Welcome to the Live Well Furman blog! This blog is designed to help support healthy behaviors in the Furman community and beyond. Be sure to sign up for our email subscription to have the latest campus wellness offerings, wellness news briefs, healthy meal ideas, and exercise tips delivered straight to your inbox each week!
“Every year in the U.S., approximately 31% (133 billion pounds) of the overall food supply is wasted.” (1)
133 billion pounds.
Meanwhile, over 48 million Americans live in a state of food insecurity (2). This means that there are times when they are uncertain about having, or unable to acquire, enough food because they have insufficient money or resources for food.
Food waste is a major concern for our planet and communities. It depletes resources, fills up landfills, and contributes to methane emissions that affect climate change (3). Plus, it prevents foods from reaching those who really need it.
The issue of food waste was recently highlighted by the Greenville News in an attempt to raise consumer awareness. Area businesses and food recovery programs are making attempts to tackle this enormous problem. As I shared in the article, we consumers have an important role to play as well.
Here are 15 ways to reduce food waste in your own home:
1) Plan ahead. Scan your freezer, refrigerator, and pantry before you head to the store. Try to plan meals around the items that you already have.
2) Buy less. Be careful not to buy more perishable foods than you can consume.
3) Mix up your shopping cart. Buy some foods that should be eaten right away, such as berries and fresh spinach. Then choose other hardier varieties like apples, carrots, or frozen fruits and vegetables for later in the week.
4) Strive to utilize the “first in, first out” method. Use foods that are close to their expiration dates before opening fresh packages.
5) Remember the 2 hour rule. Don’t keep cooked foods, such as leftover dinner, out at room temperature for more than two hours where bacteria multiply quickly. Transfer them to the refrigerator or freezer promptly. This way the leftovers can be saved safely for another meal rather than wasted.
6) Pack leftover dinner for lunch the next day. This can also save time and money.
7) Pay attention to freshness dates on foods such as “expired,” “use by,” and “sell by.” Foods that are stored properly may still be safe to consume after the “sell by” dates.
8) Consider batch cooking. Make several soups or casseroles at once and freeze them to eat throughout the month. This can help you to reduce waste because you can use up entire packages of items, such as onions, carrots, celery, and peppers.
9) Don’t follow recipes too closely, particularly with produce. If you have 1-1/2 cups of chopped tomatoes but the recipe calls for 1 cup, consider using it all. This may affect the nutrition analysis but not much else. Salads, soups, stir-fries, mixed dishes, and smoothies are often flexible with ingredient amounts.
10) Incorporate leftover ingredients into other dishes. Toss leftover cooked vegetables into your scrambled eggs. Or combine leftover chicken and vegetables to make a pasta salad.
11) Be resourceful. Chop up the leafy green tops of celery and add them to your pot of vegetable soup. Pulse stale bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs that can be stored in the freezer.
12) Use your freezer. Overripe bananas can be frozen (in slices or with the peel intact) and used later in smoothies or banana bread. Bread can usually be frozen for up to 3 months but perishes at room temperature much quicker.
13) Have a “refrigerator clean out” night one or two days per week. Try to use up all leftover foods before purchasing more.
14) Dine in. When your refrigerator is stocked, try to use those foods promptly. Restaurant meals can be a treat when the cupboard is bare.
15) Consider composting. Many kitchen scraps can be recycled in a home compost system to make a nutrient rich fertilizer for your garden.
As a part of the Furman employee wellness initiative, Furman will be offering the Greenville Health System LoseWell Weight Management Program this summer for Furman employees and spouses/ partners.
To sign up or for more information, please contact GHS Health Coach Margaret Barest at firstname.lastname@example.org
(click graphic below to enlarge)
The Furman Fitness Center will offer a variety of Group Exercise Classes this summer including Boot Camp, Beginner Body Fit (weight training), Body Fit, Aqua Fitness, and Mindful Movement.
Click on the schedules below to enlarge.
Hope to see you there!
Looking for a way to staff active this summer? Check out the Summer Activities that will be hosted by the Furman Fitness Center:
Training for the Red, White, & Blue Shoes 5K Run
Looking to run your first 5K or improve your current race time? Mickey McCauley will be available to provide a 10 week training program for the Red, White & Blue Shoes 5K run. The race will be held on Furman’s beautiful campus on July 4th at 8 a.m. Mickey currently serves as an assistant coach for the Furman cross country and track and field programs. He is a Level II USA Track and Field certified coach and an American College of Sports Medicine certified Personal Trainer.
Participants will be given a discounted entry fee for the event ($20 instead of the typical $30). Mickey will also be available for training advice, questions and weekly feedback.
Race details and map of the course can be found here: http://RWBSrun.com
Level: All fitness levels welcome, including beginners
Limited to 25 participants
Contact: Mickey McCauley at email@example.com or 294-2420 to participate.
Dodgeball will be held in the PAC gym. Healthy snacks will be provided.
Levels: All fitness levels welcome
Dates: 12:15 p.m. Thursdays May 19th, June 2nd & 30th
Contact: Heather Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 294-3586 to participate.
Furman Walking Group
Take a 30-45 minute stroll or brisk walk around the beautiful Furman campus. Healthy snacks will be provided. Meet on the porch of the Herman W. Lay Physical Activities Center (PAC).
Dates: Wednesdays & Fridays at 11:45 a.m., May 18– June 29
Contact: Heather Newman at email@example.com or 294-3586 or just show up!
Beginner Bike Ride
Owen McFadden will lead beginner bike rides throughout the summer. The fitness center has 5 bikes & helmets that can be used on a first requested, first reserved basis.*
Healthy snacks will be provided.
Level/ Distance: Easy pace for 6-8 miles.
Dates: Thursdays- May 12th & 26th, June 16th & 30th
Time: 12:00 pm– Meet in front of the PAC; 12:15 pm- Depart
Limited to 10 participants
Contact: Owen McFadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 294-2414 to sign up and/or to reserve a bike.
Try a morning ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
The fitness center has 5 bikes & helmets that can be used on a first requested, first reserved basis.*
Level/ Distance: Moderate pace for approximately 15 miles on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The ride will include a cafe stop.
Dates: Thursdays – May 12th & 26th, June 2nd, 16th, 23rd & 30th
Time: 7:45 am- meet in front of the PAC; 8:00am- Depart
Limited to 15 participants
Contact: Heather Newman at email@example.com or 294-3586 to sign up and/or reserve a bike.
Paris Mountain Climb
For intermediate level and experienced cyclists, try a bike ride up beautiful Paris Mountain.
Limited to 10 participants- Appropriate road riding gear required.
Level/ Distance: 12 miles moderate pace but difficult climb up the back of Paris Mountain Rd.
Dates: Wednesday, May 25th & June 8th
Time: 8:00am – Depart from the front of PAC
Contact: Heather Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 294-3586 to sign up.
*All participants must sign a waiver to take part in the activities. Anyone using a bike provided by the Furman Fitness Center must also fill out a bicycle waiver.
Need a study break while preparing for finals? Stop by the Charles E. Daniel Dining Hall Moonlight Breakfast on Wednesday, 4/27 from 9-11 p.m. for a quick study break.
Back by popular demand, we are serving Green Monster Smoothies! Be sure to stop by for a sample!
We wrapped up our final FUEL class last week with a delicious Chicken Caprese Salad with Kale and Quinoa.
As usual, the ingredients are flexible. Just be sure to fill half of your plate with vegetables and/or fruits, one quarter with whole grains and one quarter with lean proteins.
Chicken Caprese Salad with Kale and Quinoa (serves 4)
I used a bag of pre-washed and pre-chopped kale. I removed the woody stems– my dogs love them. Then I gave the leaves a rough chop to make the pieces smaller. I also used a package of beautiful, multi-color heirloom tomatoes but any chopped tomatoes will do.
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
8 cups of fresh chopped kale
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 lb. chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into bite size pieces
2 cups chopped grape tomatoes (I used heirloom tomatoes of many colors)
1/2- 1 cup of freshly chopped basil
4 ounces chopped fresh mozzarella
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
Begin by bringing the chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa, reduce to medium heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the liquid has absorbed and the grains are tender.
In a large bowl, drizzle the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt over the kale and use very clean hands to massage the dressing into the leaves. This will make the kale more tender. At this point, you can keep it in the refrigerator for a few days– it will marinate and become more tender with time.
Combine the chicken, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, vinegar, and a pinch of salt to make the Caprese Salad.
Serve the Caprese Salad over the Kale Salad with a side of quinoa.
For a sweet ending to your meal, serve with Cherry -Banana Ice Cream with Coconut. It is a delicious blend of three simple ingredients– frozen bananas, frozen cherries, and a sprinkle of shredded coconut on top.
To all of our adventurous eaters, we have a new recipe to try from our FUEL class this week. It features a Mexican root vegetable called Jicama (pronounced HEE-kah-ma) that is cool, crisp, and slightly sweet. When eaten raw, it tastes like a cross between an apple, potato, celery, and water chestnut.
I used pre-peeled and pre-cut Jicama sticks from the refrigerator section of the grocery store. You can also find a whole jicama in the grocery store or farmer’s market– it looks kind of like a potato. Jicama is a good source of prebiotic fiber and vitamin C and is low in calories due to its high water content.
We served the jicama two different ways in class this week. First, we served the jicama sticks on a raw vegetable platter with sugar snap peas and tricolor mini sweet peppers. These are quick and convenient snacks to store in the refrigerator as the weather warms up.
Then we diced the jicama and added it to a FUEL favorite: Black Bean Quinoa with Mango, Cilantro, and Lime. It made a delicious and light FUEL lunch.
Quinoa with Black Beans, Mango, Red Pepper, and Jicama
The ingredients can vary. Just be sure that 1/2 of your meal consists of vegetables and/or fruits, 1/4 whole grains, and 1/4 lean proteins (beans). Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) is a whole grain that is a great source of fiber and protein– plus it only takes 15 minutes to cook. I couldn’t find a ripe mango for this recipe so I substituted chopped dried mango that I reconstituted in a little bit of warm water to plump up. It was delicious. Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side.
2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (prepared according to package directions)
2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chopped red bell peppers
2 cups chopped jicama
1 cup chopped fresh mango
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients and chill for at least two hours.
Tired of plain steamed broccoli? Try it roasted!
The roasting process helps the natural sugars to caramelize. Many vegetables are great candidates for roasting including cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, green beans, turnips, parsnips, asparagus, butternut squash, and more.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and spread 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over a large baking sheet (I use very clean hands to do this). Chop a fresh head of broccoli into florets and spread on a single layer on the baking sheet. Don’t waste the stalks, they are great roasted also. Add a chopped clove of garlic, salt, crushed red pepper, and Parmesan cheese; toss to combine well. Roast for about 15-20 minutes until tender and golden brown; stirring halfway.
Trying to sneak more vegetables into your diet? Try this tasty roasted cauliflower recipe from our FUEL class this week.
What is the difference between baking and roasting? They are both dry heat cooking techniques but roasting is generally at a higher temperature and browns the food. When you roast vegetables, the natural sugars caramelize and previously bland vegetables take on an entirely new flavor. The keys to roasting vegetables are 1) use a high temperature between 400-450 degrees F, 2) toss the vegetables in a little bit of oil so they brown evenly, and 3) spread them on a single layer to maximize surface contact with the baking sheet. Try not to pile them up high or they will steam instead of roast.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and spread 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over a large baking sheet (I use very clean hands to do this). Chop a fresh head of cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and spread on a single layer on the baking sheet. Add some thin slices of red onion, a chopped clove of garlic, salt, and Parmesan cheese; toss to combine well. Roast for about 20 minutes until tender and golden brown; stirring halfway. Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary. Leftovers are delicious when reheated in the microwave.
Looking for a healthy meal while dining on the Furman campus? Check out these healthy examples from the Charles E. Daniel Dining Hall. Each plate is one half vegetables and/or fruits, one quarter whole grains or potatoes, and one quarter lean protein source. Furman employees may dine in the large “all you care to eat” section for $5.
Baked Pollock Creole with Sauteed Vegetables (Homestyle Station) and Quinoa (Grain Bar)
Baked Sweet Potato (Homestyle Station) with Chicken (Mongolian Grill) and Mango Salsa (Dining for Life Station). Serve with a colorful salad.
Gardenburger (Grill Station) with 100% Whole Grain Sandwich Thin and Fixings (Deli Station). Serve with a colorful salad.
Whole Grain Pasta Marinara (Pasta Bar) with Shrimp (Mongolian Grill) and Vegetables (Homestyle Station)
Salad bar with Barley, Black Beans, Salsa, and Cheddar
Sauteed Broccoli, Tomatoes, Spinach, Yellow Squash, and Onions (Mongolian Grill) with Chicken (Mongolian Grill) and Barley (Salad Bar)
Grilled Pork Loin with Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, Turnips, and Sauteed Vegetables (Homestyle Station)
Vegetable and Hummus Whole Grain Wrap (Deli Station) with Fresh Vegetables (Salad Bar)
Grilled Bok Choy, Snow Peas, Mushrooms, Carrots, and Red Cabbage with Brown Rice and Edamame (Mongolian Grill)
Baked Potato with Sauteed Mushrooms, Broccoli, and Cheddar and a side of Sauteed Vegetables (Homestyle Station). Serve with Chicken, Fish, or Tofu.
Toasted Whole Grain Bread with Peanut Butter and Apple or Banana Slices. Serve with fresh fruit.
Enjoy your meal with flavored water or unsweetened iced tea.