Hannibal Regional Blog

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


The Happiness Effect

Cheerful Volunteers in park Everyone wants to live a life that is meaningful and fulfilled. There are many ways to become happier and one of those is to help someone else. Altruism is the unselfish concern for other people that often lead us to volunteer for a cause that we believe in. There are so many benefits to volunteering, so I want to share some wonderful facts with you and encourage you to find what you are passionate about to begin helping others and ultimately making your life better too.

A study showed that compared to people who never volunteer the odds of being very happy rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% among those who volunteered every other week. And about 20% of those volunteering each week! Also, the act of helping others actually activates the part of your brain that makes you feel pleasure and activities your mesolimbic system releasing a hormone called oxytocin. So by giving your time to a cause you believe in and helping others, you are actually making yourself happier and healthier.

Helping others can build your self-esteem, make you feel more connected to your community and others, and make us feel more optimistic. Lastly, I want to mention that helping others can make us feel more thankful. As we help others it is easy to reflect on our own circumstances and feel more grateful for our blessings.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of what you give!

  • Don’t look at it as additive-It is something you get to do, not have to do!
  • Ask yourself what you want to accomplish most
  • Start with what you can do
  • Don’t overburden yourself
  • Be a good manager of your time
  • Include your family
  • Learn

Volunteering has a positive effect on your community and it can have a positive effect on you too!

Blog post provided by:
Alicia Rollins, CAVS
Director-Guest and Volunteer Services
Hannibal Regional Healthcare System


ABCs of Diabetes

Heart Healthy Food US diabetes patients have a 2-3x increased risk of heart disease. To reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, remember your ABCs.

A1C <7%
Blood pressure <140/90
Cholesterol (LDL) <100 (<70 if history of heart disease)

An A1C is a blood test that correlates with a person’s average blood glucose level over a 2-3 month period.

Blood pressure measures the pressure of blood in the circulatory system, which provides information on the force and rate of the heartbeat and elasticity of the arterial walls.

LDL “bad” cholesterol is determined through a blood test. Elevated levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Know these three numbers to better understand your risk of developing heart disease. You can reduce your risk with regular physical activity and the right foods.

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Aim for 4-5 servings per day.
  2. Enjoy baked fish twice a week.
  3. Choose whole grains (more fiber). Brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas are great choices.
  4. Snack on nuts or seeds four times weekly.
  5. Eat less saturated fat. Saturated fat is found in animal products. Choose skim or 1% milk over whole milk. Pick lean meats, like chicken or red meats with round or loin in the name (pork tenderloin, sirloin).
  6. Reduce sodium intake to 1500 mg sodium daily or less. If buying canned goods, choose those with a low sodium or no-salt-added label.
  7. Cut down on sugar-sweetened beverages. Choose water, unsweetened tea, or diet drinks over fruit juices or regular sodas.
  8. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.

Visit www.heart.org

Blog post provided by:
Megan Kemp, RDN, LD


Bringing Some Fiber to a BBQ

With May brings more barbequing and more time spent outdoors. Burgers, steak, and fries may be staples in your household but as a dietitian, I often notice vegetables are lacking at family gatherings!

Nutrition FactsVegetables make great side dishes! Zucchini spears, green beans, cucumber salad, cauliflower, coleslaw, corn on the cob, asparagus and stuffed peppers are quick and delicious. Vegetables also add filling fiber and satisfy you longer than fries or potatoes. Mix your favorite vegetables with a little dressing or seasoning in a foil packet and you may have your new favorite side dish!Grilled Veggies

Sensational Foil-Pack Vegetables

Recipe from KraftRecipes.com 6 servings, 3/4 cup each

What You Need

1 cup red pepper, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces 1 cup yellow pepper, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces 1 zucchini, cut into 1 ½ inch chunks 1 cup fresh mushrooms 1 cup cherry tomatoes ¼ cup light zesty Italian dressing 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

What You Do

1. Heat grill to medium-high heat. 2. Combine all ingredients except cheese. Spoon onto center of large sheet heavy-duty foil; fold to make packet. 3. Grill 8 to 10 min. or until peppers and zucchini are crisp-tender, turning after 4 min. 4. Cut slits in foil to release steam before carefully opening packet. Top vegetable mixture with cheese.

Blog post provided by:
Megan Kemp, RDN, LD


Building a Better Salad

Can a salad be a filling entrée? Yes, it can with the right additions! Building a better salad will help you get your recommended servings of vegetables and a handful of the other food groups.  

The base of a salad is usually a leafy green: kale, collard greens, spinach or romaine lettuce. Then, you can get as creative as you want. Protein and fiber can produce more satiety, or feeling of fullness, and are an excellent addition to a salad.

Protein can come in the form of nuts, like slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts, and seeds, like chia, flax or sunflower. Meat, like grilled chicken, deli ham or turkey, can make all the difference to a salad. Other protein foods, like hardboiled eggs and beans help add subtle flavor.

Make your other salad toppings additional vegetables to pack in more filling fiber. Tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, cucumbers, peas, bell peppers and onions can all be incorporated into a hearty salad. Fruits can help add sweetness to a salad, along with adding another important food group to your meal. Apple slices, strawberries and grapes are fruit topping favorites. Finally, salad dressing can help tie it all together but can also add plenty of calories. Choose a light or fat-free dressing to cut down on calories but not on flavor. Building a better salad can teach you to enjoy making half or all of your plate vegetables!

Blog post provided by:
Megan Kemp, RDN, LD


Roasted Lemon-Garlic Mixed Vegetables

Making half of your lunch and dinner plate vegetables can help pack fiber and other nutrients into our meals. Non-starchy vegetables, those vegetables other than peas, corn and potatoes, only contain about 25 calories per cup. With so few calories, their fiber content can help increase satiety and facilitate weight loss. Some enjoy vegetables simply raw or steamed but many struggle to get in the recommended 2-3 cups of veggies daily.

What is considered a serving? 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables and 2 cups of raw leafy greens are considered a 1 cup serving of vegetables. Hide vegetables in casseroles or desserts or get creative with side dishes. Roasted Lemon-Garlic Mixed Vegetables is a favorite recipe that requires little prep but tastes great.

Roasted Lemon-Garlic Mixed Vegetables

Nutrition Facts Amount Per Portion
Total Calories 113 calories
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrate 12 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Total Sugars 3 g
Added Sugars 0 g
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g

4 servings

What You Need:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp Nu-salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Italian herbs
  • 1.5 cups baby potatoes, halved
  • 1.5 cups baby carrots, halved
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced

What You Do:

  • In large mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place veggies in a 9”x13” baking dish.
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes uncovered until potatoes are tender. 

Blog post provided by:
Megan Kemp, RDN, LD


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