The Garden City Telegram
6/11/2013
SOUTHWEST LIFE

Myths and facts about having a healthy diet

By Barbara Addison

County Extension Agent, 4-H & Youth Development

Some common limiting beliefs about consuming a healthy diet:

* In order to stay healthy, I am going to have to starve myself.

The truth: Practicing proper nutrition can help you achieve a higher level of satisfaction. Healthy fats and lean protein energize your body and give you a sense of fullness. Highly processed foods are known for leaving you feeling sluggish. Nutritious snacks play an important role in any healthy eating plan because they can help stabilize your body's glucose levels. Eating healthfully does not mean restricting your intake; it means making the best choices within your daily calorie needs.

* I have to avoid "bad" foods.

The truth: There are no "good" or "bad" foods. Your goal is to become health-conscious. By doing so, you will see that all foods can fit into a well-balanced diet. View your food intake as a way to prevent chronic diseases later in life, which will encourage you to make those healthier choices now.

* If it's healthy, it probably doesn't taste good.

The truth: Did you know that all food preferences are acquired tastes? If your diet is high in fat and sugar, you have trained yourself to believe that these foods taste the best. The opposite is also true. If you are accustomed to eating whole grains, you might find yourself strongly opposed to the taste of white bread. Start making small changes to incorporate healthful foods into your diet. Over time, your taste buds will actually prefer them.

* I can't afford to eat nutritious foods. They are too expensive.

The truth: Candy, chips, pastries and fast-food items seem cheap and convenient.

But will they really be worth the price five or 10 years from now when you are facing medical bills that are related to illnesses that could have been prevented or controlled by better eating habits?

Eating a balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy may require a little preparation on your part, but the amount of money you will save over time by maintaining your health can be used to do what you want to do.

Garden City Farmers Market

The Garden City Farmers Market will be open each Saturday through the summer, June to September, at Westlake Hardware's parking lot. Hours are 7 a.m. to noon. The location is at the corner of Fleming and Harding streets in Garden City. Numerous vendors will be present to offer the shoppers a variety of home-grown produce, things they've made or home-baked food items.

At the Farmers Market you will find a wide variety of seasonal produce: sweet corn, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, melons, beans, greens, potatoes, snow peas, asparagus, apples and much more. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, our vendors offer herbs, plants, honey, baked goods, jellies and other homemade items.

Vendors are welcomed and encouraged to contact the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670 for rules and food safety guidelines.

Farmers' Market committee contacts will be available on each Saturday to assist vendors.

The public is encouraged to come out and see what the vendors have to offer on each Saturday morning. Your experience at the Garden City Farmers Market is bound to be a great one. You'll fill your bags with goodies, then walk away knowing you've strengthened your local economy by directly supporting your area farmers.

Watering newly planted trees and shrubs

Newly planted trees have not established the extensive root system needed to absorb enough water during our hot, dry, windy summers. Even trees two or three years old should receive special care.

Deep, infrequent watering and mulching can help trees become established. Newly transplanted trees need at least 10 gallons of water per week, and on sandy soils they will need that much applied twice a week. The secret is getting that water to soak deeply into the soil, so it evaporates more slowly and is available longer to the tree's roots.

One way to do this is to punch a small hole in the side of a five-gallon bucket and fill it with water. Let the water dribble out slowly next to the tree. Refill the bucket once, and you have applied 10 gallons. Very large transplanted trees and trees that were transplanted two or three years ago will require more water.

A perforated soaker hose is a great way to water a newly established bed or foundation plant. In sun-baked soil, you may need to rough up the surface with a hoe or tiller to get the water to infiltrate easily. It may be helpful to set the kitchen oven timer, or you remember to move the hose or shut off the faucet.

If you are seeing surface runoff, reduce the flow, or build a berm with at least a four-foot diameter around the base of the tree to allow the water to percolate down through the soil, instead of spreading out. Regardless of method used, soil should be wet a least 12 inches deep. Use a medal rod, wooden dowel, electric fence post or something similar to check depth. Dry soil is much harder to push through than wet.

Pinching mums

Though cushion mums normally do not require pinching back, other garden types will benefit. Pinching is done by removing the top inch of growth by pinching it between your thumbnail and forefinger. Pinching encourages lateral buds to break and grow, resulting in a shorter, sturdier and fuller plant.

The first pinching is usually done when the mums reach six inches in height. A second pinching should be done when the new growth from the previous pinch reaches six to eight inches. Usually that is all we have time for because the last pinch should take place before July 15. Pinching later than that can delay flowering, resulting in a shorter time of flowering before frost kills the blooms.

4-H horse show

The Finney County 4-H Spectacular Horse Show will be Saturday, June 22, at the Finney County Grandstand Arena starting at 8:30 a.m. The Finney County 4-H Horse Club is sponsoring the event for 4-H and open class. Classes include halter, western pleasure, showmanship, barrels and poles for a fun day. If interested, contact the Finney County Extension Office for entry information.

Finney County Fair Book

The Finney County Fair Books will be available toward the end of June. The Fair Book can be viewed online at www.finneycountyfair.org.