5 Reasons to Say 'Yes!' to Potatoes

5 Reasons to Say 'Yes!' to Potatoes

Have you dropped potatoes like a hot potato because you think they aren’t healthy? If so, I have some news that may surprise you. Not only are potatoes delicious, inexpensive and versatile, they’re a nutritious addition to any meal. Here are 5 good reasons to love your spuds!
1. They Won’t Make You Fat!
Often maligned as a fattening, starchy, empty-calorie side dish, potatoes can actually be a part of a successful weight loss regimen. A University of California, Davis study found that you can lose weight without losing potatoes! Scientists measured the effects of a reduced-calorie diet with the addition of potatoes over a 12-week period. Participants were randomly assigned to three groups and each had a diet that included five to seven servings of potatoes per week. All three groups lost weight because when it comes to weight loss, it’s reducing total calories that count, not cutting out a specific food.
2. They’ll Help You Stay Full
While a medium potato has just 110 calories and no fat, research shows they can help you feel fuller than you might with some other carbohydrate foods. That’s partly because a potato has about 2 grams of filling fiber and 3 grams of protein. One study even found that boiled potatoes scored the highest on a “satiety index” of all foods. They’re more than twice as filling as whole grain bread, and generally more filling than fish, steak and all the fruits and vegetables according to the study.
3. They Have More Potassium than a Banana
A medium potato (with skin) contains more potassium (620mg) than a banana, making it a good source of this important and under-consumed nutrient. Potassium plays a key role in controlling blood pressure because potassium lessens the effects of sodium. Potassium is also vital for transmitting nerve impulses or signals, and in helping muscles contract. The average adults needs about 4,700 mg of potassium everyday, so making potatoes a regular part of a healthy diet can help you meet your requirement.
4. They Have Nearly Half the Vitamin C You’ll Need in a Day
When you think of vitamin C, oranges, lemons or other citrus fruits probably spring to mind. But potatoes are also an excellent source of this essential nutrient. In fact, a medium potato meets about 45% of your daily needs. That’s more vitamin C than you’ll find in a medium-sized tomato!
Researchers believe that vitamin C may help limit cell damage in the body. It also helps to build collagen, so it’s vital to healthy skin.
5. They’re a Source of Iron
While potatoes aren’t a major source of dietary iron, a medium potato has about 6% of the recommended daily iron intake. That’s good news for vegetarians and those who don’t get their iron from eating meat. Iron is essential for carrying oxygen throughout the body and plays an important role in cell function everywhere in the body.


7 Reasons to Sweat Outdoors

By Holly St. Lifer
The warm weather has finally arrived -- and with it, yet another study showing a health boon to moving among the leaves and blossoms. According to the School of Built Environment in Edinburgh, strolling through an outdoor green space quiets the mind and lessens brainfatigue. Here are six more reasons to walk, bike, run, climb, blade and even strength train in nature.
You'll work out longer. Whether you power up and down a set of bleachers in your favorite park or mountain bike along a remote wooded trail, the distractions of your surroundings take your mind off the work of working out. As a result, you'll end up going a lot farther than you would have if you'd been walled in. "You can press 'stop' on a treadmill, but you can't turn back time after you've walked or jogged three or more miles," says Hollywood-based trainer Kristen Anderson, founder of My Daily Trainer, an individualized online program.
You'll zap more calories. Research shows that exercisers burn 10 percent more calories when they walk or run outdoors than they do when they hoof it inside on a treadmill at the same speed. "When you're caught up in your environment, you're less focused on how tired you are or how much your muscles ache," says John Porcari, an exercise physiologist at the University Wisconsin-La Crosse. "We did a study where subjects rode through a virtual countryside and raced against other people, and we found they exercised 12 percent harder because they were distracted."
You’ll get off the mat. Parks are good for more than dog-walking and picnics -- they’re an ideal spot for toning. Try this mini-workout: Using a park bench as your prop, do 12 reps each of tricep dips with one leg extended (then switch legs), power jump-ups (squat, then swing arms for momentum and jump on to the bench, landing in a squat) and bicycles (lean back 45 degrees on the bench, with your hands next to your hips). Then hit the grass for push-ups and punching lunges.
You'll elevate your self-esteem. Nature's stimulation also impacts your brain in positive ways. In an article in Environmental Science & Technology, British researchers shared their findings that exercising outdoors improves self-esteem and that a walk in the country improves one's mood. "Outdoor exercise stimulates all five senses in a way that indoor activities can't," says Danny Dreyer, founder of ChiWalking, a North Carolina-based program that combines the relaxation principles of t'ai chi with walking. "Breathing in fresh air, feeling the ground under your feet, and taking in all the colors and sounds in nature are positive stimulants hitting you at the same time. You can't help but feel better about yourself and the world around you."
You'll feel happier and have a greater sense of well-being. Communing in nature makes people feel more alive, according to a series of studies published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. In a number of other recent studies, volunteers went for two walks for the same time or distance -- one inside (usually on a treadmill or around a track), the other outdoors. Virtually all of the participants reported enjoying the outside activity more and scored significantly higher on psychological tests measuring vitality and energy, and lower in anger and depression.
You'll reduce stress. According to the California Outdoor Recreation Planning Program, over 100 studies found stress was lowered during activities that took place in either "the wilderness or urban nature areas." Here's Dryer's recommendation for a stress-diminishing walk or run: Direct your focus away from your thoughts and try to get your body moving in a relaxed way. Soften your gaze, breathe deeply into your belly through your nose, drop your shoulders and direct your energy into your lower body and away from your head. Try not to plan, think, judge, worry, describe or consider.
You'll save money. The average gym membership costs between $40 and $50 a month, which isn't bad if you go five days a week. But Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, the authors of Freakonomics, wrote in the New York Times that people who buy annual gym memberships often overestimate how much they'll use the facilities by 70 percent. Running out your front door also saves you cash on gas.

Color the Hill Fun Run

4th Annual Color the Hill Fun Run
May 21, 2016 @ 9:30 am
For more information or to register, 

Three local non-profit organizations (Academy of Information Technology-CHCCS; Be Loud! Sophie Foundation and SKJAJA Fund) will receive funds from this event (see our Charities page for additional information regarding these organizations).


Actions for Sun Protection

While some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable, too much can be dangerous. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can result in a painful sunburn. It can also lead to more serious health problems, including skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, cataracts and other eye damage, and immune system suppression. Children are particularly at risk. This fact sheet explains simple steps to protect yourself and your children from overexposure to UV radiation.

Be SunWise
Most people are not aware that skin cancer, while largely preventable, is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than one million cases are reported annually. By following some simple steps, you can still enjoy your time in the sun and protect yourself from overexposure. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends these action steps to help you and your family be “SunWise.”

  • Do Not Burn Sunburns significantly increase one’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer, especially for children. 
  • Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds UV light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling. 
  • Generously Apply Sunscreen Generously apply sunscreen: about one ounce to cover all exposed skin 20 minutes before going outside. Sunscreen should have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 and provide protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating. 
  • Wear Protective Clothing Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a widebrimmed hat, and sunglasses, when possible. 
  •  Seek Shade Seek shade when possible and remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
  • Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn. 
  • Check the UV Index The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent sun overexposure. The UV Index forecast is issued daily by the National Weather Service and EPA. Visit 
  • Get Vitamin D Safely Get Vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with Vitamin D. Don’t seek the sun. 
Early detection of skin cancer can save your life. A new or changing mole should be evaluated by a dermatologist.

For More Information
To learn more about UV radiation, the action steps for sun protection, and the SunWise Program, call EPA’s Stratospheric Ozone Information Hotline at 800.296.1996, or visit our Web site at


Don't be fooled by Food Labels

How good are you at knowing what's in your foods?  Let's find out by taking this quiz: Food Labels