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February 10, 6 PM
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February 12, 13 & 14
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Recipe of the Month
Three Sisters Tacos
(Hannaford recipe, adapted)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups butternut squash, sweet potato, or zucchini, diced
Small onion, diced
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups pinto beans (one 15.5 oz can)
1 cup corn kernels
Juice from ½ lime
½ cup cilantro chopped
12 crunchy or soft corn taco shells
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine squash, onion, and garlic in a 9"x13" baking dish.
Toss with olive oil, spices, and salt.
Roast for 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Add beans, corn, lime juice, and cilantro, toss gently and return to oven for 5-7 minutes or until hot.
Spoon into taco shells and top with shredded cheese or more fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
Find more healthy recipes...
works with communities to encourage and support healthy and happy lives, with a focus on:
- Physical Activity
- Healthy Eating
- Tobacco Prevention & Cessation
- Reduction of Second Hand Smoke
- Substance Abuse Prevention
- Mental Health Awareness
Find out more!
Mid Coast Hospital is the lead agency for Access Health.
Mary Booth, MSAD 75
Sagadahoc County Board
Topsham Parks &
Emily Rines, Parent
Mid Coast-Parkview Health
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention
First Parish Church
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From the Director's Desk
summarizing in less than two minutes how to gain perspective.
If you, like me, are looking for advice on slowing down and gaining perspective, our January newsletter is for you! Look for tips and resources on reducing stress and increasing mindfulness throughout your day.
Healthy Schools, Healthy Kids
Sync with Your Teens
Jennah Godo, MS
Calling all parents of teens and tweens. L
et's start the year off right by setting a resolution to Sync with our teens and other parents!
To help you Sync...
- Talk with other Parents: If you hear about a party, check in about supervision and the presence of alcohol.
- Be Up and Ready: Wait up or set the alarm for curfew time. Talk with your teen about their night.
- Share Info with other Parents: Exchange contact info - let other parents know they can call you with any concerns.
- Monitor and Secure: If you have alcohol, keep track of it - know how much you have, keep it where teens can't get it.
- Check in Often: Ask your teen to call at a set time and confirm where they are and how they are doing.
Remember, teens are nearly 5 times as likely to drink if they don't think they will be caught by their parents. (2013 MIYHS, graded 9-12). Visit CASA's
page for more information.
Cleaning Your Home, Healthfully
If one of your New Year's resolutions is to live a healthier life, one way to achieve your resolution is to reduce the chemicals in cleaning your home.
Parents should know the health consequences of commercially prepared cleaners, particularly if there are children in the house that tend to put their fingers in their mouth. According to the CDC one of the most common causes of poisoning among young children are household cleaning products. There are healthy substitutions for most cleaning products:
- Baking soda cleans, deodorizes, and scours.
- The acid in lemon works against most household bacteria.
- White vinegar cuts grease, as well as removes mildew and odors.
There are many websites dedicated to green cleaning recipes. Make sure to label any jars or spray bottles you use to store these preparations.
Find more ideas at the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension's
green cleaning recipes
Would You Like a Banana Right Now?
Tuning in to Physical Hunger Cues
Tasha Gerken, MS, RD
SNAP-Ed Nutrition Educator
In our busy routines, sometimes we forget to stop and listen to our bodies. Interference like strict lunch breaks, stressful work schedules, and the dark days of winter can mask the useful messages our bodies send to let us know when it needs nourishment. If you're looking for guidance to eat more mindfully in 2016, keep reading.
A refreshing way to tune in is to spend a full day eating
only when you are physically hungry
. Signs of physical hun
ger include a gnawing feeling in your abdomen, stomach growling, and grumpiness, which may quickly progress into a headache, light-headedness, irritability, lack of energy, shaking, or weakness.
If you're someone who is prone to eat for non-hunger reasons, you may want to plan an alternative "activity" for moments when you ordinarily would default to snacking. You could take a sip of water, jot down a few thoughts on paper, or apply hand lotion to keep your hands busy and avoid mindless eating.
If you're someone who has stretched the length of time between your meals, you may have noticed diminished or non-existent hunger cues. To reconnect with your body's signals, you may need to plan a week filled with small 100-200 calorie healthy snacks spaced out by 1-2 hours to reinvigorate your metabolism and the accompanying physical hunger cues mentioned above.
Remember, all you pleasure seekers of the world, that food actually tastes better when you're physically hungry. I like to ask myself when I'm aimlessly reaching for a snack, "would you like a banana right now?" Bananas are my favorite fruit, but if I'm turning to food for comfort, a banana just won't satisfy my emotional needs. Try it out with your favorite fruit!
Mindfulness and Cessation
Some recent research has shown that mindfulness can be a promising tool to help people quit smoking. One the most notable studies was conducted by Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, medical director of the Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic. The study, published in Drug and
Dependence, included 88 adults who smoked at least half a pack per day and wanted to quit. Smokers were randomly assigned to participate in a standard quit-smoking program or to attend eight sessions of
training. Interestingly, the mindfulness group reduced their smoking rate at a higher level than the standard group. Four months later, 31% of the mindfulness group was still smoke-free compared to only 6% in the other group.
Craving to Quit, an app for iPad or iPhone, was developed as a result of this research. The app is a three-week, self-directed program designed to help users become more aware of themselves and their environment in the moment. Users learn to apply this awareness to the act of smoking and its effects.
One component of mindfulness training for smokers is learning to manage cravings. The acronym for this technique is called RAIN:
- Recognize the craving that is arising, and relax into it.
- Accept this moment. Don't ignore it, distract yourself, or try to do something about it.
- Investigate the experience as it builds. Ask yourself, "What is happening in my body right now?"
- Note what is happening moment by moment
FMI about mindfulness and smoking cessation visit:
Get Moving to Manage Your Stress
Colleen Fuller, MPH
Stress is something that we all live with. We may not be able to eliminate stress from our lives entirely, but we can take actions to minimize and manage that stress. Physical activity is a highly effective stress management tool that can be practiced almost anywhere, at any time, and at no cost.
During physical activity, your brain increases production of endorphins, also known as the "feel good brain chemicals." Endorphins are the cause of "runner's high" or that feeling of happiness or elation you might experience while working up a sweat. Endorphins also enhance the immune system and help moderate the appetite.
Physical activity can also be a form of meditation in motion. Using large muscle groups in a rhythmic, repetitive way such as running, swimming, or walking is similar to meditation, much like focusing on the rhythm of repetitive breathing is a big part of meditation.
People who suffer from high levels of stress frequently develop physical symptoms of stress such as high blood pressure, musculoskeletal issues, pain, weight gain, or digestive problems. Physical activity helps address these physical symptoms of stress. Physical activity has been shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce body weight. Also, physical activity promotes muscle movement and increases circulation, which, along with endorphins, will help alleviate tight muscles and stress-related pain.
All of the benefits of physical activity mentioned above also pertain to depression. Physical activity is one of the easiest, least expensive ways to improve the health of your mind and body. To reap the benefits of physical activity, you simply need to start moving. Going for a brisk 30 minute walk once a day, or even three 10-minute walks each day, will allow you to experience the multitude of health benefits that physical activity provides.
Access Health Physical Activity page
for local and free places to walk, bike, and be active!
New Year's Resolutions and Mental Health
Elizabeth Munsey, LCPC-c
The promise of a new year can be both hopeful and frightening. The possibility of greatness is around every corner, while the potential for failure is lurking in the background. As the clock strikes midnight on December 31, we make promises to ourselves that this year will be better than the last. Change is hard and the best way to sustain those New Year's resolutions, while still maintaining positive behavioral health is to pick a realistic goal, boost your motivation, and focus on your mental health.
By picking a realistic goal, rather than a New Year's Resolution, you have more of a chance for attainment. Take baby steps, track your progress, and accept that there will be setbacks.
You will be more likely to achieve greatness i you focus on making small daily changes that can be incorporated into your lifestyle, as opposed to huge changes all at once.
Maintaining motivation can be very challenging. When we remember why we want to make a change, get support and congratulate ourselves for our achievements, we have a better chance of maintaining success. Seeing even small successes as achievements, will not only keep you motivated to move forward and continue on your journey, but will also promote better mental health.
Even if you are not suffering from a mental illness, you can still take steps to promote your mental health and lead a healthier lifestyle in the New Year. Having positive mental health will help you to stick with your New Year's Resolutions, achieve your goals, accept the setbacks and relish the achievements. Some ways to uphold your mental wellbeing are to practice gratitude, keep a journal, lean on your supports, and educate you
Focus on what works best for you in the New Year. There is no right or wrong, no success or failure. We are always evolving and changing. Practicing good mental health all year will help us to be successful in all of our conquests throughout life.
Start 2016 with a Clean Medicine Cabinet
Start the New Year with a fresh start on your prescription medications. The American Pharmacists Association encourages cleaning your medicine cabinet once a year to dispose of expired, unused, and unwanted medications that have accumulated over time. Unused medications have the potential to be abused or misused, and expired medications lose their potency.
Prescription drug abuse is a prevalent substance abuse problem. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that every day in the U.S., an average of 2,000 teenagers use a prescription medication that is not prescribed to them for the first time. A National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that over 70% of people who abused prescription pain relievers got them from friends or relatives.
Always store your prescription medications in a secure area, out of sight and out of reach of children and teenagers. Best is a drawer or cabinet that can lock - avoid obvious locations such as medicine cabinets, nightstands and purses. Keep track of what medications you have and how many are left of each. Always store the medications in their original container.
Safely dispose of expired, unused or unwanted medications at a local "Big Green Box." These medication collection boxes are located in the lobby of our local law enforcement agencies, including: Bath Police Department, Brunswick Police Department, Richmond Police Department, Topsham Police Department, as well as the Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Office. Visit
CASA's Prescription Drug page
for more safety tips and information.
Signs of Problem Gambling
Gambling can offer an exciting diversion for those looking for something to do when, perhaps, boredom or loneliness are present. However, for some people, gambling can become problem or addiction. Scratch off tickets, bingo, casinos, horse races, card games, and online games are all common forms of gambling.
How can you tell if your gambling fun has become a problem? Common signs include:
- Preoccupation with gambling
- Spending more time or money than you intended to spend
- Hiding your losses from family and friends
- Gambling to win back your losses
- Gambling on credit, stolen or borrowed money
- Selling items to fund your gambling
- Lying to cover how much you are spending on gambling
- Becoming anxious or irritable when you can't gamble
What can you do to prevent your gambling from becoming a problem?
- Set a budget and stick to it
- Never gamble more than you are willing to lose
- Limit or avoid trips to casinos, race tracks, off track betting establishments and stopping for lottery tickets
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