Don’t Miss the 3rd Annual Dig IN

By Michelle Plummer

The third annual Dig IN event is Sunday, August 26 from Noon until 5:00 pm!  This could be the best sampling of wonderful Indiana agriculture you will find! Dig IN spotlights food grown by Indiana farmers and prepared by local chefs doing their best to promote and entice Hoosiers on the bounty at our fingertips daily.

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May is National Bike Month!

By Mary Nicholson

Remember when you first learned to ride a bike – without training wheels?  I still can recall the feelings of excitement, independence and great accomplishment.  My brothers were even happy for me, because now they no longer needed to hold me up or push from behind.  I could actually ride with them! (or so I thought).  They were 6 and 8 years older than me, so they could go places I wasn’t allowed to go.  And that’s just as well.  It took me quite a bit of practice to be able to steer where I wanted to go (around the trees, not into them) and stop how (again, those trees) and when I needed to.

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A Festive and Nutritious Cinco de Mayo

By Kimmi Devaney

Cinco de Mayo is upon us! Are you planning to get together with friends and family? Possibly over margaritas and some delicious food? We have some great recipes that are sure to be a hit with your guests.

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National Humor Month – Laugh Til The Cows Come Home

By Mary Nicholson

When is the last time you had a good laugh?  I hope it was earlier today!  Did you know that April is National Humor Month?  I suppose April Fool’s Day has something to do with the choice of month.   And with Tax Day in the middle of it, there’s probably a greater need for some levity.  There is some truth to the old adage “Laughter is the best medicine”.  Reader’s Digest includes a number of pages to humor in every issue!

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National Goof Off Day!

By Mary Nicholson

Check your calendars!  I hope you have March 22, 2012 circled in red or some other prominent color because it’s NATIONAL GOOF OFF DAY!!!  Doesn’t that sound great?  Recognition that goofing off must be important!

Goofing off instantly brings to mind some masters of the craft – The 3 Stooges, The Marx Brothers, or Monty Python.  A prime example of goofing off – Stooges style – is when Curly had eyeballs painted on his eyelids, so that when he really closed his eyes, it looked as if they were open.  Thus, he could take a nap while sitting at a desk, but it looked like he was awake.  At least that was the gist of the scene.  But the more I thought of these actors who often portray silliness, I realized that they had to work pretty hard to make us laugh.  I wonder what they did to goof off?

I think the definition of goofing off is a little different for everybody.  To me, it would be somewhat spontaneous and there shouldn’t be any work, stress or major decision making involved.  For me, planning sometimes includes those elements.  But there are those who are natural planners, and it would cause anxiety not to plan; that would defeat the whole purpose of goofing off.  So there’s really no right or wrong way to celebrate the day.

There are many factors in today’s world that contribute to fuller schedules and less down time, which leads to more stress in our lives, which makes a holiday like National Goof Off Day more important than ever.  I ran across this on-line resource that justifies the need to goof off now and then:  Much like a short nap can be very refreshing, a little bit of goofing off can actually make us more productive.  Maybe a short nap is your version of goofing off!

As I was thinking about writing this blog, I thought of some of the ways I might be celebrating National Goof Off Day.  If you’re too stressed to even think about it, feel free to use my ideas.  Heck, you don’t even have to wait until tomorrow!

  • Play with a Slinky, Play-Doh, Legos, Silly Putty and/or (my all-time favorite), Color-Forms.
  • Go for a bike ride or roller skating/blading.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Lie down in the grass and look at clouds.
  • Go to a park with playground equipment and swing.
  • Go bowling or to a movie.
  • Lounge on the couch and watch movies like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “Caddyshack”, or any of the Marx Brothers movies.
  • Watch 3 Stooges episodes or reruns of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Whatever you do – have fun!

Celebrate New Years Your Way

By Jenni Purcell

 New Year’s Eve is right around the corner and will be here before we know it. I am one of those people that put a great deal of pressure on what I am doing and who I am with when the ball drops. And yes, I realize this is silly and I have to remind myself it should be a time of reflection and a time of being thankful for the previous year and the year to come. This holiday is notorious for producing high expectations and people want to make the night special. It’s not how much money you spend that makes the evening memorable.

 So how can you make the evening memorable? You can join the millions, like my Mom and Dad, which may have some indulgent snacks and fall asleep in front of the TV before the ball drops. If that works for you, great!  Others want to be at the loudest and biggest parties. No matter where you are, the recipe for a successful night includes just a few ingredients.  Perhaps incorporate some tasty cocktails and food, a couple silly hats and horns and good friends and family.

 If you are going to stay home and have a few people over to avoid the chaos I have some tips for you.

Send out the invite before the event. You can invite your party people via several methods: email, text, call, etc. I suggest using the Evite so you can obtain RSVP’s easily.

Planning is important. Take into account the time you have and resources. Don’t take on more than you can handle and if you are cooking don’t make everything from scratch. Check out some of these nutrient packed, tasty recipes on our website

 Ask others to chip in. You can ask some of your family or close friends to prep and even decorate.

Set the mood. Get the music out! Music is such an amazing mood elevator. Pick some of the old favorites especially if you want people to start to cut loose and dance.

 No matter what you do and who you are with – Have a great time, have a Happy New Year!

Let’s Make Our Tailgating Fun But Nutritious!

By DeDe Hausmann

When we think of attending college and professional football games, foods that can be enjoyed via TAILGATING immediately come to mind.   It’s fun to get together with buddies before the BIG GAME and food always comes into play.

When planning the menu, you DO know that nutrition and good tasting can go hand-in-hand?  RIGHT?!!!!  Many might be trying to live a more healthy lifestyle so who wants to blow it on the weekend?!!!!  There are many great foods/beverages that are very tasty and still can be nutritious.

When thinking of meat or protein foods, think LEAN.  Many sausages and other processed meat products are produced in reduced-fat varieties.  READ PACKAGE LABELS before purchasing and try to go with those that are lower in fat, such as chicken or turkey sausages, brats, etc.  How about grilling turkey burgers?

I bet your friends won’t even know the difference.  Buy whole grain buns or tortillas to serve with your burgers or brats.  Other foods high in protein include cottage cheese and Greek yogurt and these can be made into great fruit and veggie dips.

Speaking of fruits and vegetables, have loads available.  Keep them icy cold and serve with dairy dips.   OR spread a whole-wheat tortilla with a yogurt/seasoning  mixture, add bits or thin slices of broccoli, carrots, and cucumbers, top with shredded low-fat cheese and then place another tortilla on top.  Heat, cut into quarters, and ENJOY!!!!  Ever try grilled fruit?  Grill over low heat pineapple, apple, banana or pear slices dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg.  YOU WON’T BELIEVE THE FLAVOR!!!  Or grill fruit kabobs and serve with vanilla yogurt as a dip.

 

Are you salivating yet?!!!!  Since it’s fall what better time to serve cold or hot Apple Cider besides those other beverages that TV seems to think are necessities for tailgating.  Also consider serving reduced-fat CHOCOLATE MILK, either hot or cold, for those that love chocolate but don’t need additional calories and care about nutrition—hey, it’s packed with 9 essential nutrients so go for it!!!!  Make sure to have lots of water available.

Dessert anyone?  If you serve treats, make servings SMALL.   If someone is really craving a sweet, they might be able to satisfy that urge with a mini brownie, cupcake, etc.

See, TAILGATING can be fun and still be nutritious.  Don’t tell your guests how healthy they are eating and just let the compliments fly before you surprise them with YOUR SECRET: what they are enjoying is good for them!!!  You’ll be the host/hostess with the MOSTEST!!!