Did you know that April is Earth Month? Planet Earth gives us so much – food, water, clean air, and beautiful landscapes to explore. But unfortunately, with our busy lifestyles and love for convenience, we tend to make decisions in our daily lives that aren’t always the best for the environment. Our oceans are filling with plastic, ice caps are melting, and we’re losing our forests.
Fortunately, there are simple things that we can all do to change the environment for the better. And it really is true that every bit counts. Although the small things that you and I can do might not make an immediate difference, it’ll cause a ripple effect. It’ll catch on to our friends and family, and their friends and family, and eventually companies and organizations will change too.
So here’s what you can do:
Renita Lam, Registered Dietitian (RD)
St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend, so you know what that means - green everything! But instead of just wearing green this year, why not try eating green too?
Leafy green vegetables are full of nutrients like folate, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium. Lettuce is probably the first leafy green vegetable that comes to mind, but there are so many other vegetables available in your grocery store. Branch out and try other leafy greens like bok choy, kale, arugula, rapini, or dandelion greens. These darker greens are also more nutrient-dense than lettuce, so including them into your diet is definitely a plus!
Here are some ideas to add these leafy greens into your diet:
And a last tip: your leafy greens will last longer in the fridge when you line the plastic bag with a paper towel. The paper towel absorbs the condensation from vegetables to keep it from spoiling. Make sure you keep the plastic bag open and leave your greens unwashed until you use them!
Renita Lam, MPH, RD
Answers from Dr. Edward Laskowski
Dr. Edward Laskowski is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, including subspecialty certification in sports medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and a professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
He has been on the staff of Mayo Clinic since 1990 and specializes in sports medicine, fitness, strength training and stability training. He works with a multidisciplinary team of physical medicine, rehabilitation and orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, and sports psychologists.
Dr. Laskowski is an elite-level skier and an avid hiker, cyclist and climber. He approaches sports medicine from the perspective of a physician and an athlete.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Laskowski to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and he has received a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health and Human Services for his contribution to the Council.
Dr. Laskowski was a member of the medical staff of the Olympic Polyclinic at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and has provided medical coverage for the Chicago Marathon. He serves as a consulting physician to the National Hockey League Players' Association and is a featured lecturer at the American College of Sports Medicine's Team Physician Course.
Dr. Laskowski, a Cary, Ill., native, has contributed to Mayo Clinic's CD-ROM on sports, health and fitness, a website guide to self-care, and hundreds of Mayo Clinic articles and booklets in print and online. He is a contributing editor to the "Mayo Clinic Fitness for EveryBody" book, and he has presented lectures throughout the world on health, fitness and sports medicine topics. His teaching expertise has been recognized by his election to the Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame at Mayo Clinic.
"There are many myths and misconceptions about exercise and fitness in general, and also many traditions that don't stand up to scientific scrutiny," he says. "My goal is to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on sports medicine and fitness topics in a way that you can practically incorporate into your life."