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


Chickpeas

Chickpeas (or more commonly known as garbanzo beans) fall into the Mediterranean/Greek food category and offer an abundance of health benefits. They are known for their high protein and fiber content, making them a perfect item to include for a meatless dish. The beneficial vitamins and minerals in chickpeas include potassium, vitamin A, calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin C, and several more. I love adding them to salads, soups, as part of a grain bowl, and as a spread/dip when pureed. You can also roast them, making them the perfect crunchy salty snack or as a salad topper.

Roasted Chickpeas with Salt

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz can chickpeas/garbanzo beans (may also use 1.5 cups cooked from dry)
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place chickpeas on a towel and let them dry completely. The key is getting them as dry as possible. In a small bowl, mix chickpeas with salt and extra virgin olive oil.  Then, align the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet so they can cook evenly.
  • Bake for 45 minutes. I turn mine around about halfway through and give them a little shake. 
  • Chickpeas should be golden brown and crunchy. When you remove from oven, add any additional spices you like: garlic powder & paprika is my go-to. I also like using sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, and black pepper as a coating! 
  • Allow the chickpeas to cool and then enjoy as a snack or on top of salads or grain bowls.
  • Do not store in a closed container, allow the chickpeas to breathe – this will prevent them from getting mushy or soft. I usually store mine at room temperature, in a filtered container.

These Roasted Chickpeas are:

  • Protein-packed
  • Plant-based
  • Great on salads or with any grain
  • Perfect for a crunchy snack
  • Customizable (change up the seasonings!) I love simply salt, but also great with (smoked paprika), (cinnamon & sugar), (ranch seasoning), (turmeric and ginger), (“Everything but the bagel” seasoning), or other favorite combination you may have.

Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons diced green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup diced tomato
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh dill or ¼ teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • In a medium-size bowl, combine all ingredients.
  • Refrigerate for several hours to allow flavors to blend.
  • Serve the salad on romaine lettuce leaves or in whole-wheat pita bread pockets.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian


Happy and Healthy 4th of July!

#1 Go Light.
Rather than having a heavy filling meal when you're outside in the heat, make fresh fruits and salads the main course. Grill meat with olive oil, or a light marinade/seasoning rub instead of adding heavy sauces.

#2 Start an Active Tradition.
Be it an annual family kickball tournament, neighborhood volleyball game, a pre-dinner hike, or a casual family walk, an annual activity will be a welcome event to any July 4th celebration. Not only will it get everyone's blood pumping (and put them in a good mood) but it will also create memories.

#3 Stay hydrated.
It is safe to say that July is hot! Have water with you at all times, and drink consistently throughout the day. Prevent your body from overheating by being mindful of the length of time spent doing physical activity. Keep plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables on hand which are packed with vitamins, fiber, and water.

#4 Protect your skin.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as bright and sunny days. The hours between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure so use this as a window to apply sunscreen or light clothing. Keep an umbrella, hat, and sunglasses with you for good measure.

#5 Leave the fireworks to the professionals.
While fireworks are fun and beautiful, it's important to understand how dangerous they can be. Most towns organize a big display -- run by professionals -- go to those. No reason to ruin your day by a trip to the Emergency Department with a firework injury.

#6 Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.
Be sure you cook all of your food to the recommended temperatures to destroy any harmful bacteria. Keep things that should be refrigerated in a cooler over ice until right before serving. Once food has been served, place leftover food back into cooler if planning to keep. Keep coolers of ice underneath the serving table for convenience. If you can, leave mayonnaise-based foods off the menu. For safe cooking temps visit: https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/safe-minimum-cooking-temperature

#7 Make sure your grill is clean.
A dirty grill can be a cesspool of germs and bacteria. After you are done grilling, do a quick cleanup of any visible debris and food. Prior to grilling, give the grill a good scrubbing and then turn up the heat and let the burner get hot before cooking. Once a year, do a deep clean to ensure your grill has a long (healthy and safe) grilling life.

#8 Bring out the lawn games.
Encourage your party guests to bring their favorite lawn games to create a more active/standing environment that is yet sociable.

#9 Choose healthy drink options.
Steer clear of sugar-laden beverages such as sweet tea, sodas, and syrupy fruit drinks. Serve a fruit-infused tea and water or carbonated water. For alcoholic beverages- choose a light beer, or a mix of club soda/100% fruit juice with your favorite hard liquor.

#10 Ditch the Sugary Dessert.
Fresh fruit is plentiful, with so many in season during the summer there is plenty to choose from. Cut up a variety of fresh fruit such as strawberries and melon into a large bowl for a fruit salad, or throw peaches, pineapple and mango on the grill to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Blog provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian


Pros and Cons to Intermittent Fasting

A very popular trend currently making headlines is intermittent fasting. Many people define this differently. Generally, intermittent fasting is when an individual goes for an extended period of time without food or liquid calories. To some, this means fasting for 12-14 hours, to others it may mean an entire 24 hour day. Research on intermittent fasting is limited, but the benefits that have been shown with intermittent fasting are similar to those of any weight loss program or dietary pattern that promotes weight loss.

Cons:
Intermittent fasting is not recommended for people with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), pre-diabetes or diabetes. Fasting can interfere with medications and insulin prescribed to those with pre-diabetes or diabetes. Instead, people with theses diagnoses should consult with a registered dietitian for an individualized meal plan. Individuals who are prescribed medications that are to be taken with food, should consider this when intermittent fasting. The greatest con to intermittent fasting, is that diet quality is not a focal point. Meaning that intake of fruits and vegetables, and good quality balanced food choices are often overlooked when following intermittent fasting.

Pros:
Intermittent fasting is a very black and white meal pattern- you eat during a 6-8 hours window, and fast for the remaining 16-18 hour period. Some people need this structure for successful weight loss. There are no guidelines as to what to eat or how much to eat. Intermittent fasting is simply about the timing of meals. If you do not want to give up certain foods, or change current food choices, intermittent fasting may be a preferred method for weight loss. Some individuals find weight loss success with intermittent fasting due to overall reduction in calories while others do not. 

As with any diet or lifestyle change, weight loss should be achievable and maintainable while following an intermittent fasting regimen. Weight loss can have many health-promoting benefits depending on the current health of the individual. As a registered dietitian, I do not promote intermittent fasting; however, if an individual wishes to try this method of eating, I will assist them in doing so in a healthful way.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian


Avocados

These green beauties provide nearly 20 essential vitamins and nutrients and are a good source of fiber and folate, potassium, vitamin E and B vitamins.

Diets low in saturated fat, yet adequate in heart healthy fats such as those found in avocados, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

To eat, slice lengthwise, around the center seed and twist apart. Grab a spoon and scoop out, eat as is, spread on toast, chopped in salad, as guacamole or in other recipes such as the one below.

Avocado Tuna Salad

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red onion (minced)
  • 6 ounces can solid white tuna (in water)
  • 1 avocado (mashed)
  • 1 small plum tomato (chopped)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk lime juice and red wine vinegar. Add the minced red onion and let sit for about 5 minutes while prepping other ingredients.
  2. Drain and discard the water from the can of tuna fish. Add to bowl with the red wine vinegar mixture.
  3. Add in the mashed avocado, chopped plum tomatoes. Fold ingredients together to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with whole grain crackers or over a green salad.

Blog post provided by:
Katied Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian


Adding Plant Based Protein to Your Diet

Protein, fat, and fiber are the three nutrients that stay in your stomach the longest, contributing to your satiety level. Protein at each meal helps to stabilize blood glucose levels and prevents the breakdown of lean body mass. Although protein recommendations are actually exceeded by the average person, consumption of plant based proteins are low. Plant based proteins such as nuts and legumes can be easily packed for a satisfying snack, and beans or grains can make for an inexpensive protein rich meal.  Below is a brief list of plant based protein foods to incorporate into your diet!

Food Amount Protein (g)
Almonds 1/2 C 15
Beans, cooked 1 C 16
Broccoli 1 C 3
Cashews 1/2 C 10
Chia seeds 2 Tbsp 6
Corn 1 C 4.5
Edamame, cooked 1 C 19
Hemp seeds 3 Tbsp 10
Hummus 1/4 C 5
Lentils, cooked 1C 18
Peanut butter, chunky 2 Tbsp 8
Peas 1 cup 8
Peanuts 1/2 C 19
Pistachios 1/2 C 12
Quinoa, cooked 1 C 14-18
Soybeans, cooked 1/2 C 11
Soynuts 1/2 C 22
Sunflower seeds 1/2 C 13
Tofu, firm 1/2 C 10
Walnuts 1/2 C 15
Wheat berries, cooked 1 C 12
Wheat germ or flaxseed 2 Tbsp 4

C=cup, fl oz=fluid ounce, oz=ounce, Tbsp=tablespoon

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitan