Hannibal Regional Blog


Our blog offers content about healthcare, healthy living and the culture at Hannibal Regional.

Think Color

It may not be too colorful outside but there are still plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables in the produce and freezer aisle (frozen fruits and vegetables are equally nutritious as they are fresh)! Plants offer an arsenal of protective, naturally occurring chemical compounds that benefit human health when eaten. One of the main types of plant compounds is anthocyanins, which are members of a group of phytochemicals called flavonoids. More than 600 structurally different anthocyanins have been found in nature. Anthocyanins are best-known for the colorful pigments orange, red, purple and blue that they give fruits and vegetables. Anthocyanins are admired for their potential ability to protect cells from free radical damage. Research reveals anthocyanins also may help fend off an array of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

There are five “subclasses” of flavonoids, each with unique plant compounds and beneficial effects. These are commonly consumed food sources of each type: 
Flavonols: black tea, onions, apples 
Flavan-3-ols: bananas, blueberries, peaches 
Flavones: parsley, peppers, celery 
Flavanones: oranges, lemons, tomatoes 
Anthocyanins: blueberries, strawberries, cherries

Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian

What is your favorite holiday recipe?

Email me your favorite holiday recipe at katie.foster@hrhonline.org.  Over the next two weeks I will feature my top picks. Recipes do not need to be “healthy” just family favorites worth sharing!

Below is my favorite that I use to make around Christmas time but now tend to make year round! 

Sweet and Spicy Pecans (or any nut)


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 2 teaspoons of water (add last, see step 3)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt and cayenne pepper. 
  3. Add the pecans to the sugar mixture, along with water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved into a sticky glaze. (If the mixture is still too powdery after stirring for a while, add a few more drops of water -- just don't add too much!) 
  4. Transfer the pecans to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Drizzle all remaining glaze from the bowl over the nuts. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the pecans are crusty on top and golden on the bottom. Immediately slide the parchment off of the hot baking sheet and allow the pecans to cool completely on the counter top. Let cool and store in an airtight container.
Note: Make sure you're using parchment paper and not wax paper. Wax paper is not nonstick.

Blog post provided by:

Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clincial Registered Dietitian
Hannibal Regional Nutrition Services

Sweet Leftover Turkey Salad


4 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seed kernels
1/2 cup raisins
2 small apples, cored and diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon, juiced

Combine mayo, salt and lemon juice in medium bowl, whisk together. Add other ingredients and mix to combine. 

What is it good for? 

Turkey - Turkey (without skin) is low in fat and high in protein, a source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins. 

Sunflower Seeds - One ounce of roasted kernels contains 170 calories, is a good source of protein, fiber, zinc, folate and vitamin B6, and supplies about one-third of the Daily Value for vitamin E and phosphorus. The seeds are also rich in healthful unsaturated fatty acids. The USDA counts one ounce of hulled sunflower seeds as a two ounce equivalent in the Protein Foods Group. Sunflower seeds contain the essential nutrient choline, important for healthy cell structure, synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and brain and memory development in the fetus.

Raisins - Raisins are high in potassium and a source of phytonutrients.

Blog post provided by: 
Katie Foster, RDN, LD

Intuitive Eating During the Holidays

The holiday season can be a stressful time for many individuals, especially those who follow specific diets and eating patterns. Food seems to be the focal point of holiday gatherings. Choosing what to eat and how much to eat can be overwhelming to some, and/or a completely mindless act to others. Learning how to become an intuitive eater may allow you to relax in these stressful situations, make peace with food, and overcome overeating. 

Honoring your Hunger
It is common for people to restrict themselves from eating breakfast or lunch in preparation to have a large holiday meal on Thanksgiving Day, however, this can lead to a ravenous feeling of hunger. This feeling can often lead to hunger that is out of control when the holiday meal time comes. It is important to continue to feed your body according to what you need and want during the holidays, just as you would any other day. This might include enjoying breakfast, and having a light snack as you make your holiday meal. Every BODY is different and has different nutritional needs, therefore, it is important to honor YOUR hunger and not compare what you are having with what someone else is having.

Honoring your Fullness
It is important to realize that you can stop eating when you start to feel satisfied or possibly even before. It takes 15-20 minutes for our body to send a signal to our brain that we are full. Try to “check in” and realize when your body is telling you it is satisfied throughout the meal. It is okay to take dessert for later, or pass on a side dish knowing that you can have leftovers later. Rather than feeling deprived of certain recipes/foods at your holiday meal and over consuming them until you are miserably full, ask for the recipes and know that you can enjoy them all year round or as desired. 

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving and remember what the Holidays are truly about, relaxing and enjoying the family, friends, and FOOD we are thankful for.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Bethany Porter, MBA, DTR

The BEST Simple cucumber salad
Cucumber SaladCucumbers have seemed to be the star crop this year for gardeners. Cucumbers are 99% water which makes them an excellent low calorie snack, which is hydrating as well! 1 cup of sliced cucumbers has just 16 calories, with trace amount of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Personally I love cucumbers sliced and as is but there are a lot of great cucumber salad recipes out there as well. When it comes to any recipe, I like to leave it simple. My favorite for a crisp veggie salad is a vinegar/herb combination. Below is a recipe that is pretty much in my fridge all summer long!

2 large cucumbers, 1/2 peeled and diced
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon dried dill weed, or one tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Prepping tip: I don’t like to peel cucumbers because their deep green skin is honestly the best part for you. However I have to admit, the skin can sometimes be bitter and not always tasteful. I take a carrot peeler and skin the cucumber lengthwise, leaving stripes so that every other section is peel/no peel.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD 
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional


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