Welcome to my blog on healthy eating and food safety. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information. This blog will be updated on a regular basis.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Eliminating Food Waste

Eliminating Food Waste
About 40 percent of the United States food supply (1,500 calories/ person/day) goes uneaten. Discarded food in homes and foodservice accounts for 60 percent of this total food loss and is mostly avoidable. The remaining portion is lost or wasted during food production.

This amount of food waste is among the highest globally. Preventing food waste saves money and resources. Resources used to produce uneaten food include: 30 percent of fertilizer, 31 percent of cropland, 25 percent of total fresh water consumption and 2 percent of total energy consumption.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates food wastes at almost 14 percent of the total municipal solid wastes in the United States in 2010, with less than 3 percent recovered and recycled. Food in landfills decomposes to produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Feeding the world will become more difficult in the future as 9 billion people are expected on the planet by 2050, compared to a world population of around 7 billion people in 2015. Developing habits to save more of the food we already have will put less strain on the resources associated with producing and buying food and aid in reducing the creation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are some ways consumers can help reduce the amount of food wasted. Additional tips will be shared on Wednesday.
Shop the refrigerator before going to the store Use food at home before buying more. Designate one meal weekly as a "use-it-up" meal.

Move older food products to the front of the fridge/cupboard/freezer and just-purchased ones to the back. This makes it more likely foods will be consumed before they go bad.
Keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees F or below to prolong the life of foods. Foods frozen at 0 degrees F or lower will remain safe indefinitely but the quality will go down over time.

Freeze or can surplus fresh produce using safe, up-to-date food preservation methods. Visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation website (http://nchfp.uga.edu) for freezing and canning instructions.
Take restaurant leftovers home and refrigerate within two hours of being served. Eat within three to four days or freeze. Ask for a take home container at the beginning of the meal if portions look especially large. Remove take home food from your plate at the beginning of the meal so leftovers are as appetizing as the original meal … rather than the picked-over remains. Or, choose a smaller size and/or split a dish with a dining companion.

Dish up reasonable amounts of food at a buffet and go back for more if still hungry.
Compost food scraps for use in the garden.

Source:  Adapted from Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, Food Reflections Newsletter. University of Nebraska Extension, Lancaster County

Friday, April 24, 2015

Try Edamane

Try Edamame
You may have been reading about edamame or seen them in the supermarket.  They are green, immature soybeans usually in the pod.  There has been a lot of interest in them due to their nutritional value.  Per half cup serving, they have 9 grams of fiber, only 2.5 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein for 120 calories.  The isoflavones in soybeans have been linked with reducing overall blood cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol, and raising HDL “good” cholesterol.

I attended the Wisconsin Association of Family and Consumer Science annual conference recently and the following recipe was shared. The recipe is a great way to enjoy edamames.

Edamame Dip
3 cups frozen soybeans, cooked (shelled and steamed if fresh and still in pods)
½ cup red onion, minced
2 teaspoons jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon fresh lime juice
¼ cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup cooked Great Northern beans, drainer (can also used canned beans to eliminate cooking step – rinse and drain well)
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water, as needed 

1.       If using frozen edamame, cook according to package directions.
2.       Put edamame, minced red onion, jalapeno pepper, and garlic in the food processor, and pulse to puree.
3.       With the motor running, drizzle the cider vinegar, followed by the lime juice.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add cilantro, sea salt and cumin and blend.
4.       Add the Great Northern beans and olive oil in three parts.  Scrape sides of the bowl, taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.  Add up to 2 tablespoons of water until the mixture reaches desired consistency. 

Source of recipe: Learning Zone Express       

 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Engage in Physical Activity

Engage in Physical Activity
Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than exercise. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. And the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking, regardless of your age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing to exercise? Here are some ways exercise can improve your life.
No. 1: Exercise controls weight. Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.
No. 2: Exercise combats health conditions and diseases.  In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, and certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.
No. 3: Exercise improves mood. Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.
No. 4: Exercise boosts energy. Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

Engaging in daily physical activity to burn 100 calories can be the difference between a high-risk sedentary lifestyle and being moderately inactive.  Below is a list of activity that will burn about 100 calories, depending on your weight in about 20 minutes.

·         Walking briskly
·         Gardening
·         Lawn mowing with a power mower
·         Playing tennis doubles
·         Raking leaves
·         Shooting baskets
·         Below are some more strenuous activities that burn about 100 calories in 15 minutes.
·         Dancing fast
·         Hiking
·         Lifting weights
·         Using a push mower
·         Treading water
·         Using a stair climber

Friday, April 17, 2015

The New Wave of Healthy Foods

The New Wave of Healthy Foods
While there is not a standard definition to define super foods, it seems like there is a new group of super foods that garners attention each year.  Here are some super foods to consider incorporating into your diet for 2015.

Maca powder is rich in vitamins B, C and E.  It also provides the body with calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and amino acids.  Serving size is approximately one teaspoon which can be mixed with a glass or milk or juice or add to a smoothie or yogurt.

 Chia seeds have gained popularity in recent years.  The chia seed is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients.  It contains protein and omega3 fats. They are also high in fiber.  This super food is calorie dense at 140 calories per two tablespoons.  It is important to pay attention to serving size.

Black rice also known as forbidden rice is reported to have anti-inflammatory properties and a high level of antioxidants.  A serving size is ¼ cup uncooked rice.
 
Ancient grains like amarantha, kaniwa and teff.  Kaniwa also known as baby quinoa is gluten free, and an excellent source of amino acids.  While it is smaller in size than quinoa, it actually has more protein.

Fermented foods have been gaining attention in recent years.  These foods pack a lot of nutritional value and they are good for gut health.

Coconut flour is a nutritional heavyweight.  Gram for gram compared to other flours it has the highest fiber and protein content.  It has a very nice light coconut flavor.  Try it when making pancakes.   

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Healthy Pasta Salad

A Healthy Pasta Salad
I recently was going through my cookbooks as I need to bring a pasta salad to an upcoming event.  I was looking for a healthy pasta salad recipe that included a number of healthy ingredients.  During my search which was not producing many options, I came across this formula for making a healthy, great tasting pasta salad.

 4 cups cooked pasta + 4 cups chopped vegetables + 1-2 cups lean protein + ½ -1 cup flavor booster +3/4 cup dressing  =  great tasting pasta salad.          
  
1.       Chose whole-wheat pasta.  I selected bow ties, so cooked three cups of dry pasta to get four cups of cooked pasta.
2.       Select vegetables.  I thawed frozen peas, added some mushrooms and a little onion to equal four cups.
3.       Add lean protein.  I considered options like hard-boiled eggs, cooked chicken breast, cooked ham, beans and tuna.  I selected diced ham.
4.       For a burst of flavor, I considered dried cranberries, cheese, olives, salami and sun-dried tomatoes.  I chose ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese.
5.       For a dressing, I wanted something healthy.  I made a buttermilk dressing with low-fat mayonnaise, buttermilk, a little salt and some fresh dill.
   

Monday, April 13, 2015

Juices Versus Smoothies

Juices versus Smoothies
 Juicing machines have seen increased popularity in recent years as have smoothie makers. Both can increase a person’s consumption of fruits and vegetables.   So which is a better choice?

 Juicing leaves behind the pulp which typically is thrown away.  The pulp contains fiber and nutrients, so you lose fiber and nutrients  which is a benefit of eating whole fruits and vegetables. 

Blending whole produce when making a smoothie can deliver more vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals because the mixture includes the skin and pith.  If the smoothie includes milk or yogurt, you get some calcium as well.

When making a smoothie, pay attention to ingredients being added as the calorie content can quickly increase with the addition of sweetened yogurt, sweetened juice, sorbet, frozen yogurt or ice cream.
 
The Produce for Better Health Foundation recommends no more than eight to 12 ounces of blended or juiced produce daily

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Trail Mix Still a Popular Snack

Trail Mix Still a Popular Snack
Trail mix these days goes way beyond basic Gorp made with raisins and peanuts. From sweet to savory, there are thousands of combinations to appeal to any palate or snack craving. Combine any favorite (dry) ingredients and stash the mix in an airtight container in a cool, dry location to prevent spoilage, and you’re good to go.

The combination of nuts, raisins and chocolate as a trail snack dates at least to the 1910s, when outdoorsman Horace Kephart recommended it in his popular camping guide. For those same reasons, trail mix can pack a hefty caloric punch, especially it is eaten mindlessly. Keep serving size to a quarter-cup or less.
Mix ‘n’ Match—Ingredients

Nuts
  • Nuts are full of healthy unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin E, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Whether they’re raw or roasted, go for unsalted, unsweetened nuts to keep sugar and sodium under control.
  • Options: Almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts. Higher-calorie macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and pine nuts are also good options in moderation.
Seeds
  • For those with nut allergies (or just looking to mix things up), seeds provide many of the same nutritional benefits as nuts.  Sprinkle a handful of pumpkin, sunflower or sesame in trail mix for an extra boost of nutrients.
Dried Fruit
  • Due to the amount of sugar in dried fruit, pay attention to the ingredient list and serving sizes. In moderation, dried fruit can be a great source of fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Look for dried fruit options with as little added sugar and preservatives as possible.
  • Options: Dried apples, cherries, cranberries, goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, raisins, banana chips, figs, pineapple chunks, mango, and dates.
Grains
  • Add some complex carbohydrates to your custom blend for extra fiber, which boosts overall energy and helps to keep you full .
  • Choose whole grains whenever possible and avoid highly processed cereals that add unnecessary sugar and sodium.
  • Options: Shredded wheat cereal, pretzels, whole-grain cereals like Cheerios or Chex, bran flakes, whole-wheat crackers, granola, toasted oats, puffed rice cereal, and air-popped popcorn can all add a little bit of crunch.
Sweets
  • Sweets are often added to trail mix.  If adding a sweet, use a minimal amount.
  • Options:  M&Ms, chips of various kinds (chocolate, peanut butter, carob, butterscotch), cacao nibs, yogurt-covered raisins, chocolate-covered coffee beans, mini marshmallows, or chocolate-covered nuts. When going the chocolate route, choose dark varieties for extra antioxidants.
Savory Extras
  • Once the building blocks are all set, adding spices is a great way to change up the flavor a bit. Season the mix with sea salt, curry, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or cayenne pepper. Or create your own mix of spices.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Healthy Meals with Frozen Pizza

Healthy Meals with Frozen Pizza
There are some evenings where time is short and frozen pizza is a quick option.  Here are some tips for making meals with frozen pizza healthy.

  • Since more dough means more calories look for a frozen pizza with a thin crust.  If you can find a frozen pizza with whole wheat flour as a crust ingredient this will improve the nutritional value.  Also skip buying a pizza with cheese stuffed into the crust. 
  •  Meat lover pizzas tend to include meats that are high in calories and sodium.  Less is more when buying a pizza.  Add your own vegetable toppings.
  • Pay attention to serving sizes.  One size of pizza may not seem like much, but remember many frozen pizzas contain lots of calories. Look for a pizza that has less than 350 calories and less than 600 milligrams of sodium per two slice serving.
  • Another option is to make your own pizza.  You can buy a crust and pizza sauce and add your own toppings like vegetables and Canadian bacon which has less grams of fat.  You can also control the amount of cheese placed on the pizza.  Making a pizza does not need to be time consuming. 
  •  Remember to serve a salad with pizza to improve the nutritional value of the meal.      

Friday, April 3, 2015

Data, Trends & Maps

Data, Trends & Maps
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) is pleased to announce the launch of its new online Data, Trends & Maps interactive database.
 
What is the Data, Trends & Maps database? It is an interactive tool that provides state-specific behavior, policy, and environmental indicators from multiple data sources about obesity, nutrition, physical activity, and breastfeeding. 
 
What can users expect? You can view statistics in a variety of formats, including maps, tables, and trend lines in the areas of:
·         Obesity/Weight Status
·         Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
·         Physical Activity
·         Sugar Drink Consumption
·         Television Viewing
·         Breastfeeding
Users can also display all indicators for one state or all states for one indicator.
 
How can users access the database? The database can be accessed from DNPAO’s website Data, Trends & Maps. You can also post the Data, Trends & Maps Web button on your website for your users to link directly to the database. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Whole Grain Sampling Day-April 1

Whole Grain Sampling Day – April 1
April 1 is National Whole Grain Sampling Day. It’s the perfect time to try a new whole grain – ancient or new. According to a 2014 survey by the International Food Information Council, 72% of consumers are seeking more whole grains. Whole Grains also feature strongly in the National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot for 2015" survey of chefs, including "Whole Grains in Kids' Meals" as the top Kids' Meal trend behind the generic "Healthful Kids' Meals".

Studies show that switching to whole grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. While benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least 3 servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily – so every whole grain in the diet helps.

Whole grain consumption is on the rise, due in large part to increased availability of a wide range of delicious and healthy grains for every palate. According to SPINS, a market research and consulting firm, sales of natural foods and beverages with the Whole Grain Stamp increased 9.9% over the last year.

You can add whole grains to your meals without cooking, simply by choosing breads, breakfast cereals, and other prepared whole grain foods. If you'd like to enjoy delicious whole grains at home as a side dish, however, here are some guidelines for cooking them from scratch.
Plain Grains, general directions
Cooking most grains is very similar to cooking rice. You put the dry grain in a pan with water or broth, bring it to a boil, then simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Pasta is generally cooked in a larger amount of water; the excess is drained away after cooking. Don't be intimidated!

Grain Pilaf, general directions
Brown small bits of onion, mushroom and garlic in a little oil in a saucepan. Add grain and cook briefly, coating the grains in oil. Then add broth in the amount specified below, and cook until all liquid is absorbed.
Important: Time Varies
Grains can vary in cooking time depending on the age of the grain, the variety, and the pans you're using to cook. When you decide they're tender and tasty, they're done. If the grain is not as tender as you like when "time is up," simply add more water and continue cooking. Or, if everything seems fine before the liquid is all absorbed, simply drain the excess.

Shortcut
If you want to cook grains more quickly, let them sit in the allotted amount of water for a few hours before cooking. Just before dinner, add extra water if necessary, then cook. You'll find that cooking time is much shorter with a little pre-soaking

Another shortcut is to cook whole grains in big batches. Grains keep 3-4 days in your fridge and take just minutes to warm up with a little added water or broth. You can also use the leftovers for cold grain salads (just toss with chopped veggies, dressing, and anything else that suits your fancy), or toss a few handfuls into some canned soup. Cook once, then take it easy.
There are also many quick-cooking grain side-dishes on the market, even including 90-second brown rice. These grains have been pre-cooked so you only need to cook them briefly or simply warm them through in the microwave.

Source: Whole Grains Council

Monday, March 30, 2015

Handle Eggs Safely for Spring Celebrations

Handle Eggs Safely for Spring Celebrations
This time of year, many celebrations wouldn’t be complete without eggs—as decorations, as appetizers, in making seasonal baked goods, or as part of a healthy meal.

Like meat, poultry, seafood and produce, eggs are perishable and need to be handled properly to prevent foodborne illness. Occasionally, eggs with clean, uncracked shells can be contaminated with bacteria, specifically Salmonella Enteritidis.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy eggs and sidestep foodborne illness during your spring celebrations.
  • Clean hands are key, says Ingham. Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food, especially raw eggs. Take those few extra seconds to wash your hands after cracking eggs, and before continuing with your other cooking chores.
  • Bacteria love to grow in moist, protein-rich foods. Refrigeration slows bacterial growth, so it's important to refrigerate eggs and egg-containing foods. Your refrigerator should be at 40 °F or below. Store eggs in the carton, not on a rack on the door of your refrigerator where they will warm up quickly each time the door opens.
  • Whether you like your breakfast eggs scrambled or fried, always cook eggs until the yolks and whites are firm. Egg-based casseroles should reach an internal temperature of 160°F, as measured with a thermometer.
  • Tasting is tempting, but licking a spoon or tasting raw cookie dough from a mixing bowl can be risky, advises Ingham. Bacteria could be lurking in the raw eggs. Prepared cookie dough that you buy in the grocery refrigerator case is made with pasteurized eggs; choose this type of dough if young family members will be helping to work with raw cookie dough.
  • To make perfect hard-boiled eggs for decorating and hunting, only use eggs that have been refrigerated, and discard those that are cracked or dirty. Remove eggs from the refrigerator and place a single layer of eggs in a saucepan. Add cool water to at least one inch above the eggs. Cover the pan, bring the water to a full rolling boil. Turn off the heat and let the eggs stand, covered (18 minutes for extra large eggs, 15 minutes for large, 12 minutes for medium). Drain. Immediately run cold water over the eggs. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, place them in an uncovered container in the refrigerator where they can air-dry. Once dry, cover and store for up to one week.
  • When decorating, be sure to use food-grade dyes. It is safe to use commercial egg dyes, liquid food coloring, and fruit-drink powders, Ingham says. When handling eggs, be careful not to crack them. Otherwise, bacteria could enter the egg through the cracks in the shell.
  • Keep hard-cooked Easter eggs chilled on a shelf inside the refrigerator, not in the refrigerator door. Hide the eggs in places that are protected from dirt, pets and other potential sources of bacteria. Remember the two-hour rule, and make sure the “found” eggs are back in the refrigerator or consumed within two hours. Remember that hard-boiled eggs are only safe to eat for one week after cooking.
 Source: Barbara Ingham, University of Wisconsin-Extension food science specialist

Friday, March 27, 2015

Small Steps Can Be More Effective to Improve Diet

Small Steps Can Be More Effective to Improve Diet
Eating healthier is a goal many Americans put at the top of their list of New Year’s resolutions. But as the year goes on, are people likely to stick to their goal?
 
In a recent study, researchers compared grocery receipts from a group of households at three different times: for a few months before the winter holidays; during the holidays; and for a few months afterward. They had previously found that household grocery receipts were related to the amount of food consumed in those homes.

Not surprisingly, the comparison showed that the amount of unhealthy food purchased increased over the holidays. After the holidays, purchases of healthy foods grew—again no surprise knowing that many people made New Year’s resolutions related to health. But researchers also found that purchases of unhealthy food did not drop back down to preholiday levels.

These findings, combined with earlier studies showing that many people gain--and retain--a small amount of weight over the holidays, suggest that New Year’s resolutions related to healthy diets might not be all that effective.

So should we give up on the idea of resolving to turn over a new diet leaf? New Year’s resolutions don’t always result in a healthier diet, but they do show people have awareness and interest in eating healthier—even if only for a limited time.

Goals for the New Year are no different than other resolutions people make throughout the year to change their behavior—it may require more than one try. People may consider change many times before they succeed in actually making that change.

Taking baby steps, such as learning how to read food labels or adding more fruits and vegetables to recipes, may not feel as overwhelming as making a big change in eating patterns. Over time, small changes may contribute to a longer term healthy habits. 

Source: Beth Olson, University of Wisconsin-Extension/UW-Madison Nutrition Specialist

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Healthy Eating on a Lean Budget

Healthy Eating On A Lean Budget
With some planning, smart shopping and a little time for preparation at home, you can get more healthy foods into your diet and keep food expenses down.

Here are some foods to add to your grocery list for healthy, low-cost eating all year round.
  • Beans: This protein powerhouse gives you more nutritional bang for your buck than almost anything else you can buy. Black, pinto, garbanzo, lentil - they're all low in fat, packed with fiber and folic acid, and have some calcium, zinc and potassium. You can buy them dry or in ready-to-serve cans (rinse well before serving to reduce the high sodium level). Mix beans into salads, stir them into soup or chili, or just heat a can and dump them over rice for a fast lean meal.
  • Eggs: At about a dollar a dozen, eggs also can't be beat when it comes to inexpensive protein, and not just at breakfast. Limit yolks to about four per week if you are trying to manage cholesterol levels.
  • Bananas: They're readily available regardless of season, and usually average about 60 to 70 cents a pound. And bananas are an easily portable source of fiber, potassium and vitamin B6. If you find them on sale, try freezing what you can't eat immediately, and then use frozen in smoothies or for baking.  
  • Brown rice: It's nearly as cheap as the white stuff, but because it still has the bran covering it (hence why it's called a "whole" grain), brown rice is much better for you. You get essential minerals—like magnesium and zinc—plus tons more fiber. A cup of white rice has less than one gram of fiber, while the brown variety packs 3.5 grams of the heart-healthy stuff.
  • Carrots: You'll pay a premium if you buy those uniform little baby carrots, but if you don't mind doing your own peeling and cutting, you can get a bag of these for under a dollar. Try shredding them and adding them to a sandwich for extra crunch and a boost of fiber, beta carotene, potassium and vitamin C and B6.
  • Flank steak: Leaner cuts of red meat have less saturated fat and lots of iron, zinc, protein and B vitamins. But these cheaper cuts also tend to be tough. Try marinating the meat overnight in something acidic (a recipe that includes orange juice or vinegar, for example) to tenderize the meat before cooking.
  • Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes should find their way into your diet all year round. These are low-cost and full of beta carotene, potassium, fiber and calcium. Beyond the basic baked, try slicing them into "fries" and then roasting them in the oven in a pan with a little oil and salt.
  • Popcorn: Movie theater and microwave popcorn can be loaded with unhealthy fat and sodium. But if you air-pop it at home, you get a cheap fat-free, fiber-rich snack.
  • Canned tuna: Fish is good for your brain and your heart, but it can be pricey. Cans of chunk light tuna are less expensive than albacore and deliver just as much omega-3 with less harmful mercury. In addition to mixing it up for sandwiches (use oil and vinegar, plain fat free yogurt or mustard instead of mayo), try putting some on top of a salad.
Source: UW Health

Monday, March 23, 2015

Burn Calories While

Burn Calories While You Cook
While we often think of the kitchen as a place where we cook up calories, it’s also possible to burn additional calories while cooking. There are several advan­tages to building some “workout” time into the time we spend preparing food.
1. Cooking is a time already reserved for an activity and is on our schedule.
2. You have to eat — so, it is less likely you’ll have a schedule conflict.
 
Please click the following link Workout While Cooking  to read about ways to burn more calories while you cook. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Take the #GimmeFive Challenge

Take the #GimmeFive Challenge
As part of the fifth anniversary of Let’s Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama is challenging Americans to #GimmeFive and share five things you are doing to lead a healthier life. We have already seen people from across the country join in -- from eating five fruits and vegetables, to doing five pushups or lunges, to sharing five healthy recipes, and more!

Health is an integral part of the work at the Department of Health and Human Services, and Secretary Burwell is joining the #GimmeFive challenge to share what she does to lead a healthier life.

Are you eating fruits and vegetables? Making sure to drink lots of water? These are just a few examples of things you can do to better your health. Join Secretary Burwell and get involved in the First Lady’s #GimmeFive challenge!

And don’t forget the most important part --- pass on the #GimmeFive challenge to your family, friends, and followers too! Let’s keep moving together!