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Eating Right When Your Budget is Tight

Eating right on a budgetPacking your food lineup with nutritious choices doesn’t mean you have to go to the store with a big wallet. With a little strategy, you can eat right even when your budget is tight. In fact, here is a selection of tips to empower you to eat right, while still keeping an eye on your budget.

Shop Sales

  • Choose in-season produce to buy fresh. Out-of-season items tend to be more expensive. Opt for frozen on those.
  • Look for meat sales. Most grocery stores run specials. By watching out for these, you can cut down much of your meat costs.
  • Clip coupons. A $1.50 Sunday paper could save you a lot more than that during your weekly grocery trip. Plan your meals around what is on sale.

Waste Less

  • Freeze. If you think your fruits, vegetables, herbs or meats could go bad before you have time to eat them all, freeze them. Frozen fruits make great smoothies or compotes, and frozen vegetables are great for cooking.

Make Your Own

  • Cook your own sauces and soups rather than buying canned. It can be less expensive and healthier, because you have more control over the ingredients.
  • Shred your own cheese, which is typically less expensive than buying pre-shredded cheese.
  • Wash and cut your own lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, etc., rather than buying the pre-washed and bagged versions.

Buy Store Brands

  • Buy store brands instead of name brands. Check out the ingredients label. They’re usually almost identical.
  • Check the unit price (the price per oz/lb/gm) on the price tag of a certain item and compare across brands and item sizes.

Buy in Bulk

  • Buy in bulk and separate. Get the big bag of rice or pasta and separate.
  • Avoid single serving items, if possible. Buy the bigger item and split into bags or cup-size servings.

Make Things Last

  • Stretch your meats and cheeses. These items are usually the more expensive items in your basket. Think of them more as a garnish or side item than a main dish.

Dip Happily with Hummus!

Hummus RecipeAre you looking for  a healthy and inexpensive alternative to your average high-fat sour cream and onion dip? Try hummus! Hummus is a pureed blend of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, tahini (a sesame seed paste), garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. It is believed to have originated in the Middle East and has been consumed there for thousands of years. Recognized even in ancient times for its nutritional value, hummus is an excellent source of protein, iron, vitamin C, folate and vitamin B6. Furthermore, hummus contains a fair amount of fiber from the chickpeas, as well as healthy unsaturated fats from the olive oil and tahini.

Traditionally, hummus is served as a dip for flatbread, such as pita bread, and may be served warm or cold. However, it is a delicious dip that can be eaten with anything from pita chips to raw vegetables. Some people even use it as a spread on their sandwiches as a healthy replacement for mayonnaise.

Hummus is available at most grocery stores. However, it is also easy to make. There are many variations of hummus recipes, so you can decide which you like best. Add roasted peppers, garlic or jalapenos to put your own spin on this nutritious treat.

Basic Hummus Recipe

Ingredients
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
2/3 cup of tahini (optional)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste.
  2. Spoon into serving dish and serve with crackers; raw dip vegetables, such as carrots or celery; or pita bread.

Makes about 3 cups (Recipe can be halved.)

Recipe adapted by Rachel Stroud, EHC dietetic intern, from http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/hummus/

Do You Need to Be Gluten Free?

Gluten FreeAs companies are increasingly advertising gluten-free on their products, questions are starting to pop up on the benefits or issues with gluten. Diets have been started, books have been written and people have started spending more money to add the phrase “Gluten-Free” to their chosen lifestyle. While this is an excellent advancement for the gluten-intolerant community, there seems to be some misconceptions concerning gluten.

Where is gluten found?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. However, due to the extensive processing of most foods we consume today, we find gluten showing up in places it normally would not. Ice cream, vitamin supplements, toothpaste and even the glue on envelope seals often contain gluten.

Why would someone choose gluten-free?

Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and wheat allergies are disorders that require constant attention and diet adaptation from those who suffer from them.

NOTE: These conditions are the only reasons an individual would be required to eliminate gluten from his or her diet.

What is celiac disease?

People with celiac disease lack the ability to absorb gluten in their intestines. When the gluten goes undigested, the protein triggers an immune response, resulting in damage to the intestines. These continual immune attacks can compromise the body’s ability to adequately absorb nutrients and result in permanent absorption problems.

How do I know if I have gluten intolerance?

Recently, there has been a significant increase in the amount of people with some type of intolerance to gluten. If you find yourself suffering from frequent bloating, diarrhea or abdominal pain, it is certainly worth being tested for. If you have an intolerance, it is best to avoid commercially processed foods completely. Fresh produce or meats and foods bearing the “gluten-free” stamp of approval are the safest way to go.

So, despite the rising confusion and concern, rest assured that gluten-free is not a trend or a fad diet. It is a way to manage the symptoms and prevent the consequences of a serious disease.

What Should I Know About the Dietary Guidelines?

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

In the world of health care nutrition, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans set the standard for what we recommend as far as nutrients and physical activity. In our personal and family lives, the contents of the Dietary Guidelines become a call to action meant to empower and encourage us to continue taking steps in the right direction toward maintaining healthy lifestyles.

What are the Dietary Guidelines?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are the government’s evidence-based recommendations to promote health, prevent chronic disease and reduce the growing rates of overweight and obese Americans. An updated document is released every five years, taking into account recent research and health trends. The most recent update was just released this past January.

What do the Dietary Guidelines have to offer me?

With each new release of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the writers focus on the latest health disparities within our country and seek to offer tips on how to refocus our nutritional efforts. Physical activity, portion control and fat make frequent appearances as headliners. This year’s update also gave us some new, simple and tangible recommendations to consider.

What are some of the most important takeaways from the Dietary Guidelines?

Balance your calories
  • Enjoy your food, but watch your portions.
  • Avoid oversized portions.
Foods to increase
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk.
Foods to reduce
  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals. Choose foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

The full document is far more extensive than the recap above. It includes applicable research and updated recommendations. Read the Dietary Guidelines in full.

Think in Color for a Nutritious Diet

Colorful fruits vegetables for healthDo you ever feel overwhelmed by all the foods you feel you should or shouldn’t consume every day? Ever wish for a more intuitive way to recognize nutritious foods? Well, maybe it isn’t so hard after all! Often, just thinking about incorporating a variety of colors into your diet will put you on the right track. In fact, many of our needed vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are found in the actual coloring of a food.

As such, try using the following colors to liven up and enhance your diet:

White

White foods contain powerful antioxidants that have been shown to help respiratory health, heart health and thyroid function.

  • Key Nutrients: Xanthines, Selenium
  • Examples: Garlic, mushrooms, potatoes, parsnips, bananas, brown pears

Orange/Yellow

These foods contain nutrients important for maintaining healthy vision, immune function and wound healing capabilities.

  • Key Nutrients: Carotenoids (Pre-Vitamin A), Flavanoids, Vitamin C
  • Examples: Carrots, pumpkin, squash, apricots, lemon, mangoes, oranges, peaches

Red

Red fruits and vegetables help lower the risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.

  • Key Nutrient: Lycopene
  • Examples: Tomatoes, watermelon, beets, cherries, pink grapefruit, red peppers

Green

Green foods contribute ingredients that help digestive health and help keep you feeling full longer. They also contain vitamins that influence the production of new cells and prevent changes to DNA that can lead to cancer.

  • Key Nutrients: Fiber, Folate
  • Examples: Asparagus, leafy greens, avocados, broccoli, artichokes, brussel sprouts, green beans

Blue/Purple

This color group contributes another antioxidant shown to have anti-aging, memory and urinary tract health benefits.

  • Key Nutrient: Anthocyanins
  • Examples: Blackberries, blueberries, grapes, plums, purple cabbage, eggplant, purple potatoes

So, if you find yourself feeling intimidated by all the vitamins and minerals, don’t. In the end, you don’t need to know the chemical names of all the different nutrients; you just have to know your colors!

New Application for an Old Technique

Dr. Gail Peters talks about a non-surgical treatment for uterine fibroids

Many women who have uterine fibroids go through their days with no noticeable symptoms. They may even be unaware they have fibroids at all. However, for a small percentage who have symptoms, daily life can be interrupted continually by pain.

Uterine fibroids can cause a host of disruptive symptoms: unusually heavy or long menstrual periods, pain during sexual intercourse, pressure on the bladder leading to frequent trips to the bathroom, bloating, and pain in the pelvis, legs, or lower back. They affect 20% to 40% of women 20 years or older and occur in half of African American women. So far, doctors are unable to pinpoint why fibroids are more common in African Americans or why women develop them at all. But they do know that heredity and obesity are factors.

Women with problematic uterine fibroids traditionally have had only two options—a hysterectomy or a myomectomy (surgical removal of the fibroids). In fact, unwanted fibroid symptoms trigger approximately 150,000 hysterectomies each year.

Over the past decade, an old technique is providing women who suffer with uterine fibroids with a nonsurgical alternative. Physicians have used embolization for more than two decades to treat pelvic bleeding or trauma, and now they are using the procedure to shrink uterine fibroids too.

“If a gynecologist has offered a hysterectomy, a women should look into uterine fibroid embolization,” says Emory interventional radiologist Gail Peters. “The procedure is less invasive, better tolerated, and requires less time for recuperation.”

Although the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recognizes embolization as a viable treatment for uterine fibroids, Peters says that some doctors are failing to talk to women about the option. “Most women come to me on their own and are looking for an alternative to surgery,” she says

What she tells them is that embolization offers fewer complications and a quicker recovery than surgical options. It has an 85% to 92% success rate compared with myomectomy, after which 10% to 30% of patients develop fibroids again. And women who experience embolization can fore-go the three- to four-day hospital stays and four to six weeks of recovery that accompany hysterectomies.

An embolization is performed through a small puncture in a groin artery. Dye is injected into the artery to identify which blood vessels supply the uterus and fibroids. The radiologist then guides a wire and catheter into the identified vessels and injects small particles that block the blood supply to the fibroids. The fibroids and the uterus shrink approximately 60% in the first year. Heavy periods usually take a few cycles to lessen. The procedure takes approximately an hour followed by a day’s stay in the hospital for intravenous pain medication. Patients usually can resume normal activity after a week.

“Most of the women I’ve treated report a significant improvement in their symptoms at their first-month check-up,” Peters says.

Learn more in person at a free seminar on Thursday, February 3rd. Call 404-778-7777 or go online to register. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 404-712-7033.

Putting Patients First – Advancing Brain Treatment Possibilities

Brain cancer injury informationFor those of us who watched the President’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, we were touched by a number of stories, conflicts, and hardships faced by Americans from all walks of life. Health care rhetoric aside, one story, that of James Howard from Katy, TX, was especially touching and relevant. Howard, who is only 28 years old, was diagnosed with brain cancer in March of 2010 and as we listened, we learned of his touching story and the barriers he faced in acquiring treatment. James Howard is not alone. There are many people out there like James Howard, who, without access to the latest medical treatments, wouldn’t be here.

While the debate regarding health care reform continues, what we at Emory can do is to provide access to the latest treatments to save lives like that of James Howard. And through our research and medical advances, that’s exactly what we’ve done for patients like Jennifer Giliberto, Gary Gelb, Neil Cullinan, and Donna Yancey, all of whom underwent brain surgery at Emory Healthcare.

Our neurosciences team of researchers, physicians, surgeons, and staff are dedicated to leading research and development in the world of brain injuries and cancers.

For example, Emory is one of the few places in the country offering minimally invasive neuro-endoscopic procedures for resection of deep-seated brain tumors and 3D endoscopic pituitary tumor removal. We’re also conducting groundbreaking research investigating solutions such as the use of magnetic nanoparticles for targeted imaging and therapy of brain cancer. This dedication advancing the medical possibilities is what drives everything we do, and our efforts aren’t going without recognition.

Recently, Dr. Costas Hadjipanayis, chief of neurosurgery at Emory University Hospital Midtown and assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory, was named president of the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation. With a mission to “improve the quality of life for brain tumor patients and their families” through research, awareness, and support, the efforts of our team members such as Dr. Hadjipanayis and those of the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation allow us to continue to advance the possibilities in the treatment of brain tumors and injuries.

We honor the dedication shown by our neurosciences team and its members such as Dr. Costas Hadjipanayis, who are making strides in improving the lives of patients and families affected by brain injuries and cancers each and every day.

When Your Hospital Visit Becomes a Stay – Choose Rollins Suites

Debbie Cohen with her mother

Debbie Cohen with her mother

When you’re caring for a loved one in the hospital, wouldn’t be nice to have your meals delivered your hospital room? Room service is one of the many comforts patients staying in Emory University Hospital’s Rollins Pavilion enjoy. But, according to Emory employee, Debbie Cohen, the most important reason to choose Rollins is that family members have a room next to the patient’s room.

Debbie Cohen, an Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center nurse stayed in Rollins multiple times while her mother was receiving treatment for lung cancer. At Rollins, there are two, adjacent rooms: one for the patient and one for the family member visiting them. Proximity to her mom during this rough time made Cohen choose Rollins.

The combination of these two rooms is known as the hospital suite, custom designed for privacy and ease. It includes a deluxe private hospital room and adjacent sitting room with pull out sofa bed, a large conference table and business and entertainment center.

For Cohen, it was a good match: “even though I live ten minutes away from EUH, my father and I wanted to be with my mother at all times. We needed more than a pull out chair. Having our own living space made it easier to sleep in the hospital. We also didn’t have to worry about meals since Rollins provides room service. When you are in the hospital for tens day these conveniences make a big difference. We were as relaxed as possible and could concentrate on supporting my mother.”

Rollins Pavilion hospital offers not only additional convenience but also the same quality care you expect from Emory. Rollins nurses have an average of 26 years of experience in patient care.

Rollins is a great option for patients and their families, especially for those who live far away. A physician’s order for admission to the Rollins Pavilion Hospital Suites is required for all Rollins patients. In addition to costs covered by insurance for patients of our hospital suites, patients are responsible for a room charge of $275 per night. This charge includes all patient amenities excluding room service.

Thank You, Team For Putting Patient Care First

John T. Fox, President & CEO of Emory Healthcare

John T. Fox, Emory Healthcare President & CEO

What an incredible week it’s been for the team at Emory Healthcare. From the moment we tuned into weather reports and anticipated that this was the “real thing” I was amazed at the tremendous response of our healthcare professionals as they started to make their way back to work before a drop of snow hit the ground.

What we witnessed over the course of several days following Georgia’s first snowfall of 2011 was absolute acts of heroism by our Emory Healthcare team of nurses, physicians, leaders and staff. Our employees demonstrated their commitment to patient-centered care, and made our patients their first priority, using any creative means necessary to join their team at work. One of our team members even put on her golf cleats and trekked many blocks through the snow to be here. Other employees demonstrated their commitment by volunteering to step into roles outside of their own without hesitation.

I am always proud to be a part of Emory Healthcare, but this week, my pride has been elevated to the deepest admiration for our outstanding team of nurses, doctors, and staff. You are all a true inspiration, and our patients are truly fortunate to receive compassionate care from individuals like you. Some of you were too snowed in to make it to work, but I know you were with your colleagues in spirit as they kept operations running smoothly.

It is our priority at Emory Healthcare to deliver outstanding patient-centered care each and every day. I want to thank the thousands of dedicated professionals who make up our Emory Healthcare team and who, over the past week, again rallied around our patients and each other during one of the worst winter storms in Atlanta’s history. I also want to acknowledge and thank your families and loved ones, many of whom did not see you for three or four days while you spent day and night in our hospitals and clinics.

I thank you for the dedication that you have shown this week and that you show each day at Emory Healthcare. I am truly honored to work with you. And thank you, thank you and thank you for living our commitment to our patients and putting all the words of our Care Transformation model into real action.

Health Care Heroes Lending Helping Hands

If you follow us on Twitter or are friends with us on Facebook, you may have seen some of our recent “storm stories,” spotlighting acts of heroism our Emory Healthcare team members demonstrated this past week despite the snow. While this past week’s storm was one of the worst in Atlanta’s history, it didn’t stop our EHC team from stepping up to do what we do best– put patients first.

Larry Hodges, Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce, Kathy Charles, Michael Cobb, Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, and Chrissy Day are stellar examples of what it means to be part of the Emory Healthcare team:

Emory Healthcare Employees Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, & Chrissy Day

Chrissy Day, Jewell Lazzette, Brenda Wilbanks, & Nicole Bansavage

Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, & Chrissy Day

When Brenda Wilbanks, EUH Hematology 6E, saw the storm was coming, she knew her motor home had a new use – accommodations for her and a few of her co-workers during the days to come! Therefore, her husband drove the family motor home down on Sunday night. Brenda set up shop across the street from CRM in an area where Emory University is getting ready to tear down aging dormitories. This put the motor home within easy walking distance of our tunnel system via CRM. On Sunday and Monday night, co-workers Jewell Hudson and Nicole Bansavage joined Brenda. On Tuesday night, Chrissy Day headed over, as well.

Michael Cobb

The storm may have made transportation via an automobile a challenge, but it didn’t deter Michael Cobb, EHC Office of Quality and Risk, from figuring out a way to make it to the nearest EHC location. Michael lives about a quarter of a mile from EUOSH, so he decided to walk in each day – Monday through Wednesday – to see how he could help. On Tuesday, he took on a new role outside of his everyday EHC responsibilities. He sat with a patient – referred to as 1:1 observation – to ensure the patient remained in bed and had everything he needed.

As Michael said, “I stayed with him until about 7:30 on Tuesday night. We talked about all kinds of things and I made sure he was comfortable. … I was really impressed with the way the nurses cared for him. There is definitely a patient-centered focus here – and now I have had a chance to see it in action.”

Emory Healthcare Payroll Team

Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce & Kathy Charles

Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce, & Kathy Charles

Just because there is a storm doesn’t mean that our team members can go without getting paid. And EHC Payroll made sure payroll was still processed in time. In fact, they were hard at work beginning Sunday evening and continued into Tuesday to ensure our team members received their compensation on time.

EHC Cooks in the Kitchen

Larry Hodges with Nutrition Assistant, Vernon Mathis

Larry Hodges

During the storm, Larry Hodges, from EHC Human Resources, jumped into a new role to help Food & Nutrition Services at Emory University Hospital Midtown. Larry not only served customers during lunch, but he also helped prepare food – peeling eggs to make egg salad. He’s a shining example of how our team members showed extreme flexibility to help things run smoothly during tough times!

If you have an EHC team member to recognize for their efforts during the storm, please post your story in the comments below. We will continue to feature stories on our employee intranet and on Emory Healthcare’s Facebook and Twitter profiles. Thank you to the whole EHC team for all that you do!