Buying blueberries at the farmer’s market

In the summer, there are a lot of food opportunities at the local farmer’s markets, such as learning more about what is in season and getting to know, taste, and enjoy the exotic fruits that the local farmers sell at the markets. Shopping at a farmer’s market helps to support local farmers, and it’s a great way to find locally grown fruits and vegetables at affordable prices.

When shopping for blueberries, pick the ones that are firm and plump with a dusty blue color. Look for berries that are similar in size, and do not pick the ones that look squishy.

After buying your blueberries, you can store them in the refrigerator for 10-14 days. Blueberries can be eaten in many different ways – alone or in yogurt, cereal, fruit salad, and more. Be creative!

Nutrition Information per 1/2 cup serving:
Total calories: 42
Total fat: 0.2g
Sodium: 1mg
Potassium: 57mg
Magnesium: 4mg
Folate: 4mcg
Total carbohydrate: 11g
Dietary fiber: 1.8g
Protein: 0.55g
%Daily Value (DV) Vitamin A: 0.8
%DV Vitamin C: 12
%DV Calcium: 0.4
%DV Iron: 1.2

Add a healthier crust to your pizza

Most of us already know what toppings to add to a pizza to make it healthier, but have you ever thought about the crust. To make healthier pizza crusts, try:

  • Whole-wheat flour. Forgo the traditional white-flour crust and make your whole wheat flour for some extra protein and a yummy, nutty flavor.
  • Thin sandwich bread. Take your favorite deli flat and swap the cold-cuts for your sauce and toppings of choice. (Just give the bread a little toast before topping to avoid any sogginess.)
  • Tortillas. Rice and beans aren’t the only ingredients that can top a tortilla. Make your own whole-wheat tortilla for a perfect thin-crust alternative.
  • Pita bread. Pita pockets are the perfect size for a personal pizza, and the whole wheat variety adds an extra nutritional kick.
  • English muffins. With all the nooks and crannies, an English muffin pizza crust can do no wrong. They toast up perfectly in the oven and are great for making mini-pizzas for a light lunch. (Or as a late night snack!)



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Grandparents as role models for physical activity




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I am having to face facts, whether I like it or not, I am getting older and I need to add a fresh dimension to my exercise routine. I know you don’t have to join a gym, train for a 5K, or buy expensive gear, but I have found a great way to motivate yourself is to team up with a fitness buddy. I cannot think of a better buddy than my granddaughter!

We all know that children learn from role models. “Grandparents are in a perfect position to [be that] role model” by stressing the importance of living an active lifestyle.I say if the older generation takes the younger generation by the hand and engages them in little bits of activity together, they are doing an extraordinary service to the health and well-being of their grandchildren.

Playing tag, jumping rope, playing Simon Says or biking to a destination instead of driving, or playing Wii instead of watching TV encourages kids to be active. Next time you are with your grandchildren, use playtime as a way to get the heart pumping.

Be goofy and encourage movement. Before you know it, your grandchildren will have so much fun they won’t even realize they’re exercising.

Try playing these games with the kids. Besides getting a workout, you’ll all get a wealth of laughs.

Join me and move more!

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Being physically active has long-term results. What you do right now does have an effect on your future. Including time in your life for physical activity is not just something to do when you want to lose weight. There are so many other wonderful benefits. I found that when I started making time for some physical activity, that I experienced several benefits. I immediately began sleeping better at night and getting back down to a healthier weight. My clothes began to fit more loosely, and I could see that I was building some muscle too. I encouraged some neighbors to walk with me, and I am meeting new people and actually having fun too!
Choose activities that you not only enjoy but feel you can do on a regular basis. Try to have 10 minutes of activity at a time. Shorter periods will not have the same health benefits. Here’s a website with some great tips on how you can increase physical activity for your and your family:

North Carolina Faith-based Organization Facility Use Assessment Report Available Now!


June 25, 2014

Do you want to learn more about what North Carolina faith communities are doing to promote physical activity?  If yes, check out the newly released North Carolina Faith-based Organization Facility Use Assessment Report and Executive Summary. The Assessment was conducted through a partnership between Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More, N.C. Council of Churches: Partners in Health and Wholeness, N.C. Division of Public Health (Community Transformation Grant Project and the Community and Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health Branch), and Voices Into Action: The Families Food, and Health Project.

The Report and Executive Summary provide information on the development, implementation and results of the Faith-based Organization Facility Use Assessment that can be used by anyone who is involved in implementing shared use policies and/or agreements in faith-based organizations including faith community staff and congregants, health officials and community residents. We hope that this report will help to guide the work of shared use efforts within North Carolina faith-based organizations.

Click here to download the Report and Executive Summary