Happy Wellness Wednesday!

Can you believe Labor Day Weekend is this weekend? Where, oh where, did our summer go? Here’s hoping we have a nice, long fall! While I’m sad to see summer end, Autumn has always been my favorite season. This year I’m especially excited, as we are launching our Simple Steps to Wellness Series.

Did you know?

  • The typical person spends 95% of his/her day indoors.
  • As many as 1/3 of Americans are prescribed anti-depressants.
  • Over 50% of Americans claim to get a poor night’s sleep.
  • The average person consumes their body weight in refined sugar each year.
  • An ever-increasing number of Americans are considered either overweight or obese.

The good news is that most of these statistics are within our power to change. With only 4 months left in 2017, now is a great time to take inventory of our current health status. Rate yourself on the following questions with this point system:

Health Scale:
Often=3 points
Sometimies=2 points
Rarely=1 points
Never=0 points

  1. I sleep on average 7 to 8 hours most nights.
  2. I go to bed at the same time every night.
  3. I eat healthy and nutritious meals and snacks.
  4. I eat my meals at regular and consistent times.
  5. I exercise at least 3 times per week.
  6. My weight is considered ideal for my height.
  7. My health is considered excellent, with no chronic diseases.
  8. I have a good social network and support system.
  9. I am tobacco and drug-free.
  10. My alcohol consumption is in moderation.

26-30 points=Excellent health habits
20-25 points=Moderate health habits
14-19 points=Questionable health habits
0-13 points=Poor health habits

So how did you do? If you’re like most of us, there are a few areas you can improve. Make sure to join us in September as we share with you Simple Steps to Wellness.

“You are never too old to set another goal or
dream a new dream”~CS Lewis


Wellness Statistics Source and Quiz Adapted from: The Road to Wellness by  Wellness Council of America


With all the back to school madness, end of summer celebrations and not to mention just daily living, it’s easy to put self-care at the bottom of our to-do list. For today’s Try-It Thursday, we are sharing some simple ideas for self-care that don’t take much time or money.

  • Take a 15 minute leisure walk after dinner. Stop and admire your neighbor’s lawn, or stop to smell the roses. Spending time outdoors is a great way to rejuvinate and refresh.
  • Or if strolling the neighborhood isn’t your thing, hop on your bike and go for a short spin. It really doesn’t matter the activity. What’s important is taking the time. Challenge yourself to spend at least 15 minutes participating in active movement~doing something you love.
  • Take a nap. It’s amazing how refreshing a quick cat nap can revive us.
  • Grab a healthy snack. Instead of inhaling your snack on the run, sit down, put away the phone and just enjoy your snack. It’s amazing how wonderful food tastes when we slow down enough to taste it.
  • Pick up your favorite book. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Enjoy getting lost in a story.
  • Turn on the tunes. Sit on a chair, close your eyes….and listen…
  • Go cloud watching. Lay on your back, relax, and watch the sky.
  • Be goofy. Keep a “silly” box that you can pull out when you need to have a laugh.
  • Be selfish. Do one thing today that makes you happy.
  • Unplug. Switch everything to airplane mode and enjoy the silence.
  • Take a deep breath. Spend 5 minutes deep breathing.
  • Create an at home spa experience. (Come back next week for ideas.)

Taking care of ourselves is key to living a healthy lifestyle. What is your favorite way to practice self-care?


Eat More, Weigh Less?

August 24th, 2017 | Posted by Kimberly Vanderpoel in Nutrition - (0 Comments)

Can you weigh less without eating less?

Have you tried to lose weight by cutting down the amount of food you eat?

Do you end up feeling hungry and not satisfied?

Or have you avoided trying to lose weight because you’re afraid of feeling hungry all the time?

If so, you are not alone.

Many people throw in the towel on weight loss because they feel deprived and hungry when they eat less. But there is another way. Aim for a slow, steady weight loss by decreasing calorie intake while maintaining an adequate nutrient intake and increasing physical activity. You can cut calories without eating less nutritious food.The key is to eat foods that will fill you up without eating a large amount of calories.

If I cut calories, won’t I be hungry?

Research shows that people get full by the amount of food they eat, not the number of calories they take in. You can cut calories in your favorite foods by lowering the amount of fat and/or increasing the amount of fiber ­rich ingredients, such as vegetables or fruit. Let’s take macaroni and cheese as an example. The original recipe uses whole milk, butter, and full­fat cheese. This recipe has about 540 calories in one serving (1 cup).

Here’s how to remake this recipe:

  • Use 2 cups no-fat milk instead of 2 cups whole milk.
  • Use 8 ounces light cream cheese instead of 2 1 ⁄4 cups full-­fat cheddar cheese
  • Use 1 tablespoon butter instead of 2 or use 2 tablespoons of soft trans­fat free margarine.
  • Add about 2 cups of fresh spinach and 1 cup diced tomatoes (or any other veggie you like).

Your redesigned mac and cheese now has 315 calories in one serving (1 cup). You can eat the same amount of mac and cheese with 225 fewer calories.

What foods will fill you up?

In order to be able to cut calories without eating less and feeling hungry, you need to replace some higher calorie foods with foods that are lower in calories and fat and will fill you up. In general, this means foods with lots of water and fiber in them. The chart below will help you make smart food choices that are part of a healthy eating plan.

These foods will fill you up with fewer calories. Choose them more often…

These foods can pack more calories into each bite. Choose them less often

Here are some more ideas for cutting back on calories without eating less and being hungry:

With some simple switches, you can eat yummy and healthy food while still managing your weight.

Be Well South Dakotan’s

Image and Content Source: http://www.cdc.gov

With all the yummy garden produce, plus only a few more weeks left in summer, we thought it would be a perfect time to share some delicious summer salads. 

Watermelon Feta Salad

  • 4 cups spring mix
  • ½ cup watermelon, cubed
  • ½ cup mixed berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  • 3 tablespoons feta, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons basil, chopped

Easy 3 Ingredient Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  1. Fill two bowls with mixed greens. Top with watermelon, berries, feta and basil.
  2. Drizzle with the Balsamic Vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Easy 3 Ingredient Balsamic Vinaigrette

  1. In a small bowl combine balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.
  2. In a slow steady stream whisk in the oil until combined and thickened. Set aside until ready to serve with the salad. If oil and vinegar separate whisk again right before serving.

Source: Chef Savvy


Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
  • 2 cups cooked corn, fresh or frozen (see Note)
  • 1-2 avocados, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Combine the corn, avocado, tomatoes, and onion in a large glass bowl. Mix together the dressing ingredients in another bowl, pour over the salad, and gently toss to mix. Chill salad for an hour or two to let flavors blend.

NOTE: Fresh corn is really best to use here. Cut it off the ear and boil it for 3-4 minutes to cook it and for even more flavor grill it and get those nice toasty kernels!

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Cucumber and Tomato Salad in Garlic Yogurt Dressing

  • 1 lb cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 12lb tomatoes, chopped
  • 4green onions, minced
  • 12cup of fresh mint, chopped fine
  • 12cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • black pepper


  1. Mix the lemon juice, yogurt, garlic, pepper, mint and parsley together.
  2. Pour over cucumber and tomato mixture and stir.
  3. Serve within an hour for best taste.

Source: Food.com

Without special eye protection, viewing a partial eclipse can cause vision loss, even permanent blindness.

A total solar eclipse—when the moon completely covers the sun—will be visible from coast to coast on August 21, 2017. This amazing event lasts only about 2 minutes and is safe to watch, but the partial eclipse that happens before and after can permanently damage your vision. Use proper eye protection for safe viewing!

In a 70-mile wide band from central Oregon through South Carolina, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible across the entire continental United States for the first time in almost 40 years. The rest of the nation and parts of North and Central America will experience a partial solar eclipse. Without special eye protection, viewing a partial eclipse can cause vision loss, even permanent blindness. But, with proper eyewear or a solar viewer, you can safely enjoy this sight of the century.

The Sun in Your Eyes

Looking directly at the sun without the correct eye protection, even for a short time, can cause permanent damage to your retinas, a light-sensitive part of the eye that transmits what you see to your brain. Damage can occur without pain, and it can take a few hours or even a few days after viewing the eclipse to have symptoms of damage, which include not being able to see colors as well and loss of central vision, with only side vision remaining. If you notice any symptoms after viewing the solar eclipse, seek immediate help from your eye care professional.

Safe Watching

The only way to look directly at the sun when it’s not eclipsed or is only partly eclipsed is with a special solar filter, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer. Goggles, homemade filters, or sunglasses, even very dark ones, will not protect your eyes. Also, always avoid looking at the sun through an unfiltered camera, smartphone, telescope, or any other optical device. You’ll need to add a certified solar filter to these devices to safely look at the sun.

Eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers are inexpensive and can be purchased from many retailers. However, not all meet the required ISO 12312-2 international safety standards; make sure yours do. Even if your eclipse glasses meet the safety standards, don’t use them if:

The lenses are scratched.
The lenses are wrinkled.
They are older than 3 years.

You can also make your own simple and inexpensive pinhole projector to safely view the eclipse. Be sure to follow instructions carefully, and never look at the sun through the pinhole.

CDC’s Vision Health Initiative

CDC’s Vision Health Initiative (VHI) works to improve eye health, reduce vision loss and blindness, control eye disease and eye injury, and promote the health of people with vision loss. VHI hopes you can safely enjoy this exciting solar eclipse by taking the time to protect your eyes. Learn more about VHI’s work at the VHI website.