Lyme Disease Prevention

Summer months bring concerns about insect-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. There are steps you can take to avoid tick bites and be on the alert for signs of possible Lyme disease. If you enjoy gardening or spending time in the outdoors (and we hope you do!), take a moment to educate yourself and your family with these simple tips.

We’re providing these handy guides courtesy of Mount Auburn Hospital, both in English and in Spanish.

Lyme Disease Fact Sheet-English

Lyme Disease Fact Sheet-Spanish

The City of Waltham also has helpful information on the City website which can be found here.

Photovoice Project This Summer

We’re pleased to announce that Healthy Waltham will be coordinating a Photovoice project in Waltham this summer! There are still a few spots left for Waltham youths entering grades 9-12 in fall 2014. Read on for the details and find out how to apply.

Photovoice is a way for a group of people to tell a story using photos. For our project, approximately 12 high school age students will attend weekly workshops, take photos, and upload them to a website. The photos will be on the theme of “safety.”  The project runs from late June/early July through August and concludes with a display/presentation at a Youth Summit meeting in fall of 2014.

The project is coordinated by a trained youth facilitator and there is pay of $9 per hour for youth participants, up to a maximum of $400 per participant. Once a week meetings will take place at the Waltham Cultural and Community Center, 510 Moody St. Waltham, in the computer lab, for approximately 3 hours.

Why Photovoice? This type of communication is effective because it cuts across any language and cultural or other barriers to speak through the universal language of images. It can be an effective way to share different points of view. Plus, it’s fun!

Do you know a Waltham resident of high school age who would like to apply for this opportunity? Please see the application below. We can take applications up to early July. Please email us at photovoice@healthy-waltham.org with questions. To view some other similar Photovoice projects completed in local cities/towns, please check out this link here.

Photovoice Application June 2014

 

Pea Guacamole Recipe

Can you make guacamole from green peas instead of avocado? Yes, and it’s very tasty! Try this different “faux” guacamole. There’s nothing faux about the taste; this bright green spread/dip was a hit at the Waltham High School Health Fair. We’ve adapted it from a recipe provided by the Waltham Public Schools Food Services Department. Give it a try!

Pea Faux Guacamole

serves 4

  • 1 cup fresh, frozen or canned green peas (if using frozen, thaw and drain)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin or chili powder
  • ½ small onion or red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice (or more to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
  • ¼ cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned (drained)
  • 3 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients except tomatoes and cilantro in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Mix in tomatoes and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.Samples of pea guacamole with blue corn chips at the WHS Health Fair

Samples of pea guacamole with blue corn chips at the WHS Health Fair

Rethink Your Drink

Healthy Waltham recently participated in Waltham High School’s annual Health Fair and had an important message to share: it’s time to rethink your drink! We know that many people, including kids, struggle with their weight and how to eat more healthfully. But did you know that cutting out sugar-sweetened drinks is an easy way to eliminate extra sugar and empty calories from your diet? In fact, many health professionals point to soft drinks, sodas, sports drinks, and juices as major sources of excess calories, especially among kids. Even 100% fruit juices are loaded with sugar and should be enjoyed in moderation. So when it’s warm, reach for water first! It’s your best no-calorie, healthy beverage choice for summer and all the time.

At the WHS Health Fair, we showed students how you can mix seltzer water (it’s just water and bubbles–some students were surprised to learn that it doesn’t contain any calories) with a little juice to make a natural and low-calorie version of homemade “soda.”

Seltzer plus some fruit juice make a light and refreshing version of homemade soda.

Seltzer plus fruit juice makes a light and refreshing version of homemade soda. Ahh!

A couple of summers ago, our intern Shanlai wrote an excellent article about reducing sugar-sweetened beverages for our newspaper column in the Waltham News Tribune. Read it here!

For more photos from the Waltham High School Health Fair, check out Healthy Waltham’s photo gallery here. And remember to rethink your drink!

Check out this info graphic which shows the high amount of sugar found in common beverages.

 

 

 

Choose Health Poster

 

Bay State Bike Week

May 10-18 is Bay State Bike week, an annual celebration of human-powered, two-wheeled transportation! Biking enthusiasts across Massachusetts are planning events in their communities to help raise the visibility of bicycling, engage new riders, and promote the benefits of cycling for transportation and recreation. Bicycling is also great exercise and helps to reduce our carbon footprint.

Join the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge! You can join the fun by joining this free week-long challenge to to use your bicycle instead of your car to get where you need to go. Register for the Challenge today and log in your miles all week. Recognition and prizes are given for categories such as schools, businesses, individuals, and communities. Check it out here.

Waltham Events

Mayor Jeannette McCarthy recently proclaimed May to be Waltham Bike Month and May 10-18 to be Waltham’s Bike Week! You can read the official proclamation here.

Check out some more events in Waltham:

  • Waltham’s First Annual Bicycle Update –  On May 13th, come learn what Waltham is doing to support and encourage biking in Waltham. The meeting will be held at 119 School St. in the auditorium from 7-8 PM. Please see the flyer here.
  • Transportation Working Forums – Waltham’s Planning Department is hosting a series of community forums  on the topic of healthy transportation. The next forum will be about forming a Healthy Transportation Advisory Group. This meeting will be held at 119 School St. in the auditorium from 6:30-8 PM. Please see the flyer on the city website here.

Happy biking! Have a favorite place to bike in Waltham? Let us know!

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