June 4, 2016 – Walk Wisconsin

 

12971025_10153543207168008_2750446912045711269_oWalk Wisconsin is the premier walking event in the Midwest! This is a non-competitive event, encouraging walkers of all ages and ability levels. The full, 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4 marathon events utilize the scenic Green Circle Trail which passes the Wisconsin River, Plover River, several lakes, and unique ecosystems. The trail base for all routes include a combination of wood chips, crushed granite, road surface and wood boardwalk. – See more at Active Portage County’s Website.

Event Cost: $35.00. The registration fee helps cover the cost of the sports sack, t-shirt, refreshments and food stops along the route, the finish celebration, medallion and more. A portion of the proceeds for Walk Wisconsin will go to the Wellness Fund at the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin. The remaining funds are used to fuel new and on-going wellness orientated activities and events to promote healthy people and lifestyles such as Kids Walk Wisconsin, Real Wisconsin-Bike Tour and Moon Walk Wisconsin.

Lentil Tacos

20160201_151621 (3)This fun lentil dish is both healthy and delicious.   The little wonders are fiber rich and provide significant amounts of folate and magnesium. Lentils can be prepared the day of serving since they do not need to be pre-soaked. Before washing lentils you should spread them out on a light colored plate or cooking surface to check for, and remove, small stones or debris. After this process, place the lentils in a strainer, and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water.

My 1 pound bag of lentils still had life so I made the taco party dip for friends.  That too was a hit and is now on my top ten list of hors de oeuvres and side dishes for any occasion.

Lentil Tacos
Print Recipe
Servings
6 people 2 tacos
Servings
6 people 2 tacos
Lentil Tacos
Print Recipe
Servings
6 people 2 tacos
Servings
6 people 2 tacos
Ingredients
Servings: 2 tacos
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 4–6 minutes, or until they become soft and fragrant. Stir several times during cooking
  2. Add the lentils and seasonings. Stir so that the seasonings are mixed in.
  3. Slowly add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  4. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes more until the mixture has thickened and the liquid is absorbed. Mash slightly with a fork.
  5. Heat corn tortillas according to package directions
  6. Spread 1/4 cup lentil mixture onto each tortilla.
  7. Serve with salsa, cheese, and lettuce.
Recipe Notes

lentil tacos-webI really enjoyed making this May recipe.  It’s easy to follow, challenged my legume cooking skills, and exposed my meat loving family to a delicious meal alternative.  The ingredients are easy to access and are available year through at local farm markets or area grocery stores.  Adding your favorite topping makes it complete and personal.

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Feb 15

Stevens Point’s Transportation Alternative Program

How many of us made New Year’s resolutions to be more active or get more exercise? That’s great, because one of the best ways to improve health is through physical activity.  The key is to find ways to be active all year round and in forms that we enjoy, are meaningful to us, and fit into other important aspects of our lives, such as family.

Research shows that people who live in “active communities” are more physically active because these communities make it easy and safe for anyone to exercise. Active communities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/community-strategies/index.htm, make bicycling and walking convenient by having safer sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and protected bicycle lanes.

We are lucky to live in a community that provides us with some of these street amenities. We also have the Green Circle Trail for active recreation and transportation. These resources are slated for more improvements so that even more people in Stevens Point have opportunities for safe, convenient physical activity.

The Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant, submitted in January by the City of Stevens Point with help from the recently formed Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, will expand the number of bicycle lanes in the community.

Since most car trips are less than five miles and the terrain in town is flat, Stevens Point is ideal for bicycling. Building on this foundation, the improvements (detailed in the map below) purposefully make connections between places of work, shopping, schools, and recreation. In addition, the plan helps cyclists avoid busy street crossings and make fewer stops, consequently improving safety and visibility. Residents and visitors will have more transportation options, making it easier to fit physical activity into daily routines.

But is biking to work or the grocery store the kind of exercise that improves health? Yes. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week for the average person, which equates to about 20-25 minutes a day. The same recommendations follow for able adults 65 and older.

According to the CDC, moderate intensity physical activity includes bicycling at a casual pace for most people. This means that simply bicycling to and from work, school, or leisure activities five days a week is enough to experience a myriad of health benefits, including reducing risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, improving mental health and mood, weight control, and the ability to do daily activities.

If the TAP grant is funded, will only bicyclists benefit from the infrastructure improvements? Actually, everyone’s quality of life improves whether they directly use the bicycle lanes or not.  Research shows that active communities have less pollution, fewer traffic accidents, and more social interaction and cohesion. These communities are also more attractive for businesses to locate in, creating economic benefits. Car owners who choose to bicycle spend less on gas, and active communities better support those without cars to travel safely and easily. In the end, everyone has more options and opportunities.

 

Madelin Petz is completing her master’s degree in Community & Organizational Leadership in the School of Health Promotion & Human Development at UWSP. UWSP 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.

 

map_TAP_proposal_small

 

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!
Servings
8 .5 pepper each
Cook Time
40 mins
Servings
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!
Servings
8 .5 pepper each
Cook Time
40 mins
Servings
8 .5 pepper each
Cook Time
40 mins
Ingredients
Servings: .5 pepper each
Instructions
  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

20160201_141300

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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