Community Input Survey


We have two give-aways happening today in conjunction with our booth at the Local Food Fair 2016!

First: Help us better help you! Take our survey (it’s quick and easy, we promise) about your understanding of PC CAN and the ways we can better support healthy living in Portage County. Your survey response will enter you in a drawing for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to the CPS Café.

Survey Link:

(Show us your survey confirmation page at the Food Fair tonight and receive a 2016 Health & Homemade calendar.)

Second: Like and Share this post on Facebook to help us spread the word about Portage County CAN, the work we do and our survey. A second winner will be selected for a $20 gift card to the CPS Café.                              Winners from both drawings will be announced Monday morning.

Stuffed Peppers

20160201_151621 (3)The Health & Homemade Nutrition and Fitness Calendar is full of healthy, easy, family friendly recipes for each month of the year! We will be showcasing each month’s recipe on our website along with a review from one of our partners who prepared the recipe for their family.

Want to follow along with your own Health & Homemade calendar? – You’re in luck! We will be giving away these calendars at our exhibitor’s table at the 2016 Local Food Fair. Stop by and take our short survey to receive yours!


Stuffed Peppers
Print Recipe
PC CAN's own Suzanne Oehlke gives this stuffed peppers recipe 5 stars! She says that the preparation was fun and quick, giving it a thumbs up. And, she will keep this recipe for family meals, gatherings, and entertaining. Enjoy!
8 .5 pepper each
Cook Time
40 mins
8 .5 pepper each
Cook Time
40 mins
Stuffed Peppers
Print Recipe
PC CAN's own Suzanne Oehlke gives this stuffed peppers recipe 5 stars! She says that the preparation was fun and quick, giving it a thumbs up. And, she will keep this recipe for family meals, gatherings, and entertaining. Enjoy!
8 .5 pepper each
Cook Time
40 mins
8 .5 pepper each
Cook Time
40 mins
Servings: .5 pepper each
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Sauté sausage and onion in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and cooked to 155 degrees. Pour off any fat.
  3. Stir in oregano, spaghetti sauce, rice, and 1/2 cup cheese.
  4. Wash peppers, cut in half lengthwise, and remove seeds. Arrange in a 9X13inch baking dish.
  5. Spoon sausage mixture into the peppers, mounding on the top.
  6. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on tops. Continue cooking another 10 minutes.
Recipe Notes


The recipe was easy to follow and read. The ingredients were readily available in my kitchen, except for the bell peppers. Shopping for the peppers was easy as they are available year around.  I chose a rainbow of green, yellow and red peppers adding a variety of flavor to the stuffing.  I used a jar of home processed spaghetti sauce, however commercial sauce is most commonly on my shelf.

Preparation was fun and quick. I may blanch the peppers next time depending of the density of the vegetable or just bake a bit longer to assure a tender rather than crunchy shell.

Either way I will keep this recipe gets a thumbs up for family meals, gatherings, and entertaining.

Share this Recipe

Jan 29

Set Goals That Match Your Values

With the New Year upon us, many of us reflect back on 2015 considering goals that were or were not accomplished. We begin developing New Year’s resolutions and, course, for most of us, those resolutions don’t make it past the first new month.

Almost half of Americans set New Year’s resolutions, but only eight percent are successful. How can this be? A common mistake when creating resolutions is being unrealistic and trying to achieve things that do not align with your personal values. The problem with this is that your goals aren’t built around the things that make you happy. Resolutions are guided by a desire to fit in with outside expectations, rather than what you truly desire for your life and who you want to be.

Even though the resolution may seem right to your ear, it may not hold enough meaningful truth to you, which prevents the resolution from evolving. Consequently, this can lead to emotional wounds that impact our psychological well-being, making us feel like we have failed, or that we are unable to achieve the things we want in life. We start to experience negative emotions and lack of motivation when resolutions are not being reached, affecting our overall well-being and ultimately our happiness.

This year, instead of thinking about a New Year’s resolution, focus your time on setting goals for yourself around the things you value. Dedicate the time and effort toward setting goals on things you want and think you can accomplish that will bring richness and joy to your life. Here are some ideas to help you get started on making your 2016 goals healthy, happy, and true to you.

  1. Know what your top five values are.Values are a set of standards that help you better understand what you really care about, what you want in life, and what is important to you. They describe your motivations and drive your decision making. Research personal values assessment surveys to better understand what your values are. My favorite values assessment is from Dr. Demartini, a human behavioral specialist. You can access the assessment online by creating an account and filling out the information to find out what your core values are.
  2. Think about what excites you.After you understand your values, think of those things that really excite you. Would do you love to do for fun, and what would you love to accomplish? When you answer these questions you will feel great; you will be inspired.
  3. Write them down.Write down all those things that excite you that you want to accomplish. Let your thoughts fly and carefully record and start to plan how you are going to achieve them.
  4. Now prioritize those aspirations. Which ones are the most important on your list? Which are the most feasible? List them in the order in which you will actually try to attain them.
  5. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.This is important.
    (S) Be Specific. Your goals need to have direction and they need to be focused. Without clarity in your goals, the goal becomes too vague.
    (M) Measurable. Always set goals that you can measure, and track your progress to maintain motivation. For example, you may be able to measure your goal based on the number of hours per week you spend on that goal.
    (A) Attainable. Is this goal reachable? Be realistic but willing to push yourself outside your comfort zone.
    (R) Realistic. Is this goal realistic and relevant to your life? Does it align with your top values? Identify the resources you need to reach the particular goal.
    (T) Timely. Establish a time frame of when you want to achieve that goal to help you stay on track and motivated to achieve it.
  6. Be patient with yourself.Perfection is unattainable. Getting off track when reaching your goals is normal, and that is OK. Be patient with yourself, and don’t beat yourself up for it. Focus on the reason you made the goal in the first place. Recover from the mistake and continue to move forward.
  7. Find a support system.Surround yourself with people that support you and know what your values are and will listen to you. This can help strengthen your resilience and get your feelings out and can clear away the negative thoughts.

Setting goals that align with your top values will help direct your energy and connect you to things that give you greater purpose in life. They drive your life in a positive direction and lead you into success and satisfaction. Start creating goals and begin to feel more excited and more inspired to work on the path you’ve set for yourself. Then you will feel as though your life is heading in the “right” direction.

Lindsay Worley is a chiropractic technician at Infinity Wellness and Chiropractic in Plover and a graduate intern with Ministry Health Care Employer Solutions in Stevens Point. Ministry Health Care is a partner of Portage County Can, a coalition of community businesses, organizations and individuals committed to promoting healthy eating and active living in Portage County.







Dec 14

Tips for Holiday Wellness

The holiday season is in full swing.  It is a time for celebrating all the good things in life.  But all the celebrating can disrupt healthy habits, further strain busy schedules, or raise the bar on expectations that can distract us from the true meaning of the holidays.  Below are some tips for holiday wellness from the school of Health Promotion & Human Development at UW-Stevens Point.

Kelly Schoonaert, Associate Professor of Health Promotion/Wellness, says planning ahead can help.  Not with massive shopping lists.  Rather, “set aside a private, quiet moment, well before all the hoopla sets in, to reflect on what the meaning of the season is to YOU.  What outcomes do you want?”  If it’s to connect with important people to tell them how much you value their presence in your life, realizing this weeks in advance can allow you to plan the phone calls, travel, and hand written cards so they don’t fall by the wayside as things get busy.  Then, the things that you intentionally determined are not important, whether it’s shopping for everyone or baking boxes of cookies, are less likely to get in the way.

Being clear on what you want out of the holidays can also help maintain healthy habits.  If holiday parties threaten to disrupt your regular exercise routine, plan to arrive late after you’ve exercised.  Missing 30 minutes of a party is nothing compared to the peace of mind you’ll get from your workout.  Physical activity can also become part of holiday traditions, whether it’s a walk in woods while the turkey is in the oven, a star light tromp through the snow to see if Santa is out early, or an annual touch football game when there’s enough family at home to field two sides, physical activity is easily infused with the spirit of the season.

Ashley Chrisinger, RD, suggests “planning holiday menus so they include enough fruits and veggies that everyone can fill half their plate with non-starchy options.”  Treats seem to be everywhere this time of year, but research shows that we will choose from what is available.  “So keep the candies and cookies out of sight and keep the fruit bowl fresh and full.  You can even decorate with colorful fall veggies like squash and mini pumpkins or healthy snacks like nuts, apples, and dried fruit.”

Gift giving is one way to express how much you appreciate someone.  Sterling Wall, Professor of Family & Consumer Sciences, reminds us that it’s okay not to break the bank financially.  “There is story after story of children leaving the expensive toys on the floor in favor of playing catch or building a snowman with visiting friends and relatives.”  In a survey of his students, Wall discovered that when students described their most meaningful memories, they were often about moments connecting with someone.

Giving strengthens connections and doesn’t have cost much.  Do something simple but special for someone, such as baking their favorite pie.  Or by asking them for help when things get hectic.  “When you acknowledge that people cannot read your mind they usually will try to provide what you need if they know about it,” says Dr. Schoonaert.  Asking for help provides others with an opportunity to give something meaningful.  And that’s the true spirit of the season.

Annie Wetter is President of Portage County Can, a coalition of community businesses, organizations and individuals committed to promoting healthy eating and active living in Portage County.  Also, as Chair of the School of Health Promotion & Human Development at UWSP, she is pleased to share her colleagues’ wisdom on holiday wellness.

Oct 06

Walk Your Way Around Portage County

Our walkable community is poised to respond to the Surgeon General 

Only half of American adults get the amount of physical activity that improves wellbeing (better sleep, mood, thinking, etc.) and health (lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, etc.). That’s why on Sept 9th the US Surgeon General issued Step It Up!, a call to action to promote walking and walkable communities.  The idea is to support communities in making walking or wheelchair rolling safer and more accessible to everyone.  I looked at the action steps recommended by the Surgeon General and they reminded me of our community!  We have so much already in place and there are many movements afoot that promise to make Portage County communities even more walkable.

Where can we walk?  The Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitor Bureau (SPACVB) has a searchable directory of events and trails.  To find trails, click Outdoor Recreation, then Our Land, then search for trails.  You’ll get a listing with info on whether dogs are allowed, if it’s handicap accessible, other activities available along the trail (such as fishing), and links to contact info, website, and a map.

You can also search the SPACVB calendar for walking and hiking events.   Active Portage County has listings too such as the upcoming Moon Walk and events at Standing Rocks park.  Some people like to participate in organized events for social reasons: their physical activity acquires additional purpose and meaning by coming together as a community to support a cause, whether it’s Alzheimer’s awareness, raising money for cancer research, or any number of local organizations such as the Ice Age Trail .  Not only does IAT hold hike-a-thons of various distances to accommodate all fitness and interest levels, but you can also be active by volunteering to maintain the trail so it can continue to be a walking paradise for everyone.  Being active can be more than just about moving; it can be in the service of others and ideas beyond our own personal health.

A lot is offered in town too. The Green Circle trail is accessible to most of the City.  A new Stevens Point walking map available at SPACVB and  suggests several routes of about 1 mile that visitors, residents, and employees can use to take a walking break, hold a walking meeting, or fit more walking into what they normally do.

I am further inspired by recent movements that promise to enhance the walkability of our community.  On September 21st the recommendations of the Portage County Bicycle / Pedestrian Plan were adopted into the City of Stevens Point’s own plan.  This enables the City to increase pedestrian safety, invest in more infrastructures (e.g., better sidewalks), more Safe Routes to School programs, greater connectivity and access to the Green Circle Trail, among other things that will make walking easier, safer, more enjoyable for everyone.  Stay informed or get involved: for minutes and agendas for the City’s Bike/Ped Advisory Committee and other meetings.

Annie Wetter, Chair of the School of Health Promotion & Human Development at UWSP, is President of Portage County Can, a coalition of community businesses, organizations and individuals committed to promoting healthy eating and physical activity in Portage County.

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