"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"
-Margaret Mead

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rock Your Parks!

July is national Rock the Park month to celebrate our amazing areas for recreation! We challenge you to show your appreciation in a real way. The challenge is to visit a park every weekend in July... that's 5 chances to visit a new park or an old favorite! Good thing Wood County has lots of options with even more great opportunities. Follow us on facebook and twitter for parks and activities around the county!

Make your pledge HERE

Got a competitive streak!? Enter your videos (filmed at a park) of a "Flash Mob" to Kayleen Magruder at magruder.kayleen@marshfirldclinic.org or Sara Richie at richie.sara@marshfieldclinic.org by July 21st at 4 p.m. for rules and guidelines, see the form attached at the bottom of this post. The information will also be posted on our facebook page!

July 28th brings our celebration of the month's events at North Wood County Park.
We'll be throwing a bash for everyone who pledges!

Come celebrate with volleyball, disc golf, horseshoes, ladder golfand more!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sweet Summer Meals

Now that the rain has given us a little break and the sun is back, enjoy the weekend with you families and friends! Here are some tasty recipes that are pretty simple and perfect for a dinner in the back yard. Why not make it a pot luck?

Vegetable Pasta Salad

Whisk together in small bowl
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 Tbs dijon mustard (otional!)

Whisk in oil gradually. Stir in basil and set aside
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil

Cook pasta
4 oz uncooked whole wheat pasta

Place in large bowl and tows with 1/3 of dressing.
Layer ingredients on top of pasta in following order: Veggies, tomatoes and olives, then remaining dressing.
2 cups fresh veggies -chopped (green peppers, summer squash, cucumbers, broccoli florets)
3 medium tomatoes (thin wedges)
1/2 cup olives (sliced)

Sprinkle on top:
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (more if desired)
2 Tbs fresh parsley (chopped)

Sprinkle on top and toss lightly before serving.
1/2 cup Parmesan or feta cheese

Rhubarb Sorrel (Strawberry) Crisp

soooooooo good!

preheat oven to 350 F

Combine in large sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 4 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning that sugar!
4 cups rhubarb (finely chopped)
2 cups sorrel/ strawberries (finely chopped)
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs orange peel (grated)
1 tsp vanilla

Dissolve cornstarch into water and add mixture to rhubarb mix. cook until thickened stirring constantly.
1/4 cup water
3 Tbs cornstarch

Mix together until crumbly.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Place about half of the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan, pressing into an even layer. Pour in Rhubarb mixture and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over top. Bake at 350 F for 30 - 40 minutes.

Recipes from "Simply in Season" M.B. Lind and C. Hockman-Wert

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Working Towards Wellness

In the spirit of our wellness challenge, here are some easy ways for all of us to get active at work!


1. WEAR A PEDOMETER AT WORK. Since every step counts, wearing a

pedometer is wonderful motivator to move more during your workday.

2. WALK AROUND THE OFFICE. There’s no need to sit still while you talk on

the phone or think. Pacing and fidgeting are physical activity.

3. WALK AROUND THE BUILDING. Sometimes a face-to-face talk is the best

way to communicate (and it gets you up and moving around).

4. WALK UP (AND DOWN) THE STAIRS. If you have a choice, always take the

stairs. If you have stairs, take as many trips up and down as possible.

5. WALK AROUND THE BLOCK. Got a coffee break? Got a few free minutes?

Take a walk outside and get some fresh air (and extra steps).

6. WALK AND TALK. Need to discuss something with a co-worker? A walking

meeting can be more productive and healthier too!

7. LIFT WEIGHTS WHILE YOU TALK. Keep a weight near the telephone;

pick it up when you get a call and pump your arms while you talk.

8. TAKE A WEIGHT BREAK. Feeling tired and bogged down? Take five

minutes to lift your hand weights and get your blood flowing.

9. WORK YOUR ABS. You can strengthen tummy muscles while sitting in a

chair. Sit straight, tighten muscles and release. Repeat.

10. STRETCH YOUR ARMS AND LEGS. Stuck at your desk? Use a resistance

band for a five minute stretch. Your mind and body will be more flexible.

11. STRETCH YOUR STRESS AWAY. Tension in your shoulders, neck and back

is easy to release with standing stretches and a resistance band.

12. CHECK YOUR PEDOMETER. How many steps do you take during a typical workday?

Any ideas for adding a few more steps here or there.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Challenge yourself to make healthy choices

The Get Active campaign is a part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work program, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Get Active initiative is coordinating a county-wide wellness challenge, and all Wood County businesses, organizations and community members are invited to participate.

The challenge will begin Monday and run through July 24. Consider forming a team of family, friends or co-workers or participating on your own to challenge yourself to make healthy choices. If on a team, you only can have a total of five members. If there are more than five, please form another team. This challenge will focus on three aspects of your health: physical, social and mental. We encourage a team-centered approach, which will help motivate and keep team members accountable.

Prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the challenge. There's no better time than now. Let's Get Active Wood County. If you, your business or organization is interested in signing up or for more information, call Kayleen Magruder, 715-221-8474 or email magruder.kayleen@marshfieldclinic.org.

Originally posted in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune and other papers around the state, 11:00pm Jun. 17 2011.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Celebrate Greens!

There has been some tasty spinach coming from our local farms, and we have two recipes today in it's honor. Like other green leafy vegetables, Spinach has lots of iron. Cooked spinach can even have more iron than red meat! Spinach is full of lots of other great stuff too, like vitamins A, C, E and K. This vegetable has been used around the work for centuries, but there's always something new to make! Try one of our recipes or post a spinach recipe of your own!

Spinach Squares

A great dish to store in the fridge and heat up for breakfast!

Preheat oven to 350 F

Mix together

3 eggs

1 cup milk

½ cup whole wheat pastry flour

½ cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

Mix in and press into greased square baking pan

2-2 ½ cups cheese (shredded)

8 ounces fresh spinach or sorrel (chopped)

Bake in oven 30-35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean

Velvety Vegetable Soup

For those colder rainy nights!

Sautê in ¼ cup olive oil over medium-low heat until wilted. Around 15 minutes

1 medium onion (chopped)

4 cups Leeks (diced, 1 in white/ 1in green)

1 cup Celery (diced)

Add the following and stir well

2 Tbsp fresh tarragon (chopped)

1 Tbsp fresh thyme

1 tsp salt to taste

½ tsp black pepper


1 bunch of spinach (chopped)

Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove soup from heat. Purêe with hand blender in pot or small batches in a upright blender/food processor. Return to pot and place on low heat.

Add (if using) and heat through.

1 cup milk

Adjust seasonings and serve.

*Add additional water or broth if thinner consistency is preferred.

*Optional Garnishes

Swirls of plain yogurt

Fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, celery leaf)

Chive blossoms

Recipes from "Simply in Season" by Lind&Hockman-Wert

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Renee Fox Column: Restaurants Make it Easier to Eat Healthy

Our lives seem to get busier every day, and we often don't have time to make homemade meals for our families. Instead of spending the little time we have at home slaving over the stove, most of us would rather spend our evenings with those we love.

Dining at restaurants is a great way to enjoy a delicious meal and time with our families or friends. However, eating out frequently could add extra inches to our waist line if we are not making healthy selections. Sometimes it can be challenging to make a wise choice if we don't know how the meal is prepared.

Now you can relax and enjoy your healthy meal and night out, thanks to a new program that is making it easier to make smart selections. The Smart Meal program highlights meals that are 700 calories or less, lower in fat and include items such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Restaurants participating in the Smart Meal program use the Smart Meal seal to identify these entrees on their menus.

The Blue Heron Brew Pub in Marshfield, Hidden Creek Kitchens by ODC in Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids, and Red Mill Supper Club in Stevens Point have become the first Smart Meal restaurants and catering services in our community. Knowing the healthier choice is easier to find just might make the decision -- to stay home and cook or go out -- an easy one.

Typically, many Americans choose to splurge on calories when dining out, but that trend appears to be changing. A recent article in the USA TODAY states that consumers finally are ordering healthier meals and references a historic change in Applebee's top-selling item. Earlier this year, the restaurant chain sold more of its 550 calorie sirloin and shrimp entrees than any other meal on the menu for two straight months. Applebee's never has had a low-calorie item rank that high in sales for a full month in years past.

With obesity rates continuing to rise, some folks are thinking more about the calories and types of foods they eat. The Smart Meal program makes it easier for health conscious customers to make wise selection when ordering out. Many local restaurants have shown their concern for the health of our community by participating in the Smart Meal program. In addition to these first three Smart Meal restaurants, several other eating establishments in Wood County are making plans to participate in the program this year.

You can help increase the number of participants by asking your favorite restaurant to join the Smart Meal program. It's free for restaurants with funding made possible by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Wood County Health Department. Restaurants who are interested in learning more should visit www.getactivewisconsin.org.

Renee Fox is a health educator for Communities Putting Prevention to Work, Aspirus.

Reposted from the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune and Marshfield New-Herald. 6.8.11

Friday, June 10, 2011

Let the cooking begin!

We still have a time to enjoy our spring veggies! Although it has felt like the middle of the summer with this heat, early season food crops are still available. Rhubarb and Asparagus should both be looking good this week at the farmers market. Other ingredients from the recipes may be there too, like green onions or eggs. Explore a little while you're at the market, maybe try a vegetable or fruit that you haven't before, or try cooking a vegetable a new way! If you want to get excited about next weeks meals or snacks, ask vendors what will be coming next!

Try a recipe and let us know how it goes!

Rhubarb Muffins

Yields 12

Preheat oven to 375 F

Combine thoroughly:

1 ½ cups flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking poweder

In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients well.

1 cup buttermilk, sour milk or plain yogurt

¾ cup brown sugar

½ cup oil

1 egg (beaten)

1 teaspoons vanilla

Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened.

Stir in Rhubarb filling.

1 ½ cups rhubarb

Grease muffin tin. Fill ¾ full with mix.

Combine and sprinkle on top of batter:

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon butter (melted)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon flour

Bake in oven at 375 F about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserts and comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan and allow to cool on a rack.

~You can add any kind of nut like in with the rhubarb filling for more great flavor!

Lemon Asparagus Pasta

4-6 servings

Cook pasta in boiling water 4 minutes.

Add asparagus and cook 2 minutes longer or until tender. Drain.

8 oz. angel hair pasta

1 ½ cups asparagus (cut into 1 inch pieces)

While pasta cooks, melt butter in large frypan over medium heat.

Add green onions and lemon peel and sauté 1 minute.

Add lemon juice and cook until liquid is almost evaporated.

1 tablespoon butter

½ cup green onions (chopped)

1 ½ teaspoon lemon peel (grated)

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Beat together and add along with pasta and asparagus to pan with green onions.

¾ cup milk

2 eggs

Cook over low heat until milk mixture is slightly thick (about 4 minutes) *Do not boil*

Stir in following mix.

1 tablespoon fresh dill (chopped) /1 teaspoon dried

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Serve immediately

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Survey throughout Wood County

The coming week will see people on the streets, and they are trying to learn more about how Wood County lives. The Survey Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) is designed to measure the health of our communities. It was highlighted in an article Tuesday by Deb Cleworth posted in the Marshfield News Herald. http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011106070592

The people you may find knocking on your door will be asking questions about you and your area. Questions will be about both lifestyle and environmental factors that influence our health. Those who participate will receive a check within a month of participating, that’s just how important we think this is! Previous health surveys have told us about struggles with childhood obesity and the lack of fruits and vegetables in our diets.

We here at the Wood County Health Department are excited about the opportunity to gain more insight to our community and discover what ways we can become healthier and happier. Although our health often is up to the individual and their choices, we believe that our cities and towns can make it easier. It is time for our communities to focus on where our health begins in our schools, businesses, community events and food supplies. This survey will help us see what is needed and what resources in our communities could be better used. We believe that with the help of many, our communities CAN be healthy!

So please, if you hear a knock, answer the door and speak up!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fresh Market Recipes

With all the great food coming out of our gardens and local farms, I find myself looking for great recipes that will let me enjoy my seasonal ingredients. We'd like to provide recipes on this blog throughout the summer for what is coming out fresh that week, or even that day! A new recipe will be posted at least every Friday to give ideas when you head to the market on Saturday! Don't feel tied to a recipe, if something at the market catches your eye, or your tomatoes are looking especially ripe, go for it!
  • Let us know what is fresh at your local market!
  • If you try a recipe, stop back and tell us how it went!
  • Check back often for new creations!

Share your recipes too! If you know of great recipes for a seasonal ingredient, send it our way and we can share it here. If you're willing to give away some of your secrets ,that is!