!

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