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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fairbanks, Alaska


YOUR GUIDE TO DIET AND NUTRITION INSIDE: Making healthy choices taste good PAGE 7

The health benefits of your morning coffee PAGE 8

Breaking free from junk food PAGE 10

Foods to keep your skin looking great PAGE 13

The myth of exercising on an empty stomach PAGE 15


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


INDEX Schools work to create healthy lunches kids will eat ... 2 Fish consumption linked to good health ............................. 3 The importance of nutrient-rich foods ................................. 5 Up the taste game of your healthy meal choices .......... 7 Coffee offers array of health benefits .................................... 8 14 steps to breaking free from junk food ........................ 10 Foods to keep your skin looking great .............................. 13 Nuts shown to prolong life, aid against disease ........... 14 The myth of exercising on an empty stomach ............. 15 Tips from National Nutrition Month ................................... 16 What to know about nutrition labels on raw meat .... 20 The best choices for healthy dairy ........................................ 21 Citrus packs a vitamin punch .................................................. 22

Healthy school lunches require patience, creativity By Weston Morrow WMORROW@NEWSMINER.COM


etting kids to eat healthy can seem at times a nearly insurmountable task for parents — doubly so at school when they can’t be there. While many students eat the hot lunch provided at school by the district’s nutrition services and the school’s kitchen staff, some parents elect to send their kids with packed lunches from home. Packing a lunch for a picky elementary student can be a minefield of choices. Common is the parent who packs a lunch box full of healthy food, only to find that same lunch box come back nearly untouched at the end of the day. This catch-22 raises the question: How can parents and schools create lunches that are, not only healthy, but also will get eaten. School district nutrition services personnel have to meet rigorous federal standards when planning and making lunches for students. Fairbanks North Star Borough School District’s nutrition services director Amy Rouse said her department has to check with a number of different nutrition factors for every meal they create, and even more when they add up the meals from each individual week. “We have a minimum requirement on a daily basis of what we have to offer in the meal (meats, grains, fruits, vegetables, liquid dairy),” Rouse said. At the end of the week, nutrition services has to make sure its meals included a certain spread of different colored fruits and vegetables. The lunches have to provide an average number of calories between 550 and 600 at the end of

the week as well. Though parents don’t have to follow strict standards set by the Food and Drug Administration, the goal of balancing health with edibility can seem as hair-pulling as if such standards were required. “What they eat is a driving force for our menu,” Rouse said. “It is not healthy until it is consumed.” Rouse said her department experiments with a variety of fruits and vegetables to see what works and what doesn’t. Their efforts range from using different takes on everyday fruits to bringing in vegetables kids might never have seen before, like purple cauliflower. “The perfect example is sweet potatoes. We have tried sweet potato fries, tater tots, mashed, sweetened chunks,” Rouse said. “It doesn’t matter what we do to a sweet potato. The kids don’t touch it with a 10-foot pole, so guess what, next year sweet potatoes are coming off the menu.” Sheri Rourke is the kitchen manager at Joy Elementary. She said she has been surprised by the students’ willingness to accept certain healthy foods. Her kitchen actually offers two different salads — a Caesar and a chef — as the main course for meals. “We have a couple kids who don’t normally eat lunch, and they will actually come on salad days to eat lunch,” Rourke said. Rourke said the students are often open to trying healthy fruits and vegetables, but it often can take a little bit of coaxing or creativity. The teachers at Joy, she said, will often talk to kids about eating healthy during lessons. LUNCHES » 3

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HEALTH AND WELLNESS Researchers found that middle-aged Japanese men living in Japan have a lower incidence of coronary artery calcification, a precursor to heart disease, than middleaged white men living in the United States. Japanese people reportedly eat about one and a half servings of fish per day compared with one serving per week in the United States. METRO CREATIVE GRAPHICS

Eat fish, get healthy Study says having a diet rich in fish can improve ‘good’ cholesterol By Amanda Bohman FOR THE NEWS-MINER


ating fish regularly can boost your health. A diet high in fish consumption can increase large HDL particles, also known as high-density lipoprotein or “good” cholesterol, according to a recent study out of the University of Eastern Finland and described in Science Daily. Large HDL particles are believed to correlate with a reduced risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that people eat fish a minimum of twice per week. In Alaska, where fish is abundant, that shouldn’t be hard. Lakes, streams and rivers in Interior Alaska offer a variety of fish, including salmon, trout, grayling and pike. Another recent study shows how healthy eating fish can be. The study, by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Health,

compares the seafood-rich Japanese diet with the American diet. Researchers found that middle-aged Japanese men living in Japan have a lower incidence of coronary artery calcification, a precursor to heart disease, than middle-aged white men living in the United States. Japanese people reportedly eat about one and a half servings of fish per day compared with one serving per week in the United States. Here is some nutritional information about fish found in Interior Alaska along with tips on where to catch the fish.

Salmon Salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Both are essential to good health. According to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, omega-3 oils are thought to ward off cancer, arthritis, asthma and even some mental illness. Salmon is the third most-consumed seafood in the United States, according to Seafood Health Facts, a website run by a consortium of universities. FISH » 4

LUNCHES Continued from 2

Contact staff writer Weston Morrow at 459-7520. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMschools.

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Suzette Mailloux, N.D. Naturopathic Doctor

Holistic Medical Clinic 222 Front St Fairbanks, AK 99701 (907)451-7100

Staying Sharp As You Age Finding that tool on your shoulders in not as sharp as it used to be? It may be cognitive decline. Cognition refers to awareness, memory, perception, and judgment. Cognitive decline is not a normal part of aging, however it has come to be commonly accepted as normal. Fortunately, with healthy choices we can maintain brain function and age with grace and vigor. Here are some ideas on how to stay sharp as you age: Make sleep a priority: Sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality negatively impacts memory, mood, judgment, and increases our risk of chronic illness. If you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, consider natural therapies and lifestyle changes before turning to prescription medications. Exercise: Active individuals show less brain shrinkage as they age. Expert tip: use your brain and muscles at the same time with dancing. The complex movements, social interaction, and physical activity make dancing a super charged activity for your brain. The Ballroom Dance Club of Fairbanks and Contra Borealis Dancers are both great resources for local dance classes and events. If dancing isn’t your thing, don’t worry, any aerobic activity or strength training offers amazing benefits for cognition. Eat fat: Our brain is 60% fat, and requires ample essential fatty acids that our bodies can’t synthesize. Foods high in EFA’s include salmon, avocados, walnuts, omega 3 eggs, and flaxseeds. Increase colorful fruits and vegetables: You should be getting 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies a day. A variety of natural colors in our diet ensures that we are getting ample nutrients from our food. Aim for different colors throughout the day: dark leafy greens, red grapes, blueberries, melons, carrots, etc. Balance blood sugar: Patients with poorly controlled blood sugar and diabetes have higher rates of dementia. The good news is that following the steps above will help balance your blood sugar. Aim for fiber and protein with every meal to keep your blood sugar stable. Use it or lose it: We continue to make new neurons throughout our life if we are challenging our brains. Build neurons with stimulating conversations, doing puzzles, learning a new language, reading, writing with your nondominant hand, playing an instrument, or volunteering at a local nonprofit. Avoid unnecessary medications and supplements: Regularly review your medications and supplements with a qualified practitioner. It is important to check for any possible interactions, and to only take medications and supplements when necessary. Some are very helpful, but others can range from ineffective to harmful. Many of the same things that keep you physically and emotionally fit, helps your brain remain in shape too. Eat well, sleep well, play, exercise, and enjoy life! Our thanks to Suzette Mailloux, N.D. for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

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Sometimes Rourke said, a student in the lunch line will say, “I don’t know if I like salad,” and another student will pipe up in response, “I really like salad.” “I think that’s really helpful. Peer influence like that is really helpful,” Rourke said. “Sometimes, you can see a lightbulb go on: ‘Maybe it’s not so bad after all.’” The less traditional fruits and vegetables, too, like the purple cauliflower, can cause the kids to pause and give it a try, Rourke said. “A little kid asked me if it tastes like candy cause it’s purple,” Rourke said. “It gets them talking.”



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

HEALTH AND WELLNESS Alex Cryan practices his fly casting with his dog, Roxanne, along the Chena River in July 2013. Cryan works on his technique without a hook using yarn for a fly. “There are little grayling in that eddy down there,” Cryan pointed out.

MEDICAL INSIGHT Submitted by Contributing Community Author


Lisa Wawrzonek, M.S., C.M.C.

FISH Continued from 3

Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska

Almost all of the pink salmon consumed in the U.S. and most of the chum and sockeye salmon comes from Alaska. In Interior Alaska, wild salmon can be caught in the Chena River, Salcha River and Nenana River, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

565 University Avenue, Suite 2 Fairbanks, Alaska

Healthy Body, Healthy Brain

Trout Trout is a good source of protein, vitamins, iron, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. The fish can be grilled, smoked, stuffed, pickled and baked. Lake trout is Alaska’s largest fresh water fish, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. They tend to hang out near the surface or shoreline of lakes right after breakup and go deeper as the water warms. Rainbow trout, found in many lakes

Maintaining a healthy and active brain is good advice at any age. Current research promotes an overall healthy lifestyle as the most effective way to stay mentally fit. Physical exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, reducing stress and not smoking are all key ways to promote physical health as well as mental health. In addition, staying mentally active throughout life via social engagement and intellectual stimulation is associated with a lower risk of certain brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Mentally stimulating activities can be as simple as reading, doing crossword puzzles or learning something new every day. Another way to challenge thinking abilities is to participate in structured mental fitness programs. These kinds of activities are a great step towards a fit brain which could reduce your risk of developing a number of conditions that affect the brain.

Grayling and pike

The arctic grayling is a popular sport fish in Alaska. The genus name for the fish, Thymallus, is derived from the fact that the fish tastes as if it has been seasoned with thyme. Fishing spots are the Delta Clearwater, Goodpaster, Salcha, Chena and Chatanika Rivers. Pike also are abundant in Interior Alaska. Major pike fishing areas are accessible by plane or by boat, including in the Minto Flats. Pike have a firm white flesh and fillet easily for frying or baking, according to the department of fish and game.

Contact freelance writer Amanda Bohman at

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It’s important to understand that different kinds of conditions affect the brain and some are temporary and correctable such as depression, thyroid disorders, electrolyte imbalances, medication side effects, alcohol abuse, and anemia. Other conditions are ongoing such as vascular disease, brain injuries and dementia including Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s and Lewy Body disease.

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It’s also good to know that there are many resources available to you. Of course your doctor is your primary resource relating to your personal health but there are many other resources to assist you as well as the ones you love. The Alaska Division of Public Health, The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, The Alaska Commission on Aging, and Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska are here to serve you. Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska serves anyone with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia and their caregivers, as well as anyone over 60. The Fairbanks office offers classes and trainings, the innovative Art Links program for those with dementia, and memory screenings for anyone concerned about memory loss. The office is located at 565 University Avenue, Suite 2.


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Many temporary and ongoing conditions are affected by our physical and mental health, so remember to REEP – Remain physically active, Eat healthy, Engage your mind and Protect your head!

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Our thanks to Lisa Wawrzonek, M.S., C.M.C., for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

surrounding Fairbanks, are easier to catch. The state of Alaska stocks many lakes with rainbow trout. Rainbow trout can be found in lakes including Harding Lake, Chena Lakes, North Pole Pond and Olnes Pond.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Sunday, March 30, 2014



Nutrient-rich foods can improve health By Amanda Bohman FOR THE NEWS-MINER


opping vitamin supplements is no replacement for a healthy diet. That’s the conclusion drawn by medical experts, including the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, a panel of doctors from public health, academia and professional medical organizations. The task force has repeatedly found little evidence to suggest that vitamin and mineral supplements do much to ward off cancer or cardiovascular disease. If you want to be healthy, you have

to eat good food, they said. Which foods are the best? Many health books, magazines and websites have a list. Here’s the foods that showed up on virtually every list.

Broccoli It has been called a nutrition superstar because broccoli is low in calories and rich in nutrients. Broccoli has fiber, iron and vitamins C, A and K. The vegetable is believed to ward off diseases, such as cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, studies have shown that broccoli contains compounds thought to boost detoxifying enzymes in the body. Steaming is one of the best ways to cook broccoli. One study, described in The New York Times, found that broccoli cooked in a microwave loses most of its antioxidant compounds. FOOD » 17

MEDICAL INSIGHT Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Dr. Brian Orr Naturopathic Medicine Natural Therapeudics

Fairbanks Family Wellness 3550 Airport Way, Syuite 4 Fairbanks, Alaska 907-479-2331

A Diet Rich in Fruits & Vegetables Increases Sex Appeal Ask anyone who has made a major effort to clean up their diet and they’ll tell you – healthy is sexy. Many fruits & vegetables are rich in yellow, orange, and red pigments called carotenoids, which not only improve your overall health but also induce changes in Caucasian skin tones that are perceived as healthier and more attractive by the opposite sex. These results come from a research study conducted by the School of Psychology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The researchers investigated skin changes associated with increases in fruit & vegetable consumption as a sexually selective cue for health, and concluded that increased fruit & vegetable consumption confers measurable and perceptiblybeneficial effects on skin appearance within six weeks. Health experts across the Western world have pounced on this study for its potential to encourage people to eat more fruits & vegetables, something that adults in the U.S. and the U.K. don’t do very much of according to current dietetic surveys. In 2013, the average American adult only consumed 1/5th of the recommended daily intake of fruits & vegetables – 5 servings; and that recommendation is just a baseline required to avoid disease (paying no heed to the fruits & vegetables needed for optimal health). The authors of the St. Andrews study state that such inadequate intake of plant-based foods is estimated to precipitate 2.6 million premature deaths per year worldwide. But choosing which dietary strategies will work most effectively to help you shed pounds, improve your fitness, nourish your body, and – yes – increase your sex appeal, is unique to you, your body, and your particular lifestyle. What’s needed is an individualized program that identifies your specific health goals and is tailored to your body’s personal biochemistry. Consulting one-on-one with a specialist is the best approach. A follow up study investigating the relationship between fruit & vegetable consumption and skin health/attractiveness in diverse ethnic groups would be benefical. However, despite this rather large limitation, the St. Andrews study provides hard scientific evidence that fresh produce makes skin healthy and increases the perception of sexual attractiveness. The authors made a special point to note that even small increases in carotenoid consumption yielded improvements in skin health & attractiveness. So take a small step to improve your health and eat an extra fruit or veggie a day. People will notice. As with all medical topics discussed in the media, consult your doctor for specific recommendations. 1501496 3-30-14H&W

Our thanks to Dr. Brian Orr, for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner



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Nutrition experts want you to enjoy the taste of eating right By Heather Powers and Tiffany Ricci FAIRBANKS MEMORIAL HOSPITAL


very March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates National Nutrition Month. Since taste is the most influential factor in choosing foods and meal patterns, the focus this year is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” The academy’s annual campaign highlights the basics of healthful eating to optimize our nation’s health through food and nutrition.

“When taste is the most influential factor driving what consumers eat, it is important that we find the balance between choosing the foods we like with those that provide the nutrients we need,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Dr. Glenna McCollum. “This year’s ‘Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right’ theme reinforces that the two choices are not mutually exclusive.” It’s important to recognize that healthy eating patterns take time to

develop if they are not already habit. Focusing on incorporating more nutrient-dense foods into meals and snacks will help put you on the path to eating right. Plan your daily meals around whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes to obtain necessary vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber without breaking your calorie budget. “Achieving balance and building a healthier diet can be simple and stress-free. Selecting nutrient-rich foods and beverages first is

a way to make better choices within your daily eating plan,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy spokesperson Debbi Beauvais. Enjoy the taste of eating right with these helpful tips:

Train your palate We are familiar with training programs that prepare us for careers as TASTE » 8

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Good in the grounds

Continued from 7 well as marathon runs. Training your palate promotes success with healthful eating habits. It takes time for your taste buds to adjust to a nutrient-dense diet if you are not used to those foods. Allow a few weeks for your tastes to acclimate to less sodium, more fiber, and different herbs and spices. When you allow your taste buds to adapt slowly, you can change what tastes you enjoy in time. You can’t go from a sedentary lifestyle to marathon shape overnight — and neither can your taste buds.

By Chuck Norris CREATORS.COM

Q: Chuck, I heard that there’s a new large study that links the increase of coffee drinking with premature deaths. Seems to me that sipping Java is given a bad health rap and is much better for us than most know. Which side of the coffee bean do you stand on? — “Cool for Coffee” in Charleston, S.C. A: I enjoy a cup of coffee as much as anyone — but not just for the taste. I, too, believe the nutritional value is being overlooked in many circles, but a word of caution for moderation is in order. You’re right; a new study published online in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings looked at 43,727 people ages 20 to 87 from 1971 to 2002. It concluded that men younger than 55 who drink more than four cups of coffee per day are 56 percent likelier to die from any cause. Women younger than 55 who drink more than four




cups per day are twice as likely to die as other women in that age group. Does that study on excess discount the health benefits of a cup or two of coffee each day? In its August edition, the COFFEE » 9

If “healthy” is not the way you would describe most of your current food choices, try expanding your horizons. When shopping for groceries pick up a new fruit, vegetable or whole grain every trip. “You can start small by picking a different type of apple, a different color potato or a new flavor of whole-grain rice until you are comfortable picking entirely new things that you’ve never tried or heard of before,” says registered dietitian and Academy spokesperson Constance Brown-Riggs.

Add flavor to your healthy options Different cooking techniques, flavorful

spices, tangy vinegars and citrus juices, and access to exotic ingredients can enhance your healthy choices. Try grilling or roasting vegetables for a sweeter, smokier flavor. Add balsamic vinegar to soups and stews to enhance the dish. Use fresh herbs as part of a salad mix. Create unique dressings with quality mustards and tangy citrus juices. The flavor combinations are endless and are guaranteed to help you enjoy the new healthy choices you’ve added to your diet.

Use your resources Surf the Internet to find new recipes or meal planning ideas. If you’ve got a healthy eater in your work place or social circle, ask to borrow cookbooks. Chances are they will be eager to share their favorite recipes. Involve your family with meal planning — have them help create or find healthy meals everyone will enjoy. As registered dietitians, we encourage you to embrace National Nutrition Month with an open mind and healthy focus. Engage your taste buds as you explore new healthy food options. Start simple and expand your horizons as 2014 continues. Enjoy the taste of eating right! Heather Powers, RD, CDE, LD and Tiffany Ricci, RD, CSG, LD, are registered dietitians at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital/Denali Center Diabetes Center.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Sunday, March 30, 2014



COFFEE Continued from 8

mer’s Disease in 2011 and 2012 revealed that older women who drank coffee were less likely to experience cognitive decline. According to a review paper in Experimental Neurobiology, drinking coffee helps protect against Parkinson’s disease. Though coffee may increase the risk of heart attack for people with multiple cardiovascular problems during the hour or two after drinking coffee, a 2011 Swedish study in the American Journal of Epidemiology discovered that moderate coffee drinking was “associated with a modest reduction in stroke risk.” According to a large study in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2012, people who drank at least two cups of coffee every day (regular or decaf) were 10 to 15 percent less likely to die from diabetes, a stroke, heart disease, respiratory disease, an infection or an accident. And this month featured news from researchers at the Duke University School of Medicine who found that the caffeine from coffee and tea reduced fat in the livers of people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Despite coffee’s health benefits, however, UC Berkeley’s experts are reluctant to encourage people who never have drunk coffee to drink it, largely because the risk factors remain for certain people. We shouldn’t forget that caffeine is a stimulant and, as such, should be avoided by people with certain heart or blood conditions or other health concerns. Your health practitioner should be consulted before you make dietary changes, even changes to your beverage consumption. Maybe a good word and reminder from Ralph Waldo Emerson is in order: “Moderation in all things, especially moderation.” Chuck Norris’ weekly health and fitness column, “C-Force,” can be found at creators. com.

MEDICAL INSIGHT Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Michael Hollingsworth, MS, LPC North Wind Behavioral Health 1867 Airport Way, Suite 215 Fairbanks, AK 99701 907-456-1434

Eight Tips For Fighting the Winter Blues Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that impacts millions of lives each fall and winter. Symptoms generally begin in the fall and persist through the winter but can also be present during summer and spring months. As the name would suggest, SAD is different from other depressive disorders in that symptoms are directly associated with seasonal changes. The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder can range from mild to severe and include, but are not limited, to the following: fatigue, sleeping more than usual, difficulty concentrating for long periods of time, isolating from friends or family, craving foods high in carbohydrates, decreased sex drive, irritability, depressed mood, anxiety, feeling hopeless or “stuck” and decreased interest in normally enjoyed activities. Just as we are responsible for maintaining healthy habits for the sake of our physical wellbeing, we are also responsible for our mental health. Being proactive in managing symptoms can lead to direct results in decreasing depression. It can also be empowering to take action rather than feeling powerless to the inevitable seasonal changes. The following is a list of helpful ideas to consider: Consult with a physician before making the following lifestyle changes. 1) Exercise. Research continues to suggest a positive correlation between a healthy exercise routine and decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety. Consider a vigorous 30 minute cardiovascular workout three times per week. 2) Change Your Perspective on Winter. Identify some winter activities that will get you outside and enjoy the unique opportunities that winter provides. 3) Don’t Wear Sunglasses Unless Absolutely Necessary. Light enters the body through the eyes so this can be a simple, helpful change. 4) Use a Light Box to Supplement the Lack of Sunshine. Try sitting at different distances from the light box and for different lengths of time to identify what works best for you. 5) Vitamins. Vitamin D3 and Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be helpful in treating SAD. 6) Get out of Town. If affordable, a timely vacation can make a huge difference as well as give you something to look forward to. 7) Get Closer to a Window. If possible arrange your office and living room so that you sit closer to a window. 8) Medication and Psychotherapy. Many Alaskans find it helpful to take anti-depressant medication in the winter months. A therapist can also be helpful in providing suggestions and motivating positive change. Our thanks to Michael Hollingsworth, MS, LPC, for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

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University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter ran an excellent article titled “Coffee: Grounds for Optimism.” Let me highlight some of its main points. Coffee used to be regarded as a health hazard, but in recent years, it has joined the ranks of red wine and dark chocolate for its nutritional contributions. Though the health professionals at UC Berkeley encourage moderation, they concur that coffee does indeed have health benefits. They also noted that “early research linking coffee or caffeine to health problems has almost always been refuted by better studies.” Caffeine is nearly synonymous with coffee, and we all know that in excess, it can cause insomnia, jitters and indigestion issues. Remember that caffeine has a purpose in the plant. It serves as a natural pesticide to ward off its predators. And recent studies have shown its beneficial nature for many of us, too, when it’s consumed in moderation. As a mild psychoactive substance, it “improves reaction time, mental acuity, alertness, and mood; wards off drowsiness; and helps people wake up and feel better in the morning,” according to the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter. Moreover, it enhances aspects of sport performance and contributes to pain relievers’ effects. The newsletter calls coffee “the No. 1 source of antioxidants in the U.S.,” largely because of its colossal consumption. Nevertheless, its antioxidants are real and many. Among them are polyphenols, which can contribute to the “prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and osteoporosis and suggests a role in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes mellitus,” according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Two other recent studies in that journal linked long-term coffee drinking to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. A 2012 NIH-AARP Diet & Health Study revealed that those who drank at least four cups of coffee daily were 15 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than those who didn’t. Though the overall risk for prostate cancer isn’t affected, a 2011 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and a 2012 study in Nutrition Journal found a reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer in those who consumed coffee. Two large studies in 2011 linked coffee to a decreased risk of endometrial cancer. According to a 2011 analysis in Nurses’ Health Study, drinking two to three cups of coffee daily reduces the risk of depression by 15 percent. Two studies in the Journal of Alzhei-

According to a large study in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2012, people who drank at least two cups of coffee every day (regular or decaf) were 10 to 15 percent less likely to die from diabetes, a stroke, heart disease, respiratory disease, an infection or an accident.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


14 wild ways to break free from junk food By Marilynn Preston CREATORS.COM


f I had my magic wand back — I was carrying it in the Halloween parade and it vanished — I would wave it and shazaam all processed foods would disappear. It’s harsh, I know. I love my Sour Cream and Onion Ruffles as much as the next person. But the truth is processed foods — the ones that come in colorful packages or cans with a long list of perfectly legal ingredients stacked under the label — aren’t good for you.

In fact, they’re bad for you. You can discover just how bad in books, videos and all over the Internet. Go there and be educated. It’s no secret that processed foods contain chemicals, additives, preservatives, artificial dyes, flavors, colors and other suspect ingredients that are linked to a variety of health problems. And not in a good way. It’s not restful to dwell on the known negatives: the weight gain, the strokes, the fatigue, the diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and annoying digestive upsets that then must be addressed with little purple pills. Instead, I’m going to share a positively intriguing

rs Visito Guide

resource for weaning yourself off processed foods, a 14-week plan that should be a required course in schools everywhere. This step-by-step approach, created by the crusading Lisa Leake for, consists of mini-pledges that you take week by week, alone or with friends or, best of all, with your entire family. Each week is another way to experience more real food and less junk. By the time 14 weeks are over, you’ll be closer than ever to eating clean. I’m not saying it’s CLEAN » 11

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CLEAN Continued from 10 easy — “the perfect is the enemy of the good” — but the cumulative rewards are remarkable. When you eat clean, you feel lighter and more energetic. Chances are you’ll lose weight. Aches, pains and other symptoms that sent you to the doctor will lessen and might disappear because, food is medicine. When you eat the real stuff, your body can thrive and heal itself. For more along these lines, go to Leake’s website and feast on her informative blogs. If you’re still not convinced that weaning yourself off processed foods is important, never mind. You’re not ready to change. You have a big fat disconnect between what you eat and how you feel. That’s OK. Your doctor probably struggles with the same problem, since she or he learned next-to-nothing about nutrition in medical school. (How crazy is that?) Ready for action? Here’s the challenge: • Week 1: (“I pledge to ...”) Eat at least two different fruits and or vegetables — preferably organic — with every meal. • Week 2: Your beverages are limited to coffee, tea, water and milk. Don’t choke. Give it a go. One cup of juice is allowed per week, and wine, preferably

When you eat clean, you feel lighter and more energetic. ... Aches, pains and other symptoms that sent you to the doctor will lessen and might disappear because, food is medicine.

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CLEAN » 12


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John A. Lopez, MD Spine Care Specialists of Alaska 2310 Peger Road, Ste. 106 Fairbanks, Alaska

Sciatica—Recognizing and Treating this Common Ailment Most people are afflicted with an episode of low back pain and/or sciatica at least once in their lifetime. Sciatica is a general term that refers to radiating pain and/or numbness down one or both legs. The cause of these radiating symptoms is usually related to either stenosis or radiculopathy. Stenosis is a generalized decrease in the diameter of the spinal canal, causing compression of all the nerve roots within that area. Radiculopathy occurs when a specific nerve root is irritated and inflamed, usually from a disk that has dislodged from its normal position and is pressing against the nerve. Lumbar stenosis is usually a degenerative disease of the spinal column due to aging. As we age, water content in the disk space is lost, causing the disk space to collapse. This produces abnormal motion in this area of the spinal column leading to degenerative changes in the joints responsible for the motion. This eventually causes soft tissue overgrowth and bone spurs, both of which can lead to narrowing of the spinal canal and stenosis. The classic symptoms are comprised of pain, numbness and/or achiness when standing and walking, which improve or disappear when sitting and/or flexing forward, such as leaning on a grocery cart while walking. In general, surgery for stenosis is considered when a patient can barely stand and/or walk for 15 minutes or less. The goal of surgery is to decompress the spinal nerves to alleviate the pain, numbness and achiness associated with walking. This is usually a minimally invasive procedure that takes about 1-2 hours, requiring 1-2 nights in the hospital depending on the number of spinal levels involved and the patient’s overall health status. Radiculopathy may also be referred to as sciatica, often presenting as a radiating pain or numbness to the foot; but may also be limited to weakness. Usually, radiculopathy predictably resolves over time with conservative management techniques including the temporary use of pain medications, physical therapy, focused steroid injections and, most importantly, the patient taking it easy. This can be very difficult for the patient because an acute radiculopathy can be extremely debilitating and agonizing. Surgery is usually reserved for patients experiencing severe pain that does not improve over 4-12 weeks, or weakness with or without pain symptoms. Surgery uses minimally invasive techniques, and healthy patients can usually go home the same day or after one night in the hospital.


Our thanks to John A. Lopez, MD, for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


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red, is allowed in moderation. (Thank you, Lisa.) • Week 3: All meat consumed this week is locally raised. Limit yourself to three to four modest servings per week, treating meat as a side dish not the main course. • Week 4: No fast food or deep fried food. (Gulp.) • Week 5: Try two new whole foods you’ve never tried before. • Week 6: Eat no food products labeled as low fat, “lite,” reduced or non-fat. • Week 7: All grains must be 100 percent whole grains. • Week 8: Stop eating when you are full. (This means listening to internal cues.)

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CLEAN Continued from 11 • Week 9: No refined or artificial sweeteners. No white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, Splenda, stevia, agave, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup and cane juice. Your food and drink can only be sweetened with modest amounts of honey or maple syrup. • Week 10: No refined or hydrogenated oils. That means no vegetable oil, soybean, corn, canola, organic canola, margarine, grape seed oil. • Week 11: Eat at least one locally grown or raised food item at each

meal. That means local honey, eggs, nuts, meats, fruits, vegetables. • Week 12: No sweeteners. Not even honey and maple syrup. (You’ve come this far ... you can do it.) • Week 13: Nothing artificial. Avoid all artificial ingredients. • Week 14: No more than five ingredients. Avoid packaged food products that list more than five ingredients, no matter the ingredients. • Week 15: Email me at and let me know how well this worked, or, if you insist, how miserable you were. Marilynn Preston’s weekly column, “Energy Express,” can be found at

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Foods that could help you save your own skin By Casey Seidenberg SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON POST


y boys love to talk about the biggest bone in their body (the femur) and the largest muscle (the gluteus maximus). What is it with boys and big? I stumped them recently when I asked them to name the body’s largest organ. They debated between the large intestine and the liver. Nope, neither. Our skin is our largest organ. It protects us from harsh temperatures, sunlight and chemicals, and also prevents infections from entering our bodies. It makes Vitamin D and has sensors that tell our brains what is happening in the world outside our bodies. Our skin also excretes toxins and waste products — pounds of them per day. And for the aged, it can often tell a story right on our faces. Kimberly Snyder, author of “The Beauty Detox Solution,” said that skin “functions like a mirror of what is going on inside the body,” so when moms of teenagers ask me what foods their girls should eat for healthy skin, I always cheer them on for understanding that what their daughters put inside is reflected on the outside. If you have a teenager who is struggling


with skin problems, pay attention to these nutrients: • Antioxidants. Foods such as blueberries, blackberries and tomatoes are high in antioxidants that protect against the free

radicals in our environment that cause cellular damage. • Omega 3 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and preserve cell membranes. Cell membranes allow the good nutrients in and the wastes out, so keep skin clear and glowing. Salmon, walnuts and flax seeds are good sources of Omega 3s. • Vitamin A is an antioxidant and important for the regeneration of new skin. Cod liver oil is a solid source of the vitamin, and orange and yellow vegetables contain beta carotene that can be converted to Vitamin A in the body. • Zinc has been shown to reduce acne as successfully as the acne medication tetracycline. Ideal sources of zinc are organ meats, beef, lamb, oysters, scallops and pumpkin seeds. • Water keeps skin hydrated and helps to move nutrients in and waste out. According to Elizabeth Lipski, the author of “Digestive Wellness,” good digestion is directly related to healthy skin. Eating raw fruits and vegetables that provide helpful digestive enzymes, and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, aids in digestion and strengthens the skin. Snyder also said, “When our skin has to

pour out so many toxins that it erupts into acne, that is a red flag.” Certain foods can damage the skin by causing breakouts, inflammation or redness. These are some skin enemies: • Sugary foods trigger the body to produce a surge of the hormone insulin, helping cells to absorb the sugar. This burst of insulin has been shown to contribute to acne. Nicholas Perricone, an expert behind many books on healthy skin, explains that digested sugar attaches to the collagen in skin, contributing to aging, acne and other skin problems such as rosacea. • Processed fats and oils such as trans fats, corn oil, vegetable oil and canola oil can cause inflammation in the body and trigger skin issues. According to Perricone, inflammation generates enzymes that damage the collagen and elastin in skin, causing wrinkles and other problems. I’m not sure my boys cared much about these skin facts. They are too young to have acne, but they have remained fixated on the fact that skin can pump out pounds of waste per day. You can imagine the conversations they’ve had about this. Boys. Casey Seidenberg is co-founder of Nourish Schools, a Washington, D.C.-based nutrition education company.

Map to 1st Care Clinic


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An ounce of nuts daily prolongs life, prevents disease By Dr. David Lipschitz CREATORS.COM


uts are generally considered bad choices for snacks because they’re so high in calories. It is why experts recommend avoiding cakes or desserts containing a high content of them, and why many of us keep them out of our diets. But in recent years, more and more information has been indicating the tremendous benefits nuts have on improving health. The most encouraging report showed that adding nuts to your diet either prevented weight gain or promoted weight loss. Researchers have found dieters who consume an ounce of nuts daily are more likely to eat less at supper and, therefore, lose weight. Now, from a large population study, comes remarkable evidence that nut consumption reduces the risk of heart disease in both men and women by as much as 50 percent. The benefit is so impressive that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering a proposal to allow foods containing nuts to state on their labels: “Diets containing an ounce of nuts per day can reduce your risk of heart disease.”

A massive study recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that increasing nut intake also reduces the risk of many chronic illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes. It appears to reduce risk of death, too. Researchers followed more than 75,000 women from 1980 to 2010, and more than 40,000 men from 1986 to 2010. Throughout the 30-year period, compared to those who never ate nuts, those who did once weekly had a 7 percent lower risk of dying, gradually reducing risk even more as they consumed more nuts. For those eating nuts at least once per day, the risk of death was lowered by a remarkable 20 percent. Further analysis revealed significant reductions in the risk of heart and

respiratory diseases, diabetes, infections and cancer. There was some concern at the outset of the study that daily nut consumption could lead to weight gain. The exact opposite turned out to be the case. Those eating nuts most frequently either maintained their weight or lost weight during the course of the study. Nut-eaters were overall healthier: They were less likely to

be obese, had lower waist circumferences, lower cholesterols and blood-sugar levels than their counterparts not eating nuts. They also ate less, consumed more fruits and vegetables, and exercised more regularly. For this reason, it’s unclear whether the found benefits of nuts were a result of people committed to healthier lifestyles and living longer being less concerned about their weights and, hence, more likely to eat nuts. There are many ways nuts promote health. They contain the best polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers, and have high concentrations of antioxidants (phenols and phytosterols). NUTS » 15

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NUTS Continued from 14 Most experts recommend having an ounce of nuts as a snack in the afternoon and about two to three hours before dinner. They are calorically dense and take a long time to chew. This, in turn, helps promote satiety, as does their high calorie content. Nuts’ high level of fiber also makes you feel full and less hungry at dinnertime. Nuts make it easier to eat prudently, limiting your risk of becoming obese and making a diet program more likely to be successful. Nuts reduce the risk of heart attacks in a number of ways. Monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids tend to lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of blood clotting. High concentrations of the amino acid arginine promote blood flow, dilate blood vessels and help maintain a lower blood pressure. And high fiber content reduces cholesterol and appears to decrease the risk of diabetes. High fiber and healthy fats in nuts also promote better gastrointestinal function and decrease the risk of colon, breast and prostate cancers. Like an apple a day, an ounce of nuts will almost certainly keep the doctor away. The most important message you can extract from this information is that the best approach to dieting is not necessarily the consumption of low-calorie foods, but that learning to make the right food choices and eating in the right amounts will lead to a long and healthy life.

The myth of exercising on an empty stomach By Sharon Naylor CREATORS.COM


ne of the questions exercisers often ask their trainers is: Should I exercise on a full or empty stomach? It’s a common misconception that exercising on an empty stomach means the fat you burn comes straight from your body’s stored fat deposits, as opposed to burning just the food in your stomach and essentially getting nowhere. “This is a myth that many people still follow, believing that working out on an empty stomach will burn more fat. Your body needs fuel to move, lift and run. Working out on an empty stomach will make both your body and brain cranky,” said Petra Kolber, a fitness expert and trainer at online workout site FitnessGlo who has starred in more than 12 top-selling fitness videos. “While you will not want to eat a three-course meal, eating a sensible snack before your workout will only improve your performance and your exercise experience. In addition, working out after eating a nutritious snack has the following benefits: It can boost recovery and strength gains. It can

help you sustain longer, more intense workouts. It can help you avoid low blood sugar. You will just be more pleasant during your workout.” The answer is to eat for fuel so that you can complete a full workout, rather than giving up after five minutes because your energy stores are drained. Fitness expert Patricia Friberg said, “Being completely empty may leave you feeling depleted, lightheaded and unable to perform.” What should you eat and when? Alex McLean, FitnessGlo’s top trainer, suggests eating “snacks or meals that contain carbohydrates and proteins 90 minutes before workout time” so your body has the chance to absorb the nutrients and generate energy. “If you don’t have that 90-minute window before your workout class or personal trainer session,” McLean said, “choose foods that can be digested easily.” Trainer Jeffrey Scott brings up the blood sugar factor. “Eating before your workout stabilizes your blood sugar so that you feel stronger for longer and are less likely to feel dizzy or faint.” With the experts’ focus on the body’s need for energy and the ability of healthful snacks to provide that energy, you can solve your full vs. empty

stomach concerns by reframing your understanding of food as a good thing and not the enemy. Food delivers nutrients and hydration: fuel to keep your body and mind functioning at their peak levels of performance. It’s when you think of food as nothing but fat or calories to burn that you can make mistakes with your pre-workout choices. Fitness pro Denise Klatte points out muscles need glycogen to get stronger and more defined. This might explain why your practice of working out on an empty stomach didn’t deliver the improvements you desired: Your body didn’t have the building blocks to create those improvements. It may seem odd if you’ve been operating under the empty-stomach misconception for years, but eating before a workout delivers better results, faster and more efficiently, which can keep you motivated to stick to your regimen. In addition to having a healthful snack or light meal prior to your workout, Klatte urges you to keep hydration in mind. Your muscles need good hydration to function and repair themselves, and your body and brain need plenty of water to create energy and help you heal.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Some food for thought for National Nutrition Month

HEALING INSIGHT Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Tarika Lea


The Lea MethodTM


t’s March, National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spotlights the important role of healthful eating and physical activity to control weight and prevent chronic disease. But these aren’t snap-your-fingers, easy-toachieve goals to execute in fast-paced, convenience-driven Washington. In honor of National Nutrition Month, I exchanged emails with eight registered dietitian nutritionists, asking them to divulge their secret weapons.

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Weeds, Essential Oils & The Missing Link What do weeds have to do with essential oils and health? Weeds have a reputation as pests. They take over, are persistent, and take you hours to remove from your garden. Not all weeds are pest, some have medicinal benefits. Your ancestors and mine survived because of their knowledge of weeds. It was a different time when there were no magic bullet pills. Not so long ago all pharmaceuticals were found in ones nearby meadow or cultivated in ones backyard. It is a known fact that constituents (ingredients) of herbs have been capitalized upon through patenting their healing components into a pill. The genius of man is unending yet have you wondered about the two pages of warnings that accompany their use? It becomes critical for us each to decide if the benefits outweigh the potential side effects.

Make a plan “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail,” said Elana Natker, who works in the Washington office of FoodMinds, a nutrition communications company. Natker creates her weekly dinner menu on Sunday, inventories what’s in and out of stock and then shops. She said, “These steps minimize my 6 o’clock scramble and the expectation of my young children that I’m a short-order cook.” Others ditto Natker’s strategy. “Our weekly menu and coordinated shopping list are in hand on my supermarket runs. The results: We eat healthier, waste less food and time, and there’s less stress at dinner time,” said Nancy Brenowitz Katz, manager of the Healthy Schools Act Initiatives in Washington and president of the Metropolitan Area Dietetic Association.

Two generations ago my ancestors brought the old ways of Lithuania with them. Taking responsibility for finding answers for any health malady in the ‘kingdom of weeds’ was a way of life. When my grandmother took me for walks it was to teach me what her mother and her mother’s mother used direct from the earth. Our walks were an adventure into tasting and finding. Her broken English was enough to transfer a trust to find what was provided by the creator to heal. Biblical references and now modern science acknowledges that herbs in the form of essential oils can be an important missing link to greater health. However, it is also a science demanding extensive research and control of every step. Such essential oils are not perfume grade, enhanced or formulated with chemicals. In my forty five years of teaching massage the guardian at the gate of my acceptance of choosing a therapeutic quality is authenticity of the company, reflected in results. Are you open to this exploration and the benefits your ancestors lived by the use of weeds?

Keep healthful foods in the kitchen

Referred to as liquid gold your next step is to challenge what is called pure, certified and organic to find what best represents those benefits!…Identify the stewards of the farms where they are grown. Consider those companies who monitor every step of assuring quality from seed to seal. Then learn how freeing it is to support your health with what your ancestors knew. Become friendly with weeds! Your life and quality of health could depend upon it! 12503118-3-30-14H&W

Our thanks to Tarika Lea for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

High among their goals is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. They’ve devised strategies to make this happen. “I toss a variety of colorful vegetables, onions, carrots, potatoes, hearty root vegetables in olive oil, herbs and spices. I roast and refrigerate them,” suggests Wendy Anderson, an in-store nutritionist for Giant Food in Severna Park, Md. They’re handy as a full-flavor side dish, snack or meatless entrée. Thanks to advance prep, Danielle Omar, who owns Food Confidence, a nutrition counseling practice in Fairfax, Va., makes salads in a jiffy. “I keep all my salad fixings together on a tray in the refrigerator. Out comes the tray. I prepare the salads, and then back the

tray goes.” Natker cuts the various vegetables she uses in salads and stores them in containers.” Making salads becomes an assembly job versus the arduous task of washing, chopping and cleaning every time you serve salad.” “My must-have-on-hand vegetables are onions, avocados, jalapeños and tomatoes. I chop various combinations for quick meals like paninis, flatbread pizza or quesadillas,” said Dana Magee, a dietitian at the nutrition counseling practice Rebecca Bitzer & Associates.

Fit in fruit, vegetables It’s one thing to stock up on fruits and vegetables; it’s another to eat them before they shrivel and go brown. “Three tactics help me,” said Angie Hasemann, a pediatric dietitian at the University of Virginia Children’s Fitness Clinic and president of the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. One: She keeps fruit in her car for post-exercise snacks when that starvation feeling hits. Two: She kicks off her brown-bag lunch with fruits and vegetables before she digs into the main dish. “They take the edge off my appetite, slow my pace of eating and help me eat my fill.” Three: She sneaks vegetables into unlikely dishes, such as diced onions, raw squash and zucchini in spicy barbecue chicken nachos.

Load up early, go light later Americans tend to eat a light breakfast or skip it, grab lunch on the run and eat the bulk of our calories from dinner on through the evening. Two experts upend this pattern. Sarah Waybright, owner of the WhyFoodWorks healthful dinner party service, front-loads her day to stabilize hunger hormones and avoid nighttime cravings. Breakfast is her largest meal. Next, she eats a mid-morning snack. “By the end of lunch, I’ve eaten three-quarters of my calories. I’m fueled while I work and don’t sleep on loads of calories at night,” she said. If your mornings are too rushed, try to fuel up at lunch. “I don’t have time for a big breakfast, so I chow down on a big, healthy lunch. This helps me shrink my dinner and limit evening snacking,” Hasemann said. MONTH » 17

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Sunday, March 30, 2014



MONTH Continued from 16

Have snacks ready It can be hard to hunt down healthful snacks on the go. So bring your own. “I have plenty of those dollar-store quarter-cup plastic containers and pack portion-controlled snacks to go in them,” Magee said, “from nuts to trail mix, dried fruit, whole-grain crackers or a few cookies. I use these containers to pack peanut butter, hummus or salad dressing for parts of meals on the run, too.” Katz says containers are also helpful on long trips with kids. “I prepare and pack a variety of options so I can keep offering something new.”

De-stress the 6 o’clock scramble The nightly question “what’s for dinner?” begs for a quick and easy answer. The key is advance thinking. “We keep a go-to list of family favorite dinners next to the fridge. As I see new recipes, I add them. When we’ve hit a dinner-menu rut, I glance at the list for

FOOD Continued from 5 The chemicals are leached out during the cooking process, while steamed broccoli loses few chemicals during the cooking process.


Nuts Nuts are a nutrient-dense food full of

Satisfy, don’t deprive When it comes to temptations, Heather Calcote, a wellness coach for Wellness Corporate Solutions and author of the blog Dietitian on the Run, practices a 90/10 approach. “Ninety percent of the time I choose healthy foods, and I leave 10 percent wiggle room for celebrations, restaurant meals and sweets.” Omar savors a few pieces of dark chocolate after dinner. “This prevents me from reaching for sweets during the day,” she said. Waybright allots 200 calories per day for sweet treats. “Chia pudding, mascarpone and berries or homemade hot chocolate are my have-on-hand, go-to splurges,” she said. Hope Warshaw, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator, is the author of numerous books published by the American Diabetes Association and of the blog EatHealthyLiveWell, found on her website,

vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. A 2013 study titled “Should we go nuts about nuts?” showed that people who eat nuts more than three times per week died less often from cancer and cardiovascular disease than people who don’t eat nuts regularly. The study is described on the website,, a nut industry organization. Fresh, raw or dry-roasted nuts are the healthiest. Nutritionists recommend avoiding nuts with salt and fried in oil.

Apples Ever hear the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Studies suggest there’s some truth to it. One study out of Florida State University showed that women asked to eat apples every day experienced health improvements, including a reduction in bad cholesterol and weight loss after six months. Apples, which are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. When it comes to apples, don’t peel the skins. Much of the nutrients, including antioxidants, are found in the outer coating. Contact freelance writer Amanda Bohman at

MEDICAL INSIGHT Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Leslie Cornwell, CMN Interior Birthing Center 1626 30th Ave Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99701 (907) 328-0505

Babies are a Booming Business With the population increasing in Fairbanks due to the increase in military personnel and expanding job opportunities, families are growing as well. Fairbanks’ average birth rate in 2012 was 18.3 per 1000 compared to the national average 12.7. There are more midwives and birth setting options per capita in Fairbanks than the rest of the country. The newest is Interior Birthing Center, which provides women with an option of a homey environment with medical training and equipment available for the “just in case.” The American Association of Birth Centers defines a birth center as a home-like setting where care providers, usually midwives, provide family-centered care to healthy pregnant women. Pregnancy and childbirth are healthy, normal life events for most women and babies. As such, birth centers hold to the “wellness” model of birth, which means they provide continuous, supportive care and interventions are used only when medically necessary. Birth centers are universally committed to family-centered care. In these settings, the childbearing woman’s right to be the decisionmaker about the circumstances of her birth is fully respected. Birth centers recognize that the mother knows what her body needs to give birth and promote “physiologic birth,” one that is spontaneous and free of unnecessary interventions. Women are encouraged to move, eat and drink as they wish, and give birth in whatever position is most comfortable. Water therapy and water birth have become popular in the United States and across the world, and are available at almost every birth center (including Interior Birthing Center) as well as many hospitals. Water immersion during labor and birth has been shown to speed up labor, relieve pain, promote relaxation, reduce lacerations, and is a gentle and safe welcome for babies. In January 2013, the American Association of Birth Centers posted a study about the safety and value of birth centers. One of the most important findings of this study was that more than 9 out of 10 women (94%) who entered labor planning a birth center birth achieved a vaginal birth. In other words, the c-section rate for lowrisk women who chose to give birth at a birth center was only 6%compared to the U.S. cesarean section rate of 27% for low-risk women. More and more families in Fairbanks desire safe, natural, and lowintervention maternity care. Interior Birthing Center has a team of providers including, Certified Nurse Midwives and Obstetricians who use a team approach to provide women an individualized, natural approach to pregnancy care and childbirth. Our thanks to Leslie Cornwell, CMN, for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, oh my. The tiny little morsels pack a nutritious punch. According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, blueberries are full of fiber and teaming with vitamin C. Research suggests that anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in blueberries could help ward off cancer, cardiovascular diseases and other age-related illnesses. Cranberries are one of the top five foods with the highest antioxidant content per serving, according to the Cranberry Marketing Committee. The Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Alaska Fairbanks touts raspberries as one of the richest sources of ellagic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties and has been linked to preventing cancer and heart disease.

inspiration,” Natker said. To get one step closer to the dinner table, Anderson assembles dinner ingredients before leaving for work. “It also lets me know what I might need to buy on my way home,” she says.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Keeping Fairbanks Healthy


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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Sunday, March 30, 2014



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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


What to read into nutrition labels on raw meat By Hope Warshaw SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON POST

Q: When you read a nutrition facts label for raw meat, is the fat content listed for raw or cooked weight? If it’s the cooked weight, is the manufacturer assuming the meat is rare or well done? A: Good questions. Let’s unravel this starting with a few bites of background on meat and poultry nutrition labels. First, definitions. Meats, sometimes called red meats, includes beef, lamb, pork and veal and the less commonly eaten bison, emu and venison. Poultry includes chicken, turkey, duck, hen and goose. In 1994, when the federal Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 went into effect, our packaged foods got a facelift with the now familiar nutrition facts label. It wasn’t until 2012 that providing a nutrition facts labels was mandatory for manufacturers of single-ingredient raw meat and poultry products. The Food and Drug Administration does the heavy lifting on food and nutrition labeling, but jurisdiction for meat and poultry products is under the Department of Agriculture’s charge. The FDA takes the reins back for foods that contain less than 2 percent cooked meat.

On packaged raw meat and poultry products, the nutrition facts are listed based on the product’s raw weight. The serving size for nearly all raw meat and poultry products is four ounces. It was the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service that in 2012 took nutrition labeling of meat and poultry products from voluntary to mandatory. The intent of this new rule, according to the FSIS, was to give shoppers a clearer sense of the options available and to help them make more-informed decisions. The 2012 rule mandated that packages of ground or chopped meat and poultry, such as hamburger or ground turkey, and the 40 most popular whole, raw cuts of meat and poultry, such as chicken breast or steak, feature the nutrition facts panel on the food’s label or nearby on display in the market, said Joy Dubost, a registered dietitian in Washington and spokeswoman for

the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The label must provide calories, grams of total fat and saturated fat based on the serving size. Ground or chopped meat or poultry that contains a lean percentage statement must now also list the percentage of fat in the product to allow for easier product comparisons. Manufacturers can voluntarily offer more information. On packaged raw meat and poultry products, the nutrition facts are listed based on the product’s raw weight. The serving size for nearly all raw meat and poultry products is four ounces. If the raw product was formed into patties, then the serving size would be the raw weight of each patty — for example, three ounces. Here’s a rule of thumb to translate from raw to cooked portions of meats and poultry. Dubost suggests for meats, it’s reasonable to estimate you’ll lose about a quarter of the weight in cooking. Four ounces of raw meat with no bones will serve roughly three ounces cooked. Dubost’s estimate is corroborated by an evaluation of cooking yields for meats and poultry by the USDA’s Nutrient Data Laboratory in late 2012. To estimate the weight of cooked meat or poultry with bone in it, say a T-bone steak or chicken legs, figure you’ll lose another ounce. So, four ounces raw with bones will

result in two ounces cooked. Do figure on variation based on several factors: cut of meat, amount of fat, whether it contains bones or skin, preparation method and how well you cook it. For example, a four-ounce raw portion of lean meat grilled to rare will lose less weight than if that steak had more fat on it and was cooked well done. What about that cut of red meat or burger you order in a restaurant? Menus typically refer to a raw weight, not the weight of the food served to you. This is based on an industry standard, not a regulation. A hamburger described as a quarter of a pound (four ounces) will be about three ounces by the time you bite into it, and that eight-ounce filet will be about six ounces cooked. Menu labeling (at least at restaurant chains with more than 20 locations serving the same menu) eventually will be affected by regulations being developed under the Affordable Care Act. “I suspect once the restaurant menu labeling regulations go into effect, the nutrition information for meats and poultry items will be reported for cooked weights,” Dubost said. Hope Warshaw, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator, is the author of numerous books published by the American Diabetes Association.

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Sunday, March 30, 2014




Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Melissa Weight, PA-C Pediatrics

Tanana Valley Clinic 1001 Noble Street, Fairbanks, Alaska (907)459-3500

A little cream and rosemary can liven up long-stored savoy cabbage and bring a hint of spring. SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON POST

Cream and the crop: Healthful dairy choices By Barbara Damrosch SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON POST


Barbara Damrosch’s latest book is “The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook”; her website is

Routine well child checks should be scheduled at 3-5 days of life, 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months. After age 2 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends annual checkups through age 18. Many people think of a well child check merely as an appointment to get vaccinations. While it is true that immunizations are an essential way to help prevent illness, other portions of the visit may be just as important to your child’s health. During their check up, your health care provider reviews developmental screenings to track your child’s milestones and provide resources and intervention if any delay is noticed. Early intervention for speech, motor skills and life skills can have a significant impact on a child. A head to toe examination can be helpful in making sure that your child is healthy. Your health care provider may be able to pick up on subtle exam findings that may point to serious disease or illness that otherwise may go undetected. Your pediatrician can evaluate your child’s growth patterns to determine if he/she is at a healthy weight for his height, and make recommendations about diet and exercise to support proper growth. We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic and often times your health care office visit may be the first indicator that your child may have a problem. Childhood obesity is reversible, and healthy choices now can help prevent future problems. Age appropriate screening for metabolic disorders, anemia, and abnormalities in vision and blood pressure are just a few of the things that may be looked at in the office. These screenings vary based on age and individual needs. Well checks allow parents to talk openly about concerns or questions they have. Many parents may worry about behaviors that may be typical for children that age. Other times there may be issues that come up that may require further management. A well child check allows time to address your questions with your health care provider that you may not have available at a sick visit. Well child checks can be scheduled year round according to your child’s age. Spring and early summer are great times to schedule these appointments to avoid cold/flu season or the rush associated with the start of school. Our thanks to Melissa Weight, PA-C, for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


drizzle of cream. A dab of butter. A slice of cheese. What could possibly be wrong with pleasures like those? Yet, to the fat-fearful, they might as well be arsenic — especially heavy cream, which seems to occupy its own circle of dietary damnation. Granted, there are some folks whose systems don’t react well to dairy items, but those products are not inherently unhealthful. They are wonderful, basic, natural foods that don’t necessarily make you fat. Not that I’ve ever waited around for validation as I drizzled, dabbed and sliced my way through life. (Let them eat tofu, margarine and fake coffee “creamer,” I’d always say.) But it was satisfying to hear about two recent studies — one in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, and one in the European Journal of Nutrition (a meta-analysis of 16 studies, no less). Both came to a remarkable conclusion: that those who eat full-fat dairy products are less likely to become and remain obese than those who do not. I wonder: Is it dairy itself that has a slenderizing effect, or were the nondairy eaters substituting less healthful alternatives — not olive oil which, like butter, is a real food, but industrial fats such as genetically modified canola oil and Crisco? Natural fats partner superbly with vegetables from the garden, and can help lead picky eaters into a wholesome diet. A pile of spinach on your child’s

plate is easier to love if slicked with butter. The same goes for carrots and cauliflower, broccoli and beans. Grate some cheddar over a casserole of kale and potatoes and you’ll have a kale lover for life. Creamy soups make earthy turnips or stored winter squash seem luxurious. And consider this: It’s easy to make something creamy by just using cream itself, simmered to reduce and thicken it a little, instead of the more finicky process of cooking a roux of flour and butter and then adding milk. (This only works if the cream is high enough in butterfat — otherwise it may curdle.) The flavor and texture are more satisfying, too. Yesterday, I went out to the root cellar to look for something appetizing, and there were still plenty of bright green savoy cabbages stored from the fall harvest. We’d been eating a lot of those during the winter, so I was looking for different ways to prepare them. I brought a few into the house and noticed that the rosemary on the windowsill was sending out fresh new growth — a sure sign that the days are lengthening. Looking for a way to pair the two, I first sliced up some stored onions, very thinly, and mixed them with finely sliced cabbage in the top of a steamer. While they were cooking, I snipped a few rosemary sprigs, and thickened a little cream for just a minute or two in a skillet. After draining the cabbage I drizzled the cream over it, sprinkled on the rosemary, and suddenly cabbage seemed new, and spring not quite so far away.

The Importance of Annual Well Child Check-ups


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Citrus gets an A-plus for its Vitamin C By Elaine Gordon

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, evidence suggests that for some people, high doses of vitamin C might shorten a cold by as much as one to 1 1/2 days.



n this cold and bleak winter, citrus is a great way to brighten up dinnertime with in-season produce while giving your immune system a boost. Citrus fruits are most known for containing the antioxidant vitamin C, which supports proper immune function. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, evidence suggests that for some people, high doses of vitamin C might shorten a cold by as much as one to 1 1/2 days. In addition, vitamin C fights free radicals to prevent or delay certain cancers and heart disease. It is essential for the growth and repair of bodily tissues, helps heal wounds and repairs and maintains healthy cartilage, bones, teeth and skin. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron from plant-based sources such as quinoa, beans and spinach. There are more ways to enjoy citrus than simply pouring a glass of bottled OJ in the morning: • Juicing: According to the National Institutes of Health, fresh-squeezed orange juice is better for you than storebought orange juice because it contains more active Vitamin C. • Fresh segments: Citrus segments can be added to fruit salad (or any salad) or used to top chicken or fish. • Zesting: The skin of citrus


fruit is perfect for zesting to add pungent aroma to your baked goods, dry-spice rubs, tomato sauces, soups or salads. Citrus zest also makes for a beautiful and aromatic garnish. The accompanying recipe on the next page uses the fresh juice of tangerines to poach lean chicken. Juicy minneola tangelos or Valencia oranges also would work well. Poaching is a low-fat, low-sodium cooking method for lean proteins that have a tendency to dry out. It offers a healthful alternative to frying. No oil or fat is required, and the result is succulent, tender and fla-

vor-infused meat. In this dish, the chicken is enhanced by a sweet clementine-pomegranate relish. The relish features two foods that offer endless nutritional benefits: clementines and pomegranates. Clementines are a type of mandarin orange, a group that encompasses a wide variety of sweet citrus fruit including satsuma, clementine and tangerine. In the United States, tangerines are the most common variety of mandarin oranges. All mandarin oranges are bright-skinned and easy to peel. Their inner segments are easily separated, making them

a convenient, portable, lowmess and refreshing healthful snack. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A. Look for oranges that are heavy for their size. They can be stored in a cool, dark place for a few days or refrigerated for up to two weeks. Pomegranates add nutritious beauty to many recipes. In this recipe, the pomegranate seeds are tossed in the relish. You can enjoy pomegranate seeds by themselves or mix them in salads for a boost of potent antioxidants and phytochemicals that protect your heart, brain

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Elaine Gordon, a master of public health professional and a master certified health education specialist, is the creator of the healthful recipe site Find her on Twitter at @EatingbyElaine.

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and body. Or try sprinkling them on entrees, cereal, pudding or yogurt. They are high in fiber and vitamins C and K, and they’re a good source of potassium, folate and copper. According to the National Cancer Institute, research suggests pomegranates have beneficial effects on oral health and cardiovascular disease, and they might even help with fighting cancer cells. It is not known whether the juice of the pomegranate has these same effects, so go for the seeds. Each seed contains an edible capsule that provides vitamin B6, vitamin C and potassium. Whole pomegranates can be stored at room temperature for several days or for two to three months in the refrigerator.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Sunday, March 30, 2014



MEDICAL INSIGHT Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Crystal D. McCormick, LCSW Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Making a Difference Support Services 1867 Airport Way, Suite 200 Fairbanks, AK 99701 (907) 750-7169

Enjoying the Interior In Tangerine Poached Chicken, the chicken is infused with winter citrus flavor that is enhanced by the sweet clementine-pomegranate relish. PHOTO FOR THE WASHINGTON POST BY DEB LINDSEY


Tangerine Poached Chicken With Clementine-Pomegranate Relish 4 servings In this recipe, the chicken is infused with winter citrus flavor that is enhanced by the sweet clementine-pomegranate relish — a great way to incorporate more fruit into your diet. Make ahead The relish can be assembled several hours in advance and refrigerated; add the avocado just before serving. The chicken can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days; reheat in the microwave on low, or serve cold atop a salad.

For the chicken Juice from 4 to 5 tangerines (1 1/2

Nutrition Per serving: 270 calories, 41 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 100 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 14 g sugar From Elaine Gordon, a master certified health education specialist and creator of

The Beck Institute of Cognitive Behavior Therapy states “When people are in distress, their perspective is often inaccurate and their thoughts may be unrealistic.” Their premise and mine, believes if we learn to identify our negative thoughts and change our distorted thinking to something more realistic, we will feel better. Life brings many challenges and we’ve all had our days of feeling like nothing else could possibly go wrong. However, the day continues to spiral downward. But imagine the possibilities if we were to only change our perspective. Changing our thoughts from, “This is an absolutely horrible day,” to, “this is not such a good day, but there’s still time to turn it around,” will change how we feel. It’s so much easier to choose a negative thought, versus a positive one. Why is that? I believe we get stuck in a rut; therefore, it’s a much easier path to follow. Think about it. We’re having an absolute let down of a day because of freezing rain, someone sliding into your vehicle, then school is cancelled for the third time and there’s a two-day power outage. Well, you can change your negative thoughts/feelings by pulling out the sled and have a blast with the kids, get the other dents in your car fixed, build a snowman and have an indoors fun-filled camping adventure with the family. Now, you try it. Change one of your negative thoughts to something more realistic. Pause. Did you do it? Well, if you did, how do you feel now? Life could always be worse and there’s always someone who would LOVE to be in your shoes. The Interior…yes, it’s cold…but there’s the ice park, hockey games, high school basketball and much, much more and I’m enjoying it! Our thanks to Crystal D. McCormick, LCSW, for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


Ingredients For the relish 3 seedless clementines (4 to 5 ounces each) 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press 2 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped 1/4 cup minced shallot Flesh from 1/2 ripe avocado, diced (about 1/2 cup) 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds (arils; from 1/2 large or 1 medium pomegranate; may substitute fresh red currants) 1 tablespoon 100 percent pomegranate juice 1 teaspoon light agave nectar

cups), plus 1 tablespoon finely grated tangerine zest 1 tablespoon light agave nectar 1/3 cup minced shallot 2 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins Steps For the relish: Peel the clementines and separate their segments. Cut each segment into 3 equal pieces, transferring them to a mixing bowl as you work. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, scallions, shallot, avocado, pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice and agave nectar; mix well. For the chicken: Combine the juice and zest in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the agave nectar, shallot, garlic, salt and pepper until well blended, then pour into a large saute pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then add the chicken and turn to coat. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low; cover and cook for 10 minutes. Check one of the tenderloins for doneness by cutting it in half to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. If it isn’t, remove the saute pan from the heat and cover to rest for 5 minutes. Divide the chicken among individual plates. Spoon relish over each portion. Serve warm.

Darkness, below zero temperatures, snowy, icy roads, frozen vehicles and no garage! This is the typical Alaskan winter and it’s finally about to come to an end. Looking at these issues (and more, if the winter is more intense), you might ask yourself, “How can I possibly enjoy the Interior?” My answer- by changing your perspective. Have you ever run into someone who always had a positive outlook on things, no matter how bad the situation? They get on your nerves, right? Well, if we were to stop, think, and change our perspective (or thoughts) about the situation, how we feel will also change. This not only goes for our weather, but everything in life.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Health and Wellness - Spring 2014