August 17, 2015

Summer’s Bounty

General Health

Another week is here!
One cool thing about working in Community Health and Wellness is that we are constantly coming up with new challenges and ways to engage the hospital employees as well as the community. The latest and greatest idea that was discussed is the “Summer’s Bounty” fruit and vegetable challenge. Not only did the other vegetarians in the hospital rejoice (woot, woot!) but it is an easy and FUN challenge for everyone to get involved.
Many of the ‘goals’ and ‘tasks’ throughout this challenge are easy swaps in our lives, and can be done at home and at the workplace. Even if you are not a Fort HealthCare employee participating in this challenge, there are many ways you can incorporate some of these habits into your everyday life!
At Work
This one can especially be hard if you have a coworker that enjoys baking, going out to lunch frequently, or hitting up the candy aisle at Costco. You may be faced with temptations wherever you turn, and may need to step up your game to make sure you stay on the straight and narrow. By encouraging your coworkers with some of these tips, who knows who you will influence!
 Garden goodies
o Bring in your extra produce from your garden to share with coworkers
 Healthy lunches/pot lucks
o Packing your own lunch with extra fruit and vegetables will help save calories and cash
o Try a new recipe with above said produce for a potluck or celebration
o Try infused water with fruit, or smoothies instead of soda or high-sugar punch
o If you do go out to lunch, suggest a restaurant that has healthier alternatives
 Sub/salad shops
 Fruit desserts
 Lean proteins that are grilled/baked and not fried
 Candy dish
o Replace with whole fruit
o Replace with pre-packaged nuts, trail mix or dried fruit
o Move it out of sight, or entirely (if you won’t be shunned)
o Incorporate low sugar candy or gum
At Home
Home is where the heart is…and where eating habits can wreak havoc! By making small changes at home, you can make big changes in your health, and influence your family while doing it!
 Healthy snacks
o Cut up vegetables and fruit
o Pre-portion snack bags with vegetables
o Utilize fruit bowl
o Find healthy dip recipes to jazz up fruits and vegetables
 Cook meals at home
o Saves money and calories than going out to eat
o Incorporate vegetables into soups, stews, casseroles and other meals
o Use fruit as a dessert
 Freeze fruit and top with whipped cream or Cool Whip (low calorie)
 Fruit smoothie with chocolate milk or chocolate almond milk
o Get creative
 Use resources such as Pinterest and for tips and recipes for healthy and easy eating
Just For Fun
Summer is the BEST time for eating healthy and incorporating fruits and vegetables into every meal. This time of year, many fruits and vegetables are at the peak of freshness and in season, which is an awesome opportunity to try something new!
 Farmers markets
o TONS of produce options at a lower cost in many surrounding communities
o Many times the produce is organic and freshly picked that day
o A great opportunity to meet local farmers, and receive great recipes for produce
 Cooking classes
o A great way to learn new cooking techniques for vegetables and fruit (*and make them taste good)
o Opportunity to hang out with friends or a loved one and cook together
I think summer is the easiest time to eat fruits and vegetables because of how plentiful they are, and because many are more inexpensive this time of year also. It’s awesome that we have this challenge to keep us motivated for 6 weeks, but it’s also a good tool to help get in the habit of eating more fruits and vegetables for after the challenge ends.
By incorporating those around you, it becomes easier and easier to stay on your own path to health and wellness, and you just might inspire someone else to take their first step to becoming healthier!
Until next time!