Our Favorite Healthy Habits, Tips, and Goals Back »

Written by Bethany Stoutamire (Former SDSU Extension Aging in Place Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA Member) under the direction and review of Leacey E. Brown.


Summer is officially here. It’s a great time of year to get outside and be physically active and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden or local farmer’s market. To mark this time of year, the Food and Families Staff at SDSU Extension has compiled a list of our favorite healthy habits, the tips and tricks we use to stay healthy, and, because even experts have room for improvement, our own wellness goals. See what we had to say below!

Curtis Braun, Food Safety Specialist

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Weight lifting and a little bit of cardio.
  • Favorite Healthy Trick or Tool: I know a lot of men don’t like cardio so I try to do my cardio at the end for 10-15 minutes.
  • Healthy Habit I'm Trying to Improve: I like to work out almost every day so sometimes I need to give my body a rest. Even though I like to be active, I need to listen to my body and take the rest.

Leacey E. Brown, Gerontology Field Specialist

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Salads are one of my favorite meals, unfortunately salad dressing can add a lot of calories. I ask for the dressing on the side and lightly dip the prongs of my fork in the dressing with each bite. I get to enjoy the yummy flavor of the dressing without the extra calories.
  • Favorite Healthy Trick or Tool: My smartwatch is a great tool. It allows me to effortlessly track my physical activity, weight, and sleep. I use the Pillow App to track my sleep. This app has been extremely helpful to me because I have chronic anxiety and trouble sleeping is often the first symptom that I am experiencing anxiety. This app has taught me what normal sleep looks like for me which has been very powerful for managing my anxiety.
  • Healthy Habit I'm Trying to Improve: My weight has creeped up over the past couple years so I need to be better about tracking my food to ensure I am not consuming more calories than my body needs.

Hope Klein, Health Education Field Specialist

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Working out!
  • Favorite Healthy Trick or Tool: Putting on Healthy Living Challenges with Family and Friends.
  • Healthy Habit I’m Trying to Improve: My Cardiovascular Endurance, 10k here I come!

Nathania Knight, Family & Community Health Associate

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Running in the morning to set the tone for the day.
  • Favorite Healthy Trick or Tool: Daily Prayer Affirmations.
  • Healthy Habit I'm Trying to Improve: Trying to eat more green salads and veggies, less fatty foods, no sugar, and no salt intake.

Lauren Pierce, Health Education Field Specialist

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Meal prepping helps me eat healthy during the busy weeks. I also find that it cuts down on food waste. 
  • Favorite Healthy Trick or Tool: Deep breathing! I use deep breathing to re-center myself, and to calm anxious thoughts or stressful situations. Even taking three extended deep breaths can be very helpful and rejuvenating. 
  • Healthy Habit I'm Trying to Improve: I want to get out of the habit of mindlessly scrolling through my phone before bed and when I wake up in the morning. I find that this wastes time and interferes with getting quality sleep. So now I am starting to put my phone across the room (so I can still hear my alarm) instead of on my bedside table.

Nikki Prosch, Health & Physical Activity Field Specialist

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Walking during my breaks at work or while I’m on the phone.
  • Healthy Trick or Tool: Ordering groceries online (this helps me stick to my list and not buy random things).
  • Healthy Habit I’m Trying to Improve: Limiting my sugar intake, I tend to have a sweet tooth.

Audrey Rider, Early Childhood Field Specialist

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Preparing and eating a family supper together each night no matter how many activities and things we have going on we make it a priority.
  • Favorite Healthy Trick or Tool: Putting away my phone and being present with my kids when I am home from work. 
  • Healthy Habit I'm Trying to Improve: I am trying to get in a more regular exercise routine and pack healthier lunches to bring to work.

Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, Family Resource Management Field Specialist

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Tracking the food I eat.
  • Favorite Healthy Trick or Tool: I use the app My Fitness Pal. I have used it long enough that most of the food I eat is easy to find. It helps me pay attention to serving sizes, track water intake and exercise. I have it linked to my Fitbit.
  • Healthy Habit I'm Trying to Improve: My gym has monthly challenges that I do. For example, last month was a weight lifting challenge. There is a board at the gym where I record when I have completed the exercises for the challenge. It helps me to do something different and to be diligent about exercise.

Ann Schwader, Program Assessment & Reporting Coordinator

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Making walking, biking and working out with yard work part of my daily routine.
  • Favorite Healthy Trick or Tool: On a regular basis, I try to park as far as possible from my destinations.
  • Healthy Habit I'm Trying to Improve: I’m trying to increase my fruit and vegetable consumption.

Suzanne Stluka, Food & Families Program Director

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Eating fruits & vegetables
  • Favorite Healthy Trick or Tool: I look for fruits and vegetables that are in-season where I live – they are so much more flavorful then! I also track my intake with MyFitnessPal to make sure I am fitting them into my daily meals and snacks.
  • Healthy Habit I'm Trying to Improve: To eat healthy 80 percent of the time, which allows for some indulgences so that I don’t feel deprived. Also, I am always looking at new ways to prepare fruits and vegetables to keep them exciting.

Bethany Stoutamire, Aging in Place Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA Member

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Working out on a regular basis.
  • Favorite Healthy Trick or Tool: I use an app called Moment to keep track of how much time I spend on my phone. I’ve noticed I'm in a better mood and sleep better at night, when I use my phone less.
  • Healthy Habit I'm Trying to Improve: I don't have much upper body strength, so I'm trying to do push-ups and other upper body exercises twice a week to become stronger.

Kimberly Wilson-Sweebe, SDSU Extension EFNEP & SNAP-Ed Associate

  • Favorite Healthy Habit: Walking.
  • Favorite Healthy Trick or Tool: Smartwatch—it tracks my steps and reminds me to move every hour.
  • Healthy Habit I'm Trying to Improve: I sit way too much, and trying to keep my body moving more than sitting throughout the day.

Disclaimer: SDSU Extension does not endorse the links or products mentioned in this article. They are only mentioned to provide additional context to the reader.

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