Commit to be Fit

This week is not so much focused on nutrition, but more about how to complement a healthy diet. Whatever your health goals, whether weight loss, maintenance, or for overall health, a healthy diet and exercise are both equally important. Exercise has been linked to many benefits including decreased stress and hypertension, improved blood circulation, strengthening bones and muscle, weight management, decreased LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and improved blood sugar control.

Current recommendations suggest adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This equates to about 30 minutes most days of the week. But what exactly is moderate-intensity exercise? Examples include brisk walking, water aerobics, tennis, or general gardening. A way to determine your intensity is via the “talk test.” If you are doing moderate-intensity activity you should be able to talk, but not sing during the activity.

30 minutes may seem like a lot to fit into an already busy schedule, however this doesn’t have to be all at one time. This time could be broken up into 3-10 minute sessions throughout the day. For those in a business setting, suggest walking meetings, go for a walk on a break, or do the steps for 10 minutes during the day. When out and about, park the car farther away in the parking lot and take the stairs instead of the elevated or escalator. When at home, get up and walk or do exercises during commercials of your favorite show which can easily add up to 10 minutes during a favorite hour-long show.
Think outside of the box when it comes to exercise. In order to get excited and want to do it, exercise or physical activity has to be something enjoyable. Get a pedometer and set a goal for 8,000-10,000 steps/day. Walk a dog, dance, jump rope, do leg lifts, join a fitness class or walking group. Play outside with the kids or grandkids. Find an exercise DVD or app on a phone that has workouts planned out for you for different body parts or types of exercise and length of time. Find a fitness “buddy” that will help keep you on track of your goals. If weight loss is a goal, focus more on how you feel after exercise instead of the number on the scale.

Don’t let the changing season keep you from getting the recommended amount of exercise. During fall, rake leaves, play in a football game, do a corn maze, or go on a hike. Enjoy those last warm days of fall with a brisk walk or jog. During winter, take the stairs indoors, build a snowman, walk at the mall or the hallways at work, go sledding or ice skating, or deep-clean your house. Don’t forget that Upland Hills Health has a fitness walking path you can utilize during these upcoming chilly months.

Start slow and gradually work your way up for exercise. If completely inactive now, set a goal of five minutes three days a week to start and when this becomes easy, either increase in time or the intensity of the exercise. The hardest part is getting started but it will make a huge difference in how you feel and your overall health!

For more information about physical activity and some sample exercise videos visit:

Pump Up for Pumpkin Season


With October right around the corner, pumpkin season is in full swing! Pumpkins aren’t just a fall decoration. They are also loaded with health benefits, which is a good reason for anyone to add pumpkin to their diet. Pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C; they are also fat free, low in sodium, and cholesterol free, making pumpkin a great addition to many recipes.

When picking out pumpkins for eating, be sure to choose one that is firm, heavy for its size, and without blemishes. Storing pumpkins in a cool, dark place will help keep them good for up to 2 months.

Try making your own pumpkin puree by roasting a fresh pumpkin in the oven, scooping out the inside, and mix well with a blender. The pumpkins you carve and decorate are the same pumpkins used for roasting and as canned pumpkin in the grocery store.

Don’t forget to roast the seeds from the pumpkin for a healthy on-the-go snack. Pumpkin seeds are actually one of the most nutritious seeds around; they are loaded with healthy omega-3 fat and fiber. To roast pumpkin seeds, wash them well, roast at 160-170 F for 15-20 minutes and sprinkle lightly with spices.

Try this sweet treat below as an alternative to pumpkin pie at your next family gathering!

Pumpkin Fluff Dippumpkin-fluff-dip-021
Serving Size: 2 Tbsp
6 oz low fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 c plain Greek yogurt
1 can roasted pumpkin
2 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp cloves, ground
½ tsp nutmeg
3 Tbsp agave nectar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp sea salt

1. In a food processor, combine cream cheese and Greek yogurt until smooth.
2. Add remaining ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.
3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. Serve with sliced fruit such as apples or pears, graham crackers, or pretzels.
Nutrition Info: 35 calories, 1 g fat, 25 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 1 g protein

Recipes Source:

Check out Bures Berry Patch located at 3760 W. Brigham Road in Baneveld, Wisconsin for a variety of pumpkins. Bures carries an enormous selection of white, blue, red, black, green and even orange pumpkins.

Apples: A Bushel of Nutrients


Wisconsin settlers started planting apple trees as early as 1800, and the first commercial apple orchards were started between 1830 and 1850 in our state. Today, you will find more than 300 commercial orchards in 57 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Most of these orchards are found in Crawford County, Richland County, Door County, Bayfield County, Chippewa County, and in the greater Milwaukee area.

Apples are packed with nutrients, including vitamin C and antioxidants. They are a rich source of pectin, which is a type of soluble fiber that limits the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs and can helps to prevent heart disease. In fact, one medium apple contains 4 grams of soluble fiber and only 95 calories. This high fiber food helps to fill you up and is a fantastic snack if you are watching your weight. Studies have shown that apples are good for your heart as well. For example, apple consumption is associated with a lower risk of death from coronary artery disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

There are plenty of local apple orchards where you can purchase fresh apples this autumn. A complete list of Wisconsin apple orchards can be found by checking the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association website at Some orchards in our area include:
• Munchkey Apples, 175 Drammen Valley Road, Mount Horeb
• Sutter’s Ridge Farm, 2074 Sutter Drive, Mount Horeb
• Oakwood Fruit Farm,31128 Apple Ridge Road, Richland Center
• Appleberry Farms, 8079 Maurer Road, Cross Plains

The cool weather is approaching, and be sure to enjoy some crisp apples this autumn!

Apple Mustard Chicken (
1 onion, chopped
2 apples, chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp mustard
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dill

Combine the chopped onion, apple and butter and cook in a skillet until soft. Add the chicken broth and mustard. Once that is well mixed, add the chicken.
Cover and poach over low heat until cooked thoroughly, about 15 minutes. Add pepper and dill to season.

Serves 8
Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 494, Protein 38 grams, Fat 16 grams, Carbohydrate 8 grams, Fiber 1 gram, Sodium 628 mg

Crock-Pot Apple Chicken Stew ( chicken
4 medium potatoes, cubed
4 medium carrots, cut into ¼ inch slices
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
¾ tsp dried thyme
pepper to taste
½ tsp caraway seed
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 Tbsp olive oil
2-4 large tart apples, peeled and cubed
1 ¼ cups apple cider
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 bay leaf

In a slow cooker, layer potatoes, carrots, onion and celery. Combine thyme, pepper and caraway; sprinkle half over vegetables.
In a skillet, sauté chicken cubes in oil, until browned.
Transfer to a slow cooker. Top with apple.
Combine the apple cider and vinegar. Pour over chicken and apple. Sprinkle with remaining salt mixture. Top with bay leaf.
Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Serves 6
Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 407, protein 33 g, fat 13 g, sodium 670 mg, fiber 5 g

Healthy Tailgating and Football Parties


With the start of September and fall close behind, football season is back in full swing. Whether it’s national, college, or high school football, most of us will likely tailgate or host/attend a football party over the next few months. However those weekly football games can pack on the calories and pounds if not careful. With a little time and a plan in place, you can still enjoy the football season healthfully while rooting on your favorite team.

The key to a great tailgating or football party is the protein. Whether it be hamburgers, brats, chicken or hot dogs on the grill there are ways to make it leaner. For hamburgers, choose the leanest version or make patties from 95% lean ground beef. Choosing 95% lean versus 70% lean can saves 100 calories and 13 grams of fat (about four from saturated or the bad fat) for a four ounce serving. Turkey or black bean burgers can also be a lower calorie/fat alternatives or turkey dogs. Choose boneless, skinless chicken breasts to save on saturated fat and grill versus deep-fry. A meatless option to try is chili with beans which is loaded with fiber.

To complete a healthy protein option, choose a bun made from 100% whole grain or whole wheat to add fiber or use lettuce as a wrap or eat only half of the bun. Be cautious with toppings on burgers, brats, or hot dogs such as bacon, full-fat cheeses, or fried onions as these can continue to add calories. Use low-fat cheese made from part-skim milk or ultra-thin cheese slices and add some veggies such as lettuce, tomato and onion which are naturally low in calories. Try hummus, avocado, or a Greek yogurt-based spreads which are higher in mono- and polyunsaturated or the good fats.

For sides such as pasta salads, substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise or sour cream-based dishes. Use whole wheat pasta and add lots of vegetables for filler. One of the greatest options to have on hand is a fruit or vegetable tray and fill up on these prior to some of the higher calorie options. Instead of the usual chips and high calorie dip try guacamole, salsa, or bean salsa with whole-grain tortilla chips. You can even make your own tortilla chips.

And as always, be cautious about food safety to prevent foodborne illnesses. Raw ground beef and pork should be cooked to 160 degrees F and all poultry to 165 degrees F. Hot food should be kept above 140 degrees F and cold foods should be kept at 41 degrees F or lower. In order to keep them cold use an insulated cooler or use plenty of frozen ice packs and keep the cooler in the shade. Throw out any perishable items before going into the game as they should not be left out longer than two hours and in hot weather, this time decreases to one hour. Bring antibacterial hand sanitizer or wipes to use prior to eating especially after handling raw meat.
Don’t stress out about the extra calories you may eat on game day which could ruin the whole week; instead try some of the options above and worry about cheering on your favorite team instead!

Try out this healthy alternative for chips and dip from which has been UHH-dietitian tested and approved!

Guacamole with Chipotle Tortilla Chips
Guacamole Ingredients:guacamole
• 3 tomatillos
• 1/3 cup chopped onion
• 1/3 cup chopped plum tomato
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 ripe peeled avocados, seeded and coarsely mashed
• 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
• 1 garlic clove, minced
Chips Ingredients:
• 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
• Cooking spray
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. To prepare chips, cut each tortilla into 8 wedges; arrange tortilla wedges in a single layer on 2 baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle wedges with 1/2 teaspoon salt and chile powder; lightly coat wedges with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes or until wedges are crisp and lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes.
3. To prepare guacamole, peel papery husk from tomatillos; wash, core, and finely chop. Combine tomatillos, onion, and remaining ingredients; stir well. Serve guacamole with chips. Makes 16 servings (2 Tbsp guacamole with 4 tortilla chips)

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 57 calories, 2.6 g fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 1.5 g monounsaturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 8.3 g carbohydrates, 1.7 g fiber, 207 mg sodium