Tag: Health

Let’s Make Salsa!

Is your garden full of delicious produce such as peppers, onions, tomatoes? If so, you have the basic ingredients to make homemade salsa that you can eat with chips, or jazz up your poultry or fish. A fresh recipe from North Dakota State University is below, along with a video to help you make fun, simple, and delicious salsa!




  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno pepper, finely chopped*
  • 4 large Roma (paste) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro leave, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or lime juice (freshly squeezed)


Mix ingredients together and serve. Store covered in the refrigerator and use within a few days. Serve with whole-grain crackers or chips.

Makes 4 servings. Per Serving: about 35 calories, 0 grams (g) of fat, 8 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g fiber, 25% of the daily value for vitamin A and 70% of the daily value for vitamin C.

*Note: Be cautious when handling jalapeno peppers. Wear plastic gloves if possible and wash your hands thoroughly. The “heat” is in the seeds and veins. This salsa recipe is not suitable for canning.

By: Ashley Svaty

Protect Yourself from UV Exposure

Summer has officially arrived, and as always it’s hot and sunny! Spending time outdoors at the lake or pool are usually on the top of everyone’s summer fun list, but before you venture out in the sun follow these safety tips to reduce you and your loved one’s risks for harmful UV exposure.

Cover up: When you are out in the sun, wear clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher: Reapply at least every 2 hours, as well as after swimming or sweating.

Seek shade: Limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.

Lather up 30 minutes before outdoor activities: Apply 1 ounce (about the size of a golf ball) of sunscreen to all exposed areas.

Check the sunscreen’s expiration date: Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years, but its shelf life is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures. (CDC)

Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps: Both can cause serious long-term skin damage and contribute to skin cancer.

Remember to protect yourself on overcast days: Up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation can penetrate clouds and harm your skin. (www.SkinCancer.org)

Cover easily missed areas: This includes the back of ears and neck, and the tops of feet and hands with sunblock.

Avoid sunburn: It may seem like a temporary irritation, but sunburns cause long-lasting damage to the skin.

For more information about sun safety please visit https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm

By: Ashley Svaty

Health and Food Behaviors During COVID-19

As the saying goes, timing is everything. The 2020 International Food Information Council Food & Health Survey was conducted in April 2020, right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, that backdrop must be considered when looking at the results. Yes, consumer beliefs and actions have made a major shift. The question is, will those changes remain?

It’s not surprising that cooking at home is the biggest change for 8 in 10 Americans. Along with that, they are snacking more, washing fruits and vegetables more, and just giving more thought to food choices.

Going to the grocery store has decreased since consumers make fewer trips to the store each week.  Online grocery shopping has gone up.

Food safety concerns about food have increased and more than a third of consumers avoid some foods and beverages. Keep in mind, COVID-19 has not been found to spread through food or food packaging. Consumers are more concerned about food safety when grocery shopping online.

In spite of all the challenges with COVID-19, 67% of respondents are at least somewhat confident in the overall safety of the food supply.

Download the entire report at https://foodinsight.org/2020-food-and-health-survey/.

By: Ashley Svaty

Fitting in Fitness While at Home

I recently began wearing my physical activity tracker again. About a week ago I woke up and decided I would charge it up and wear it for the day to see how many steps I’m racking up since my daily routine has changed quite a bit. I had been feeling sluggish and not myself so I thought it would be interesting to see the results. Truthfully, my body was telling me in different ways that I wasn’t moving as much as I should have and I didn’t need a fitness tracker to tell me that- but I wanted to see the number. After wearing my tracker for a day, I found I was drastically under my daily goal. This hit me like a rock but it was because I hadn’t been intentional throughout the day to get out and move as much as usual! I had still enjoyed my evening walk but that wasn’t enough to make up for the lack of movement I didn’t make throughout my day. Since that wake up call, I have been extremely intentional about moving more and sitting less while now faced with a new daily routine… Read the full blog post by following this link.

By: Ashley Svaty

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

If you’re looking for a quick and healthy recipe to try at home with your family, this is for you. Try this Med Instead of Meds banana oatmeal pancakes recipe using pantry essentials and you won’t be disappointed!


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup of old fashioned rolled oats, uncooked
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen fruit of your choice (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, bananas, rolled oats, baking powder, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Batter should be cohesive and without lumps.
  2. Heat olive oil in medium skillet on medium-low heat. Once heated, spoon ¼ cup portions of the batter onto skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides (about 4 minutes on each side).
  3. Heat fruit in small skillet until warm, stirring occasionally. Serve over pancakes. You can also serve pancakes with chopped nuts or peanut butter on top.

Source: https://medinsteadofmeds.com/

By: Ashley Svaty

At Home Exercises

  • The National Institute on Aging has fantastic low impact at home exercises perfect for beginners, older adults, or for anyone looking to add more movement into their day! Check out their videos here: https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/workout-videos/
  • If you’re at home with kids, I encourage you to check out gonoodle.com. These free, fun and interactive videos inspire kids to be active by offering a wide range of videos which appeal to different ages, skills, and abilities.
  • Walk Kansas fitness videos covering a variety of short exercises using free weights, resistance bands, and the balance ball are available here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0443E5C6D241AC2F

By: Ashley Svaty