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Take 12 Steps for Health

Take 12 Calendar


April 2016

Step 4: Snack Smart

Rev your metabolism by eating less, more often in your day. Being smart about the snacks you eat can have a big impact.

Making Healthy Strides

Healthy Proteins If you don't have time to sit down for a meal, grab a meal replacement drink, cereal bar, or energy bar. Check the label to be sure the product contains at least six grams of protein and is low in sugar and fat. Candy Bar Some candy bars do offer a gram or two of protein from the nuts… that’s about it. The rest is sugar and other non-nutritional ingredients that will only hold off hunger for a short time.
Eating often Plain and simple — eat early and eat often — it will get your metabolism engine revving on high! Not eating often enough Not eating enough during the day slows down your metabolism two ways. First, your body thinks it's starving, so it will slow down your calorie-burning capacity in order to "survive." Second, you are likely to eat more in the last few hours of the day, causing your body to hang on to the food through the night in preparation for another day of "starving."

Source: GAIAMlife Youre Guide to Better Living

Healthy Vending – coming soon to RECenters!

Your RECenter is a place for fitness and recreation – it should also be a place for health. Grabbing a quick snack after a workout, swim practice or even an art class shouldn’t have to be a battle for your conscious as you stand before the vending machine. We want to encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle, not compromise your progress or tempt you will non-nutritious snacks in our vending machines. The Park Authority stands by the campaign for Great Parks, Great Communities… and that starts first with healthy eating. Healthy snack and beverage options will be coming very soon to all Fairfax County Park Authority RECenter vending machines. Our goal is get all of our facilities 100% healthy, and creating a culture of wellness for both our staff and our patrons. So look for the new face of nutrition at your local RECenter, and here’s to your HEALTHY YEAR!

By Elizabeth Ittner, FCPA Wellness Coordinator

The Best and Worst Vending Machine Snacks

Low-fat and fat-free, and some even include nutritious fiber, protein, and healthy fats!
Packed with sugar, fat, and calories… avoid if you can!
Planters Sunflower Kernels (1/4 cup)
160 calories, 14g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 4g fiber
Drake's Apple Fruit Pie
440 calories, 27g fat, 7g sat fat, 8g trans fat
Baked! Lays Original
210 calories, 3g fat, 0g sat fat, 4g fiber
Austin Cheese Crackers with Cheddar Cheese
210 calories, 10g fat, 2g sat fat, 4g trans fat
Sun Chips Original
140 calories, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 2g fiber
Pop-Tarts Frosted Strawberry
420 calories, 10g fat, 2.5g sat fat, 40g sugar
Snyder's of Hanover Mini Pretzels (20)
110 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat
250 calories, 13g fat, 2.5g sat fat, 2g fiber
Smartfood Reduced-Fat Popcorn
120 calories, 5g fat, 1g sat fat, 2g fiber
250 calories, 2.5g fat, 2.5g sat fat
Peanut M&M's
250 calories, 13g fat, 5g sat fat, 2g fiber
Cheez-It Baked Snack Crackers
160 calories, 8g fat, 2g sat fat
Fig Newtons
190 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 2g fiber
Ruffles Original
160 calories, 10g fat, 3g sat fat
Nature Valley Granola Bar, Oats & Honey
180 calories, 6g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 2g fiber
Cheetos Crunchy
160 calories, 10g fat, 1.5g sat fat
Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts (39)
160 calories, 13g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 6g protein
280 calories, 14g fat, 11g sat fat
Quaker Chewy Low-Fat Granola Bar, Chocolate Chunk
110 calories, 2g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 1g fiber
3 Musketeers
260 calories, 8g fat, 5g sat fat, 40g sugar

Source: Fitness Magazine

Healthy Snack Choices On-the-Go

Sometimes you just need to grab something and go… here are a few suggestions for quick packaged snacks that are great for eating clean.

  1. Pure Organic Honey Peanut Crispy Clusters – Gluten free! Made from a combination of mostly ancient grains and peanuts with a touch of honey for sweetness.
  2. Back to Nature Cashew Almond Pistachio Mix – this delicious mix is packed with heart-healthy fats that combat hunger on the spot.
  3. Cascadian Farm Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola Bars – hunger-stopping combination of fiber and protein, with only 9 grams of sugar!
  4. Siggi’s Blueberry Low-fat Yogurt Tubes– in addition to being made with hormone-free, low-fat milk, this yogurt only has five simple and tasty ingredients.
  5. Think Thin Farmer’s Market Berry Crumble Oatmeal – wholesome oatmeal in an easy to transport container.
  6. Food Should Taste Good Original Sweet Potato Chips – sweet potatoes, sunflower oil and sea salt make these chips a simply delicious snack.
  7. Angie’s Boomchickapop Slightly Sweet Kettle Corn – whole grain and 35 calories of yumminess.
  8. Go Raw Banana Bread Flax Bar – a great breakfast alternative, this bar is organic and low-sugar.
  9. Stretch Island Fruit Company Fruit Strip Abundant Apricot - made from whole fruit purees and no added sugar, this fruit strip is a great way to bring out your inner child!
  10. Chia Pod Vanilla Bean – a new alternative to yogurt, this convenient snack is made with sun ripened chia seeds, coconut milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
  11. Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars Chocolate Fudge – get a boost of protein and satisfy your sweet tooth.
  12. The Good Bean Roasted Chick Peas Cracked Pepper – a delicious low-calorie snack, loaded with protein and fiber.
  13. Blue Diamond Almonds Artisan Nut Thins Chia Seeds – this isn’t an ordinary cracker… it’s a crunchy combo of seeds, nuts and brown rice, full of protein.
  14. Unreal Dark Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Cups – get a sweet fix without damaging your waistline with the clean candy treats.




Fairfax County Park FoundationFairfax County Park Authority RECenters




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Take 12 Steps for Your Health

Download Your

Take 12 Steps for Your Health in 2016 Calendar

Download 2016 Calendar

12 Months, 12 healthy goals. Don't miss out on this year's great wellness opportunities in the Fairfax County community! The calendar contains fitness and wellness tips, ways to improve your nutritional habits, and better health ideas for kids, teens and adults. Also, the calendar contains coupons to use throughout the year. STEP UP to better health!

The Take 12 program is free and anyone can participate at any time. This program is designed to:

  • Help you accomplish healthy goals each month, with tips to keep you going for the duration.
  • Give you access to information - free workshops are available each month on different healthy topics and bulletin boards loaded with information are posted at all the RECenters.
  • Provide an opportunity for you to experience fitness and wellness programs offered across Fairfax County.
  • Empower you to make important lifestyle changes... you can do it!
  • Plus, sign-up to receive the monthly e-newsletter, packed with recipes and healthy tips, upcoming events, and opportunities to achieve your Take 12 goals!

pledge card

Download the Take 12 Pledge

2016 Healthy Strides Community 5k/10K, Burke Lake Park, April 23, 2016
2016 Healthy Strides Community Expo, SpringFest, April 30, 2016

We are seeking support from local businesses and organizations for Take 12! Steps for Community Health in 2015. Our participants are the same people your business is looking to attract. Take advantage of this opportunity.


Healthy Strides Race, Expo Presented NACo Award

Achievement Award Winner

The Fairfax County Park Authority's Healthy Strides Community 5k/10k Race and Healthy Strides Expo will receive a 2015 Achievement Award next month at the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2015 Annual Conference and Exposition. NACo's annual awards program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs, and the Healthy Strides event is being honored in the Parks and Recreation category.


Healthy Workshops and Events are always being added!
Check our events calendar often for great opportunities in the community.

All events are free (unless indicated with a "$") and require advanced registration.
To register, please email


We are looking for people who have used the Take 12 program and found better health as a result of their participation. We are also looking for any kind of feedback about the program - the calendar, events, workshops, tips, articles - anything that you want to tell us, we're listening! Email us at


Take 12 Newsletter


Phone: 703-324-8423

Mailing Address:
Fairfax County Park Authority
Attn: Take 12 Program
12055 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 425
Fairfax, VA 22035-1118

All content within is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Always consult your doctor if you are concerned about your health. Always consult your physician or health care provider before taking any new medication, beginning any program of exercise, or following any health or wellness advice contained herein.

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