Body Weight Training

Body weight training is listed as one of the top fitness trends by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) over the past several years (including 2017). Body weight exercises are a basic fitness approach that requires a minimal amount of equipment. Many of these are exercises people have been doing since elementary school: sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, crunches, squats, etc. The popular plank exercises are another example of body weight training.

Some of the benefits of body weight training include that they are free and versatile, can be done anywhere, and improve movement and strength.

This article provides some ideas for body weight training moves: www.acsm.org/public-information/articles/2016/10/07/a-strength-training-program-for-your-home.

For more information about the 2017 fitness trends survey, visit the ACSM website: www.acsm.org.

Seafood Recommendations for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women and Young Children

The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) have issued new recommendations about eating seafood. The advice is specific for pregnant and breastfeeding women and caregivers of young children to help them make informed choices about fish and seafood.

Fish is a high-quality protein source and is rich in omega-3 fats. Americans, including pregnant women, are encouraged to eat 8–12 ounces of fish per week. The new guidelines categorize fish for safety and mercury content into three categories:

Best Choices—Eat 2–3 servings a week
Example: canned light tuna, salmon, cod, tilapia, shrimp

Good Choices—Eat 1 serving a week
Examples: halibut, snapper, grouper, tuna (yellowfin), albacore/white tuna, canned and fresh/frozen

Choices to Avoid—Highest mercury levels
Examples: King mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish (Gulf of Mexico), and tuna (bigeye)

To learn more about the recommendations, read Eating Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know, www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ucm393070.htm.

Fish Tacos

Serving Size: 2 tacos
Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup light ranch dressing
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (seeded and chopped finely; optional)
  • 4 cups coleslaw mix or broccoli slaw
  • 10 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 pound firm white fish (tilapia, mahi-mahi, or halibut), cut in 1 inch pieces or in 10 strips
  • 1 tomato, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Stir together the dressing, lime juice, chili powder, ground black pepper, and jalapeño pepper (if desired). Pour over coleslaw mix and stir to mix well. Cover and place in refrigerator until serving time.
  2. Warm the corn tortillas according to package directions.
  3. Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Spread the cornmeal on a plate while the oil heats. Pat the fish pieces in the cornmeal to coat on all sides. Fry the fish in hot oil until the cornmeal is lightly browned, 1–2 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  4. Top each tortilla with some of the fish and some of the coleslaw mix. Fold in half and serve with the chopped tomato.

Nutrition information per serving: 370 calories, 16g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 55mg cholesterol, 430mg sodium, 38g total carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 4g sugar, 23g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Online Tools for Healthy Choices

The ChooseMyPlate website, ChooseMyPlate.gov, includes a list of reliable online tools for making healthy choices:
www.choosemyplate.gov/supertracker-other-tools.

  • SuperTracker can help you plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity.
  • What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl is an interactive tool to help with healthy meal planning, cooking, recipes, and grocery shopping.
  • MyPlate Daily Checklist shows your food group targets—what and how much to eat within your calorie allowance. Your food plan is based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level.
  • ChooseMyPlate quizzes let you test and expand your knowledge about the MyPlate food groups and making healthy choices.
  • Portion Distortion quizzes you on changing portion sizes over the past 20 years and how much physical activity is required to burn off the extra calories provided by these larger portions.
  • Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator helps women determine suggested weight gain for pregnancy.
  • Preschool Growth Charts are online growth charts that you can personalize for your child.

Swimming

Swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States and a good way to get regular aerobic physical activity. Just two and a half hours per week of aerobic physical activity, such as swimming, can decrease the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. For people with arthritis, swimming and other water-based exercises can improve the use of affected joints and decrease pain from osteoarthritis.

Source: www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/health_benefits_water_exercise.html

Facts about the Date on Your Food Package

The dates provided on food products can be confusing. This confusion often leads to unnecessary food waste. Manufacturers provide dating to help consumers and retailers decide when food is of the best quality. To determine quality dates, manufacturers consider the length of time the food has been held during distribution and the holding temperature, the characteristics of the food, and the type of packaging used.

For example, fresh beef packaged in a reduced oxygen packaging system will stay fresh longer than meat not packaged this way. The quality may deteriorate after these dates, but the product is still safe to eat if handled properly. Open dating is used on most food, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Closed or coded dating is a series of letters and/or numbers that typically appears on shelf-stable products like cans or boxes of food. Common phrases used are the following.

  • ‘Best if used by/before’ indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
  • ‘Sell by’ tells the store how long to display the product for inventory management. It is not a safety date. You should buy the product before the sell-by date, but you can still store it at home beyond that date as long as you follow safe storage procedures.
  • ‘Use by’ is the last date recommended for use of the product at peak quality. It is not a safety date.

For more information, check out this website: stilltasty.com.

Teriyaki Rice Bowl

Serving Size: 1 cup
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 3/4 pound boneless chicken, beef, or pork (cut into strips)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup low sodium teriyaki or soy sauce
  • 2 cups instant brown rice, uncooked
  • 1 package (14 to 16 ounces) frozen stir fry vegetables)

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on high heat. Add meat and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes.
  2. Add water and teriyaki or soy sauce and stir. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in frozen vegetables. Heat until vegetables are hot, about 5 minutes.
  4. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories, 3.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 30mg cholesterol, 510mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 7g sugar, 19g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Tracking for Health

“What gets measured, gets managed”—Peter Drucker, management consultant and author.
Weight loss is a common goal many people share. Research suggests that tracking what we eat and how much we move can help us reach and maintain a healthy weight. Apps can make this tracking easier and more fun.

Check out these apps to help you achieve your health goals:

MyFitness Pal—This is a free calorie-counting app with more than five million foods in the data base and featuring a bar-code scanner option for ease and accuracy in tracking food intake. Users are able to set goals and track progress toward daily intake targets. Recipes and videos are shared when users log in to track food intake. Myfitnesspal.com

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.—You can carry Spend Smart. Eat Smart. in the palm of your hand at the grocery store with the Spend Smart. Eat Smart. mobile app*. The app tools make shopping for healthy foods a breeze. Produce Basics helps you choose, clean, store, and prepare fresh vegetables and fruit with ease. The Recipe Finder helps you keep track of your favorite recipes from the website. The Unit Price Calculator compares products to help you find the best price. *The Spend Smart. Eat Smart. app will be available soon. Watch the website, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu, and Facebook page for announcements about the release.

Dine Safe—This is a free app that allows users to identify restaurants that cater to allergies and restrictions using a sort menu that compares allergies to allergens in each menu. Dinesafeapp.com

Epicurious—This free app offers cooking tips, recipe collections, and holiday menus. Epicurious is adding original video and features a seasonal ingredients finder and smart kitchen timer. Epicurious.com

Reference: Akers, J. D., R. A. Cornett, J. S. Savla, K. P. Davy, and B. M. Davy. 2012. Daily self-monitoring of body weight, step count, fruit/vegetable intake and water consumption: A feasible and effective long-term weight loss maintenance approach. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 112 (5): 685–692,
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2012.01.022 (27 January 2017)

Wearable Technology Tops 2017 Fitness Trends

Wearable technology tops the list of fitness trends for 2017 according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Wearable technology includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart-rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices. Lead author of the study, Walter R. Thompson, PhD, ACSM, stated, “The health data collected by wearable technology can be used to inform the user about their current fitness level and help them make healthier lifestyle choices.”

Studies done by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Iowa State University have examined the accuracy of activity trackers. In the ACE study, the Jawbone UP was the top performer, whereas the BodyMedia Core came out first in the Iowa State study. Researchers in both studies say that even more important than accuracy is the fact that people get up and actually move. They encourage consumers to do whatever it takes to be active—activity tracker included or not.

Sources: www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/news-releases/2016/10/26/top-fitness-trend-for-2017-is-wearable-technology
http://www.acefitness.org/certifiednews/images/article/pdfs/ACE_ActivityTrkr_Study.pdf
http://www.hs.iastate.edu/news/2015/08/19/activity-trackers/

Safe Food on the Big Screen?

Flip to your favorite cooking show and you may observe the chef licking their fingers or even cutting vegetables on the same surface as raw meat. Cooking shows are fun to watch—but do they demonstrate safe food handling practices? A recent study from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst suggests there is room for improvement.

The study involved a panel of state regulators and food practitioners completing a 19-question survey that measured safe food practices, use of utensils and gloves, protection from contamination, and time and temperature control. The panel completed the survey while watching ten popular cooking shows. Lead author Dr. Nancy L. Cohen stated, “The majority of practices rated were out of compliance or conformance with recommendations in at least 70% of episodes, and food safety practices were mentioned in only three episodes.”

A number of safe food handling behaviors were not being done by TV chefs, which could lead to a foodborne illness and make someone sick. Areas for improvement include wearing clean clothing, using a hair restraint, handling raw food safely, and washing hands. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are the leading sources of foodborne illness in the United States, yet less than 10% of the shows demonstrated proper washing of produce. Don’t be a “TV chef” at home; always make sure you’re following safe food handling practices. For food safety tips, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsafety.

Source: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161108123824.htm