Mississippi BodyWalk Blog

being smart from the inside out

June 17th is Eat Your Vegetables Day June 12, 2014

Filed under: Health,Healthy Snacks,Nutrition — mississippibodywalk @ 3:17 PM
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Hello Body Walkers,

I just found out June 17th is Eat Your Vegetables Day. So, I thought it would be fun to give you ideas of how to eat vegetables for each meal and two snacks. Some people enjoy eating vegetables all the time. Some just want to find ways to increase their percentage of vegetables to meat. While you certainly CAN follow these ideas and make June 17th a day of only vegetables, I hope it at least gives you ideas of how to up your veggie intake.

BREAKFAST

I am usually a granola bar breakfast eater, or a full on scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, and grits kind of person. For EYVD, I am going to try something new. I am going to have a one egg omelet. Here’s the plan. Before I even crack the shell, in a saute pan with a tiny pat of butter, I am going to cook a diced onion, a large handful of spinach, diced tomato, shredded carrot, and finely cut up broccoli. I am going to cook all the veggies until they are soft. Then I am going to pour them on a plate, and without even wiping out the pan, I am going to crack my egg in there. Cooking it just long enough for it to start to set, I’ll pour all my hot veggies back in, and BAM! Omelet magic. Now, you can use other vegetables. What’s awesome about an omelet is the versatility. This is your day to try cauliflower in an omelet. Do you love chard? Kale? Use it instead of spinach.

MID MORNING SNACK.

You can never go wrong with carrots, celery, broccoli and a little bit of ranch dressing. Peel and slice everything ahead of time, pack it in your lunchbox and enjoy at work.

LUNCH

Salad is the obvious choice here. If you love salad, make your favorite. Leave off the grilled chicken, the ham, the shaved turkey. Get your favorite spring mix, pile on those sun-ripened tomatoes you got at the farmer’s market. Pile high with color. Now is the time to slice a radish super thin and layer it on. Slice up a raw beet. Yes you can eat them raw! They will make your salad a delight to your tastebuds and your eyes.

Maybe you hate salad. Maybe you need something cooked. No problem. Bake a potato. When it’s cooked, don’t smother it in cheese and meat. No, pile it high with raw veggies, the more the better. Potato only a side item and not a meal? No problem. Veggie soup. This can be as complex as you like, and will be better if you made it ahead of time, last night for example. Everyone has their favorite ingredients for soup, the challenge here is to add one new vegetable you haven’t tried before. Do it! You will probably like it.

MID AFTERNOON SNACK

It’s 3:30 and you are ready for your regular candy bar or chips or doughnut. No! Today is the day you try dried apricots and raisins.  Yes, these are fruit, but it is a snack, so you can have some fruit on vegetable day. If you are at home, why not try grilled tomato treats? Slice a nice big ripe tomato into thick slices. Place on a cookie sheet. Top with grated cheese, any herb you like, and broil until the cheese is melted and the tomato is soft. When you take it out of the oven (or toaster oven), you can top with a small slice of avocado. These are DELICIOUS. I promise.

SUPPER (AKA DINNER)

Now is the time to pull out all the stops on your EYVD. There is no limit on your options. Make stir-fry! You can also go out and order stir-fry, but making it is more fun. Make your own Portabella mushroom burger. It’s just like a regular burger, except you eat a giant mushroom instead of a ground up cow. Another fun option, and one I make on a regular day, not just EYVD, is stuffed bell peppers. Now, the traditional way to make these is with ground beef or turkey as the base. This time, use cooked quinoa, barley, or couscous as the base. Then add brown rice, onion, and whatever other veggies you like to the pepper stuffing. Another fun twist on this is to use red, yellow, and orange bell peppers instead of green. The flavor is amazing and you have a fun colorful dish to eat, instead of the expected green.

I hope these suggestions have given you some ideas of how you can enjoy Eat Your Vegetables Day. If you succeed in eating vegetables for all your meals and snacks, please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear about your day.

 

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Summer Food Service Program June 4, 2014

Hello Body Walkers!

Last Thursday was a really great day for me. I got to go represent Body Walk at the Summer Food Service Program Kick-off! (Whew, that’s a mouthful.) I’m sure you are wondering what the Summer Food Service Program is, right?

I’m going to make it easy for all of us and quote directly from the program I received.

“The Summer Food Service Program is an initiative of USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to provide healthy meals to school-age children in districts where 50% or more of the child population qualifies for free or reduced meals. This program is managed by the MS Dept. of Education Office of Healthy Schools (MDE OHS) and allows sponsors to set up sites across Mississippi to provide meals and other activities at a maximum of twice daily. Whether it is in a school, mobile site, low-income housing unit, or religious organization, SFSP works to guarantee children living in poverty are able to access healthy food during the summer vacation months.”

This is HUGE Body Walkers! Body Walk teaches the importance of making healthy food choices to K-5th grade children. How can they do that if their food resources are limited, or worse, not even there? By providing healthy food to these children, they can exercise the lessons they learned in Body Walk. Of course, not all the children who will benefit from this program have gotten to see Body Walk, but some have. Of all the schools Body Walk sees during the course of the year, on average, 80% of them have a student population where 50% or more of the students receive free or reduced breakfast and lunches.

Now, let’s talk about the speakers and the messages they shared yesterday. This event was at the MS State Capital. It was supposed to be on the south lawn, but the rain forced us inside? Have you been to the capital? It is beautiful. You can take tours (link needed) and learn more about it. Ok, on to the speakers.

First up was Todd Ivey, Deputy State Superintendent for Operations; MS Dept. of Education. Mr. Ivey really set the tone by welcoming everyone and explaining some about what the SFSP is and who it is trying to help.

Next up was Aaron Sisk, Vice President of Operations; Magnolia Health Plan. I have included links here, please go read more about Magnolia Health. He talked some about his company and how invested they are in the health of our young people. I confess, at the beginning of the day, I knew nothing about Magnolia Health. I got to learn a lot later in the day, read on down to find out what I learned. (Or click the link, whatever makes you happy :).

Next up was Audry Rowe. Ms. Rowe is an Administrator for USDA Food and Nutrition Services. I really enjoyed hearing Ms. Rowe speak. She was passionate about her goals to increase the number of children, not just in MS, but all across the country, who receive this much needed summer meal assistance. She talked about where she had been so far and the people she is connecting with to help her achieve the goal. She really got the crowd fired up with her passion and vision.

After her was the reading of Governor Phil Bryant’s Summer Food Service Proclamation. This was nice as it shows the state’s commitment to this issue. Part of the proclamation, stated that the week of June 2-6 is going to be SFSP week. I expect there will be a push in the news and social media during this week to let people know what’s available and why it is needed.

The last main speaker was Lenora Phillips, Director of CACFP/SFSP, MS Dept. of Education, and Office of Child Nutrition. She told us about what specifically is happening in MS to bring this program to life and make it work. She showed us the posters that are being distributed across the state. She told us people will be able to access the resources at schools, at day care centers, at churches, at community centers, and more. MS is making a huge push during SFSP week and she wants us all to spread the word. She was vibrant in her enthusiasm.

Last to speak was Benjamin Russell, Communications Director, and Public Policy Center of MS, who offered the closing remarks.

I’m sure you are wondering, was that it? Was that the whole day? NO. There was more. After all the speakers, we when to the first floor where many people had tables set up with handouts, posters, and loads of information. I got to visit several of the tables.

I learned that Magnolia Health “is a long-term solution to help the state of Mississippi enhance care for Medicaid recipients while most effectively managing Medicaid funds. [Magnolia is] a physician-driven, Mississippi-based Medicaid Coordinated Care Organization (CCO)…” I had actually heard about similar services on National Public Radio, in relation to another company. I am so glad MS has something similar.

I also got to speak to Nancy Roman and Stephanie Yow. They both work for the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association. They were there talking about their program fueluptoplay60. The fuel up to play program is a great compliment to the teachings of Body Walk. The BW lessons teach low-fat milk is a great beverage choice in the brain stations (part of a healthy breakfast), the stomach station (part of a healthy meal), and the bone station(a great way to get calcium.) I enjoyed talking to them and sharing how Body Walk teaches a fueled up body is better able to learn and play.

After touring the tables, it was time to leave. I hope you are excited about SFSP in MS and if you know of children who would really benefit from access to healthy meals, please share this information with their caretaker.

 

Body Walk in Amite County March 3, 2014

Hello Body Walkers!

Last week, the exhibit traveled to Amite County, Liberty MS. (Age test: Aaamite County, LiberTY MISSissIPPi is the home of what famous comedian? Leave your answer in the comments.) This was an excellent trip. Before I tell you about the trip though, I wanted to show you a fun new item, buttons!

Body Walk and the OrganWiseGuys go together like walking and improved health. So, it only makes sense that the station presenters should have some OrganWiseGuys buttons to wear while they are teaching.

Adorable

Vegetables and Fruit

Protein

Protein

Gotta wear them ALL

Gotta wear them ALL

In Liberty, I worked with Amy Walsh. She is an Extension Agent in Amite County. She worked with the school to set the best schedule for the kids to come tour. She also worked with the Southwest MS Community College Nursing Instructors to arrange for their students to teach inside the Body Walk. I LOVE working with nursing students. They are always excited, full of energy, and they make the information fun for the kids. This group was a no different. Every time I listened to them teaching, the elementary kids were laughing, calling out answers, and just having a ball. We saw K-4th grade at Amite County Elementary School aka Liberty Elem.

Awesome presenters

Nursing students from Southwest MS Community College

Sometimes the station presenters or volunteers are nervous before the first group of kids comes in. Every now and then though, you get some people who are completely relaxed, who have no worries.

No worries.

No worries.

Before beginning the tour, sometimes it’s good to stretch, to get all your muscles loose and limber. A relaxed body and mind is one that is ready for learning. Some of the volunteers took turns leading the kids in some simple stretches so they would be ready to learn when they started the tour.

Loose and limber, limber and loose.

Loose and limber, limber and loose.

Once they kids finished their five minutes of stretching, it was time to start the tour. First stop was the brain. Here, the kids learned knowledge begins with a healthy mind.

Feed your brain good food AND good information.

Feed your brain good food AND good information.

The best place to learn about what is good food is in the Stomach Station. These ladies were showing plenty of examples of good food. They have plush models of fruits and veggies and they have life-like models of meats, grains, and juice.

Healthy food is ALWAYS a good decision.

Healthy food is ALWAYS a good decision.

When we have a healthy body, all the parts are working like they should. Some of those parts are the muscles. Muscle groups work together to breath, to digest our food, to let us throw a ball, or blink, or climb a tree. This last picture shows two volunteers working together in perfect harmony. She is reading the script, and he is prepared with all the props. He is holding one pound of fat, one pound of muscle, plush Madame Muscle, and he has the sack with the stress balls on his back. When she flips the page, he is ready to engage the group with the correct prop. Teamwork!

TEAMWORK

TEAMWORK

As you may have noticed, several of the volunteers are wearing the buttons. They were excited to get to wear them, and I was excited to have one more way to engage the volunteers in the experience that is Body Walk. It was a great trip.

Body Walk will be traveling to three counties in March and a specific day in March is when the Extension Agents will be able to book Body Walk for next Fall. I am looking forward to that, Body Walkers!

Hearty Heart loves the new banner.

Hearty Heart loves the new banner.

 

Heart Health February 17, 2014

Filed under: Body Walk,Health — mississippibodywalk @ 4:04 PM
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hello Body Walkers,

I need something to call you, and since this is the Body Walk Blog, and you are (hopefully) a fan, it seemed natural that you would be a Body Walk-er. Welcome to the expanded blog, where I will be sharing more with you than just recaps of the program, and where the exhibit has traveled.

Body Walk presents many wonderful health lessons. The hope is the listener, after hearing the lessons, the learner will internalize the messages and make better health choices. So, another way to internalize health lessons is to read (or write) about topics that expand on these health lessons. With that in mind, this first post focuses on heart health. February is the month of Love, with a capital L. We think of February as the time to think about all the love in our life; Love of romantic partners, love of friends and love of family. However, do we think enough about self-love? Do we think about our main love organ, the heart? How can we feel all the love we are capable of if our heart is not healthy? If our heart is clogged, or tired, or struggling because of how we take care of it, then we cannot love others to our full potential.

How can you have a healthy heart?

There are TWO main things you can do. Exercise and Food. Exercise will work more than your heart of course, but getting your heart rate up will strengthen this dynamic wonderful muscle sitting in the middle of your chest. A later blog will focus on fun and interesting exercises you can do. Today, the focus is food. What foods can you eat to keep your Love organ healthy? Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats are going to be a great place to start.

If you are not used to eating with the idea of keeping your heart healthy in mind, then making a plan might be a great way to keep you on track. Below is a simple menu of foods you can eat over the course of one day to fuel your body and show love to your heart. This menu is meant to be a starting place, an idea-sparker for you. When you sit down to make your own plan, first make a list of all the fruits and vegetables you like. Plan your meals around the healthy food you already enjoy. As you make good choices, and see that healthy food is tasty food, branch out. Try a new fruit, or a new vegetable. Try making an old favorite in a new way.

Fruits and Vegetables are cute and delicious

Fruits and Vegetables are cute and delicious

As an example, I already like strawberries, but I had never had them sliced up on a salad. I saw a friend of mine do this, and I had to try it. It was WONDERFUL. Now I have a new way to enjoy one of my favorite fruits, and I have a new way to add interest to salads. Do you hate strawberries? Substitute a berry you do like.

Breakfast
Hot Oatmeal with fresh or frozen berries. Orange juice or Coffee with Skim Milk to drink

Lunch
Grilled Salmon
Medium side salad topped with mandarin oranges slices, sliced strawberries, cucumber, walnuts, and a splash of dressing
Water or Unsweet tea to drink

Supper
Grilled chicken breast
Brown rice with cooked veggies stirred in, such as broccoli, carrots, or spinach
Water or Unsweet tea to drink
Sliced cantaloupe for dessert

See how easy that was? Now you have a beginning, a framework to make your own plan. What will you eat tomorrow to show your heart how much you like and appreciate it?

A Healthy Heart is a Happy Heart-Full of LOVE

A Healthy Heart is a Happy Heart-Full of LOVE

 

Catching Up January 31, 2014

Filed under: Body Walk — mississippibodywalk @ 4:27 PM
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Hello! Has it been months since the last post?

*looks at calendar*

Why yes, yes it has. What happened? The same thing that always happens, TRAVEL. That’s right, the Body Walk exhibit has been traveling, bringing the joy of knowledge to kids all over the state. Where have we been since September? I’m going to tell you! We’ve been to Marshall, Lowndes, Sunflower, Coahoma, Forrest, Lauderdale, Perry, Washington, MERRY CHRISTMAS, Itawamba, and Leflore! We would have gone to Marion but that part of Mississippi was hit with a major ice storm. No worries though, we will see those kids another time. 🙂

Whew! That’s TEN counties and THOUSANDS of kids that have learned how to ‘be smart from the inside out.’

Wanna see some pictures? I know you do.

ImageIsn’t that spooky? Look at that dramatic lighting on the Brain Station. We turned on some inside lights before the kids got there.

 

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Marshall County. These kids were great. I have worked with this Allied Health teacher several years and her high school students are always prepared, excited, and great with the kids. 

 

Image
Volunteers in the Armory in Sunflower county. This was a great trip. We saw 1050 kids from a total of six schools.

 

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This lady is wearing a cape of knowledge that has purple lightening bolts to match her purple scrubs and her headband is also a purple lightening bolt. The matching-I LOVE IT. She made her cape and headband and if Sir Rebrum could speak, he would say, “Well done.”

So there ya go. A nice update post to let you know that Body Walk is traveling the highways, still bringing health news to Kindergarten-Fifth grade Mississippi students.

 

Body Walk, Union County, New Albany June 11, 2013

Our next stop in March was to Union county, New Albany. Here we saw third graders from five different schools. Gina Wills booked Body Walk for her county. It is always nice to work with her, Beverly Brooks and Karen Caviness, all Extension agents. We saw about 390 students over one day. Our station presenters were high schools students, Allied Health and honor students.

They gym at New Albany Elem is very spacious. There was enough room for the kids to tour, exercise after the tour, and enjoy two other exhibits. There was an anti-smoking table from the tobacco coalition, and a nutrition table from the Family Nutrition Program.

Healthy food to put on a plate.

Healthy food to put on a plate.

 

DON'T SMOKE!

DON’T SMOKE!

The high school students did a great job. They were full of energy.

 

We are here to tell you about your heart!

We are here to tell you about your heart!

 

Come learn about how awesome your small intestines are!

Come learn about how awesome your small intestines are!

 

We want To Pump, You UP!

We want
To Pump,
You UP!

 

IMG_0290

How fast can you make it to the end? Get that heart going.

Everyone had a great time, and the presenters did a wonderful job. Teamwork gets the job done.

Student volunteers at Body Walk in New Albany.

Student volunteers at Body Walk in New Albany.

 

 

 

 

Body Walk, Greene County, Leakesville

First stop in March was to Leakesville Elementary. I had been here before, a couple of years ago. It was nice to see a few familiar faces. Mitchell Newman booked Body Walk for his county.

Lovely sign on a lovely day.

Lovely sign on a lovely day.

Just over 450 elementary students learned how to ‘be smart from the inside out’ in the Body Walk. They were taught by great Allied health students from the local high school. They kids loved learning how to keep nine different parts of their body healthy. They loved sitting on the teeth stools and brushing those stools with a giant tooth brush.

Mouth entrance, the stools are ready to be sat on, brushed and flossed.

Mouth entrance, the stools are ready to be sat on, brushed and flossed.

 

They really enjoyed dancing the ‘churn’ dance in the stomach. Food is churned in our bodies which is part of digestion. They had to be ‘digested’ so they could travel on through the body and slip into the blood stream, which they did after finishing the small intestine room. They flowed to the heart where they learned how to keep their hearts healthy and strong.

 

Hardy Heart with his vegetable friends. Hardy Hearty knows how to stay strong.

Hardy Heart with his vegetable friends. Hardy Hearty knows how to stay strong.

 

After that, they stopped at the bone station, the muscle station and the skin station. When their tour was done, they had plenty of information on how to be healthy and grow up tall and strong.

Cutest mailbox ever!

Cutest mailbox ever!