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Tag Archive | "healthy"

Enhancing community health


By Ranger Steve Mueller


Nick Sanchez, our district forester with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, is sharing a cost-effective incentive to help protect our health, stream health, ground water, and air quality. A healthy community depends on people caring for themselves, neighbors, and community. The program available was included in the Farm Bill in 2014 that Congress approved.

Nick states, “Trees have many benefits. They provide food and a home for wildlife, and even help keep your family happy and healthy! Did you know that trees filter dirty water and keep our topsoil from washing away? Trees also help store water underground, preventing flooding in the spring and low levels during summer drought. Even the shade from trees provides a benefit, keeping streams clear and cold, ideal for fish like trout! Planting trees along a stream provides big benefits and we want to help you keep our home rivers clean and healthy for your family, fish, and other cool wildlife!” 

He would like community members and farmers know about the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. A representative from the Rogue River Partners came to Ody Brook to enlist my advice for protecting the quality of the local environment for the benefit of people and wildlife. 

Nick would like all to know, “Conservation partners have teamed up to bring farmers and forestland owners access to a unique pool of funding to help them take actions on their land to help prevent soil loss, and to create and improve fish and wildlife habitat in the Rogue River and Indian Mill Creek watersheds, a 250 square mile area in northern and western Kent County. Financial assistance is available now to help you plant: filter strips, grassed waterways, cover crops, and riparian forest buffers, as well as many other options to help in this effort. This special opportunity is available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) over the next four years. Call Matt Soehnel, NRCS District Conservationist, at (616) 942-4111 ext. 3 for more information!” Programs are available for others besides farmers. Give Matt a call to learn how NRCS can help you be a good land steward in your neighborhood. 

I receive requests asking me to address the PFAS groundwater issue, the water mining issue impacts on wells and wetlands, and other pressing issues. I could write an article a week on issues for the entire year. Environmental quality for our lives depends on sound science-based data being scrubbed from the EPA website. Information is being censored to downplay the impact of human caused climate change that is degrading the environment. The long-term cost of anti-environmental policies threaten a sustainable economy, our health, and future generations. Scientific data supported by decades of research is not “fake news.” 

I encourage people living in the Rogue River Watershed to take positive action locally to enhance the health of the environment that supports our physical and financial health. First contact the NRCS at the number listed above to learn what you can do on your property and in the community to enhance the health of our neighborhoods. Second contact your US Representative and Senators to protect environmental laws established in the 1970s that are currently on the chopping block. They protect a sustainable economy and our health. Both actions are important for your family. The current administration is working to remove Water, Air, Endangered species, and Wilderness Act protections. Such actions will allow a return to things like PFAS dumping that was stopped decades ago. Things like the PFAS contamination that occurred prior to the federal environmental protection acts could result again if laws are dismantled.

It is less expensive to protect the environment that supports our livelihoods and health than to try to clean it up after we discover it is injuring our health, killing people, and causing economic hardship such as lowering home and property values. Contaminated fish and wildlife affects their health. It makes them dangerous for us to eat.

Nature niche health for fish, bees, birds, and mammals ensures healthy conditions for people. The triple bottom line of economic, social, and environment stewardship protects your family’s future. 

 Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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Tips for families to get healthy this new year

This New Year, you can get the whole family together by committing to a healthier lifestyle as a team.

This New Year, you can get the whole family together by committing to a healthier lifestyle as a team.


(StatePoint) New Year’s resolutions often focus on personal improvement. This year experts are encouraging entire families to consider making a pledge to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Parents have more potential than anybody else to influence their children’s behavior — including their eating habits—according to a study by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In fact, parents outrank sports celebrities as the people most children would most like to be, according to the survey.

“You are the most influential role model in your child’s life,” says Kim Larson, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy spokesperson. “Modeling healthy eating behaviors encourages children to adopt and choose healthy behaviors that will benefit them for a lifetime.”

Setting realistic goals

Small steps add up, and Larson recommends making healthy lifestyle changes that are realistic and easy to stick with for the long-haul. Try adopting healthy changes for the entire family, such as:

• Make sure your kids know they are part of the team and that health and fitness are a family affair.

• Encourage children to help plan meals—from developing the menu to shopping to preparing and serving the meal.

• Serve regular, balanced meals and snacks with a variety of nutrient-rich foods.

• Eat breakfast daily.

• Enjoy family dinner together each night or as often as possible.

• At each meal, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

• Make at least half of the grains you eat whole grains.

• Get active. Incorporate physical activity where you can in your day, whether taking a family walk after dinner or hitting the gym. Remember, children and teens should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and adults should get two and a half hours per week.

Focus on overall health, not weight alone

According to the experts, good nutrition, health, and fitness fun should be the focus of your family’s goals, not calorie counting, food restriction or working out.

“You don’t want your kids to think that a healthy lifestyle is only about how much they weigh,” Larson says. “Concentrate on delicious nutrition and fun physical activities,” says Larson.

For a personalized plan tailored to your lifestyle, food preferences and the unique needs of your family, consider consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist. You can find one in your area at www.EatRight.org.





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Healthy summer eating made easy

Don’t take a vacation from eating right


Strawberry, Spinach and Cottage Cheese Salad

Family Features

Warm weather is synonymous with trips to the beach, baseball games and summer vacations. While enjoying these outings, you may find yourself tempted by hot dogs, ice cream and other summer indulgences. A busy schedule, combined with tempting summer treats, could throw off your healthy eating routine. Registered Dietitian Robin Kline, MS, RD, CCP, offers three simple tips for how to stay healthy throughout the season.

“Planning ahead is your best strategy to stay on track for great summertime eating,” said Kline. “Whether it’s visiting the farmers market for fresh, seasonal produce or packing healthy snacks for on-the-go, being prepared results in smart eating.”

Think Simple. No one wants to spend time in a hot kitchen preparing meals on a nice summer day. Finding quick, healthy meal options that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less will provide you with more time to spend outdoors enjoying the warm weather. A healthy salad that contains a rainbow of nutrients is easy to prepare and helps you avoid turning on the oven.

Think Fresh. Many delicious fruits are in season during the summer, including peaches, berries and melons. Fresh fruits are naturally sweet, a good source of vitamins and are easy for on-the-go eating. Eat them alone as a snack, blend into a smoothie or create a breakfast parfait with berries, granola and cottage cheese.

Think Healthy. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that the amount of protein needed in the average American diet depends on gender, age and level of physical activity, but recommends selecting a variety of lean sources of protein. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are a good lean protein source, while cottage cheese and legumes are great options for adding variety. Cottage cheese is a versatile option that can be incorporated into a number of different recipes. Daisy Brand Low Fat Cottage Cheese is 100 percent natural with only four ingredients, a good source of calcium, lower in sodium than many other brands and an excellent source of protein with 14 grams per half-cup serving.

By following these few easy tips, you can enjoy summer with the peace of mind that you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The following recipes are great starters for summertime foods. Visit www.DaisyBrand.com/CottageCheese for more information and recipe ideas.

Strawberry Banana Parfait

Strawberry Banana Parfait
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4
1     banana, cut in chunks
1     tablespoon lime juice
1     cup strawberries, quartered
1/4     cup honey
1/4     cup toasted walnuts, chopped
2     cups Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
Toss banana with lime juice in a small bowl. Mix bananas with strawberries, honey and walnuts. Spoon mixture into parfait glasses. Top each glass with 1/2 cup of cottage cheese.

Strawberry, Spinach and Cottage Cheese Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
6     ounces baby spinach
1/4     cup green onions, sliced
1/2     cup light raspberry vinaigrette
1     cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4     cup walnuts, chopped
2     cups Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
Toss spinach and green onions with vinaigrette; divide evenly onto 4 salad plates. Top each salad with strawberries and walnuts. Spoon cottage cheese over spinach mixture and serve.

Black Bean Nachos

Black Bean Nachos

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 8
1     cup Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
1/4     cup Daisy Brand Sour Cream
3     dashes hot sauce to taste
1/2     teaspoon cumin
4     cups pita chips
1     15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1     cup reduced fat Mexican cheese blend, shredded
1/2     cup green onions, chopped
1     medium tomato, chopped
Mix cottage cheese, sour cream, hot sauce and cumin in small bowl; set aside. Layer pita chips evenly on 2 large microwave-safe plates. Top each plate with half of the beans and shredded cheese. Microwave 1 plate on high for 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Drop half of cottage cheese mixture by spoonfuls over melted cheese on nachos. Top with half of chopped green onions and tomato. Repeat with second plate.

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Top tips for keeping skin healthy and beautiful all winter long

(ARA) – No matter where you live in the country, winter’s grip can take its toll on your health, including your mood, waistline and even your skin.

“It’s important to consider the seasons in your skin care routine and make adjustments for the best possible results,” says Dr. Gervaise Gerstner, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai. Gerstner’s advice has appeared in the pages of Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, Self and W magazines. “Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and the first line of protection for all the other organs. Sunlight, changes in weather, and seasonal stress can affect our skin’s health. They’re also factors that make us overlook proper care, so it’s critical you have the right routine in place.”

Gerstner offers her top tips for keeping skin beautiful and healthy this winter, and all year long:

1. Keep your hands off. Your hands can pick up a lot of germs and bacteria during the day that can cause breakouts or even infections, so keep them far away from your face. Also, since winter is often associated with irritating flareups of pimples, rashes and cold sores, it’s important to avoid the urge to pick.  Picking can cause inflammation, and with broken or raw skin, further put you at risk for infection, and even cause scarring.

2. Slather on sunscreen. “Even on days it rains or snows, it’s important to wear sunscreen,” Gerstner advises. Your skin is constantly exposed to potentially harmful UVA and UVB rays. Even just walking from your office to the coffee shop on the grayest of days exposes you to possible solar damage, such as wrinkles and even skin cancer.

3. Treat ailments quickly.  Common conditions like cold sores can be embarrassing and painful, so treat them right away to find relief. Remedies found at your local drugstore can be effective.

4. Don’t forget your nails and hair. They’re part of your skin too, and often show the most obvious signs of winter’s impact like raw skin and split ends. It’s important to properly moisturize, such as using a leave-in or deep conditioner, or heavier creams on your face and hands. Dr. Gerstner also says that hair loss and brittle nails are two of the most common complaints she hears from her female patients. Taking a daily biotin supplement of 5,000 mcg can help.  Limit use of a flat iron to once or twice a week, and avoid excessive hair coloring treatments.

5. Brighten your smile, and use it often. Winter’s weather woes and seasonal stress can make it easy to forget to smile, but nothing makes your face look better than a big grin. Keep your teeth well polished—whitening strips can help—and  flash your smile frequently. It can brighten your mood and the moods of others around you.

6. Quit smoking and moderate alcohol use. By now, virtually everyone knows smoking is deadly. But if the health threats of smoking don’t convince you to quit, perhaps an appeal to your vanity will help. Smokers suffer more wrinkles, poorer skin texture and slower wound healing than people who don’t smoke. Alcohol can dehydrate your body, which often shows the next day in parched skin and eyes. It also exacerbates adult acne, called rosacea. When drinking alcohol, alternate with a glass of seltzer.

7. Forego designer brands. Expensive creams leave your wallet lighter and don’t necessarily make your skin look any better than less costly products do. Simple drug store products can work just as well, especially if supplemented with a retinol or glycolic recommendation from your dermatologist. Fancy products often contain essential oils or fragrances that can irritate skin.

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Baby your skin and hair during colder weather

(NAPS)—In an effort to balance their budgets and maintain beautiful skin during the colder months, many women are skipping the department store counter and instead visiting the baby aisle for their beauty products. As part of a growing trend, women are enhancing their beauty regimen with products that are developed for babies’ gentle skin, yet are sophisticated enough for adults.
According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by JOHNSON’S Brand, nearly 40 percent of adults said they regularly use baby products on themselves, and almost 80 percent of adults say they would feel comfortable using baby products for purposes other than those pertaining to babies.
To help temperature-related skin and hair problems, celebrity makeup expert Tia Dantzler suggests these tips:
• Don’t forget to hydrate. Stay hydrated by drinking water and using moisturizing body care products to protect your skin from the harsh winds and drying effects of indoor heating. Tia prefers an oil-based moisturizer for ultimate hydration. She recommends Johnson’s Baby Oil Gel after a shower, while skin is still wet, to lock in up to 10 times more moisture. “As a makeup artist, this is a great product to have in my kit at all times, especially when working a photo shoot. I apply it to my clients before the red carpet, to achieve a high shine to their bodies, which looks great on camera.”
• Don’t shampoo too often. Shampooing hair daily can strip essential oils and add to the dryness already caused by winter conditions. Try shampooing every other day; if you need to shampoo every day, try a gentle baby shampoo formula designed for babies’ sensitive eyes and fine hair, or use baby powder as a dry shampoo.
• Do deodorize. As women pile on the winter layers to avoid the bitterness of low temperatures, they often find themselves in a sweat before they can get to where they are going. Tia always carries Johnson’s Baby Powder to keep her feeling fresh all day long. “My favorite scent is the new Magnolia Petals. It smells better than regular deodorant and is a great base layer for my perfume.”
• Do exfoliate. Exfoliating will remove dead cells and allow the skin to absorb extra moisture. Aim to do this at least twice a week.
With so many versatile uses, baby products can provide simple solutions to cold weather beauty needs.

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