Indoor Activities

By Mary Nicholson

It’s cooling off outside, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to sit around inside – au contraire!   Oh sure, there’s still some leaf raking to be done, and when the snow starts to fall, there are a lot of outdoor activities that appeal to many.  But what to do if you don’t like the cold weather or it’s just cold, but there’s no snow to play in?

When I was little, we managed to keep pretty busy inside the house when it wasn’t suitable to go outside, and the television was not an option (it was rarely on until Dad came home from work).  We did things like run up and down the stairs, bowling in the hallway, balloon basketball (which eventually turned into Monkey in the Middle since my older and taller brothers were involved), or roller skating in the basement (unfinished, complete with concrete floors).  Believe it or not, I don’t remember ever getting hurt or even getting yelled at by Mom for making too much noise!  If it were just my sister and me, we sometimes would become ballerinas and dance to the music that was almost always on in our house.  Here’s a website that has some great ideas for indoor activities.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

By Kimmi Devaney

Thanksgiving is here! As we sit down with our families this holiday season, let’s not forget the hardworking individuals who work hard year round to ensure we have enough to eat. Dairy farms and many other types of farms are 24/7/365 operations, and this includes holidays. Sometimes this means juggling meal schedules and other activities to milk or feed cows.

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Healthy Holiday Tips: Surviving Stress & Food Temptations

Tis the season to eat and be merry! And boy do we eat!  The good news is that according to research, the average person attends 4 holiday parties between Thanksgiving and New Years and gains less than one pound. The bad news is that this weight tends to stick with us as we pack on more in the next year.  Now is an ideal time to balance holiday indulgences with sensible eating.  Instead of focusing on what foods and beverages to avoid, we should enjoy eating delicious nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese which provides us with us with key vitamins and minerals that Americans are lacking.
  
Give into temptation some, but reduce your portions. Reducing calorie intake requires learning how to ‘perfect your portions.’ Selecting small portions allows you to control your calorie intake yet sample the different tastes of each items offered. If you are hosting a party, consider a tasting party for your guests. A tasting party offers appetizers, desserts and beverages in smaller, easier to handle party pieces.

Nosh (snack) on nutrient-rich foods. When you are navigating a holiday buffet, fill half your plate with brightly colored fruits & vegetables from the crudités tray. Choose a few cubes of cheese from the cheese platter with whole grain crackers. Then, round out your plate with lean protein such as sliced turkey or roast beef. Remember many favorite holiday foods are considered nutrient rich:  Cranberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants; nuts are a great source of protein, fiber and heart healthy monounsaturated fat; sweet potatoes boost vitamin A and beta carotene; and cheese provides a unique combination of nutrients, including calcium and protein.
 
Whether it’s a holiday or a work day, we should never take a vacation from exercise.  Physical activity can help relieve stress, regulate appetite, and burn extra calories from holiday eating.   If you find it hard to stick to an exercise routine, work exercise into your holiday preparations:  instead of online shopping, walk around the mall. Make time with your family to enjoy a walk around the neighborhood to view the decorations. For good health, we need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day, including holidays.  

RELAX! – When you start to feel stressed out take a hot bath, a walk, or whatever activity helps calm you. If you manage your stress, it will help you manage your eating too!

National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week

By Kimmi Devaney

As we give thanks for our families, friends and good health, let’s not forget the less fortunate. Throughout the week of November 12-20 the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness are co-sponsoring their annual National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Throughout this time, a number of schools, communities and cities take part in a nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness.  Continue reading

Planning A Holiday Feast

Photo Courtesy of GOODEnessGracious.com

By Diane Ruyack

In our family, our favorite holiday feast is Thanksgiving!  If this is your first holiday feast or your 10th, the following list will help you have an enjoyable and successful party. Plan the meal, keeping in mind your guests’ tastes, ethnic backgrounds, allergies and any other factors.

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Meet DeDe Hausmann

What is your favorite part of your job? 

I love it all for I get to do so many things.  One day I might be plugging chocolate milk as a sports recovery beverage on the radio and the next I’m in a school seeing what great things the students have done re: FUEL UP TO PLAY 60.  I also love speaking at dairy producer meetings for I get to tell Indiana dairy farmers all that we are doing to get dairy and other nutrient-rich food messages out.

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I was born in Iowa, raised with 4 brothers in Omaha, graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, with a BS in Family & Consumer Science Education.  I’ve taught FACS classes in middle and high schools, worked for an electric utility company as a Home Economist, put on microwave cooking classes here, there and everywhere and was blessed to join ADAI/DNCI in 1995.  I’m been married for 39 years, have a son and a daughter, a great daughter-in-law, and 2 really cute grandkids that live too far away!!!   I love to relax with a good book and I have learned to enjoy exercise.

Tell us a little about someone who has influenced your life and why?

There’s not one person who stands out but many have made major impressions on me, from my parents, to teachers, to pastors, to childhood friends and new friends I’ve made over the many moves we’ve made and of course my family, both immediate and extended members.  Relationships with family and friends are very important to me!!!

A favorite recipe or restaurant to share? 

I’m always altering recipes to make them more nutritious, such as adding plain yogurt to homemade soups, or switching to low fat cheese or lean meats and adding fresh herbs to old stand-by recipes.  I definitely don’t cook as often as I did when our kids were at home but when I need to prepare a dish for a potluck or whatever, I want the item be tasty but as nutritious as possible.  Don’t get me wrong—I love sweets, especially anything CHOCOLATE, but I’ve learned to eat calorie-laden goodies in moderation!!  And I love trying out new restaurants, especially ethnic restaurants.  I’m a willing experimenter re: new foods but first and foremost, and my friends and family know this, bring on chicken, turkey or anything fowl and I will eat it.  A prized office possession: a rubber chicken!!!

Happy National Cappuccino Day

Happy National Cappuccino Day!! I can remember when the term cappuccino started to become a household name.  I didn’t know what the recipe was for a cappuccino, but it sounded fancy. The basic formula for cappuccino is actually very simple – espresso, hot milk, milk foam, and lots of caffeine! Nowadays coffee houses have so many varieties, it can be quite overwhelming, so I’m going to give you a ‘How To Guide’ for ordering coffee!  When I first went to Starbucks I was so confused –  a ‘tall’ is really a small, they want to know if I want my drink ‘skinny’ and how many ‘shots’ I want in it! So I searched online, and I found a step-by-step guide on this very thing:

I will break it down for you.  You will probably have ample time waiting in line to order so here are some of the items you want to make sure you have decided:

  • You can have your beverage iced or hot. Also what size you desire. Some of the sizes are:
      • Tall (12oz)
      • Grande (16oz)
      • Venti (20oz) (trade-marked size)
  • How ‘wired’ do you want to be, or how much caffeine do you want?
    • Espresso Shots
      • Single is just one shot of espresso.
      • Double is two shots.
      • Triple is three shots.
      • Quad is four shots.
      • More – you are in trouble!
  • Choose the syrups you want.  They will most likely have anything from sugar-free vanilla to white chocolate mocha.
  • One of the most important choices – the type of milk you want. Not only are you getting a delicious drink, you are getting nutrition as well – one of your three servings of dairy you need a day (if you get a latte)!  
    • Whole
    • 2 percent
    • Nonfat (Now known as “skinny” drinks)

These tips should get you started on your coffee-house adventure!