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Author: Tucson Medical Center

Mushroom, Roasted Chile, Salsa Fresca Vegan Tacos

Why is it that the food tastes so much better when you eat at a restaurant? What is the special magic that chefs use to get the food to taste so wonderful? And can it really be healthy AND tasty?

Chef Janos Wilder, Tucson’s James Beard award-winning chef, reveals the secrets to one of his tasty and healthy dishes in this demonstration video. Chef Wilder and our Tucson Medical Center Wellness team have collaborated to create a program that helps even the most reluctant cook to create meals that are delightfully sumptuous and healthy to boot. From demonstration lunch and learn sessions with Chef Janos at The Carriage House, Chef Janos-inspired dishes on TMC patient and public menus, to easy to follow recipes and videos with Chef Janos we’ve got you covered. Today we share Mushroom, Chile and Salsa Fresca Tacos.
Recipe Card – Tacos with Mushroom, Roasted Chile, Salsa Fresca (1)

Mushroom, Chile, Salsa Fresca Vegan Tacos

Yield: 8 Tacos

Ingredients

1 Yellow onion, sliced into medium strips
¾ lb Portobello mushrooms, gills removed and sliced
2 Tsp Garlic finely chopped
2 Anaheim chiles, roasted seeded, peeled and cut into 1/4” wide strips 1 Tbsp Canola oil to coat bottom of sauté pan
1 Cup Salsa fresca
1 Cup Shredded cabbage
3 Radishes, sliced into small strips
1 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
8 Corn tortillas

Salsa Fresca

1 ½ Cup Garden tomatoes, medium diced
½ Red onion, small diced
4 Scallions, small diced
1 Fresh Anaheim chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced small
1 Fresh Poblano chile, roasted, peeled and diced small
2 Tbsp Cilantro, washed and large stems removed, roughly chopped
2 Tsp Finely chopped fresh garlic
2 Tsp Balsamic vinegar
2 Tsp Red wine vinegar
3 Tsp Olive oil
Freshly ground Pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat with the canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook about 7 minutes stirring occasionally until the onions are quite soft but haven’t browned.
  2. Add the mushrooms and a little more oil if needed and sauté with the onions another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are soft.
  3. Add the garlic and the Anaheim chiles, stirring occasionally for another 3-4 minutes
  4. Refrigerate for use later or hold warm

Prepare Salsa Fresca

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Refrigerate and serve within 8 hours.

 To Assemble the Tacos:

  1. Warm the corn tortillas over a grill, in a pan, or in the microwave.
  2. Toss the cabbage and radishes in the lime juice.
  3. Divide the onion, chile mushroom mixture among the warm tortillas.
  4. Spoon 2 teaspoons of salsa fresca over the vegetable mixture.
  5. Top each taco with the cabbage radish slaw.

More healthy living tips and recipes.

New Year Resolutions – Making them Stick

by Mary Atkinson, RD. Director of Wellness at Tucson Medical Center

We pick something to change that we think is wrong with ourselves, and we expect that this is going to be something we want to do….really?! “I’m going to lose 20 pounds.” “I’m going to start exercising.” “I’m going to get organized.” Did you know that for 75 percent of us, we only stick with our resolutions for a week? One week!

So how do we break this pattern and actually come up with resolutions that are relevant, realistic and rewarding? First, think about what the word resolution means. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, resolution is the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. Maybe rather than coming up with a resolution, perhaps we should first determine what problem needs to be solved and what we are willing to do to fix it.

1. Are you making a resolution for the right reason.

Maybe we shouldn’t be wanting to lose weight in order to fit into those skinny jeans, but because it will better for our health and quality of life.

2. Be the tortoise rather than the hare – small steps

Small changes in our daily habits is the best way to make lasting change.

3. Be kind and forgiving to yourself

It is important that we are kind to ourselves and forgive ourselves, if we misstep, tomorrow is a new day.

4. Be honest

Be honest with yourself and set resolutions that are meaningful and realistic. Don’t make a resolution just because it’s what you think you should do; resolutions should be things we value.

5. Put it on Paper

Write down your SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based) goal on paper and make a list of reasons why you want to accomplish your goal and place it in an area where you will see it every day.

6. Create a plan

Schedule certain days (or every day) at certain times where you will dedicate your energy to help achieve your goal.

7. Join forces with friends

You are not alone in achieving your goals! Invite friends or family members to join and help you achieve your goals. Make new friends who share the same goal or interests as you. Friends can keep you accountable for achieving your goal while making it fun.

8. Make it fun

You are more likely to maintain these life-enhancing modifications if you are laughing, smiling and having fun while doing it.

9. Switch it up

Keep your activities towards achieving your goal fresh, interesting and stimulating. Read current articles pertaining to your goals and become an advocate or expert on your new goal.

 This earlier post has some practical tools to use in successful goal setting.

Eat Well – Janos Wilder’s Lentil Rice Salad

Why is it that the food tastes so much better when you eat at a restaurant? What is the special magic that chefs use to get the food to taste so wonderful? And can it really be healthy AND tasty?

Chef Janos Wilder, Tucson’s James Beard award-winning chef, reveals the secrets to one of his tasty and healthy dishes in this demonstration video. Chef Wilder and our Tucson Medical Center Wellness team have collaborated to create a program that helps even the most reluctant cook to create meals that are delightfully sumptuous and healthy to boot. From demonstration lunch and learn sessions with Chef Janos at The Carriage House, Chef Janos-inspired dishes on TMC patient and public menus, to easy to follow recipes and videos with Chef Janos we’ve got you covered. Check out this tasty and easy to prepare Lentil Rice Salad.  Click here to download the Lentil Rice Salad Recipe Card

Lentil Rice Salad

Yield: 4 cups

Ingredients:

¾ Cup Toasted blanched slivered almonds
1 Cup Green lentils, cooked, available at Trader Joe’s
½ Cup Uncle Ben’s long grain rice
1 Cup Chicken broth or substitute water if needed
1 Cup Grated, peeled carrots
¼ Cup Finely diced red onion
¼ Cup Finely chopped parsley
¼ Cup Crumbled feta cheese

Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

½ Cup Olive oil
5 Tbs Lemon juice
2 Tbs Whole-grain mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

  1. Cook rice in chicken stock or water 20 minutes until rice tender and all liquid absorbed.
  2. While rice is cooking whisk Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette ingredients together.
  3. When rice is done cool it on a sheet pan.
  4. Toss cooled rice and lentils with toasted almonds, carrots, onions, parsley and enough dressing to liberally coat the ingredients. Reserve remaining dressing for a simple green salad or other use.
  5. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

For more recipes, videos and information about The Carriage House partnership check out the Tucson Medical Center website.

Find the support you need to achieve – Weight Loss Management

Some big projects are too difficult to tackle on your own. Hanging wallpaper and moving furniture come to mind. What if it’s yourself, rather than your home, you are remodeling? Making healthy lifestyle changes and weight loss are challenges that can be too big to face alone. Although you alone are responsible for your behaviors, and you will be the one who benefits from your healthier habits, there are good reasons to have a support network in place to help you reach your goals.

Why have a support network?

  • A support group provides a sense of community, reminding you that you are not alone in your struggle or on your journey.
  • Your supporters are your motivation. They can serve as your cheerleading squad or they can actually work with you and help you along.
  • Some support groups can be a valuable source of information, especially when they are led by wellness professionals (or have them as guest speakers).
  • The members of your support group probably share your point of view. Therefore, they can provide helpful tips that that work for them. It is likely that at least some of those strategies would work for you, too.
  • A support group makes you accountable to someone other than yourself.
  • Many studies have shown that people lose more weight when they join a weight-loss group than when they try to do it on their own.

Your support group can take on any form that helps you, even if the “group” consists of only one other person. You can meet online, by phone or face-to-face. Choose the form that fits your comfort level and your schedule. Family and friends can be valuable supporters, because you share many of the same everyday experiences. If those people are not willing to adopt the same values, however, it is best to find support in an outside group.

If you are nervous about joining a group – maybe you don’t feel comfortable sharing information about yourself – contact the group leader and ask if you can sit quietly, without being called on to speak. Be honest with the leader (and with other members) about what you need from the group. Remember, there are lots of people in our community who want to help others, and they won’t let you face your challenges alone.

If you’re looking for support, consider TMC’s monthly weight management support group at The Core in the La Encantada shopping center. It’s a friendly group led by one of TMC’s wellness professionals experienced in helping people realize their health goals. All are welcome, $5 per session..

Play it safe! 7 tips for exercising when it’s dark

After what seemed like an eternity of temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, cooler weather is finally here in Arizona. That’s good news for everyone who wants to get outside to be active. Unfortunately, this time of year also brings shorter days, so you may find that your only chance to exercise is before sunrise or after sunset. Our wellness team provides these tips to stay safe while exercising in the dark outside:

  1. There is safety in numbers, please don’t go out alone.

    Exercise with another person (or a dog) whenever you can. Always let someone else know where you plan to be and when you plan to return.

  2. Be visible.

    Wear reflective materials, bright colors and blinking lights if you have them, so drivers can see you easily.

  3. Walk or run safely.

    If you are walking on a street without a sidewalk, walk facing oncoming traffic. Pedestrians holding flashlights are more visible and can move out-of-the-way more easily when they see an oncoming vehicle.

  4. Avoid risky areas,

    Unpopulated areas, poorly lit or deserted streets or overgrown trails are all no-go zones if you’re out in the dark. Given the dark sky regulations here in Tucson, even midtown can have dark streets. Bring a flashlight!

  5. Stay alert.

    Look all around you as you move, and check behind once in a while. Be aware of any suspicious people or animals that may pose a threat.

  6. What to take:

    Be sure to carry a cell phone and identification with you, in case of emergency. Pepper spray might be a good idea, too.

  7. What to leave behind:

    Don’t wear ear buds or headphones. Your visibility is limited by the lack of light, so you don’t want your hearing to also be impaired.

Get out and be active and safe! The Core, our wellness facility at La Encantada often hosts safety classes throughout the year. Watch their event page and sign up for their newsletter to find out more about their classes. 

Think you’ve heard enough about mammograms? Think Pink!

October is Breast Health Awareness Month and an ideal time to reiterate the vital importance of mammograms. Wait! Don’t click to another page!

Yes, it’s been talked about – a lot. It’s been published here, there and everywhere, but its importance can’t be overstated and there are some really important things every woman should know about mammography.

thinkpink pink breast cancer mammogramBreast cancer is a deadly serious matter, and however the subject is approached the fact is that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women.

Getting a mammogram is so important because it is the most effective way of detecting breast cancer early, and detecting breast cancer early can save lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that getting mammograms regularly can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.

So, does that mean every woman should get a mammogram, at what age and how often?

Although there are many resources and lots of good information out there, the best answers will come from your doctor. Every woman is unique and should assess her breast cancer risk, and discuss preventative measures, with her doctor.

Ok, so does that mean every woman who needs a mammogram is getting one? Well, first let’s cover something everybody already knows – women are far better (than men) about seeing their doctor regularly. Here’s something you might not know, the five-year breast cancer survival rate in the U.S. is 90 percent. Take that, breast cancer!

Unfortunately, finances are a significant barrier for many women to get a recommended mammogram. Everyday economic challenges can result in this important screening taking a back seat, especially because women often put the needs of their family and others ahead of their own.

Tucson Medical Center’s Breast Health and Education Program was designed to promote awareness and increase accessibility to services. For more than 18 years, with the help of the TMC Foundation, this program has provided free mammograms to nearly 7,000 women in Southern Arizona.

“We get the opportunity to educate women on the importance of screenings and very often they ask other women’s health questions that they have,” said Karen Narum, nurse practitioner with the TMC Oncology Program. In addition to providing education and screening, women are able to receive additional assistance regarding women’s health needs. “We then have the ability to guide women to other resources as well.”

Just how important is this service? Since the program began, nearly 40 women who were asymptomatic, and came in for a routine screening, were diagnosed with breast cancer in early stages.

If you have been putting off a mammogram for any reason – see your doctor. Encourage your girlfriends and female family members to talk about mammograms with their doctors. Mammography services are available, don’t wait another moment – put your health first.

 

Additional resources:

Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen Arizona

National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

Breastcancer.org

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

American Breast Cancer Foundation

Foundation for Women’s Cancer

American Cancer Society

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact the TMC Breast Center at (520) 324-1286 or email breast.navigator@tmcaz.com.

Medical insurance covers annual mammography screening as a preventative service, and grant funds allow TMC to offer mammograms for uninsured women age 40 and over. To make an appointment, call (520) 324-2075.

 

Savor the Flavor – National Nutrition Month

savor the flavor, national nutrition month

From Mary Atkinson RD & Laurie Ledford RD
March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Savor the Flavor”. We love this phrase because it can lead us to so many different questions and discussions.

With all the new food fads that challenge our palates, when was the last time we truly enjoyed the flavor of real food? For example, when was the last time you tasted a potato, stalk of broccoli, or a persimmon? We sauce, sauté, and blend our foods to the point that they lose their identity. Poor broccoli doesn’t know what to do with itself without its trusty cheese or ranch dipping sauce! One of our challenges to you is to find out what food tastes like “naked”.

Our challenge to you is to find out what food tastes like 'naked'. Click To Tweet

Savor the Flavor

Savor the flavor can also refer to enjoying your food.

You probably have heart the phrase ‘eat mindfully’. We would like to introduce you to a slightly different perspective….’eat with purpose’.

Eating with purpose  incorporates being mindful about what you are eating, but takes it a step further. Beyond thinking about what you are eating, eating with purpose makes us think about WHY we are eating what we are eating. Are you eating that salad for lunch because it tastes good or because it is packed full of nutrition, or….because “I’m on a diet”? I would hope that it is one of the first two answers, but unfortunately more often than not it is the last answer.

Eat with Purpose

The sad truth is that by the time you add all the extras to your salad (croutons, seeds, dressing, etc.) it can have more calories than a sandwich. Soooooo, EAT WITH PURPOSE. Eat to live (and to be able to do what you enjoy) don’t live to eat (and regret choices). Regret is such a wasted emotion that only serves to make us feel bad about ourselves. Own your food choices, and again, eat with a purpose. Good or bad, own it and move on.

Our second challenge to you is to create a food plan that helps you to eat purposefully. What do we mean by a food plan? Say you often feel too tired by mid-afternoon to for the walk as you have planned? Then perhaps make a food plan that purposefully incorporates a healthy snack around 3 – 4 will give you the energy boost you need to stick to your plan. Or, if you are craving ice cream (as we all do from time to time) then be intentional and pair it with a health lower calorie meal and use measuring cups to assure a healthy serving size…and don’t forget to me mindful while enjoying your indulgence.

Because there is so much nutrition information and misinformation out there, we are going to spend this month answering some of the most common nutrition questions. Let’s start with a trick question….

What is the best diet?

9 Tips for making New Year’s Resolutions stick – New Year New You

by Mary Atkinson, RD. Director of Wellness at Tucson Medical Center

How many of us set resolutions year in and year out that we never stick with?

NewYearResolutionsWe pick something to change that we think is wrong with ourselves, and we expect that this is going to be something we want to do….really?! “I’m going to lose 20 pounds.” “I’m going to start exercising.” “I’m going to get organized.” Did you know that for 75 percent of us, we only stick with our resolutions for a week? One week!

So how do we break this pattern and actually come up with resolutions that are relevant, realistic and rewarding? First, think about what the word resolution means. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, resolution is the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. Maybe rather than coming up with a resolution, perhaps we should first determine what problem needs to be solved and what we are willing to do to fix it.

Tips to make your resolution stick!

1. Are you making a resolution for the right reason.

Maybe we shouldn’t be wanting to lose weight in order to fit into those skinny jeans, but because it will better for our health and quality of life.

2. Be the tortoise rather than the hare – small steps

Small changes in our daily habits is the best way to make lasting change.

3. Be kind and forgiving to yourself

It is important that we are kind to ourselves and forgive ourselves, if we misstep, tomorrow is a new day.

4. Be honest

Be honest with yourself and set resolutions that are meaningful and realistic. Don’t make a resolution just because it’s what you think you should do; resolutions should be things we value.

5. Put it on Paper

Write down your SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based) goal on paper and make a list of reasons why you want to accomplish your goal and place it in an area where you will see it every day.

6. Create a plan

Schedule certain days (or every day) at certain times where you will dedicate your energy to help achieve your goal.

7. Join forces with friends

You are not alone in achieving your goals! Invite friends or family members to join and help you achieve your goals. Make new friends who share the same goal or interests as you. Friends can keep you accountable for achieving your goal while making it fun.

8. Make it fun

You are more likely to maintain these life-enhancing modifications if you are laughing, smiling and having fun while doing it.

9. Switch it up

Keep your activities towards achieving your goal fresh, interesting and stimulating. Read current articles pertaining to your goals and become an advocate or expert on your new goal.

 This earlier post has some practical tools to use in successful goal setting.

For more tips, advice and inspiration this New Year check out our New Year New You campaign and enter the giveaway at the chance for a personalized nutritional assessment, fitness assessment or Fitbit Charger HR wristband!
giveaway, tucson, new year, new you

Modify holiday recipes to healthy and scrumptious with these 9 tips

Who wants to give up their traditional holiday dinner? Not I! Laurie Ledford RD aka The Nutritionista shares some tips to modify holiday recipes that keep them happy and healthy. Keep your favorites, just make them a bit healthier.

holiday recipe modifications

9 Tips to modify holiday recipes

  1. Gravy: Use de-fatted drippings by allowing the fat to rise to the top and then skimming it off.
  2. Stuffing: Replace butter with broth. Avoid recipes that contain sausage.
  3. Mashed Potatoes: Replace the butter and cream with one of the following options: low-fat milk, low-fat buttermilk, low-fat or fat-free sour cream or cream cheese.
  4. Desserts (cakes, brownies, bread or muffins): Substitute an equal amount of fruit puree for oil.
  5. Eggs: Substitute 2 egg whites for each whole egg (e.g., instead of 2 eggs, use 4 egg whites).
  6. Dairy Products: Choose non-fat or low-fat dairy products instead of full-fat products.
  7. Pie: Prepare pies without the crust. Try a cobbler or crust-less pie instead.
  8. Fruits and Vegetables: Try adding dried fruits or extra vegetables to traditional recipes such as stuffing, quick breads, and salads.
  9. More Vegetables: For an easy and nutritious side dish, cut up a variety of your favorite veggies into similar sized pieces (about 1 ½-inch), coat them in olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite herbs. Spread them on a sheet pan and roast at 400F until golden on the outside and slightly tender on the inside.

Read more of The Nutritionista’s tips and ideas.

Here’s to a happy healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and the holidays are upon us. As we give thanks for the bounty that surrounds us it’s easy to get lost in the mountains of scrumptious comfort food and lose sight of one of the greatest wealth we have, our health. Mary Kmak, our health warrior, shares her thoughts on a healthy Thanksgiving

healthy thanksgivingHi readers,
I used to eat whatever I wanted for Thanksgiving dinner without giving it any thought. Afterall, it was Thanksgiving and a time to eat extra food and desserts and then lay down and watch the football games with my brothers and friends and let the pounds continue to add up on my already unhealthy weight total. I think when I ride my exercycle how many calories I burn off so why waste that on one piece of pie? I have more weight to lose and I worked so hard getting my A1C, blood pressure & cholesterol down to normal. It just isn’t worth it to me.  NOT anymore! Those days are gone forever.

My cravings are now for better health - Mary Kmak, Live Well participant Click To TweetMy cravings now are for better health. Here’s something to think about before you eat any extras. These are approximate calorie counts and the amount of exercise it would take to burn up those additional calories. Something to think about before you go for seconds, etc.

1) 1/2 cup mashed potatoes and gravy is approximately 165 calories and would take 30 minutes on exercycle to burn off.
2) 1/2 cup stuffing is approximately 180 cal and would take 20 minutes of running upstairs to burn off.
3) 1/2 cup cranberry sauce is approximately 200 calories and would take 30 consistent pushups to burn off.
4) 1/2 cup Sweet potato casserole is approximately 200 cal and would take 20 minutes performing jumping jacks to burn off.
5) a slice of pumpkin pie is approximately 300 calories and takes about 30 minutes on stairstepper to burn a similar number of calories.
6) a slice of pecan pie is approximately 450 calories and would take 1 hour on the treadmill.

Lifestyle changes don’t mean giving ALL your favorite food up; it simply means being awareAgain this is approximate, but you see my point! Be careful with portion-sizes and desserts because it adds up. Lifestyle changes don’t mean giving your favorite foods up; it simply means being aware of portion control, making better choices, and adding exercises as simple as walking.

Have a wonderful Wednesday and keep this in mind for tomorrow.  I certainly do!

Mary Kmak

Read more about Mary’s amazing story and the Live Well programs.