By Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Tracking for Health

“What gets measured, gets managed”—Peter Drucker,  management consultant and author. Weight loss is a common goal many people share. Research suggests that tracking what we eat and how much we move can helpv us reach and maintain a healthy weight. Apps can make this tracking easier and more fun.

Check out these apps to help you achieve your health goals:

MyFitness Pal—This is a free calorie-counting app with more than five million foods in the data base and featuring a bar-code scanner option for ease and accuracy in tracking food intake. Users are able to set goals and track progress toward daily intake targets. Recipes and videos are shared when users log in to track food intake.

Myfitnesspal.com

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.—You can carry Spend Smart. Eat Smart. in the palm of your hand at the grocery store with the Spend Smart.

Eat Smart. mobile app*. The app tools make shopping for healthy foods a breeze. Produce Basics helps you choose, clean, store, and prepare fresh vegetables and fruit with ease. The Recipe Finder helps you keep track of your favorite recipes from the website. The Unit Price Calculator compares products to help you find the best price.

*The Spend Smart. Eat Smart. app will be available soon. Watch the website, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu, and Facebook page for announcements about the release.

Dine Safe—This is a free app that allows users to identify restaurants that cater to allergies and restrictions using a sort menu that compares allergies to allergens in each menu. Dinesafeapp.com

Epicurious—This free app offers cooking tips, recipe collections, and holiday menus. Epicurious is adding original video and features a seasonal ingredients finder and smart kitchen timer. Epicurious.com

Reference: Akers, J. D., R. A. Cornett, J. S. Savla, K. P. Davy, and B. M. Davy. 2012. Daily self-monitoring of body weight, step count, fruit/vegetable intake and water consumption: A feasible and effective long-term weight loss maintenance approach. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 112 (5): 685–692, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2012.01.022 (27 January 2017)

Teriyaki Rice Bowl

Serving Size: 1 cup

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

• 2 teaspoons oil (canola or vegetable)

• 3/4 pound boneless chicken, beef, or pork (cut into strips)

• 2 cloves minced garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

• 2 cups water

• 1/2 cup low sodium teriyaki or soy sauce

• 2 cups instant brown rice, uncooked

• 1 package (14 to 16 ounces) frozen stir fry vegetables)

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on high heat. Add meat and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes.

2. Add water and teriyaki or soy sauce and stir.

Bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 5 minutes.

3. Stir in frozen vegetables. Heat until vegetables are hot, about 5 minutes.

4. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Nutrition information per serving:

230 calories, 3.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 30mg cholesterol, 510mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 7g sugar, 19g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu.

Facts about the Date on Your Food Package

The dates provided on food products can be confusing. This confusion often leads to unnecessary food waste. Manufacturers provide dating to help consumers and retailers decide when food is of the best quality. To determine quality dates, manufacturers consider the length of time the food has been held during distribution and the holding temperature, the characteristics of the food, and the type of packaging used.

For example, fresh beef packaged in a reduced oxygen packaging system will stay fresh longer than meat not packaged this way. The quality may deteriorate after these dates, but the product is still safe to eat if handled properly. Open dating is used on most food, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Closed or coded dating is a series of letters and/or numbers that typically appears on shelf-stable products like cans or boxes of food. Common phrases used are the following.

• ‘Best if used by/before’ indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.

• ‘Sell by’ tells the store how long to display the product for inventory management. It is not a safety date. You should buy the product before the sell-by date, but you can still store it at home beyond that date as long as you follow safe storage procedures.

• ‘Use by’ is the last date recommended for use of the product at peak quality. It is not a safety date.

For more information, check out this website: stilltasty.com.

Swimming

Swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States and a good way to get regular aerobic physical activity. Just two and a half hours per week of aerobic physical

activity, such as swimming, can decrease the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. For people with arthritis, swimming and other water-based exercises can improve the use of affected joints and decrease pain from osteoarthritis.

Source: www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/health_benefits_water_exercise.html