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Spoiled Rotten: Keeping Fruits and Veggies from Going Bad

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition | Posted on 30-12-2014

Storing-Fruits-Vegetable-Infographic - CopyNo one wants to buy fruits and vegetables only to throw them away days later because they’ve gone bad. Where you store them can lengthen their shelf life, maximizing their taste and texture and stretching your money.

You have three main choices for storage: the pantry, the fridge or the countertop, according to the American Heart Association.

You can store most fruits and veggies in your fridge, except for bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, lemons and limes, says Christina Rollins, a registered dietitian at Memorial Medical Center. Bananas will suffer from freezer damage in the fridge, tomatoes turn mealy and lose their flavor and aroma, the starch in potatoes turns to sugar in the cold, and lemons and limes absorb fridge odors. Read the rest of this entry »

How a Patient Feels in the Hospital

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Videos | Posted on 23-12-2014

GPE-VideoHow a patient feels is more than just a physical question. It’s very common for patients – and their family members – to feel anxiety, confusion and fear while in a hospital or a physician’s office.

Therefore, it is critical that caregivers provide excellent medical/physical care while at the same time reducing stress and anxiety by making patients feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

“We know meeting a patient’s emotional and psychological needs helps us deliver better overall care,” said Marsha Prater, RN, PhD, chief nursing officer at Memorial Health System. “By looking at the experience through patients’ eyes, we are better able to connect with patients as individuals and enable them to feel safe and confident in the care we provide. Research also suggests when healthcare providers meet patients’ emotional and psychological needs, we also enhance the healing process and help patients feel more empowered with managing their own health and recovery.”

We created this “through the patient’s eyes” video to thank all Memorial employees for the care and compassion they provide to our patients and families every day. Read the rest of this entry »

Me, My Selfie and I: What Your Selfie Says about You

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health | Posted on 16-12-2014

selfieFrom Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat and beyond, we are living in a selfie world. But is that a good thing or a bad thing?

One recent study indicated that selfie-takers may form more shallow relationships than those who don’t. The study concluded, “Increased frequency of sharing photographs of the self, regardless of the type of target sharing the photographs, is related to a decrease in intimacy in personal relationships.”

But, inherently, does being more selfie-ish make you more selfish? Or does it place too much value on the approval of others?

“People often rely on others’ perceptions, judgments and appraisals to develop their social self,” said Sondra Wise, a licensed clinical social worker for Memorial Counseling Associates. “According to Dr. Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center, selfies can present a more attractive image of a person’s life. When selfies are posted on social media, getting ‘likes’ from peers reinforces the social self over the real self.” Read the rest of this entry »

You Don’t Want to Mess Around with the Flu

Posted by | Posted in Flu, Memorial Medical Center | Posted on 15-12-2014

Flu-infographic-eblast-imgSuffering from the flu is a costly and potentially dangerous experience, which is why getting vaccinated against the influenza virus is so important.

“Some people think the flu is like a common cold, but really, the flu is a lot worse than that,” said Raj Govindaiah, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer of Memorial Health System. “Anyone can suffer from serious complications of the flu, and the illness can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.”

Common symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, muscle aches and fatigue. Dr. Govindaiah cautions people not to believe the pervasive flu myth that vaccinations actually cause the flu.

“You can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine,” he said. “The injection contains dead vaccine. It can’t cause the flu. The inhaled nasal spray contains inactivated or weakened live virus and is also safe.”

To protect yourself from this year’s flu virus, visit your local healthcare provider for a flu vaccination as soon as possible. Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Fitter than a Fifth Grader? Take the Presidential Physical Fitness Test

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, Expert Tips, SportsCare | Posted on 11-12-2014

Erica-V-SitPut on your polyester gym uniform and call your friends for a game of crab soccer…it’s time for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test!  It doesn’t matter which U.S. president signed your certificate in grade school; everyone knows bragging rights went to whomever could run the mile the fastest, do the most sit-ups and complete the pull-up challenge.

Here are three of the Presidential Physical Fitness Award benchmarks for fifth graders. Are you up for the challenge? We’ve also included a few fitness-related tips for those who haven’t been in fifth grade since President Reagan’s signature was on certificates, but would like to get in better shape. 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 »

Stop Drinking Soda…And Other Things Your Hair and Nails may be Telling You About Your Health

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Physician Services | Posted on 04-12-2014

manicured-hands-on-white-towelWhen “measuring” our health, we often think of numbers – such as our weight, body mass index and blood pressure. While these numbers offer important information about our physical state, you can also learn a lot about your health by paying attention to what your hair and nails are telling you. 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bariatric Surgery Testimonial: Ken

Posted by | Posted in Bariatric Patient Stories, Weight Loss & Wellness Center Patient Stories | Posted on 02-12-2014


Ken and his sons before surgery

Ken and family after surgery

Ken and family after surgery

For many people who struggle with obesity, dieting and exercise alone are not enough to lose and maintain substantial weight loss to improve their health.

For some, bariatric surgery, in addition to lifestyle changes, may be the holistic approach to achieving and maintaining great health.

Over 1,200 central Illinoisans have undergone bariatric surgery through Memorial Medical Center’s Bariatric Services program, all with the intended goal of living a more fulfilling, active life after shedding weight.

One such story is Ken, who has lost 180 pounds since his surgery in 2010.

Suffering from multiple weight-related health issues such as high blood pressure, back and foot pain, difficulty sleeping and acid reflux, Ken was faced with making a life-changing decision.

“I wanted more time with my son,” he said. “I knew if I didn’t do something I wouldn’t live to see 50.”

Read his story in his own words below.

(Enlarge Ken’s Testimonial) Read the rest of this entry »