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
- Make your list and check it twice. Be sure to include healthy holiday gifts to give and receive
- Deck the halls with lots of health. Check out the festive red/green fruits and veggies
- Get your sleep! Check these tips for relaxing sleep during the holiday season
- Recognize what might prompt some of those tough family dynamics that can occur at holiday time
- Create new holiday traditions
- Keep a lid on Ugly Santa
- Keep a holly-jolly wallet
- Keep moving – stay fit through the holidays
- Take time for YOU; don’t overschedule
- Put some meaning back into your holidays!
- Don’t forget your sparkle!
- Identify the problem; if your work leaves you feeling underappreciated, stressed, and overwhelmed – name it and claim it; then you can start dealing with it
- Don’t dwell on Mondays like a looming dark cloud that dumps on your weekend
- Get sunlight and fresh air on your weekend – refresh!
- Be ready for Monday … start on Sunday by getting your food and clothes lined out; synch up your calendar
- Dress like you want to be at work – it makes a difference!
- Practice good self-care – don’t overdo Sunday with heavy foods/drinks
- Get some sleep! Lack of shut eye makes everything and everyone more difficult
- Focus on the things you are excited about in the week ahead
- Eat a good breakfast
- Try not to over-pack your weekend; have some down time
- Have a positive attitude; use positive self-talk while you drive into work
- Maintain a manageable Monday work schedule – keep it light when you can
- A set of 3-pound weights or cans; use while on the phone, while seated on a stability ball, while watching TV
- A sturdy chair or stool
- A yoga mat and foam roller – watch your favorite show from the floor!
- A stability ball; there’s one at nearly every garage sale! Stability balls bring on laughter while strengthening muscles
- A set of elastic thera-bands; they come in different colors/strengths and they’re great for stretching while sitting or standing
- Don’t care for thera-bands? Choose exercise bands with handles on the ends
- If simple is what you want, forget all the equipment and plug in a walking DVD. In 15 minutes or less you can have a good little workout (these are great for the office as well!)
- Broom handles are good tools to use across your shoulders, draping your arms over the tops then slowly stretching your waist and sides
- Stationary bikes are perfect for TV watching. Be sure you get a good fit for your back and your posterior; it’s got to be comfortable for you. Many stationary bikes are more affordable than a year’s gym membership!
- Don’t forget your measuring tools: pedometer, tape measure, scale, BP monitor, tracking sheet
- Make a budget for entertainment, food, and gifts
- Schedule exercise; put it on your calendar
- Prepare at least one healthy meal every day
- Quit the “clean plate club”
- Eat slowly; savor your food
- Have a plan before you arrive at a buffet or office potluck
- Meet with friends around events, not food
- Let go of perfectionism!
- Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should; guard your time
- De-stress with three yoga tips
- Slow down, take a breath; be in the moment, not on your way to the next moment!
- Fooducate it’s like having a dietitian on speed dial; scan barcodes. FREE
- WebMD Pain Coach helps you manage your chronic pain; FREE
- MyFitnessPal is an amazing tool – I can’t believe it’s free; FREE
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) health information at your fingertips; FREE
- American Heart Walking Paths create, find, track walking paths; FREE