Now is the time to eat those healthy summer foods we love

Summertime is filled with activities, late nights and picnics.  Let’s fret a little less this week about what we shouldn’t be eating and focus on some of the great foods we can add to our diets this summer.  Take a look at this great article from 

8 Healthy Summer Foods to Add to Your Diet

Find out why the summer foods you love so much are so good for you.

It’s summer—that amazing time of year when fresh produce abounds. I love that there’s an abundance of fresh, delicious and healthy choices. Better yet: many of summer’s fruits and vegetables are brimming with secret health benefits. Here are some of my favorites and why they’re a particularly good choice in the summer.

  1. Watermelon

Staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable. It also helps keep your body cool (by sweating) during hot summer months. The good news is that you don’t just have to drink water. You can eat it, too: in addition to delivering skin-protecting lycopene, watermelon is 92 percent water (hence the name). Another boon? Research shows that eating foods that are full of water helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories. (Interestingly enough, drinking water alongside foods doesn’t have the same effect.)

  1. Corn

Nothing says summer like fresh sweet corn. And did you know that two antioxidants—lutein and zeaxanthin—in corn may act like natural sunglasses, helping to form macular pigment that filters out some of the sun’s damaging rays? It’s true. The same antioxidants may also help lower your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration—the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60 (though much of the damage occurs decades earlier).

  1. Tomatoes

There’s no question that sunscreen should be your first line of defense against the blazing summer sun. But eating tomatoes could give you a little extra protection: consuming more lycopene—the carotenoid that makes tomatoes red—may protect your skin from sunburn. In one study, participants who were exposed to UV light had almost 50 percent less skin reddening after they ate 2 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste (or drank about 1 2/3 cups of carrot juice daily), in addition to their regular diet, for 10 to 12 weeks. Supplements, however, weren’t as effective: in the same study, those who received a lycopene supplement or synthetic lycopene weren’t significantly protected against sunburn.
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Summer is Here – Running Dirty in 2019!

Summer of 2019 has just started and already we are getting heated up here in the Midwest. With the heat and the sun beating down, what better time to go on a 5k! A few of our ladies from our office attended the Warrior Dash in Le Sueur MN.

This is an annual event in Minnesota and this year marked the 2nd Anniversary of this fun event for us here at NIHCA.  It was a scorcher with the heat advisory so the mud and the water were a welcomed challenge!

The first thing that came to mind when I found myself swimming in a mud puddle was, “When was the last time I got to enjoy playing in the mud?” I am going to be honest with you, I cannot remember the last time I tromped through mud and enjoyed getting dirty on a hot and muggy day. Except maybe last year when all of our NIHCA ladies participated in the Warrior Dash as part of a team building experience.

While running a obstacle course, you get to experience all of the elements of nature like running over a burning fire, wading through a fast running river, and trudging through mud, not to mention the other obstacles. You get to have a cold beer for participating, along with a T-shirt and Warrior hat, and some memories that are guaranteed to bring a smile and a laugh for years to come!

If you have never done a “mud run”, I would encourage you to push past your normal workout routine and give this a try! It is an incredible experience, and you may just find yourself in the middle of a ton of mud and some great folks having an unforgettable time!

~ 2018 1st Annual Warrior Dash Memory

NIHCA Sponsors a Community Event

This past weekend, the City of Granite Falls, MN had their city celebration called, Western Fest.

It is many fun-filled days of carnivals, community activities with three days of a PRCA Rodeo.  This year, NIHCA was honored to be a part of the Western Fest Royalty, by sponsoring a queen candidate, Madison Ohliger (pictured with Holly Johnson, Executive Director of NIHCA).

The Western Fest Royalty program “works to bolster self-confidence, poise, scholarship and self-esteem in young women in the Yellow Medicine East school district, while promoting our summer celebration throughout Minnesota”.

Madison won Miss Western Fest Princess 2019!  NIHCA is so proud of Madison.

We wish her the best of luck.

Summer is here, now let’s keep moving

Summer comes each year and those of us with kids tend to have big plans to stay active and healthy with our kids.  Let’s stay on track so that we don’t look back at how many hours our kids spent on video games or watching television.  Here is a great article that can be found on WebMD to help guide us into the summer months…

Keep Kids Healthy This Summer

Your family looks forward to it all year. Summer means freedom from homework, PTA meetings, and the rush to catch the bus. In fact, bedtimes, meal planning, and TV rules sometimes take a vacation, too. But this carefree season isn’t always good for kids’ health.

Even though a break from the grind can be relaxing, some parts of a routine are important for kids to stick with all year round, like the right amount of sleep and time to exercise every day. Too much of a break can lead to unhealthy changes. In fact, a 2016 study found that children tend to gain weight faster during the summer. And they’re more likely to become overweight or obese when they’re out of school.

So even when you’re taking a break this summer, the choices your family makes are still important. Here are five ways to keep it healthy.

Focus on Food

You can still pack a lunch for your kids, even when they’re not headed to school. It works great if they’re spending the day at camp. But they can also take it along on a hike or to the pool or park, instead of grabbing fast food or raiding the vending machines. Fill that brown bag with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein, and skip sweetened drinks.

At home, swap out the junk food in your pantry and fridge (soda, cookies, chips, fatty frozen foods) for healthier stuff. When your kids want to raid the kitchen during the day, they’ll have better foods to choose from.

Take advantage of your kids’ extra downtime to get them involved with their food, too. Plant a garden together, or visit a farmers market to pick from all the in-season produce. Let them choose tomatoes, melons, or peppers, and then make dinner together. Research has shown that kids who learn how to grow and cook their own food eat more fruits and vegetables.

Find a New Routine

The school year comes with plenty of structure, and all that scheduling can help encourage healthy habits. Put a little rhythm into lazy summer days with activities that will keep them active. You can sign your child up for day camp, swim lessons, playgroups, story time, or other activities. Check your local parks district and libraries for free or low-cost options. Or make your own plan for regular activities to cut down on boredom. A daily schedule could mean less screen time and less snacking (and maybe even less whining).

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