Turnip the Beet! Nutrition and Wellness Timely news, information, and innovative ideas to promote health and influence change. Sun, 15 May 2005 13:02:08 -0500 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/rss.xml Stay Hydrated with Water-Rich Foods https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_13448/ Fri, 22 Jun 2018 08:44:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_13448/ What on Earth would we do without a liquid supply of water? It would be impossible to exist since 60% of our bodies are made up of water (more or less depending on your age and body fat percentage).

Water is essential for so many bodily functions including:

  • Cell growth, reproduction and survival
  • Saliva formation
  • Digestion
  • Oxygen and nutrient transportation
  • Waste removal
  • Joint lubrication
  • Body temperature regulation

Each day we must consume a certain amount. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends 3.7 liters (125 ounces) for men and 2.7 liters (91 ounces) for women per day. This can come from foods and beverages.

Remember, many people don't feel thirsty until they're already dehydrated so thirst isn't always a reliable indicator of the body's need for water.

You need more water when you are in hot climates, more physically active, running a fever, or having diarrhea or vomiting. Water is the best beverage to hydrate. Try to limit drinks high in caffeine such as: energy drinks, coffee, tea, and soda which can affect your heart. Alcohol causes dehydration and increases the risk of heat illness.

If you find it difficult to drink enough water each day try incorporating more water-logged fruits and vegetables into your diet. Did you know vegetables typically contain more water than other foods including fruit? They are often over 90% water by weight; another great reason to eat your vegetables!

Here is a short list of fruits and vegetables with high water content so you can stay hydrated for all your summer activities:

Vegetables (% water):

  • Cucumbers (96.7%)
  • Lettuce (95.6%)
  • Celery (95.4%)
  • Radishes (95.3%)
  • Zucchini and Squash (94.8%)
  • Tomatoes (94.5%)
  • Bell Peppers (93.9%)
  • Asparagus (93.2%)

Fruits (% water):

  • Grapefruit (91.6%)
  • Watermelon (91.5%)
  • Strawberries (91%)
  • Cantaloupe (90.2%)
  • Lemons (89%)
  • Peaches (88.9%)
  • Nectarines (87.6%)
  • Pineapples (87.2%)

You might be wondering just how much water you'll get if you eat some of these fruits and vegetables. On average, 1 cup of the fruits and vegetables listed (chopped or sliced) will yield .5 cups of water. In addition, you'll be getting lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals to keep you feeling fresh and at your best.

Don't worry, eating the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables can still be affordable. The Economic Research Service (using 2013 retail scanner data from Information Resources, Inc.) shows that a person on a 2,000 calorie diet can meet their needs for about $2.10 to $2.60 per day. This includes produce from a variety of sources- fresh, canned and frozen.

Stay hydrated this summer by choosing water-rich foods in addition to your beverages and watch for signs of dehydration:

Infant or young child
• Dry mouth and tongue
• No tears when crying
• No wet diapers for three hours
• Sunken eyes, cheeks
• Sunken soft spot on top of the skull
• Listlessness or irritability

• Extreme thirst
• Less frequent urination
• Dark-colored urine
• Fatigue
• Dizziness
• Confusion

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
― W. H. Auden


6 Healthy Energy Boosting Options

The Low-Down on High-Energy Drinks

Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash
Go Med this May https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_13371/ Tue, 15 May 2018 11:28:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_13371/ Dietary patterns can help predict health later in life. Instead of saying 'diet' I like to use the term 'eating pattern' which refers to the quantities, proportions, variety or combinations of different foods and beverages that are habitually consumed over a long period of time.

The Mediterranean eating pattern is associated with a lower incidence of mortality from all causes in addition to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. There are also positive associations with blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammatory markers and body mass index.

Mediterranean All-Stars- add these nutritional powerhouses to your meals more often.

  • Healthy Fats- this includes olive oil and avocados (monounsaturated fats) as well as nuts, nut butters and seeds (polyunsaturated fats).
  • Fish/seafood- a good goal is to eat fish twice a week to reach your omega-3 fat needs for heart health benefits. Good options include salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, mussels, clams, oysters and shrimp.
  • Yogurt- look for Greek yogurt which delivers twice the protein of regular yogurt and can be used in place of butter, cream cheese, sour cream and oil in your favorite recipes.
  • Beans- a great source of protein and fiber, swap beans for meat a couple times a week for meatless meals.
  • Whole Grains- swap out white rice and pasta for nutrient-rich grains like farro, barley, bulgur and quinoa. They can be used in salads, stir-fry, soups and wraps. Since these are unrefined, you will be getting healthy fats, B vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.
  • Vegetables- vary your veggies and eat a variety of colors. Instead of chips and dip try this Mediterranean inspired dip with raw vegetable strips for dipping.

Mediterranean Dip (PDF Version)

  • 17 oz. family size container classic hummus (or 2 smaller containers)
  • 5.3 oz. container Greek yogurt, plain (smaller individual serving)
  • 4 oz. container or 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
  • 1 chopped and diced tomato
  • 1 cucumber, deseeded, diced
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives cut in half
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 T. fresh or dried herbs (basil, thyme, dill, oregano)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked ground black pepper
  • Dash of salt (optional)


In a small bowl, stir together hummus and Greek yogurt until well mixed. Transfer mixture to a serving platter. Spread mixture out, top with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and olives. Season with fresh or dried herbs, fresh cracked pepper and salt if using. Adjust seasonings according to taste. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve with carrot coins, celery, bell pepper strips, pretzels or pita bread.

Yield: 10 servings

Nutritional analysis per serving: (dip portion only) 81 Calories, 4.4 g fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 119 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 5.3 g protein, 1 g fiber (for more fiber, serve with whole grain pita bread and raw veggies)

Recipe adapted from: Susan Glassman, nutrition and wellness educator serving Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall and Putnam Counties.

Have You Had Your Green Today? https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_13326/ Fri, 20 Apr 2018 11:31:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_13326/ Green is the color of spring, rebirth, renewal and represents balance and growth. If you're eating with the seasons it's time to focus on the green and restore your energy levels.

Greens are in season! Spring is peak season so pick some up at your local market or grocer. You can even grow some yourself in a matter of weeks. Leafy greens are versatile and can be cooked or eaten raw. They range in flavors from sweet to peppery and have many culinary uses. Try one of these today:

  • Collards*
  • Chard*
  • Arugula
  • Escarole*
  • Kale
  • Turnip and beet greens*
  • Spinach
  • Watercress

*Best when cooked (sautéed, braised, steamed, etc.). Young chard can be eaten raw in salads but mature chard will taste better when cooked. Sauté these greens with oil and garlic and a splash of lemon.

Since spring greens are packed with flavor, it's a good idea to dress your greens and not smother them.

Check out these simple Homemade Vinaigrettes (PDF Version)

Making your own vinaigrette is an easy way to add life to your salads. They can be sweet, savory, spicy and even warm or cold. For salad ingredients with a stronger flavor such as spicy greens, bacon, and eggs choose a vinaigrette that can stand up to those bold notes with an equally savory flavor (#1). For mild salad ingredients such as sweet lettuces and fruits choose vinaigrette that will complement them and not overpower (#2). Below are three examples to get you started.

1.4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil + 1 Tbs Dijon mustard + 2 Tbs red wine vinegar + 1/2 lemon, juiced + 2 Tbs chives, minced + 2 Tbs shallots, minced — (SAVORY)

2.1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil + 1/2 lemon, juiced + 2 Tbs honey + 1/4 cup fresh herbs, minced (ex: basil, parsley, oregano, chives) + salt and pepper to taste — (SWEET)

3.1 garlic clove, minced + 1 Tbs ginger, grated + 3 Tbs rice wine vinegar + 3 Tbs sesame oil + 3 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce + 1 Tbs scallion, chopped + 1 Tbs honey or orange juice — (ASIAN-INSPIRED)

Greens are NUTRIENT DENSE which means you can eat several bowls and get LOTS of nutrients but not many calories (5-40 calories per cup). Dark green leafy vegetables are rock stars when it comes to nutrition. They top the charts in:

  • Vitamins A, C, K
  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Potassium

Greens are also high in phytochemicals such as lutein which help protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration.

How much should we get? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating 1.5 cups each week so eat them often!

I eat something green every day. If I don't have a salad at lunch, I will most likely have one with dinner. They are digestive aids and keep my tummy happy.



You may also like this recipe- Honey, Greens and Goat Cheese Pizza

*Greens have a high vitamin K content. Large amounts may interfere with the effects of blood thinners like warfarin. Anyone taking these medications should consult with a doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist

Food Rescue at Home https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_13210/ Tue, 27 Feb 2018 13:00:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_13210/ As we head into the month of March, let's all pause and reflect on our eating habits because after all, March is National Nutrition Month and a great time to reevaluate what is on our plates.

More importantly let's pay special attention to what we are scraping off our plates into the trash. It is estimated that 90 billion pounds of food is thrown away each year either at home or when eating out.

Did you know the average family loses $1,500 every year on wasted food? All of this waste adds up. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, the U.S. spends more than $162 billion to grow, process and transport food that goes uneaten. Wasted food not only costs you money, it is also harmful to the environment as it decays in landfills.

The theme for National Nutrition Month this year is "Go Further With Food" with an aim to help families find ways to reduce waste at home while choosing healthy foods and staying active.

There are many things you can do but first, you may be interested to know how much is actually being thrown away in your household. It is easy to track waste at home with either a scale or measuring cup. At the end of the week, add up your totals and pay attention to trends in food waste. Maybe it was forgotten in the depths of the refrigerator or you accidentally bought too much leading to unintended waste. Download this Food Waste Challenge worksheet so you can track and measure your food rescue efforts over 4 weeks.

If we are to reach the U.S. Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal (50% reduction in food waste) by 2030, we'll need everyone's commitment. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Understand Date Labels- food packages will have a "best if used by" or "sell by" date. These don't necessarily mean they should be thrown away but their quality is best before this date. In many cases, they are safe to eat beyond the date listed as long as they were stored properly.

2. Make a Plan- try not to buy more than you need. Creating a weekly meal plan will help you stay focused when grocery shopping and avoid buying unnecessary items. If you're cooking for just 1 or 2, consider buying smaller portions and recycle any additional packaging as a result.

3. Get Creative with Leftovers- ½ an avocado and random vegetables hanging out in your fridge? Re-purpose the vegetables in an omelet or stir-fry and use the avocado as a sandwich spread or in a nourishing face mask. There are plenty of non-edible uses for food scraps like sugar-coffee body scrub (with spent coffee grounds) and combining citrus peels with vinegar for a refreshing counter cleaner. Also, avoid ordering large meals when dining out if you don't intend to eat the leftovers later. Share something instead! Poll- How Do You Handle Leftovers?

4. Compost food scraps- University of Illinois Extension's website, Composting Central, has lots of great resources for you to learn everything you need to know about composting at home.

5. Donate surplus foods to a local food pantry- if you have a extra shelf-stable foods or even surplus prepared foods from an event, check with your local food pantries and meal sites to see if they will take your food donations and days/times that they except donations. Worried about potential liability issues? The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects good faith food donors from civil and criminal liability. This includes: individuals, corporations, partnerships, organizations, associations, governmental entities, wholesalers, retailers, restaurateurs, caterers, farmers, gleaners, nonprofit agencies, and more.

What will you do to divert food from the landfill this month? For more resources and ideas on how you can rescue food at home, contact the Milan Extension office at 309-756-9978.

3 Healthy Habits for the Best Version of YOU https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_13072/ Mon, 18 Dec 2017 11:03:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_13072/ 1. Be Grateful

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. –Oprah Winfrey

This quote reminds us that we need to live gratefully. How do we do this? Remember that this moment is not earned but given. The greatest gift of the present moment is the opportunity to (fill in the blank). Every moment brings a new gift if we make ourselves available to it. Make the most of all of life's opportunities and you will experience more joy. A grateful world is a happy world.

Here are 3 ways to express your gratitude:

  • Send hand-written letters to say 'thank you'
  • Give someone your undivided attention (this includes digital distractions)
  • Share your knowledge or skills (big or little) with others

2. Slow Down

There is a method to the madness as they say. One way to slow down and make the most of opportunities that arise is to: Stop. Look. Go.

Some may call this mindfulness. If we practice mindfulness in our everyday lives and in every moment, then we can increase that gap between impulse and action. Impulse control is important for healthy relationships, purchasing habits, eating behaviors and much more! We could all use a little more impulse control around the holidays.

Here are 3 ways to develop mindfulness:

  • Stop and take a step back to observe the current situation from a broader perspective
  • Look at the facts, weigh your options, acknowledge other points-of-view
  • Move forward knowing you are making a conscious effort to be the best you

3. Laugh More

If you search for "I love to laugh" in Google, the first result will be the song from Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and Ed Wynn. This was my favorite movie as a kid and this scene has stuck with me through the years. If you know me, you know I love to laugh and can get into some lengthy laughing fits! I believe it's good for mind, body and spirit so I practice it every day.

1 minute of laughter is like 10 minutes on the row machine! This "internal jogging" has short-term and long-term health benefits. Incorporate more people, photos, songs, movie clips and experiences that make you laugh throughout the day.

Read more about the amazing benefits of laughter in this publication from University of Kentucky Extension- http://www2.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/factshts/hsw-caw-807.pdf

Your body cannot heal without play.
Your mind cannot heal without laughter.
Your soul cannot heal without joy.

- Catherine Rippenger Fenwick

Whole Grains for the Holidays https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_12992/ Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_12992/ How many whole grain foods do you get during the holiday season? The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating 6 ounces of grain foods daily and getting at least half or 3 ounces of that grain intake from 100% whole grains.

Examples of 1-ounce servings of whole grains would be:

  • 1 slice whole-grain bread (such as 100% whole-wheat bread)
  • 1 cup ready-to-eat, whole-grain cereal
  • 1/2 cup cooked whole-grain cereal, brown rice, or whole-wheat pasta
  • 5 whole-grain crackers
  • 3 cups unsalted, air-popped popcorn
  • 1 6-inch whole-wheat tortilla

There are many types of whole grain products available on the market. They have rich, savory flavors and hearty textures resulting in a very satisfying food. These will add depth to any meal and keep you feeling fuller longer. The whole grains in bold are also gluten-free.







Brown Rice





Wheat Berries



Wild Rice



*Unlike many grains, quinoa has all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein! Try it in place of white rice for additional health benefits.

Protective effects against chronic disease as seen in the research1

  • In the Harvard-based Nurses' Health Study, women who ate 2 to 3 servings of whole-grain products each day were 30% less likely to have a heart attack or die from heart disease over a 10-year period than women who ate less than 1 serving per week.2
  • A large study of more than 72,000 postmenopausal women without diabetes at the start of the study found that the higher the intake of whole grains, the greater the risk reduction of type 2 diabetes. A 43% reduced risk was found in women eating the highest amount of whole grains (2 or more servings daily) as compared with those who ate no whole grains.3
  • A review of four large population studies also showed a protective effect of whole grains from colorectal cancer, with a cumulative risk reduction of 21%.4

Ideas for Getting More Whole Grains during the Holidays
(Printable PDF Recipes of the following)

1. Try popping other grains besides corn for a fun snack. Sorghum, amaranth and quinoa can be popped just like corn. They aren't as large as popped corn but will add a nutty flavor when added to things like salads, wraps, a topping for casserole or baked breads. You can also add them to trail mix and homemade cereals.

2. Do you normally have a tray of meat, cheese, and olives out for holiday events? Try turning your antipasto into a whole grain-rich dish with the addition of cooked barley. I assure your guests will love the Barley Antipasto Salad!

3. Citrus always comes to mind for the holiday season because I could count on a clementine or orange in my stocking each year. You've probably heard of the salad, tabbouleh, which features bulgur wheat, lots of parsley, mint, lemon and olive oil. You may also like the Citrus-Scented Bulgur Salad which incorporates dried fruits, grated carrots, lemon and orange juice.

4. Looking for a low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes? You must try the Millet and Cauliflower Mash. With only a few ingredients, this recipe is hard not to love. The millet breaks apart when cooking and blends well with the cooked cauliflower. Add a little olive oil, garlic and parsley and your guests will be begging for more.

5. Don't forget about breakfast! Blueberries are always a great addition during winter months and can be added frozen to both of these recipes: Blueberry-Chia Overnight Oats and Wheat Germ Berry Pancakes. Super simple recipes with great flavor and texture. Eating these will keep you feeling energized for whatever the holidays throw at you.

*Follow the link above for these recipes and additional flavor combinations.

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!




1. Harvard School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source- Whole Grains. Available at https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/whole-grains/

2. Liu S, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB, et al. Whole-grain consumption and risk of coronary heart disease: results from the Nurses' Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70:412-9.

3. Parker ED, Liu S, Van Horn L, et al. The association of whole grain consumption with incident type 2 diabetes: the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Ann Epidemiol. 2013;23:321-7.

4. Aune D, Chan DS, Lau R, et al. Dietary fibre, whole grains, and risk of colorectal cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMJ. 2011;343:d6617.

4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/

Put 'Self-Care' on Your To-Do List this Fall and Winter https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_12949/ Tue, 31 Oct 2017 14:26:00 +0000 https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_12949/ I always get a strange feeling around this time of year. It could be all the ghoulish Halloween décor or the fact that the days are getting shorter and my to-do list is not!! Maybe a combination of the two has me a little on edge but the trick is to treat yourself with love and set the right intentions for a happy and healthy fall/winter season. The last thing you need is a cough and sore throat when battling bone-chilling winds and holiday crowds so make sure self-care is a part of your daily routine.

Self-Care is more than an occasional massage or pedicure. It's a way of living each day that incorporates behaviors to ultimately improve your overall well-being and keep you feeling refreshed and motivated. There is not a one-size-fits-all self-care plan so tailor your activities to suit your specific needs.

You're not alone; the search term "self-care activities" reached its peak popularity this October according to Google data trends.

Not sure where to start? Here is a Self-Care Assessment tool based on 6 dimensions of wellness to help you take note of patterns and give you an idea of which domain(s) need more attention in your life. After you finish the assessment, this Self-Care Worksheet will guide you into action and help you work through potential barriers before they arise. This is but one tool you can use to work on your self-care plan but the first step is awareness and to recognize which parts of your life need action.

After looking at my regular self-care activities, I have decided to add a few more to my routine:

  • Read literature that is unrelated to work. I love reading about health and wellness topics but this can definitely lead to burnout in my case. This fall/winter, I will dedicate more time each week on reading for pleasure.
  • Schedule more 'ME time'. At one time I thought I was missing out on something great if I stayed home on a Friday night but like other millennials, I feel like nesting is the new going out. There's nothing like a good girls' night in to recharge your batteries (or guys' night in).
  • Make space for more meditation. This is actually something I have intentionally set time aside for this fall and I find myself in anticipation of my next session. My goal is to do one a day. There are so many apps out there if you are looking for some guidance in this area and I have found luck with Insight Timer. I am not promoting Insight Timer over any others but it is one of many free apps available with hundreds of guided meditations to help with relaxation, stress relief, finding balance and inner peace, just to name a few.

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."? Audre Lorde

"Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. " – Lucille Ball



University of Buffalo- School of Social Work. Developing Your Self-Care Plan.

Self-Care Resources from UT Dallas-Student Counseling Center

TED Talks: 9 talks on the 'importance of self-care'