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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Topic: Life Skills

Aug 28

5-2-1-0: Four Numbers to Stay Healthy

Posted By iamincontrol | August 28, 2018

5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count helps you keep in mind how to be and stay healthy.

These numbers stand for:

  • 5  – or more fruits and vegetables
  • 2  – hours or less of screen time
  • 1 – hour or more of physical activity
  • 0 – sugary drinks (more water)

We often see diet and exercise information all around us, but it can get confusing. How many fruits and vegetables are best? How much physical activity should I get? When should I turn off the TV? The 5-2-1-0 messaging helps people understand what they can do to achieve a healthy lifestyle to reduce obesity.

We know that treating your body negatively can cause weight gain. Gaining a lot of weight can cause serious health issues like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. By remembering what to eat, what not to eat, and when to get up and get moving, we can reduce our chances of gaining weight. Encourage your friends and family to live by this message too!

Check out this post from a dietician who loves the 5-2-1-0 For Healthy Kids messaging!

Aug 23

Why Eating Lots of Fruits, Veggies, & Fiber is Good for You

Posted By iamincontrol | August 23, 2018

Fruits and vegetables are important parts of a well-balanced diet and give you a lot of nutrients. Along with whole grains, fruits and vegetables are also a good source of fiber. Fiber is another nutrient that many people don’t eat enough of. On average, Americans eat about 16 grams of fiber, even though the recommended amount is 25 to 30 grams. Eating more fruits and vegetables is an easy way to get more fiber.

Eating more fiber has health benefits. One study compared two groups of people on different diets. The first group followed all of the rules of the American Heart Association’s diet plan. The other group was told just to eat more fiber. The group that followed the American Heart Association diet lost 6 pounds. However, without much effort, the group that followed only the fiber rule still lost 4 pounds. This means that eating more fiber, like fruits and vegetables, can be a useful way to eat healthier.

To read more about having a balanced diet, check out this link:

Aug 21

What to do When a Friend Comes out of the Closet to You

Posted By iamincontrol | August 21, 2018

Coming out of the closet is the term for when someone:

  1. Accepts and identifies with their gender identity and/or sexual orientation
  2. Willingly shares their identity with others

For most coming out is a series of decisions LGBTQ people make. A choice to come out to a person means that person feels safe, comfortable and trust you.   People may be “out” in some spaces or with certain people, and “in” with others and it’s important for you respect that.

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts if a friend comes out to you.


  1. Say “I always knew,” or downplay the significance of their sharing with you. It was a very important and probably difficult decision to share this with you.
  2. Forget that they are still the person you knew, befriended, or loved before.
  3. Cross personal-lines you wouldn’t have crossed earlier.
  4. Assume you know why they came out to you.


  1. Know this is a sign of huge trust! (Yay!)
  2. Check how confidential information this is. Ask things like “do other people know?” or “is this a secret?”
  3. Remember that their gender/sexuality is just one part of who they are.
  4. Ask them how you can best support them.

For more information check out

Aug 16

Bullying: No Trivial Thing

Posted By iamincontrol | August 16, 2018

About 28% of students ages 12-18 are bullied in a school year. It’s reported that 70.6% of students say they have bullying in their schools.

Anyone can be bullied

Bullying can result in…

  • school attendance issues
  • reduced appetite
  • anxiety
  • aggression
  • depression
  • withdrawal from friends
  • suicide

My experience

My little sister was a freshman in high school. She was a bigger girl so sometimes kids were mean to her and would pick on her. She got so sick of it she had started contemplating suicide because of it. I am thankful someone knew about it and said something to the school counselor or my little sister may not be here today.

For more information on what you can do, visit:

Aug 14

Mentoring Programs

Posted By iamincontrol | August 14, 2018

A mentor can be a big help while you’re in school.

Mentors can be a variety of ages and can meet as often as you want. They are usually selected for you based on similar interests. A mentor is someone who is there to guide you with many things. There are different programs located all throughout Iowa that focus on different things. A mentor can help drive you to activities, they can help with your homework, or they can be there just to talk. They may visit you at school or help you get involved in the community. This depends on what you want to do together. Many programs reach out to children in schools, but not all schools participate in the programs. If your school doesn’t, a good place to start would be asking a teacher or your parents if they can help check which mentoring programs are near you.

The website below is good to browse because they link to many of the Iowa programs. They also share stories of mentors and you can see some of the activities and relationships that take place.

Aug 9

Ticks in Iowa

Posted By iamincontrol | August 9, 2018

There are over a dozen types of ticks that live in Iowa.. Ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF).

  • If a tick that carries Lyme disease bites you, the area may begin to look like a bull’s eye, with a red center and a red ring around a clear area.
  • If the tick carries RMSF, you may have a fever followed by flat, pink, itchy spots on your arms and legs.

If you have these symptoms, tell an adult and visit a doctor so you can get treatment.

You can protect yourself from ticks by:

  • Avoiding wooded areas or places with tall grass
  • Walking in the center of trails
  • Using insect repellent, that contains DEET
  • Wearing tall, light colored socks, pants, and long-sleeved shirts
  • Checking yourself and other after being outdoors

For more about ticks and Lyme disease, visit:

Aug 7

Iowa State Fair

Posted By iamincontrol | August 7, 2018

The Iowa State Fair dates are Thursday, August 9th to Sunday, August 19th.

This year one of the new foods includes Bauder mud. This is brownie chunks drenched in a chocolate shake topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. There’s plenty of other new sweet and savory food being offered and you can see a full list on their website. It tells you exactly where to find the foods and what is in them. You can take a look at their healthier options offered or use the food finder to find your favorites!

Besides the food, there’s many other activities from the petting zoo to the live music. Some of this year’s grandstand artists include Florida Georgia Line and Old Dominion. There’s many other performers each day at the free stages too. Let’s not forget, you can’t go to the state fair without visiting the butter cow! Weighing in at 600 pounds, this cow is a staple at the fair each year.

For a full schedule of events check out the state fair website!

Aug 2

Preparing for Flooding and Tornadoes

Posted By iamincontrol | August 2, 2018

Summer in Iowa can mean lots of storms and tornado warnings. Here’s what you need to know to be ready for extreme weather.

One easy thing you can do is go to the Iowa Flood Information System website and set up text alerts for flood warnings. Of course, it’s still important to have a plan in place for when you get the alert.

When it comes to tornados, it’s important to know the right terminology. A tornado watch means that the weather is right for a tornado to happen. A tornado warning means that one has been spotted. Make sure you know what county you are in and what counties are around you so you can check weather alerts on the news. If there is a warning- go to your basement or the lowest floor bathroom, closet, or stairwell to stay safe. After a tornado, be careful to stay away from damaged buildings and power lines.

For both floods and tornados, it’s important to have a safety plan and an emergency supply kit. To learn more about building an emergency supply kit, check out this link:

Jul 12

Manage Your Thoughts and Emotions for Less Stress

Posted By iamincontrol | July 12, 2018

It is easy for us to let our emotions get the best of us, but we can learn how to manage our reactions and thoughts to certain events. This can help us manage stress in our lives. For most people, it will take practice, but how can we practice emotional wellness? Here are some actions you can take to develop better skills to manage stress:

  • Don’t stress about what you can’t change. Don’t waste time and energy worrying about things you can’t change or events that may never happen.
  • See life as changeable. Accept that change is a natural part of living and growing. This will make new changes become less stressful.
  • Think about alternatives. Thinking about options beforehand will help you plan for change and adjust more quickly.
  • Be realistic about your expectations. You should aim high in situations but be realistic about your goals and your motivation.
  • Don’t rush into action – think before you act. Accept your mistakes and mistakes by others. Don’t let them stress you out. Think through what happened, learn from it, and plan to avoid it in the future.
  • Take things less seriously. Ask yourself: How much will this matter in two weeks? Six months?
  • Take time for yourself. Take time to relax and care for your own mental health. This will help you be less stressed and improve your well-being.

For more tips on how to better manage your thoughts, check out:

Jul 10

Bicycle Safety

Posted By iamincontrol | July 10, 2018

Biking can be a great summer activity. It’s a great way to get some exercise in and it can also be a fun way to see some new scenery. Check out these tips on bike safety:

  • Helmets help prevent brain injury in the case of a fall. Your helmet should be worn level so it covers your forehead, not tipped. Your helmet straps should be snug to keep it in place. There are measurements on the helmets to help you find the right one. If you’re not sure if your helmet fits, you can ask someone at a bike store.
  • Make sure your bike is in good shape. You can ask a parent or other trusted adult to help you do this. Check your wheels, seat, and handlebars
  • Bikes come in different sizes so check to see if your bike is the right size for you. If you stand with your feet flat, there should be 1 to 3 inches of space between you and the top bar.
  • Check your chain and add oil if it needs it. Give your tires a squeeze and make sure they have enough pressure. If not, use an air pump to fill them to the proper capacity.

When you ride:

  • Wear bright clothes so cars see you.
  • Make sure you check where and how far you can ride by asking your parents.
  • Ride with a buddy, especially on longer trips.
  • Know the road rules and hand signals.
  • If you’re riding at dusk or near dark, make sure your bike has reflectors or a head light.

Check out this website for more tips, road rules, and a guide of the hand signals!