• 11692_Blog_Masthead_Banner-MercyOB.jpg

Jog, hop or skip for health, but don’t skip breakfast

breakfast

I often hear people say that mornings always feel rushed. Even on weekends it seems like there are a million things to get done. For many, one way to save time is to skip breakfast. However, that is not a very wise choice. Even though there might be kids to drop off at school, work to get to on time and other deadlines in the morning, breakfast is important: it helps with attention span, weight control and helps replenish your body with nutrients.

While it is preferable to have a sit-down breakfast, sometimes that’s simply not an option that fits into our schedules. Many people have shared with me their strategies and food items that ensure breakfast is part of their morning routine, no matter how hurried they feel. Below are a few recommendations.

1. Set the breakfast table the night before. Give kids simple but healthy options to choose from and put non-perishable items (breakfast cereals, fruit cups, whole fruit, etc.) out on the table.

2. Pack a breakfast bag and put it in the fridge. Grab it as you walk out the door. Continue Reading »

8 Healthy Foods for Cancer Patients

healthyfoodsNutrition is an important part of remaining healthy for everyone, but for individuals receiving cancer treatment, nutrition is critical. Side effects of treatment—such as nausea or decreased appetite—can make eating a healthy, well-balanced diet challenging. While not all foods work for everyone, below is a list of foods to assist in maintaining adequate nutrition when fighting through the side effects of cancer treatment.

  1. Eggs – Extra protein may be necessary at times during treatment and eggs are a great source for it, packing in seven grams per egg. Egg yolk is also rich in vitamins D and E. In some studies, vitamin E, an antioxidant, was shown to protect the body from the powerful toxins of cancer drugs that cause side effects.
  2. Ginger – Chemotherapy treatments are known for causing nausea and vomiting. From ginger supplements to ginger ale, ginger has been found to help reduce chemotherapy side effects.
  3. Soy – Soy contains a phytoestrogen called Genistein, which studies show to be toxic to cancer cells. Genistein may also assist in making chemotherapy work faster by helping the drugs kill tumor cells or inhibit further dividing. Sources of soy include tofu, soy flour, soy protein isolates and some dietary supplements. Discuss adding soy to your diet with your provider, as there are some contradictory findings with its efficacy. Continue Reading »

What moms really want for Mother’s Day

moms

Listen up spouses, pay attention kids. You might be surprised to learn that boxes of chocolate, expensive perfumes or beautiful jewelry are not what many moms really want for Mother’s Day.

I decided to conduct a very informal poll of moms of all ages to find out what they really wanted for Mother’s Day. You might be surprised to hear their responses. Here are the top five answers.

5. “Special” gifts. Many moms mentioned that receiving hand-made gifts from little ones is very special. A hand-made card, a piece of artwork, a home-cooked meal, anything that reflects that time and effort were put into making that gift special is always appreciated. One mom commented that a gift made from the heart “is the gesture that meant that they thought of me and took the time to make something just for me.” This mom continued to say that a gift of any kind is especially treasured when it comes from teenagers. Another mom said “to hear an ‘I love you mommy’ from my kids is always precious!” Continue Reading »

Combating cancer-related fatigue

cancerfatigue

According to the American Cancer Society, fatigue is the most common side effect found in individuals going through cancer treatments. In fact, about 90 percent of patients have fatigue while they are receiving treatment. While working with various individuals throughout different stages of diagnosis in treatment I have found this to be a fairly accurate symptom assessment. The main difference that most people do not understand is that cancer-related fatigue is completely different from everyday tiredness or fatigue. Cancer-related fatigue makes general activities such as shopping, showering, dressing, household chores or work extremely difficult. The other major difference is that it can occur without warning and is not relieved with rest. Cancer-related fatigue is physically, mentally and emotionally draining for an individual, and it affects their ability to actively participate in daily life.

Some sings of cancer-related fatigue are: Continue Reading »

Spot a stroke F.A.S.T.

stroke1

May is Stroke Awareness Month. It’s a good time to educate yourself about the warning signs of a stroke and how you can help save lives and improve recovery by responding F.A.S.T.

Last year, many of the 795,000 Americans who suffered a stroke did not get the right lifesaving treatment in time. In an effort to help decrease that number, we want to help educate people about the signs and symptoms of a stroke. It’s easy to remember through the acronym F.A.S.T.

Face drooping – Does one side of the face droop, or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?

Arm weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech difficultly – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like, “The grass is green.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 9-1-1 – If any of these symptoms are shown, even if they appear to go away, call 9-1-1, and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you know when the first symptoms appeared.

Other symptoms to be aware of:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

To learn more about the warning signs go to strokeassociation.org/warningsigns.

If you think you are at risk for a stroke, talk to your health care provider so they can work together with you to prevent or treat medical conditions that can lead to stroke.

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.