By: Chef Brenda Wattles, RDN and The Idaho Bean Commission
According to the Idaho Bean Commission, the number one reason to eat Idaho’s beans is due to our rich volcanic soil and clean mountain water that produces the “highest quality, disease-free bean seed in the world.” If that isn’t reason enough, Registered Dietitian and Chef Brenda Wattles adds five more reasons to eat our local, healthy food.
Beans are Versatile
There are ten varieties of beans grown in Idaho. All of which have their own flavor profile and texture that offer numerous ways to prepare them. Beans can be served as a main course or a side dish. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, beans can be considered as a main protein entree or a side vegetable. That is versatility at its best!
Beans are Easy to Prepare
Whether you are cooking them dried or straight from the can, they are easy! Dried takes a little longer, but the process is simple (*see instructions below). Once they are cooked and ready to go, add them to soups, hummus, salads, or even smoothies! Visit the Idaho Bean Commission’s website for recipes ideas.
Beans are Inexpensive
If you are looking to save money on your grocery bill, beans are a great cost-conscious alternative! Adding them to your menu as a main dish protein can cut your budget tremendously. Chef Brenda recommends making homemade black bean burgers, hearty vegetarian chili, or topping entrée size salads with beans as your main protein source.
Beans are a Protein and a Fiber-Rich Superfood
Most Americans are getting enough protein. However, they are often deficient by about 10 grams of fiber a day. By adding one cup of cooked beans to their diet, they will be adding about 12-16 grams of fiber a day. Additionally, beans are high in antioxidants. They are also low in calories and saturated fat.
Beans are Excellent for Weight Loss
One cup of canned black beans is only 218 calories! Not only are they low in calories, they provide lots of bulk during digestion. So, they will keep you full longer! Adding beans to your diet is one of the best ways to get a variety of nutrients for such a small number of calories.
*How to Prepare Dried Beans
Rinse and drain one pound of dry beans. Discard damaged beans and any foreign material. Place in sauce pan and cover with 6 cups water. Either soak overnight or boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover, and soak for one to four hours. Discard soaking water. Replace with clean water and cook beans at a low boil for one to two hours, until beans are tender.
By: Rebecca Sprague, MPH, Health Education Specialist, Suicide Prevention Program, Division of Public Health
National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week is September 9-15. This will be a time when some of us honor loved ones lost to suicide. Many will renew efforts to prevent suicide deaths. It is also important to focus our attention on hope, help, strength and recovery!
We all have a very important role to play in suicide prevention and intervention. Here are just a few ways that you can Rock Your Role!
- Learn the warning signs
- Watch for signs in friends, family & co-workers
- Take action when you see signs of suicide in a person and get them to help
Suicide Warning Signs
- Talking about suicide
- Isolation & withdrawal
- Agitation & sleeplessness
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increased use of alcohol/drugs
- Talking about feeling hopeless
- Previous suicide attempts
- Call/Text/Chat the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 208-398-HELP or idahosuicideprevention.org/chat/
- Take them to a crisis center near you (see crisis center information below)
- Take them to the emergency department or doctor’s office
- Schedule a visit with a behavioral health provider
- Contact your employee assistance program
What are Your Strengths?
We’ve all got ‘em! But sometimes it can be hard to identify them, especially when we’re feeling down. Helping others identify their strengths or healthy ways to cope can be just the thing they need to get them back into a place of hope and recovery. These strengths can be any number of things. For some it means connecting with nature, for others it means singing, reading a good book, spending time with a pet, hanging out with a positive friend or talking to a counselor.
Idaho’s Behavioral Health Community Crisis Centers (BHCCCs) provide services to adults in need of mental health and/or substance use disorder crisis services. The BHCCCs are open 24 hours, seven days a week to assist adults 18 and older in crisis to become stabilized and connect them with community resources to help them effectively deal with their situations and avoid further crises.
Pathways Community Crisis Center of Southwest Idaho
7192 Potomac Drive
Boise, Idaho 83704
North Idaho Crisis Center
2195 Ironwood Court, Suite D
Coeur D’Alene, Idaho 83814
Behavioral Health Community Crisis Center of East Idaho
1650 N. Holmes Avenue
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401
Crisis Center of South Central Idaho
570 Shoup Avenue West
Twin Falls, Idaho 83301
By: Jackie Amende, MS, RDN, LD, University of Idaho FCS Extension Educator
If you are road tripping or traveling abroad to a new and exciting place, you can still enjoy all the fun foods that come with traveling without compromising your healthful eating plan. Here are some tips for your upcoming summer vacation:
- Focus on portion sizes. You don’t have to avoid those new and exciting foods that come with traveling. Share large food portions with your travel partner or go with the small size for just yourself.
- Keep your regular meal times on vacation. It can be easy to graze on food all day while on vacation but try to stick with your usual eating pattern.
- Watch what you’re drinking. Focus on water or other unsweetened beverages. Skip the sweetened and various adult beverages which are often loaded with unnecessary calories.
- Pack non-perishable foods with you. Dried fruit, nuts, and pretzels make for relatively healthy snacks that are nutrient-rich. These non-perishable foods are perfect for a quick snack to satisfy you until your next scheduled meal time.
- If you are road tripping, pack a cooler with fresh pre-cut vegetables and fruits. Try slicing some bell peppers and cutting up some celery sticks. In addition, keep whole fruit or sliced fruit ready to go.
- Be physically active! Get outside and walk to enjoy the sites where you are vacationing. If you are on a road trip, schedule frequent stops where you can get out, stretch your legs, and take a short walk.
With these healthful eating tips, food safety is still a priority, especially if you’re road tripping. Bringing perishable foods with you like meats and cheeses may cause some unwanted foodborne illnesses if these items are not stored properly. Don’t store perishable foods unrefrigerated for longer than 2 hours. If stored in a cooler, make sure coolers are 40 degrees or cooler. In addition, don’t leave your cooler directly in the sun or in the trunk of your car on road trips. Putting the cooler in the backseat of the car will generally be cooler than the trunk. Finally, keep hand sanitizer or moist towelettes with you if you don’t have access to a restroom to wash your hands before and after eating. Now, enjoy your trip!
Want to learn more about healthy eating and/or food safety? University of Idaho Extension teaches many classes and programs in the area, like Eating Healthy on a Budget, Nutrition for Healthy Aging, Diabetes Prevention Program, Dining with Diabetes, and more. Check out the Canyon County UI Extension website at https://www.uidaho.edu/extension/county/canyon/family-consumer or call 208-459-6003 for more information.
- Create a home gym with easy-to-use, affordable equipment (soup cans, detergent bottles, balance ball, jump rope, resistance bands, kitchen chair, stairs, doorframe, broom …)
- Get outside once a day but dress for cold weather
- Do your chores to music – step up and MOVE
- Be healthy – clean out your pantry; check those food product dates
- Walk the mall or the airport (if you are traveling)
- Stay Active
- Read or listen to a book
- Play a board game; set a puzzle
- Check out these Ways to Keep Kids Busy Indoors
- A few more ideas…Treasure Hunts, Indoor Obstacle Course, Dance Off and more!
- Those constantly accessible via cell phones were the most likely to report mental health issues
- Men who use computers intensively were more likely to develop sleeping problems
- Frequently using a computer without breaks further increases the risk of stress, sleeping problems, and depressive symptoms in women
- Read more…
- Reclaim your bedroom!
- Exercise regularly
- Watch your caffeine and alcohol intake before bedtime
- See a doctor or sleep professional if your problems persist
- Uni-task; don’t multi-task
- Create a playlist that soothes your soul
- Learn to say “no” and mean it
- Set healthy boundaries
- Let others host the party, make the dinner, plan the event
- More tips on saving your sanity
- Unhappy memories of past holidays
- Life changes: death, divorce, moves
- Those relatives who would be difficult in any situation…
- Monotony and expectations…that same old same old
- Lowered defenses – your body and spirit are stressed
- Be realistic about what you can accomplish this season
- Simplify your holiday plans
- Make a budget…and stick to it!
- Be active whenever you can
- Take a minute – sit, close your eyes, breathe
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep most nights
- Eat nutritious meals when you can
- Ask for hlep when you need it
- Forgive and forget
- Use the Stress Center resources. There are tip sheets, video clips, books, articles, and powerpoints.