Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"

This week I feel like talking about Salvia Columbariae, otherwise known at CHIA—yes, go ahead and sing that song from the commercial in your head, I know I am..”Ch Ch Ch Chia.”  The common name, Chia, derives from the Mayan word chiabann, meaning “strengthening.”   For centuries this little seed was a staple food of the Mayans and Aztecs, who even used it as currency. Chia is a tiny seed, usually black or white, and is full of health benefits!
Now you may know Chia only as the novelty, The Chia Pet. Same seed, just don’t eat those, they might have been preserved with chemicals…the ones you can buy at the store are food grade and are safe.

Chia is considered a SUPER FOOD and here are just some of the reasons why:

*It has the ability to absorb more than 12 times its weight in water(that’s about how I feel every 28 days-ugh!). If you put a spoonful of Chia in a glass of water and come back 30 minutes later you’ll see almost a solid gelatin(stop by my desk today if you want to see my science experiment!). That’s due to the soluble fiber in the Chia. The scientists say that same “gel-forming”  takes place in the stomach and creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, which slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. That’s great news for diabetics for sure, but this also creates endurance. Carbohydrates are the fuel for our bodies, and the longer we can use them for good until they turn into sugar the better! (that’s the feeling you get after you eat really starchy foods-that slump you feel an hour or two after you eat that huge bowl of cereal or muffin for breakfast)

*Chia seed’s  ability to hold water helps US retain moisture and stay hydrated, which helps us absorb nutrients better.

*Remember last week when I talked about fish and Omega -3? Well if you don’t like fish…eat Chia seeds! Apparently it has more Omega-3 than salmon!

*You can actually substitute half of the butter in most baked goods with Chia gel…ok, it sounds gross and may even look gross, but you’ll get used to it! All you need to do is divide the amount of butter or oil in half and then use the same amount of Chia gel to fill in.
Make your own Chia gel! Put 1 cup of liquid (water or juice) into a Ziploc bag. Slowly pour 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds into the water while briskly mixing with a wire whisk. Wait a couple minutes, then whisk again. Let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk again. This will keep up to 2  weeks in your fridge. Add this to jams, oatmeal, yogurt, bbq sauce, tartar sauce, and baked goods.

*Add calcium to your diet by eating Chia! It contains the mineral boron which helps the body absorb calcium.

* Chia actually keeps you feeling full longer, which makes you want to eat less, which helps you lose weight! They take on the flavor of whatever you have added it to and has no calories! It’s gelling action makes your body think it’s full, so your stomach doesn’t tell your brain…”Hey send down some food!”…because it’s full!

One of my favorite ways to get a dose of Chia is to make a quick breakfast smoothie.

Orange Mango Cream Smoothie
I.5 cups orange juice
½ cup ripe mango
Half of a banana
2 heaping tbsp plain yogurt (Greek is my favorite)
1 tbsp of Chia seeds (or your pre-made chia gel!)

Now, if you havn’t made chia gel ahead, then soak the seeds in the OJ for 10 min. Then put all ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy. Pour it in your To Go cup and drive to work!

Have a Healthy Week!

DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!

Monday, February 25, 2013

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

Patients often ask what a Nurse Practitioner (NP) is and the training behind the degree.  A NP is a Registered Nurse (RN) who has completed either a Masters or Doctorate degree with an emphasis on diagnosing and treating medical problems.  The additional training includes classroom work and clinical rotations through a variety of specialties and settings.  After graduation, the NP must pass a certification test and apply for a state license.  A NP’s scope of practice includes examining patients, ordering and interpreting lab and diagnostic tests, performing procedures, diagnosing medical conditions, and prescribing medication.  

For over 50 years NP’s have been providing high quality, cost effective care to the public.  They work in a variety of settings, including ERs, hospitals, medical offices, and urgent care clinics.  According to many government and private studies, NP’s provide the same quality care of a physician and are often able to spend more time with their patients.  From their nursing experience, an emphasis is placed on patient education, preventative medicine, and patient advocacy. 

Written by:

Jennifer Eickhoff, FNP-BC, MSN, ATC, LAT

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wellness Wednesday/"Delia's Dose"

This week I am inspired by the fact that it’s FISH FRY season!! (yes, even I love a good Knights of Columbus or VFW Hall and some fried fish and cold beer! Don’t ask me how guilty I feel the next day though.)
It’s also still February which is American Heart Month.  Did you know that about 600,000 people die each year in the US from heart disease, that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. Yikes!

So let’s talk about heart health and fish. Fish is rich in something called Omega- 3 Fatty Acids. And guess what…Omega-3 helps lower the risk of heart disease! Now, obviously the fried fish at the VFW hall on Friday night or those frozen fish sticks smothered in tartar sauce(yes I grew up on those too) isn’t the fish I am talking about. Fried anything=BAD. The best ways to prepare fish are baking, grilling, poaching, or steaming.

Our bodies can’t make Omega-3’s, so we must get them from foods or supplements. There are 3 different types of Omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, DHA, and EPA. ALA can be found in oils like olive, canola and flaxseed. Walnuts, kale, arugula, collard greens, and free range eggs are also an excellent source of ALA Omega-3. DHA and EPA are only found in fish. Those two Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the blood vessels and joints. At higher doses they can lower the risk for abnormal heart rhythm and get rid of unhealthy fats called triglycerides. They can also slow the build- up of plaque inside our blood vessels and lower blood pressure.  Pretty amazing stuff!  There are other studies that say Omega-3 helps protect against dementia, reduces a child’s risk of developing asthma, helps children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and aids in the development of brain tissue and better eyesight in babies who’s mothers have healthy levels of Omega-3 during pregnancy.

How much fish should we eat to get the full benefit of these beautiful Omega-3’s?? The American Heart Association recommends at least 2 servings a week. A serving is 3.5 ounces of cooked fish or ¾ cup of flaked fish. Top choices are salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, anchovies, and tuna. Now, maybe you’ve heard, some fish is higher in Mercury than others and pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children should limit their fish intake. For example, limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces a week and avoid shark, swordfish, marlin, ray, orange roughy, king mackerel and tilefish. Bottom feeder fish, such as catfish, may ingest more pollutants, so stay away from those too!  Mercury can affect the nervous system, causing numbness or tingling in the fingers, lips and toes. It can also cause developmental delays in young children.

Here is one of my favorite easy recipes for a healthy fish dinner. I can make these ahead of time one night or the next morning and throw them in the oven when I get home from work!
SALMON BAKED IN A FOIL POUCH WITH GREEN BEANS AND PESTO(or as my 3 yr old calls them…”Dinner like a present! We get to open them!”)
Serves 4
4 handfuls of green beans(I use frozen in the winter time)
2 lemons
4  3-5 ounce salmon fillets
4 heaping tablespoons of green pesto(this can be pricey, but I have found it in large quantity for a great price at Costco and use it for other recipes too)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400
Get yourself 4 pieces of aluminum foil, about 24-26 inches long and fold it in half. Lay those out on the counter.
Drizzle a little bit of olive oil onto the middle of the foil
Put a handful of green beans on top of the olive oil
Lay that beautiful piece of salmon on top of the green beans
Spoon over a generous tablespoon of pesto
Drizzle with a bit more olive oil
Squeeze the juice of one lemon half all over
Season with salt and pepper

Repeat these steps for each piece of foil…I set up an assembly line and let my daughter be in charge of the olive oil drizzle and lemon squeezing!
Pull the edges of the foil up and scrunch them up to seal the package…or present.
Put the packets on a baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let it stand for a few minutes
Be careful when opening the packet, it will be steamy! We eat right out of the packet.

This is a complete meal for us, but you could serve some rice or quinoa on the side if you wanted. MMMMM DELICIOUS!

Have a Healthy Week!

DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"

In honor of this week having 2 decadent filled days, Fat Tuesday and Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to write about one of the most decadent things in the world…CHOCOLATE!!

You may be thinking…”Delia….what? chocolate isn’t healthy!?” Well, I am here to tell you that chocolate DOES have some healthy qualities…but with everything that is considered decadent….MODERATION is the key!

Chocolate has compounds called FLAVONOIDS. Doctors say that consumption of flavonoid-rich foods reduces the risk of many chronic illnesses like cancer, stroke, and coronary heart disease. Flavonoids act as antioxidants, which help the bodies defense against those FREE RADICALS that I mentioned in last week’s blog. Free Radicals damage your body’s cells, including DNA cells, and that is thought to have a key role in the ageing process.

Now, many studies have shown that DARK CHOCOLATE is the healthiest of all chocolate. The less processed the cocoa is, the healthier….so don’t go for the milk chocolate because it has nowhere near the health benefits as dark chocolate does.
Reasons to eat Chocolate:
*Lowers your blood pressure
*Lowers your LDL or bad cholesterol
*Prevents tooth decay—no kidding! Theobromine found in chocolate helps eliminate streptococcus mutans, a bacteria found in the mouth that contributes to tooth decay!
*It is high in magnesium which helps regulate the digestive, neurological and cardiovascular systems
*Improves memory and nitric oxide in the blood which helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow

NOW, my favorite reason to eat chocolate….and this is helpful to know, since Valentine’s day is tomorrow and maybe you don’t have anyone to kiss…or maybe you do… either way this is good to know--Chocolate actually stimulates endorphin production, which creates feelings of happiness and pleasure. In fact, one study found that chocolate melting in your mouth actually produced feelings of pleasure for a longer period of time than passionate kissing did!!  Hmmmm, perhaps I will conduct my own study.

How much dark chocolate should you eat? You have to keep in mind, chocolate is calorie rich and certainly not as good for you as those veggies you know I love! So, doctors recommend 6 grams of dark chocolate per day or one small square, which gives you the benefits of chocolate without doing any harm.

Have a Healthy Week!


DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!