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Spin Doctor

August 3rd, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

When did you last ride a bike?  Fortunately, bike riding is one skill you probably won’t forget.  So dust off your own bike or borrow one, and start pedaling!

Pumping your legs pumps your heart muscle for a heart-healthy workout.  Even bicycling at less than 10 miles an hour burns 220 calories per hour if you weigh 120 pounds, and 310 calories per hour if you weigh 170.  Your leg muscles get stronger, especially pedaling uphill.  And you can do it in your own neighborhood, with your family.

Go for a spin today.

    • Bike around your neighborhood. Try for 30 minutes daily.
    • Ride for practicality. Take your bike, not your car, on a nearby errand or to visit friends.
    • Join a spinning class at a local fitness club. You’ll ride a stationary bike.

Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County

Source: 365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

No Mistake about it

June 30th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

Committed to physical activity?  Great, but watch out for common mistakes that even fit-minded people make. 

  • No warmup, little pre- and post-stretching, no cool- down. Warming up, then stretching prepares your heart and muscles for the core of your workout. Cool-down brings your heart rate down gradually and keeps your muscles from feeling stiff.
  • Intensity: too much or too little.  Forget “no pain, no gain”.  Longer, moderate exercise usually gives more fitness and healthy weight benefits; soreness often leads to quitting.
  • Drinking too little. Drink enough to stay hydrated and move at your physical best. The best fluid replacer: plenty of water!
  • Equipment misuse.  Jerking or lifting too much weight can cause injury and pain. Slow, controlled movement and progressive strength training are safer and more effective. 

Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source: and

Skip the Trans-Fat!

May 21st, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

Have you heard about trans-fats?

Consumption of artificially sourced trans-fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oils contribute to heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.  Partially hydrogenated oils (trans-fat) can be found in baked goods such as cakes, cookies, and pies; snack foods such as microwave popcorn; frozen pizza; some fast food; margarine and other spreads, coffee creamer, vegetable shortenings and stick margarines; and refrigerator dough products such as biscuits and cinnamon rolls.

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention estimates that eliminating intake of trans-fat from partially hydrogenated oil could prevent up to 20,000 cases of coronary heart disease and up to 7,000 deaths annually.

Everyone can:

Read the Nutrition Facts label and ingredient list to compare foods.

  • Choose products with 0 grams trans fat.
  • Check the Ingredient List to see if there is any partially hydrogenated oil in the product.
  • Because products containing less than .5 grams of trans-fat per serving can be labeled as having 0 grams trans-fat, checking the Ingredient List is important to avoid all artificial trans-fat.

Ask your grocer to stock products free of “partially hydrogenated oil” and “shortening”.

Talk to your favorite restaurant establishment about current use of partially hydrogenated oils or changing to a menu that is 100% free of “partially hydrogenated oil” and “shortening”. 

Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source: and

Stress Busters

April 27th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

Ever feel like you have all the stress you can handle, perhaps even more?  Soft music or aromatherapy might offer relief for a while, but regular physical activity may give you more stress-relieving benefits over the long haul.

Why?  The reasons are not fully understood.  Several factors may come into play:  (1) feelings of relaxation and euphoria, as many neurotransmitters, including endorphins, get involved; (2)  less nervous tension as muscles relax; (3) more self-worth as you control your body; and (4) better eating since physically active people tend to eat healthier.  Well nourished, you’ll handle stress better, too.

Reduce emotional stress during National Mental Health Month by moving more.

  • Skip tension-producing activities, such as competitive sports or crowded workout class or gyms, if they stress you.
  • Pick what works for you: yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates that help relax your mind; brisk walking or other aerobic activities that help with stress control; or tennis, racquetball, or other vigorous sports that release adrenaline.
  • Do it—even when you’re stressed! A 10- minute physical activity break (walking, stretching, climbing stairs) every 90 minutes may be just what you need. 

Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source: 365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

Friday April 10th – “National Public Health Week”, April 6-10, 2015

April 8th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

Friday, April 10:  “Building on 20 years of Success”.  Finally, we celebrate a “25 year improvement in the average lifespan for Americans, and a 70 percent reduction in HIV/AIDS-related deaths” (American Public Health Association).

Thursday, April 9:  “Build Broader Connections”.   Pierce County Health Department has recently received Accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board, and is so appreciative of the support from community members and partners.  We are thankful to have reached many goals, but there are still new partnerships to develop and goals to achieve.  We invite you to become involved by contacting your local and state officials with areas you are passionate about.  Together we can accomplish so much!!

Wednesday, April 8:  “Building Momentum”.  Check-out website, and start anew.  Make a commitment with friends and family members, or sign a pledge at

Tuesday, April 7: “Starting from Zip”. Where we live says a lot about our health. Decide now! According to Pierce County Health Rankings, 2014: 29% of the population has “Excessive Drinking” problems, 28% are “Obese”, 21% are Physically Inactive and 16% are Adult Smokers. There were 64 Preventable Hospital Stays and 242 persons had a Sexually Transmitted Infection. Do you see a correlation between some of these statistics?

Monday, April 6: “Raising the Grade”.   Although we have some of the best health care in the world, let’s decide to take care of our health, and save ourselves and our country money.   Decide to eat 5 fruits and vegetables every day, and participate in a fitness activity for at least 30 minutes a day.

A quote worth remembering:  “Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.”  Josh Billlings

Nuts about Almonds

March 16th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

In a nutshell, just a single ounce of almonds (20-25 almonds) is flavor-packed, convenient, and good for you.

Here’s what’s inside:

  • Vitamin E:  protection from cancer, heart disease, and cataracts. (You get one-third of a day’s vitamin E from an ounce of almonds.)
  • Folate:  heart-health benefits, too, and it helps prevent birth defects.
  • Calcium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium:  a bone-building trio. Calcium and magnesium offer protection from hypertension, too.
  • Fiber:  an aid for digestion, it protects against cancer, heart disease, and other health problems, too.
  • Monounsaturated fats:  the type of fat linked to less heart disease risk.

Bonus: Almonds are cholesterol-free!

Three simple ways to enjoy almonds:

  • For a smoothie idea, blend in one tablespoon of toasted almonds for every cup of smoothie.
  • For a crunchy almond butter, process whole almonds with a touch of vegetable oil, salt, and sugar until nearly smooth.
  • For an easy add-in, toss slivered almonds on stir-fries, salads, and rice, or sprinkle on cereal, veggies, fish, yogurt, or ice cream.

Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source: 365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

March is National Nutrition Month

February 26th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

This month we celebrate “SPRING”!  It’s a time of anticipation.  The coldest days of winter are gone, and robins are seen about the yard.  The days are longer, and the snow melts.  During this time of change we focus our energy on plans for the future!

As you think about your life, decide to:

Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.  Make at least half of your grains whole.  Switch to skim or 1% milk.  Vary your protein choices.

  • Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy. Compare sodium in foods and choose those with a lower number.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
  • Make foods that are high in solid fats such as cakes, cookies, ice cream, pizza, cheese, sausages, and hotdogs—occasional choices, not every day foods.
  • Limit empty calories – those that have little nutrient value.

Be physically active your way.  Pick activities you like and do each for at least 10 minutes at a time.  Every bit adds up, and health benefits increase as you spend more time being active.

  • Children and adolescents: get 60 minutes or more a day.
  • Adults: get 2 hours and 30 minutes or more a week of activity that requires moderate effort, such as brisk walking. (

Cook Savvy—Fiber Up

January 28th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

Fiber is the broom that helps give your intestines a cleans weep. This plant substance multitasks, too.   A fiberrich diet helps protect you from colorectal cancer, heart disease, diabetes, constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosisand perhaps helps you keep a trimmer waistline. 

How much do you need?  The daily advice is:  men, 30-38 grams; women, 2125 grams, depending on age.  Kids’ needs are figured as age plus 5 (e.g., age 10+515 grams fiber). 

When you prepare food,make it a fiberboosting day.

  • Be a bean counter.  Beans have at least 5 grams fiber per half cup. Add garbanzos to your salad, beans to chili, and any variety to veggie soups, stews, or pizza.
  • Enjoy skins. Edible peels on potatoes, apples, grapes, peaches and eggplant have more fiber than the insides.
  • Sneak fiber in.  Add bran or oatmeal to meatloaf, or ground flax seed to batter or dough.
  • Go for whole.  Use whole-grain ingredients: brown rice in stirfries and pilaf, wholewheat flour for half the flour in baked goods.
  • Boost veggies.  Add extra veggies to casseroles, pasta dishes, pizza, salads and sandwiches.
  • Boost fruit, too. Serve berries or whole fruit (edible skin on) over angel food cake, cereal, pancakes, salad and yogurt.


Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source:365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley2004),Roberta Larson Duyff, MS,RD,FADA,CFCS