Hannibal Regional Blog

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


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


A New Meaning to Spring Cleaning

After a long winter, we often revive our home with a good spring cleaning. So why not do the same with our eating habits? We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but yet most of us fall short of the recommended 5-9 servings per day. The simplicity of the produce section is something that no other section of the store has. Every item comes "as is", and is in its whole form. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce risk for heart disease including heart attack and stroke, as well as protect against certain types of cancers. Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, which helps maintain proper bowel function, and reduce blood cholesterol levels. They are packed with many essential nutrients, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. The impact of fruit and vegetable consumption on our health is pretty remarkable.  Improving our eating habits can be hard, but if you currently don’t eat many fruits and vegetables, start by adding just 1 serving of a fruit and 1 serving of a vegetable to each day. Have an orange with lunch, 1/2 cup sugar snap peas for a snack, or simply add some chopped spinach to that pasta dish or chopped broccoli to a casserole. Gradually increase the number of servings you eat per day to at least 2 fruits and 3 vegetables. Spring clean your diet by choosing more from the produce section.

What counts as a serving?

  • 1 medium piece of fruit= baseball size
  • ½ cup fresh, frozen or canned cooked fruit
  • ¼ cup dried fruit
  • ½ cup 100% fruit juice
  • 2 cups leafy greens
  • 1 cup raw veggies
  • ½ cup fresh, frozen or canned cooked vegetables
  • ½ cup 100% vegetable juice

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD


Adding Fiber

Fiber has long been known to be beneficial for heart and gut health. It is also known that Americans get far too little fiber at an average of 12-15 grams of fiber daily in their diets. Our goal is to reach between 25-30 grams of fiber each day.

Fiber plays an important role in stabilizing blood sugar and is a component of a diabetic’s diet that is often lacking. Increasing your fiber intake can also help facilitate weight loss as foods and meals with more fiber are digested slower and keep us full for longer.

Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. You can increase your fiber intake by choosing whole grain products (brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread) over refined products (white rice, white bread). Set a goal to eat 2 servings of fruit daily. Whole fruit has more fiber than dried and canned but remember, anything is better than nothing! Choose a whole apple over dried apple slices or apple juice to bump up your fiber intake a little more. Fruits are a great addition to any breakfast and/or snack while vegetables can easily be incorporated into a lunch and/or dinner. Vegetables can be mixed into the main dish or entrée or they can be a quick and easy side. Check out the frozen section at your local grocery store. There are a variety of vegetable blends that can be added to meal. Challenge yourself to pick up one new fruit or vegetables at your next grocery visit. Little changes to your diet and fiber intake lead to bigger changes and more goals met. Make small daily goals to help you form new healthy eating habits.

Blog post provided by:
Megan Kemp, RDN, LD


Homemade Salad Dressings

Making your own salad dressing from scratch is super easy, quick, and taste so much better! It allows you to use better, simple ingredients and allows versatility of sugar and salt content. Oils rich in Monounsaturated fat include canola, safflower, almond, avocado, flaxseed and olive oil.  Oils rich in polyunsaturated fats include walnut, grapeseed, sunflower, corn, vegetable and soybean oil. Use whatever oils you like in the recipes below. These dressing pack a ton of flavor so a little goes a long way. Use for salads or as marinade.

Honey Mustard Dressing

  • ¼ cup Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup oil

Balsamic Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 4 teaspoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper (optional)

Poppyseed Dressing

  • ½ cup canola
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • ½ cup sugar or substitute

Mix all ingredients in small mason jar. Shake until emulsified. Store in fridge.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD