With the CHIP program, our participants are able to do some really fun things. One of the favorite activities of the participants is the grocery store tours. Throughout the program we were able to tour at both HyVee on 37th St and Costco.
Taking a tour of the place you shop is a great way to get to know new products and gain confidence to branch out and try different foods. A lot of times when we go grocery shopping, myself included, we get into a habit and pick up the same things every time. Even when we are trying to make a conscious effort to be healthier, by the time we set foot in the grocery store, we have so many other things on our minds, the last thing we want to do is take our time and look for new things.
When I go grocery shopping, there are a few things that I do to help me make the best choices:
Kelly Melhorn, the dietitian at Hy-Vee on 37th St, gave us a wonderful tour. If you shop at Hy-Vee, I would highly recommend taking a tour of your store with their dietitian. The tours are free and very informative. I try to take tours every so often, just to get an idea of what foods are out there. Kelly brought us through the produce section and taught us about the large selection of squash that is available. We also spent some time in the bakery and I was pleased to learn about the whole grain bread that they have to offer. Kelly will put a purple Dietitian’s Choice sticker on the 100% whole wheat bread, so that it is easy to spot.
We spent some time in the aisles where she pointed out some of the best choices for canned beans and vegetables, low sodium sauces and some healthier choices for those who are on the run. We finished up in the health section. In this section it is still important to read labels and think about what you pick up. Some of those items use words like gluten free and organic, but are not always the healthiest.
At Costco our guide led us through the expansive produce section, pointing out that the majority of all their items are organic. The cool thing about Costco is that they are working on getting locally sourced and made foods to the store, so some of the produce that you see is actually grown in Minnesota.
She also took us through the dry food aisles and the frozen vegetable section, pointing out some of the healthiest choices. Some of the favorites that popped out to me were the dry quinoa and brown rice blend, the peanut butter powder and the raw nuts.
I would highly recommend taking a time to look at your grocery store, whether it is by a guided tour or alone. Getting to know what is usually in each aisle will be able to help you plan your meals and your grocery list better, and in general, make grocery shopping a more pleasurable experience.
When we think of the components of a weight loss program, we most think of diet and exercise right? And those two things are very important. Changing your diet and increasing physical activity can help you have more energy, can improve your skin, can help you lose weight and can improve your health. But there is another factor to consider, a factor that is equally as important, that is stress management.
When you become stressed, your brain shifts into a reward seeking state, so when you become stressed, you will crave whatever your brain perceives as a reward and are convinced that is the only way that you will feel better. A lot of time, these rewards are in the form of sweets or some other more harmful behavior.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of stress include headache, muscle tension, chest pain, stomach upset and sleeplessness. Stress can also impact your mood, causing irritability, anger, frustration or sadness. It’s important to know when you are stressed and how it manifests itself in your body. For me, I feel stress in the form of stomach cramps and shoulder and neck tension. I know when I start feeling those symptoms, it is time for me to take a step back from any situation and practice some stress relieving strategies.
Some of my favorite stress relieving strategies include reading a book, taking a bath, going for a walk and listening to music. I also help prevent stress by keeping a notebook by my bed at night, when I have a thought that threatens to keep me awake, I will write it down so it is out of my head and onto paper. I can sleep soundly and deal with it in the morning.
Some other stress relieving strategies include:
- Diaphragmatic breathing- breathing in and out without moving your chest, breathing in from your diaphragm
- Investing time in a creative hobby
- Spending time with family and friends (unless they are the ones causing your stress)
There are some foods that can actually help with stress relief as well. Here are some foods to snack on when you are feeling stressed:
1. Nuts- stress decreases your B vitamins, so eating a handful of nuts can replenish those vitamins, giving you a boost of positive energy.
2. Red peppers- red peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C will help boost your immune response and aid in coping with stress.
3. Spinach- spinach is high in magnesium which helps regulate cortisol and blood pressure.
4. Oatmeal- helps with the release of serotonin, which aids in de-stressing.
5. Dark Chocolate- helps with lowering cortisol and the fight or flight hormones.
6. Drink Tea- those who drink tea tend to de-stress faster than those who don’t.
So, at the first sign of stress, sit back, relax, drink a cup of tea and have a piece of dark chocolate!
This past Monday was the graduation ceremony for Rochester Clinic’s first corporate CHIP program through Cardinal of Minnesota. This group has been through a lot together and has made such a wonderful impact on the entire culture of Cardinal, an organization with over 40 group homes all over Southern Minnesota. I met them all my first day on the job at Rochester Clinic and the thought that struck me was, “these guys like to have fun.” This thought has stuck with me throughout their entire journey, but another thought has joined that- “these guys are inspiring.”
Fun and inspiring, the two words that best describe this group of people. Not only have these people changed their lifestyles and that of their families, but they have influenced those around them in the workplace. They have been pioneers for wellness and change within Cardinal, wellness and change that has seeped into the framework of the organization. Even the employees who did not participate in CHIP are eating better, losing weight, making changes for their clients and are exercising more. It all started when they decided to start a walking group, shortly after CHIP began. Now, every day at 1pm, you can see a group walking around Wellner Drive, laughing and chatting.
I spoke with Jack Priggen, the President and CEO of Cardinal and who was also a participant in this CHIP group, about what it takes to change the culture of a business or a company. He explained to me that every organization has a culture and it is up to senior leadership to understand that it is possible to create and foster changes in the workplace culture. This change needs to be intentional and deliberate. And while the senior leaders need to be on board, the entire workplace needs to be on the same page. This was evident when speaking with the CHIP group the week prior to graduation. We were all going around the room, talking about the benefits of the program and the changes everyone had made. One participant said, “we used to always hear the term Cardinal Wellness, but now it’s not just a term, it is the way we are living every day.”
Besides the walking program and eating better lunches, one participant has been educating the residents at her home about eating more healthful breakfasts, and now they are all eating oatmeal in the morning. Jack has also made the executive decision not to offer soda as a beverage for his staff or residents. These may not seem like big changes, but they make a major impact on the health of everyone involved.
While talking with him, Jack continuously mentioned that one needs to first say it, then believe it and, finally, do it. This is exactly what has happened at Cardinal. It all started with talking about Cardinal Wellness, then, with the initiation of CHIP, everyone started believing in Cardinal Wellness, and now, in the wake of graduation, they are all living it. They have embraced Cardinal Wellness and have changed the organizational culture to reflect that.
As the CHIP program winds down for the Cardinal group, the journey is not over yet. Jack is set on making the Cardinal Corporation a Blue Zone, one in which wellness, health and happiness is the main focus. By bringing all employees together, promoting positivity and leadership, Cardinal is well on its way to becoming a Minnesota Blue Zone.
Nutrition and Cancer Prevention
Many of you reading this know someone who has been affected by cancer. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, there have been an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2016. So what can we do? We can do a lot actually. We can reduce our risk for cancer greatly by simply eating a little bit better.
The nutrition guidelines for preventing cancer are similar to those for preventing diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Here are some general guidelines that you can follow to help reduce your risk for cancer:
1. Maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight is 1 in 5 cancer-related deaths. Cancers that are associated with obesity include breast, colorectal, esophageal, thyroid, liver, ovarian, prostate, kidney and gallbladder.
If you are overweight, losing weight can reduce risk of cancer by as much as 20%. This is likely due to a drop in inflammatory factors that are stored in the fat.
2. Limit calorie-dense foods.
Reduction of intake of foods with added sugars and fats that are solid at room temperature (butter, coconut oil, lard, etc.) can help reduce risk for cancer as well. Eating foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages, processed snacks and desserts can quickly add calories, increasing weight gain and causing nutrient deficiency.
3. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
Eating enough (about 7) servings of fruits and vegetables, including beans, is linked to a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach and colon cancer. Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants which are cancer and free-radical fighting agents.
Create a goal to fill at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal. Or go meatless for at least one meal per week. Also, eating more whole grains will increase your fiber, keeping your gut healthy and you full longer.
4. Limit intake of animal foods.
There are some studies that are able to link eating large amounts of red meat, especially processed meats, with colon cancer.
Think of animal foods as a side dish, focusing on lean cuts from local sources.
5. Limit Alcohol
All types of alcohol may increase your risk for many cancers, including mouth, live, breast, colon, and esophagus. If consuming alcohol, limit to one drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks for men.
6. Eat less salt.
In those cultures that eat a lot of salt preserved meats and salt pickled foods, the risk for stomach, nasopharyngeal and throat cancers is higher. Salt can increase blood pressure and can increase the risk for heart disease.
Start limiting salt by getting rid of the salt shaker off the table and limiting the amount of processed foods eaten. Look at the nutrition facts label for 300mg of sodium or less for a meal item and 150mg or less for a snack item.
7. Exercise regularly.
Exercising, or moving regularly can aid in keeping your heart healthy and your bones strong. Exercise also releases hormones that make you feel happy and energetic. Studies have consistently found that increasing physical activity can reduce the risk for some cancers by 30-40%.
So, in summary, exercising, eating more fruits and vegetables and limiting alcohol, meat and processed foods can greatly decrease your risk for most types of cancer.
Here is a recipe to help you get started!
· 1 head romaine lettuce
· 1 red bell pepper, chopped
· 1 avocado, chopped
· 1 cup alfalfa sprouts
· 1 cup blueberries
· ½ cup walnuts, roasted
· 3, 2, 1 Dressing (see recipe below)
1. Combine all vegetables together in a large bowl.
2. Drizzle 3, 2, 1 dressing over top.
3, 2, 1 Dressing
· 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
· 2 Tbsp. mustard of choice
· 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.�����
As the fall 2016 CHIP programs come to an end, I would like to take a look at the benefits of the program and touch on some of the thoughts the graduating class had about their experience. But first, a little background into the program. The Complete Health Improvement Program, or CHIP, was implemented at Rochester Clinic in January 2015. This program has been used globally for over 25 years and is a 12 week lifestyle change program that encompasses diet, exercise, stress and emotional health.
CHIP promotes a plant based, whole foods approach, but operates on a spectrum, so the program is able to work for everyone.
We currently have 21 participants on both community and corporate levels that will be graduating this month. So far, our participants have experienced dramatic changes:
· A1c drop from 9.6 to 6.0 in three months plus a decrease in medications
· Total weight loss of over 150lb
· Every participant with a drop in cholesterol, blood glucose and triglycerides
· More motivation to exercise- getting between 5000-12000 steps per day
· Happier and more energy
Here are some of the things our current group had to say:
“Participate in this program! It was worth every effort and cost.”
“These are things your mom can’t teach you, things you can’t learn in school, but are some of the most important things we need to know to live a quality life.”
“This is a complete health improvement program. Your whole family will benefit and you automatically will implement things you learned such as shopping for the right food and how to cook and bake without processed ingredients.”
“This program teaches complete lifestyle options of choice and responsibility in diet, exercise, preventative medicine, relationships and meaning of life.”
“Mei, Kayley and Dr. Lei created a truly safe, educational, authentic, life changing experience that has moved me (quickly) in the best direction toward health!”
“I joined with the intent to simply be supportive of my wife. Little did I know that it would be such a gratifying journey together. Also, little did I know how much I needed the program myself. Shortly after deciding to participate, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes with an A1c of 9.6. Yesterday I had my follow up exam and in 90 days, my A1c dropped to 6.0 and I will likely be taken off my meds (once I show that I will continue on with what I have learned through CHIP).”
“We have a choice and responsibility to flourish, why leave this to chance? Seek first to understand.”
Our next CHIP class will be starting on Tuesday, January 24th at 6pm. If you would like more information on how to join CHIP and how it will benefit you, call Rochester Clinic at 507-218-3095 or email us at email@example.com .
Contact us to add years to your life and life to your years today!
weather is getting cold! Rochester Clinic will again collect socks for the
Women's Shelter. Last year, with your help we donated more than 500 pairs of
socks, along with clothes, toys, and toiletries.
Collection will end on December 20, 2016
Socks will be donated to the Women's Shelter on December 21, 2016.
Here are some frequently asked questions we receive.
Thanks for your support!
Dennis is a business man
who does investments with many companies and as his business grew more
successful, his health issues grew as well. He started to become more
international and traveled the world, trying and consuming more new foods.
Furthermore, he frequently stayed at hotels that provided continental
breakfasts. Before he knew it, his weight had reached 318 pounds. Dennis never
thought of himself as terribly heavy because he had grown accustomed to his own image and simply thought that’s how he was. He eventually developed hypertension and
high cholesterol. Moreover, he became pre-diabetic. All this meant he had many
pills to swallow every day.
Realizing his health was deteriorating from the inside out, Dennis tried diets of all kinds from local dieting companies to exotic supplements. “I’ve tried it all," he exclaimed, “but none of them worked." Finally, Dennis spotted an advertisement in his local newspaper for the CHIP program by Rochester Clinic. His wife also noticed the ad and continuously reminded Dennis until he resolved to attend for sure.
Dennis was understandably skeptical of the CHIP program. Tired and worn out from empty promises by all the companies and diets he had tried, he initially believed this new program would not be any different.
Fortunately, Dennis found that he had proved himself wrong. The program proved to be insightful and informative, careful to address why certain things were detrimental or beneficial to one’s health. If there were any questions raised that neither of the facilitators, Mei Liu and Dr. Jeng Lai, could answer, Mei was quick to relay the questions to the CHIP headquarters so she could get back to the participants promptly via email with an answer with which she felt confident telling. Within six weeks, Dennis saw numbers all around dropping—cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. In fact, Dennis’ peers were questioning his new habits and lifestyle as they noticed his weight slowly shedding.
Ever since his CHIP class graduated, Dennis went full-force in applying the knowledge he gained. During a follow up at the Mayo Clinic, his doctor stopped in his tracks and asked, “What happened to you?” after seeing a much slimmer Dennis. Furthermore, his doctor was speechless at Dennis’ new blood work results. All his numbers were normal and thus, his medications were ceased. He was quite relieved he was completely off his medications, or, as he called them, his “crutches”. Dennis’ pre-diabetic blood sugar level sat at 94mg before CHIP, just shy of the 100-125mg pre-diabetic range. His number now sits much lower than before in a comfortable, normal range.
“Everyone else in my family is diabetic, but I’m not," beamed Dennis.
“You must have been adopted, then!” joked Dr. Lai, sending the room into laughter.
Naturally, Dennis’ physician inquired what changes were made and Dennis merely said, “Oh, I just exercised more, stopped eating red meat…”, but the physician insisted once more, “But really, Dennis, what did you do?” After receiving a more thorough explanation, Dennis physician praised him for being “a diamond in the rough” because patients enter the clinic saying “Fix me up, doctor," believing pills alone will make everything go away. What they don’t know is that the pills are only temporary fixes, curtains to make it seem like the problems are nonexistent when they really aren’t.
Dennis also had his eyes checked and his optometrist broke news that Dennis needed a prescription change, but not because his eyes worsened. Dennis’ eyes actually improved.
He had also gotten more into preparing foods using healthier options like baking, using alternative ingredients, and utilizing whole foods rather than premade goods. His taste buds have also changed, being described as “more sensitive," especially to salt. The salty foods he once enjoyed are now quite impossible to eat for him. Dennis explains, “I now eat to live, not live to eat."
From the beginning of February to mid-July, Dennis lost 68 pounds and is still losing. He revealed that he did not join the CHIP program for his weight, but for his high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes. He does not care about how much he loses or his end weight because the body will get rid of however much it needs to remove. Weight loss is merely a side effect, but cannot go unnoticed.
When Dennis walked through the doors that night to share his CHIP adventure, I could not recognize him. He was much slimmer and had an unrecognizable glow to his face. I was about to say, “I’m sorry, but this is for CHIP”, before finally recognizing Dennis. Dennis was always very enthusiastic and energetic during his time as a CHIP participant, but he looked much happier as his health improved. His doctor at Mayo even told him that he looked “less worried”—and Dennis really was less worried. He was less worried about his health for tomorrow, for the next week, for the future. When his grandchildren asked him if he would still be around when they’re in high school, Dennis exclaimed, “Of course! I’ll even still be there when you’re in college!”
Dennis did explain that there will be rough patches while fully transitioning to the CHIP lifestyle, which is completely normal. Body weight will also plateau as the body will take a break before continuing to lose more weight.
It’s not hard to see that the CHIP program has made Dennis healthier and happier than ever. He is relieved that unlike diets, he does not have to worry about what will happen to his body when he’s off CHIP because CHIP is a lifelong lifestyle change. “CHIP has given me the ticket to do all the fun things I want to do with my family”, proclaimed Dennis, grinning from ear to ear, “I’m living proof that the CHIP program works!”
Bones are not just lifeless matter attached to living tissues. It’s as much living as the tissues themselves. And just like the tissues, it’s constantly changing too. The old bone cells are broken down and replaced with new ones in a three-part process called bone remodeling that involves resorption (digestion of old bone cells), reversal (new cells are birthed) and formation (new cells turn into fully formed bones).
This process, just like any other biological processes in the body, requires hormones and growth factors. Some of the names include parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcitriol, insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), prostaglandins, tumor growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP), and plain old cytokines. For this discussion we need to remember only one thing: a large cytokines and growth factors are involved in bone remodeling process.
Which means we accelerate the bone remodeling process by supplying these cytokines and growth factors as suggested by studies like these studies from PubMD (US National Library of Medicine).
Why Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), being completely “whole and natural” can more
closely simulate a highly efficient in-vivo situation that anything else out
there that are made up of artificial recombinant proteins. In PRP, we are
taking advantage of the biological benefits of growth factors whose functions
we know as well as those we do not know of yet. From the 15+ factors we know
are in PRP including platelet derived growth factor (PDRF), transforming growth
factor-beta (TGF-beta), platelet factor 4 (PF4), interleukin 1 (IL-1),
platelet-derived angiogenesis factor (PDAF), vascular endothelial growth factor
(VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), platelet-derived endothelial growth
factor (PDEGF), epithelial cell growth factor (ECGF), insulin-like growth
factor (IGF), osteocalcin (Oc), osteonectin (On), fibrinogen (Fg), vitronectin
(Vn), fibronectin (Fn) and thrombospontin-1 (TSP-1)… we’re actually supplying a
“holistic” set of nutrients for healing that cannot be mimicked by those
Organic Fertilizers For The Body
Platelet-Rich Plasma is like
organic fertilizers for our body. The PRP difference is like adding chemical
fertilizers versus organic fertilizers on plants. Chemical fertilizers are rich
in essential nutrients that
are needed for crops. On the other
hand, organic fertilizers supply nutrients not only to the plants but also to
the soil, improving the soil structure and tilth, water holding capacity,
reduces erosion as well as promote slow and consistent release of nutrients to
the plants itself.
Clearly, organic fertilizers are better, aren’t they?
Bonus: Strong Antimicrobial Properties
It seems that the Platelet-Rich Plasma’s healing function has synergistic function to anti-microbial properties. A new study confirms that using Platelet-Rich Plasma in surgeries may have the potential to prevent infection and to reduce the need for costly post-operative treatments.
That’s a nice bonus for the organic fertilizer of our bodies. Perhaps, there are more. So why wouldn’t anyone not take advantage of them?
The scope of Platelet-Rich Plasma is growing as the scientific community continues to unearth its inherent properties. PRP is an unignorable, and unavoidable component of healing.
© Rochester Clinic & DrPRP
Imagine you’re strolling the aisles in a video store trying to find a good movie for the weekend. You finally settle on one with an interesting title. However, after watching the movie, your reaction is, “Huh? That’s not what I expected.”
It’s a similar situation when people are searching for healthy eating guidelines. Many people choose a vegetarian or vegan diet thinking it is healthy because there are no animal products. The individual may be puzzled by increased blood sugar, blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels. Vegetarians and vegans focus on eliminating animal products, but may not be focused on foods that are detrimental to their health, like refined flour, refined sugar, salt, and oil. For example, a piece of chocolate cake or a donut fits the vegetarian or vegan diet, but contains loads of empty calories. Refined sugars, flours, salt and oil can cause a spike in blood sugar and increase cholesterol levels.
Did You Know?
What does “custom” mean?
If you walk into the health section at Wal-Mart, you may notice a Dr. Scholl’s machine dispensing “custom” orthotics or inserts. What is “custom?” What does it mean to receive “custom” orthotics?
Last month a group of podiatrists in Chicago filed a class action law suit against Dr. Scholl’s for false advertising. First of all, an orthotic device should be prescribed and dispensed by a licensed provider. A measuring machine providing over-the-counter inserts at the supermarket is not a licensed provider. Secondly, a customized device is produced from scratch based on a patient’s foot, not something off the shelf. Adding pads or wedges to an insert purchased off the shelf isn’t qualified as a customized orthotic device either.
True custom foot orthoses are prescribed by qualified physicians based on the patient’s anatomical and functional characteristics of their feet and ankles. The devices are milled according to the feet and modified based on each prescription. It is not uncommon to have two different devices for the patient since the feet are not identical.
For more information about the class action law suit filed against Dr. Scholl’s, click on the link lawsuit against Dr. Scholl’s .
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