Jamming Out While Working Out

By Bailey Roden, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern

Who doesn’t love music? Music has the power to affect people in ways they don’t even know. Have you ever heard a sad song and started crying? Or what about that ACDC song “Thunderstruck”? That song makes me feel like I can do anything in the world. Music has the power to influence people. I often listen to music while cleaning the house or working with my livestock.

I even listen to music during my workouts! Most people listen to music while working out, that’s why when you walk into the gym almost everyone has headphones in! Do you think the music is helping with their performance during their workout?

You may be listening to music for fun and not realizing the positive effect it has on your work out! According to American College of Cardiology and reported by Study Finds, Texas Tech University conducted an experiment that involved 127 individuals the age of these individuals averaged out to about 53 years old. These people all had similar medical history to provide consistency to the experiment. The people involved were to go through a basic cardiac stress test. Some were given headphones playing upbeat music while others were given nothing. The group listening to the upbeat music was able to go a whole minute longer. Dr. Waseem Shami, MD, a cardiology fellow at the university went on to explain that when doctors suggest exercise they might even suggest listening to music to help enhance your workout capabilities.


We can all relate to that feeling you get towards the end of the work out when you think you can’t go any longer. When in fact if you have that upbeat song whether it’s ACDC or Justin Bieber you can add a whole minute to your workout.


I believe music has this effect because it allows us to get in an unstoppable zone. I know when I’m listening to my favorite song I feel like there isn’t anything I can’t do. Do you have a favorite work out song? Or a favorite workout routine? Let us know in the comments!


For more fun and informative articles check out the Fill Your Plate blog! Or if you’re hunting for unique healthy recipes for the family check out the recipe section on the Fill Your Plate Website.

Posted in Cooking, Diet Tips, Fill Your Plate, Food, Health Tips, Healthy Eating, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Live Longer by Consuming More Coffee

By Erika Guzman, Current ASU Nutrition Student

Do you depend on coffee as a part of your daily routine? From getting ready to keeping awake, coffee seems to be an essential part of people’s lives. Whether it’s the taste or the effect, coffee is what helps us function throughout the day. Turns out having coffee often can also help you live longer and lower your death risks significantly.

According to the sun project published in the European Heart Journal and reported by Study Finds, people who have consumed on an average of four or more cups per day had a 64% lower death risk from any cause compared to those who rarely consume any coffee, and those who drank at least two cups had a 30% lowered risk . This was determined by cardiovascular health.

Not only can coffee help with cardiovascular health and mortality, but can also lower the risk of liver failure. Those who drink at least two or more cups a day can help reduce or protect against fibrosis development. Coffee is high in antioxidants and the chlorogenic acids produced in these beans are what contributes to the antioxidant production during its growing stages. It also is associated with the caffeine effects in coffee, especially with lighter beans and green coffee bean extract.

Usually, liver problems and failure seem to be associated with coffee because of the caffeine and the harsh effects on the liver. However, the liver does its job by cleaning out the toxins and working to keep the body healthy.  To keep your coffee healthy, keeping it black is ideal. However, if you don’t like black coffee, there are some alternatives such as:

  • Adding spices, such as cinnamon powder or ginger
  • Opting for an Americano or espresso
  • Gradually decreasing the amount of sugar added to the coffee
  • Being mindful of how much dairy is added, or switching to a low-calorie option such as non-fat milk or alternative dairy
  • Using other antioxidant-packed ingredients, such as dark chocolate or crushed blueberries (for iced coffee); the possibilities are endless!

Coffee is a complex plant, from the climate to the soil, it takes what it has and makes something quite tasty and loved. So next time you take a sip of your drip coffee or Americano, just think that you’re helping yourself live longer!

For more fun and informative articles be sure to check out the Fill Your Plate blog!


Lee, Craig. (2018). Drink at least 4 cups of coffee daily for a longer life, study finds. Study Finds.

Website. Retrieved at https://www.studyfinds.org/coffee-four-cups-daily-death/.

Meng, S., Cao, J., Feng, Q., Peng, J., & Hu, Y. (2013). Roles of chlorogenic acid on regulating

glucose and lipids metabolism: a review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative

Medicine. Retrieved at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766985/.

Navarro, A., Martinez-Gonzalez, M.A., Gea, A., Bazal-Chacon, P., De La Fuenta-Arrillaga, C., &

Toledo, E. (2017). Coffee consumption and all-cause mortality in a Mediterranean cohort:

the SUN project. European Heart Journal. 38(1).  Retrieved at


O’Keefe, J. H., DiNicolantonio, J. J., & Lavie, C. J. (2018). Coffee for cardioprotection and

longevity. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. Retrieved at  https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/science/article/pii/S003306201830039 2.

Petta, S. and Marchesini, G. (2017). Coffee and tea breaks for liver health. Journal of Hepatology.

67(2): 221-223. Retrieved at


Erika Guzman

I am a Nutrition Communications major from Arizona State University Online through Starbucks College Achievement Plan. I recently moved to Seattle, Washington with my boyfriend and cat, and I still constantly learning about nutrition and health. I enjoy reading, food trucks, tea, and kickboxing. My favorite foods are Punjabi style coconut chicken curry and pork tamales.



Posted in Diet Tips, Fill Your Plate, Health Tips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

When It’s Time to Introduce Solid Foods to Your Child

By Kevann Jordan, Recent ASU Nutrition Student

When a baby is born its mother is able to provide for all of his or her nutritional needs through breast milk until about 6 months old. According to the la leche league international “The composition of human milk varies according to the time of day and the age of the baby, so that each mother provides the milk that meets her own baby’s unique needs.” But, what happens next? This can be an overwhelming question for many new moms.

Once you begin to see the signs that your baby is ready to begin solid foods there are a few things you could start with, the choice is yours. You can either start with a rice cereal or with pureed fruits or vegetables. When first starting to introduce the solid food of choice to your baby it is best to give a teaspoon or two after the first few feedings and gradually build up to more. You will want to use a soft-tipped spoon so that you don’t hurt their gums.

If you decide to go with rice cereal dilute it with breast milk or formula to a more liquid form so that they can transition to solids more easily. If you want to make homemade baby food with fruits or vegetables, you will need to puree them. Start by cooking the vegetables and then simply put them into the food processor of your choice. You may also want to add breast milk or formula to make it a more liquid consistency. You can then either put the puree into containers and place them in the fridge for up to three days or you can freeze them for up to three months! Ice cube trays are a great way to freeze baby food into smaller portions!


Here is a great recipe from Baby Center:

Apple and Pear sauce

Classic applesauce is a sweet and simple way to start your baby out on solid food. It’s also extremely versatile, once you get into flavor combos. Start with just two apples, try an apple and a pear, or mix it with other flavors, like blueberries or kale.

This recipe is intended for babies 6 months and up.


1 apple, such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp

1 ripe pear, such as Bartlett


Peel, quarter, and core the apple and pear. Cut the apple and pear into bite-sized chunks. In a saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, place the apple chunks. Pour in about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water. Place the pan over medium-high heat, cover, and bring to a boil.

Steam the apple for 2 minutes, then add the pear chunks. Continue to steam, stirring occasionally to help cook evenly, until the fruit is very tender, about 10 minutes longer.

Remove the pan from the heat and remove the steamer basket. Transfer the steamed fruit to a blender or food processor and let cool. Process the fruit to a very smooth or chunky puree, depending on your baby’s age and chewing ability. If needed, add a little water, breast milk, or formula to thin the puree.

Makes about 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml)

For more great recipes check out the Fill Your Plate recipe section.

Posted in Cooking, Diet Tips, Fill Your Plate, Food, Grocery, Health Tips, Healthy Eating, Produce, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

My Everyday Recipe for the Juiciest Steaks

By Sarah LeVesque, Recent ASU Nutrition Student

Who doesn’t love a juicy steak! I have a special strategy for cooking my steaks on the grill. It’s all about the prep.

2 steaks of your choice. For my recipe, I chose to cook two filet mignons.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons garlic (minced)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (I like to use the less sodium kind)

Salt and pepper (I like to use a seasoned salt)


Before I turn on the grill, I take the filets out of the package and put them on a plate.

I like to lightly cover each one with olive oil.

Then I’ll pull out the garlic. I smother each piece and make sure I have rubbed it in well.

I’ll sprinkle some salt and pepper on each side.

Finally, I’ll lightly coat each side with Worcestershire sauce, cover, and put in the fridge.

I’ll preheat the grill while the steaks are marinating in the fridge, and I get to focus on my side dishes.

I’ll allow the grill to heat up to about 400°F, and put the steaks on about 7 minutes after I turned it on.

I’ll place the steaks in the center of the grill, and close the lid. I’ll let one side of the steaks lightly char at full power of the grill.

After about 8 minutes, I’ll lower the heat down to a level 7, and flip them once and return the lid.

Depending on how you like your steaks cooked and how thick the cuts are, will vary the cook time. I like my steaks medium rare. These filets were a thick cut, and removing them after 15 minutes left me with the perfect, medium rare slices.

You can use a thermometer to help indicate when to remove the steaks from the grill.

Rare pieces will reach an internal temperature of 130-135°F

Medium rare will reach 140°F

Medium is 155°F

And Well done is 165°F

Once the steaks reach that temperature, is when you’ll remove them from the grill.

Posted in Beef, Cooking, Diet Tips, Fill Your Plate, Food, Health Tips, Healthy Eating, Produce, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Types of Foods are Good for You?

By Noor Nouaillati, Recent ASU Nutrition Student

Have you ever wondered what types of foods are good for you? If what you were consuming had any nutritional benefit? We consume different foods every day, but have you ever sat down and truly thought about the health benefits each type of food group has? If we’re consuming produce I believe it’s important to know all the positive benefits it has on your body. A lot of our locally-grown produce offers a variety of different health benefits at farmers markets and grocery stores.


Berries contain rich antioxidants. Specifically raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cherries. Berries contain a larger amount of antioxidants than other foods and have shown to be beneficial to your skin’s complexion. Another benefit that has been seen from consuming berries is the improvement of short-term memory.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens have been shown to be the best source for improvement of brain function. It’s recommended to have at least 2-3 servings of leafy greens in your daily intake. You can consume your greens in a variety of different ways. With a sandwich, in a smoothie, or make a salad. And remember, Arizona is great at growing a variety of vegetables.


Eggs are another beneficial food. Not only are they a great source of protein, but have also shown to improve eyesight. The recommended consumption of eggs is at least 2-3 eggs a week. Over time, professionals have observed that the average person’s eyesight is being negatively affected because most work is done on the computer. So, be sure to include eggs in your diet.

For more informative blogs, be sure to check out the Fill Your Plate blog. New blogs are posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Or if you’re looking for new recipes to include these beneficial foods check out the recipe section of the Fill Your Plate website.

Posted in Arizona, Diet Tips, Farmer's Markets, Fill Your Plate, Food, Green Matters, Grocery, Health Tips, Healthy Eating, Produce, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment