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Little Free Library

Hutchinson has 24 Little Free Library houses and counting.  You can find these in neighborhoods as well as local businesses.

Ready to Ride

As a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community, Hutchinson offers several bike events to participate in.  Get out and explore.  #muchinhutch #bikehutch

Save the date: National Night Out is Aug. 1

By Evie Swanson – Heart of Hutch Connect Committee

During a recent trip to the grocery store, I ran into a neighbor and we had a brief, friendly chat. As I walked away at the conclusion of our visit, I couldn’t help but think that neighbor and I just spent more time visiting with each other at the store than we have for a number of months in our own neighborhood. What’s wrong with that picture?

Fortunately, we live in a community where at least once a year we have a great opportunity to reconnect with neighbors we may or may not visit with on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, our community has an exceptionally high rate of participation in National Night Out, which is every year on the first Tuesday in August. This year’s event will be Tuesday, Aug. 1.

National Night Out began throughout the United States and Canada in 1984. This event is not only a good opportunity to socialize and connect with those in our neighborhoods, but it is meant to increase awareness of police programs, fire protection and other emergency services. It helps build relationships among citizens and peace officers and others who are there to protect and serve.

Our local parties have been well-attended and supported in recent years. Twenty-five neighborhoods hosted parties last year and enjoyed getting together to eat, visit and enjoy various activities, including visits from emergency personnel who stopped by to explain their work.

Plan to attend and enjoy the party in your neighborhood this year!

Farmers Market Season

Saying hello to summer in Hutchinson means saying hello to FRESH!  If you haven’t been to the Hutchinson Farmers Market, you haven’t seen the best Hutchinson has to offer. 

6 surprising health benefits of strawberries

Author: Kay Johnson

Who knew? Eight strawberries, a single serving, delivers a surprising list of benefits for anyone looking to live a healthier lifestyle. Strawberries are much more than a sweet and delicious treat — they are a versatile fruit that’s great for your health. May is National Strawberry Month. Grab a handful of strawberries and read on, because eating right has never tasted so good.

1. Strawberries help you stay sharp. A recent study in the Annals of Neurology suggests that eating strawberries more than twice a week appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2 1/2 years.

2. Loaded with nutrients. Strawberries pack a lot of healthy properties into a small package. Each berry is full of beneficial antioxidants and nutrients, including potassium, folate and fiber.

3. Sweet without the sugar. The sweet taste of strawberries makes them a natural dessert topping, and strawberries are also low in calories and sugar — one serving of eight strawberries contains just 45 calories.
 

4. A delicious source of vitamin C. When you think vitamin C, think strawberries. One serving of eight strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange, topping out at 140 percent of the recommended daily value. It’s the perfect power-packed boost that you can add to any meal or cold remedy.

5. A healthy choice for diabetics. The American Diabetes Association has identified berries, including strawberries, as a perfect component of a diabetes meal plan. This is because strawberries have a low glycemic index and are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fiber.

6. Cholesterol fighter. Lowering your cholesterol is a common goal for many Americans these days, and strawberries can help. In addition to being packed with antioxidants and fiber, strawberries are rich in phytochemicals, which have been shown to reduce overall cholesterol levels. In addition, the potassium found in strawberries may help control blood pressure and fight strokes.
 

To learn more about the health benefits of strawberries, visit www.californiastrawberries.com.

 

Source: Brandpoint

Hello Summer!

In about a month there will be approximately 3,400 students out of school for the summer. It will be a summer that is longer than usual due to the Hutchinson High School remodeling project. This year, students will have 111 days of summer. Thank goodness the old saying, “there is much in Hutch,” is true. Here are a few ideas to keep our kids and the adults entertained over the beautiful summer days we have. 

Tip: 5 simple steps to be your best at any age

Author: Kay Johnson

They say you’re only as young as you feel, and if you’re an older American, the ability to feel young a little while longer is always appealing. Having a youthful state of mind goes a long way toward accomplishing this goal, but you can’t ignore the importance of solid physical health.

To improve your physical and mental health and prove age is just a number, apply these five tips from Mayo Clinic today. 

  • Find the perfect interval. If you’ve never participated in high-intensity interval training before, here’s a compelling reason to start. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found high-intensity aerobic exercise actually reversed some cellular aspects of aging. The research also found that the exercise improved muscle proteins, enlarged muscles and increased energy levels.
  • The benefit of brain games. A sharp mind is every bit as important as a healthy body, and exercising your brain can be a lot of fun. Spend time learning new things on the internet, enroll in a class for that craft you’ve always wanted to master, go out with friends, or sit down and play a board game.
  • Supplementing your health. Health supplements should never completely replace whole food offerings, but they may offer you real health value as well. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, supplements may be ideal for vegans and vegetarians or those who consume less than 1,600 calories per day. People with a condition affecting the way their body absorbs nutrients and those who have had surgery on their digestive tract should also speak with their doctor about supplements that may improve their overall health.
  • The importance of sleep. A good night’s sleep offers health benefits at any age, but getting enough rest can be more difficult as you get older. To get a better night’s sleep, review your medications with your doctor to see if anything is impacting your rest. You should also try to limit your daytime napping (just 10 to 20 minutes per day is best) and avoid alcohol, caffeine or even water within a couple hours before bedtime.
  • Focus on your sexual health. This topic may not be as widely discussed as your physical or mental health, but it is no less important. Men should talk to their doctors about their lessening testosterone levels, which drop about 1 percent per year after age 30. Women may experience a similar drop in estrogen levels as well and should consult their doctor for treatment options. Don’t be shy about discussing sexual health issues with your doctor.

By incorporating some of these tips from the experts at Mayo Clinic, you’ll make sure the best years of your life are still to come. You can learn more about improving your health at any age through the advice offered in Mayo Clinic on Healthy Aging, or visit www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle.

 

Source: Brandpoint

Power of Produce (PoP) Club

The Hutchinson Downtown Association is facilitating the Power of Produce Club (PoP Club) for the 2018 Hutchinson Farmers Market season.

Each child participating in the program will receive a reusable shopping bag upon signing up and $2 market tokens to be spent (by kids) on fresh produce. Kids will receive their tokens once per market. They can choose to spend it on their own $2 selection of fresh, locally grown produce, or save their token for a future market.

The goal of the PoP Club is to empower children to make healthy choices when selecting food to eat. The program offers a chance for children to explore the farmers market and learn about the different varieties of fruits and vegetables, while also learning about how food is grown, by connecting them with local farmers.

Beginning May 19th and running through the end of the market season children age 3 through 12 are welcome to visit the farmers market and join the PoP Club.

Registration and check-in will be located at the designated PoP Club desk at the market.

Market hours are 2:30pm-5:30pm Wednesdays and 8am-12pm on Saturdays

Contact Meagan Donahue by email at mdonahue@ci.hutchinson.mn.us, phone at (320) 234-5652  or   info@heartofhutch.com for more information.

 

About PoP Club:  This program was created at the Oregon City, Oregon, farmers market in 2011. Due to its success, it has spread to farmers markets all over the nation. The PoP Club has been in Minnesota since 2014 and is growing to markets around the state.

 

 

Why skip breakfast? 5 warm comfort foods that cook in 3 minutes

Author: Kay Johnson

In spite of the well-documented drawbacks of not eating breakfast, approximately 30 percent of Americans are still failing to fuel themselves in the morning, according to WebMD. And many of those moving through their days with empty stomachs blame a lack of convenience.

Earlier this year, the Washington Post pointed to research showing millennials consider even breakfast cereal too inconvenient. And research cited in the Huffington Post indicates Americans age 18 or older who miss their first daily meal most frequently blame lack of hunger or an overly busy schedule.

Experts recommend those in the habit of skipping breakfast instead optimize ultra-easy and ultra-convenient comfort food meals. Most recipes can be made ahead and stored in your fridge for mornings when you’re short of time and energy.

Here are a few easy microwave recipes for busy mornings:

Decoding food labels: Scary additives or gifts from nature?

Author: Kay Johnson

Food-ingredient labels are getting shorter. Why? Because the people have spoken: We want fewer, better ingredients in our foods. We asked, and the companies that make our food responded by replacing artificial colors and flavors, removing what’s unessential, and using naturally derived ingredients.

But even shorter “clean” labels can still read like a technical manual. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing — just because a food ingredient is unfamiliar or has a difficult-to-pronounce name doesn’t mean it’s not good for you.

For instance, you might not have heard of cholecalciferol, and it sounds a little scary. But cholecalciferol is just another name for Vitamin D. You might not have heard of rickets, either. That’s because this once-common childhood disease became nearly obsolete when Vitamin D, which prevents rickets, was added to milk.

Another ingredient with a somewhat strange name is carrageenan. This seaweed-based ingredient makes some of our favorite foods more nutritious. It replaces the sodium in lunch meat and can take the place of fats, oils and sugar, which is why that nonfat yogurt you had for lunch tastes just as good as the full-fat option, without the guilt.

Microcrystalline cellulose might look like a mouthful, but MCC — also called cellulose gel — is just cellulose derived from fruits, vegetables and trees. Cellulose, which is the most common organic compound on earth, is one of only seven FDA-approved sources of fiber. So when microcrystalline cellulose or cellulose gel appears on a food label, it means your food contains the same plant fiber found in broccoli and apples.

Other ingredients that might not ring a bell? Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family that has been used as a medicine and spice in India for thousands of years. Modern science has shown it is also a powerful antioxidant that settles upset stomachs and may lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks, all while brightening your food with its deep yellow color.

Some of the unfamiliar ingredients on your food label might literally be found in your own backyard. Pectin, for example, comes from the peels of lemons or other citrus fruits and is commonly used to thicken jams and jellies.

Understanding what goes into our food is important. But it’s also important that we don’t say “no” to a product just because we don’t recognize every ingredient on its label.

To learn more about what’s in your food, visit foodsciencematters.com.