Five glasses of water.

Health Tip: Stay Hydrated

As temperatures rise, it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Aim to drink at least 8 cups of water a day (1 cup is approximately 8 ounces). Plenty of water not only prevents dehydration, but it helps with digestion, circulation, and overall well-being, so remember to keep a water bottle handy wherever you go. Some other ways to make your water intake easier include:

  • If you don’t like water from the tap, use a water filter. It often improves the flavor.
  • Put a couple of drops of juice in to give it some flavor.
  • Try out different temperature — some people prefer room temperature, while others love it ice cold.
  • Incorporate hydrating foods into your day like cucumbers, watermelon, and oranges into your diet.

Incorporate these tips and recipes into your families springtime routine to nourish the body and embrace the flavors of the season. Stay tuned for more nutrition insights and healthy recipes in our next newsletter. Dot Rx wishes you and your family a happy and healthy Spring. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions for Dot Rx, please don’t hesitate to reach out at 617-822-8181 or email dotrx@codman.org.

Healthy meals prepped in containers.

Spring 2024: Embrace Seasonal Eating

As the weather warms up and nature comes to life, it’s the perfect time to refresh our bodies with fresh, seasonal foods and encourage healthy eating habits for you and your family. In this Spring 2024 newsletter, we’ll explore some nutritious recipes, share valuable nutrition tips, and discuss how to make the most of the spring season’s bounty.

Embrace Seasonal Eating

Spring brings a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables bursting with flavor and nutrients. Embrace seasonal eating by adding plenty of leafy greens like spinach, kale, and arugula into your families meals, such as your salads, smoothies, sandwiches, and stir-fries for a nutritious boost. These greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health. Additionally, don’t forget to include seasonal fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and cherries, which add sweetness and bright colors to your dishes while providing essential vitamins and fiber. Check out this Spring Vegetable Stir-Fry recipe below.

Spring Vegetable Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook until softened.
  2. Add asparagus, snap peas, bell pepper, and broccoli to the skillet. Cook 5 – 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender-crisp.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat.
  5. Serve the stir-fry hot, garnished with sesame seeds if desired. Enjoy as is or over brown rice or quinoa for a complete meal.

 

Daily Table building.

Use Those Fresh Connection and Daily Table Benefits

Being a Dot Rx member means it’s easy to get all the fresh produce you need. Use your Fresh Connect Card to purchase your families favorite fruits and vegetables or try some new ones! There are many places that accept the card, so find one convenient for you.

Make sure to check out the Daily Table for affordable staples, fresh fruits and veggies, prepared meals, frozen food, and more. Reminder, you can use your Fresh Connect Card to purchase ALL items at the Daily Table!

All locations are open daily from 9am – 8pm, except Sunday, when it is open from 11am – 7pm.

Family smiling for spring weather.

Get Moving: Check Out These Outdoors Activities for Families

Spring is finally here, which  means it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy physical activity as a family. Not only is it quality time together that promotes bonding, but it also improves your health and well-being. Whether it’s a nature hike, a bike ride through the park, or a game of frisbee in the backyard, there are plenty of opportunities to stay active and enjoy the spring season.

Encourage your family to unplug from screens and explore the great outdoors, building a love for nature and an active lifestyle that will benefit everyone in the long run. So grab your sneakers, pack a healthy picnic, and head outside for some family adventures this spring — many right here in our neighborhood.

The Boston Nature Center (BNC) is free and open to the public 7 days a week from dawn to dusk. It offers 2 miles of trails, a nature play area for kids, and picnic tables. In addition, Dot Rx members can attend any programs at the nature center for free.

Members do need to preregister for organized events so they will know how many people to expect. Register here and check back frequently to see new events.

If you prefer indoor recreation, the Dorchester YMCA is available for you, as is Healthworks Community Fitness.

Weather not quite ready for outdoor activities? Check out these other Dot Rx resources available for our members:

Cooking class.

Attend DotRX Cooking Classes & Use the Resources

Dot Rx Cooking Classes

If you’re looking for more family-friendly recipes, why not attend one of our quarterly Dot Rx family cooking classes? We’ll send sign-up details and instructions to all  members about one week before each class. Class dates below:

  • June 1
  • September 14
  • December 7

Use Dot Rx Resources

With your Dot Rx membership, we want to make it easy for you to get delicious and healthy fresh produce. Use your Fresh Connect Card for your family’s favorite fruits and vegetables or to try some new ones. Visit Shop Fresh Connect to see where your card is accepted.

Make sure to check out the Daily Table at one of their five locations for affordable groceries. Reminder, you can use your Fresh Connect Card to purchase ALL items at the Daily Table.

The Dorchester location is open daily from 9am – 8pm, except Sunday, when it is open from 11am – 7pm.

After Struggling to Get Healthy, This DotRx Coach Now Helps Others

Annette BartleyAs soon as Annette Bartley heard about the opportunity to become a DotRx  coach, she knew that it was something she wanted to do. Bartley, a Codman patient , knew that as someone who struggled to get healthy and succeed with lifestyle changes, she wanted to help others do the same.

Bartley was one of the first  coaches , in Codman’s DotRx healthy prescription program and loves it. DotRx is a no-cost, prescription-based program for Dorchester residents who are patients at Codman. With the support of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Ma and our community partners The Daily Table, Healthworks, Outdoors Rx and the Dorchester YMCA, our providers write “prescriptions with the goal to connect families to experiences that promote healthier lives, including opportunities to eat healthy, get outside, and be active. A key component to the program is that patients are connected with a  peer coach – a resident from our community   who can help them eat healthier and engage in more activity – outdoors and indoors.

Bartley, now in her second year, finds helping families rewarding and fun. She recollected that her first DotRx  family was introduced to the program by their Codman provider.  prescribed DotRx because their 12-year-old was struggling with weight issues.  Bartley reached out to the family and met them at Franklin Park for a walk, through the Outdoors Rx program.

While the youth was reluctant at first, Bartley stressed “try everything once and see if you like it,” and the boy ended up having a good time while he got some exercise. Another day they went to the Roxbury Y so the mom could take a Zumba class and the son could play basketball.

She has inspired several families with her gentle but persistent outreach, and keeps up with them by texting frequently, asking them to shoot a quick picture of them being active or enjoying a healthy meal, and generally giving support and advice. She also shares her own journey with DotRx patients, texting back photos of herself being active.

She reads a lot of health information and talks with friends who are fitness enthusiasts. “Even though we are not experts in everything, people see that you lost weight and will do the same things you did,” Annette says.

At one point, in her life, Bartley struggled to lose weight.  As a high school swimmer, getting to the YMCA to swim for exercise was a natural step. However, when swimming alone wasn’t accomplishing what she wanted, she knew she needed to add something new to her fitness routine. She realized it was challenging to step into the gym and to try something new, but she put herself out there and encourages DotRx families to do the same.

When it comes to healthy eating, Annette sings the praises of The Daily Table, a low-cost grocery store in Codman’s Health and Wellness Center at 450 Washington St. Dorchester, whose mission is to sell healthy and tasty food at fast food prices.

“You can have a ‘hungry horror’ day and go into Daily Table and grab a quick, healthy, and affordable snack. How much damage can you do at Daily Table? Most of their products are healthy,” she says. She gives clients tips based on her own experience there, such as going in at night and buying two salads – one for dinner and one for lunch the next day.

When she talks about exercise, she talks about the Dorchester YMCA pool for families, and was thrilled to see one client who had a particularly difficult time because of pain and inflammation do well in the pool. “She couldn’t believe what she could do in the water that she couldn’t do on land — squats, kicks, jumping jacks.” She also talks about the benefits of working out at healthworks Fitness at 450 Washington Street.  Annette stressed that having a  coach is what got this particular client to try the pool in the first place.

Bartley, like the other DotRx coaches, has a full-time job. She knows the challenges of making time for a healthy lifestyle when your schedule is tight. She has had a lot of success with the clients she has worked in the program, and loves being able to work with members of her community and show them the resources they have here in the neighborhood.