Easy Meals

September means back to school. This year, it also means many of us will need to juggle work from home, the office or both while “home schooling” our children and transporting them to and from school, activities or daycare. At times when we have “a lot on our plate”, we turn to food for comfort. It can seem overwhelming to take the time to make something healthy and nutritious for ourselves and our families.  

Eating healthy is essential especially when feeling overwhelmed. It can help you feel and sleep better! Making decisions on what to cook each night when you are tired and hungry is stressful and typically results in unhealthy choices. 

Some quick tips: 

  • make a weekly meal plan before you head to the grocery store
  • take the time to prep for the week on Sundays
  • consider batch cooking

Cooking extra vegetables, whole grain pasta or rice, beans, chicken or eggs ahead saves time throughout the week and can be stored safely in the refrigerator (3-4 for animal products, 5-7 days for vegetables, beans and grains). This cuts down on prep time and makes putting a meal together much simpler. Some ideas include: 

  • Hard-boil 6-12 eggs for a quick breakfast with fresh fruit or yogurt, as a great snack or toss in a salad. 
  • Turn a dinner of brown rice and roasted chicken into a quick burrito with chopped lettuce and salsa another night.
  • Beans can be used in breakfast or dinner burritos, tossed in a salad or as a main dish with rice. 
  • Fresh cut vegetables such as peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, celery or carrots are a great quick snack or can be added to whole wheat pasta with some garbanzo beans, a drizzle of your favorite dressing and a little feta cheese for a healthy pasta salad.  

Many of our homes have turned into classrooms! Extend the classroom into the kitchen. Your children will need to read the directions and use their math and science when adding ingredients. When you involve your whole family in finding recipes, planning, prepping and cooking, mealtime can be healthy, fun and much less stressful.

Visit our Nutrition page for more information about counseling and classes.

Dr. Schmitz

Many women experience some form of abnormal uterine bleeding throughout their lifetime.

Abnormal uterine bleeding can be described as bleeding or spotting between periods, bleeding after intercourse, heavy bleeding during your period, menstrual cycles that are longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days, periods that last longer than 8 days, or bleeding after menopause.  These are all scenarios where it is important to be evaluated by an Ob/GYN. 

Abnormal bleeding can occur at any age, but it is more common to have irregular bleeding when a woman first gets her period or when a woman nears menopause.  There are many causes of abnormal bleeding.  The most common causes are problems with ovulation, uterine polyps, fibroids, endometriosis/adenomyosis, bleeding disorders, medications, pregnancy or miscarriage, and certain forms of uterine cancer.  

Most causes of abnormal bleeding can be easily diagnosed by an Ob/GYN.  It can be helpful to track your menstrual cycle before seeing your doctor.  Based on the symptoms that a patient is having an ob/GYN will do a physical exam.  They may do a pregnancy test, cultures, or bloodwork. 

If there is a concern for a structural abnormality an imaging study such as a pelvic ultrasound may be done.  If there is a concern for uterine cancer if may be necessary to have a biopsy taken from the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus.  Depending on the cause of the bleeding, it may be treated with medication.  This includes hormonal birth control such as the pill or an IUD. 

If there is a polyp or a fibroid inside the uterine cavity this may require surgery.  If medication does not control the abnormal bleeding, endometrial ablation may be discussed.  This is an outpatient procedure that destroys the endometrial lining of the uterus and reduces heavy menstrual bleeding.  In some cases, if medication or ablation are unsuccessful a hysterectomy may be needed. 

If there is any concern that a patient is experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding they should contact their ob/GYN.

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with Dr. Sarah Schmitz call 716.656.4077.

Stay Sun Safe

All year long, Western New Yorkers have one thing on our mind. I hear it time and time again as I sit down and talk to my patients on a daily basis. 


The first moment the sun shows up and we feel the warmth, albeit only 50 degrees and sunny, we let our skin show. Now as the summer days are long, and the sun is bright, we stay outdoors as long as we can. We are so grateful to finally have warmth on our bodies that we forget about sun safety.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provide wonderful reminders to keep our skin safe while still enjoying those warm and kind sun rays.

They remind us first and foremost that ultraviolet (UV) rays are part of sunlight that is an invisible type of radiation. UVA and UVB cause aging and damage to the skin cells and are the most dangerous and cancer-causing types of sun rays. We also know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The most common types of skin cancers include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

In order to protect our patients and ourselves, there are several things we can do to minimize our risk of skin damage. They include regular and routine use of broad-spectrum SPF 15 or greater sunscreen even when in the shade. Remember to reapply if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Wear clothing made from tightly woven cloth with SPF protection when possible, stay in the shade, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses that preferably block UVA and UVB rays. 

Lastly, if you do get too much sun, by accident of course, here are some simple tips to help your body recover: stay hydrated to prevent fluid loss, comfort skin burns with cool baths or clothes, take over-the-counter Tylenol or ibuprofen for fever or headaches, and remain out of the sun until you are feeling better.

Katherine Sumner, PA-C is accepting new patients at 1091 Main Street, Suite 301, Buffalo. For more information on health safety or if you are worried about damage to your skin, call our office at 716.248.1420 to schedule an appointment.