Faux Fiber Versus the Real Thing

If you’re not keen on foods that are naturally high in fiber—such as oatmeal, lentils, broccoli and peas—you may be tempted to choose fiber-fortified foods as a way to get your roughage. Manufacturers are putting isolated (“functional”) fibers in foods such as yogurt, ice cream, sugary cereals, energy bars, even juices and water, in order to make “high-fiber” claims. Dietary fiber, found in plant foods, promotes good bowel function and lowers blood sugar and cholesterol, among other benefits. The general recommendation is to get 14 grams of fiber… Read More →

Best Treats to Beat the Heat

beat the heat, healthy ice cream recipe

By: Bridgette Wilson As I was driving down 183 heading home one afternoon, the temperature on my car’s dashboard read 100. No wonder I was feeling like a piece of sizzling bacon cooking in a cast iron skillet. I cranked up the A/C and started to reminisce about my childhood ice cream memories. It was always a special part of my ‘Texas Summer Survival Kit’. Every summer, my mother would make her own ice cream. I can recall those hot humid nights of Houston sitting on the back… Read More →

Are Your Vacations Guilt-Free?

vacation, nutrition, wellness

By: Bridgette Wilson As a basic rule of thumb, vacation time means packing up your cool gear and temporarily escaping your worries. However, it should not mean leaving your good healthy lifestyle habits hanging in your closet. You have worked very hard to achieve your goal of healthy living, so why would you want to sabotage your efforts. Although the thought of lavishing in the thoughts of your vacation and no schedules to keep, it is still a good idea to keep your meal planning and exercise routine… Read More →

Don’t Let the Screens Take Over: 8 Tips for Families

Last week was Screen-Free Week, and I’m going to guess that most families did not have a screen-free week. Screens have become so embedded in daily life that it’s hard to imagine turning them off for a whole week. Besides the fact that many, if not most, children use them for homework, they are also how we get work done, get questions answered, communicate, shop, and relax. For many families, they are also how they calm children down and keep them occupied. How do you go a day… Read More →

Benefits of Power Walking

By: Bridgette Wilson How do you jumpstart an out-of-shape body that has no extra energy or tenacity to endure what I thought of exercise as cruel and unusual punishment? Little did I know taking some brisk walking strides would be the key to changing my life and moving beyond my fears. The basic definition of ‘power walking’ is often referred to as ‘fitness walking’ or ‘fast pace walking’. According to WebMD, research suggests: “Every hour you spend walking may add 2 hours to your life.” Brisk walking can… Read More →

Recap: Lunch & Learn- Healthy Breakfast and Snacks

On April 24, 2017 We got to do our third Lunch and Learn at the Travis County Office. This lunch and learn was all about the importance of healthy breakfast and snacks. First, Sonia went over some material from our Step Up Scale Down class about the importance of healthy snacks and breakfasts. She further explained how to pair items together for an optimal breakfast or snack option. We also spoke about timing of these meals and appropriate calorie ranges for them. Then, Sonia reviewed what she taught… Read More →

If You Want Better Sleep…

A new study concludes that people who get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week sleep significantly better and feel more alert throughout the day.   Read the full article here   Source: The National Sleep Foundation

Recap: Food Preservation Workshops

This year we got to hold two Food Preservation workshops at our office. The first workshop focused on pressure canning while the second focused on water-bath canning.   First Workshop: Pressure Canning Our first workshop was taught by Dr. Connie Shepard from Comal County. The workshop started off with a power point presentation over canning basics and how to can food safely.     Our family and Consumer Sciences agent, Sonia Coyle helped participants cook up the canning liquid that gets placed in the jars to preserve the carrots. After the… Read More →

Staying Away from Fad Diets

With all the focus on weight in our society, it isn’t surprising that millions of people fall prey to fad diets and bogus weight-loss products. Conflicting claims, testimonials and hype by so-called “experts” can confuse even the most informed consumers. The bottom line is simple: If a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are no foods or pills that magically burn fat. No super foods will alter your genetic code. No products will miraculously melt fat while you watch TV or… Read More →

Can Exercise Help Joint Pain?

“Joint pain can rob you of life’s simple pleasures — you may no longer look forward to walking your dog, gardening, or chasing a tennis ball across the court. Even the basics of getting through your day, like getting into the car or carrying laundry to the basement, can become sharp reminders of your limitations. But the right exercises performed properly can be a long-lasting way to subdue ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder pain. Although it might seem that exercise would aggravate aching joints, this is simply not… Read More →