Thursday, March 29, 2018

Tips For Navigating An Easter Buffet




By Stefani Pappas, MS, RDN, CDN, CPT

Easter is a wonderful time to celebrate with friends and family. However, the abundance of food can encourage overeating and overindulging. Learn how to enjoy to keep your health in check and navigate any Easter buffet:

Survey Your Options
When it comes to buffets or family-style eating, it can be tempting to fill your plate with everything offered. Instead, take a minute to scan the buffet or table before placing anything on your plate. Reviewing the options can help you decide which foods to select. Think about those food aren’t available often and add those to your plate instead of wasting calories on items you have access to year-round.  

Fill Half Of Your Plate With Vegetables
Vegetables are packed with heart-healthy fiber and water that fills us up more than processed carbohydrates. Load half of your plate with fresh salad and steamed or roasted vegetables.  They are a fantastic low-calorie, nutrient-rich option that will keep you satisfied throughout the day. When choosing a dish to bring to your Easter feast, volunteer to toss a large salad or vibrant vegetable crudité to ensure there is a veggie-packed option for all to enjoy.

Remember Your Serving Sizes
You don’t need fancy measuring cups or food scales to determine the appropriate portion size. Instead, just look at your hand! An open palm is equivalent to a serving of about three to four ounces of lean protein such as poultry, fish, shellfish, or beef. A tight fist equals approximately one cup, which should be the limit of cooked pasta, rice, or a medium-sized baked potato. An ounce of cheese is approximately the size of your thumb, and one teaspoon of a high-fat food such as mayonnaise or butter is similar in size to the tip of your thumb. Keep in mind that larger plates may make you midjudge portion sizes and lead to overeating. If you can, try placing your food on a smaller dish such as a salad plate.

Stay Hydrated
Between preparing food for an Easter feast or getting involved in an Easter egg hunt, it is easy to forget about drinking water. Hydration is crucial for regulating body temperature, boosting immunity, aiding metabolism, and assisting in weight management. Be sure to drink lots of fluids before, during, and after any festivities. Drink two glasses of water first thing in the morning, and try to take a few sips of water with your dinner meal. Since you’re want to stay hydrated, be careful with caffeinated and alcoholic beverages which can dehydrate the body. Opt for a water with lemon or naturally-flavored seltzer with your meal.

If you are enjoying an Easter buffet this weekend, now is the perfect time to implement some of these strategies. However, these tips are great for any function.

Stefani Pappas, MS, RDN, CDN, CPT, is a clinical dietitian nutritionist at St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Hospital®.



Tuesday, February 13, 2018

February is American Heart Month



Did you know the number one killer in New York is cardiovascular disease?

Physical activity is important to prevent heart disease and stroke. Doing at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise can help improve your health.  For those who would benefit from lowering their blood pressure or cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity 3 to 4 times a week to lower the risks.

The American Heart Association urges all Americans to know the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke and call 9-1-1 immediately if symptoms occur you can also become trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and support the placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in their communities.

Knowing the warning signs for heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest can help prevent serious illness. To learn about these signs visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/911-Warnings-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_305346_SubHomePage.jsp.

Watch CHS's Executive Vice President & Chief Clinical Officer Patrick O'Shaughnessy, DO discuss heart disease:



If you need a physician, please visit www.chsli.org or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Tips to Help You Stay Healthy This Flu Season


Flu season is at its peak. According to the New York State Department of Health, flu activity levels are high across New York, and this was the seventh week that widespread activity has been reported.  This past week, we suffered from the highest levels of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases and hospitalizations related to the flu in more than 10 years. In fact, Governor Cuomo has declared a state-wide public health emergency due to the flu. 

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, and people of any age can contract it. Some individuals, including the elderly, young children and those with certain health conditions, are at greater risk for serious flu complications. As many as 49,000 deaths and almost 300,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. are attributed to the flu annually.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting vaccinated each year, as soon as the vaccine is available. Flu activity begins in November and can occur as late as May. For information about the 2017-2018 flu season visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm

Here are some additional tips to stop the spread of influenza and other illnesses:
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your arm
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (or an alcohol-based sanitizer) for at least 20 seconds
  • Stay home from work or school and otherwise avoid contact with others when sick
If you have not yet had the flu vaccine, it is not too late. The CDC recommends vaccinating throughout the flu season, as long as influenza viruses are circulating. “The flu vaccine allows antibodies to develop in the body approximately two weeks after patients receive it,” said Jason Golbin, DO, MBA, MS, system chief quality officer for CHS. “These antibodies help provide protection against infection with the viruses in the vaccine.”

In addition, if you are feeling symptomatic, do not hesitate to see your health care provider promptly. “And don’t forget to wash your hands regularly,” reminds Dr. Golbin. 

Speak to your physician if you are having health issues. Visit www.chsli.org to find a doctor near you.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Slimmer, Healthier You in 2018

With a majority of Americans classified as overweight and a third as obese, it’s not surprising that losing weight is one of the top New Year’s resolutions. Because it requires a firm commitment to a strict regimen and the modification of habits, achieving this goal can be tough, and some may give up. However, excess weight can cause cardiovascular issues, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Coming to terms with weight issues is essential for long-term health. When there’s a diagnosis of obesity, a physician may ask the patient to create a lifestyle events-body weight graph, as stressful events can be associated with changes in physical activity and eating habits. This can be helpful in determining a patient’s ability to make lifestyle changes.

Weight management therapies can include diet, exercise, and lifestyle intervention and counseling, and possibly bariatric surgery, depending on the circumstances. A standard metric for assessing weight is body mass index (BMI), which measures body fat, based on height and weight. Bariatric surgery may be appropriate for adults with a BMI of ≥40 or a BMI of ≥35 with obesity-related co-morbidities who have not responded to treatment (Guidelines [2013] for Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adult).

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute offers an online BMI calculator at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm. If you’re concerned about your weight, speaking to your doctor could be the first step toward achieving your 2018 resolution of a slimmer, healthier you!

CHS hospitals offer bariatric surgical options to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Visit www.chsli.org for more information. Subscribe to CHS’s blog and receive a free BMI chart by call 1-855-CHS-4500.



Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tips for a Healthier New Year


Focusing on wellness in 2018 can help ensure a better quality of life, offering an opportunity to take a fresh look at your health and address areas for improvement.

An annual checkup can detect hidden health issues early. During your exam, discuss aches or pains, medications and any concerns. “Your physician can identify issues and work with you to resolve them,” said CHS’s Executive Vice President and System Chief Medical Officer Patrick M. O’Shaughnessy, DO. “Physicians offer years of specialized training, knowledge and expertise, allowing patients who are actively involved in their care a better chance of staying healthy.”

When making New Year’s resolutions, select attainable strategies to successfully reach your wellness goals.

Resolution suggestions:
  • Schedule a doctor’s appointment for check-ups, screenings and vaccination View video
  • Make healthy food choices, preparing more of your own meals.
  • Become more active; for example, why not take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Wear sunscreen as needed, even in the winter months. View video
  • Meditate to help with stress. View video
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends at least seven to eight hours for adults. View video

For more health information, go to CHS’s YouTube channel where you can view Dr. O’s Health Tips & Solutions. Speak to your physician if you are having health issues. Visit www.chsli.org to find a doctor

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tips to Avoid the Flu


Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, people of any age can contract it. Some individuals, including the elderly, young children and those with certain health conditions, are at greater risk for serious flu complications. On an average year, as many as 49,000 deaths and almost 300,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. are attributed to the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting vaccinated each year, as soon as the vaccine is available. Flu activity begins in November and can occur as late as May. For information regarding the 2017-2018 flu season visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm

Here are some additional tips to stop the spread of influenza and other illnesses:
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your arm
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (or an alcohol-based sanitizer) for 20 seconds
  • Stay home from work or school and otherwise avoid contact with others when sick
Subscribe to CHS’s blog and receive a free hand sanitizer by calling 1-855-CHS-4500. Speak to your physician if you are having health issues. Visit www.chsli.org to find a doctor near you.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving Health Tips


Good nutrition is an essential component of wellness, but can be challenging to achieve during the holidays. Thanksgiving meals are a time for giving thanks and celebrating with family, but we tend to overindulge. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year. Stay healthy this Thanksgiving by using the below tips:
  • Eat a small, balanced meal or snack before you leave home (e.g. ¼ cup almonds). If you arrive to the party hungry, you’ll be more likely to overindulge.
  • Ask if you can bring a healthy side dish or a “light up” dessert
  • Choose vegetables first. Broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower and tomatoes are good choices and can usually be found on the appetizer table. Fill half of your dinner plate with salad.
  • Try not to linger near the food to avoid grazing. Find a comfortable spot across the room and focus on socializing instead of eating.
  • Sip a large glass of water or fruit-flavored seltzer. This will keep you hydrated and is a better option than alcohol or sugary drinks.
  • Make physical activity a priority during the holiday season. Plan to attend your usual exercise session the day of a party and if you overindulge take a walk. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to incorporate healthy recipes into your holiday meals.

View a recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash & Pear Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette here.


For more information, please visit www.chsli.org or call 1-855-CHS-4500.