Northeast Region NCH Newsletter, April 2024

Quincy Vidrine, Russell, Markaye H., Gouge, Ana-Alicia, Jackson-Jones, Jocinda

May Calendar

2nd - Baskin Walk Audit at the Town Hall - 2 p.m.

3rd - Wisner Walk Audit at the Town Hall - 9 a.m.

3rd - Playground Stenciling at Smith Park - West Monroe - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

4th - Get Lit While You Get Fit - Jonesville Walking Track - 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

10th - Mis-Lou Relay for Life - Vidalia Recreation Park - 5 p.m.

14th - Ouachita Healthy Communities Coalition Meeting - 1:30 p.m.

14th - Cooking with Spices for Flavor and Health - Clayton Library - 5:30 p.m.

18th - Super Saturday at the Children's Coalition Family Garden - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

23rd - Marion Street Learning Garden Workday - Monroe - 4 p.m.

Kids' Corner

by Jocinda Jackson-Jones

Spring is the perfect time for the youth to engage in fun physical activities that promote health and well-being. Some enjoyable ways for them to get active include playing outdoor sports like soccer or basketball, going for bike rides, hiking in nature, or simply having a dance party in the park. These activities not only provide a great workout but also offer numerous benefits such as improved cardiovascular health, increased strength and flexibility, and enhanced mood and mental well-being. However, it's important to remember to play at your own risk and always prioritize safety by wearing appropriate gear, staying hydrated, and being mindful of your surroundings. So, get outside, soak up the sunshine, and have a blast staying active this Spring!

Dig In to Fitness with Gardening

by Ana Gouge

Gardening offers numerous physical benefits, making it an excellent activity for staying active. Here are several ways gardening promotes physical health:

  • Cardiovascular Exercise: Tasks such as digging, planting, and weeding can elevate your heart rate, providing a good cardiovascular workout.
  • Strength Building: Activities like lifting bags of soil, pushing a wheelbarrow, or pulling weeds help strengthen muscles, particularly in the arms, shoulders, back, and legs.
  • Flexibility and Range of Motion: Engaging in various gardening activities requires bending, stretching, and reaching, which can enhance flexibility and improve joint mobility.
  • Balance and Coordination: Maintaining balance while working on uneven terrain or while handling gardening tools enhances coordination and stability.
  • Calorie Burning: Gardening can burn a significant number of calories, depending on the intensity of the tasks involved. It's a productive way to engage in physical activity while accomplishing a practical goal. The amount of energy burned while gardening can vary widely depending on several factors, including the intensity of the activity, the duration of the gardening session, and individual factors such as weight, age, and fitness level. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gardening activities can burn anywhere from 150 to 400 calories per hour, depending on the specific tasks involved.

Recipe of the Month: Lori's Hummus

Contributed by Quincy Vidrine


  • Chickpeas 2 (14 ounce) Cans - Drain & Reserve Liquid
  • 4 Tablespoons Tahini Paste (More for Stronger Flavor)
  • 4 cloves garlic - finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice


  1. Combine chickpeas, Tahini, garlic, salt, and Cayenne pepper in food processor. Pulse until paste-like consistency is obtained.
  2. Add half of liquid reserved from chickpeas. Pulse until smooth.
  3. With food processor running, pour in lemon juice and process until smooth.
  4. Adjust seasoning, if desired.
  5. Serve with fresh cut cucumbers, celery, bell pepper and baby carrots.

Community Highlight - Ouachita/Union Parish

by Markaye Russell

A woman standing behind a table with an Instapot and a chalkboard on it. LSU AgCenter - Research, Extension, Teaching logo.

Ouachita & Union Parish Nutrition and Community Health Agent with the LSU AgCenter has been teaching adults how to use herbs and spices when cooking to reduce their sodium intake at the Louise Williams Library in Ouachita and Union Parish Library. You might be getting more sodium than you need, and you never picked up the saltshaker. According to the American Heart Association, more than 70% of the sodium we eat come from packaged and restaurant foods. The American Heart Association recommends an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. Each month the patrons are left a handout on the spice with recipe and sample of the spice for them to try. Markaye Russell, LSU AgCenter, comes each month to Louise Williams Library and presents a food demonstration and food tasting on the spice of the month. The program was started in September 2023 and will continue until August 2024. This month is dried Rosemary. Drop by Louise Williams Library in Swartz or if you're in Farmerville, drop by Union Parish Library and pick up your handout with sample spice. If you have any questions regarding this program, contact your local LSU AgCenter Office in your parish for more information.

    4/25/2024 3:49:20 PM
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