Posts Tagged With: west virginia

Winter Blues Farmers’ Market 2013

Typically when you think “farmers’ market” you think summertime. But that doesn’t stop West Virginia;  This afternoon was the “Winter Blues Farmers’ Market” from 3-8pm at the Waterfront Place Hotel near downtown Morgantown. Its scheduled the same week as the WV Small Farms Conference.

After graduate seminar today, Erin and I went over to the market to check out what it had to offer. With over 40 vendors, there was definitely something for everyone: preserves, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, baked goods, cheese, canned salsa and spreads, spices, and even non-edibles such as hand-spun wool, wooden items, and candles.

There were also tickets available for $1 each, and stations where you could get a warm dinner served to you. I exchanged 2 tickets for a handmade mini pizza, made from whole wheat flour. Delicious! I also picked up some ground lamb, romaine lettuce, and a couple of baked goods.

Check out some photos of the event below. And don’t miss out on the next farmer’s market event in Morgantown– Saturday, April 6th will be a traditional farmer’s market held in the downtown marketplace from 11am-2pm.

At the entrance of the Winter Market

At the entrance of the Winter Market

This is where I picked up my romaine lettuce for $1

This is where I picked up my romaine lettuce for $1

Made in West Virginia

Made in West Virginia

 

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Jams, Jellies, and Butters

More greens!

More greens!

Potatoes and apples

Potatoes and apples

Get your frozen lamb here, folks

Get your frozen lamb here, folks

A lamb heart

A lamb heart

Salsas and spices

Salsas and spices

Handmade sausage pizza for $2

Handmade sausage pizza for $2

Fantastic apple danish made from West Virginia apples

Fantastic apple danish made from West Virginia apples

 

Overview of the winter market, held in the Waterfront Place Hotel. Over 40 vendors from around the state of West Virginia were there.

Overview of the winter market, held in the Waterfront Place Hotel. Over 40 vendors from around the state of West Virginia were there.

Great live music was playing, too! Some type of West Virginia bluegrass/folk music.

Great live music was playing, too! Some type of West Virginia bluegrass/folk music.

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Camp New You

Today at GDI Bootcamp, intern Leah Gecheo presented on “Childhood Obesity: National Initiatives and Policies.” Childhood obesity is a critical issue in our country, as 17% of American children and adolescents are obese. And that percentage doesn’t include all the children and adolescents who are classified as overweight.  Within America, West Virginia has the 3rd highest rate of adult obesity, with 32.4% of West Virginia adults obese, or a BMI of 30+.  Childhood obesity prevention is key in reducing the percent of obese adults in West Virginia as well because studies have shown that obese children have a 70-80% probability of being obese as adults.  So the excuse “oh, he/she will grow into the weight!” most likely won’t hold true for the 7% of West Virginian kindergarteners who are morbidly obese (above the 99th percentile on CDC growth charts)…unless something is done, that is!

Camp NEW You is a program designed to combat the childhood obesity epidemic in West Virginia.  The camp’s website states:

“Camp NEW You is an innovative program designed to help youth and their parents identify and practice lifestyle changes that will assist in reducing unhealthy body weight through increased physical activity and good nutrition. The program focuses on goal setting and decision-making, and  emphasizes the importance of family participation in helping to create home environments that provide regular opportunities for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and healthy eating. The signature features of the program include the following: (a) interdisciplinary advisory board; (b) qualified camp staff; (c) access to state-of-the-art facilities; (d) focus on behavior change through enhanced self-efficacy, behavioral skills, behavioral capability, and social networking; (e) unique summer residency program with a variety of educational sessions for children and parents, developmentally appropriate activities, group counseling, and enrichment activities; and (f) structured 12-month follow-up intervention designed to provide continued support for families as the targeted behavior change becomes habitual (periodic weekend retreats, regular telephone coaching, individualized physical activity program design, personal accountability mechanisms).”

There are two camps in West Virginia- one held at WVU in Morgantown, WV on the north end of the state, and the other at Marshall University in Huntington, WV (southwest side of the state).  In order to qualify for the Camp New You program, kids must meet the following criteria:

  • 11-14 years old by the start of the program (in July)
  • BMI above the 85th percentile (classified as overweight)
  • Referal form completed and submitted by a physician
  • Application contract completed and submitted by parent or legal guardian and child
  • 1 parent participant (at all required sessions)
  • Committed to attend all camp sessions (July through June of following year)

Each day, camp participants can enjoy meals with fellow campers and staff, engage in daily individual and group exercise, learn about nutrition, home environment, goal-setting, and positive lifestyle habits. A sample schedule is shown below:

The 2-week camp costs $2750 per camper if paid out of pocket, but many health insurances cover the cost of the program, minus a $100 deductible.  If parents and children are serious about improving their health and learning new healthy habits that will help them decrease their risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases (heart disease, diabetes) then Camp New You sounds like a great fit. Experts in the field of nutrition, exercise science, behavioral health, and other health professionals are involved in Camp New You.  Children are able to get medical assessments and screenings (blood pressure, fasting lipid profile, insulin, glucose, BMI) and a lifestyle coach who can be reached weekly throughout the year-long follow-up portion of the program. Click below to see pictures & video from Camp New You.

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Take a look at this 23-page PDF guide to choosing healthy options for lunch when in a hurry– you CAN make healthier choices at fast food restaurants, at the vending machine, and with frozen meals!

Mary Rodavich, MS, RD, LDN

Part of our corporate wellness assignment this week was to create a presentation for the “Lunch and Learn” wellness series for employees at the Davis College of WVU.  Emily and I finally finished our 23-page handout titled, “Eating Healthy While Working On Campus”. The guide includes:

1.) Eat This, Not That – Morgantown Edition

2.) Healthy Vending Machine Choices

3.) Healthy Frozen Meals

To check it out, click the link below!!

Click: Eating Healthy While Working On Campus

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Healthiest Vending Machine Options

When choosing a snack from a vending machine, you’re faced with a few options….chips, popcorn, chocolate bars, candy, cookies, trail mix, and more.  The average person may not think twice about the nutritional content of these items.  However for the person who is trying to keep an eye on their health or waistline, deciding what to purchase can be a tougher decision.  Now, if vending machines dispensed fruits and vegetables, every option would be a healthy choice.

Fresh fruits & veggies from Fresh Healthy Vending

However, most vending machines today still look like the one found in the Agricultural Sciences Building at West Virginia University.

Chips, and Snacks, and Candy, Oh My!

It’s really too bad, considering that West Virginia has one of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the country.  But in order for behavior change to occur, people have to have the right tools and skill set in order to make healthier and educated choices.  I wanted to create some kind of sign or educational material that grouped these vending machine choices into “green, yellow, red” for a “yes, sometimes, rarely” type of rating system that will let consumers know how each snack ranks nutrition-wise, when compared with the rest of the available options.  After analyzing the calorie and fat content of each package, I decided the most reasonable criteria to use was 240 calories or less and 20% DV of total fat or less for the “green” rating. A yellow rating meant it only met one of the two previous criteria, and a red rating meant the snack didn’t meet either of the criteria, as it was above 240 calories and above 20% DV of total fat.

Here is a PDF file showing the snacks grouped into each stoplight color, which I hope to have as a poster next to the vending machine:

Guide to Vending Machine Snacks

And here is another flyer highlighting the 3-4 best vending machine choices:

Best Vending Machine Choices

While doing this project, there’s one main lesson I learned and that others should take notice of as well.  Portion size is everything! Many of these snacks are not single serving sizes.  For example, the bags of chips were 1.125-2 ounces, while a serving of chips is 1 ounce.  So naturally, if you eat the whole bag, you have to nearly double the calories, fat grams, carbohydrates, etc. in order to accurately depict what is in the entire bag.  This is especially key to take note of if you choose the Kar’s Roasted Salted Peanuts.  Peanuts are a great snack to have– they contain 8 grams of protein and nearly 3 grams of fiber per serving, not to mention they contain the heart-healthy unsaturated fats. But this bag is two ounces, and an ounce of peanuts is one serving.  If you eat the full two ounces in one afternoon, you’ve just ate 29 grams of fat, or 45% of your DV for the day.  So it’s definitely best to eat half of the package, and save the other half in your desk drawer for later in the week.

Ok, so “what can I eat?”  The answer, is anything! Just eat half of the bag of chips or half of the candy bar, and you’ll be just fine. Everything will be less than 170 calories that way, and less than 17% DV of total fat, or 11 grams.  But if you want to eat an entire package, here’s the best option from each category:

BEST CHIP: Baked Ruffles, Cheddar & Sour Cream
Due to its smaller portion size (1.125oz), this bag contains just 135 calories and 4 grams of fat (only 0.5g of that is saturated). Go for it!

BEST SNACK ITEM: Chex Mix, Cheddar
This 1.75-oz bag contains 210 calories and 6.5g of fat (10% DV). A better choice than Cheez-Its which have more than double the fat.

BEST CANDY: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Due to its smaller portion size, these 2 peanut butter cups are the lowest calorie candy bar you’re going to find in this vending machine. While Reese’s does have 13g of fat (20% DV), 8.5g of these are unsaturated fats, and there’s also 5g of protein, which isn’t too bad!

HONORABLE MENTION: Kar’s Original Trail Mix
While it did receive a “yellow” rating due to its higher fat content (22% DV), trail mix is still a good choice. This 1.5-oz bag is 200 calories, has 3g of fiber, 7.5g of protein, and 12.5g of the 14g of fat are unsaturated (“healthy”) fats.

Remember, the healthiest choice to make would be to bring a snack from home, such as fruit, whole wheat crackers, yogurt, a cheese stick, or fresh veggies.  But if you find yourself in front of a vending machine with a dollar in your pocket, it’s also important to know what vending machine options are the healthiest for you.

Categories: Community Nutrition, Education in the Community | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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