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Tuesday, April 24, 2018
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  • Wednesday, April 18, 2018 4:00 AM
    What do you think of when you hear the term “local food?” It can mean visiting your weekly farmers market or canning tomatoes out of your own garden. It can also mean participating in a community supported agriculture program, picking apples at a local orchard, or purchasing meat processed by a local butcher. Local food can be found using many different avenues, but it all comes back to the same concept – sourcing food from farms and businesses that are operating in the community where you live.
    Local food has benefits that aren’t limited to the shorter distance food travels to get to your dinner plate. Here are a few:

    • Sourcing food from local farmers is an excellent way to build relationships in the community
    • Getting to know your farmer gives you the chance to learn how your food is grown and processed, which can sometimes be difficult to figure out at the supermarket
    • Produce purchased from local farmers is also often picked when fully ripe and is fresher, versus supermarket produce that is typically harvested underripe, with storage and transportation needs in mind
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  • Thursday, April 5, 2018 4:00 AM
    As March headed to the history books, so do my National Nutrition Month articles. I recently attended a presentation where the infographic included was used. This graphic has helped me to reflect on what I’ve written and to look forward with where we need to go from there. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about eating more plants; as you can see, only one in ten adults eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables! Reminder, the recommendation is 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables per day. 
    What else are we lacking in? Well, physical activity. Less than half of all adults meet their physical activity guidelines. Now, I get it – we have jobs that require us to sit most of the day, and sometimes the last thing you want to do is go to the gym. The Physical Activity Guidelines recommend 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes five days a week. Yes, we sit a lot, but 30 minutes is totally doable! A lot of us wear Fitbits these days, and if you are like the girls in my office, 10 minutes to the hour their Fitbits yell at them to get up and move those 250 steps! So when the weather is bad, they truck it around the office, but when it warms up we’re able to get outside. This not only helps us to get our steps in and meet our physical activity requirements, but we’re able to focus more and increase our productivity at work.
    In order to be physically active, you have to do what you enjoy. Walking is one of my personal favorites because it’s easy and accessible to nearly everyone – walking doesn’t require special equipment, it’s inexpensive, and can be done anywhere and at your own pace! Dancing more your style? Find a partner and get grooving! No matter what you choose, be sure to start slow and easy. Moving for a minimum of 10 minutes has been shown to improve your overall physical fitness. Pay attention to your posture and form and don’t forget to breathe and hydrate! No one will ever exercise if their feet hurt, so throw a pair of tennis shoes in the car so that you have them on hand when you feel the urge to move. Set a goal and find a way to track your progress. I mentioned Fitbit, but there are plenty of other apps out there.
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  • Wednesday, April 4, 2018 4:00 AM
    After a recent article, readers expressed interest in learning more about Protein. Protein is one of those super-important nutrients that we can get from both animal and plant sources. Unlike other nutrients, protein needs don’t vary as much as many believe; whether you’re trying to bulk up the muscle, or you just want to maintain and boost your metabolism, your body can still only absorb so much protein.
    So how much is just enough? According to the Institute of Medicine, you should be consuming between 10 percent and 35 percent of your calories through protein. Of course, based on a 2,000 calorie diet, this is approximately 50-175 grams. For those of you who eat less than 2,000 calories in a day, let’s do the math: You should aim for about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
    When should I consume protein for best results? Research has shown that Americans eat 42 percent of their daily protein at dinner, and only 16 percent at breakfast. Recent studies have confirmed that peak muscle synthesis occurs at about 25 grams. This demonstrates that we should be eating approximately 20 grams of protein, per meal, evenly throughout the day. Want to promote healthy aging, and help reduce age-related muscle loss? Strive for 30 grams. To help visualize, a 3-ounce chicken breast is about 25 grams, and 1 egg is 6 gram. Peak muscle synthesis research demonstrates that more protein doesn’t necessarily equal more muscle mass. One research study proved a 50% increase in muscle synthesis with both 4-ounces of beef, and 12-ounces of beef. My recommendation for incorporating protein should be around 20-30 grams per meal. Make sure to keep it consistent throughout the day, or you could be wasting valuable protein.
    Where should I get my protein? Acceptable protein sources can come from both plants and animals. Animal protein provides you with a calorie-to-protein bargain. A 3-ounce serving of salmon has 133 calories and 23 grams of protein, while ½ cup of beans gives you 108 calories and 8 grams of protein. While a three ounce serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards, many of us don’t stop there! Another advantage to animal proteins is that they are complete proteins, meaning they have all 9 essential amino acids. These amino acids are ‘essential’ because our body can’t produce them naturally, so they must come from our diet. This is why plant-based proteins are often paired, such as beans and rice. As long as you are consuming a variety of incomplete proteins, you’ll be able to fulfill your quota for essential amino acids.
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  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018 4:00 AM
    Within the 4-H program, there are a vast amount of opportunities for youth to travel both near and far to experience hands-on, fun, educational opportunities that opens the door to endless career possibilities and options. These are also great ways to make the most of the 4-H experience and meet new friends that could last a lifetime. 
    One trip that is just for youth currently in grades 7-9 is called 4-H Round-Up. 4-H Round-Up occurs June 25-27 and takes place at Purdue University. Participants of 4-H Round-Up have the opportunity to explore a variety of careers by attending classes created just for participants. Youth will get a taste of college life and will live in a Purdue Residence Hall for two night. Furthermore, youth have an opportunity to meet others from across the state and further develop their leadership skills.
    Another great trip opportunity is called 4-H Academy @ Purdue, which is held June 13-15. 4-H Academy @ Purdue is for youth currently in grades 9-12 and is specifically designed to offer students hands-on, exciting opportunities to learn about a diverse selection of subjects and careers. During this conference, participants will meet and learn from professors, graduate students and other experts in their respective fields and participate in interactive activities. Participants will stay in a Purdue University Residence Hall and will be able to explore the Purdue University campus and meet 4-H members from across the state. Youth can choose from the list below to learn about the science of and careers related to animals, flight, personal finance, health, computers, citizenship, entrepreneurship, journalism, natural resources, plants, engineering, food, and robotics! 
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  • Thursday, March 22, 2018 4:00 AM
    Last week, we discussed facts about Fats for National Nutrition Month. Now, let’s get down and dirty with Carbs. I know, carbs is *supposed* to be a bad word, but they’re an important part of your diet. With fad diets being thrown around, such as Keto or Low-Carb dieting, let me stop you right now: Restricting carbs to 20 grams per day isn’t the way to go.
    The Ketogenic diet was originally designed in the 1920’s for people suffering from epileptic seizures, and even today, is only clinically supported for this purpose. Keto is a diet high in fat, adequate protein, and low in carbohydrates. This diet is literally everywhere. 
    “So, if Keto is all the rage, why are you telling me not to cut carbs?”
    Great question. When I say ‘don’t cut carbs,’ I mean don’t cut the healthy fiber out that contains carbs, such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, or fruit. These are our body’s power sources! Cutting sugar-carbs, such as cookies, cakes, and white bread are fine. Just like your car needs gasoline to run, your body needs carbs to help you jog, breathe, think, and even digest the food you are eating. Glucose is the only energy source your brain can use.
    “So how many carbs can I eat?”
    The right amount of carb intake is based on how much glucose you need for your brain to function normally. Let’s break it down: for anyone over the age of one, it would be 130 grams of carbohydrates.
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  • Wednesday, March 7, 2018 4:00 AM
    March may be known for St. Patty’s day, but it’s also National Nutrition Month! This year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is encouraging us to “Go Further with Food.” In my mind, this doesn’t mean restricting ourselves from eating the foods we love, but for some reason, fats tend to be the number one nutrient on the chopping block. So my March challenge for you is to “Go Further with Fat!”
    Fats have such a bad reputation these days, but Dietary Fats have several important roles in your health! Your brain is made up of approximately 60 percent fat, and fats play an active role in every cell in our body. They’re an important part of our hormones that regulate smooth muscle contraction, immune function, and blood clotting. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble vitamins, meaning they require fat to be absorbed (dissolved), and utilized in our bodies. Fat is a satiety nutrient as well. Not only does it add great flavor, but it signals to our brain that we are full and should stop eating. 
    We often fall into the misconception that fat is bad for our heart health, but there are ‘good’ fats, such as mono and poly unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats help reduce your bad cholesterol (LDL), and increase the good (HDL). Diets too low in fat can negatively impact your cardiovascular health, damage cell membranes, and disrupt cell function. All fats in our food supply are a mixture of saturated, mono and poly unsaturated fats. Here’s a breakdown of some common fats:
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  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018 4:00 AM
    Spring is so close you can almost taste it – with highs in the 40s and 50s in the 10-day forecast, you can’t help but think that winter is probably (maybe?) over. With March just around the corner, the Purdue Extension office is getting excited for this year’s growing season! Check out the following events coming up in our area:
    Indiana Small Farm Conference – 3/1-3/18
    Purdue Extension is proud to present Indiana’s annual Small Farm Conference. The conference runs March 1 through 3 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) this year. The conference features many exciting seminar topics, networking opportunities, and trade show exhibitors. Our featured keynote speaker is Chris Blanchard of the Farmer to Farmer Podcast and we’ll feature some new seminar topics this year, including a personal favorite of mine, culinary mushroom production. Be sure to register online – there are a variety of options available, such as single day registration or full conference registration at https://www.purdue.edu/dffs/smallfarms/home/small-farm-conference-2018/
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  • Wednesday, February 14, 2018 4:00 AM
    The flu is in the air, and temperatures are plummeting. The one thing that is sure to make anyone feel better? Soup. For a hearty, feel-good soup, I recommend adding aromatic vegetables. These deliver deep, bold flavors along with an aromatic punch that’ll leave your mouth watering. These flavors and aromas are released from vegetables like onions, garlic, chilies, and ginger when they are heated and crushed. Not only are these vegetables delicious and fragrant, they naturally reduce fat, sugar, and salt in your recipes while boosting your immune system. 
    No recipe? No problem! Simply start by adding evenly cut fresh vegetables from the list below. Heat up a small amount of oil, broth, or water. Smell that yet? Now’s the time to add additional broth, meat, grains, and vegetables of your choice. Let that simmer for about 30 minutes and serve with your desired garnish. 
    • Carrots are high in beta carotene and helps control the immune system. Cooked carrots allow better absorption of beta carotene. 
    • Celery is way more than just a low calorie snack- it’s a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, and potassium! You can also find heart-healthy properties in this crunchy morsel. 
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  • Thursday, February 8, 2018 4:00 AM
    New to the 4-H program and have questions? Finished your first year in 4-H and still have questions? Then join us for the “New 4-H Member Orientation” on Thursday, Feb. 15 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Montgomery County 4-H Fairgrounds in the Exhibit Hall. This is a great opportunity to learn about 4-H Trips and Opportunities, Projects, Green Record Books, and get all of your questions answered. The goal of this orientation is to get your 4-H experience started off on the right foot!
    This orientation is just for youth in their 1st or 2nd year of 4-H and are currently in grades 3-12. Please come with any questions that you have and learn about the great opportunities that youth can be a part of through the 4-H program. We will also have a panel of 10-year 4-H members available to answer questions and share their unique 4-H experiences. 
    Please RSVP for this orientation by calling the Extension office at (765)364-6363 or e-mail Abby Morgan at asweet@purdue.edu. RSVP’s must be made by February 13th. Refreshments will be provided. Participants will be getting a packet of information so please be sure to RSVP so I know how many packets to put together. Parents/guardians are welcome and encouraged to attend!
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  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018 4:00 AM
    Small-scale farming has become an increasingly important part of Indiana’s $11.2 billion agricultural industry. According to the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture, approximately 75 percent of Hoosier farms were less than 180 acres. Other studies show that nearly half the farms in the state are 50 acres or fewer.
    The annual Indiana Small Farm Conference and trade show provides both novice and experienced small-scale producers with an opportunity to learn about the latest trends, network with fellow farmers and get practical, hands-on guidance from nationally recognized experts on a wide range of critical topics, from crop production and equipment to marketing, new business development and legal issues.
    Registration is now open for this year’s conference, scheduled for March 1-3 at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex, 1900 E. Main Street, Danville.
    “We’ve experienced tremendous growth in the five years we’ve hosted the conference,” said Michael O’Donnell, Purdue Extension diversified and organic agriculture educator and one of the event organizers. “It’s very gratifying that we’ve been able to expand our educational offerings and build such rewarding partnerships to better serve the small-scale farming community.”
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  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018 4:00 AM
    2018 is finally here and the start of new beginnings and many New Year’s resolutions. I would like to encourage you to consider enrolling in 4-H as part of your new beginnings. The 4-H program has many positive experiences and opportunities for youth to discover their passions and build/enhance life skills. 
    One of the opportunities 4-H presents to youth is the chance to learn and enhance their leadership, communication, and teamwork life skills through the Teens As Teachers workshop. This workshop is for youth currently in grades 9-12 (do not have to be in 4-H to participate but highly encouraged) and will occur April 13-15th at Bradford Woods in Martinsville, IN. Teams will consist of 3-5 youth (cost is $100 per team) and they will select from one of the following tracks to spend the weekend learning the tools and resources necessary to come back to their county and teach at various events and opportunities. The tracks are:
    • Biotechnology: Learn how to train, create, and implement a “Science Behind Agriculture” program in your community.
    • Automated Animal Biosecurity: Do you like animals? Do you enjoy science Youth will learn how to teach about animal biosecurity through hands-on “maker” and robotics activities designed for youth learning using creativity and self-discovery.
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  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:00 AM
    The new year brings new events with Purdue Extension’s Ag and Natural Resources program. 
    Energy Efficiency for Farms and Rural Businesses
    What: Workshop to help you learn about energy audits, local incentive programs, and solar energy and how these can help you increase energy efficiency and save money at your farm or business.
    When: January 22nd, 2018 from 10AM-2PM
    Where: Donnelley Room, Crawfordsville Public Library
    Cost: $10 registration fee, includes lunch and payable at the door
    What Now? Estate Planning and Building Your Financial Safety Net
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  • Saturday, December 30, 2017 4:00 AM
    Set yourself up for success in 2018, by setting a SMART New Year resolution. There are estimates out there that 40% of Americans make New Year resolutions and recent research by the University of Scranton suggest that only 8% of those people achieve their resolution. I know I have been a member of New Year resolution failures group, what about you?
    When investigating why I failed I learned that I was not setting a SMART resolution or goal. Let’s take my 2017 resolution for instance. My goal was to put down the phone and read more books. Was I successful, well maybe? I did read about 8 books this year, which seems like a lot. But what’s more? No clue because I didn’t keep track of how many I read in 2016. 
    So this year when setting your New Year’s Resolution remember the Acronym S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. 
    Specific means that the goal is precise and clear. For example “I want to read more books”, could be “I want to read 10 books.”
    Measureable goals provide gauges for your progress. When do I want to read 10 books by? If I want to read 10 books in 10 days. I could measure that. In 10 days I can look back and determine if I read 10 books. 
    Attainable means that the goal you set for yourself is in reach. Is my goal of reading 10 books in 10 days attainable? No, because I am not taking a 10 day vacation where I plan to sit and read all day. So now I need to answer the question of how can I attain this? I believe that I could read 10 books from Jan 1 2018 to December 31, 2017. This is now attainable. 
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  • Friday, December 22, 2017 4:00 AM
    Why do we deck the halls with boughs of holly? – and other holiday plant mysteries
    The lights are strung up, the wreath is on the door, and the tree is settled in the front window. The neighborhood is alight with all kinds of holiday decoration – inflatable snowmen, psychedelic laser displays, lights that dance and strobe with the excitement of a college party... I don’t know about you, but there are some regular Clark Griswolds in my neighborhood that go all out and totally eclipse anything I’m capable of doing with my own home. However, one commonality among the décor is the use of plants, particularly winter-hardy evergreens. Evergreens like holly, mistletoe, and pine are used in wreaths, garlands, and table centerpieces. Entire spruce, fir, and pine trees are brought indoors as our Christmas trees. Other than being some of the only green things outdoors at this time of year, why do we use these plants during the holiday season to brighten our homes?
    European holly (Ilex aquifolium) – Holly is a shrubby evergreen species with bright red “berries” (botanically known as drupes), found throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. Although there are many species of holly throughout the world, European holly is most commonly associated with Christmas. In ancient Celtic culture, the druids associated holly with fertility and eternal life. They believed that hanging boughs of holly in the home would bring good luck. Christian tradition associates the red color of the berries with the blood of Christ and the pointed leaves with the crown of thorns. Holly represents the colors of the Christmas holiday all in one package.
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  • Wednesday, December 20, 2017 4:00 AM
    Tis the season to be bombarded with healthy-living and food guilt, while at the same time having break rooms full of sweet Christmas treats. This time of year can add a lot of stress, especially when we are trying to make good decisions for our health yet enjoy the once-a-year cheer that comes with the holiday season. One day of over eating such as Thanksgiving or Christmas day is not going to ruin your waist line, however, an entire month or two could cause you to notice your pants fitting a little tighter.
    So how do we balance our cravings for treats?
    First, don’t wait until the New Year to hit the gym. There is no reason that fitness should only be our goal for one month of the year. Physical activity helps us to burn those extra calories we may have snuck in, but remaining active has a plethora of benefits such as: reduced chronic disease risk, increased flexibility, improved mental health, increased balance, and increased chance of living longer. 
    Physical Activity guidelines recommended adults participate in 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity. Moderate intensity means you are able to hold a conversation with the friend you are briskly walking with. Let’s do some simple math; 150 minutes divided by five days equals 30 minutes per day. If 30 minutes is too much, break up a 30 minute routine into three 10 minute routines. This could easily be done as a walk during lunch instead of scrolling through Facebook.
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media 
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