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January is Physical Health & Nutrition Month
Courtney Schauder, RD, LDN
Health Educator   
It's that time of year again - the time many people recommit to nutrition and physical activity goals. There truly is no better time to focus on health, and the support of friends and family focusing on healthy behaviors is a recipe for success for everyone. Don't be shy to go check out the specials that your local fitness center might be offering, or consider meeting with a Registered Dietitian to learn more about balanced nutrition. Registered Dietitians are the nutrition experts and a great resource to learn ways to reduce high cholesterol, manage diabetes, or reach and maintain a healthy weight. Below are three healthy ways to start 2016 off right and some encouragement on exercise!
Make Your Calories Count - Think nutrient-rich rather than "good" or "bad" foods. The majority of your food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients, and lower in calories. Checking the boxes of nutrient rich foods during the day allows for some treats to fit in without breaking the budget! Making smart food choices can help you stay healthy, manage your weight and be physically active.
Focus on Variety - Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups to get the nutrients your body needs. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or canned - you don't lose any nutrients in frozen or canned - that's a nutrition myth! Seasonal vegetables will be budget friendly - so eat more dark green vegetables such as leafy greens and broccoli, and orange vegetables including carrots and sweet potatoes. Vary your protein choices with more fish, beans and peas. Aiming for fish twice a week can introduce some beneficial heart healthy fatty acids. Eat at least three ounces of 100% whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day.  
Know Your Fats - Look for foods low in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol to help reduce your risk of heart disease. Friendly reminder: Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains all fit this bill. Use moderation with animal meats, dairy, and oils. Portion size is key! Most of the fats you eat should be monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats - found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and oils such as canola, olive, and peanut. Check the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels for total fat and saturated fat.
Make exercise your "new normal"
- Attempting to fit a workout in your day can be challenging. Even if you can't set aside 30 consecutive minutes, you can easily find 10 minutes at a time to sneak in activity. Current recommendations suggest adults get at least 150 minutes of cardiorespiratory moderate-intensity exercise per week, with two to three days per week of resistance exercise also recommended. Those numbers break down to 30 minutes, 5 times a week. The beneficial effects of exercise and undeniable, and play a crucial role in reducing risk of chronic diseases!
  • Do 10-minute mini workouts: In the morning, you can do bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, ab exercises, tricep dips. You could take a 10 minute brisk-pace walk over lunch, and 10 minutes of stretching in the evening. Balance these with other activities that keep your heart rate high for 30 minutes.
  • Bring the whole family along: Explore neighborhood parks, rent bicycles through B Cycle or learn a new sport together - basketball, tennis, soccer, rock climbing at an indoor center.
  • Find opportunities: Those weekly chores and daily household duties of cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming, and taking the trash out - they all add up to movement for the body. Seek out opportunities to be more active:
    • Take the stairs, not the elevator
    • Make your coffee break a walking break
    • Walk back and forth when you are on the phone
    • Park your car a few blocks from where you are going and walk
    • Get off the bus or train before your usual stop and walk. Don't forget your headphones to make it more enjoyable.
  • Exercise is so important for balancing food choices and living a healthy life. Decrease your risk of high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and other diseases by making a commitment to incorporating daily activity into your life.
Teen Health Connection wishes you a happy, healthy New Year! Make sure your teens are staying healthy by attending their regularly scheduled appointments with their primary care physician or nurse practitioner, and I invite you to meet with me, our Teen Health Connection Registered Dietitian, by calling 704-381-8375 to schedule an appointment.

The Big Picture
THE BIG PICTURE at the McGlohon Theater
The Big Picture is a dynamic health education and community outreach initiative that is solely written and performed by and for adolescent youth.  Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Youth Risk Behavior Survey, this youth initiative addresses the current trends and health related issues with a focus on positive behavioral choices. We encourage parents to attend this thought-provoking play with your teens to address real issues that are impacting teens today.
TICKETS are AVAILABLE NOW for the free community performance on Thursday, April 21 at 7:00pm. Reserve your seat today.  
Welcome Pediatric Resident
The Department of Pediatrics at Carolinas Medical Center and Levine Children's Hospital offers a fully accredited 3 year pediatric medical resident training program.  Teen Health Connection is fortunate to serve as the adolescent-specific medical rotation for the residents.  This month, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Emily Ogletre. Dr. Ogletre received her medical degree from UAB.
Please forward our e-newsletter to your friends, sign up for our text messaging campaign, like us on  Facebook and visit our website to read about what we are doing each month. You can also follow us on Instagram at Teen Health Connection or on Twitter. Teen Health Connection appreciates our community partners and families.  We believe that together we can make a difference for adolescents in our community.  

It is through the support of our individual, community and corporate partners that Teen Health Connection empowers every adolescent to be healthy, safe and successful.

Parenting Teens with Love and Logic
Local Conference

The team at Teen Health Connection is excited to have the opportunity to hear Dr. Charles Fay, President of the Love and Logic Institute, Inc., speak in Charlotte about teaching responsibility and respect and providing tips for educators and parents on promoting enthusiasm and enforcing limits with teens. We hope that you will join us on Monday, January 11th for a great conference. You can purchase your ticket and learn more here. 
Local High School Scholars  
The Johnston Ziegler Youth Leadership Award is a merit-based scholarship that recognizes a local high-school senior who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, advocacy or service for adolescents. Congratulations to the top 5 finalists for this award:
Jesse Curran: Jesse is a senior scholar at Charlotte Catholic High School. He is President of both the Spanish National Honor Society and Scratch Engineering Club along with being a co-creator of the club. Jesse was awarded the Junior Marshall Award designated to the top 15 juniors, the Cougar Award for Academic Excellence in 2013-2015, and is an AP Award Recipient for scoring a perfect 5. He is a member of the Varsity Soccer Team and the Charlotte Soccer Academy.
Jewel Ham: Jewel is a senior scholar at Mallard Creek High School. She is the National Honor Arts Chair, a member of DECA, and served as a board member for the Teen Impact Fund for the Foundation of the Carolinas. Jewel has been awarded a regional medal in DECA, the 1st Visual Scholar from Community School of the Arts, won the MLK Writing and Art Contest in 2009-2011 from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and has won two silver medals in Visual Arts Key Awards from Scholastic, Inc.
Katherine Kelker: Katherine is a senior scholar at South Mecklenburg High School. She is an AP Scholar with distinction, and the Vice President of both the Spanish and SS Honor Society. She was awarded the Junior Marshal Award for ranking in the top 30 in her class, the Presidential Service Award for high community service, and the National Merit Commended for high performance on the PSAT. Katherine is the Troop Treasurer for Girl Scouts and a Senior Leader on the Women's Varsity Swim Team.
Grant Tatich: Grant is a senior scholar at David W. Butler High School. He is a member of the National Honor Society, National French Honor Society, and President of the French Club. Grant was awarded the Jefferson Book Award given to the most outstanding scholar and active junior in the community sponsored by the University of Virginia, and awarded Excellence in the SAT by scoring a perfect score on the math section. He is also a member of the Daring to Role-Model Excellence as Athletic Mentors (DREAM) Team.
Rita Venant: Rita is a senior scholar at North Mecklenburg High School. She is President of the Senior Class Council and serves as a Student Ambassador representing the International Baccalaureate Program. She has participated in the STEM Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte from 2011-present. She has been awarded the NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete Individual Award from the National Guard for playing a varsity sport and maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.5.
Adolescent Nutrition  
Teens have growth spurts and gain 20% of their adult height and 50% of their
adult weight during adolescence. This means that teens need more of every nutrient to be healthy.
Teen Health Connection would like to thank the many volunteers, funders and community partners who dedicate their time and talent to this organization.  Because of the commitment from so many valued partners and friends, the team at Teen Health Connection can continue to empower every adolescent to be healthy, safe and successful.