Spring Into Health in this Issue of the Healthy Fontana Newsletter!

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April 2021  |  Volume 2, Issue 4

Spring Into Health!

In the last few weeks, we have experienced warmer temperatures and longer days signifying the beginning of Spring. And, with Summer right around the corner soon after, we're focusing on how to prep and maintain a fruit and vegetable garden in honor of Earth Day and introducing you to a fun and healthy Springtime recipe! Read further on to see how you can participate in this month's 2021 Heart & Stroke Walk Digital Experience.

April also signifies Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month. Read below on how to spot IBS and treat the syndrome if you do have it.


3 Fontana Walks Participants posing in an outdoor setting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the Healthy Fontana Team

for the Heart & Stroke Walk 2021 Digital Experience!

Did you know that cardiovascular disease occurs every 39 seconds and is the number 1 killer of all Americans?

Join the Healthy Fontana Team as we participate in the Heart & Stroke Walk 2021 Digital Experience on April 9th, 2021! You can make a difference in people's lives, including your own!

When you join Heart Walk, you join more than a million people across the country in taking a stand against heart disease and help in saving lives!

When you register, you can choose to set a goal and raise funds to support lifesaving research and programs. On April 9th, be sure to 'walk your way' and be active in honor of heart disease and stroke. Join the Fontana Walks! program and receive a FREE t-shirt, water bottle, wristband pedometer, and face mask to help you get active on this day and on. For more information on how to register, visit fontanawalks.org or contact Healthy Fontana at (909) 350-6542


If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you are not alone.

Woman sitting on couch hunched over hugging her stomach

Every April, the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFG) observes IBS to raise awareness about a problem that affects up to 1 in 7 Americans and about 10-15% of people worldwide who suffer from IBS.

What is IBS?

IBS refers to a disorder in which pain in the abdomen is associated with a variety of other symptoms, including but not limited to, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of all of these. If you experience frequent chronic pain in the abdomen and bowel problems, and feel intestinal discomfort every day, talk to your doctor. You might have IBS.

"IBS is one of the most burdensome chronic ailments reported by patients," but generally treatable.

People can experience different levels of IBS from mild to severe symptoms. Depending on the severity of symptoms, treatment can vary. However, all treatment should first start with the education of IBS. Although IBS is not life-threatening, it can be a long-term condition with symptoms flaring and changing over time. In some cases, it can take more than six (6) years for someone to be diagnosed with IBS from when they first start experiencing symptoms.

The cause of IBS is still unknown, but some factors appear to play a role, and certain factors can trigger symptoms.

  • Infection: IBS can develop from a bacteria or virus that led to diarrhea. 
  • Early life stress: People who have been exposed to stressful situations, especially early on, tend to have more symptoms of IBS.
  • Nervous symptom: Irregularities in the digestive system may cause abdominal discomfort and poor signals between the brain and intestines can cause the body to react resulting in symptoms associated with IBS. 
  • Food: Many people experience worse IBS symptoms when they eat or drink certain foods and/or beverages. 

Having the occasional upset stomach is common, but abdominal pain accompanied by diarrhea or constipation frequently for a long period of time is not. This may be a sign you have IBS and can generally be treated with some lifestyle changes.

Some people can control their symptoms by managing what they eat and stress. For those who might be experiencing more severe symptoms, medication and counseling might be needed.

For mild symptoms, maintaining a personal diary to keep track of symptoms can help identify factors that worsen IBS. Managing stress through relaxation or pain management may also help. For more severe symptoms of IBS, talk with your doctor about options such as drug therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy.

IBS can affect a person's quality of life and without the proper identification of the disorder and treatment, persons with moderate to severe IBS may experience difficulties with their physical, emotional, economic, educational, and social well-being.

Being educated about IBS is one of the first steps in managing the syndrome once diagnosed and using that knowledge to lead a healthy life with IBS.

Sources: IFFGD Website  | Mayo Clinic

Hoppin' Pear Salad in Time for Easter

Rabbit-Out-of-the-Hat Salad

Ingredients

2 cups shredded lettuce or spinach

4 pear halves, fresh or canned

1/2 cup cottage cheese

8 pieces sliced almonds

12 raisins

Preparation

1. Place about 1/2 cup shredded lettuce on each plate.

2. Place one pear half on the lettuce, cut side face down.

3. On the narrower end of each pear, make a rabbit face: Poke 2 pieces of sliced almonds into the pear to make ears. Arrange 2 raisins for the eyes and 1 for the nose.

4. Place 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese at the opposite end of each pear half to make a tail.

Notes

  • Optional: Add a mini carrot or two for the bunnies to snack on. You can also swap a piece of cherry for a red nose.
  • Look in the bulk food section of the store to buy only the amount you need of raisins or sliced almonds.

Source: Food Hero

Picture of a garden bed full of green veggies

In honor of Earth Day, here are some tips for a successful garden...

- Be reasonable/prepared: Make sure for each crop you plant, you think about the water, shade, space, and protection needed, and what to do with extras!

- Keep your garden close to a water source: Be sure your garden is set up with easy access to water. Inconsistent watering can cause fruit and veggies failure. Make sure to plan for an irrigation system, hose, or watering can for smaller gardens.

- Check early and often for pests and diseases: Check for things like aphids, earwigs, and blight often so they don't lead to infestations and you only need to treat or manage a small outbreak. Also, keep plants weed-free as they can compete with other plants for nutrients and water.

- Care for your plants using "best practices": Keep your plants healthy & well cared for. Just like when we exercise, eat well, and get enough water and rest to avoid getting sick, we can do the same for our plants. Feed your plants lots of organic matter (compost is great!), do not over or underwater, and apply the right amount of fertilizer. You can also add mulch on top of the soil around veggies to buffer temperature and keep weeds at bay.

- Keep an open mind & learn from your struggles! Remember that "gardening is a journey not a destination and all of the best gardeners will tell you they learned from their failures not their successes." Reach out to your local Master Gardener for help troubleshooting challenges.

Source:

UCCE Master Gardeners of San Bernardino County


Upcoming Events:

  • 4/9/21: Heart & Stroke Walk 2021 Digital Experience**
  • 4/17/21: Virtual Fontana Walks!**
  • 4/22/21: Earth Day

** Visit fontanawalks.org for more info and to register