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Farmers’ Markets and Picking Produce

Written on May 5, 2015 at 10:15 am

Young Woman Buying Produce at Farmers' Market_197791034Spring marks the reopening of many farmers’ markets in the area. Central Virginia is home to dozens of farmers’ markets. Buying locally not only gets you the freshest food, but you will be supporting local growers, the local economy and environment at the same time. Click here to find a farmers’ market near you.

How do you know which fruits and vegetables are best to buy? By learning to use your sense of touch, smell, and sight, you can find produce that is delicious and worth the money. Here are a few tips to help you pick quality produce and some of our favorite recipes for enjoying them.

For more tips on recognizing the best-tasting produce, check out this guide.


Healthy Snacking 101

Written on April 21, 2015 at 9:49 am

Don’t let a snack attack keep you from eating healthily! With some careful planning, you can make smart choices to keep you full and satisfied in between meals. Here are some of our favorite tips:

  • Woman Making Smoothie_152883758Blend it. Smoothies are a great way to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables. Whether you are a fan of strawberries, bananas, spinach, or all of the above, freeze your favorite smoothie ingredients in individual sized bags. When hunger calls, just take out a bag and toss the contents in a blender along with some low fat yogurt or coconut milk for a quick and nutritious snack.
  • Dip it. Cut up vegetables like cucumber, carrots, celery, and bell peppers, pack into small individual containers or bags to enjoy with your favorite dips. You can pair your veggies with low fat ranch dressing, peanut butter, or hummus. The possibilities are endless!
  • Layer it. Yogurt parfaits are tasty and pretty to look at. Just layer low fat yogurt, cut up fruit, and granola in a mason jar for an easy grab-and-go snack. Similarly, you can layer different vegetables in a mason jar and top with your favorite salad dressing for a healthy portable salad.
  • Bake it. If chips are your go-to snack, try making your own. Bake sweet potatoes, kale, or apples into chips to get your crunch fix minus the guilt.
  • Freeze it. Now that the weather is getting warmer, afternoons definitely call for a cool refresher. Frozen grapes and berries are not only fun to snack on, but also make a great addition to drinks. You can also freeze fresh fruit juices or blended smoothies in ice cube trays with popsicle sticks for healthy homemade popsicles!

Fitness Fun in Numbers

Written on April 7, 2015 at 9:59 am

Having trouble getting and staying motivated to exercise? Sometimes it takes a little moral support to help get us and keep us going. Here are some easy ways to get started.

  • Exercise ClassJoin a team sport. No need to be a professional athlete to join a team sport. You may be surprised what club and amateur sports’ teams there are in your community. It’s also a great opportunity to get out and make new friends.
  • Take a class. Gyms and rec centers offer countless classes for every interest and skill level. Whether it’s cycling, Zumba, yoga or kickboxing, there is something for everyone.
  • Form a workout group. Gather your coworkers for a daily afternoon walk or go for evening walks with your family after dinner. You can even set aside a day or two a week to catch up with your friends at the gym.
  • Make exercise an event. Instead of dreading having to work out, make it something you look forward to doing with your friends or family. Spring is the perfect time to participate in charity runs and walks as a team. Not only will you be getting a great work out, but you will be supporting a good cause at the same time.

Dealing with Picky Eaters

Written on March 31, 2015 at 9:33 am

Got a picky eater in your home? If you are at your wit’s end and can’t seem to get your child to try new foods, we understand! It is important to establish healthy eating habits at a young age, but it isn’t always easy to get your child to learn to love fruits and vegetables. With just a little creativity, you’ll be able to win over even the pickiest of eaters!

  • Variety is key. Offer your child an assortment of Girl Refusing Broccoli_138962219fruits and vegetables in different colors and use cookie cutters to cut your child’s food into shapes they recognize. Arrange their food in a fun way on their plate by creating a face or spelling out his or her name. Divided plates or bento boxes can also help make foods more visually appealing.
  • Cook with your kids. Kids are more likely to enjoy the foods they helped prepare. Even if they aren’t old enough to do the actual cooking you can have them wash blueberries or tear up lettuce, for example.
  • Sneak it in! There’s no harm in sneaking in an extra vegetable or two, like adding spinach to your child’s smoothie or finely chopped carrots and celery to their pasta sauce. They won’t even notice!
  • Set a good example. If you aren’t eating your fruits and vegetables, chances are your child won’t either. Show them you enjoy what you are eating and talk to them about why it is important to eat healthy foods.

Harvest of the Month Snack Program

Written on March 24, 2015 at 4:11 pm

The Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) recently received
funding to expand education and access to fruits and vegetables in Charlottesville City. Since its launch in January, TJHD and Move2Health have been working together with community partners to promote and support the Harvest of the Month snack program.

The program is the result of a wonderful collaboration between City Schoolyard Garden, Charlottesville City Schools, and the Local Food Hub, which connects elementary students with opportunities to develop healthy living skills. In addition to supplying fresh, healthy snacks that students can enjoy in the classroom, the program provides teachers and families with information on growing, nutrition, and preparation of the monthly crops. The harvests so far have highlighted pink lady apples, kale, and radishes. Be sure to follow the progress of the Harvest of the Month snack program on our Facebook and Twitter pages!Harvest of the Month_Jan-Mar 2015


One more way to win prizes!

Written on January 8, 2015 at 2:57 pm

M2H FB Banner Vid contest-01

Thank you for logging your fruits and veggies this past year! Take this short survey to share your thoughts about the challenge and help us improve future Move2Health activities! Participants have a chance to win prizes from free massages and facials to personal training sessions and more!

Click HERE to complete the survey.

 


The End of Another Challenge!

Written on January 2, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Well, we are sad to say that our 2014 Fruit & Veggie Challenge has officially ended! It’s been a great past four months, and we have heard so many success stories of people who have changed their eating habits because of the Move2Health Challenge. If you are one of those, we would love to hear from you! Just send along a quick email with your story, so we can share it with our users.

We have an exciting year coming up as we partner with other local organizations to increase availability of healthy food and recreational activities to the public. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more info and updates!

To see the challenge progress, check out the infographic below. Fruit & Veggie Challenge Outcomes Infographic

 


Stay Healthy for the Holidays! (Part 3)

Written on December 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm

STOCK THE FREEZER WITH HEALTHY FOODS

This is one of my personal favorites. I love the idea of having dinner ready quickly and easily, even when I don’t have the time to cut up veggies and use non-processed foods. During the holiday season, I feel that I have so much less time to do my everyday activities because of all of the extra things going on — parties, shopping, hosting family, and the all-daunting task of wrapping gifts! 

Here are some recipe ideas from Eating Well that can be made ahead of time and do well frozen.

Click here for a complete list of frozen recipes!

Mac and cheese


Baked Mac & Cheese

Mac & cheese can be a true comfort on a gloomy day, and our healthy update takes advantage of extra-sharp Cheddar balanced with creamy low-fat cottage cheese and tucks a layer of spinach into the middle, which may help picky eaters down their vegetables. Whole-wheat pasta adds robust flavor and extra fiber.

 

Mushroom quiche


Mini Mushroom & Sausage Quiches

These crustless mini quiches are like portable omelets. Turkey sausage and sauteed mushrooms keep them light and savory. Small and satisfying, they’re also a good finger food for your next cocktail party.

 

 

Black Bean chiliBlack Bean & Mushroom Chili

Black beans, earthy mushrooms and tangy tomatillos combine with a variety of spices and smoky chipotles to create a fantastic full-flavored chili. It can simmer in the slow cooker all day, which makes it perfect for a healthy supper when the end of your day is rushed.

 

 

Lasagna

Classic Lasagna

Whole-wheat lasagna noodles taste great in this recipe, plus they help boost the fiber to 9 grams, which is more than a third of the recommended daily intake and especially good news for a healthy heart.

 


Recipe of the Week

Written on December 10, 2014 at 11:07 am

a240155efba420293b1c165616cffde8Red Cabbage, Cranberry, and Apple Slaw

Apples provide 1 gram of soluble fiber in each piece of fruit.  Soluble fiber slows the availability of energy and helps to balance blood sugar and block cholesterol absorption when eaten with a meal or snack. 

Makes:  8 servings (serving size:  1 cup) 

Ingredients: 

5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1 ½ pounds)

½ cup dried cranberries

⅓ cup rice vinegar

⅓ cup sugar

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons olive oil

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 ¼ cups thinly sliced Granny Smith apple

¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted

 

Preparation:

Combine cabbage and cranberries in a large bowl.  Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over cabbage mixture, tossing to gently coat.  Cover and chill 2 hours.

Add apple, and toss well to combine.  Sprinkle with pecans. 

 

Note:  This slaw marinates in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, allowing the vinaigrette to permeate the cabbage and plump the cranberries.  Stir in the apples just before serving in order to keep them bright.

 

Nutrition Information:  Calories 131;  Fat 4.2g (.4 g sat, 2.4 g mono, 1 g poly);  Protein 1.7g;  Carb 23.6g;  Fiber 3.8g;  Chol 0 mg;  Sodium 236mg;  Calcium 46 mg

Source:  Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2004.

 

For nutrition questions, please contact your acac Nutrition Coach,

Kris Bonham, RDN at krisb@acac.com


Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Written on December 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

spinach-artichoke-dip-12

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Great for parties and tailgates, served with raw vegetables such as sliced red peppers, carrot sticks, celery, or whole grain crackers.  This is also great when spread on small slices of whole-grain bread and broiled.

Makes:  12 servings (serving size ¼ cup)

Ingredients: 

½ cup light mayonnaise

½ cup fat-free plain yogurt (regular or Greek yogurt)

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 cup (4oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

2 teaspoons dried or 3 tablespoons fresh minced onion

3 garlic cloves, crushed

½ teaspoon dried basil

⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed

1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and coarsely chopped

 

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350º.  Mix together mayonnaise, yogurt, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, ½ cup mozzarella, onion, garlic, basil, and pepper.  Add spinach and artichoke hearts.  Mix until blended.  Spread evenly in a pie plate or similar sized glass baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses on top.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until heated through. 

 

Nutrition Information:  Calories 97; Fat 5.5 g; Cholesterol 19 mg;  Sodium 257 mg;  Carbohydrate 4.5 g;  Fiber 2g;  Protein 5g.  One serving is equivalent to:  1 Vegetable and 1 medium fat Protein 

 

Kris BFor any nutrition questions please contact your acac Nutrition Coach,

Kris Bonham, RDN at krisb@acac.com