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
Tags: , , ,

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



Body Walk in Houston MS October 29, 2012

Body Walk usually sets up in a gym. These range from the very new, to the very old. Some gyms are plain and some have great murals. The gym at Houston Upper Elementary School is in the latter category. This trip was scheduled by Scott Cagel for Chickasaw county.  We saw the 3rd and 4th grade. Allied health students and girls in the local Anchor club served as station presenters. The students did a great job as station presenters. Everyone got into the spirit of teaching the lessons. They had great enthusiasm and worked well with each group.  The kids loved brushing the big teeth in the mouth station. They loved looking at the plasma light in the brain station. In the heart, they were thrilled to do 10 jumping jacks to feel how much their heart rate went up. In the lungs, they were very grossed out by seeing the black lung, and after they tried breathing through a straw while holding their nose, well, no one wanted to take up smoking as a hobby. 😉

They finished their tour in the pathway of life, a series of banners where they reviewed everything they just heard. The teachers received a stack of activity books for each student. They can use these books in the classroom as a supplement to planned health lessons. By going through the exhibit, having the review, and using the activity books, each student is exposed to the information three times. This repetition helps cement the lessons into their minds.

Anchor Club

Allied Health. Can you guess who worked in the muscle station?

The murals were fun to look at and each had a good message.

The third and fourth grade loved the Body Walk. They enjoyed the high school students teaching them. The third grade took a quiz when they finished, to see what they had learned inside the Body Walk. While they got most of the health messages, none of them learned to walk while in socks. After the quiz, they all wanted to run across the gym to put their shoes on. Running is great, just make sure to do it while shod. 🙂

Next up, Southaven.


Body Walk in Grenada Mississippi October 15, 2012

In Grenada, I set up at Grenada Upper Elementary School. This trip was booked by Jan Walton, 4-H agent for her county. On hand all week was Felicia Hughes, local FNP (Family Nutrition Program) agent for Grenada county. We saw just over 900 3rd-5th grade. Helping with set up and take down, as well as being volunteers all week, were students from the P.N. program at Holmes Community College. They were great help. They had just as much enthusiasm on the last day as they did the first. Larry Webster, the Career Tech Director of the college came by to see his students in action. Janice Avery, P.N. Director of the program was on-hand daily to encourage and monitor her students. Melody Shaw, Science teacher, set up the schedule for the classes to come through. Grenada has a lot of ‘set in stone’ times that the schedule had to work around. Melody did a great job setting up the schedule and then making sure we all stayed on schedule. All these people worked great together making Body Walk a wonderful experience for the students, and a smooth experience for all the adults.

Melody talking to waiting groups, explaining the awesome they are about to see. Hardy Heart greeted them when they came in the door.

Being in one location for a week gives me and the volunteers time to recall all the funny things the students say as they go through the Body Walk. Here are some of the more memorable things we heard.

“I thought the villi were teeth or icicles.”

A student asked the male nursing student, “Are you John Cena?” (the professional wrestler)

A fifth grader knew another good use for the stress balls used in the muscle station, “These are for people with physiological problems!”

A volunteer in the mouth asked, “What are you pulling out when you floss?” A third grade student, “The NASTY DEAD food.”

Having the same volunteers all day for a week requires a lot of coordination and support from the community. Here are pictures of some of the posters thanking the community for that help.

The students liked every room. They enjoyed traveling through the body, learning how to ‘be smart from the inside out.’ They learned how to be healthy by eating foods in the right portion, and foods that are good for them. In the Stomach Station, they saw the MyPlate logo, and got to match their Food Bookmark to the proper section of the plate. The bookmark tells them the food they are as they travel. Each child is a food, and a specific nutrient, traveling through the body. In addition to smart food choices and food portions, they learn about physical activity. In the Heart and Muscle stations especially, they learn why it is so important to be active. To keep your heart and muscles healthy of course! Muscles need to be worked, to be used; through playing sports, or running or biking, or swimming.

Once finished with the tour, each student received an activity book and a sticker. The third graders had to take a quiz when they were done. It is a short, one question quiz of multiple choice answers. This helps me to measure how much they learned. From a quick glance as I collected the quizzes from each group, they learned a lot as they traveled.

Next up, McComb.


Body Walk in Quitman County, Lambert September 7, 2011

The new Body Walk traveling year has begun! The first trip of the new year was to Quitman County, Lambert Mississippi. Mari Alyce Earnest booked Body Walk for her county. We saw two schools, and covered grades, K-4th. We saw over 700 children in total. As the children toured the Body Walk, they learned about good health and good nutrition. They learned about portion size, why they should drink water instead of soda, why they should exercise and even why and how to brush their teeth. Body Walk is an interactive learning experience that covers many parts of the body, from the brain, to the bones, to the skin. Children need to learn they can make healthy choices for THEMSELVES and Body Walk helps to teach them that empowering lesson.

Teaching about the Brain

A healthy mouth comes from teeth brushing, flossing, and eating healthy food.

Drink EIGHT glasses of water a day.

The most interesting aspect to this trip was the volunteers. We had the same high school students for our set up, take down, AND station presenter crew! As I spent time with these hand-picked high school students from Madison Shannon Palmer High School, I could see why they were chosen. They did a FANTASTIC job. I could tell they were all responsible enough to be trusted to work with us all week and still keep up with their schoolwork.

A stomach should be full of healthy food.

The heart loves to exercise.

Healthy lungs never smoke

We set up in the Y.O. U. Center. This is a great facility with plenty of space. Children from Quitman County Elementary and Delta Academy walked or came on bus to tour the Body Walk. They loved the mouth. Sitting on seats shaped like giant teeth never fails to please. Helping everything run smoothly were local Extension staff, Ginger Rogers, Sherry Radcliff, Angie Crawford, Don Respess, and Charlestien Harris.

Strong bones are the foundation of a healthy body. Calcium is important for good bone health.

Muscles grow strong when you use them.

Keep your skin clean of germs, and protected from harsh sunlight.

Overall, this was a great first trip for the new traveling year of 2011-2012. This trip set a tone of smooth sailing and great days ahead. Thanks Quitman county for being a great Body Walk experience.

Reviewing all you learn is a great way to keep the knowledge for life.


Summer Travels for Mississippi Body Walk

While the exhibit does not travel in the summer, sometimes the Coordinator does. This summer I went to a Wellness Day event in Jackson, MS and a Health Fair in Clarksdale, MS. Both were informative, educational trips. I met a lot of great people and got to talk A LOT about Body Walk.

MS State University Extension Service

Body Walk was asked to participate in the IHL (Institute of Higher Learning) Wellness Day at the IHL Headquarters in Jackson. I am always happy to spread the word about Body Walk that I was happy to go. Once there, I met up with Bob Ratliff, (look up title) and Jennifer ?, from Mississippi in Motion. We had a table to ourselves. Ladies from the local extension service were there at their own table. They had a very informative display on fat and sugar. People can never to too educated on the fat and sugar content in food.

Learning about hidden sugar, fat, and oils from the Hinds county Extension Service.

Other groups were represented as well. The local Weight Watchers was there for anyone who wanted to sign up. The other colleges had been invited to participate and they did. They sent bottled water and brochures.

Overall, it was a great day for Body Walk. I talked about the goals of the program, (be smart from the inside out), some of the many ways parents can help children be healthy, and what behaviors parents can adopt so that children will copy them, and thus set a pattern of healthy behavior.

The more you use your brain, the healthier it will be.

The second trip of the summer was to a Health Fair in Clarksdale MS. This Health Fair was set up in (look up name of building). There were many, many groups there. Some were local to Clarksdale or the Delta, and some had traveled many miles. I was set up near a lady whose program was to increase EBT use at farmer’s markets and to teach EBT users that they can shop at Farmer’s Markets.

Blood Services bus

MS Children's Health Project

Down Home Delta Trolley

Citizens who came to the health fair could donate blood, learn about what services are available to the children of MS and learn some local history of the Delta and the use of trolleys. The Mississippi Department of Health had a representative there demonstrating the proper use of car seats. Others groups were explaining how to recognize or manage diabetes, how to recognize and control asthma, and more. For kids, there was face-painting and a giant blow up bouncy castle. One group was giving out sturdy empty backpacks, and other was distributing hand fans. There was a lot of good information presented at the Health Fair.

Local Extension at the Clarksdale Health Fair.

The local extension office was represented by Shanna Taylor and Tamara Wright-Robinson. Their booth had lots of good information on nutrition and healthy living.

I talked to most everyone who was working there about Body Walk. Most had not seen it before, except for the extension ladies of course. They had booked, or worked at Body Walk before when I was in the area. I talked to many parents and grandparents who came through. Only one lady was disappointed. She wanted BW to go to her grandchildren’s school. They live in Tennessee.

Overall, these summer trips were very educational. It was a great experience to be able to talk about Body Walk to such a varied audience, in two different areas of the state.


Hinds County: Clinton Park Elementary and Oak Forest Elementary September 22, 2009

Filed under: Body Walk — mississippibodywalk @ 7:15 PM
Tags: , , , ,

Last week Body Walk traveled to two schools, Clinton Park Elementary and Oak Forest Elementary, both in Hinds County. I love going to new-to-the-Body-Walk schools, and sharing Body Walk with children who have heard about it, but have never seen it. Children have so many ideas of what it will be, but when they see the exhibit all set up, they are amazed.

Rocheryl Ware scheduled Body Walk to come to Hinds and she was fully hands-on at both locations. There was ample Extension help as well. Thanks to Marcus Davis, Patrick Morgan, Doyle Banks, Katrina Owens and Lurlinda Soignier, we had two great set ups, two great days of Body Walk fun, and take down went smoothly both times.

Every school is different. There are different educators, volunteers, and spaces. As soon as I arrived at CPE, the principal, Suzanne Hollingshead came out to meet me. She was very hands on, helping with the set up, and with making sure all the teachers arrived on time the next day.  I like to ask the kids what they think they are going to learn about before they go in. One little boy said, “Feet! We are going to learn about our feet!” I didn’t correct him, he seemed quite sure he was right.  We had a great day there and before we knew it, all the classes had gone through and it was time to take down.

Arriving at Oak Forest Elementary, I was very happy to see a few members of the Army ready to unload the truck and set up. Army men and woman are the best at unloading, setting up, and getting the exhibit looking its best.  While we were unzipping bags, and hanging walls, I met Ms. Alford. She seemed to be the driving force of organization at Oak Forest. In addition to all the good work she did with Body Walk, she is a 4-H volunteer, and she directs children in raising a vegetable garden each year at the school. Some of the vegetables are served at the school and some are sold at a local farmers market. Then, the money raised is donated to a local soup kitchen. It was a pleasure to meet her.

At Oak Forest Elementary, we had college volunteers from Tougaloo College. They were excellent presenters in the stations, chaperones for groups that didn’t have an adult walking through with them, and Ms. Alford recruited some of them to help pack sack lunches. Everyone had a job.

Kids start at the Brain station where they are greeted by Sir Rebrum. Their next stop is the mouth and then the stomach.

Mouth Station, teeth seats, and Stomach Station

Mouth Station, teeth seats, and Stomach Station

I love this picture because you can see the teeth seats so well. The children sit on these while they learn about brushing, flossing, and why low sugar foods are a better snack than high sugar ones. After they finish in this room, they travel down the esophagus, and into the stomach. You can just see the food pyramid in the stomach station, printed on the back wall.

When the children finish the rooms, they arrive at the pathway of life, where Sir Rebrum greets them again.

Beginning of Pathway of Life

Sir Rebrum greets kids at the Pathway of Life

The Pathway is a review of all the stations they just visited on their trip through the body. They exit through a ‘cut’ in the skin, into the Pathway and once the review is over, they have completed their trip.  I am always amazed at how much information the children absorb as they travel through the exhibit. During the review, they are calling out answers, on target and correct. It is so encouraging to hear.  The goal of Body Walk is teach children the importance of making health choices. From the answers I hear called out, they are getting the message.