Category Archives: Green Living

Toss the Resolutions and Begin Permanent New You Solutions!

 

The Living Healthy Movement

Welcome to the new HEPSA Living Healthy Online Blog!  We are starting this New Year off right with a new look, new blog and new mission!  HEPSA Living Healthy wants to help you change your life for the better by joining the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement!  So sign up for this new blog today by clicking – www.livinghealthyonline.org

I am Denine Rogers, a registered licensed dietitian nutritionist and holistic practitioner who have a passion to change people’s lives for the better.  I have decided to start the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement because of the constant problems and complaints that I have received from my clients about making New Year’s Resolutions not New Year Solutions.  Too often we do not keep our resolutions and by the time the end of the year comes we feel like we have failed through the whole year. A resolution is a temporary hopeful fix but a solution is a permanent change!  The HEPSA Living Healthy Movement is on a mission to get you to discover what is holding you back from losing weight, stopping smoking, continuing an exercise plan, changing your relationships with food, etc. Check out joining the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement by signing up at the HEPSA Living Healthy Newsletter – www.livinghealthy1.org where we are making solutions for 2015, not resolutions!

This year 2015 the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement are providing ways to change your life for the better by learning about 12 different topics.  The monthly topics will be:

  1. Eating healthy with whole food nutrition
  2. Cooking healthy meals and snacks
  3. Herbal Medicine and Botanicals
  4. Exercising
  5. Meditation, Tia chi, Yoga and Qi Gong
  6. Aromatherapy
  7. Mind, Body and Spiritual Relationships
  8. Gardening
  9. Integrative Nutrition and Medicine
  10. Complementary Alternative Medicine
  11. Vitamins and Supplements
  12. Homeopathy

So for this whole year, the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement is focusing on making positive changes with your life.  I am asking you to join, the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement by clicking here today.

Thank you so much and start Living Healthy today!

 

HEPSA Living Healthy

HEPSA Living Healthy

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Spending my holidays at the Florida Aquarium

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I hope everyone has been enjoying their holidays because I certainly did!  I had a chance to spend some time with my family in Tampa, Florida and I had a chance to stop by to the Florida Aquarium!  I learned so much about the nutrition, health and well beings of the animals.  This Aquarium has recently went through renovations and there were so many interactive exhibits that was available to the public.

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Some of the interactive touching exhibits that I have went to was the Stingray Feeding tour.  The stingray is a flat fish that lives in the seas around the world and they prefer the temperate, shallow waters. They aren’t an active fish, spending their time mostly hiding in the sand. With their flat bodies, they don’t resemble a fish, which they certainly are, and their bodies are supported by cartilage rather than bones. They are basically nocturnal animals and this is why our knowledge of their feeding habits is quite limited. In captivity, they usually eat more things than in their normal habitat due to the fact that they can eat whatever they are fed.  They are carnivorous animals, more precisely predators, feeding on smaller fish and other sea creature that they catch at the bottom of the sea. Their diet consists of mollusks, clams, shrimps, snails and other species of fish. They don’t have a hard time catching their victim and due to their sandy color, they can hardly be detected. They can trap their prey with scarcely a problem, as they just wait for it to swim by. They don’t have strong eyesight and they must rely on their sense of smell when detecting their prey. 1

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I then went to the interactive touching exhibit of the Horseshoe Crab Lagoon.  I had a chance to touch these crabs.  Some of the facts about the Horseshoe Crabs are that these crabs are part of the Arthropods which are make up around 80% of the world’s animals, so it’s a highly successful class.  These creatures live in the ocean or in the sand and are often very beneficial to the environment.2 Horseshoe crabs are extremely important to the biomedical industry because their unique, copper-based blue blood contains a substance called Limulus amebocyte lysate. The substance, which coagulates in the presence of small amounts of bacterial toxins, is used to test for sterility of medical equipment and virtually all intravenous drugs. Research on the compound eyes of horseshoe crabs has led to a better understanding of human vision. The marine life fishery collects live horseshoe crabs for resale as aquarium, research, or educational specimens, and the American eel and whelk fisheries use horseshoe crabs extensively as bait along many parts of the Atlantic coast. 4

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The last interactive touching exhibit was the No Bones Zone were my husband had a chance to touch the beautiful star fishes and sea urchins.  The starfish is a pretty sea creature, with its swirly-shaped arms dipping out at all angles from the fish. The usual number of arms is 5 or 6, but there are different species of the starfish.  The foods that the starfish, a predator, eats are bivalves such as clams, oysters and mussels. They also eat any slow-moving fish. Others eat material that has decomposed from plants or animals. It seems that anything within reach is gathered for mealtime.3

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The final favorite place that I stop by was the Penguin Promenade where the trainers let the penguins walk around the audience on a red carpet.  These African Penguins was so cute and but they love to go to bathroom ever couple of minutes. Penguins are not afraid of humans and they do not communicate through sound but though body language. Penguins are amazing creatures for having the ability to adapt to their living environment and climate changes.  The African Penguins diet consist of  krill, cuttlefish, sardines, pilchards, anchovies, small crustaceans and squid. The African Penguins also adds pilchards and anchovies to their diet.5

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I truly enjoy the Florida Aquarium and I will make sure to come back again!  If you would like to see some more pictures of the animals that I saw you can click here !

 Happy New Year Everyone!!

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References:

1, 2, 3, 5 –  http://diet.yukozimo.com/

4 – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission – http://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/crustaceans/horseshoe-crabs/facts

 

Come to the Table – Promedica Presents – Hunger Is A Health Issue – Part 2

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This week at the Come to the Table Promedica Workshop at the Jimmy Carter Center in Atlanta, GA, I had a chance to listen to the panel discussion on what is working and what we need to work on  in the fight against hunger.

Harriet Giles, PHD, Managing Director from Auburn Hunger Solutions Institute and Director of External Relations, College of Human Sciences Auburn University – discuss about the Alabama model delivery trucks for the Summer Children’s Program which provides healthy meals for children during the summer months when school is closed.

Susan Respess – Auburn Hunger Solutions Institute and Vice President of Government Relations of Children’s of Alabama – talked about medical compliance relationship with kids access to food in order to take their medications.

Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling, PHD, MPA – Senior Adviser, Hunger Impact of AARP Foundation – discussed that the revised version of the My Plate has been very effective in the fight against hunger.  Ms. Lewin-Zwerdling did said what is not effective is that alot of the  50+ years older adult population are having a lack of money,  poor locations and availability to healthy foods.  This population group are usually tremendous effected by the food deserts in their communities.

Duke Storen, Senior Director, Research, Advocacy and Partner Development of Share Our Strength explained that 1 in 5 children have fallen into the category of food insecurity.  What is working to fight hunger is the school breakfast program, WIC, food skill education programs from individual grants and SNAP for low income children. What is not working is less participation in SNAP program.  What could work better is the benefits and funding levels of the SNAP program needs to increase particularly for the out of school time such as after school programs, weekends and summertime.  Mr. Duke Storen explained that there is more poverty is in the suburbs than in the inner cities.  Mr. Duke Storen gave us a Five Points Plan that will assist with eliminating hunger.

5 Points Plan

  1. Screening
  2. Direct Services – Ex. WIC
  3. Leadership
  4. Metric Driven Based Program
  5. Funding
  6. Advocacy

Debbie Britt – Board Member of the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) and Executive Director Community & Public Relations, Piedmont Fayette Hospital explained what is working is the collaboration with the communities with transportation issues to healthier supermarkets, helping the community with changing their lifestyle and having physical exercise programs at Senior Centers such as Zumba and providing Meals on Wheels programs.  Ms. Britt did explained what is not working is that hospital not understanding the importance of learning about nutrition and that Medicaid does not pay for nutritional services.

At the end of the workshop, Mike Beier from President and CEO, ContXt, gave us a  Engaging the Community to End Hunger:  Meeting in  a Box  Dialogue game where you can have a engaging group discussion about ways that the community can end hunger.  I can not wait to use this with my clients and community leaders. This one day workshop was a excellent event and hopefully we will have more voices who are willing to fight against hunger  and make it a health issue!

Come to the Table – Promedica Presents – Hunger Is A Health Issue – Part 1

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I had the excellent opportunity to come to the incredible 2nd annual Regional Summit Workshop on Hunger that was presented by Promedia and the Alliance for Hunger.  This workshop was held at the beautiful grounds of the Jimmy Carter Center in Atlanta, GA.  The workshop started off with Barbara Petee who is the Chief Advocacy and Government Relations Officer of Promedia.  She discussed about how obesity ties in with hunger and that hunger is a public health and moral issue.  She stated that the only way to find a solution to end hunger is to address it.

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Next came Lee Hammerling, MD works with Promedia as the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Physician Executive of Promedia.   Dr. Hammerling discussed about Promedia which is a community based, mission driven, non-for-profit business that is employee strategically focused and fiscally sound.  Promedia’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve.   Dr. Hammerling also discussed about public healthcare where the annual cost of hunger to every U.S. citizen is on pace to b e a rough amount of $42,400 per citizen over a course of a lifetime.  The overall cost of hunger to our nation’s amount to be at least $167,5 Billion.  Promedia believes that the healthcare system should take a leadership role – clinically, socially and economically. Dr. Hammerling spoke about how remission key risk factors and social determinants can impact a person’s health. Lack of transportation + lack of food = remission to hospital.

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Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service(FNS), U.S. Department of Agriculture spoke about the FNS Consumer Service mission to end hunger and improve nutrition in America.  She also explained about food insecurities that in about 360,000 households that 1 to more children simply do not get enough to eat.  This is the Healthy people 2020 ten year focus on economic cost, hunger cost and health disparities. Programs that have been fighting hunger for children are the  SNAP(Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) which has been in existence for 50 years and WIC (Women, Infant and Children) which has been in existence for 40 years.  SNAP consist of the Commodity Food Assistance program,  Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and Health Incentives.  There is also the FINI (Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program) which supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase such as Farmer’s Markets and mobile markets.

Next week, I will discuss about the Panel Discussion on what is working and what is not working with the fight for eliminating hunger.

Having a Fun Night at the Georgia Aquarium.

I have a special date with my hubby!  Where are we going you may ask?  Well to the Georgia Aquarium of course.  I always love to see the marvelous sea creatures that this very special Aquarium has.  Every time I go to the Aquarium I learn something new.

My Husband was invited to go to the Georgia Aquarium for a law-enforcement conference and I decided to come along.  Wolfgang Puck was the head chef at this event and I knew that I had to taste his delicious food.  When I got there the food was coming out fast and the crowds of people were running to the food stations to eat the food.  I did try some of the shrimp and grits which were fabulous and some of the desserts.  It was feast or famine with this wild crowd of law enforcement officials.

After partaking the food, I told my husband lets walk around the Aquarium exhibits so we can burn some calories.  The first exhibit we visited was the Ocean Voyager.

Food Day 2014

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October 24th, 2014 is a very special day.  You are probably asking why is this day so important?  It is Food Day which is a day to inspire Americans to change their diets and an push to improve our food policies.  This year’s Food Day will have a special focus on food access and justice for food and farm workers.

This annual event involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists, united by a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it.

The typical American diet is contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Those problems cost Americans more than $150 billion per year. Plus, a meat-heavy diet takes a terrible toll on the environment.

Eating Real can save your own health and put our food system on a more humane, sustainable path. With America’s resources, there’s no excuse for hunger, low wages for food and farm workers, or inhumane conditions for farm animals.  – quote from Foodday.org

So how can you get involved?  Use this positive movement around Food Day by introducing healthier foods into your diet. Ask your employer to start announcing an office wellness policy or participate in a community supported agriculture program. Or, introduce cooking lessons in your school or start planting a vegetable garden.

I am going to join the Food Day social media pages to spread the word about the importance of start a new food movement!  Let me know what you would like to do in your community on this Food Day!  Check out the Food Day 2014 website for further information – http://www.foodday.org/

The 35th Year Appreciation Celebration of the Georgia Master Gardener – Part 2

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After eating that delicious lunch,  I was ready to walk off the pounds during the afternoon tour.  It was getting hotter outside that our tour guide decided for our group to seek refuge in the USDA Seed Storage Building.  When we got there we were greeted by Dr. Melanie Harrison-Dunn a Geneticist of the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit.  Dr. Harrison-Dunn explained about her current research priorities are focused on the acquisition of native warm season grass germplasm; germsplasm characterization including genotyping, nutritional analysis, and salt tolerance; and ornamental grass breeding.  Also, in the USDA Seed Storage Building there were more than 90,000 plant samples are part for the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit (PGRCU).  These diverse collections represent over 250 genera and 1,500 species from almost every country.

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The next part of the tour was meeting with Dr. Clint Waltz on the Turfgrass shade research.  Dr. Waltz  is actively researching on evaluating various turfgrass species to the environmental stresses of the Southeastern United States.  These evaluations allow sod producers, golf course superintendents, athletics field managers, other turf professionals and houseowners to make informed decisions about the adaptability of these cultivars.  The plots were developed for low maintenance, low water usage and pesticide input.

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The last part of the tour hearing a quick discussion on ornamental plant breeding process by Dr. Carol Robacker.  Dr. Robacker is the Associate Professor and REI Coordinator of Horticulture.   Dr. Robacker is doing two research projects on breed landscape plants that are adapted to the heat and drought stress of the urban conditions and develop cultivars of native plants.  She also show us her projects include breeding for azalea lace bug resistance in native azalea, and developing improved cultivars of little bluestem, spigelia, abelia, vitex and pearl bush.

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I truly had a great day at the University of Georgia – Griffin Campus and had learn so much  about the research agriculture.  I am so glad that this wonderful place only less than 2 hours away and I will make sure to visit it in the future.

Want to see pictures at the University of Georgia on Griffin Campus!  Click here!

The 35th Year Appreciation Celebration of the Georgia Master Gardener – Part 1

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I was truly honored in being invited to come to the Griffin, Georgia for the 35th year appreciation celebration of the Georgia Master Gardener.  This wonderful event was taken place at the University of Georgia- Griffin Campus which is one of the leading premier agricultural research centers in the region!  Also on this day is the 100th anniversary of the Georgia Cooperative Extension Services which start the Georgia Master Gardener program – 35 years ago.  There was over 200 Master Gardeners all over Georgia that came for this celebration.

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I had a chance to do the research tour of the Griffin Campus where they explained to Volunteer Master Gardeners about everything that is being done in order to improve the agricultural conditions in Georgia.  I start the tour by going on the University of Georgia tram with my fellow Douglasville Volunteer Master Gardener group .  We had a fabulous tour guide Parker Ivey who gave us alot of information about UGA Griffin Campus.  Our tour was divided into 3 tours in the morning and 3 tours in the afternoon,  On this blog posting I am going to discuss about the 3 morning tours.

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First stop of  the tour was the UGA Griffin Research and Education Garden with Tony Johnson.  Tony Johnson, Horticulturist discuss about the research display gardens are trying to recover from the 4 degree temperatures of the severe winter weather months that Georgia and the whole US early part of this year.  The research display gardens sits on 65 areas of land and it is divided into sections.  1. Arbor area, 2. Butterfly garden, 3. Children’s garden, 4. Herb garden, 5. Grandma’s garden, 6. Native plants, 7. Water garden, 8. Perennial garden and 9. a soon to be Asian garden.  These gardens have been in existence since October 1995.  Mr. Johnson made a joke “Anything out of place or is wrong then it is Research fault”.

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Next we traveled over to the raised gardens section where we met up with Bob Westerfield.  Mr.  Westerfield is the Department Horticulture and Program Coordinator of UGA of Griffin and is currently conducting research on raised bed gardening.  The research looks at growing in different types of soil medium as well as different depths.  Everything in the garden (fruits and vegetables) is being grown organically and a slow drip irrigation system is being use with a timer for watering.

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The the last tour for that morning was at the conservation garden with Dr. Kris Braman, Professor of Entomology at UGA of Griffin.  Dr. Braman research is focused on insect plant interactions, especially with the fascinating world of beneficial insects.  It was interesting in learning about the top ten pollinators and butterflies that are needed in a garden.

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During the lunchtime, there were alot of speakers at this celebration thanking the Georgia Master Gardeners for volunteering their time and hours  in this very special program. Dr. Beverly Spears, Associate Dean for Extension, said that there is over 3,200 active Master Gardener in Georgia which covers the time of the 100 Full-Time employees in Georgia.

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Dr. Steve Brown, Assistant Dean for Extension explained about the history of the Master Gardener and he thank all of the help that the Georgia Master Gardeners for contribute to the County with the Cooperative Extension Services.

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Sheri Dorn, State Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Coordinator, explained about the new badges for the Georgia Master Gardeners and that the  Master Gardeners is finally catching up with the technology age with electronic communication.

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It was great to hear these speaker under the back drop of the beautiful Woodroof Pavilion.  This pavilion was used in the 1996 Olympics to showcase agriculture to the world and then after the Olympics it was dissembled and brought to the UGA Griffin Campus.  This pavilion was renamed in honor of Naomi Chapman Woodroof, one of the first woman in the agriculture field (she studied plant pathology) and was the first woman in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences to be hired in 1920’s.  She also worked with Food Sciences and was prominent in changing peanuts from a feed crop to a food crop.  What a incredible woman!!

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Turn in next week when I discuss about the 3 afternoon tour that consist of ornamental plant breeding process, turfgrass shade research and USDA Seed Storage!!

Want to see pictures at the University of Georgia on Griffin Campus!  Click here!

Kids Eat Right Month – Shop Smart

August is Kids Eat Right Month, a new nutrition education, information sharing and action campaign created by Kids Eat Right, an initiative of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its Foundation.

Kids Eat Right Month spotlights healthy nutrition and active lifestyles for children and families, offering simple steps to help families cook healthy, eat right and shop smart.This month will also featuring expert advice from registered dietitian nutritionists. Click the link to see more:  www.eatright.org/kids.

The kids in the South usually go back to school in August so this kick off of the Kids Eat Right Program has come at the right time!  Today we are going to focus on Shop Smart!

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It is great to go food shopping with your children because you can use the is time to teach your child how to shop for food smartly and healthy.  Here are some tips to shop smart:

  1.  Plan menus and write a shopping list that corresponds with the store aisles. Look for menu planning and recipes on your supermarket’s website. Many sites feature tools for planning and pricing meals.
  2. Shop once or twice a week.  Don’t buy on impulse!  Limit impulse buys which can save you time and the cost of gas.  Buy what you need not what you or your children want.  Always bring a shopping list and try to stick to purchasing the items from this list.
  3. If you’re taking your kids food shopping, then feed them a light nutritious snack before leaving home so they (and you) don’t get tempted by less nourishing snacks and store samples.  Try peanut butter on apple slices or yogurt with low fat granola.
  4. Compare nutrition facts on the product’s label to determine how much nutrition you’re getting for your food dollar. Review the serving size and the total number of servings in the container. If you are keeping track of your child’s blood sugar then, look at carbohydrates, including added sugar and the fiber content on the food label.
  5. Peruse the perimeter. Most foods for a health- and cost-conscious eating plan are found by shopping the supermarket’s boundary. Then, with your shopping list in tow, visit just the aisles you need to balance fresh selections. (See Aisle by Aisle Top Picks.)
  6. Choose a variety of in-season whole fresh fruits and vegetables. They’ll be most abundant, most nutritious, and least expensive. For produce not in season, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables (with little or no added salt or sugar) are a nutritious option.
  7. Start clipping coupons! Just be sure to use coupons only on foods that you need not the ones you desire.
  8. But Store Brand Products.  Private label brands are often 15 to 20 percent less expensive than their national brand counterparts while the quality of the food may match the national brand.
  9. Compare Unit Prices.  Use the “unit price” (price per pound, ounce or pint) to compare national brands with store brands, or bulk and economy-sizes with single-serve or regular-size packages. Many stores show the unit price on a shelf tag.
  10. Pay Attention at the Check-Out.  Make sure prices ring up as advertised or as indicated on the shelf label, especially for sale items. Some stores will even give you the item free if they make a mistake on the price.

Even though your child may get mad at you for not giving them the sweets, sugary food items, do not cave in!  Show them that eating healthy and nutritious food can also be very tasty too!  So start planning your food shopping today! Next week, I will talk about Cook Healthy. So get ready to start cooking healthy!!

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Summer Salad Week

Finally, this summer I was able to produce some vegetables from my garden but my seedlings did not fair well this year.   My plants from the Douglasville Master Gardener Plant Sale did very well.  Here are the results of some of the produce from my garden:

 

Banana Pepper

Banana Pepper

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Cherry Tomatoes

String (Pole) Beans and cherry tomato

String (Pole) Beans and Cherry Tomato

Eggplant

Eggplant

Baby Eggplant

Baby Eggplant

This last week of July is Salad Week, and summer is a great time to fill up — and not out — on fresh fruits and veggies from the garden with a lightly salad dressing.  Check out these tips on nutritious and delicious salads for a tasty summer :

Growing greens. Salad greens are easy to grow in the home garden and an important source of vitamins and minerals. Dark green leaves are good sources of vitamins A and C, iron, folic acid, and calcium. Iceberg is the most popular, but many other lettuces and salad greens such as spinach, arugula, and romaine can add interest and nutrients to meals.

Super salad toppers. There are lots of nutritious ways to top a salad. Enhance eye appeal and nutrition by adding colorful fruits and vegetables. Keep it
light by limiting the amount of salad dressing to about 1 tablespoon per 1½ to 2 cups of greens. Make the flavor pop by adding artichoke hearts, dried fruits, nuts, and/or seeds.

Fresh herbs. Toss small basil leaves or chopped larger ones in with your greens. Try chopped fresh dill. Add some minced chives or parsley. Start with about a teaspoon of herbs per person and adjust according to taste preference. Herbs boost flavor without increasing calories.

Remember to dress, don’t drown, your salad in dressing to keep the calories lower and experiment with different combinations and flavors this summer.

(This information on Salad Week is from the Healthy Bites Newsletter – By: Lisa Franzen-Castle, RD, PhD, Nutrition Specialist – UNL Panhandle Research & Extension Center -Author E-mail: lfranzen2@unl.edu )

Next month is the first Annual Kids Eat Right Month!  Check out this blog for further information.