Serving Size: 1 cup | Serves: 4
- 4 cups popped corn
- 1 tablespoon margarine, melted
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Dash garlic powder
- Mix popcorn and margarine in a bowl.
- Mix seasonings thoroughly and sprinkle over popcorn. Mix well or shake in a clean bag.
- Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving: 60 calories, 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, Xg trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 35mg sodium, 7g total carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 0g sugar, 1g protein
Source: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Eat Smart, Play Hard™
The same general food safety guidelines apply to hot dogs as to all perishable foods: keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. When you buy hot dogs, refrigerate or freeze them promptly. Never leave hot dogs at room temperature for more than 2 hours or 1 hour if it is 90 degrees or higher.
Although hot dogs are fully cooked, those at higher risk for foodborne illness—including pregnant women, preschoolers, older adults, and anyone with a weakened immune system—should reheat hot dogs until steaming hot because of the risk of listeriosis. Listeria monocytogenes, the bacteria that causes listeriosis, may also be found in other foods like luncheon meat, cold cuts, soft cheese, and unpasteurized milk. Symptoms may include fever, chills, headaches, backache, upset stomach, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It may also cause miscarriages. Call your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms. If you have Listeriosis, your provider can treat you.
Source: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA
Summer is the time to get out the camping gear and head outdoors. In addition to the hot dogs and s’mores, consider packing some of the following choices to balance out meals and snacks.
- Fruits and veggies. Sturdier fresh produce that holds up well includes apples, carrots, snap peas, and oranges. Dried fruit also makes a great snack.
- Whole grains. Popcorn is a whole grain and is an easy snack to take along. For cereal bars, check the nutrition label and choose those made with whole grain and that have a lower sugar content.
- Dairy. If you have adequate refrigeration, hard cheeses, cheese sticks, and yogurt tubes are much easier to pack than a carton of milk.
Preparing fresh produce can be easy when you have the information you need and a few skills. The Produce Basics information found on the Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website and app describe how to store, clean, and prepare various fruits and vegetables. Check out this link: spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/cook/produce-basics/. Search for Spend Smart. Eat Smart. at your app store and download the free app today!
The Cardio Pyramid, created by Colorado State University, is a fun, upbeat workout that you can do at home. Instructional videos are available that break down each move in the pyramid, including warm-up and strength-building exercises, into simple steps so that you can learn the proper form necessary to complete each move.
To do the Cardio Pyramid, do the exercises in this order:
- March in place, 2 counts of 8
- Step touch, 2 counts of 8
- Hamstring curls, 2 counts of 8
- V-step, 2 counts of 8
- High knees, 2 counts of 8
- March in place, 3 counts of 8
Then repeat the exercises in the opposite order. To access the instructional videos to learn how to do each exercise, go to this eating smart being active website.
Serving Size: 1/2 cup | Serves: 10
- 1 tablespoon oil (canola, olive, or vegetable)
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 can (15 ounces) beans (drained and rinsed)
- 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1/2 cup onion, diced (1/2 medium onion)
- 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced (1/2 medium bell pepper)
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped (1 medium tomato)
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Whisk oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard in a small bowl. This is the dressing.
- Stir beans, corn, onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes in a medium bowl.
- Pour dressing over bean mixture. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Add avocado just before serving.
- Gently stir to combine.
Serve with tortilla chips or serve as a filling for a tortilla or lettuce wrap.
Nutrition information per serving: 90 calories, 4g total fat, 65mg sodium, 5g dietary fiber, 12g carbohydrate, 3g protein.
Recipe courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu.
The claims sound believable, so it can be tempting to try the latest diet you hear about. While a diet plan may sound tempting, an eating plan should be the goal. To manage your weight and maintain a healthy nutritional status, it would be wise to consider these questions:
QUESTION: Does the plan promise weight loss without exercise?
For most healthy adults, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends the following exercise guidelines:
- Aerobic activity – Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity.
- Muscle-strengthening exercises – Two or more days per week.
Keep activity exciting by doing different things you enjoy.
QUESTION: Are there particular foods, or food groups, excluded or consumed excessively?
Use MyPlate (www.choosemyplate.gov) to guide your food intake. All food groups are important.
QUESTION: Does the plan require you to purchase pills, bars, or shakes?
A sustainable eating pattern is based on food readily available in grocery stores and farmers markets.
QUESTION: Does the plan promise weight loss of more than 1–2 pounds per week?
Losing 1–2 pounds or less a week is gradual, healthy weight loss. Weight lost more rapidly than this tends to be regained even faster.
QUESTION: Does the plan sound too good to be true?
If it does, it probably is.
April is National Garden Month, and if you garden, you probably have experienced many of the benefits. Gardening not only provides nutritious food, it also provides a great cardio and strengthening workout. Spending time connecting with nature can also relieve stress. The regular physical activity gardening provides helps prevent heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The strength gained (think carrying watering cans full of water or pushing a wheelbarrow) helps prevent osteoporosis as well. As with any physical activity, it is important to check with your doctor if you have concerns. Consider starting a garden this year. It does not have to be big, even a window box or a few containers provide many benefits. Learn more about the benefits of growing your own produce.
Source: University of Illinois Extension
Donating extra produce from your garden is a great way to reduce waste and address food insecurity in your community. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has two publications that are useful to review if you plan to donate produce this growing season. Growing Together: Food Safety in Donation Gardens provides useful tips for keeping donation garden produce safe during the stages of growing, harvest, and transport. Tips include keeping pets away from the garden, washing hands before and after handling produce, and using municipal (drinking) water to rinse and remove visible dirt from produce. Another publication titled Top 13 Vegetables to Donate to Food Pantries discusses the produce that food pantries prefer to receive because clients recognize them, they are simple to prepare, they can be used in many different ways, and they can be stored at least one or two days without refrigeration.
Find the no-cost resources online at the Extension Store: Growing Together: Food Safety in Donation Gardens and Top 13 Vegetables to Donate to Food Pantries
Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 6
- 2 tablespoons oil (canola or vegetable)
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium carrot (sliced 1/8 inch thick)
- 2 teaspoons garlic (peeled and minced; 3 cloves) or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup dry yellow or brown lentils
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon dried basil or Italian seasoning
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) no sodium added diced tomatoes or 2 chopped tomatoes
- 1 bunch kale (about 7 ounces)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook 5 minutes.
- Add water to veggies in pot. Heat to boiling.
- Rinse lentils in colander with water. Add lentils to pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Do not drain.
- Add chicken broth, dried basil or Italian seasoning, and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 5–10 minutes.
- Rinse kale leaves; cut out the main stems and discard. Cut leaves into 1” pieces.
- Stir kale, salt, and pepper into lentil mixture. Return to boiling. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3 minutes.
Nutrition information per serving: 200 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate, 12g fiber, 4g sugar, 11g protein
Recipe courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu.