- Written by Kelly Cardamone, MS, RDN, CDCES, CDN, IFNCP
Back to school means back to busy schedules, and when we’re busy we need lunch ideas that are easy and convenient. Often healthy eating goes by the wayside, replaced by fast food. With minimal planning, eating healthy can be easy. And when we eat better, we feel better! Eating a well-balanced lunch helps pave the way for the rest of the day and also helps overcome that midday slump. Having a good balance of complex carbohydrates, protein, and good fat brings greater satisfaction and more energy. Things to keep in mind for kids include awareness of food allergies, knowing which foods they are more likely to eat, and choosing non-perishables for field trips. When packing your own lunches, consider whether your office has refrigeration, microwave, or toaster oven.
The following are some basic lunchbox basics.
- In addition to lean meats, alternative healthy proteins include hardboiled eggs, tuna fish, Greek or regular yogurt, nut butters, nuts and seeds, cheese, edamame, meat alternatives (seitan, tempeh), and veggie burgers.
- Vegetables are nutritious and loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Add celery or tomatoes to your chicken salad, load your wrap with spinach and sprouts, or add roasted cauliflower, fennel, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or broccoli to salads, grains, or sandwiches. Brined raw vegetables are delicious with a dip, but limit to 2 Tbsp as they can be high in calories.
- Fruits help satisfy your sweet tooth, and vegetables can help meet 20% of your hydration needs. Be creative and try something different; star fruit, papaya, mango, dragon fruit and Asian pears can help add variety and be fun to eat.
- Add whole grains crackers, wraps, or bread for a healthier carbohydrate. Quinoa, barley, brown or wild rice, and farro are great ways to incorporate healthy complex carbohydrates into your day. When reading food labels, aim for 3 grams of fiber or more per serving.
- Fats are essential and will keep you satisfied. Use an olive oil mayonnaise on your sandwich or try dipping vegetables in hummus or guacamole. Avocado is a great in wraps, salads, or spread on whole grain crackers. Nuts and seeds are not only a good source of protein, but also good fats.
- Treat yourself to a small piece of dark chocolate, cocoa dusted almonds, or whole grain cookie, once or twice a week. Remember, these don’t need to be included daily.
- Don’t forget to bring water! Flavor it with cucumbers and mint; lemons, limes or oranges; or even apples and cinnamon to change it up.
- Have fun, enjoy planning, and involve the whole family in the shopping and preparation.
Kelly Cardamone, MS, RDN, CDCES, CDN, IFNCP, is a Nutrition and Diabetes Program Manager, practicing at General Physician, P.C. She sees patients at 3980A Sheridan Drive, Suite 200 in Amherst, 1091 Main Street, Suite 301 in Buffalo, and 705 Maple Road, Suite 300 in Williamsville. For nutritional counseling appointments or more information, call 716-631-8400.
- Written by Maritza Y. Baez, MD, FAAFP
Are you blessed with relatively good health? Do you feel that you don't use the services of a doctor very often and would probably only seek their help when you are seriously ill? This is a very common way of thinking. Why should you go to the doctor if you are not sick?
In reality, preventive health care is an important way to prevent illness and its devastating effects. While the common cold and flu don't necessarily do you too much harm, other illnesses do. Many things that can harm us or seriously affect our health don't show up with dramatic symptoms until things get out of control. Good care can prevent diseases from escalating into life-threatening problems.
You may remember taking your child to the doctor for checkups during the first two years of life. These visits were to help your baby stay on track with his development and to intervene when something was wrong. The frequency of the visits made health care easy and prevention a safe bet. After your child was two years old, these visits were reduced to "as needed."
Although you probably don't need to see your doctor as often as a newborn, regular annual visits, as well as visits for important events as your child ages, are valuable. An annual exam can alert your doctor to changes in your body and its systems that you may not notice on a day-to-day basis. A "baseline" of your blood work and a look at how you are feeling physically can help prevent disease and/or provide early intervention if something comes up.
Some common annual exams are:
● Complete blood count
● Pap smear and other gynecological exams.
● Breast exams
● Prostate exams
● Birthmark and skin exams
● Hearing and vision tests
Not as common - but equally important - exams as you age are:
● Memory and cognitive functions
● Cancer screenings
● STD and HIV screenings
● Diabetes screenings.
If you haven't thought much about your health because you've been doing so well, keep it up by getting a routine checkup or special screening to maintain your health and prevent possible illnesses.
Routine health and wellness screenings are a smart and responsible way to maintain your health and save money. Contact your doctor today and ask what they suggest for your age and risk factors.
Maritza Y. Baez, MD, FAAFP
Buffalo - 1091 Main St., Ste. 301
- Written by Devon Dams-O'Connor
The academic side of medicine relies on doctors drawing from a huge bank of knowledge to solve different complex problems every single day. That’s what drew Dr. Ravi Sahni to leave the corporate world in his 30s with plenty of life experience and become the doctor he was meant to be. Both of his grandfathers were physicians, and growing up, he wanted to be like them.
As an internist, Dr. Sahni sees only adult patients. He specializes in treating people who are juggling several health issues at once, such as heart disease, hypertension, lung disease, and obesity. Dr. Sahni helps his patients navigate challenging and complex sets of symptoms, specialists, medications, and tests, taking the time to make sure every question is answered and patients feel comfortable and empowered in their care. He is affiliated with Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. and can admit patients directly, which means less time in a waiting room and more time getting to the bottom of what’s going on.
Every other weekend, Dr. Sahni spends his time at the VA medical center and Urgent care in Bath NY working with veterans who are grappling with substance abuse and PTSD. His diligence and drive to solve the complex needs of the patients he serves isn’t just his profession, it’s his passion – and his pastime.
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