Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

January 12, 2018
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                  Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY - - Happy New Year! Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage residents to make 2018 your healthiest year yet!

"Make small changes that can have a lifelong impact. Here are several suggestions that you can start today," said Dr. Ruppert:

At the supermarket:

  • Make a shopping list and stick to it! Start by planning three dinners for the week and use your plan to help make your shopping list!
  • Read the Nutrition Facts and ingredient labels before you choose a food item.
  • Choose whole foods, those with no or little processing or refining and free from additives or other artificial substances.
  • Look for snacks that are no more than 200 calories and 200 mg of sodium per serving. Some snack packages contain more than one serving. Check the label to make sure you won't eat more than one serving – it's a snack not a meal!
  • Rethink your drink! Choose no-calorie bottled beverages such as water or unsweetened tea. Energy drinks and bottled lattes can be filled with a "lotta" calories!
  • Buy powdered peanut butter to add to oatmeal, shakes and while baking for a powerful vegan protein boost! It's dairy and gluten-free!
  • Consider seeds – they're not just for the birds! Pumpkin and sunflower seeds make snacks and meals higher in protein and fiber. In fact, seeds are ranked #3 of 2018 nutrition trends, according to the "What's Trending in Nutrition" survey completed by dieticians.
  • Shop like a pro – probiotics that is! Look for these probiotics in the ingredient list: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Probiotics are good bacteria when eaten in the right amount. They multiply in the colon and help keep a balance between the good and bad bacteria that live there. Check with your health care provider to make sure probiotics are right for you.
  • Be daring! Buy some new foods in 2018, such as Jerusalem artichokes (pictured hereRoasted_Jerusalem_Artichokes_Picture.jpg),  
    bok choy, quinoa, and farro. Visit for easy recipes!

Preparing meals

  • Increase your intake of fiber – for example, try oatmeal with berries for breakfast, add 1 tablespoon of shelled unsalted seeds to your yogurt for lunch, and add one 15 ounce can low-sodium black beans to two cups of cooked rice with your dinner.
  • "Veggify" some of your faves! For example, when preparing: add chopped cremini mushrooms to chili, chopped broccoli to mac' n' cheese, or grated zucchini to meatballs.

Enjoying your meal

  • Take 20 minutes to eat. Take time to taste and savor your meals –your body will be able to signal 'feel-full' hormones that tell the brain to stop eating.
  • When you're eating at a fast food restaurant keep your meal choices at 600 calories or fewer. Look for the posted calorie count at chain restaurants or ask for written nutrition information.
  • Keep a food journal or use an app for three days - find out how much you are actually eating!

Other healthy habits

  • Move every two hours. Take a short break – stand and walk for three minutes, and you'll find you've added almost 10 minutes of physical activity to your day!
  • Put it out for good! Quit smoking with the Health Department's Put It Out Rockland Quit Smoking Program. Call (845) 364-2651 for one-on-one help with quitting and low-cost nicotine patches, or call the New York State Smokers' Quitline at (866) NY-QUITS.
  • Get your sleep! According to the Harvard School of Public Health, a growing body of research suggests that there's a link between how much people sleep and how much they weigh. In general, children and adults who get too little sleep tend to weigh more than those who get enough sleep.