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Thinking Green This Month? Kale Earns Its Spot as an MMC Super Food

Posted by | Posted in Nutrition, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 13-03-2015

Kale-SaladMove over French fries! “Go Green” has a whole new meaning in the Memorial Medical Center cafeteria as a kale-based super salad has emerged as the most requested recipe from employees since Memorial implemented its Green Light, Choose Right menu. See the recipe below.

“I’ve received so many compliments on our kale salad,” said Christina Rollins, registered dietitian nutritionist and director of Memorial’s Food and Nutrition Services. “Customers seem to really enjoy the flavor and often choose it instead of, or in addition to, a fresh garden salad.”

Kale is an increasing popular green leafy vegetable similar to spinach. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, kale is rich in antioxidants, an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, and is a good source of fiber.

MMC Super Food Salad

Yields 12 servings


6 cups kale, coarsely chopped

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

¼ cup red onion, diced

1½ cups carrots, shredded or diced

3 ounces edamame, shelled

¾ cup dried cranberries

1½ cup grape tomatoes, halved

¾ cup cranberry vinaigrette

Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Yields 3 cups


1½ cup + 2 tbs Ocean Spray diet cranberry juice

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp basalmic vinegar

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper


Combine juice, vinegars and mustard in blender. Pulse to mix. With blender running, slowly stream in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook and cool edamame according to package directions. Rinse kale and remove leaves from ribs, chopping leaves into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, combine the kale and the vinaigrette and massage gently. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to mix.

Nutritional info per 4-ounce serving: 100 calories; 4.5 grams fat; 8.75 grams sugar; 0 grams cholesterol; 2.5 grams protein; 14 grams carbohydrates; 51 milligrams sodium; 2.5 milligrams fiber.


10 Easy Ways to Begin a Healthy Eating Plan

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Nutrition, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 03-03-2015

African-American-Man-with-SaladPerhaps your New Year’s resolution to eat healthy fell by the wayside at that Super Bowl party (and on Valentine’s Day, Fat Tuesday … why are there so many food-related happenings in winter?!). Or, perhaps you were waiting for just the right time to launch your new eating plan – and that time hasn’t quite happened yet.

No worries. Any day is a good day to launch healthier eating habits. Micca Donohoo, a registered dietitian with Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, offers these 10 tips to get you started. These tips are so easy, you’ll have no problems sticking to them. Read the rest of this entry »

Breaking through the Buzz: Are Trendy Diets All They’re Cracked Up to Be?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 08-01-2015

infographic Template brain social line link concept vector illusAs we make our new year’s resolutions, going on a diet is always a popular choice. But, which diet? With so many trends filling our newsfeeds and Pinterest boards, we asked the experts at the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center to separate fact from fad fiction.

The Paleo diet

Is it the life-saving wonder its denizens claim? Or is it something that should have been left in the Stone Age?

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eat Your Way to the Finish Line: 5 Nutrition Tips for a Successful Race Day

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, Exercise, Expert Tips, Nutrition, SportsCare | Posted on 10-09-2014

Finish-LineYou’ve made the decision: You’re going to run a marathon, a half marathon, a 5K, 10K or any other major fitness event, like the upcoming Memorial SportsCare Women’s Biathlon. Good for you! That’s a huge undertaking. And, while training, you might hit hurdles or hard times. You might feel like giving up. But, with the right training and some healthy efforts, you can do it. Go you!

One aspect of training that gets lost in the shuffle but is an important, necessary part of your preparation is food. Nutrition training is as important as physical training–it can make or break your experience. Angie Sebree, a registered dietitian with Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, offers her top five tips for training nutrition.

1. It’s not what you eat, but when you eat.

Sebree offers this tip to those in training: Figure out what time your event will be. While training, eat two hours before that time every day.

“Train your gut,” she said. “Treat every training day like it’s race day. If you plan to eat one or two hours before the event, eat that way when you train in that timeframe so you will feel the same way when training as you will on race day.”

2. Make sure what you’re eating is substantial.

If you have the ability to eat a meal two hours before the event, do that. Sometimes, however, that may not be feasible.

“If the race is at 7 a.m., you might not want to eat a large meal at 5 a.m., so eat a snack an hour before,” Sebree said.

Sebree’s rule of thumb for race day nutrition: About an hour to an hour and a half before the race, eat 20-30 grams of carbohydrates and 10-15 grams of protein. You can hit these numbers with a serving of chocolate milk, a Luna bar, a Nature Valley protein bar or a hardboiled egg with two pieces of toast.

3. Decide if you’re training for speed or weight loss.

You will need to choose, as both might not be possible.

“If you’re training for speed, you shouldn’t be losing weight,” Sebree said. “But if you’re training for weight loss, you should know your speed might not be your best.”

Either way, it is still important to eat within that structured schedule. You might simply need to adjust your calories. That said…

4. Be sure you get enough calories.

“If you don’t eat enough calories or get adequate nutrition, you’re going to get very fatigued,” Sebree said. “Your weight loss might stall. There is a fine line between eating and physical activity.”

Sebree suggests tracking your caloric input and output using MyFitnessPal or a Fitbit device.

5. Hydration is everything.

“About a week before your event, make sure you’re very hydrated–overly hydrated even,” Sebree said. “A standard 64 to 80 ounces per day plus what you’re losing during your workout.”

Not sure how to quantify how much water you’re losing? Here’s a good rule to follow: For every 30 minutes of physical activity, give yourself 10-16 ounces of fluid.

The day of the race, two hours before event, drink about 16-24 ounces of fluid, with 12 of those ounces within an hour before the event.

“After an hour of physical activity, start using Gatorade or other electrolyte replacing fluids,” Sebree said. “Shoot for 10 to16 ounces every 30 minutes.”

Calorie Postings on Restaurant Menus: Friend or Foe?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Nutrition | Posted on 22-07-2014

African American Couple Reading MenuMany restaurants are now posting calorie information right on the menu. This is thanks in part to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. Passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act requires all restaurants with 20 or more locations to post calorie information on menus, menu boards and display tags, and to provide additional nutrition information upon request.

Unfortunately, posting calorie information does not ensure healthy food choices. A recent study published by the Journal of Consumer Research reported that, when restaurants organized menus by calorie content, consumers chose higher-calorie options. Why? Researchers proposed that consumers tend to associate lower-calorie or healthier options with poor taste quality and choose higher calorie options instead. Interestingly, the study also showed no difference in food choices if higher and lower calorie items were intermixed. Read the rest of this entry »

7 Healthy Tips for Cooking for Two

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 02-07-2014

Couple Cooking for TwoCooking for two can oftentimes be a daunting task when trying to make healthier menu changes. Recipes yielding larger portions, fear of not using produce quickly enough, or making the most of the ingredients we have can be common issues when cooking and grocery shopping each week.

Luckily, there is a way to make and maintain healthy eating habits to fit any household number. Micca Donohoo, a registered dietitian with the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, recommends these seven easy tips to scale your menus and recipes down to fit your table for two. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

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 »