Summer Cooking
Here is a bit of advice for this season’s outdoor eating—from picnics to dinner parties.

1. Always wash your hands before handling food. This helps prevent bacteria spread. If you don’t have access to a sink, use water from a jug and some soap to wash and paper towels to dry off. Moist disposable towelettes can also do the trick.

2. Keep cold food stored in waterproof containers and surrounded by ice. Maintain the temperature at 40 degrees or below. Pack your beverages and cold food in separate coolers so perishable food won’t be exposed to warm air every time someone pulls out a drink.

3. Use an insulated container to keep hot foods hot. Preheat container, by filling with boiling water for several minutes and then empyting prior to filling with food, to help maintain food at temperatures of at least 140 degrees until eating.

4. Food shouldn’t be left out of refrigeration for more than two hours—on a hot day that exceeds 90 degrees, no more than one.

5. Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood wrapped so they can’t contaminate cooked food and fruits and veggies. Bring extra utensils and dishware to keep from reusing those that have been in contact with raw meats.

6. Refrain from marinating food at room temperature or outdoors. Bacteria multiplies when exposed to warmth.

Family Eating

You play an important role as guide and coach for your children when they make choices about eating, exercise and limiting screen time. Successful guidance and coaching means leading by example. The choices you make as a parent impact the decisions your teen makes when it comes to healthy habits. Here are seven healthy habits to get your family started on the road to a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Set limits for screen time. Decide on the amount of time your teen is allowed to spend on their phone, watching TV or playing computer or video games. Parents should limit their screen time as well.
  2. Exercise together. Go for a walk or bike ride as a family.
  3. Eat three healthy meals a day. Include at least four servings of fruits, five servings of vegetables and four servings of dairy products. Prepare school lunches and dinners together.
  4. Drinks plenty of fluids before, during and after any exercise. This will help replace what is lost from sweating. Water is best. Avoid flavored sports drinks and soft drinks that are loaded with sugar.
  5. Eat less junk food and fast foods. They are often full of fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar.
  6. Get adequate sleep. Make sure your teen gets 9 to 10 hours of sleep every night.
  7. Have a hard conversation. Talk to your teen about the health risks related to sexual activity, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or doing drugs.
Delicious, heart healthy recipe

Vidalia Onion Tomato Salad with Grilled Tuna

Cardiologists recommend eating fish at least twice a week, making sure you munch lots of vegetables and watch your fat intake. This recipe will help you with all three. The salad—which stars grilled tuna in a dish that’s boldly flavored and a little different—has two other heart-healthy features: It contains only 1 gram of saturated fat per serving and is also very low in


1½ tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice, fresh or bottled
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/ 8 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon marjoram

Vidalia Onion Tomato Salad with Grilled Tuna
½ pound ahi (yellowfin) tuna steak, fresh or frozen
½ teaspoon olive oil
½ Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 large head lettuce (Boston, bibb or romaine), washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces

1. Heat grill.
2. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
3. Cut tuna into 1-inch chunks and place on two or three 3-inch skewers.
4. Brush lightly with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
5. Grill skewered tuna until fish is opaque and flakes with a fork (145 F); remove from grill.
6. In a large bowl, toss dressing with all vegetable ingredients. To serve, divide salad on four individual plates; top with tuna.

Serving Suggestions
Serve with an 8-ounce glass of nonfat milk and a slice of whole-grain bread.


Sun Safety 101


Don’t forget your sun protection!

Summer is just around the corner, and that means afternoons in the sun, preferably by a body of water, midday picnics and epic bike rides. But all that time in the sun can do serious damage to your skin.

Here is some helpful information to help protect you from the sun.

What does SPF stand for?

SPF stands for Sunburn Protection Factor, the level of protection offered against UVB rays?

What is the difference between UVB and UVA rays?

UVB radiation causes sunburn, while UVA rays penetrate deeper and contribute to skin aging and wrinkling. Both have been tied to skin cancer risk.

Is kids’ sunscreen safer or gentler than other formulas?
The FDA doesn’t make a distinction between kids’ and adults’ sunscreens, which generally contain the same active ingredients.

When should you apply sunscreen?
In order to get full protection, sunscreen needs to be applied 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure, and then should be reapplied every two hours.

How much sunscreen is enough?
Experts say it takes about one ounce of sunscreen, or about two tablespoonfuls, to cover your face and body. Most people only use half that much, so they don’t get full protection.

Do certain products work better on certain body parts?
Sunscreen lotions, gels, creams, and sprays all provide good protection from the neck down. There’s less chance of sunscreen sticks getting into your eyes, so they’re great for foreheads, noses, cheeks, chins, and even ears, but use only sunscreen sticks with components that include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. A lip balm with an SPF is also recommended. Ultimately, the best sunscreen, is clothing (especially with SPF protection), followed by the lotions, gels, creams, and sticks.

Source: skincancer.org

Big Day of Giving


Today,  more than 150 communities across the country will gather for one BIG Day of Giving. With the hope of reaching millions of donors and raising over $100M nationwide, each community will rally support for the vital work of local nonprofits. On that day, donors will also be inspired to give so that their favorite organizations will receive a proportionate share of the pool of matching funds.

You can GIVE here!

What is BIG Day of Giving?
BIG Day of Giving is an online networking and giving event that provides nonprofit organizations the opportunity to gain exposure and start relationships with new donors, and for the people in the Sacramento region to come together to raise as much money as possible for participating organizations within a 24-hour period. The effort was organized and implemented by a collaboration of GiveLocalNow and your local community foundations: Sacramento Region Community Foundation, Placer Community Foundation and Yolo Community Foundation. The online event will take place from 12:00 AM PDT Tuesday, May 6 to 11:59 PM PDT.

WHY is BIG Day of Giving a good opportunity for our community?
The nonprofit sector is the heart and soul of the region, enriching our community in immeasurable ways. Our four county region includes many incredible organizations that are doing extraordinary things. The BIG Day of Giving is a unique opportunity for the public to learn about their work, how they are contributing to our community and their chance to say thank you by making a donation. BIG Day of Giving is a time-limited donation period designed to expand and increase giving to local nonprofits that provide vital services that help to sustain our community. Other metropolitan areas that have held similar events have risen well over $1,000,000 in a single day; BIG Day of Giving is our chance to do this for the Sacramento region!

Western Health Advantage tied for first place in the small company category at the Sacramento Business Journal’s annual Healthiest Employers awards luncheon. This is the second year that Western Health received top honors.

WHA Healthiest Employer

Sacramento Business Journal print editor Beth Davis, Rick Heron of Western Health Advantage and Business Journal Publisher Terry Hillman pose at the Healthiest Employers awards. Photo credit: Tia Gemmel

“Our internal wellness program, whaFIT, short for Wellness, Health + Action FIT, has helped WHA provide best practices to employers looking to develop their own wellness programs,” said Rick Heron, Western Health Advantage Chief Marketing and Brand Officer. “We hope to encourage more of our employers to participate in Healthiest Employers and promote workplace wellness.”


Eight companies won top honors as the region’s most health-conscious employers at the Sacramento Business Journal’s Healthiest Employers awards. Photo credit: Tia Gemmel

Winners and 21 finalists were chosen based on results of a survey by Healthiest Employers LLC, an Indianapolis research firm that focuses on corporate wellness. Each was scored on factors such as culture and leadership commitment, strategic planning, communication and marketing, programming and intervention, and reporting and analysis.

hamburgerLET’S FACE IT: Whether you’re on the road, short on cash or just want a quick bite, fast food may be the quickest go-to option. Not to worry! Your favorite drive-thru may include some more healthful menu options. Here are some ways to improve your fast food experience:

Skip the super size. To avoid extra calories, choose small-sized portions. Resist the urge to upgrade the size of your meal, even if it costs only a little more to do so.

Keep a watchful eye on condiments. Having your burger made without mayonnaise or that “secret” sauce can save you about 90 to 200 calories or more. If you need a little something on your bun, ask for it on the side or opt for half a pack of BBQ sauce or honey mustard, which will add only about 23 calories to your meal.

Reach for roasted. Fried and breaded meats are high in fat and calories, so munch the roasted or grilled options when you can.

Stick to healthful side options. French fries might be tempting, but most fast-food chains now offer other, more healthful sides. Look for fruit cups, side salads, yogurt, corn on the cob or even baked potato chips.

Go light on what you guzzle. Try a no-calorie beverage like water instead of going for soda, milkshakes, fruit drinks or sweetened tea. Some other healthful options: diet soda, unsweetened tea and sparkling water.

Sources: webmd.com, mayoclinic.org, berkeleywellness.com


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,441 other followers

%d bloggers like this: