Something to Chew On

A Guide to Eating Right and Living Well


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On The Road Again!

travel“On the road again…just can’t wait to get on the road again.” Surprisingly, I learned all the lyrics to Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” in my 4th grade music class. For many, traveling can be disastrous when trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Long miles = fast food stops and long periods of inactivity. My husband and I are about to hit the slopes and enjoy some spring snowboarding in Colorado. The only thing that stands between us and the beautiful Rockies is a 14-hour car ride. Luckily for my husband, I have nominated myself as the road DJ, so we’ll be listening to jams from Hootie and the Blowfish, Ke$ha and Fleetwood Mac the whole way there. Okay, maybe not the whole way…but most of the way.

The best thing you can do to stay on track with your healthy habits while traveling is plan, plan, plan.

Plan your snacks. Nuts and homemade trail mixes that include dehydrated meats, dried fruits and nuts make great non-perishable snacks for long car rides. Another idea is to pack a small cooler or lunch box with items that need to be kept cool like fruit, hard-boiled eggs or cheese. Try to avoid foods of low nutritional value such as chips, pretzels and cookies.

  • Another tip: Try not to pack sweets for long car trips. We may have good intentions of practicing  portion control, but this often gets pushed aside when one is bored just sitting for hours upon hours. A friend of mine said she had packed a bunch of cookies to for a trip to Florida. They consumed all of them before they had even left Illinois.

Pack adequate fluids. Keep a cooler packed with extra water bottles so you’re not tempted to grab a soda or sweet tea during gas stops.

Plan your dining stops. My husband and I always have a discussion on types of restaurants we will stop for. This really helps if you know your menu items well. Chipotle is always a great go-to for us because we can load up on a good protein source and lots of veggies. If you are a Chipotle-goer yourself, then you know how awesome their guacamole is. The downfall is the price of it! I typically pack a small avocado and slice it on my burrito bowl to save money and load my meal with a heart healthy omega-9 fat. Other times, I’ll pack some veggies ahead of time, order a sandwich and just use the meat to put with my vegetables.

clock_MP900289613Watch the clock. Be mindful of how often you’re snacking. Sometimes we eat out of pure boredom when driving, so it’s especially important to pay attention to how often  you’re consuming your meals or snacks. If you’re eating every hour, it’s definitely not because of physical hunger cues.

Steer clear of high-calorie menu items. Watch out for high calorie meals, considering you haven’t exercised all day. Ways to cut back on calories include not ordering cheese on sandwiches, taking off one or even both buns from sandwiches, opting for salads or soup as side items instead of fries and the obvious–go with grilled menu items over breaded, fried options.


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Start Making Healthy Changes Now

Woman Tying Measuring Tape Around Her WaistI am not an advocate for “quick fixes” like weight loss supplements, juice cleanses and the like. While quick fixes may result in fast weight loss, these results are only temporary and chances are, your depressed metabolism will cause you to rapidly gain the weight back…and then some. Seven-day or 21-day weight loss plans typically instruct you to drastically cut caloric intake and often severely limit the variation of food in your diet. Once these week-long or month-long fast diets are over with, most people resume their previous eating habits and unfortunately circle right back to square one with their weight loss efforts.

What’s unfortunate is these quick diet plans do not teach you how to eat for the long-run. You can’t drink a “body by Vi” shake forever; eventually you’re going to have to learn how to make real food for your meals. Research has shown that a multitude of different diets such as low-calorie/low-fat, high-fat/low-carb, Mediterranean diet, vegetarian diet, paleo dietetc., can all help individuals lose weight. Sometimes, losing weight is not the problem; it’s keeping the weight off. This fact stresses the importance of lifelong habits that one must take on, not quick diet fixes, in order to maintain their weight loss efforts. Here are some “quick” healthy changes that you can make today and turn into lifelong habits.

1. Start your day with protein. Breakfast is the most commonly missed meals reported by Americans of all ages. And when we think of breakfast, we typically think of a large bowl of sugary-sweetened cereal and a tall glass of orange juice. Breakfast meals high in these simple sugars can lead to a quick drop in energy come 9:00 a.m. Try to find ways to incorporate more protein with your breakfast meal. Add nuts into oatmeal, make a veggie omelet or pair fruit with high-protein Greek yogurt.

imgres2. Switch to water. Water is essential to one’s health and its benefits far surpass the simple purpose of hydration. Drinking more water is a habit I have been working on for quite some time now and it’s really sticking. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I previously was consuming about 4 diet sodas per day. To wean myself off of the diet soda, I would tell myself for every soda I consumed, I would have to drink a bottle of water. Now I keep a water bottle with me at all times so there are no excuses for not drinking enough water.

3. Stop serving multiple starches with meals. This is an easy fix that will help you naturally control your carbohydrate intake with your meals and make them more well-rounded. Our typical American western diet revolves around meat, potatoes, bread or some other starch like noodles and rice or corn and peas with most of our meals. Begin your meals by choosing a healthy lean protein, add one starch (preferably a healthy starchy vegetable like sweet potatoes or butternut squash) and fill the rest of your plate with non-starchy vegetables and fruit, if preferred.

4. Bring your own snacks to work. It seems almost every week, someone brings in a new “Pinterest-inspired” sweet treat to share with everyone at work. Sure, these decadent treats look great, but consuming these items regularly as snack choices can lead one to a spike in blood sugar followed by a drop in energy. Plan ahead and make sure you always have healthy, nutrient-dense snacks packed with you for your workday. If you feel bad about turning down your co-worker’s cheesecake bites, you can politely decline by saying you had already packed an apple with almond butter for your snack today. Or a simple, “No thanks, but thanks for asking,” always does the trick too!

exercise_02F026015. Exercise. Daily physical activity is one of the most important keys for a healthy metabolism and weight management. It’s time to put the “excuse book” away and start moving today.


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How Carb Smart Are You?

Carbohydrate-food-shot-carbsWhat do breads, cereals, fruits, juices, milk, yogurt, pasta, rice, potatoes, beans, vegetables, soda and desserts all have in common? If you didn’t already guess it from the title, it’s Carbs. When asked what foods contain carbohydrates, bread, pasta and potatoes are the most commonly identified. Many people do not realize that carbs are actually found in almost our entire food supply with the exception of meats, cheeses and fats.

As Americans, we generally consume way too many carbs throughout the day. Most breakfast meals include toast, Poptarts, pancakes, biscuits or cereal followed by sandwiches, pizza, spaghetti and burger and fries for the rest of the day. These foods are also highly processed menu items that often contain preservatives and other added chemicals.

Do I feel that carbs are contributing to many of our current diseases and illnesses? Absolutely. Does that mean that in order to be healthy, one must cut out all carbs? Not at all.  In fact, many athletes actually need to increase their carbohydrate intake to ensure optimal performance. Research has shown that vegetarians, who are known for having high-carb diets, tend to have reduced risks for obesity, diabetes and heart disease.1

Going “low-carb” is a very popular diet trend to lose weight. While consuming fewer carbohydrates can help decrease circulating levels of insulin, which in turn can help the body switch to a fat-burning mode, weight loss is typically more attributed (but not conclusive in all studies) to the combination of consuming fewer calories, better food choices, less processed foods and improved physical activity habits. Researchers in a 2007 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest that low-carb diets may give individuals a “metabolic advantage” meaning that more weight loss may be achieved per calories consumed (versus the same amount of calories consumed from a standard high-carb meal plan).2  

This is a very controversial subject since these findings somewhat violate the laws of thermodynamics. Since there is no consensus on what low-carb actually is (for some studies it’s a mere 5% of total calories and for others it’s defined as 45% of total caloric intake), the term smart-carb has become more popular.

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Today, research is investigating the health benefits of low-moderate carb meal plans:

  • Following a “smart-carb” diet in addition to exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity and assist in weight reduction in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • A Duke University study found that obese individuals with type 2 diabetes who ate a low-carb diet versus a low-glycemic diet experienced greater weight reduction and greater reduction in HgbA1C. In this same study, most of the subjects (95.2%) in the low-carb group were able to reduce or eliminate their diabetic medications compared to only (62%) in the low-glycemic group.3
  • There also appears to be some variation in low-carb meal plans. A group of Swedish subjects showed greater benefits in waist circumference reduction and improved blood sugar control when following a diet based of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, eggs and nuts (paleo diet) when compared to a subjects who followed the Mediterranean diet.4
  • The obvious concern with consuming a low-carb diet is the increased fat intake and potential increased risk for heart disease. Fortunately, studies are confirming that higher fat intake when associated with a low-carb diet may not be as big of a problem as once thought.

Low-carb meal plans may not always be the best, but choosing smart-carb lifestyles such as the Mediterranean and Paleo lifestyles are much more suitable for day to day living. Here are a few ways to smarten up your carb choices.

  • Nix pretzels, crackers, chips and granola bars and opt for healthier carb and non-carb snack food choices such as fruits, vegetables, yogurt and nuts.
  • Vary up your breakfast meal. Swap sugar-sweetened cereal and refined white bread for a veggie omelet, turkey sausage frittata or fruit with Greek yogurt.
  • Serve vegetables with a side of vegetables. Many people state that they always have to have a starch with their dinner meals. Why not swap the rice and pasta for vegetable starches such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash or spaghetti squash?
  • If choosing grains, consider whole grain choices such as oatmeal, quinoa or wild rice.

Remember, limiting carbs is not the only way for improved health. The mere reduction of processed foods in one’s diet can have positive health effects.

  1. American Heart Association. Vegetarian Diets. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Vegetarian-Diets_UCM_306032_Article.jsp
  2. Westman, E., et. Al. (2007). Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(2), 276-284. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/2/276.full.pdf+html?sid=ac06d160-abd0-4ba6-8a19-8b5560469446
  3. Westman, E.C., Yancy, W,S, Jr., Mavropoulos, J.C., Marquart, M. and McDuffie, J.R. (2008).The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. Nutrition and Metabolism, 5, 36. http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/5/1/36
  4. Lindeberg, S., Jönsson, T., Granfeldt, Y., et al. (2007). A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Diabetologia,50(9):1795-1807.


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Beat the Heat

j0227611Below are heat-related tips from Springfield Clinic’s Deborah Albright, MD, Prompt Care. As always remember being in the heat and not replenishing fluids and staying hydrated can cause serious problems.

When temperatures are high what should the public look for if they work outdoors?

As with many environmental injuries—prevention is best. For athletes and people that work outdoors, more frequent breaks may be needed. It is also very important to push fluids which will help replenish fluids lost in sweat and prevent dehydration which may raise core body temperatures. Individuals that are very young or old are at a higher risk. Certain medications or recreational drugs like cocaine or alcohol may increase the likelihood of heat-related problems.

Why is hydration so important?   

Hydration is important because it will replenish fluid losses through sweating and prevents dehydration which can cause increases in core body temperature.

What happens when heat stroke occurs?

When a heat stroke occurs, the body loses the ability to regulate temperature and core body temperatures are likely to meet or exceed 104 F.  A heat stroke causes an alteration in the central nervous system(CNS) and can cause some patients to lose consciousness. During a heat exhaustion, patient body temperatures will be between 101 and 104 degrees and there will be no change in CNS status.

Should a person go to the hospital if these symptoms begin?

If a person has a temperature of 104 degrees and symptoms such as headache, delirium or loss of consciousness they should be brought to the hospital immediately. For less severe symptoms, patients should consult their doctor. Springfield Clinic  offers TeleNurse—available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer medical questions regarding symptoms. Springfield Clinic Prompt Care  is also available to treat mild illnesses and has on-site lab and x-ray capabilities.

Visit our four convenient locations in Springfield, Jacksonville and Sherman.
Prompt Care Main
Springfield Clinic Main Campus
East Building
1025 South 6th Street
Hours: 8 am – 8 pm, 7 days a week
217.528.7541 or 800.444.7541
Prompt Care West
Springfield Clinic Wabash
2200 Wabash Avenue
Hours: 8 am – 8 pm, 7 days a week
(except major holidays)
217.528.7541 or 800.444.7541
Prompt Care Jacksonville                             
1000 West Morton Avenue
Hours: 8 am – 8 pm, 7 days a week
(except major holidays)
217.243.6520 or 800.444.7541
Prompt Care Sherman
Hours: 10 am – 7 pm,
Monday - Friday;
9 am – 6 pm weekends
400 St. John’s Drive
(except major holidays)
217.528.7541 or 800.444.7541

Labor Day hours are as follows:

Monday, September 2 | LABOR DAY
Prompt Care Main – open 8am to 8pm
Infusion Unit at the Pavilion – open 8am to 1pm
All other Prompt Care locations, all physician and business offices closed


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Back In Action- Farmer’s Market Kick-Off Today

After a two-week hiatus from the Illinois Products Farmer’s Markets for the Illinois State Fair we are back in action at the market. Join us tonight from 4-7 pm at the Illinois State Fairgrounds for fresh produce, sweet treats, and more. Tonight we will be giving away salad shakers to the first 100 visitors to our booth. shaker1 shaker2 Complete with fork and a special compartment for your dressing of choice. Also tonight you can visit with our Orthopedic Group and pick up our Healthy Recipe of the Week: Chicken Pasta Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing.

Notes from Amanda Figge,” This recipe has already been approved as delicious. The Channel 20 news studio gobbled it up and when I brought the leftovers up to Lincoln this morning; they were completely gone in 30 minutes (by 8:15am!).”

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fat-free, sugar-free vanilla yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces dried whole-grain penne
  • 12 ounces cooked skinless chicken breast, cooked without salt, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 ounces spinach, cut into long, thin pieces or torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, halved and slivered
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, dry-roasted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fat-free milk (optional)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Set aside.

2. Prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt. Drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water until cool. Drain well.

3. In a large bowl, stir together the chicken, pasta, spinach, bell pepper, and onion.

4. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing to coat (using two large spoons works well). Sprinkle with the almonds or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours, sprinkling with the almonds just before serving. If the salad seems dry after refrigeration, toss with the milk at serving time to add moisture.

chickenpastasaladcreamypoppyCook’s Tip – For a hearty side salad, omit the chicken and add some shredded carrots, chopped cucumber, or other vegetables.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 358.Total Fat: 7.5 g. Saturated Fat: 1.5 g. Monounsaturated Fat: 3.5 g. Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g. Trans Fat: 0 g. Cholesterol: 75 mg. Sodium: 233 mg. Carbohydrate: 37 g. Fiber: 7 g. Sugars: 4 g. Protein: 35 g.

-American Heart Association, Recipes for the Heart


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Cancer Nutrition Series: Calorie and Protein Intake During Treatment

Cancer and its treatment can lead to a variety of side effects and discomforts. But, through proper nutrition, these effects can be alleviated. Amanda Figge, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian with Springfield Clinic, discusses the ways to maintain the proper caloric and protein consumption while undergoing cancer treatment.

For more information go to: www.SpringfieldClinic.com/Nutrition

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA0hQHOy_fI&feature=share&list=PLulrbdIofujuMdvOeLh3VuUfhU7mPUjCK


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Recipe of the Week

Don’t forget to join us today at the Illinois Products Farmer’s Market at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, IL from 4 -7p.m. The Illinois Products Farmer’s Market will be taking a two-week break following this week for the Illinois State Fair and will resume again on August 22. Come out and buy fresh local produce, enjoy a beverage, and grab some delicious BBQ.

This week’s healthy recipe is Mediterranean Vegetable Strata from Springfield Clinic’s health library.

Vegetable strata

Ingredients

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small Vidalia onion
  • 1 red or green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large whole-wheat roll
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces garlic and herb feta cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly oil or spray a cookie pan with olive oil. Slice vegetables and roast for about 20 minutes, turning once. Onions and peppers will take longer than mushrooms, which can be added when you turn the vegetables. While vegetables are roasting, cut roll into small cubes (less than an inch). Spread cubes evenly over the bottom of a two-quart baking dish. Layer vegetables on top of bread. Spread crumbled feta cheese evenly over vegetables. Beat eggs with sour cream and cream cheese. Pour egg mixture over vegetables. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves eight

Each serving contains about 178 calories, 11 g protein, 10 g fat, 90 mg cholesterol, 9 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, and 326 mg sodium.


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Cancer Nutrition Series: Food Safety for Neutropenia – Springfield Clinic

Cancer and its treatment can lead to a variety of side effects and discomforts. But, through proper nutrition, these effects can be alleviated. Amanda Figge, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian with Springfield Clinic, discusses the ways to eat properly while dealing with cancer.

In this video, Amanda discusses eating with food safety for patients on a neutropenia-safe diet during cancer treatment. Food Safety for Neutropenia

www.SpringfieldClinic.com/Nutrition

 


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Cancer Nutrition Series: Dealing with Mucositis (Sore Mouth)

Cancer and its treatment can lead to a variety of side effects and discomforts. But, through proper nutrition, these effects can be alleviated. Amanda Figge, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian with Springfield Clinic, discusses the ways to eat properly while dealing with cancer.

In this video, Amanda discusses eating with mucositis, or mouth sores resulting from cancer treatment.

http://youtu.be/a5p-B44R8CA

www.SpringfieldClinic.com/Nutrition


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It’s Farmers’ Market Time!

Posted by Springfield Clinic

Springfield Clinic is proud to serve as the title sponsor for the Illinois Products Farmers’ Market!

For the second year, Springfield Clinic is the title sponsor for the Illinois Products Farmers’ Market. Beginning today, you can visit the Commodities Pavilion (across from the Grandstand) each Thursday for fresh, local produce, and products made in Illinois using Illinois ingredients. Area vendors sell fruits and vegetables straight from the farm, delicious homemade baked goods, chemical-free soaps and lotions, even locally produced beer and wine and so much more.

Tonight, join Amanda Figge, registered dietitian and your Something To Chew On bloggess herself, as she discusses family nutrition. Springfield Clinic will offer health screenings as well as educational programs related to nutrition, fitness and wellness. We will also be on hand every week with our healthy recipe.

Join us at the Illinois State Fairgrounds every Thursday! Find out more at SpringfieldClinic.com/FarmersMarket.

This weeks healthy recipe is:

Broccoli and Walnut Salad

Broccoli and Walnut Salad

Watch Amanda make the recipe of the week on WICS!

 

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