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Living Well Muskogee Phoenix • Sunday, July 22, 2012

Inside Muskogee Phoenix

Farmers’ Market offers locally grown food

Program pushes healthy habits

Supplements can help maintain proper nutrition

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Living well Muskogee Phoenix

Sunday, July 22, 2012

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Farmers’ Market offers locally grown food By Alex Ewald

If you go

Phoenix Staff Writer

Bixby farmer Randall Gibson can easily tell the difference between his tomatoes and those found in the produce section at some local stores. “Ours tastes like an actual tomato,” Gibson said, unlike fruits and vegetables grown on corporate farms. Gibson specializes in growing tomatoes and sells them with other fruit and vegetables Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Muskogee Farmers’ Market at the Civic Center Market Square. The market’s vendors all come from northeastern

WHAT: Muskogee Farmers’ Market. WHEN: 8 a.m. to noon, Wednesday and Saturday. WHERE: Muskogee Civic Center Market Square, Fifth Street and Okmulgee Avenue. INFORMATION: (918) 360-2012.

Oklahoma, including Fort Gibson, Stilwell, Checotah and Muskogee. Aside from his more commercial hybrid reds, Gibson sells heirloom tomatoes of different shapes and sizes, as well as zucchini and Staff photo by Alex Ewald onions. Bixby farmer Randall Gibson hands over a zucchini to Rose Hutton after she returned to buy another for her “This hasn’t been shipped husband at the Muskogee Farmers’ Market at the Civic Center pavilion. The market, open Wednesday and Satura couple thousand miles,” day mornings at Fifth Street and Okmulgee Avenue, sells locally grown food, said to be tastier and healthier for said Gibson, who farms us- consumers.

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ing organic methods to add both more flavor and more health benefits. Organic farmers and harvesters avoid using pesticides and synthetic plant fertilizers, as well as any processing aids or food additives, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture; they prefer natural soil fertilizer such as compost or manure. Those who raise livestock organically don’t use antibiotics or growth hormones on their animals. They also allow animals more access to outdoors than non-organic farmers, according to the USDA. The department has certified products of more than 17,000 farms and processing facilities as “organic” since 2002. These products are labeled in grocery stores as “100 percent organic” or “organic” (more than 95 percent organic content), according to the USDA. However, none of the Muskogee market vendors’ produce actually is “organic”-certified, market manager Doug Walton said. Vendors sell their produce using phrases such as “pesticide-free” and “naturally grown,” Walton said. The National Organic program’s extensive documentation process simply isn’t worth the trouble, Walton said. The farmers with “organic”-certified food mainly sell

their product at grocery stores — but at a farmers’ market, they sell directly to the people. “It’s a good arrangement for the farmers, and it’s a good arrangement for the customers,” Walton said. The biggest drawback for consumers buying organic food is the cost, he said. However, Walton emphasized that local farming in general is best for the Muskogee community. Farming and harvesting is an industry that has declined despite population growth and increased production, he said. “It’s important that we keep farmers farming, whether they’re organic or not,” Walton said. Muskogee resident Brooke Hall and her young sons, Joel and Zack, took a ride to the market Wednesday after biking on the Centennial Trail, so the boys could get some freshsqueezed lemonade and chips. “We’ve had our veggies for the day,” Hall said as the boys tried opening their Cheetos and Lays bags by themselves. It’s their first summer with a private garden, where Joel and Zack help their mother grow zucchini, cucumbers and watermelon. Hall, who teaches a healthy living class for seniors, said people have loved her zucchini bread made from her garden. “People really appreciate that and like when their food is locally grown,” Hall said. Reach Alex Ewald at (918) 684-2923 or aewald

Muskogee Phoenix

Living well

Sunday, July 22, 2012

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Program pushes healthy habits ‘5-2-1-0 Every Day’ program offers simple changes for healthy living By Wendy Burton Phoenix Staff Writer

Muskogee County is one of the worst in the state for cases of diabetes and hypertension — in 20 to 30 year olds, according to health department statistics. And the cause of that standing is childhood obesity, said pediatrician Dr. Tracy Hoos. “That means the problem really started in adolescence or childhood,” he said. “Obesity is a problem that really starts in childhood.” Lisa Wade Raasch, coordinator for the Muskogee Wellness Initiative, said the problem must not go on. “That is something we

5-2-1-0 Every Day Five or more fruits and vegetables. • Try new fruits and vegetables multiple times. • A meal is a family affair — have family help plan meals. • Frozen and canned are just as nutritious as fresh. Two hours or less recreational screen time. • Keep TV and computer out of the bedroom. • No screen time under age two. • Turn TV off during meal time. • Plan your TV viewing ahead of time. One hour or more of physical activity. • Let physical activity be free, easy and fun. • Take a family walk. • Turn on the music and dance. • Use the stairs. Zero sugary drinks, more water and low-fat milk. • Drink water when you are thirsty. • Keep a water bottle on hand. • Put limits on 100 percent juice. Source: www.Muskogee

Building healthy eating and living habits for your family will help prevent childhood obesity. The Muskogee Wellness Initiative offers the “5-2-1-0 Every Day” progam to help parents shape healthy living habits for themselves and their children.

must change. We cannot doom our children to the health effects that go along with childhood obesity,” she said. Billboards popping up around town featuring “5-21-0” are part of a push by the Muskogee Wellness Initiative to make an impact on childhood obesity rates in Muskogee. The program, called “52-1-0 Every Day,” touts simple changes parents and children can make in their lives to improve health overall. Five servings of fruits and vegetables a day are recommended. But many parents find it difficult to get children to eat vegetables. Raasch said the best way to get children trying new foods and changing their food habits is to introduce the same new vegetable or fruit over and over again. “We encourage parents not to give up too quick,” Raasch said. “Research has shown sometimes you have to put the same food in front of a child eight to ten times before they start eating it.” Two hours or less of “recreational screen time” is recommended and one hour or more of physical excercise each day. Finally, zero sugar drinks are called for in the 5-2-1-0 program. “We really push drinking plenty of water and more

low-fat milk instead,” Raasch said. “Fruit juice needs to be limited.” Raasch said the Wellness Initiative is working on ways the concept can be implemented in local schools. At least one small district in the area has begun allowing students to keep a bottle of water at their desks, for example. “Research has now shown that a hydrated brain is a welloperated brain,” she said. And Raasch also recommends participation in an afterschool program put on by the Muskogee County Health Department. The 32-week program called CATCH, which stands for Consolidated Approach to Childrens’ Health, is a program the health department brings to after-school programs who commit to participate. “I am amazed at the difference that that particular program can make in a child’s life looks at nutrition,” Raasch said. “My daughter paritcipated three years and now we go out to eat and she asks to replace fries with broccoli. Last Easter she said, ‘I really hope the Easter bunny doesn’t bother with chocolate this year. I’d rather have those little tiny oranges.” MCHD Health Educator Martha Alford said CATCH

teaches children all they need to know about nutritious food in 32 sessions over as many weeks. The program also requires the after-school program providers to give children at least 20 minutes of moderate to rigourus physical activity four times a week. Participants prepare eight healthy snacks themselves during the 32-week program. The program is currently working with 150 kids at a program in Porum, she said, but there is an opening for the Muskogee area at this time. The program would have to be able to commit the same 25 students or more to participa-

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tion, Alford said. “Childhood obesity is impacted through learning about nutrition,” Alford said. “We want it to be a

habit in their lives and be enjoyable.” Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton

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Living well Supplements can help maintain proper nutrition Sunday, July 22, 2012

Muskogee Phoenix

By Dylan Goforth Phoenix Staff Writer

With the busy-bee attitude of many adults today, it can be hard to get proper nutrition. But, if you’re too busy to add the missing nutrients to your cooking, there are ways around that. Ellen Haney manages Oasis Healthfood in Tahlequah. Haney said more and more people are looking to supplement their diets with nutrients they aren’t otherwise getting. “There are plenty of ways to take supplements for different things that may be bothering you,” Haney said. Haney the first thing most people look for is a good multivitamin.

“If you want to get healthier, start with a multivitamin,” Haney said. “Most people don’t get the right amount of vitamins in their systems, and a good multivitamin will fix that.” The U.S. National Library of Medicine says there are 13 vitamins the body needs — A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). A deficiency of certain vitamins can cause disease, such as rickets. Haney said her advice is to get a food-based multivitamin. “You’ll notice a huge difference if you get a foodbased vitamin,” Haney said. “If it’s not food based, it

won’t make as much of a difference. The food-based multivitamin will assimilate in your body much better.” Another “all-everything” supplement Haney said was popular is fish oil. “It’s good for your hair and it’s good for your skin,” Haney said. “It’s an allaround good nutrient for your body.” The U.S. National Library of Medicine said fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include “mackerel, tuna, salmon, sturgeon, mullet, bluefish, anchovy, sardines, herring, trout, and menhaden.” But fish oil supplements Drug and health stores carry a variety of supplements available to help with a numare available at most health ber of ailments. Ellen Haney, manager of Oasis Healthfood in Tahlequah, said a good stores, Haney said. Evi- place to start getting healthier is to get a good food-based multivitamin and to start dence shows fish oil lowers taking fish-oil pills. triglycerides which are associated with heart disease and untreated diabetes. Fish oil may also help with high blood pressure, arthritis and a variety of other issues. One side effect of fish oil is the “nasty taste,” Haney said. That can be remedied by taking a pill that in-

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cludes lemon. “You can get a fish oil pill with lemon in it,” Haney said. “And that lemon takes away the fish taste.” There are other supplements Haney recommends for things such as high cholesterol level. “Red yeast rice is a good way to lower cholesterol,”

Haney said. The Mayo Clinic says red yeast rice contains monacolins, which slow cholesterol synthesis. Haney also said garlic extract can help with cholesterol. Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth

Living Well Summer 2012