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Bring the Farm to Your Table

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Nutrition, Recipes | Posted on 14-03-2017

March is National Nutrition Month and a great time to shake off the humdrums of cold weather and all the heavy food that accompanies it. One way to practice healthy habits any time of year is to visit local vendors who offer a variety of fresh produce and food. Start by visiting local restaurants that offer a seasonal menu with a variety of vegetables. Get inspired by trying something new paired with a seasonal side. Cow cheek, anyone?
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Non-Alcoholic Drink Options for Moms-to-Be

Posted by | Posted in Family Maternity Suites, Nutrition, Recipes, Women | Posted on 30-12-2016

nonalcolohic drink optionRinging in the New Year often means responsibly enjoying a few adult beverages. Expecting mothers don’t have to feel left out—it just takes a little creativity to incorporate some healthy, alcohol-free options into your party planning.

“It can be tough this time of year for soon-to-be moms to feel totally included, especially at New Year’s celebrations,” said Shari Hickey, nurse manager for Memorial Medical Center’s Family Maternity Suites. “When you’re planning a non-alcoholic option, just be sure to consider the amount of sugar in the mixers. This is especially important if the pregnant woman has gestational diabetes.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of Protein

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Recipes | Posted on 11-10-2016

Family-Grilling-FallFall weather means being outdoors with your family and friends, playing in the yard, and often grilling burgers, brats and hot dogs. How often do you add variety to your grilling? Do you consider the nutrition content?

Foods in the meat, poultry and fish group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. They are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones and vitamins. However, according to the USDA’s, choosing foods from this group that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol may have health implications. Diets high in saturated fat raise “bad” cholesterol levels, or LDL, which results in an increased risk for coronary heart disease. The calorie content of fat is higher than that of proteins or carbohydrates, therefore high-fat diets lead to excess calorie intake as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Survival Guide for Picnics and BBQs

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Recipes, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 03-07-2015


Summertime celebrations often have us gathering around the grill, which can wreak havoc on our plans for healthy eating. We go to these events with the best intentions, only to leave feeling as though we’ve failed, or worse—our entire healthy-eating plan fell to the wayside.

“With a little bit of planning and strategy, healthy eating will not be as challenging at your next celebration. You will leave feeling satisfied, not starving for more,” says Erin Walker, a registered dietitian at the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center.

Walker recommends these tactics to help you stay on track: Read the rest of this entry »

Guilt Free Grilling Tips

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Recipes | Posted on 22-04-2015

Grilled-FoodWarmer weather means more time spent out in the great outdoors. Why not take your cooking outside as well? Farmers markets are abound with fresh and seasonal options to add flavor to your food without adding inches to your waistline. Follow the tips below to make your grilling season effortless, flavorful, and enjoyable. Read the rest of this entry »

Keep Your Weight on the Nice List this December

Posted by | Posted in Nutrition, Recipes, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 09-12-2014

greek-style-chicken-recipeFor many of us, a blizzard is the least of our worries this time of year. December’s perfect storm comes in the form of cookies, candy, egg nog, cold weather, early sunsets and busy schedules that often lead to hurried, fast-food dinners and decreased outside activity — which adds up to a few extra pounds.

If a person who weighs 160 pounds gains just one pound, he or she will need to walk at a moderate pace for more than two hours daily for a week to burn that pound off.

It’s no surprise that most Americans gain weight during the holiday season, said Jude Clapper, a registered dietitian, diabetes instructor and wellness advocate at the Memorial Weight Loss and Wellness Center.

“One way you can prevent weight gain is to prepare healthy meals at home,” she said. “You’ll avoid the traps of fast food and overeating at parties.”

Clapper said preparing healthy meals doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

We gathered a few of our favorite recipes that are easy to make ahead and store as leftovers throughout the busy holiday season. Read the rest of this entry »

Avoid the Classroom Party Sugar Rush: Healthy Holiday Treat Ideas for Kids

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Nutrition, Parents, Recipes | Posted on 03-12-2014

Fruit-Salsa-and-Cinnamon-ChipsBelieve it or not, winter parties for the preschool and elementary crowd can be fun AND healthy. Move away from the “icing sugar cookies” station, candy canes and gingerbread houses. Instead, offer these nutritious alternatives that will tickle their taste buds.

Christina Rollins, a registered dietitian, nutritionist and director of Memorial Medical Center’s Food and Nutrition Services department, offers these tips for  festive and fun holiday party treats for kids.


  1. Kid-friendly cocktails will transform your party into a special event. Flavor seltzer water with a splash of 100% fruit juice; garnish with frozen berries.
  2. Swap sugary desserts with naturally sweet fruit dishes. Serve fresh cut fruit with yogurt dip or try Memorial’s recipe for fruit salsa with cinnamon tortilla chips.
  3. Serve raw vegetables or pita chips with homemade hummus.
  4. Offer pretzels, granola bars and dried fruit instead of candy in treat bags.

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Food Logs Made Simple

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Nutrition, Recipes, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 26-06-2014

Food-LogIt’s easy to think, “Oh, I didn’t eat too much today,” until you actually start listing off everything you ingested.

That’s the thinking behind the need to log food intake. According to Angie Sebree, registered dietitian with the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, patients who log their eating habits have greater success at achieving their health and weight-loss goals.

“Writing down your daily food intake, even your exercise and how much fluid you drink, can help to increase awareness of behaviors,” Sebree said. “Awareness can be the first step in figuring out what needs improved and changed.”

Unfortunately, she admits, many of her patients don’t particularly love to log. They can see it as a daunting task, just another item on the to-do list they don’t have time for. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer is Here: Are You Ready?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Recipes, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 12-06-2014

Couple on the beachEach spring, millions of people resolve to be “beach-body ready” by summer.  Unfortunately, summer has that tendency to sneak up on you, and by June, somehow those bikini abs have eluded us once again.

“In many of my patients, I see the weight loss happens slower than expected, or maybe not at all,” said Erin Spenner, registered dietitian with the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center. “That’s disheartening and makes it hard to stay motivated.”

We don’t need to look like models—all that matters is that you feel good about yourself in the summertime and all other times of year. Here are three questions to ask yourself if you find your own progress has stalled. Read the rest of this entry »

Grow (and Cook With!) Your Own Herbs

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Nutrition, Recipes | Posted on 22-04-2014

potted herbsFor people who want the health benefits of gardening but don’t have a big lawn or a lot of spare time to devote to it, raising herbs is an option. With a few pots and some sunshine, you can grow delicious, nutritious spices to add to your favorite dishes.

“Herbs can provide eye appeal, flavor, texture and may add some nutritional value,” said Gayle Jennings, a registered dietitian at Memorial Medical Center. “In addition to adding a variety of tastes to common dishes, herb blends can be an excellent substitute for salt.”

Central Illinois is in the Zone 5 plant hardiness growing region. Before you plant herbs – particularly perennials – make sure they will grow here. Most herbs grown in Illinois will need to be in pots with well-drained soil. Read the rest of this entry »