Exercise and Alzheimer’s

Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau Outreach Director


We’ve always been told that exercise is good for your mental health. In fact, personal experience can confirm this for us … so we don’t really need an expert to tell us. But now, a recent study reveals more.

A randomized controlled trial involving 96 older patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia showed those who engaged in six months of aerobic exercise had significantly lower cognitive decline — measured using the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognition — compared with the natural course of changes for people with such illness. The findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

In Exercise may be beneficial in Alzheimer’s dementia, the researchers’ primary findings are highlighted. Such news is encouraging for families who have relatives suffering with Alzheimer’s and dementia. One day, the hope may be to find a cure but certainly to always keep exercising.

Here at Fill Your Plate, you can search for recipes, farms to visit, farmers markets and more.

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Did You Know, We Grow Chickpeas in Arizona

Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau Outreach Director


I’m beginning to think we grow everything in Arizona. Well, okay, we don’t grow soybeans. But, this ancient bean has been getting lots of attention in recent years.

Over the past 10,000 years, Cicer arietinum, otherwise known as chickpeas, has gone from being a wild bean in the Neolithic Fertile Crescent to a legume so valuable that its seeds are frozen at Svalbard Global Seed Vault to research and cultivate for future generations. To learn more, read the full article in Food & Nutrition Magazine.

Here at Fill Your Plate, you can search for recipes, farms to visit, farmers markets and more.

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Is it Time to Reduce Your Glycemic Index?

Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau Outreach Director


I often must ask myself, “am I eating too much sugar or poor-quality carbs?” The holidays are our excuse to often ignore this question. But a recent study is creating more conviction on my part.

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that individuals who had a diet with a higher glycemic index were more likely to suffer from all-cause mortality and major cardiovascular events like cardiovascular death, stroke, nonfatal myocardial infarction or heart failure, compared with those who had a diet with a lower glycemic index. The study noted that diets with a high glycemic index usually feature foods with poor-quality carbohydrates such as potatoes and refined grains, while diets with a low glycemic index usually feature foods with good-quality carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Regularly visit us on Fill Your Plate to find farmer and rancher recipes, farmers markets and farms to visit.

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Part Two: Let’s Talk About Healthier, Natural Sweeteners

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern




Stevia does come from a plant, but it’s sweetness can cause cravings for sugar. Some brands like Truvia are processed with other ingredients that can cause a not-so-tasty aftertaste.


Recipes: Chocolate Almond Butter Bites , Apple Pie Overnight Oats , Churro Latte

Articles by nutritionists: Wait, Is Stevia Actually a Healthier Alternative to Sugar?



Although agave is a more natural alternative, free of chemicals, it still has a high sugar content. If you like the flavor of agave, replace your refined sugar with it. Otherwise, stick to sweeteners like monk fruit if you’re looking to avoid sugar and lose weight.


Articles by nutritionists: Wait, Is Stevia Actually a Healthier Alternative to Sugar?

When It Comes to Healthy Sweeteners, Which Is Better: Agave or Honey?

Agave: Sticky Facts About the Natural Sweetener



Did you know cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, boosts metabolism, maintains stable blood sugar levels, and has brain health benefits? Read more below in the nutrition articles!


Recipes: Tabitha Brown’s Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Toast Is What I Want To Eat for Breakfast Every Day

This Doctor-Approved Cinnamon Toast Crunch Smoothie Takes You Back to Your Childhood

5 Cinnamon Drinks That Work As a Delicious Way to Combat Inflammation

What to Put in Your Oatmeal If You Can’t Do Another Day of Raisins and Cinnamon Without Falling Asleep Into Your Bowl

‘I’m an Herbalist, and This Warming Cinnamon Tea Recipe Is Perfect for a Good Night’s Sleep’

This Delicious Gluten-Free Cinnamon Roll Melts in Your Mouth

Articles by nutritionists: Cinnamon Is the Seasonal Spice That’s Good for Your Brain—Here Are 7 Unexpected Ways To Cook With It

This Spicy Seasonal Flavor May Increase Your Metabolism



Other alternative sweeteners:  Why Coconut Sugar Is the Next Agave

Medjool Date Syrup


For more details on these and other natural sweeteners, check out this article:

Your Ultimate Guide to Sugar Substitutes and Natural Sweeteners


Find more healthy recipes to use your natural sweeteners in on Fill Your Plate’s recipe database!

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The Ultimate Summer To-Do List: 50 Activities for Friends and Family

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern



Summer is a close second to spring for me when it comes to favorite seasons. It may have something to do with being raised in Arizona and not knowing much different when it comes to weather.

Regardless, I love spending time outside and in the water in the summer, usually at a lake or beach. So here are my top 50 activities to do with friends and family in the summer, with an emphasis on water activities:


  1. Swim at a nearby lake
  2. Rent jet ski’s and take them to the lake
  3. Rent a paddleboard and paddle down to the Salt River or at a lake
  4. Have a picnic on the lake’s beach
  5. Go tubing down the Salt River
  6. Rent an RV and camp out by the lake
  7. Go camping
  8. Go feed the ducks at the pond by the Arizona Farm Bureau’s office in Gilbert
  9. Do water games: water balloon fight, Slip ‘N Slide, sprinklers, etc.
  10. Swim in a pool
  11. Make popsicles
  12. Make homemade ice cream
  13. Take a road trip to a beach
  14. Try boogie boarding at the beach
  15. Go fishing off the ocean pier
  16. Fly a kite at the beach
  17. Learn to surf
  18. Go deep sea fishing
  19. Try parasailing behind a boat
  20. Try kitesurfing
  21. Try sailboarding
  22. Read a new book
  23. Read an old favorite book
  24. Set up and enjoy a hammock
  25. Make a summer playlist
  26. Buy a Fourth of July t-shirt from Old Navy (my family used to do this every year)
  27. Make a new recipe for the grill
  28. Learn how to carve a watermelon jack-o’-lantern or fruit basket
  29. Learn to make a fun summer drink (non-alcoholic or alcoholic). As kids, my friends and I loved to drink homemade virgin pina coladas!
  30. Try a new recipe for a side dish
  31. Decorate the house for the Fourth of July
  32. Go back to school clothing shopping with your kids
  33. Go back to school supply shopping with your kids
  34. Make a fort (try this awesome idea: use a king sized sheet on a queen sized bed (or queen size on a full bed, etc). Tape the box fan to the sheet so it has a sheet border on the side of the fan by the edge of the bed and to the top, leaving the side of the sheet at the end of the bed not taped down like the other 3 sides of the sheet, so you can crawl inside!)
  35. Do a DIY project
  36. Do some home improvement
  37. Plant a flower garden
  38. Plant a vegetable garden
  39. Plant a potted herb garden in your house
  40. Buy a succulent or house plant
  41. Learn how to make pies and/or cobbler! Cherry, blueberry, peach, raspberry, etc. It also makes the perfect Fourth of July dessert served a la mode.
  42. Learn how to make jam
  43. Be the host for a barbeque
  44. Attend a film festival
  45. Make smores
  46. Throw a bonfire party
  47. Watch your favorite movies about summer
  48. Find a new podcast to listen to
  49. Discover some new musicians and songs that you like
  50. Go to an art museum


Find more fun activities on Fill Your Plate’s blog!

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