Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"



This week I am inspired by the Memorial Holiday weekend and all those family bbq’s!  Besides burgers, hotdogs, beer and pork steaks…the other standard at a Midwest summer time bbq is…CORN ON THE COB!  I grew up here in the middle of the country and around here corn is considered a vegetable…but it is really?
First we have to understand the difference between a fruit and a vegetable and a grain. Products that come from the reproductive part of a plant are fruits. Products that come from the vegetative part of a plant(the stem, leaf, or root)are vegetables. Botanically speaking, corn is a CARYOPSIS..or the dried fruit of a plant, which is usually known as a grain. (CONFUSING!!)
Grain definition: a small, hard seed, especially the seed of a food plant such as wheat, corn, rye, oats, rice or millet.

The USDA website, ChooseMyPlate.Gov has corn in the starchy vegetables category, along with black eyed peas, green peas, lima beans, potatoes, and water chestnuts. Corn is high in carbohydrates and calories, which makes it a good provider of energy. It’s also gluten free, but it is not ideal for diabetics or folks trying to lose weight because it does spike your glycemic index. Corn  and corn by products greatly affect our blood sugar. Our body turns them to glucose(sugar), which triggers insulin production. That’s fine, because insulin helps glucose enter our cells where it is then used for energy. BUT, if over time, your blood sugar and insulin levels stay high or spike rapidly(because you are digesting a lot of starchy foods and things like high fructose corn syrup), you may develop insulin resistance…which of course leads to obesity and type 2 diabetes!

Of course, the occasional corn on the cob at the family bbq is not a problem.  It becomes an issue when we consider corn as a vegetable serving everyday at our kids schools or on our dinner plates. The United States is the largest producer of corn…and it is used in different forms in everything from corn oil, high fructose corn syrup, and corn fed cows, chickens, pigs and even fish! One of my favorite authors, Michael Pollan, said of the typical American diet… “if you are what you eat…what you are is corn.”  Start really looking at those food labels…see how much corn product you are putting into your body. For example, a co worker of mine loves these gummy candies and the ingredients on the current bag of goodies at her desk reads: corn syrup, sugar, gelatin, maltodextrin(processed artificial sweetener/filler/binding agent-made from rice, CORN, or potato starch). So, her sweet treat for the day is full of SUGAR, PROCESSED SUGAR AND SUGAR. Another item found here in our employee break room fridge…the ingredients read: Water, Sugar, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Guar Gum, Artificial Flavor(Cherry, Lime, Grape, Root Beer, Banana), Natural Orange Flavor, Artificial Colors(Blue #1, Red #40, Yellow #5, and #6, Annatto-Turmeric Color, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate.  Wow..that’s a lot of stuff that I am not sure what it is…I shall investigate those things further, but look…sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup…Sugar in 3 ways! NICE!  

Alright, now corn products aren’t ALL bad…it does have good things like vitamin B-6, folate, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and fiber..all things that are really good for us…but once corn is highly processed(corn syrup, modified corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, , it loses its nutritional value. Again, as with a lot of things, I say, eat corn in moderation…vegetable or grain…there a A LOT of other veggies out there that are WAYYY better for us! And, be aware of all the processed corn products in the food you eat!!

Here’s a good summer time corn recipe:
CORN AND BLACK BEAN SALAD
1/3 cup lime juice
Zest of one lime
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 (15oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh corn (or defrosted frozen corn)
½ cup diced red onion
1 avocado, diced
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley

Put lime juice, zest, olive oil, garlic, salt and cayenne in a small jar. Cover and shake until combined.
Combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, onion and parsley. Pour dressing over salad and stir gently until everything is well coated.
ENJOY!

Have a Healthy Week!
-Delia
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, May 15, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"



In an effort to get my boss off my back, I mean, to get brownie points with my boss…this week I shall talk about Monk Fruit!  Otherwise known by my boss as “this awesome new sweetener I am using!” 

First of all, it is not a quiet fruit that lives its life in prayer and contemplation…it’s a sweet fruit that dates back to the 13th century and gets its name from the monks that cultivated it. They used it as a remedy for coughs and colds, lung diseases and digestive disorders. It is 200-500 times sweeter than table sugar, which means you don’t need to use a lot of it!
                                                                                   
Monk fruit sweetener is classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as GRAS…“generally recognized as safe.”  That’s because there has been very little human toxicity testing done. It is fairly new to the US market. Honestly, in my opinion, this is an organization that approved the use of Aspartame(just WAIT til I let you know how I feel about THAT stuff!) in our food and drink products…and so I say …do your research, educate yourself, make your own decision about this stuff.

You can bake and cook with this sweetener. It is recommended that since it is sweeter than regular sugar, you use ¼ teaspoon for every 1 teaspoon of Monk Fruit.
Here’s a recipe to try! It’s kinda like a cross between a cake and  a muffin.
I made them in a muffin tin
3 egg whites
4 large ripe bananas
½ cup crushed pineapple
½ cup applesauce
¼ cup monk fruit(extract, powder or raw)
1.5 cups plain flour(I am still experimenting with gluten free version!)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract

*Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl
*Add the pineapple, applesauce, monk fruit, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla extract
*Mix to combine
*Whip the egg whites till you create stiff peaks
*Fold egg whites into the banana mixture
*Fill muffin tins a little over half full
*Bake at 350 degrees for approx 15-20 minutes


I suggest looking for plain old Monk Fruit Extract, which is just that…the other products on the market have been processed, perhaps with chemicals, or contain several other ingredients, like sugar or molasses(sugar!)..and remember the glycemic index that we all need to be aware of. The good thing is that  Monk Fruit claims to have a low glycemic index and may actually stimulate insulin secretion, which could actually help fight diabetes. But with EVERYTHING…I say….use in moderation!!

Have a Healthy Week!
-Delia
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!



Friday, May 10, 2013

“JUMPING FOR JOY!!”



We are expanding!! 
 
Advanced Bone & Joint staff and physicians are “JUMPING FOR JOY!!”
This empty space will soon aid us in welcoming our new Pain Management physician on July 1.  Dr. Brian Meek’s new services include the treatment of neck/low back pain, neuropathy, joint pain, cancer-related pain, and more.

Disclaimer:
There is a fine line between blogging and giving medical advice. The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.  Nothing contained in this blog is intended to replace the medical advice of a trained, licensed physician.
In all matters relating to your health, you are urged to consult a physician. You can contact Advanced Bone & Joint to set up a formal consultation appointment with Dr. W. Anthony Frisella, Dr. Dane Glueck, Dr. Brandon Larkin, Dr. Anthony Lombardo, Dr. John McAllister, II, Dr. Brian Meek, Dr. Paul Spezia, Jennifer Eickhoff, FNP-BC, or Matt Pliske, PA-C


Thursday, May 9, 2013

April Showers Bring May Flowers and…Fractures?




Warmer weather in May brings us flowers and also an increase in pediatric fractures.  While no parent wants to have a child break a bone, the truth is that prior to the age of 16, 42% of boys and 27% of girls will have had at least one fracture.  

Pediatric fractures are more common in the summer, when children are on summer break and doing more physically demanding activities.  The most common time of day for a fracture is 6 pm and this correlates to the time when children are most active.   The rate of fractures increases during puberty for both boys and girls.

The most common location for pediatric fractures is in the upper extremities.  Forearm, hand, elbow, and clavicle account for almost 69% of all pediatric fractures. 

Let’s take a look at where these fractures are occurring.  Of all the fractures that occur on playground equipment, 90% were from a fall off the monkey bars.  About 34 percent of trampoline fractures occur from actually falling off the trampoline.   More than half of skiing injuries occur from hitting stationary objects, but snowboarding is even more dangerous with 2.5 times as many fractures.

So why does a fracture occur?  A fracture happens when the physical force that is placed on a bone is stronger than the bone itself.

When a fracture occurs, it can be placed in two categories: displaced or non-displaced and open or closed.  A displaced fracture is where the two ends of the bone are not lined up.  An open fracture is where the bone breaks through the skin.  So, if you could choose your fracture type, you would want a non-displaced closed fracture.
   
There are many treatment options for fractures depending on the type, severity, and location of the fracture.  Some fractures can be successfully treated with bracing or casting, while others may need surgery.

Ways to prevent fractures:
-Increase physical exercise to strengthen bones.
-Encourage appropriate intake of calcium and vitamin D for optimal bone health.
-Wear appropriate safety gear.
-Always use seatbelts.
   
Have a fun and SAFE summer!


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

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"


This week is my Birthday Week—yes, I give myself a whole week to celebrate!  I have given myself permission to have a “Birthday Week” for years..perhaps it’s because I love celebrating life..or maybe it’s because my birthday happens to be on a festive day..CINCO DE MAYO!!! Or as I like to say, “CINCO DE DELIA!”

Cinco De Mayo is celebrated in the United States and portions of Mexico, mainly to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the American Civil War.  Let’s face it though…it’s a day when we have a good excuse to make margaritas! Now, I am not going to blog about how good or bad tequila is for you--mainly bad, really bad…remind me to tell you about my 21st birthday…but…follow me here….Cinco de Mayo…Tequila…made from the blue AGAVE plant…..Agave Nectar which is used as an ingredient in food!

So, let’s talk about AGAVE. In Mexico its known as aguamiel or “honey water.”  The Aztecs knew all about this liquid for a long time, but recently it has become quite popular with consumers. It comes from the sap that is extracted from the core of the plant. These plants have to be at least 7-10 yrs old before they can harvest it. It can weigh anywhere between 50 -150 lbs!

Before we talk about how to use this delicious nectar, let’s talk about GLYCEMIC INDEX. It measures the impact of the foods we eat on our blood sugar levels.  When we eat high carbohydrate foods our body quickly converts that to sugar, which makes our blood sugar levels rise. High blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes, higher risk of heart disease or stroke, eye problems, kidney problems, and gum disease! Foods with very low carbs, like meat and cheese, have easily digested sugars and starches and are less likely to create a spike in blood sugar. When you eat a high glycemic load food, like pasta, the only way your digestive system can break down the carbs is to release a high dose of insulin to combat the blood sugar. This spike in both blood sugar and insulin then causes your blood sugar to plunge…that makes you feel lethargic and tired….hmmm…think about how you feel after you eat a heavy bread and pasta meal??

Blood sugar coats our red blood cells which causes them to become stiff. This interferes with blood circulation…and that can cause cholesterol to build up inside your blood vessels. See..this blood sugar stuff is not something to mess with! So, let’s get back to the Agave Nectar—it has a low glycemic index. It is slowly absorbed into our body, preventing  a spike in our blood sugar. Regular granulated sugar has an average glycemic index of 60, while Agave is under 30. Foods with a “GI” of 55 or lower are less likely to make our bodies store fat.

What I love about Agave Nectar is that it is REAL. It is not artificial and does not have harmful chemicals…and you know how I feel about all the FAKE stuff we are putting into our bodies! Our Western diet is now so full of refined, overly processed sweeteners that have a high glycemic index. This causes people to have excessive releases of insulin to deal with the spikes in blood sugar, which is contributing to the epidemic of diabetes and obesity in this country! The cool thing about agave is that it’s sweetness comes from the same substance that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. Of course with ALL types of sugar, you have to use it in moderation…the good thing though is that this sugar does not cause that horrible “sugar high” and spike in blood sugar!

It is about 40% sweeter than regular granulated white sugar so the amount used in a recipe needs to be reduced. For example, if a recipe calls for one cup of white sugar, use 2/3 cup of agave nectar and reduce other liquids by ¼ to 1/3 cup. If a recipe calls for one cup of honey or one cup of maple syrup, just replace that with one cup of agave nectar/syrup. Another helpful hint is that agave syrup may cause baked goods to brown faster, so just reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees and increase the baking time a bit.

Here are a couple recipes that I’ve used Agave Nectar in! ENJOY!

*This one is great for a hot summer day…and considering it is currently 87 degrees as I write this in St. Peters Missouri….

PEACH POPSICLES
5 medium sized peaches, sliced(if you want more peach flavor, leave the skin on)
¼ cup coconut milk(or the milk of your choice)
1 tbsp of agave nectar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Put all ingredients in a blender/puree until smooth/pour into popsicle molds
Freeze for at least 4-6 hrs

*This combines 2 of my favorite things, Chia and Agave!
BREAKFAST MUFFINS
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1.5 cups whole wheat flour(if you are Gluten Free: substitute 1 cup almond flour, ½ cup brown rice flour and 1 tbsp Xanthan gum)
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup sweet potato puree
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 egg whites
½ cup agave nectar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp vanilla extract
½ cup dried cranberries(I’ve used raisins or dried blueberries too!)
Mix together all wet ingredients. In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry.
Scoop into muffin tins and bake for 15-20 min at 350

Also try using Agave Nectar to sweeten your coffee or try it when making other drinks, like a Mojito!
Have a Healthy Week!
-Delia

Disclaimer:
There is a fine line between blogging and giving medical advice. The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.  Nothing contained in this blog is intended to replace the medical advice of a trained, licensed physician.
In all matters relating to your health, you are urged to consult a physician. You can contact Advanced Bone & Joint to set up a formal consultation appointment with Dr. W. Anthony Frisella, Dr. Dane Glueck, Dr. Brandon Larkin, Dr. Anthony Lombardo, Dr. John McAllister, II, Dr. Brian Meek, Dr. Paul Spezia, Jennifer Eickhoff, FNP-BC, or Matt Pliske, PA-C.
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!