HOTFLASHES | July 2024

Benefits of Swimming

It is definitely the time of year to be in the pool, but if the heat has you struggling to stick with exercise, the pool can also offer a great workout. In today’s article, we’ll go over some of the top health benefits of swimming (as if you needed another reason for a cool dip in the pool).

  • It works your whole body. Lots of exercises work specific areas of your body, such as your legs in cycling or running, but swimming works your whole body. Whatever stroke you choose to use to swim, you’re working many different muscle groups. Swimming is also a great workout for both your lungs and your heart, helping make them both strong.
  • Swimming is low impact. Something that draws a lot of people to swimming is how low impact it is. While other exercises can be hard on your joints, swimming does not put the same sort of stress on your joints. It can be a great option for people with arthritis, injuries, disabilities, or other issues that make higher impact exercises harder or not possible.
  • It burns lots of calories. Compared to other exercises like yoga, walking, and the elliptical, swimming burns more calories per hour. If you are exercising to lose weight, this is an important consideration.
  • Swimming boosts your mood and lowers stress. Not only is swimming good for your physical health, it can also be really beneficial for your mental health as well. And while exercise has long been known to help your mood and stress levels, studies with swimming and aquatic workouts specifically have been very promising in this area as well.
  • It is fairly affordable. While having your own pool can be a lot of time and money, swimming can be fairly affordable when using public pools in your area. It requires no equipment, and even for pools that charge a fee, the fee is usually small.

Protecting Yourself from the Sun

The sun is certainly out in full force this time of year, and that means it’s more important than ever to protect yourself from the sun. In this article, we’ll go over the best ways to protect yourself from the sun effectively to minimize sun burn and long-term sun damage. These tips are great for people of all ages, including and especially children.

  • Wear sunscreen.  It sounds so simple, but wearing sunscreen is such a great tip for protecting yourself and others from the sun. When using sunscreen, make sure you choose one that’s 30+ SPF, broad spectrum, water resistant, and in date (that one from a few summers ago probably won’t cut it anymore). It doesn’t just stop at putting sunscreen on though. Letting the sunscreen dry before getting in the water and reapplying often is also very important. If you’re worried about age spots on your face, try choosing makeup or other skincare products with built in SPF.
  • Protect your skin with clothing. No sunscreen can protect you from the sun completely, so making sure you’re wearing protective clothing in addition to wearing sunscreen is key. We know it’s hot outside, but covering up your skin, when and wherever possible is an important step in protecting yourself from the sun. You might not wear long sleeves and pants to walk to your car in the mornings, but choosing the right swimming, fishing, lawn care, or exercise gear for long periods of time outside is important.
  • Wear sunglasses. It’s not just your skin that needs sun protection. Your eyes are at risk of developing certain diseases after long exposure to the sun. When choosing your sunglasses, you want to look for ones that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays. Just because lenses are darker does not mean they are better.
  • Don’t forget a hat. Wearing a wide brim hat when you’re spending lots of time outside is the last step in ensuring adequate and effective sun protection. Hats are great because they can help protect your eyes as well as your ears, forehead, nose and scalp.


No-Churn Watermelon Ice Cream



  • 3 cups cubed watermelon, any seeds removed, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Chopped fresh mint for garnish (optional)


  1. Place a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan in the freezer.
  2. Puree watermelon in a food processor or blender until smooth (you should have about 2½ cups).
  3. Combine 2¼ cups of the watermelon puree, lemon juice and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whip cream until it forms stiff peaks. Drizzle in the remaining ¼ cup watermelon puree and continue to whip until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Fold sweetened condensed milk into the whipped cream until incorporated.
  5. Pour half the whipped cream mixture into the loaf pan, then drizzle half the watermelon reduction in a figure-eight pattern over the top. Top with the remaining whipped cream mixture and drizzle the remaining watermelon reduction in figure-eight pattern over the top.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and gently press down so it lies on the surface. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours and up to 1 week. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before slicing. Garnish with more chopped watermelon and mint, if desired.

HOTFLASHES | June 2024

Ways to Exercise as a Family Even in the Summer Heat

Exercising as a family is a great way to encourage a healthy lifestyle, and it can help keep the kids busy while they’re out of school. However, the South Georgia heat is no joke and taking a walk outside or heading to the park may be a little too intense some days. However, we have some tips on how to exercise as a family even in the heat of the summer.

  • Take advantage of the cooler parts of the day. While it doesn’t make sense to try and go for a walk outside or head to the local park in the afternoon due to the heat, you can take advantage of the mornings and evenings when it’s a little cooler (especially before July hits) to get outside and have some fun while getting exercise. Be sure to dress appropriately, wear sunscreen, and bring enough water for everyone!
  • Find a community pool or splash park. When it’s hot outside, swimming or running around a splash park is a great way for your kids (and you) to get exercise without overheating. If you don’t have a pool yourself, find a community pool or a local splash pad to enjoy.
  • Find an indoor playground near you. While it might be too hot to head to the local outdoor playground, many communities now have indoor playgrounds. Ask around and see if there’s one near you. If you don’t know of one, some fast food restaurants still have indoor playgrounds. You can walk around or do calisthenics while your kids play.
  • Find a group fitness class. Some local gyms or community centers may offer fitness classes for the whole family.
  • Head to the mall. While most people think of silver sneakers groups walking around the mall, the mall is a great place to walk in the cool of the indoors.
  • Take advantage of free gym memberships. Some gyms offer summer passes for older children to workout for free during the summer, and having someone to workout with could be a great motivator for you to head to the gym yourself.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Tomatoes are in season now in South Georgia, which makes it the perfect time to use them up in salads, on sandwiches, or even just by themselves. If you’re looking for more reasons to love tomatoes, we have just a few of their many health benefits below!


  • Improved heart health has been linked to frequent consumption of tomatoes. Heart disease, which includes heart attacks and strokes, is the world’s most common cause of death. However, the lycopene, a plant compound found in tomatoes, may be able to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and in turn, help your heart health. Additionally, tomato and tomato products may help with inflammation and oxidative stress, which are linked to heart disease.
  • Cancer prevention may be another health benefit of tomatoes. Observational studies have noticed a link between tomatoes and tomato products and fewer cases of prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. Again, lycopene is believed to be the reason why. Carotenoids, another plant compound found in tomatoes has also been linked to lower rates of breast cancer in women.
  • Skin health may be another little-known benefit of the mighty tomato. Lycopene, as well as other plant compounds, found in tomatoes may protect against sunburn.


Herb-Roasted Olives and Tomatoes


  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup garlic-stuffed olives
  • 1 cup Greek olives
  • 1 cup pitted ripe olives
  • 8 garlic gloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


Preheat oven to 425°. Combine the first 5 ingredients on a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Add oil and seasonings; toss to coat. Roast until tomatoes are softened, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Does Your Child Have Asthma or Allergies?

Asthma or allergies are both very common in children, but the symptoms of both can be very similar since both conditions involve your child’s airway. In today’s article, we’ll go over signs your child may have asthma, allergies, or both and what to do about it.

Childhood Asthma

Asthma happens in about 1 in 10 children, and it happens when the bronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs, get inflamed and swell, making it harder to breathe. Your child may experience symptoms every day, once a week, or even less frequently. Common symptoms include:

  • Wheezing or noisy breathing
  • Coughing (often at night or with exercise)
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest

Childhood Allergies

Childhood allergies are also fairly common in children, and they are triggered by your child’s immune system response. Their immune system works to detect viruses and bacteria that may be harmful, but with allergies, the immune system goes a little overboard, reacting to things like pollens, grasses, mold, dust, pet dander, and more. Sometimes allergy symptoms may be seasonal, but if your child has an allergy to things like dust, pet dander, or other environmental allergens, they may have symptoms more often. Common allergy symptoms include:

  • Itchy, watery, or red eyes
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Dry cough
  • Scratchy or sore throat

Allergic Asthma

It is possible for your child to have both allergies and asthma, if they have allergic asthma (also known as extrinsic asthma) rather than non-allergic (or intrinsic asthma). If their asthma is allergy induced, they may be triggered seasonally, but it could flare up at any time, since some environmental allergens are present year-round.

When to See a Doctor

If you are noticing any of the above symptoms are persistent and not going away, particularly if your child is having trouble breathing, make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician. From there, they may refer you to an allergy and asthma specialist and work to create a treatment plan for your child.


Common Health Problems Affecting Women and How to Prevent Them

In honor of National Women’s Health Month this May, we wanted to break down the five most common health problems affecting women and how you can prevent them. Read on to learn more!

Heart Disease

Heart attacks and heart disease are not just a concern for men. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women and while there are risk factors out of your control like family history, being post-menopause, and having started mensuration early, there are lots of risk factors you can control and work on managing in order to lower your risk. Some of these include:

  • Quitting smoking (or never smoking).
  • Controlling blood pressure levels.
  • Controlling cholesterol levels.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Being physically active.
  • Managing or lowering your risk of diabetes.

Taking steps to lower your risk factors with the above tips can lower your risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent! Additionally, knowing the signs of heart disease and heart attack in women is very helpful as they can be different from signs in men, and people are often less likely to recognize them in women.


Breast Cancer

While survival rates have drastically improved in breast cancer, it is still the most common type of cancer in women in the United States. Much like heart disease, there are risk factors for breast cancer you can’t control like hormones and family history, but there are also changes you can make to lower other risk factors including:

  • Limiting or not using alcohol at all.
  • Not smoking.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Eating healthy.

In addition to controlling the risk factors you can, it’s also important to regularly perform self-breast exams and get mammograms once a year after the age of 40 (or sooner if you have a family history and your doctor recommends it). This can be a crucial step in catching the disease early and treating it before it progresses.

Ovarian and Cervical Cancer

After breast cancer, ovarian and cervical cancer are two other types of cancer that affect women and while survivorship has increased with these types of cancer as well, it’s still important to lower your risk wherever possible. Again, with both cervical and ovarian cancer, there are risk factors outside of your control. Additionally, some things that are a risk factor for one may actually lower your risk for the other. For example, never having been pregnant can increase your risk of ovarian cancer, but multiple full term pregnancies can increase your risk of cervical cancer. The best things you can do to lower your risk of  both include:

  • Not smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Getting screened regularly.

Depression and Anxiety

Both depression and anxiety are conditions affecting your mental health, and for whatever reason, they seem to affect women more frequently than men. Environmental, mental health, physical and inherited factors can all play a role in anxiety and depression. Medication for anxiety and depression can be very helpful, but there are also other steps you can take including:

  • Exercise
  • Cut out caffeine and nicotine.
  • Stay away from alcohol and other illicit substances.
  • Practice stress management techniques like mediation.
  • Ask for help.
  • Talk with others.

If you are suffering from anxiety and depression or know a loved one who is, it’s important to know that there is help available. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

Reproductive Health Issues

Approximately 1 in 5 women have trouble getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. Infertility is usually defined as not being able to achieve a pregnancy after one year of unprotected sex, but if you have irregular periods, are over 35, or have a known cause of infertility, it’s recommended to you seek help after six months of attempting pregnancy.

Certain factors of infertility are out of your control, like your age, medical problems you may have, or prior medical treatments. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy, exercising, not smoking, and limiting or cutting out alcohol can make a big different. Additionally being able to quickly identify and treat or management sexually transmitted disease can help prevent infertility as can limiting your exposure to toxic chemicals or treatments.


Healthy Maple Blueberry Zucchini Muffins


  • 1 1/2cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 1teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1cup shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture with a paper towel
  • 1/2cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4teaspoon almond extract
  • 2tablespoons olive oil (or sub melted butter)
  • 1/3cup unsweetened applesauce (or apple butter)
  • 1egg
  • 1/4cup unsweetened almond milk (any milk will work)
  • 1cup fresh or frozen blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with muffin liners. Either way I recommend using nonstick cooking spray. This guarantees that they muffins will not stick to the liners or the pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, add the following wet ingredients: shredded zucchini, pure maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract, olive oil, applesauce, egg and milk; mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Even distribute batter among muffin tins, filling about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 22-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove muffins and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. Makes 12 muffins.

HOTFLASHES | April 2024

All About Alcohol and Your Health

While alcohol is something most of us have had at least a few times in our lives and may even have on a regular basis, there is more and more evidence suggesting even small amounts of alcohol can be harmful to our bodies. In this article, we’ll go over what alcohol can do to your body over time.

While there are lots of short-term effects of alcohol like changes in mood, impulsive behavior, dehydration, nausea and vomiting, and more, there are also a lot of long-term adverse health effects of the substance on your body, including:

  • Inflammation of the pancreas leading to pancreatitis
  • Inflammatory damage to your liver, leading to cirrhosis of the liver over time
  • Inability to control blood sugar levels due to damage to the pancrease and liver
  • Damage to your central nervous system, causing things like numbness or tingling in your feet and hands, damage to your frontal lobe, and more
  • Damage to your digestive system including gas, bloating, feeling of fullness in your abdomen, diarrhea or painful stools, ulcers, and/or hemorrhoids
  • Heart-related health issues like high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, difficulty pumping blood throughout the body, stroke, heart attack, heart disease, heart failure
  • Damage to your sexual and reproductive health
  • Effects on your bone density, leading to thinner bones and increased risks of fractures
  • A weakened immune system
  • Increased risk of mouth, throat, breast, esophagus, colon, or liver cancer
  • Alcohol induced mental health conditions
  • Dependence

While many people may drink frequently yet not be dependent, they would likely still be classified as a binge drinker. Drinking in moderation means only one drink per day for women or less and two drinks per day or less for men. While past medical advice said that a daily drink had very few risks and potentially even had some health benefits, new evidence is showing there really isn’t a “safe” amount of alcohol because even small amounts can negatively impact your health.

Becoming an Organ Donor

Each April is National Donate Life Month which observes and works to focus national attention on why organ, eye, and tissue donation is so important. This April, we wanted to talk about this movement, answer some frequently asked questions, and give you a guide to becoming an organ donor.

Who can be a donor?

People of all ages and ethnicities can be a donor. Additionally, having medical conditions does not disqualify you from donating. A national system matches available organs from donors with those on organ waiting lists based on their blood type, body size, degree of sickness, distance, tissue type, and time on the list. Other factors like race, income, gender, or sexual orientation are not considered.

Does registering as a donor change my patient care?

There are some misconceptions about organ donation, with many people still believing signing up as an organ donor will affect their care as a patient. This is absolutely a myth. Your life will always come first without any regard to your status as an organ donor, and doctors will do whatever they can to save you. Only once you are declared clinically and legally dead can donation be seen as an option.

Why is it important for every community to donate?

People waiting for organ donation encompass every possible racial and ethnic group, and while transplants can happen successfully between people from different racial and ethnic groups, they are most successful when organs are matched between people of the same racial or ethnic background.

How do I become an organ donor?

Becoming an organ donor is extremely simple! You can register online at Additionally, it’s always a good idea to let your loved ones know you are an organ donor and wish to have your organs donated (if possible) when you die.


Lemon-Garlic Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs


  • 1 small lemon, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 (4.5 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Juice lemon quarters into a large bowl (about 2 tablespoons juice); place the juiced lemon quarters in the bowl with the juice. Stir in 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Place the chicken, skinned side down, in an even layer in the skillet. Cook, undisturbed, until browned, about 4 minutes. Flip the chicken. Pour the reserved marinade, including lemon pieces, over the chicken in the pan.
  3. Transfer to the oven and bake until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F, about 10 minutes. Serve drizzled with pan sauce. Garnish with additional thyme, if desired.

HOTFLASHES | March 2024

Signs You May Have Endometriosis

March is National Endometriosis Month which is a condition where tissue very similar to the lining of your uterus grows in other parts of your body. While one in ten women are estimated to have endometriosis, on average, women will suffer from endometriosis for ten years before being diagnosed with the condition. In today’s article, we’ll go over common signs and symptoms of endometriosis and what to do if you suspect you might have the condition.

  • Painful periods are very common in women with endometriosis and may start before your period and last several days after. You may also experience lower back or stomach pain.
  • Pain with sex is another common symptom of endometriosis.
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination are another symptom of endometriosis. While it’s possible for them to happen at any time, they are most likely to happen before or during your period.
  • Excessive bleeding during your period is another symptom of endometriosis. Some women may also have bleeding in between periods with endometriosis.
  • Infertility is often a common symptom of endometriosis, and many women are diagnosed with endometriosis when doing infertility tests. However, even with severe endometriosis, natural conception is possible as it’s estimated 60-70 percent of people with endometriosis can get pregnant on their own.
  • Other symptoms associated with endometriosis include things like fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and/or nausea. These are more likely to happen before or during your period.

While the symptoms listed above are commonly associated with endometriosis, having one or even a couple of these symptoms on their own may not mean you have the condition. Additionally, some people with endometriosis may have no symptoms at all. However, if you suspect you do have the conditions and/or have many of the symptoms in the above list, it might be time to talk to your doctor. Endometriosis can be very challenging to manage and your care team can help, especially if it’s affecting your day-to-day life or your ability to get pregnant.

Health Benefits of Strawberries

Strawberries are officially in season and if you’re looking for yet another reason to indulge in the sweet red fruit, we have six health benefits for you! Read on below to learn more!

  • Strawberries contain antioxidants, which are able to reduce oxidative stress. The cells in your body are fighting oxidative stress from our environment, which is related to cellular aging and chronic illness, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants, like those found in strawberries and other berries neutralize free radicals that can damage your cells and cause disease.
  • Strawberries are full of vitamin C. Another key ingredient in strawberries is vitamin C, which is really beneficial for a healthy immune system. One cup of strawberries contains all the vitamin C needed in a day, which can help your overall health and help your body fight off viruses and other pathogens.
  • Strawberries may be heart healthy. Because of the helpful antioxidants strawberries contain, there is some evidence to suggest strawberries could be beneficial to your heart health and other studies suggest they may help you improve your cholesterol levels, which would in turn improve your heart health. Additionally, there is some strong evidence to suggest frequent consumption of strawberries and the antioxidants they contain may lower your risk of diabetes, which is also good for your heart.
  • Strawberries may support brain health. Memory loss and dementia are common in older adults, but some studies suggest strawberries may help support your brain and lower your risk of these conditions.
  • Strawberries may reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a part of your body’s natural immune response, but chronic inflammation may be linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and other diseases. However, the sweet news about strawberries is with their levels of flavonoids and antioxidants, they may be able to reduce inflammation and counteract these chronic diseases.
  • Strawberries are good for the gut. Another recent study found that strawberries may have compounds with prebiotic activity, which can aid in the growth of beneficial probiotic microbes in your gut.

Strawberry-Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bark


  • 3 cups whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Stir yogurt, maple syrup (or honey) and vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread on the prepared baking sheet into a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Scatter the strawberries on top and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  3. Freeze until very firm, at least 3 hours. To serve, cut or break into 32 pieces.

HOTFLASHES | February 2024

Top Five Steps for Heart Health

During the month of February, we see lots of content about heart health and statistics about heart disease and heart attacks. We all know we need to do better for our heart, but sometimes life is hectic, and it’s hard. In this article, we’ll go over our top five things you can do to make a huge impact on your heart health (and overall health).

  • Eat heart healthy. Most of us know eating healthy is an important part of taking care of our health, but what exactly does a heart healthy diet look like? When eating for your heart, it’s important to stick to the basics and avoid fad diets and trends. A heart healthy diet consists of lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy wholegrains, healthy fats, and limited salt and sugar. While it sounds easy, it’s often harder to put in practice. If you struggle with eating healthy, focus on changing just a couple meals a week or one or two simple swaps at first and slowly increase healthy swaps.
  • Move your body. Exercise is a crucial part of a healthy heart. There’s just not a way to get around it. Adults are recommended to get 150 minutes of moderate level activity each week, and while that may sound like a lot, it’s less than 22 minutes per day. If you’re not getting any physical activity start out small. Ten minutes of walking a day is always better than nothing.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking just isn’t beneficial for any aspect of your health, and it’s especially bad for your heart and lungs. Quitting smoking (or never starting) is so beneficial for your health, and while it can be difficult to quit, there is help available and ultimately, all that effort is so worth it.
  • Understand and control your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol, or a fatty substance that moves around your body through your blood, is a key to understanding and impacting heart health as well. Cholesterol is something your body produces naturally, and it’s important for your body to function. However, too much for the “bad cholesterol” (LdL) can clog your arteries and create a build up, called plaques. This leads to blockages in your arteries and can increased your risk of heart attack or stroke. The next time you go to the doctor, pay attention to your cholesterol levels (found through a routine blood exam) and ask questions about what you can do to get it (or keep it) in check.
  • Understand and control your blood pressure. Additionally, your blood pressure is another component of a healthy heart. When your blood pressure, or the pressure of your blood in the walls of your arteries, is too high, it can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke as well. Your blood pressure is usually shown as two numbers, one over the other. The top number is your systolic reading, or the measurement of the pressure in the arteries when your heart contracts and pumps blood. The lower number is the diastolic reading, or the measurement of the pressure in the arteries when your heart muscle relaxes and refills with blood. While a blood pressure reading is usually part of any doctor’s visit, you can also check your blood pressure at home or in the pharmacy section of many stores. If your numbers are too high, talk to your doctor about what you can do to control them.

Finding Time to Exercise in a Busy Season

As we discussed in the article above, exercise is an important part of heart health, as well as overall health. However, all of our lives are busy, and it can seem so hard to fit exercise into everything else we have to get done each day. In this article, we’ll go over some of our top tips for fitting a workout into any schedule.

  • Plan ahead and schedule it. When you have a busy life, if you’re going to exercise, you need to plan it. Look at your schedule and find the best times to fit some movement in and schedule it on your planner or phone, so you don’t forget. Once you have a plan in place, make it easy on yourself by making sure you have easy access to your workout clothes when you need them.
  • Give yourself 10 minutes, three times a day. If when you look at your schedule, you don’t know how to fit in a 20 or 30 minute workout session, see if you can find 10 minute increments of time instead. You can walk, do calisthenics, or a 10 minute YouTube video. Maybe when you get up in the morning, the first 10 minutes of your lunch break, and right when you get home before you start dinner. Whatever the time slots are, it still counts for a full workout session, even if it’s spread throughout the day.
  • Do the little things. While exercise and designated workout sessions are important, it’s also important to fit regular movement into your life to become a more active person. Think taking the stairs instead of the elevator, looking for a parking spot farther away from the store, do a few jumping jacks while waiting for your coffee, do a pushup or sit up every time you find yourself checking your phone, etc.
  • Find a workout buddy. Sometimes when you are trying to find a way to exercise, external help can be a motivating factor. It’s also a way to fit in some time to socialize into a busy schedule. Text a friend or family member and ask them if they’d like to walk with you a few times a week (and schedule these times) or meet you at the gym each morning. You can exercise and get some quality time together in the process.
  • Let yourself experiment. Starting a new workout regimen can be tough, especially if you weren’t really active before. Don’t let yourself get discouraged easily and let yourself experiment when it comes to different types of workouts. Maybe running isn’t for you, but you love yoga. Don’t be afraid to try new things and go with what works.
  • Incentivize yourself. If nothing else works, use rewards to motivate you and help you prioritize workout time. If you love a certain TV show, only allow yourself to watch it when you’re walking on the treadmill. Or if there’s a big ticket item you really want, pay yourself for each time you workout until you have enough to purchase it. Even small snacks or coffees can be an incentive if you’re otherwise eating a healthy diet and are generally burning more calories than your reward.


Slow-Cooker Chicken and White Bean Stew


  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 6 cups unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 (4 ounce) Parmesan cheese rind plus 2/3 cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts (1 pound each)
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves


  1. Combine beans, broth, onion, carrots, rosemary and Parmesan rind in a 6-quart slow cooker. Top with chicken. Cover and cook on Low until the beans and vegetables are tender, 7 to 8 hours.
  2. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board; let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Shred the chicken, discarding bones.
  3. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and stir in kale. Cover and cook on High until the kale is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper; discard the Parmesan rind. Serve the stew drizzled with oil and sprinkled with Parmesan and parsley.

HOTFLASHES | January 2024

What the HPV Vaccine is and Why Your Child Needs It

If you have a pre-teen or teenager, you’ve likely been asked about the HPV vaccine for your child. If you’ve declined the vaccine in the past because you weren’t sure of it or its purpose or if your child will turn 11 or 12 soon, this article is for you. We’ll go over what the HPV vaccine is and why your child needs it, answering some frequently asked questions along the way.

What is HPV?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus spread through intimate skin-to-skin or sexual contact. It is extremely common, and it’s estimated that nearly all people will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. While most HPV infections go away on their own in two years or less, they can last longer and have also been linked to cancers later in life.

How does the HPV vaccine work?

The HPV vaccine aims to prevent your child from getting HPV before they are sexually active. This vaccine works like other vaccines, in that it exposes your child to a weakened HPV virus, allowing their body to produce antibodies and prevent them from getting the virus later on. Even though they are exposed to HPV through the vaccine, it is a weakened version, and will not affect your child negatively.

Why is it important for my child to receive the vaccine?

As we mentioned earlier, HPV infections have been linked to cancers later in life and because so many people are at risk of contracting HPV, they are also at a greater risk of developing these cancers, including:

  • Cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers in women
  • Penile cancers in men
  • Anal cancers in both men and women

Cancers of tonsils, base of tongue, and back of the throat in men and women

The HPV vaccine works to prevent HPV and in turn can prevent over 90 percent of the cancers caused by the virus. While your child is young, and you may not want to think about them being sexually active, this virus is intended to be given well before sexual activity happens. Children aged 11-12 are recommended to receive the vaccine, but children as young as nine up to young adults aged 26 can also receive the vaccine.

If you have more questions about this vaccine and why your child needs it, talk to their medical provider about your questions and concerns.,penile%20cancer%20in%20men

Lose the Weight and Keep it Off

Fad diets come and go, but the way to lose weight and keep it off hasn’t actually changed that much over the years. And while so much weight is put on the food you eat, your relationship to food and weight is just as important. In this article, we’ll go over our top five tips to losing weight and keeping it off.

  • Set realistic goals. Many of us want to lose weight, and it may even be something you set a goal for at the beginning of the year. And while goal making is great and an extremely important part of achieving weight loss success (or any other type of success for that matter), it is crucial to set realistic goals. While you might love to lose 30 pounds, it’s not realistic to think you’ll lose that amount in just a month or two. Additionally, when you have your overarching goal of losing 30 pounds, getting down to a specific pants size, or lowering your BMI numbers, it can be really helpful to break those big goals down into smaller, more achievable goals.
  • Understand how much and why you eat. Many of us are emotional eaters and don’t always have the best relationship with food. Learn where your personal pitfalls are by keeping a food diary or using a tracking app to understand what you’re eating, how much you’re eating, and when you’re eating (which can usually point you towards the why too). Understanding what and where your hang-ups and habits are can help a lot when trying to make meaningful and lasting change.
  • Manage portion sizes. The U.S. is known for our large portion sizes, and when big portions are so normalized, it’s no wonder why so many people are overeating and overweight. Familiarize yourself with what a portion and a serving look like and practice smaller portions. If you’re at a restaurant, portion half of your meal into a togo box right away. If you’ve cooked at home, go ahead and portion out any leftover food into containers to lessen your chances of getting seconds or thirds.
  • Make smart choices. By now, most of us know what foods are healthy and what foods are unhealthy. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, making smart food choices is a crucial part of doing that. Try to use simple substitutions for the less healthy options and work on healthy snacking.
  • Be physically active. Another important part of losing weight and maintaining it? Exercise. While it can be hard to find time to work out, there’s no way around it, exercise or moving your body in some way is integral to losing weight.

Many of us have been trying to lose weight off and on for years, without as much success as we’d like. If you’re really struggling to do it alone, or you’ve tried everything and it’s just not working, our hi-energy weight loss program may be able to help. Call 229-800-1378 today for an appointment!

Air Fryer Kale Chips


  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed, washed, and patted dry
  • 2 extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 finely grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional seasonings: everything bagel seasoning, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, or garlic powder


    1. Tear kale leaves into large chip-sized pieces and transfer to a medium bowl. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice and toss to combine. Using your fingers, ensure each piece is lightly and evenly coated.
    2. Add Parmesan and toss to combine; season with salt and black pepper, then add any optional seasonings to taste. Toss again to combine.
    3. In an air-fryer basket, arrange kale in a single layer. Cook at 350° until edges are just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. (The more delicate the kale variety, the quicker it will cook.) Transfer kale to a sheet pan and let cool in a single layer. Kale will continue to crisp as it cools.

HOTFLASHES | December 2023

How much water do you really need each day?

While you may have heard you need to drink eight glasses of water each day, the amount of water you need is a little more complicated than that. Recommendations have changed over the years, and your individual needs are likely affected by your health, level of activity, and where you live. In this article we’ll go over how much you really need, reasons to modify your intake, and how to know you’re drinking enough water.

How much water do I really need?

The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has determined the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate. For women, this is 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters of fluids a day for women. For men, this is roughly 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters of fluid a day.

While water is a great option for staying hydrated, milk, juice, and herbal teas also contain mostly water. You can also consume liquids from fruits and vegetables like watermelon and spinach. Even coffee and soda can contribute towards your daily water intake. However, you don’t want to go overboard with the sugary drinks, as they can contain a lot more calories than you need during the day.

When do I need to drink more water?

While the numbers above provide a good base level for what healthy adults need, there are situations where you need to drink more than 2.7 liters for women or 3.7 liters for men. Reasons you may need more water include:

  • When you’re exercising
  • If you’re in hot, humid weather
  • If you have a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or other sicknesses
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding

How do I know when I’m drinking enough water?

Ultimately, you know your body best, and if you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow, you’re probably getting enough water.,fluids%20a%20day%20for%20women

Is spending time with loved ones beneficial for your health?

When most of us think of doing something positive for our health, we think about eating a little healthier, drinking more water, or getting more exercise. While those are very important steps to take for your health, their focus is on your physical health. Your mental and social health are also important aspects of your health.

There is evidence to suggest your social network and the social support you have available is very beneficial for both your physical and mental health. If you are very socially active, this may lead to lower stress levels, an improved mood, more positive behaviors, better cardiovascular health, improved illness recovery, and much more. In contrast, social isolation is associated with lots of negative impacts, like higher rates of chronic disease, mental health conditions, and more.

While social media does help us stay connected to friends and family members who may live far away, recent studies found social media could actually be tied to higher rates of loneliness. The impact of your social support seems to hinge on in-person interactions, like a meal with your family, walking with your neighbor, or talking with friends.

This means it’s especially important to find time for your family and friends in-person. If you’re struggling to connect with people in person, try exercising in a group, volunteering, or sharing a meal. Even talking to co-workers after a meeting or short, quick interactions with strangers can have an impact. While social media should not be used in place of in-person relationships, it can still be helpful in finding meaningful connections if used strategically.

Crispy Potato Pancake Poppers


  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Very generously brush melted butter into the bottom and sides of 24 mini muffin cups. Place the tin(s) on a baking sheet and set aside until needed.
  2. Add cold water to a large bowl until 1/3 full. Grate potatoes into the cold water, then fill the bowl almost to the top with more cold water. Swish the potatoes around with your hands to rinse off the starch, then pour off most of the water and refill with more cold water. Continue this process until the water runs almost clear. Pour potatoes into a colander and let drain for a few minutes.
  3. Transfer grated potatoes to a clean kitchen towel. Wrap potatoes in the towel and squeeze over a bowl until no more liquid comes out.
  4. Transfer potatoes to a clean bowl and add garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, and olive oil. Sprinkle flour over top, then add Parmigiano-Reggiano. Mix and toss gently with your hands until thoroughly combined and mixture feels damp.
  5. Grab potato mixture from the bottom of the bowl to get as much moisture as possible, and fill the prepared muffin cups. It’s okay if the mixture comes up above the pan by 1/2 to 1 inch.
  6. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown on top, caramelized on the bottom, and crispy all over, 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan for 5 minutes before flipping them over onto the baking sheet.

HOTFLASHES | November 2023

Do I need pelvic floor surgery?

While many women may be uncomfortable handling medical issues “down there,” you shouldn’t suffer needlessly through serious health issues like pelvic organ prolapse. Not only does this prolong your suffering, but it can also make the problem worse. In today’s article, we’ll go over what pelvic organ prolapse is and when you might need medical attention and/or surgery.

What is pelvic organ prolapse?

Your pelvic muscles and tissues support your pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and cervix, vagina, and rectum) like a hammock. When your pelvic muscles and tissues become weak and damaged, they aren’t able to support your pelvic organs anymore. This causes one or more of your pelvic organs drop, and this is considered a prolapse.

When do I need to see a doctor?

If you are experienced signs of a symptoms of a pelvic organ prolapse, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. Symptoms of prolapse include:

  • A bulge the vagina that can be felt or seen
  • Uncomfortable pressure during physical activity or sex
  • A feeling of pressure, discomfort, aching, or fullness in the pelvis
  • Pelvic pressure that gets worse with standing, coughing, or as the day goes one
  • Leaking urine or problems having a bowel movement
  • Problems inserting a tampon

When do I need surgery?

Not everyone who has pelvic organ prolapse needs surgery. If you have mild symptoms, you may be okay with a special device called a pessary that helps support your uterus. You may also be able to have pelvic floor therapy to help as well. If you plan to have more children, your doctor will likely advise you to wait on surgery. This is because you may experience prolapse again, even after surgical repair, during childbirth.

Bladder Health Month

November is Bladder Health Month, and because our bladder health is not something we often think or talk about, this month is the perfect time. In this article, we’ll go over some common bladder issues in women and some bladder health tips to help.

Common Bladder Issues in Women

Many women suffer from an overactive bladder, and this can make you feel a strong, sudden urge to go to the bathroom This can lead to urgency incontinence, or when you’re not able to make it to the bathroom in time. This can be due to abdominal trauma, nerve damage, medications, or other conditions.

Another common issue many women suffer from is stress incontinence. This is when you leak urine when you sneeze, cough, laugh, or exercise. Many women report dealing with this as they age, and many women may think it’s a normal result of being pregnant and having children. This is often caused by how your vagina and uterus are positioned and may be because they’re pushing on your bladder.

Treatment for both of these common issues can be simple. Often it may involve pelvic floor therapy, changing certain behaviors, medications, and/or nerve simulation. If you are struggling with either of these issues, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.

Bladder Health Tips

While you may not think about your bladder health as much as say your heart health, it’s still very important to your overall health and well-being. Here are a few bladder health tips for you to follow year round:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake.
  • Sit to go on the toilet, don’t hover.
  • Take your time to truly empty your bladder when peeing.
  • Stay away from chocolate, spicy foods, acidic foods, tomatoes, and citrus fruits that may bother your bladder.
  • Keep your pelvic muscles strong with Kegels and other exercises.
  • Stop smoking.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes


  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup of sour cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives


  1. Cut the cauliflower heads down into florets, then steam or boil for about 8-10 minutes, until completely fork tender and soft.
  2. You can also cook the florets in an, by adding 1/2 cup of water to the bottom, and placing the cauliflower florets on the steamer insert. Using high pressure, steam for 2 minutes.
  3. Let the cauliflower drain and cool, then squeeze in a kitchen towel to remove the majority of the water in the cauliflower. If you’re in a hurry, I’ve had success with using tongs or rubber gloves to squeeze the cauliflower while it’s still hot, just don’t use your bare hands!
  4. For a chunkier cauliflower mash, mix the cauliflower with the remaining ingredients by hand.
  5. For a smoother texture, puree the squeezed cauliflower in a food processor with everything but the chives, for about one minutes, until smooth.
  6. Mix in the chives if desired, or simply sprinkle on top to garnish. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

HOTFLASHES | October 2023

How does menopause affect breast cancer risk?

During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to talk about the connection between menopause and breast cancer. This article will talk about the connection and some general tips t lower your breast cancer risk. Read below for more information.

What is the connection between breast cancer and menopause?

While menopause doesn’t cause breast cancer or other cancers, the rates of cancer diagnoses do increase with age. Some drugs used to manage menopause symptoms may also increase or decrease your risk of certain cancers.

Menopause Drugs and Cancer Risks

Research suggests the longer you are exposed to female hormones, whether they’re made by your body, taken as a drug, or worn as a patch, the more likely you are to develop breast cancer. If you are struggling with menopausal symptoms, you may be given hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The longer you take HRT with a combination of estrogen and progestin, the greater your chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer is.

Other Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

In addition to hormonal factors and age, there are other risk factors for breast cancer including:

  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Having previously had cancer in one breast
  • Having a history of ovarian, uterine, or colon cancer
  • Having a gene mutation like BRCA1 or BRCA2
  • Late menopause (after age 55)
  • Starting menstruation before age 12
  • Having a first child after age 30
  • Never having children
  • Being overweight or obese after menopause

How can I lower my breast cancer risk?

While you can’t prevent breast cancer and you can’t change many of the risk factors listed above, there are still steps you can take to lower your risk of breast cancer. Some of these include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Being physically active.
  • Eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limiting the amount of processed and red meat you eat.
  • Drinking no more than one alcoholic beverage daily for women.

What is SIDS?

SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is when a baby younger than one year old dies suddenly with no real explanation. Since SIDS death are commonly associated with sleep, it may sometimes be referred to as “crib death.”

SIDS is sudden and unexplained, and this can make it very scary. While we still don’t have all the answers to SIDS, there are things you can do to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS. One of the biggest steps you can take is to place your child on their back to sleep, not their stomach or sides. Below, we’ll go over what the increased risk for SIDS are and what safe sleep looks like.

Who’s at an increased risk of SIDS?

Most SIDS deaths happen in babies who are between one and four months old, and cases do rise during cold weather. Babies are at a higher risk of SIDS if:

  • Their mother smoked, drank, or used drugs during pregnancy or after birth
  • Poor prenatal care for the mother
  • Premature or low weight birth
  • Family history of SIDS
  • A mother younger than 20
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke after birth
  • They get overheated.
  • They sleep on a soft surface.
  • They sleep with soft objects or loose blankets and pillows.
  • They sleep in a parent’s bed.

What is safe sleep?

Safe sleep is when your baby sleeps on their back in their own firm sleeping space (like a crib, bassinet, or pack and play). Additionally, you should have pillows, loose blankets, stuffed animals, crib bumpers, or other objects in your child’s sleeping space.

In addition to having a safe sleeping space, other steps you can take to reduce the risk of SIDS include:

  • Getting early and regular prenatal care.
  • Have your baby in your room, but not your bed.
  • Breastfeed if possible.
  • Offer a pacifier to your baby during sleep time.
  • Dress your baby for the room temperature and don’t over bundle them.
  • Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs during pregnancy or after birth.
  • Don’t let your baby fall asleep in items not designed for sleep (car seats, boppy billow, swings/bouncers, or an infant lounger).
  • Don’t use weighted blankets, sleepers, or swaddles on or around your baby.
  • Make sure your child gets all of their recommended vaccines.



Italian Pot Roast


  • 3 lb boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced pancetta (or good quality bacon)
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped, carrots
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir or beef stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Season the beef with the salt.
  2. In a large dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium-high, until glistening. Add the beef to the pot in batches and cook until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Using tongs, set the meat aside on a plate, the meat does not need to be cooked through at this point.
  3. Still over medium-high heat, cook the pancetta until crispy. Add the onions, carrots and celery, stirring constantly to scrape up brown bits, until softened, about 5 minutes. If your vegetables are sticking to the bottom, deglaze the pot with water a few tablespoons at a time. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.
  4. Stir the tomato paste into the vegetables. Pour in the wine, thyme and bay leaves, stirring until combined. Using tongs, nestle the beef into the wine/vegetable mixture, along with any juices from the plate. The meat should not be completely covered. Bring the liquid to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, cover with the lid. Place in the oven until the beef is very tender, about 2 hours.
  5. Transfer the beef to a serving dish and tent with foil. Bring the liquid and vegetables to a boil over medium-high heat, uncovered. After about 8-10 minutes the liquid should thicken and reduce by about ⅓. Pour the thickened sauce over the top of the beef.
  6. Garnish with pepper and parsley and serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

HOTFLASHES | September 2023

Combatting Childhood Obesity

About one in every six children are considered obese, and this number keeps growing. The rate of childhood obesity has tripled over the past three decades in the United States. While these numbers are certainly concerning, this article outlines important steps you can take to prevent childhood obesity.

  • Model a healthy eating pattern. Children learn by watching you, so it’s important to make sure you are eating healthy if you want them to. Children are also more likely to like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains if they are exposed to them early and often.
  • Move more as a family. Exercise and healthy eating go hand in hand for maintaining a healthy weight, but you don’t want it to feel like a chore for your child (or you). Make it fun and involve the whole family by walking the dog, riding bikes together, racing in the yard, or playing tag. Chores like washing the car, vacuuming, or raking leaves can also count towards their physical activity.
  • Have a consistent bedtime routine. Believe it or not, sleep plays an important role in diabetes, obesity, injuries, and even behavioral problems. While the causes are not completely clear, making sure your child has a consistent bedtime and gets enough sleep each night is very important. Preschoolers need 11-13 hours (including naps), and children 6-12 years old need 9-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. Teenagers need 8-10 hours.
  • Ditch the screens. If children get too much screen time, it can lead to things like poor sleep, weight gain, lower grades, and even poor mental health. While you don’t have to ditch screens entirely, turning them off at least an hour before bed, keeping them out of bedrooms, and limiting them during the day are beneficial.

Benefits of Yoga

The practice of yoga dates back more than 5,000 years, and it’s still very popular in modern times, for good reason! Yoga has many health benefits—both physical and mental. Read more to learn about these benefits!

  • Yoga improves flexibility and balance. Balance and flexibility are important to maintain, especially as we age. They can prevent falls and help us stay active. Even low intensity styles of yoga are linked to increased flexibility, and research shows yoga can improve balance, even in older populations.
  • Yoga helps with stress relief and reducing anxiety. Studies show yoga helps relieve stress, and the meditation, breath work, and auditory rituals are also shown to relieve tension and reduce stress. Certain yoga practices, like asana and nidra, may be
  • Yoga may increase your strength. While yoga can increase your flexibility and balance, it can also increase your strength, depending on the class level, approach, and teacher.
  • Yoga may improve sleep. Yoga has been proven to improve how quickly people fall asleep and how they stay asleep.
  • Yoga improves your mental health and improve your quality of life. With improved sleep, lower stress, and reduced anxiety, it makes sense that yoga improves your mental health. However, yoga has also been shown to improve symptoms of depression as well.
  • Yoga may boost immunity. While more research still needs to be done, there may be a link between practicing yoga and better immune system functioning. This could be due to improvements in sleep, lowering stress, and yoga’s ability to fight inflammation.
  • Yoga may improve your cardiovascular system’s functioning. “Yogic breathing” or pranayama is an important part of yoga, and research suggests this type of breathing may benefit your cardiovascular system.
  • Yoga may improve bone health. Some of the common positions in yoga like the plank pose, Warrior II, and more are isometric exercises. These types of exercises have been found to increase bone density, which is especially important as we age.
  • Yoga can promote better posture and body awareness. Many of us spend our days sitting hunched in front of a computer or over our phone, but yoga has been found not only to improve your posture, but also better recognize sensations within your body.


Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds)
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more garnish
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or ¾ teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 jar (14 ounces) pasta sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Halve squash lengthwise; discard seeds. Place squash on a microwave-safe plate, cut side down; microwave on high until tender, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with parsley, oregano and basil. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 7-9 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 165°. Stir in pasta sauce; sprinkle with cheeses. Cover and cook until cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Separate strands of squash with a fork. Serve with chicken and sauce. If desired, top with chopped parsley.

Chicken Parmesan With Spaghetti Squash

HOTFLASHES | August 2023

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that affects about 54 million Americans, and older women are at a higher risk. In this article we’ll go over exactly what osteoporosis is, how it forms, and how to prevent it.

What is osteoporosis?

As we grow older, we can start to lose density or mass in our bones and develop osteoporosis. Osteoporosis happens when your body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or a combination of the two. This causes weak bones and can greatly increase your risk of breaking a bone.

Osteoporosis is very serious. It’s estimated it is responsible for two million broken bones each year. For many older adults, this can lead to a loss of independence and a difficult recovery. While osteoporotic bone breaks often occur in the hip, spine, or wrist, they can happen in other places too. Osteoporosis can also cause pain, height loss, stooped posture, and limited mobility.

What causes osteoporosis?

The biggest factor in developing osteoporosis is your calcium intake through your lifetime. If you don’t get enough calcium, even when you’re young, it can have an impact on your bone density. In addition, certain diseases and conditions can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Some of these include:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Leukemia, Sickle Cell, or other blood disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid issues
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Certain cancers
  • Eating disorders or poor nutrition
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Liver disease
  • Organ transplant


How can you prevent osteoporosis?

While you can’t control certain things, like the amount of calcium you had access to as a child, genetics, or conditions that increase your risk, there are some steps you can take to lower your risk of osteoporosis. These include:

  • Eating foods that support your bone health (high in calcium, Vitamin D, and protein).
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Not smoking or quitting smoking.
  • Limiting how much alcohol you drink.

In addition, if you are at an increased risk of osteoporosis, you can be proactive. Ask your doctor for a bone density scan and talk to them about medication options that can slow down bone loss and/or rebuild bone.

What is Osteoporosis and What Causes It?


How to Get Started with Healthy Meal Prep

Trying to figure out what to have for dinner can be so exhausting, and it’s all too easy to swing through a drive-thru somewhere or eat something that’s quick but unhealthy. Meal prep can be a great way to take the stress out of the dinnertime rush, while still ensuring you’re eating something healthy. In this article, we’ll go over some helpful tips to get started with healthy meal prep.

  1. Think storage. If you want to start meal prepping, you want to make sure you have a way to store all of your meals for the week. You want good-quality airtight microwave and dishwasher-safe containers, and you want to make sure they’re not so bulky that they’ll be hard to maneuver in your fridge. You want them to be big enough to store the majority of your meal, but don’t forget to grab a few smaller containers for sauces, dressings, or items that don’t need to be heated.
  2. Make a game plan. If you are going to commit to meal prep, you need to pick your day and time. You want a day where you have at least a couple hours, so the weekend works for many people.
  3. Simplify where possible. If the idea of giving up some of your precious Sunday afternoon stresses you out, think of ways you can simplify the process. Could you have your groceries delivered or use a pick-up service? Maybe you can buy frozen veggies instead of fresh or choose veggies that are already washed and chopped. You can also enlist your spouse, children, or grandchildren to help, and a crockpot or instant pot may give you more of a hands-off approach for cooking meat for your meals.
  4. Pick your recipes. Now it’s time to choose your recipes, but don’t overthink it too much. The secret to successful meal prepping is choosing simple recipes but swap things up often enough that you don’t get bored. You want to make sure you’re choosing a recipe that is truly healthy, so make sure your meals are well-rounded and are low in sugar, salt, fat, and other unhealthy things. When choosing recipes, think about what ingredients you can carry over. Maybe you cook a whole batch of baked chicken and use it for a healthy burrito bowl one day and serve it with a steamed veggie and healthy carb another day. If you’re not sure what to recipe to try first, check out the one below!
  5. Enjoy! Now that you have your day and time set and a few recipes, it’s time to get started! Make the meal prepping process enjoyable by playing some music or an interesting podcast or audiobook. If you don’t eat all of what you prepped, just pop it in the freezer for a week you don’t have as much time to prep.


One-Pan Teriyaki Chicken Meal Prep


  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 3 skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli floret
  • 1 cup baby carrot
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, for serving
  • Sesame seed, for garnish
  • Green onion, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400º F (200ºC).
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the soy sauce, water, garlic, cornstarch, and honey. Allow the sauce to begin bubbling, then stir until sauce thickens. Remove from the heat.
  3. Spoon a little of the teriyaki sauce onto the center of a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Lay the chicken on top of the sauce. Arrange the bell pepper, broccoli, green beans, and carrots out on either side of the chicken.
  4. Season the vegetables and chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Coat everything well with teriyaki sauce, reserving some for later.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
  6. Remove the pan from oven and let cool. Slice the chicken into strips.
  7. Distribute the chicken and vegetables evenly between 4 resealable containers filled with brown rice, separating vegetables for 4 different dishes, if desired.
  8. Drizzle the remaining sauce over chicken and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.
  9. Refrigerate up to 4 days.

HOTFLASHES | July 2023

Preventing a Heat Stroke

As temperatures rise, the chances of a heat stroke rise too. Heatstroke is where your body overheats, usually because of a long time in high heat or working or exercising in the heat. Heatstroke is the most serious form of heat injury, and it happens when your body temperature rises to 104 F or higher. It is a medical emergency, and it can damage your brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles.

While heatstroke is very dangerous, it is preventable. Know if you are at a higher risk factor due to certain medications, health conditions, lack of air conditioning, or your age. If you are at a higher risk, it’s important to be very cautious in hot weather, and it’s important for everyone to following these tips to prevent heatstroke:

  • Wear loosefitting, lightweight clothing to allow your body to cool properly.
  • Protect yourself against sunburn with sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing.
  • Stay hydrated, so your body can sweat and help you maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Never leave anyone in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked and/or the car is in the shade.
  • Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day.
  • Be cautious if you’re at an increased risk of heat stroke.


Hypothyroidism vs. Hyperthyroidism

Thyroid disease is very common—it’s estimated than 20 million people in the U.S. have some type of thyroid disorder. In this article, we’ll go over two the most common thyroid issues, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid gland is underactive, and you’re not able to produce enough of the hormones you need. Hypothyroidism is usually caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a surgery that removed your thyroid gland, or damage from radiation treatment. Other possible causes include thyroiditis, congenital hypothyroidism, iodine deficiency, pituitary gland or hypothalamus disorders, and certain medications.

When your thyroid is underactive, it can lead to symptoms like:

  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Increased sensitivity to cold temperatures
  • Memory problems
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Weakness or muscle and joint pain
  • Slow heart rate
  • Heavy and irregular menstruation
  • Fertility problems
  • Coma

If you are experiencing these symptoms, your doctor will perform blood tests to measure certain hormone levels. They may also order ultrasounds or scans, and if you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you will likely have to take thyroid hormone pills.

What is hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is the oppositive of hypothyroidism. Your thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone. This causes many of your bodily functions to speed up. It can lead to symptoms like:

  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Racing heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Increased sweating
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Thin skin
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Muscle weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Bulging eyes

Hyperthyroidism is caused by Graves’ disease in the vast majority of cases, but it can also be caused by thyroid gland inflammation, too much iodine, too much thyroid medication, overactive thyroid nodules, or noncancerous pituitary gland tumor.

As with hypothyroidism, your provider can diagnose you with hyperthyroidism by running blood tests and performing certain scans. If you are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, there are a few different treatment options including: antithyroid medication, radioiodine therapy, beta-blockers, and/or surgery.

What’s the difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism?

The major difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is the activity of your thyroid. With hypothyroidism, your thyroid is not active enough, and with hyperthyroidism, your thyroid is too active.

Summer Peach and Blackberry Galette


  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons of ice water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound peaches, peeled and cut into 1 inch thick wedges
  • 8 ounces fresh blackperries
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons light-colored jelly or jam


  1. Combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well combined, about 5 times. Add cubed chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles small peas, about 12 times. Add 1/4 cup ice water; pulse until mixture is evenly moistened, about 8 times. Mixture should hold together when pinched. If it doesn’t, add remaining 1 tablespoon ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing 3 times after each addition. Turn mixture out onto a clean work surface. Shape into a ball, and flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
  2. Unwrap dough, and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a 14-inch circle (about 1/8 inch thick). Trim into a 12-inch circle; discard scraps. Place dough circle on a parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet, and chill, uncovered, until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add peaches, blackberries, melted butter, lemon zest and juice, and thyme sprigs; toss to combine.
  4. Arrange fruit mixture in center of chilled dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold dough edges up and over filling (dough will only partially cover filling), pleating every 3 inches. Lightly brush folded dough edges with beaten egg. Sprinkle dough edges and filling with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (without opening oven door), and bake until crust is golden brown and fruit mixture bubbles in middle, 40 to 45 minutes.
  1. Transfer baking sheet with galette to a wire rack, and let cool 30 minutes. Microwave jelly in a small microwavable bowl until melted, 30 to 45 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds. Brush jelly over warm fruit filling. Serve galette warm, or let cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.


HOTFLASHES | June 2023

How to Have a Great Summer with the Kids or Grandkids

If you’re staying at home with your kids or keeping the grandkids for the summer, it can feel like a long, overwhelming time. With the right steps though, you can make it a great summer that you’ll all enjoy.

  • Have fun. Ultimately, this time at home with your children or grandchildren should be fun. Make sure you have time to do things like running through the sprinkler on a hot day, going to story time at the library, and other fun activities and outings as your budget allows. These will be memories that both you and the child or children will treasure for years.
  • Balance structure. You want this summer to be fun, but kids do thrive on routines and rhythms. Have a daily rhythm if you’re not into a strict schedule where you all have a general idea of meal times, clean up times, and time for play or other activities.
  • Don’t stress. Kids will pick up on your attitude, so if you’re stressed, they’ll likely end up being stressed and in a bad mood too. Try to practice positivity and gratitude and it’s likely the children will follow suit.
  • Limit screens. While screen time can be easy when you’re feeling a little burnt out and tired, we all know kids don’t really need more time in front of a screen. Allow the children to be bored and find ways to be creative in occupying their time. This is great for their development!
  • Try something new. Now is the perfect time for kids to experiment with activities. Painting, playing an instrument, baking, writing a story, or making something with their hands are all great ideas of something new for them to try. Just follow their interests and encourage their creativity.
  • Read every day. Reading is such a beneficial activity for children. It helps develop their imagination, and it’s not a bad way to spend some time for either of you. It’s also a great alternative to screens. Make it fun by taking trips to the library with your child, letting them pick out books, and even signing them up for a summer reading program if they want to.


Keeping Produce Fresh

This time of year is a great time for fresh produce, and fresh produce is so beneficial for your health in so many ways. However, if you don’t store fresh fruits and vegetables properly, they can go bad quickly.

  • Soak up extra water. Too much moisture can cause some produce like lettuce and other leafy greens to spoil. Storing them with a paper towel or tea towel or storing them in a cloth vegetable bag in the fridge can help them to last as long as possible.
  • Limit air. Air makes fruits and vegetables like apple slices, potato slices, avocadoes and others turn brown. You can squeeze some lemon juice over these to help protect them from air.
  • Stop water loss. While excess water causes lettuce and other produce to spoil, it can help others to stay crisp like celery, carrots, and berries.
  • Separate certain foods. Some produce gives off a gas as they ripen that can cause other produce to ripen faster than you want them too. Keep mangos, peaches, and pears away from cucumbers, raspberries, and strawberries.
  • Purchase underripe produce. All the produce you buy doesn’t have to be ready to eat immediately. Tomatoes, avocados, and cantaloupe all ripen even after they’re picked and buying a few of them them before they’re ripe can help you to have fresh produce for several weeks.
  • Pick the right temperature. The temperature you store your produce at matters, and most produce does best in a refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Crisper drawers in the fridge can also help produce stay fresh for longer. However, underripe bananas, avocados, and some other tropical fruit does better on the counter.


Summer Squash Tomato Gratin


  • 2 yellow squash, sliced into coins
  • 2 large or 3 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Arrange the sliced summer squash along the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle with a little of the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Then sprinkle with a small amount of the panko breadcrumbs and shredded gruyere.
  4. Layer the tomatoes on top of the squash. Repeat with sprinkling on the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, breadcrumbs, and cheese.
  5. Sprinkle the bell pepper and shallots in a layer across the tomatoes.
  6. Top the dish with the remaining salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, breadcrumbs, and cheese.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until the panko is golden brown.
  8. Serve immediately or save in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe from


Pregnancy Later in Life

If you are pregnant over the age of 35, this is considered advanced maternal age. Some providers may also refer to this as a geriatric pregnancy, but it means the same thing. There is an increased risk of complications with this type of pregnancy, which we’ll talk about today as well as ways to lower these risks. However, despite higher risks, many people still go on to have healthy pregnancies and healthy, happy babies.

What are the risks of advanced maternal age?

Any pregnancy comes with some risks, but if you are of advanced maternal age, you are more likely to have:

  • Preeclampsia
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Premature birth or low birth weight
  • Twins
  • Miscarriage
  • Down syndrome or other genetic disorders
  • C-section
  • Stillbirth

How can I lower my risks?

If you are over 35 and pregnant or planning to get pregnant, there are many things you can do to lower your risks of any pregnancy complications:

  • Take time for preventative care.
  • Manage existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and others.
  • Take a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Quit smoking or using other tobacco products.
  • Stop drinking alcohol.
  • Eat a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, lean means, and whole grains.
  • Stay within a healthy weight range.

Most pregnancies with mothers over the age of 35 are successful, but it’s important to know where you stand. Talk to your provider about your concerns as well as genetic testing that can be done and other ways to keep you and baby healthy.,help%20detect%20certain%20congenital%20disorders.


Benefits of Pelvic Floor Therapy

Pelvic floor therapy is a type of therapy that works to strengthen your pelvic floor. It can work to improve your core strength and help give you back control over urination, bowel movements, and sexual function.

Your pelvic floor can change over time and childbirth and stress can make this even worse. The muscles can become stretched, loose, weak, or too tight and restricted. Both of these can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor therapy offers a minimally invasive option to treat things like prolapse, urinary or fecal incontinence, pain during sex, and more.

A pelvic floor therapist is a physical therapist who has had additional training to work with patients on their pelvic floor. They will talk to you about your medical history, symptoms, and any specific complaints you have. Then they will do an external and internal physical exam to see what shape your muscles are in.

Pelvic floor therapy can consist of many different things including:

  • Exercises
  • Manual therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Electric stimulation
  • Vaginal dilators
  • Weighted cones

Many women of different ages and stages in their life can benefit from pelvic floor therapy, and because pelvic floor dysfunction can get worse over time, the earlier you’re able to start, the better. If you have chronic pain for three months or more and/or consistently have problems controlling urination, bowel movements, or issues with sex, talk to us about a referral for pelvic floor therapy.


Fresh Tomato Pasta


  • 4 to 6 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves, stems removed, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti, or linguine or fettuccine pasta
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Place tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh basil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix gently and set aside to marinate.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a fast boil and add spaghetti; cook until al dente according to package directions, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Drain pasta and immediately toss with the tomato mixture.
  4. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

HOTFLASHES | April 2023

Managing Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition affecting about 10 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44. It’s characterized by endometrial tissue (the tissue that lines the uterus) being outside of the uterus. The tissue most often grows in or around the:

  • Fallopian tubes
  • Ligaments around the uterus
  • Lining of the pelvic cavity
  • Ovaries
  • Outside surface of the uterus
  • Space between the uterus and rectum or bladder.

However, it can grow in other places like the bladder, cervix, intestines, rectum, stomach, and vagina or vulva as well.

Because this tissue doesn’t shed during a menstrual cycle like normal endometrial tissue,, it can lead to inflammation, scarring, and painful cysts. Many women who have endometriosis experience painful, heavy periods, and the condition can also be associated with infertility.

If you are struggling with endometriosis, there are some treatments you can try to help manage it. The most common treatments are hormone therapy and pain management.

Hormone therapy can be taken as pills, shots, or as a nasal spray. The most common options include:

  • Oral contraceptives with estrogen and progesterone
  • Progestins to stop periods and endometrial tissue growth
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist to limit ovarian hormones
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist to stop ovarian hormones

Pain management options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen. These can be effective for managing endometriosis pain, and you can also discuss possible prescription pain medication options with your doctor if needed.

If hormone therapy and/or pain management options are still not enough to manage your endometriosis and you have advanced endometriosis, you may be a candidate for surgical options. Talk to your doctor today about your options, and don’t suffer in silence.


Benefits of Getting Outside

It can be tempting to spend your days indoor with air conditioning, TVs, Wi-Fi, and more. However, getting outside everyday can have some big benefits for your health and overall wellbeing. Some of the health benefits of getting outside everyday include:

  • Better breathing. While it may seem counter-intuitive with pollen and other allergy triggers, indoor concentrations of air pollutants are actually much higher than outdoor concentrations. Plus, spending more time in natural green spaces could help lower your risk of respiratory issues.
  • Improved sleep. Your body takes its cues from the sun, making you feel awake when the sun’s out and sleepy when it’s not. Getting more time outside helps your body into it’s natural rhythm and sleep better at night.
  • Reduced depression symptoms. Sunlight can help to boost your mood and combat fatigue.
  • More motivation to exercise. Exercising outdoors can help make you more motivated to exercise in the future.
  • Mental restoration and improved emotional well-being. We are overstimulated in our modern society, and getting outdoors offers a nice break, which can make us feel restored and improve our emotional well-being.
  • Boosted immune function. Microorganisms in nature can help your immune system to “practice” fighting off infections and illnesses, which means just spending outside can boost your immune system.
  • Protection from short-sightedness. Some evidence suggests that children who spend more time outside have a lower change of developing nearsightedness.


Salmon Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing


  • 1 ¼ pounds skinless salmon fillet
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 7 tablespoons mayonnaise, divided
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon whole buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn
  • ½ cup sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup thinly sliced radishes


  1. Finely chop salmon on a cutting board; place in a medium bowl. Add chives, salt, pepper, and 4 tablespoons of the mayonnaise; stir to combine. Shape mixture into 8 (2 ½-inch-wide) patties. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Place each patty in breadcrumbs; press to coat all sides.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add patties to skillet; cook until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 130°F, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet.
  3. Whisk together parsley, buttermilk, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, and remaining 3 tablespoons mayonnaise in a small bowl.
  4. Divide lettuce, snap peas, and radishes evenly among 4 plates. Top each with 2 salmon cakes; drizzle with dressing.

HOTFLASHES | March 2023

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Since 1999, March has been designated as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so we thought it would be a great time to share some information about colon cancer and tips to lower your risk.

Colorectal Cancer Fast Facts

  • Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.
  • Roughly 25-30 percent of colorectal cancer patients have a family history.
  • One in 23 men will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
  • One in 25 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer is preventable with screening, and an estimated 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented with screening.

Preventing Colorectal Cancer

  • Get screened. The number one way to prevent colorectal cancer is by getting your regular screenings, or tests that look for signs of cancer before symptoms develop. Common screenings include a colonoscopy and take home options, and the American Cancer Society recommends you be screened starting at age 45 if you have average risk. Colorectal cancer is fully treatable if it’s caught and treated early enough.
  • Eat healthy. A diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Eating less red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) and processed meat (hot dogs and lunch meats) can also lower your risk.
  • Not exercising can raise your risk of many cancers, including colorectal cancer. Aim to get 150 minutes of exercise each week.
  • Control your weight. While it can be easier said than done, losing weight if you’re overweight or obese can reduce your risk of dying from colorectal cancer. If losing weight is a struggle, we have some tips for you down below!
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk of many cancers, including colorectal cancer, so quit smoking if you already smoke and don’t start if you don’t smoke currently.
  • Avoid alcohol. Drinking alcohol has been associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer, so avoid it if you can.


Weight Loss Tips

Taking control of your weight if you’re overweight and obese has many health benefits, but it can also help you to look and feel your best too. If you’re struggling to lose weight and keep it off, these tips should help.

  • Eat slowly and mindfully. Eating slowly and really paying attention to every bite helps you to truly enjoy and savor the food you’re eating. However, it also helps you to stay in tune with when you’re really full and avoid overeating.
  • Keep a journal. It might sound silly, but keeping a journal may help you to lose weight by helping you tune in to when you’re stressed. Many people eat more or eat less healthy, “comfort” foods when they’re stressed and realizing that can help you work on other strategies to manage your stress.
  • Don’t forget weights. If you’re eating healthy and getting your cardio in, but still not losing weight, add in some weightlifting. Weightlifting increases your body’s muscle mass, which helps the food you eat be used as fuel, rather than stored as fat.
  • Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can affect your hormones and contribute to weight gain. When you’re well rested, you don’t crave unhealthy foods as much, you’re in a better mood, and you make better choices.
  • Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals to lose weight is actually counterintuitive. Your body will crave more calorie dense foods to sustain itself, and you won’t be able to keep weight off long term.
  • Drink water. Being thirsty can sometimes mask itself as hunger, causing you to eat when you’re not actually hungry. Drinking water also makes you more full, which can help you to eat less at meal times.
  • Reorganize your plate. Most of us focus on meat being the focus of our plate with some kind of carb as an important second. Try to make half of your plate vegetables, a quarter whole grains, and a quarter lean protein instead.
  • Don’t focus on the scale. While losing weight is likely important to you if you’re reading this, it shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on, especially since lack of progress on the scale can be so discouraging. Take regular photos and measurements of yourself in addition to weighing yourself to get a full picture of where you’re at. It’s also a good idea to keep other non-scale victories in mind (like being able to walk up the stairs without getting winded, lower cholesterol levels at the doctor, etc.) if you get discouraged easily.

If you’re eating healthy, exercising regularly, and following these tips and still having trouble losing weight, our new weight loss program can help (link to weight loss page).


Ratatouille Stir-Fry


  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 2 small or 1 large squash
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 3 gloves garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, and more as needed


  1. Prepare the following, placing each vegetable in a separate pile on a rimmed baking sheet as you complete them: Thinly slice 1 medium red bell pepper (about 1 1/2 cups) and 1/2 medium yellow onion (about 1 1/2 cups); halve 2 small summer squash and 1 medium Japanese eggplant lengthwise (quarter lengthwise if wider than 2-inches), then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (about 2 3/4 cups squash, 2 cups eggplant); halve 1 cup cherry tomatoes; finely chop 2 to 3 garlic cloves; coarsely chop 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves.
  2. Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat until a bead of water dances when dropped in the pan, 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil around the perimeter of the pan. Add the eggplant, season with 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and toss to coat in the oil. Spread out into an even layer and cook, stirring occasionally with a metal spatula, until crisp-tender and browned in spots, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat cooking the summer squash in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Transfer to the bowl.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic, and season with 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften and the juices release, about 4 minutes.
  5. Return the eggplant, squash, and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 1 minute. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with the basil and serve over crostini, cooked orzo, or cooked pasta if desired.

HOTFLASHES | February 2023

Lowering Your Stress for a Healthy Heart

Everyone knows that February is National Heart Health Month, and a really great way to improve your heart health is by lowering your stress. But of course that’s easier said than done. Women are more likely to report feeling stressed out than men and nearly half of all women say that their stress has increased in the last four years. While we can’t deal with that annoying co-worker or take care of your many household responsibilities (we really wish we could!), we do have some tips to help you better lower and manage the stress in your life.

  1. Consider the sources of your stress. If you are always stressed out about cleaning your house, would it be possible to pay someone to clean your house each week? Or could you minimize certain areas of your home to make cleaning easier? While you may not be able to get rid of all your sources of stress, evaluating what is causing you stress and making changes if possible can make a big impact in lowering your overall stress levels.
  2. Care for yourself like you do others. If a child or grandchild was sick or a friend injured themselves, you are the type of person who would drop everything to take care of them. However, when it comes to your own health, it can be easier to push things off and procrastinate. Find time to fill your own cup and be kind to yourself more.
  3. Accept help when you need it. We often think we can be superwoman and do it all, but there’s only one of us and 24 hours in every day. We often need help with all the items on our to-do list, but it can be hard to hand over control. Whether it’s asking a friend or relative for help or getting your husband or child(ren) to help more (even if they don’t do it the “right” way), ask and accept help when you are overloaded. Your heart will thank you for it!
  4. Get regular physical activity. Exercise raises endorphins and boosts your mood. Getting your blood pumping with physical activity is great for your heart, but a bonus is that it can help your stress levels too.
  5. Spend time with loved ones. We know, we know, you have so much on your plate, and it can be hard to find the time. However, spending time with your loved ones can be very beneficial for your mental health and can be a way to make time for yourself to have fun.
  6. Eat healthy and mindfully. Eating real foods like fruits and veggies instead of processed food and drinking lots of water help to give you energy and feel more like yourself. Mindful eating is paying attention to your food and your body when you’re full or hungry.
  7. Try to look on the bright side. We know life can be very stressful, and it can be hard to be optimistic sometimes. However, looking on the bright side and practicing gratitude can help you to truly feel more happy and less stressed.


Managing the Urge to Smoke

Along with managing your stress, exercising, and eating healthy, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart health (and your health overall). However, if you’re a smoker, you know quitting isn’t easy. Afterall, you are addicted to the nicotine in the cigarettes and managing those cravings can seem impossible. We have some of our top tips on how to manage those cravings and ditch cigarettes for good.

  • Get support. Having a trusted friend or family member, especially someone who’s been in your shoes, can really help you on your journey to quit smoking. If you don’t have someone to turn to, you can turn to apps, social media, or experts at the National Cancer Institute Quitline (1-877-448-7848).
  • Know your why. You likely want to quit smoking for a specific reason—whether it’s for a loved one or yourself. In those moments you want to give in to your craving, tune into those reasons and remind yourself how important they are to you.
  • Stay busy. Sometimes you just need to distract yourself from your craving. Chewing gum, going for a walk or job, taking deep breaths, or doing a good deed for someone else are all great ways to distract yourself.
  • Go to a smoke free zone. If you have others around you who smoke, it can be really easy to give in. In those moments, it might be a good idea to go to a public place—a mall, restaurant, store, or other place—that doesn’t allow smoking.
  • Try Nicotine Replacement Therapy if necessary. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and you’re still struggling, you may want to look into nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Short acting options include lozenges or gums, and long acting options would be something like a patch.
  • Don’t give up. Whatever you do, don’t give up on your journey to quit smoking. We know it can be difficult, but your health is worth it!


Date Night Flaky Crab Cakes 


  • 2 tablespoons plain whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon canola mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons canola oil


  1. Place first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring to combine. Add crab; toss gently to combine. Chill crab mixture in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Divide crab mixture into 4 equal portions. With moist hands, gently shape each portion into a 1-inch-thick patty.
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add butter; swirl until butter melts. Add oil; swirl to coat. Carefully add patties to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until crab cakes are golden brown and done.


HOTFLASHES | January 2023

Lower Your Risk of Cervical Cancer

light-blue-ribbon-crop-handsEach January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and we are celebrating by talking about ways you can lower your risk. Each year about 14,000 cases are diagnosed, and roughly 4,000 women die from it each year. However, thanks to modern medicine, there are a few things you can do to lower your risk of cervical cancer.

  • Get screened every year. It’s important to get a Pap smear and HPV (human papillomavirus) test regularly. A Pap smear looks for cell changes on your cervix that, if not treated, may turn into cancer, and the HPV test looks for the virus that can cause these changes. How often you should be screened depends on your age and several other factors, so talk to your provider about what is best for you.
  • Get your HPV vaccine. HPV is what causes cervical cancer in most cases, and it also raises both men and women’s risk of other cancers as well. It’s recommended for people aged 11-26.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk of several different cancers, including cervical cancer.
  • Use condoms during sex. Because cervical cancer is most often caused by HPV, you can lower your risk of cervical cancer by protecting yourself from HPV.


Preventing Illness This Flu Season

Caring black father giving a cup of tea to his sick small daughter at home.

No one likes being sick, but this time of year—it’s hard to avoid it. With COVID-19, the flu, and other viruses out there, we put together a few tips to keep you and your family feeling well this January.

  • Get your vaccine(s). The single best way to prevent illness is to make sure you’re vaccinated. If you haven’t received your COVID-19 vaccines or booster or your flu vaccine, it’s not too late to do so.
  • Avoid close contact. Keep your distance from people you know are sick, and if you’re sick, protect others by keeping your distances too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose. While it won’t protect you from getting sick, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze can protect others from getting sick. If you have kids, it’s also a good practice to teach them.
  • Practice hand hygiene. Washing your hands often with warm soap and water is a great way to get rid of germs and viruses. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you have germs on your hands and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, it’s an easy way to get sick.
  • Clean and disinfect. It’s a good idea to clean and disinfect areas that are touched often like door knobs, phones, keys, and other surfaces to kill germs.
  • Eat healthy. Eating healthy and drinking lots of water is a great way to stay healthy and keep your immune system in good shape.


Classic Tomato Soup


  • 2 teaspoon canola oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • Minced fresh basil, optional


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook and stir until tender, 2-4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for optional fresh basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  2. Puree soup using an immersion blender. Or cool soup slightly and puree in batches in a blender; return to pan and heat through. If desired, top with fresh minced basil.

HOTFLASHES | December 2022

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy 

While pregnancy can be an exciting time, it can also be stressful and present health challenges. Check out these tips on how to have a healthy pregnancy below.

  • Take a prenatal. Prenatal vitamins, which are available at drugstores, help ensure that you get the proper nutrients, especially folic acid, for your growing baby.
  • Get prenatal care. Seeing a healthcare provider regularly during pregnancy is important to make sure that your pregnancy is progressing how it should be and you are in good health.
  • Exercise. Exercising regularly is great for your overall health, and it can help you sleep better too. Moderate exercise like walking, swimming or even yoga or pilates are a great way to get moving. Be sure to work in some kegels to help your pelvic muscles too! Before starting any regular exercise regime, make sure you talk to your doctor about what is healthy for you.
  • Eat healthy and eliminate toxins. Eating healthy is important for everyone, but now that your diet is supporting your tiny baby, it’s even more important. Folate rich foods like fortified cereals, asparagus, oranges, and orange juice help your baby’s neural tube, which covers the spinal cord, develop. While you’re pregnant, there’s also certain things you shouldn’t eat or drink, like alcohol, excess caffeine, raw or undercooked animal products, and others. It’s also recommended that pregnant women don’t smoke cigarettes or use drugs.
  • Educate yourself. If this is your first baby, it’s definitely a good idea to take a prepared childbirth class to learn more about the birthing process, infant care, breastfeeding and more. However, even if this isn’t your first child, it’s still a good idea to remind yourself of these things. You can also educate yourself more on your family’s medical history and talk to your doctor about any issues with past pregnancies or birth defects in your family.
  • Write a birth plan. After educating yourself more, come up with a birth plan. You can cover whether you want a natural or medicated birth, certain comfort things you may want in the delivery room, who you want there, etc. but be prepared for things to change or be more fluid when you’re actually there.
  • Change up chores. While pregnant, you want to limit your exposure to toxic chemicals and bacteria that you could come into contact with while cleaning around the house. You also want to have someone else change the cat litter box if you have one and avoid climbing on step stools or ladders.
  • Check your medications. You’ll definitely want to your doctor about any prescription pills you may be taking and whether or not they’re safe for pregnancy. It’s also a good idea to go over what over the counter medications are safe to take, as even things like ibuprofen are not recommended.
  • Drink lots of water. Now that you’re pregnant, you are supplying everything your baby needs. Because of this the amount of blood in your body increases by up to 50 percent to handle everything. Drinking more water helps support that, and as a bonus it can help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, UTIs, fatigue, headaches, swelling, and other pregnancy symptoms that aren’t so fun.
  • Wash your hands. Keeping your hands clean can protect you and your baby from bacteria and viruses that can cause illnesses like the flu, COVID-19, Group B streptococcus, and others. If you can’t wash your hands, alcohol based sanitizers are another great option.
  • Get your rest. Being well rested is good for your mental and overall health, which makes it good for baby too.
  • Know when to call the doctor. While the tips listed above can help you have a healthy pregnancy, you may not be able to prevent certain health conditions. If you experience the symptoms listed below, you should call your doctor immediately.
    • Pain of any kind
    • Strong cramps
    • Contractions at 20-minute intervals
    • Vaginal bleeding or leaking of fluid
    • Dizziness or fainting
    • Shortness of breath
    • Heart palpitations
    • Constant nausea and vomiting
    • Trouble walking, edema (swelling of joints)
    • Decreased activity by the baby

How to Buy Safe Toys this Christmas

With the holiday season comes holiday shopping, and we love finding that perfect gift for our loved ones. If you’re shopping for kids this year, finding the perfect gift should also mean finding a gift that’s safe. Every year, thousands of children are injured by toys. While most of these are minor cuts, scrapes, or bruises, toys can cause death or a major injury.

  • Read the label. The labels on toys give important information on what age the toy is appropriate for, so make sure that the toy you’re picking out matches up with the age of the child you want to give it to. This ensures that the toy will be used properly and reduces the risk of injury.
  • Think large. Small toys can increase the risk of choking, especially in small children. Make sure you’re picking out toys and parts that are larger than your child’s mouth this holiday season.
  • Skip toys that shoot objects into the air. Toys with some sort of shooting component can cause eye injuries or choking in small children.
  • Avoid loud toys. Loud toys can damage a child’s hearing. We know parents will thank you for this one too!
  • Check the quality of toys. Make sure you’re choosing toys that are sturdy and well made without pieces that can come off or break easily. This can prevent choking too. It’s also a good idea to look for UL Approved on the label of electric toys and choose toys with “non-toxic” on the label as well.
  • Avoid chemistry and hobby sets for children younger than 12. Kits like this can cause fires or explosions without proper supervision, and they may contain dangerous chemicals.
  • Be careful when buying toys for a crib. It’s usually a good idea to skip extra things for a crib altogether. Stuffed animals, soft bedding, and crib bumpers can all increase the risk of suffocation and SIDS in babies. While hanging crib toys like mobiles or crib gyms are okay, make sure that they are out of baby’s reach and are moved once baby starts to push up on their hands and knees.

HOTFLASHES | November 2022

What is Dementia? 

Every November is recognized as National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, which makes it a great time to learn more about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is a broad term that’s used to refer to several medical conditions that can cause memory loss and overall mental decline, including Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s makes up about 60-80 percent of cases of dementia.

Signs of Dementia:

  • Having trouble with short-term memory
  • Losing track of a purse/wallet
  • Not paying bills on time
  • Forgetting appointments
  • Not remembering how to get out of the neighborhood or to a specific place
  • Having trouble planning or preparing meals

The early signs of dementia can start off small and get worse over time. Everyone loses track of their wallet or keys occasionally, but if something like this is coupled with getting lost on the way to a frequently traveled place, it could be a sign of a larger issue. If you or a loved one notice signs of dementia, see a doctor as soon as possible to figure out what’s going on. While there is no cure for dementia, there are treatments that can slow it down.

  • What causes dementia? The root cause of dementia is some sort of damage to your brain cells, which affects their ability to communicate. When your brain cells can’t communicate normally, this can cause things like memory loss and mental decline. Most causes of dementia are not reversible and can even get worse over time. However, depression, side effects from medication, excessive drinking, thyroid issues, and vitamin deficiencies can sometimes cause symptoms of dementia. If this is the case, the signs of dementia may improve when the cause is addressed and treated.
  • Can I prevent dementia? Things like age and genetics can increase your risk of having dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and these factors can’t be changed. However, research does indicate that a healthy diet, regular exercise, not smoking, and stimulating your brain regularly can all help to reduce your risk.


Urinary Incontinence 

Urinary incontinence, which just means that you have trouble controlling your bladder, can be an embarrassing topic. Lots of people don’t want to talk about it and may just think it’s a normal part of getting older. While common urinary incontinence is common and can be more common in older adults and women, especially who have given birth, it’s not exactly normal. It’s also important to remember that urinary incontinence can be treated.

Long term causes of urinary incontinence:

  • Pelvic floor disorders
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Menopause
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Damage from prostate cancer surgery

While there are some short term causes of urinary incontinence like pregnancy, drinking excessive coffee or alcohol, medication side effects, and others, if you always have issues with incontinence that have been going on for a while, it is likely due to one of the long term causes listed above.

If your incontinence is chronic, or long term, and is affecting your daily activities, it may be time to have a conversation with your doctor about it. Although the conversation may seem a little embarrassing or uncomfortable, you shouldn’t have to suffer through. There are a wide range of treatments for urinary incontinence that you and your doctor can talk about.


Honey Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts 


  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add Brussels sprouts, cut side down, and cook undisturbed, 3 to 4 minutes, until golden on the bottom. Add ¼ cup water and cover. Let Brussels sprouts steam until tender, 3 minutes. If the skillet seems dry, add more water a tablespoon at a time.
  2. Remove sprouts from skillet and set aside on a plate. Add vinegar, honey, mustard, and garlic and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and syrupy, 6 to 8 minutes. Return sprouts to pan, toss to coat, and heat through, 2 to 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

HOTFLASHES | October 2022

The Importance of Yearly Mammograms 

When October rolls around, you can count on all the reminders to get your annual mammogram. Still, you may find yourself wondering how important a mammogram really is and what it all means. In this month’s Hot Flashes, we’ll go over all of that and more.

A mammogram is a tool that doctors use to determine if you have breast cancer, or to take a closer look at someone who has had breast cancer. Mammograms use X-ray photography to take images of the breast, and this type of imaging has been used for more than 50 years.

Regular screening mammograms are recommended for women of average risk of breast cancer once a year after they turn 40, but if you have more risk factors, your doctor may recommend that you start having them earlier. Diagnostic mammograms are a different kind of mammogram than regular screening mammograms, and they are used as a way to focus on specific areas. This could be because of a lump or an area that looked concerning on a regular mammogram, and a diagnostic mammogram will take more images than a regular mammogram.

While mammograms themselves don’t prevent breast cancer, they can help doctors to find breast cancer sooner, which allows patients with cancer to start treatment as soon as possible. Because breast cancer can be found so much sooner now, this also means that mastectomy (or removing the breast) is not always necessary.

While mammograms do involve some radiation exposure, it is such a tiny amount of radiation that it’s nothing to be concerned about. A mammogram uses even less radiation than a chest X-ray. Mammograms aren’t perfect and can produce both false negative results, where normal breast tissue covers up cancer tissue, or false positive results, where an area looks like cancer but turns out to be normal. However, mammograms remain the most important tool we have to screen for breast cancer. When done in combination with regular breast self-exams, regular breast exams by medical professionals, and a breast MRI or ultrasound if needed, mammograms are a useful technology that can save lives.


Cancer and Your Diet 

We all know that eating healthy is something we need to do for our overall health, but eating healthy is one way we can prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Below, we go over some of the top foods that can increase your risk of cancer and the tops foods that may be linked to cancer fighting properties.

Foods that can increase your risk:

  • Sugar and refined carbs can cause your blood glucose levels to spike, and this can increase the risk of cancer like stomach, breast, and colorectal.
  • Processed meat like hot dogs, ham, bacon, salami, and other deli meats are linked to a higher risk of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer. Some studies have also linked red meat (steak, hamburger, etc.) to an increased risk of cancer as well.
  • Overcooked food can make certain compounds that when built up, can contribute to inflammation and may increase the risk of cancer and other diseases. To combat this, avoid burning food and use gentle cooking methods, especially with meat, like steaming, stewing, or boiling.
  • Dairy has been linked to higher rates of prostate cancer in men, but more research is needed to determine the exact reason for this.

Foods that may be linked to cancer prevention:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Flaxseeds
  • Spices like cinnamon and tumeric
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Fish

While eating one specific food isn’t going to guarantee whether you have cancer or not, your overall diet can truly have an impact. Incorporating some of the foods listed above that may be linked to cancer prevention while limiting things like refined carbs, food high in sugar, processed meats, and other things could be a good idea. Eating a more plant based diet (vegan or vegetarian) has also been linked to lower rates of cancer. No matter what you do, just the act of thinking carefully about what you put in your body can make an impact. Additionally, watching what you eat may help you to lose weight, which will also decrease your cancer risk if you are overweight or obese.


Butternut Squash Soup


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 (3-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • ½ tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional:
  • Chopped parsley
  • Toasted pepitas
  • Crusty bread


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper and sauté until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the squash and cook until it begins to soften, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, sage, rosemary, and ginger. Stir and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant, then add 3 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Let cool slightly and pour the soup into a blender, working in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add up to 1 cup more broth and blend. Season to taste and serve with parsley, pepitas, and crusty bread.

HOTFLASHES | September 2022

Signs of Pelvic Organ Prolapse 

Pelvic organ prolapse, which means that the muscles and tissues that support your uterus, bladder, and rectum become weak or loose, is estimated to affect about 3% of women in the US. However, many women may be embarrassed to talk about the issue with their doctor. They may even think that what they are experiencing is normal, and while it isn’t uncommon, it’s not normal. Pelvic organ prolapse is treatable and talking to your doctor about the issue is an important step to getting treatment.

Common Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse:

  • Seeing or feeling a “bulge.” Prolapse can looking like something is “coming out” of the vagina, and you may be able to see and/or feel this bulge caused by the prolapse.
  • Feeling pressure, discomfort, aching or fullness. A prolapse can cause things to feel a little different, and this may even create issues with discomfort or pressure during physical activity or sex.
  • Having issues going to the bathroom. Leaking urine, not being able to fully control the urge to urinate, and/or problems having a bowel movement can all be symptoms of a pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Having a problem inserting a tampon. A bulge coming out of your vagina and discomfort or pressure can all make inserting a tampon more difficult than normal.

Some women say that their symptoms of prolapse get worse as the days go on, during certain times of the day, while performing physical activity, or after standing for a while. If you are experiencing these symptoms, don’t feel embarrassed to talk to your provider here at The Veranda about your issue. Pelvic organ prolapse is treatable, and your provider can discuss different treatment options with you.


What is High Blood Pressure? 

High blood pressure, which may also be referred to as hypertension, means that your blood is putting more pressure on the walls of your arteries than is normal. The arteries are what carry your blood from your heart to the rest of your body. The first number used in your blood pressure reading is called systolic blood pressure, and it measures the pressure your blood is putting on your arteries when your heart is beating. The second number is known as diastolic blood pressure, and it measures when your heart rests in between beats.

It’s normal for your blood pressure to go up and down some throughout the day, but when your numbers are consistently high, that means you have hypertension. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80, and a reading of 130/80 consistently is considered high. High blood pressure can lead to an increased risk of things like heart attacks and strokes.

High blood pressure can be caused by a few different things like not getting enough exercise, not eating a healthy diet, eating too much salt, chronic stress, genetics, diabetes, obesity, and other health conditions. Some people may be more likely to have high blood pressure because of their family history, but for most people, there are steps you can take to lower your numbers. Things like eating healthy, exercising regularly, managing or avoiding stress, and managing chronic conditions can all go a long way to helping you lower your blood pressure.

High blood pressure usually does not present with any major symptoms that could clue you in to the condition. Checking your blood pressure is the only way to know that you have hypertension. Checking your blood pressure is a normal part of a doctor’s appointment, so staying on top of those regular appointments is a great way to know if you have high blood pressure. If you suspect you may have high blood pressure, you can check it more often at a local pharmacy or with a pump at home.


Low Sodium Asian Pork Tenderloin


  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, sliced into 4 portions


  1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a heavy frying pan, add the sesame seeds in a single layer. Over low heat, cook the seeds, stirring constantly until they look golden and give off a noticeably toasty aroma, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the seeds from the pan to cool.
  3. In a bowl, add the coriander, cayenne pepper, celery seed, minced onion, cumin, cinnamon, sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. Stir to mix evenly.
  4. Place the pork tenderloin in the prepared baking dish. Rub the spices on both sides of the pork pieces. Bake until no longer pink, about 15 minutes. Or bake until a meat thermometer reaches 165 F (medium) or 170 F (well-done).


HOTFLASHES | August 2022

Preventing Osteoporosis 

Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones become less dense, which in turn causes your bones to become thin and lose strength. This can lead to more broken bones, and the pain and disability that comes along with them.  Women are more likely to get osteoporosis than men, and bone loss can happen rapidly after menopause when your body is producing less estrogen. However, osteoporosis is preventable. Read more to learn tips on how you can prevent this condition.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating foods high in calcium, protein, and vitamin D can go a long way to helping your bone health. If you are not able to eat enough calcium and/or vitamin D and don’t spend much time outdoors, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Being too thin (with a body mass index or BMI lower than 19 can be damaging to your health. A lower BMI is linked with low bone mineral density, less soft tissue, and muscle weakness.
  • Stay active. Taking weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercise classes can help your bone health. They can also help you to maintain your muscle mass, which can help lower your fall risk.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking. Both smoking and drinking alcohol are linked with increased bone loss.
  • Know your osteoporosis risk factors. Things like your age, gender, previous broken bones, and other factors can increase your risk of having osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and a bone health assessment if needed.


Managing Arthritis 

Arthritis can be an incredibly painful condition. It can cause your joints to swell and stiffen, and it can lead to losing your range of motion. This can make it hard to do normal activities. While there’s no cure for arthritis, there are ways you can manage this condition to keep it from taking over your life. Read the top tips for managing arthritis below.

  • Stay active. Regular exercise is a great easy and free way to manage your arthritis. Physical activity has been linked to reduced pain, improved function, improved mood, and an improved quality of life for those struggling with this condition. Regular exercise has the added benefit of lowering your risk for heart disease and diabetes too.
  • Protect your joints. While exercise is a great way to manage your arthritis, be sure to choose an activity that’s easy on your joints such as swimming, walking, or bicycling. These activities are considered low-impact because they don’t stress your joints and have a lower chance of injury. A sports or work related injury can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis, so wearing protective equipment and avoiding repetitive motions are also great ways to protect your joints.
  • Manage your weight. Being overweight or obese can cause increased stress on joints like your hips and knees. Even just losing as little as 10 or 15 pounds can help you better manage your arthritis. It can reduce pain and improve joint function.
  • Talk to your doctor. If the steps mentioned above are not helping to fully manage your arthritis pain and joint function, it’s a good idea to sit down with your doctor. Talk to your doctor about your pain and other arthritis symptoms and about other possible management tools.


Hidden Veggie Meatballs 



¼ head of cauliflower

½ cup finely shredded cabbage

1 tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon pepper

1 pound ground turkey

Optional: Barbecue sauce and fresh basil leaves 



  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place cauliflower in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cabbage, potato starch, vinegar, salt, basil and pepper.
  2. Add turkey; mix lightly but thoroughly. With an ice cream scoop or with wet hands, shape into 1 1/2-in. balls. Place meatballs on a greased rack in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake 20-24 minutes or until cooked through. If desired, toss with barbecue sauce and top with basil.

HOTFLASHES | July 2022

Early Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Women 

Diabetes is a condition that can affect anyone–regardless of their age, race, sex, or lifestyle. While diabetes is more common in men, a study from the Annals of Internal Medicine found that, while men’s death rate for diabetes is falling, women’s death rate hasn’t changed.

While some diabetes symptoms may be the same from a woman to a man, there are some symptoms that can be unique to women. It’s important to know all the possible signs of diabetes, so that you can spot them and have them checked out as soon as possible.

Symptoms that are unique to women include:

  • Vaginal and oral yeast infections can be more common in women with diabetes because higher levels of glucose (blood sugar) can cause the growth of more fungus, including the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections, and vaginal thrush.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can also be more common for women with diabetes because the immune system may be compromised due to hyperglycemia (too much glucose).
  • Female sexual dysfunction can be a potential symptom of diabetic neuropathy, which is when high blood glucose damages nerve fibers. This can lead to loss of feeling in your hands, feet, and legs, but it can also affect sensation in your vaginal area and lower you sex drive.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome is a disorder that produces more male hormones in women than is normal, and this can lead to irregular periods, weight gain, acne, depression, and infertility. However, it can also cause insulin resistance that can cause elevated blood sugar levels and increase your risk of diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes in both men and women:

  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss or gain with no apparent cause
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Wounds that heal slowly
  • Nausea
  • Skin infections
  • Patches of darker skin in areas of the body that have creases (such as elbows or knees)
  • Irritability
  • Breath with a sweet, fruity, or acetone odor
  • Reduced feeling in hands and feet

If you noticed any of the symptoms listed above in yourself or a family member, it’s important that you or your loved one see a healthcare provider. Untreated diabetes can be very dangerous. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, your provider can help you with ways to manage the disease, including medication or insulin.


The Importance of Child Immunizations 

As parents, we all have concerns about our children from what kinds of food they’re eating to who they’re with, so it’s only natural to have concerns about things like vaccines. We’ve addressed some of parents’ most commonly asked questions and frequent concerns below.

  1. Vaccines protect your child from illness. When your baby is born, they don’t have a lot of immunity, which just means the body’s way of preventing disease. Their immune system is not fully developed, which can put them at a greater risk of getting an infection or catching a virus. Breastfeeding can pass on some antibodies to diseases, but it doesn’t protect your baby from everything. Since your child will be exposed to thousands of germs every day through the air they breathe and things they put in their mouth, vaccines are just an added way to protect them from those germs. Some diseases are just too strong for a baby’s immune system to handle, so the antigens in vaccines, which just means the parts of germs that make the body’s immune system work against those germs, give your child that extra boost they need.
  2. The ingredients in vaccines are as safe and effective as possible. Because such extensive lab testing is done on vaccines, the ingredients in today’s vaccines are safe and effective. Even after a vaccine is licensed, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other federal agencies continue to monitor a vaccine’s effectiveness and overall safety. All common ingredients in vaccines (listed below) play an important role in the vaccine’s effectiveness at preventing your child from getting sick.
    • Adjuvants help boost the body’s response to being vaccinated, and these are also commonly found in antacids, buffered aspirin, antiperspirants, and more.
    • Stabilizers make sure that a vaccine continues to be effective after it is made. These are also commonly found in foods that we eat like Jell-O®, and they are also naturally in our bodies.
    • Formaldehyde can sound scary, but it is used to prevent contamination from bacteria when the vaccine is made. In addition, there is also more formaldehyde naturally in the body than in vaccines.
    • Thimerosal is only used in multi-dose vials of the flu vaccine during the manufacturing process. While no reputable scientific studies have shown a link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism, single dose vials of the flu vaccine are available as an alternative that doesn’t contain thimerosal.
  3. Side effects from vaccines are generally very mild. Just like medications that we take, vaccines can have side effects. In babies, you may notice some extra fussiness or fatigue, and it’s common for children to run a mild fever after vaccines as well. It’s normal to experience some body aches and redness, swelling, and/or tenderness at the spot the vaccine was given. These mild side effects usually go away on their own within a few days. Serious and long lasting effects from vaccines are incredibly rare.

If you still have questions or concerns about vaccines overall or certain vaccines that your child may need, it’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about those questions and concerns.


Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats 


  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (Note: If you are sensitive or allergic to gluten, look for oats labeled “gluten-free” as oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat or barley.)
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened non dairy milk, such as almond or coconut
  • 6 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions: Stir oats, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl. Divide among five 8-ounce jars. Screw on lids and refrigerate overnight or for up to 5 days.


What Birth Control is Right for You? 

With so many options available these days, choosing the right birth control for you can seem overwhelming. Comparing key facts and benefits of each option is an important first step in deciding which one will work best for you and your lifestyle.

  • Implant– a type of birth control, shaped like a small rod, that is placed into your upper arm by a healthcare professional
    • More than 99% effective
    • Low maintenance
    • Lasts up to three years
    • Side effects-irregular bleeding and spotting, possible weight gain, acne, mood changes, or pain/scarring at the insertion site.
  • Hormonal IUD– a small T shaped device placed into the uterus by a healthcare professional
    • More than 99% effective
    • Lasts between 3-6 years
    • Low maintenance
    • Side effects-irregular bleeding and spotting between periods, cramping and discomfort when placed
  • Non-Hormonal IUD– a small T shaped device wrapped in copper and inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional, does not use hormones
    • More than 99% effective
    • Lasts up to 10 years
    • Can be used as emergency contraception
    • Low maintenance
    • Side effects-irregular bleeding and spotting between periods; cramping and some discomfort when placed; can occasionally cause heavier, longer periods
  • Birth Control Shot– a shot given in the upper arm by a healthcare professional every three months (sometimes referred to as the depo shot)
    • 94% effective with typical use
    • Each shot lasts three weeks
    • Requires you to see your provider every three months
    • Side effects-potential weight gain and mood changes; irregular bleeding
  • Birth Control Pills -A prescription from your healthcare provider; variety of brands and pills
    • 91% effective with typical use
    • Available by prescription only
    • Requires you to take a pill each day, at the same time every day
    • Side effects-breast tenderness, nausea, irregular bleeding, and headaches but often improves over time; can interact with certain antibiotics, anti-seizure, and HIV medications
  • Ring– a small flexible ring you put into your vagina for three weeks, removing for one week, and then starting the process over again with a new ring
    • 91% effective with typical use
    • Available by prescription only
    • Requires you to remember to insert it on time and remove it on time
    • Side effects-breast tenderness, nausea, unusual bleeding, headaches and mood changes that should improve over time; may interact with certain antibiotics, anti-seizure, and HIV medications
  • Patch– a thin, bendable piece of plastic that looks like a square bandage (sticky on one side) that you replace every week for three weeks, leave off for one week, and then start the process over again
    • 91% effective with typical use
    • Available by prescription use only
    • Requires you to remember to place it on time each week
    • Side effects-breast tenderness, nausea, unusual bleeding, headaches and mood changes that should improve over time; may interact with certain antibiotics, anti-seizure, and HIV medications


Understanding Preeclampsia 

If you’re pregnant, it’s important to understand what preeclampsia is and know what signs and symptoms to look out for. Preeclampsia is a serious blood pressure condition that happens in about 8 percent of pregnancies worldwide. It is usually characterized by high blood pressure and high levels of protein in your urine, and it typically develops after the 20th week of pregnancy. It causes risks for both mom and baby, so it’s crucial that it be treated by a healthcare provider.

Some women are at a higher risk of developing preeclampsia. If you have a history of high blood pressure, kidney disease, or diabetes; are expecting multiples, have a family history of preeclampsia; have an autoimmune condition like lupus, and/or are obese, you may be at an increased risk of developing this condition.

Symptoms for preeclampsia include:

  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision or light sensitivity
  • Dark spots appearing in your vision
  • Right side abdominal pain
  • Swelling in your hands and face
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms of severe preeclampsia include:

  • Blood pressure of 160/110 or higher
  • Decreased kidney or liver function
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Low blood platelet levels
  • Decreased urine production

At your prenatal appointment, someone should check your blood pressure levels. However, if you experience sudden swelling, headaches, blurry vision, or any of the other symptoms listed above in between appointments, it’s important to call your doctor’s office and let them know.


Parmesan Zucchini Fritters 


  • 1 lb zucchini (about two large ones)
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • 1 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes


Step One: On the large holes of a box grater, grate zucchini. Using a cheesecloth or clean dish towel, squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Step Two: In a large bowl, combine shredded zucchini with onion, eggs, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Mix in parmesan and flour and stir until fully incorporated.

Step Three: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. For each fritter, scoop ¼ cup batter into skillet and cook until golden, 2 minutes per side.

Step Four: In a small bowl, combine marinara with basil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Serve fritters with sauce. right

HOTFLASHES | April 2022

Warning Signs of Postpartum Depression 

While having a baby can be a very exciting time, it can also bring a whole new set of anxieties and stresses. This can sometimes lead to postpartum depression, a condition that involves feelings of extreme sadness, indifference and/or anxiety, and changes in energy, sleep and appetite. This condition is serious but treatable, and it causes risks for both mother and baby.

Some signs and symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Changes in your appetite
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy
  • Inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing, etc. to the point it’s noticed by others
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Crying for “no reason”
  • Indifference towards the baby or not feeling bonded to the baby
  • Feeling very anxious about or around the baby
  • Feeling like a bad mother
  • Fear of harming the baby or yourself

To be diagnosed with postpartum depression, a new mother would need to have several of these symptoms, and postpartum depression is not to be confused with the “baby blues.” Up to 70 percent of women experience the “baby blues,” and this is a condition that may only last for a week or two (compared to several months in some cases of postpartum depression). The “baby blues” should not interfere with daily activities, although you may experience symptoms like crying for no reason, irritability, restlessness, and anxiety. Unless these feelings become more severe and/or last for longer than two weeks, this condition does not require medical attention and should resolve on its own without treatment.

If you are experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, don’t dismiss them as a normal part of motherhood. Treatment is essential for postpartum depression, so it’s important to reach out to your provider and tell them what you’re going through.


Managing High Blood Pressure 

While medication can often play an important role in managing high blood pressure, lifestyle plays a key role in managing this chronic condition as well. If you can successfully control your blood pressure with some healthy lifestyle changes, you may be able to completely avoid or at least delay having to take medication.

Some lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure include:

  • Exercise regularly. 150 minutes of aerobic exercise (such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing) each week can lower your blood pressure by a significant amount.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Following a heart healthy diet (one that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and low in saturated fat and cholesterol) can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg.
  • Lose extra weight. Blood pressure often increases as weight increases, so losing even a small amount of weight if you’re overweight or obese can help reduce your blood pressure. And the good news is, if you’re exercising and eating a healthier diet to lower your blood pressure, those steps can also help you lose the extra pounds too.
  • Reduce your sodium. While the effect of sodium intake can vary from person to person, there is evidence to suggest that even a small reduction can make a big impact. Eating fewer processed foods and avoiding extra salt with meals is key to this step, but cut back gradually if this step seems overwhelming.
  • Limit your alcohol. Drinking alcohol in moderation (drinking about a drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men) can actually lower your blood pressure. However, if you drink more and more frequently, it can have the opposite effect and raise your blood pressure by several points.
  • Quit smoking. Every time you smoke, your blood pressure increases for several minutes after you finish. Quitting helps your blood pressure return to normal levels and can also reduce your risk of heart disease and improve overall health.
  • Cut back on caffeine. The effect caffeine has on blood pressure in people who regularly drink it is still debated. To see if it raises your blood pressure, take your blood pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a caffeinated beverage to see if it is higher. If it is, you may want to switch to drinks with lower caffeine levels.
  • Reduce your stress. Easier said than done, we know, but chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Consider what might be causing you unnecessary stress and try to work on a plan to try to lower it. Learning to say no and set boundaries can have a big impact on lowering your stress and allow for more time to relax and spend time on activities you enjoy.
  • Monitor blood pressure. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it’s important to check your blood pressure at home often. This can help you to determine if the lifestyle changes you’re making are working. Seeing your healthcare provider regularly and discussing your pressure levels is also a key step in effectively monitoring your blood pressure.
  • Get support. Making lifestyle changes like eating healthier, exercising more, limiting alcohol and sodium, and reducing stress can be difficult to undertake alone. Seek out encouraging and supportive family and friends and consider joining a support group of like minded people.


Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 4 slices low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella
  • 6 basil leaves, cut into strips


Step One: Turn the Instant Pot® to the low saute setting. Add the oil and heat until it is simmering but not smoking. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions just begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and a few grinds of black pepper, then turn the pot off.

Step Two: Season the chicken cutlets on both sides with the Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and a few grinds of black pepper and nestle them into the sauce, overlapping just slightly if needed. Follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. Set to pressure cook, on high, for 2 minutes.

Step Three: After the pressure cook cycle is complete, follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release and wait until the quick release cycle is complete. Careful of any remaining steam, unlock and remove the lid and turn the Instant Pot® off.

Step Four: Use tongs to reposition the chicken on top of the sauce if they have sunk. Sprinkle the tops of each cutlet with the Parmesan then place the mozzarella on top, tearing the cheese in half if needed to better cover the chicken. Place the lid back on and let sit until the cheese has melted, 3 to 4 minutes.

Step Five: Spoon the chicken and sauce onto a plate or platter and garnish with the basil.

HOTFLASHES | March 2022

Endometriosis Awareness Month

During Endometriosis Awareness Month this March, it’s a good time to evaluate whether or not you may have endometriosis. This condition is fairly common in women. In the U.S. alone it is estimated that 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15 and 44 suffer from endometriosis. This condition happens when tissue similar to the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus, most commonly on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, tissues that hold the uterus in place, the outer surface of the uterus, vagina, cervix, vulva, bowel, bladder, or rectum.

While these growths are not cancerous, they can still cause lots of issues. Endometriosis growths may swell and bleed in the same way the lining inside of your uterus does during your period, and this can cause pain and swelling because the tissue is growing and bleeding in an area where it cannot easily get out of your body. The growths may also continue to expand and cause problems like blocking your fallopian tubes, trapping blood in the ovaries which can create cysts, inflammation, forming scar tissue that can cause pain and issues getting pregnant, and problems in your intestines and/or bladder.

Because this condition can cause so many issues, it’s important to know and look out for the symptoms in yourself or even your daughter and see your provider if you believe you may be suffering from this condition. The symptoms for endometriosis can include:

  • Very painful menstrual cramps
  • Chronic (long-term) pain in the lower back and pelvis
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Intestinal pain
    Painful bowel movements or pain when urinating during menstrual periods
  • Bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods
  • Infertility, or not being able to get pregnant
  • Stomach (digestive) problems like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.


Managing High Cholesterol

If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you may be overwhelmed with the amount of information you receive about your condition and what you need to do. Any new condition can bring on information overload, but it’s important to remember that managing something like high cholesterol can be broken down into a few easy steps.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Depending on your cholesterol levels, your provider may prescribe you medicine to help lower it. It’s important to follow your provider’s instructions for the medication carefully and not to stop taking it without consulting your healthcare team. Don’t be afraid to ask your nurse, provider, or pharmacists any questions you may have about the medication.
  • Make healthy lifestyle changes. This can often seem like the most overwhelming part of managing a chronic condition like high cholesterol, but don’t overthink it. Incorporating more whole grains and vegetables into your diet, choosing foods lower in saturated and trans fat, and reducing your sugar consumption can make a big difference.
  • Talk with your healthcare team. Your healthcare team is just that–a team. You are all working together to manage your high cholesterol, so be sure to discuss your treatment plan regularly and ask any questions you may have at your appointments.
  • Check your cholesterol regularly. Your cholesterol levels will determine how frequently you need to have your cholesterol checked. Talk with your provider about the timeline that is best for you.


Oven Fried Chicken


  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus two whole sprigs
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 pounds bone-in, skinless chicken legs and thighs
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread (3 ounces)
  • ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper


Step One: Finely grate 1 teaspoon of zest from the lemon; set aside. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk, sugar, and cayenne until the sugar and cayenne are dissolved. Add the sprigs of rosemary and garlic. Pierce each chicken piece several times with a fork, add to the milk mixture, turning to coat well. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Step Two: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lay the bread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake, turning a few times, until the bread is crisp and dry, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool completely. Break into large pieces and pulse in the bowl of a food processor until it forms coarse crumbs.

Step Three: Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees. In a shallow dish combine the bread crumbs with the cornmeal, Parmesan (if using), chopped rosemary, reserved 1 teaspoon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with a wire rack. Coat the rack well with nonstick cooking spray.

Step Four: Working with one piece at a time, remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing the excess to drip off. Press into the bread crumb mixture until the chicken is well coated and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken and crumbs. Mist the chicken with nonstick cooking spray.

Step Five: Bake until the chicken is crisp and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees F, about 50 to 55 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

HOTFLASHES | February 2022

Signs of a Heart Attack in Women 

While the signs of a heart attack may seem obvious, the signs can actually be different than what most people typically associate with a heart attack for women. It’s important to know all the possible signs of a heart attack to be fully prepared in case one happens.

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely than men to experience some of the other symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
What is a Heart Healthy Lifestyle? 

During American Heart Month every February, we get a lot of messages about heart health and the importance of living a heart healthy lifestyle. But what exactly makes up a heart healthy lifestyle? Below, we break down seven key factors of living a heart healthy lifestyle.

  • Know your health history. It’s important to learn more about your family health history in order to know whether you are at a higher risk for conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and congestive heart failure.
  • Eat a healthy diet. This step doesn’t have to be difficult. Just work on incorporating more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits into your diet; opting for more lean protein sources and low-fat dairy products; and reducing your salt, saturated fat, and sugar intake.
  • Be more active. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, plus muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. While that may seem like a lot to squeeze into your already busy schedule, try squeezing a quick walk in on your lunch break or make it fun by taking a trip to the park with your family.
  • Quit smoking. Quitting smoking can make a huge difference in your heart and overall health. If you are struggling with how to quit, you can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free support.
  • Keep your annual check ups with your provider. Having your annual check up with your healthcare provider helps to catch problems like high blood pressure or high cholesterol before they get out of hand.
  • Take medicines as directed. If your provider prescribes you any medication at your annual check up, be sure to follow their instructions on how often to take it and anything you should avoid while taking it. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something. Never stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
  • Monitor your blood pressure at home. Just as your annual check ups help you to catch any issues before they become bigger problems, checking your blood pressure often at home can help you to catch higher blood pressure before it becomes worse. Self-measured blood pressure monitors (SMBPs) are easy and safe to use and your doctor can show you how to use one if you need help.

Taking these steps to live a more heart healthy lifestyle is not only good for your heart, it’s good for your overall health as well. Choosing healthy habits like these can also help prevent other serious chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and some kinds of cancer in addition to lowering your risk for heart disease.
Loaded Zucchini Skins 

½ lb bacon
4 large zucchini
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup low fat sour cream for garnish
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Step One: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook bacon until crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and chop into small pieces.

Step Two: Cut zucchinis in half lengthwise. Using a large metal spoon, scoop out seeds from the inside, then cut each half crosswise into two pieces.

Step Three: Transfer zucchini pieces to a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Step Four: Bake zucchini until slightly tender, about five minutes. Top each piece of zucchini with cheese and bacon.

Step Five: Return zucchini to the oven and bake until the cheese is bubbly and zucchini is tender, about ten more minutes.

Step Six: Garnish with sour cream and green onions before serving.

HOTFLASHES | January 2022

How You Can Prevent Birth Defects During Pregnancy

January is Birth Defect Prevention Awareness Month, and although all birth defects cannot be prevented, there are a few important steps you can take during pregnancy to help prevent some common birth defects.

  • Make sure you’re getting enough folic acid. Having enough folic acid in your system at least one month before pregnancy and throughout your pregnancy can help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. You can get folic acid from certain foods, supplements, or a combination of the two.
  • Prevent infections. Some infections that a woman might get during pregnancy can be harmful enough that they can cause birth defects. You can prevent your risk of infections by practicing proper hand hygiene, avoiding contact with sources of infection, and getting recommended vaccines such as the COVID-19, flu, and TDAP vaccines.
  • Have proper prenatal care. It’s important to begin seeing a provider early on in your pregnancy and to continue your appointments throughout your pregnancy to ensure both you and the baby are healthy.
  • Talk to your provider before taking medications. While there are pregnancy safe medications, some medications can cause serious birth defects if taken during a pregnancy. If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, talk to your provider before about stopping or starting medications.
  • Keep diabetes under control. Unmanaged diabetes can increase the risk of birth defects as well as other issues during pregnancy. Seeing your provider regularly, monitoring your blood sugar levels, eating healthy, being physically active and taking insulin as directed are all steps you can take to manage your diabetes.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs. All of these substances can pass to the developing baby through the umbilical cord and cause a wide range of issues such as disabilities, miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, and birth defects like a cleft lip or cleft palate. There is no safe amount of these substances during pregnancy.
  • Prevent overheating and treat fevers quickly. Overheating, either by a fever or exposure to high temperatures such as getting in a hot tub or too much time outside in the heat, can increase a woman’s chance of having a baby with certain birth defects.


Tips to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions 

We all have the best intentions for our New Year’s Resolutions each year, but often, by February or even mid-January, we’re already having trouble sticking with them. We want to eat healthier, work out more, or even make more time for self-care and our mental health–all important goals–but we just can’t seem to do it after the optimism of the New Year has worn off. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to set goals and resolutions for yourself that you can stick to, and the tips below will help you do that.

  • Set a goal that’s specific. Rather than saying you want to work out more, give yourself a more specific goal, like working out at least four times a week instead. A more specific goal is easier to follow through on because it doesn’t seem overwhelming, and it’s also easier to track.
  • Tell others about your resolution. Telling others about your goals and plan for how to accomplish them helps make you more accountable. You’re much less likely to quit when you know others are watching.
  • Find some support. Although telling others is a great step towards accountability, finding a friend or even a group of people with similar goals as you will help even more. Not only that, you’ll have someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through when you (inevitably) get discouraged.
  • Break down your goal into smaller–and more achievable–steps. In the same way that giving yourself a more specific goal makes it more achievable, breaking that goal down into smaller steps does the same thing. It helps the task to feel less overwhelming.
  • Reward yourself for small wins. As you achieve some of the smaller goals you’ve set for yourself, don’t be afraid to reward yourself. This can be tricky if you are trying to eat healthier or work out more because you may not want to reward yourself with food for fear that it will send you back-sliding, but you can get creative with rewards like a manicure or pedicure or a small (non-food) gift for yourself.
  • Be patient. Making a big change in your lifestyle takes time, so don’t go into the New Year expecting major progress over night. And although setting a specific goal and breaking that down into easy to achieve tasks can help you avoid slip ups, they will still inevitably happen. Don’t get too discouraged.


Butternut Squash Chili 

– 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
– ¾ cup chopped red onion
– 5 garlic cloves minced
– 3 tablespoons tomato paste
– 1 tablespoon chili powder
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 ¾  to 2 cups of water
– 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
– 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
– 1 can (14 ½ ounces) diced tomatoes
– 1 can (14 ½ ounces) tomato sauce
– 3 cups cubed and peeled butternut squash (½ inch cubes)
– 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
– Optional: Chopped avocado, plain Greek yogurt, and shredded mozzarella cheese

Step One: In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook meat and onion, crumbling meat, until it is no longer pink and the onion is tender (approximately 6-8 minutes)

Step Two: Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and salt and cook one minute longer.

Step Three: Stir in water, beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.

Step Four: Stir in squash and simmer about 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender. Stir in vinegar.

Step Five: If desired, served with chopped avocado, Greek yogurt, and shredded mozzarella cheese on top.

HOTFLASHES | December 2021

Eating Healthy During the Holidays

It’s no secret that many people abandon their diets once the holiday season rolls around, with good intentions to pick it back up as a New Year’s Resolution. In fact, between mid-November and mid-January, adults in Western societies gain an average of 1 pound. This may not seem like a lot, but most people don’t lose this extra baggage. While it can be easy to give up when the endless barrage of unhealthy sweets comes around and it’s too cold outside to go for that run, it’s still possible to maintain a healthy weight during the holiday season. Here are a few tips to help you through.

  • Be active with family and friends instead of the common holiday traditions of sitting on the couch watching TV.
  • Snack wisely by keeping unhealthy snacks out of sight at home. For holiday parties, bring a healthy option for yourself like a fruit or vegetable tray, or snack on something like nuts beforehand.
  • Watch your portion sizes by using smaller plates and skipping seconds. You can also try to read food labels and recommended serving sizes on pre-packaged food.
  • Practice mindful eating, instead of multitasking while eating, which can increase the chance that you’ll overeat. Try taking a few deep breaths before you start eating and chewing slowly and thoroughly throughout your meal.
  • Keep meals balanced with protein instead of carbs.
  • Try to include more fiber, which can make you feel fuller, in your diet with things like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts.
  • Cut back on taste-testing when cooking for others. A small bite is usually more than enough.
  • Instead of testing out all the deserts, just focus on savoring your favorites and forget the rest.
  • Limit liquid calories like alcohol and soda that can be more common during the holiday season.
  • Weigh yourself regularly to remind yourself of your weight goals.
  • Find a buddy with similar goals that you can report successes too.
  • Set clear and realistic boundaries and goals for yourself, instead of having the “I’ll start tomorrow” mentality. However, be gentle with yourself when you have the inevitable slip up or two.


Information from


Trying to Conceive

If you and your partner have made the decision that you’re ready to have children, it can be hard to wait months for that positive pregnancy test. You may have already waited several months or even years until you felt like you were financially and mentally ready, so what can you do to speed up the process now that you’re ready?

  • Schedule a preconception checkup with a doctor or midwife
  • Kick any unhealthy habits (like drinking, smoking, or using drugs)
  • Get yourself to a healthy weight
  • Start to take at least 400 mcg of folic acid daily about a month before you start trying to conceive. (This nutrient can dramatically reduce the risk of certain birth defects.)
  • Figure out when you ovulate by using ovulation predictors, at home tests, or a combination of both
  • Have sex during your fertile window (2-3 days before ovulation) once you know when you ovulate

And it’s not just about the ladies when it comes to conception. There are things your partner can do to promote healthy sperm.

  • Avoid tobacco and recreational drugs
  • Limit alcoholic drinks to no more than two a day
  • Get to a healthy weight if overweight
  • Get enough of certain key nutrients – like zinc, folic acid, and vitamin C – that help produce strong and plentiful sperm
  • Eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, and manage stress


Information from


Sugar Cut-Out Cookies


  • Natural Decorating Sugars
  • ½ cup clear crystal sugar, white sparkling sugar or sanding sugar (see Tips), divided
  • “Holiday” red natural liquid dye (see Tips)
  • Green natural liquid dye (see Tips)

Cookie Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • ⅔ cup white whole-wheat flour (see Tips)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup canola oil or corn oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract or lemon extract



Step 1: To prepare decorating sugars: Divide decorating sugar between two small bowls. Add a few drops of red dye to one and green dye to the other and stir until evenly blended. Adjust color with more dye as desired.

Step 2: Spread each colored sugar in a thin layer on a separate small parchment-lined baking sheet. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees F for 2 minutes, then immediately turn it off. (The warm oven dries the sugar, but too much heat will burn it.) Let the sugars stand in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. (The sugars may be stored airtight at room temperature for up to 1 year.)

Step 3: To prepare cookie dough: Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat oil, butter, granulated sugar, egg and lemon zest in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Beat in honey, vanilla and almond (or lemon) extract until evenly incorporated.

Step 4: With the mixer on low speed, then medium speed, beat about half the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until incorporated. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.

Step 5: Divide the dough into thirds. Place one third on a 12-inch-long sheet of parchment paper and shape into a disk. Top with a second sheet of parchment. Roll the dough out between the parchment into an 8-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Place the dough in the paper on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Freeze on the baking sheet until cold and firm, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. Place another baking sheet in the freezer to chill too (it will be used under the dough as the cookies are cut out).

Step 6: To shape cookies: Position a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.

Step 7: Working with one portion of dough at a time, remove from the freezer and place on the chilled baking sheet. Remove the top sheet of parchment and cut out cookies with 2 1/2- to 3-inch cookie cutters. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet with a wide, thin spatula, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Repeat with the remaining dough. (If the dough gets too soft, freeze until firm again. As you cut out cookies, set aside the scraps. Shape all the scraps back into a disk and reroll between parchment. Freeze for at least 30 minutes before cutting out.)

Step 8: To decorate & bake cookies: Sprinkle cookies with red and green sugars and gently pat to help them adhere. Bake the cookies on the center rack, one pan at a time, until browned on the bottom, 6 to 12 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool.


Recipe from

HOTFLASHES | November 2021

The Benefits of Not Smoking

Most of us have heard by now that smoking isn’t good for us, but we may not have heard specifics on how this one small aspect of our life can positively impact our health. These benefits range from our lungs and heart to our bones and immune system. Learn more about the benefits of smoking cessation below.

  • Keep your hearing intact.
  • Preserve your overall vision.
  • Brighter smile and healthy mouth.
  • Clear up blemishes and protect your skin from aging.
  • Lower your blood pressure and heart rate almost immediately.
  • Help lower your cholesterol.
  • Prevent emphysema and permanent damage to your lungs.
  • Lower your risk of getting cancer.
  • Reduce your belly fat and lower your risk of diabetes.
  • Increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy in the future.
  • Lower your chances of erectile dysfunction and improve your chances of having a healthy sexual life.
  • Build a stronger immune system.
  • Stronger and healthier muscles.
  • Reduce your risk of broken bones, both now and later in life.

Information from


Managing Diabetes

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it can be easy to go into information overload. You may want to do more than just taking your prescribed medications, but it can be hard to know where to start. Because people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke though, it’s important to take additional steps to better manage your diabetes. Below are a few simple and proven tips to help you do just that.

  • Lose weight. Although losing those extra pounds can be hard for all of us, losing even just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight (for someone weighing 175 pounds, that’s a loss of 9 to 17.5 pounds) can help to lower your A1C (a test of long-term blood sugar control) by 0.5 percent, a significant drop. Losing that percentage also makes you more likely to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Eat more fiber. When people with diabetes increase the fiber in their diet, they can potentially lower blood glucose over a period of 12 weeks or less, according to a major review of 15 studies. The American Diabetes Association suggests that diabetics should aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed in a day, but those who participated in these studies increased their intake by an average of 18 grams a day—the amount in a bowl of higher-fiber breakfast cereal plus a couple of extra servings of vegetables. Whenever you can, choose vegetables, whole grains, and fruit over sugary treats and bread, rolls, and other foods made with refined grains.
  • Get moving. Starting a regular exercise routine can help people with diabetes lower their A1C by an average of 0.3 to 0.6 percentage points. It’s a good idea to try to fit 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking, riding a bike, or swimming) at least five days a week. Add two to three light strength-training sessions a week and you’ll build muscle, which uses blood sugar for fuel.
  • Know your ABCs—and beyond. Because you’re at a higher risk for heart disease because of your diabetes, it’s important to see your doctor regularly and have you’re A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol checked as often as your doctor recommends.
  • Monitor blood sugar at home too. Be sure to check your blood sugar levels as often as your doctor recommends, in addition to the tests your doctor performs. Testing blood glucose at home can give you and your doctor a better idea of how well your medications are working as well as their side effects and other risks, and how your diet and exercise habits are affecting your blood sugar levels.
  • Quit smoking. Nearly one in six people with diabetes are smokers. Tobacco use boosts your risk for heart disease, stroke, blood sugar control problems, vision loss, nerve damage, kidney problems, and even amputation, according to a study review published by the CDC. If you’ve tried to quit in the past, make another attempt. Counseling or a support group plus nicotine-replacement products and medications to help control nicotine cravings can help.

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Low Carb Cheddar and Garlic Cauliflower Mash


  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Water to cover
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste


Step 1: Place cauliflower, garlic, and bay leaf in a pot; pour in enough water to cover. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and discard bay leaf.

Step 2: Transfer cauliflower and garlic to a blender; add Cheddar cheese, butter, and sour cream. Blend mixture until desired consistency is reached; season with salt and pepper.

HOTFLASHES | October 2021

Performing a Breast Self-Exam

Giving yourself a breast self-exam about once a month can be an important part of detecting and treating cancer early on, especially when used in combination with other testing, such as regular mammograms. Breast self-exam is a convenient, no-cost tool that you can use on a regular basis and at any age. While you may know that this is something you should be doing often, you may not be sure what to do. Performing a breast self-exam is simple, with just five steps.

  1. Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. You should look to make sure that your breasts are their usual size, shape, and color without any visible distortion or swelling. If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention.
  • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
  • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
  • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
  1. Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.
  2. While you’re at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
  3. Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter. Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
  4. Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.

Information from


Preventing Breast Cancer

During the month of October, it’s easy to remember that you need to schedule that mammogram you’ve been putting off, but breast health awareness is something we should be thinking about year round. While an annual mammogram and regular breast self-exams are great ways to detect possible breast cancer, they don’t do much to prevent it. However, there are steps you can take to prevent breast cancer, as well as other cancers.

  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks.
  • If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.
  • Breastfeed your children, if possible.
  • If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your risk.

Staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer, and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.

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Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Vegetables


  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Step 1: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, asparagus, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl; cover to keep warm.

Step 2: Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth and add to the pan along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve the shrimp and sauce over the vegetables.

Recipe from

Remembering John S. Inman, Jr., MD

A Pioneer for Women’s Health in Southwest Georgia


During his distinguished career as an obstetrician, Dr. Inman helped to deliver more than nine thousand babies in the community.

With great sadness and respect, The Veranda announces the passing of its founding partner John S. Inman, Jr. A pioneer of women’s health in southwest Georgia, Dr. Inman spent more than 60 years improving the health of women in Albany. During his distinguished career as an obstetrician, Dr. Inman helped to deliver more than nine thousand babies in the community. Today, his legacy includes the multi-specialty medical practice known as The Veranda.


Dr. Inman graduated from Emory College in 1942 and from the School of Medicine in 1945 before serving in the United States Army. In 1952, Dr. Inman chose to return to his hometown and open his OB-GYN practice. In addition, to running his practice Dr. Inman was committed to serving his community. He’s leadership and influence can still be seen in the organizations he served like Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, the YMCA, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Following six decades of service to his patients, practice and community, Dr. Inman retired in 2013.


During his extensive career, he was recognized countless times for his outstanding commitment to the healthcare of women. Most recently, he received the 2014 Distinguished Service Award from the Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society. He was also recognized as a Diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and was a past chairman, Georgia Section of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and was a past vice president of the South Atlantic Association of OB/GYN. Dr. Inman was a founding member of the National Council of Emory University’s School of Medicine and was awarded the university’s Arnall Patz Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.


Dr. Inman is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Willa, and his two sons John III (Vicki) and Mark (Jennifer), along with his five grandchildren and one great-grand child.

HOTFLASHES | September 2021

First Newborn Appointment

Your baby should have its first pediatric appointment within 3-5 days of being born, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. This visit will likely take 20-30 minutes, although filling out paperwork and waiting for the doctor may stretch it out a little more. It’s a good idea to bring your partner or a support person if possible. It’s normal to be nervous, but remember that this visit is both empowering and informative for parents. At this first appointment, you can expect:

Neck and Collarbone Check

What Your Doctor Does: Feels along baby’s neckline

When It Happens: Your baby’s first office visit

What He’s Looking For: A broken collarbone. Some babies fracture their clavicle while squeezing through the birth canal. If your pediatrician finds a small bump, that means a break is starting to heal. It will mend on its own in a few weeks. In the meantime, he may suggest pinning the baby’s sleeve across his chest to stabilize his arm so the collarbone doesn’t hurt.

Head Check

What Your Doctor Does: Palms your baby’s head

When It Happens: Every visit for the first one to two years

What She’s Looking For: A still-soft fontanel. Your baby’s head should grow about four inches in the first year, and the two soft spots on her skull are designed to accommodate that. But if the soft spots close up too quickly, the tight quarters can curb, and your child may need surgery to fix it.

Hip Check

What Your Doctor Does: Rolls baby’s hips

When It Happens: Every visit until your baby can walk

What He’s Looking For: Signs of developmental hip dysplasia, a congenital malformation of the hip joint that affects one in every 1,000 babies. “The exam looks completely barbaric,” says Vinita Seru, M.D., a pediatrician in Seattle. “I tell families what I’m doing so they don’t think I’m trying to hurt the baby.” If your pediatrician feels a telltale click from the hips, he’ll order an ultrasound. Luckily, when dysplasia is found early, treatment is simple: The baby wears a pelvic harness for a few months.

Reflex Check

What Your Doctor Does: Startles your baby

When It Happens: The first four visits

What She’s Looking For: A Moro reflex. For her first 3 or 4 months, whenever something startles your infant, she’ll fling her arms out as if she’s falling. It’s an involuntary response that shows your baby is developing normally—and if the response is not there, your baby could have a neurological problem. Your doctor might also check whether your little one grasps a finger or fans her toes after you touch her foot.

Pulse Check

What Your Doctor Does: Presses the skin along the side of baby’s groin

When It Happens: Every visit

What She’s Looking For: A pulse in the femoral artery, which runs up from your baby’s thigh. Your pediatrician wants to see if the pulse is weak on one side, or hard to detect at all, since that may suggest a heart condition. One in 125 babies is diagnosed with a heart defect, and this check is a simple way to screen for problems, says Vinita Seru, M.D., a pediatrician in Seattle. “When a heart condition is caught early it can increase the likelihood of a good recovery.”

Genitalia Check

What Your Doctor Does: Checks your baby’s private parts

When It Happens: Every visit

What He’s Looking For: Normal genitalia. In up to 4 percent of boys, testicles don’t descend into the scrotum before birth. While the problem usually corrects itself by 9 months, your doctor will keep an eye on things to see if your son needs surgical assistance in the future. Your doctor will also rule out signs of infection in a circumcised penis.

In girls, it’s not uncommon to find labial adhesions. Although the labia should open up over time, adhesions will rarely shrink the vaginal opening and make your baby more prone to urinary tract infections. “If we know that they’re there, when your baby has a high fever we look for a UTI first,” says Melissa Kendall, M.D., a pediatrician in Orem, Utah.

In addition to these routine checks, the doctor will also ask about baby’s feeding patterns, digestive system, sleeping patterns, and give you a chance to ask questions. Most vaccines will wait until baby is two months old or older.


Information from

Exercising While Pregnant

When you’re pregnant, it can feel like the list of things you can’t do is never ending, but if you have a healthy, normal pregnancy, exercise isn’t on that list. In fact, exercising while pregnant is associated with benefits like a lower chance of preterm birth, cesarean birth, excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, and a lower birth weight for baby. It can also help you to reduce lower back pain, reduce stress, and improve postpartum recovery.

However, even though exercise is safe to do during pregnancy, it’s still a good idea to talk to your doctor about what is safe, particularly if you’re new to exercise. There are also other steps you can take to keep safe while exercising, such as:

  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
  • Wear supportive clothing such as a supportive sports bra or belly band.
  • Don’t become overheated, especially during the first trimester.
  • Avoid lying flat on your back for too long, especially during the third trimester.
  • Avoid contact sports and hot yoga.

Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, swimming, jogging, and stationary cycling are good options during all three trimesters. Unless your doctor has told you to modify physical activity, you can follow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.


Information from

Chicken & Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan


  • 8 ounces gluten-free penne pasta or whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, trimmed, if necessary, and cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 10 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided



Step 1: Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Meanwhile, heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in wine, lemon juice and zest; bring to a simmer.

Step 3: Remove from heat. Stir in spinach and the cooked pasta. Cover and let stand until the spinach is just wilted. Divide among 4 plates and top each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan.


Recipe from


Covid Variant Causes Severe Illness In Pregnant Women

“The Delta variant is more infectious, and more often causes severe illness in pregnant women than our experience and prior data from Alpha variant infections.” 


Local Area Physicians Urge Pregnant Women to Get Vaccinated.

Please proactively and enthusiastically advise pregnant women in your care to receive COVID vaccination, and apprise them of current risks of COVID infection during pregnancy. The Delta variant is more infectious, and more often causes severe illness in pregnant women than our experience and prior data from Alpha variant infections.

We are seeing increased COVID hospitalizations (some requiring ventilatory support) and preterm deliveries among pregnant women compared to prior surges. Preterm delivery rates are 30-50% among hospitalized pregnant women with COVID. Nationally, more cases of maternal and perinatal mortality from COVID and its complications are being reported.

Vaccination including the FDA-approved mRNA vaccination (example: Pfizer) is the best measure of protection against hospitalization and mortality from COVID-19 infection. Therefore, the approved Covid vaccines can reasonably be expected to decrease the progression to severe illness and the need for preterm delivery in pregnant patients infected with COVID. Vaccination also confers greater protection from COVID than prior infection and is of substantial benefit to women who have had prior COVID infection.

Please strongly encourage pregnant and lactating women to become fully vaccinated, receive a booster when eligible, mask-up indoors in public, socially distance, and frequently wash their hands.

Vaccination recommendations for pregnant women are well supported by the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, and CDC. It is safe to receive vaccination at any time during pregnancy.

Miscarriage and infertility among reproductive age women are both common, and false attribution of these problems to vaccination is a confusion of coincidence with causation. There is no data or plausible mechanism that mRNA vaccination increases miscarriage or infertility. Please do not allow your patients to consume/believe this misinformation without hearing the scientific truth.

Conventional treatment of COVID infection including monoclonal antibody infusion should also be offered to pregnant women. Appropriate treatment “should not be withheld in the setting of pregnancy” (NIH). Pregnancy is an identifying criterion for high risk individuals who should be referred for anti-SARS-Cov-2 monoclonal antibodies.


Brandon Seagle, MD, Department Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
Michael Edwards, MD, MFM, Regional Perinatal Center, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
William Sewell, III,  MD, Medical Director of Women and Children’s Services, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital


Additional Resources For You To Learn More:

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Three things to know about the long-term side effects of COVID vaccines

From the UAB News at the University of Alabama Birmingham

In his nearly 30 years studying vaccines, Paul Goepfert, M.D., director of the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has never seen any vaccine as effective as the three COVID vaccines — from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — currently available in the United States.

“A 90 percent decrease in risk of infections, and 94 percent effectiveness against hospitalization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is fantastic,” he said.

But what makes vaccine experts such as Goepfert confident that COVID vaccines are safe in the long term? We have all seen billboards and TV infomercials from law firms seeking people harmed by diet drugs or acid-reflux medicines for class-action lawsuits. What makes Goepfert think that scientists would not discover previously unsuspected problems caused by COVID vaccines in the years ahead?

There are several reasons, actually. Vaccines, given in one- or two-shot doses, are very different from medicines that people take every day, potentially for years. And decades of vaccine history — plus data from more than a billion people who have received COVID vaccines starting last December — provide powerful proof that there is little chance that any new dangers will emerge from COVID vaccines.

The majority of Americans who have not been vaccinated — or who say they are hesitant about vaccinating their children — report that safety is their main concern. Nearly a quarter of respondents in Gallup surveys in March and April 2021 said they wanted to confirm the vaccine was safe before getting the shot. And 26 percent of respondents in a survey of parents with children ages 12-15 by the Kaiser Family Foundation in April 2021 said they wanted to “wait a while to see how the vaccine is working” before deciding to get their child vaccinated.


But Goepfert says we already know enough to be confident the COVID vaccines are safe. Here is why, starting with the way vaccines work and continuing through strong evidence from vaccine history and the even stronger evidence from the responses of people who have received COVID-19 vaccines worldwide over the past six months.


Vaccines are eliminated quickly

Unlike many medications, which are taken daily, vaccines are generally one-and-done. Medicines you take every day can cause side effects that reveal themselves over time, including long-term problems as levels of the drug build up in the body over months and years.

“Vaccines are just designed to deliver a payload and then are quickly eliminated by the body,” Goepfert said. “This is particularly true of the mRNA vaccines. mRNA degrades incredibly rapidly. You wouldn’t expect any of these vaccines to have any long-term side effects. And in fact, this has never occurred with any vaccine.”

Vaccine side effects show up within weeks if at all

That is not to say that there have never been safety issues with vaccines. But in each instance, these have appeared soon after widespread use of the vaccine began.

“The side effects that we see occur early on, and that’s it,” Goepfert said. “In virtually all cases, vaccine side effects are seen within the first two months after rollout.”

The only vaccine program that might compare with the scale and speed of the COVID rollout is the original oral polio vaccine in the 1950s. When this vaccine was first introduced in the United States in 1955, it used a weakened form of the polio virus that in very rare cases — about one in 2.4 million recipients — became activated and caused paralysis. (Compare this with the 60,000 children infected with polio in the United States in 1952, and the more than 3,000 children who died from the disease in the United States that year.) Cases of vaccine-induced paralysis occurred between one and four weeks after vaccination. None of the COVID vaccines uses a weakened form of the SARS-CoV-2 virus — all train the body to recognize a piece of the virus known as the spike protein and generate antibodies that can attack the virus in case of a real infection.

In 1976, a vaccine against swine flu that was widely distributed in the United States was identified in rare cases (approximately one in 100,000) as a cause of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, in which the immune system attacks the nerves. Almost all of these cases occurred in the eight weeks after a person received the vaccine. But the flu itself also can cause Guillain-Barré Syndrome; in fact, the syndrome occurs 17 times more frequently after natural flu infection than after vaccination.

COVID vaccine experience over the past six months

“By the time the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines were approved for emergency use in the United States in December 2020, we already knew the short-term side effects very well from the efficacy studies,” Goepfert said. “Pfizer and Moderna — and later Johnson & Johnson and then Novavax, which reported on its phase III trial results in June 2021 — all have enrolled 30,000-plus individuals, half of whom got the vaccine and half of whom got a placebo initially, after which all the placebo group got the vaccine.

The side effects seen in these studies, and again in the nationwide rollouts that began in December 2020, were tolerability issues, Goepfert says, mainly arm pain, fatigue and headache. These are very transient, and occur a day or two days after the vaccine. They then resolve quickly.

As of June 12, 2021, more than 2.33 billion COVID vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, according to the New York Times vaccinations tracker.

Goepfert says that, between December and June, we began to see the more-rare side effects that do not show up until millions of people have gotten the vaccine.

About one in 100,000 people receiving the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine have experienced a clotting disorder known as thrombotic thrombocytopenia, including 79 cases among more than 20 million people receiving this vaccine in the United Kingdom, and 19 deaths. A smaller number of cases have occurred with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine as well, Goepfert says.

“The causes are still being worked out; but when this happens, it occurs from six days to two weeks after vaccination,” he said. “More recently, an even more rare side effect — myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle — has been reported in people receiving Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. That is about one in a million, or possibly higher rates in some populations; but again, all of these occur no more than a month after the vaccination.”

On July 12, 2021, the FDA announced that in rare cases (100 reports out of 12.8 million shots given in the United States), the J&J vaccine is associated with Guillan-Barré syndrome. The cases were mostly reported two weeks after injection and mostly in men age 50 and older.

Weighing the odds

Any risk is frightening, especially for a parent. But the rare side effects identified with COVID vaccines have to be weighed against the known, higher risks from contracting COVID, Goepfert says. It is not clear how COVID variants such as the highly infectious Delta mutation may affect patients. Early indications are that Delta infections bring more severe side effects than other forms of COVID, but that vaccines are still protective against Delta.

It is COVID infection, and the growing evidence of persistent symptoms from what has become known as “long COVID,” that are the most troubling unknown out there, Goepfert says.

“The long-term side effects of COVID infection are a major concern,” Goepfert said. “Up to 10 percent of people who have COVID experience side effects such as difficulty thinking, pain, tiredness, loss of taste and depression. We don’t know why that is, how long these symptoms will last or if there are effective ways to treat them. That is the most troubling unknown for me.”

Even as cases, hospitalizations and deaths have declined significantly in Alabama since January, there are still nearly 250 new COVID cases diagnosed and nearly 10 deaths reported statewide per day as of mid-June.

“Many people worry that these vaccines were ‘rushed’ into use and still do not have full FDA approval — they are currently being distributed under Emergency Use Authorizations,” Goepfert said. “But because we have had so many people vaccinated, we actually have far more safety data than we have had for any other vaccine, and these COVID vaccines have an incredible safety track record. There should be confidence in that.”

Source: UAB NEWS at University of Alabama at Birmingham
Written by: Matt Windsor
Publication Date: July 6, 2021

HOTFLASHES | August 2021

Breastfeeding Awareness Month

There are many benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby, but sometimes breastfeeding can be difficult due to problems latching or other complications. The process doesn’t always come so easy and instinctively to new moms as one might hope, but we have a few tips to make the process a little easier.

  1. Breastfeed right after birth. Breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, or as soon as possible, is a great way to set baby and mom up for breastfeeding in the future. In fact, allowing moms and babies to have skin-to-skin contact right after delivery encourages newborns to start breastfeeding in the first 30 to 60 minutes. Breastfeeding early on sends signals to your brain and body to produce milk. At the start, your body produces only a small amount of colostrum (the yellowish breast milk produced before normal lactation begins), which is all a newborn initially needs. But eventually you produce more breast milk as baby breastfeeds. Even if baby needs immediate medical attention or requires a stay in the NICU, you can still express colostrum with your hands to stimulate those breastfeeding signals.
  2. Take advantage of the nurses in the hospital. While you and baby are still in the hospital, it’s a great idea to take advantage of help there while you have it. Your hospital may have access to a lactation consultant who will meet with you and help to make sure baby is latching properly. Your nurses also know what a proper latch looks like and may be able to help you try different positioning or give you tips on how to help baby latch. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you think you need it.
  3. Get baby to open wide. Your baby needs to have a wide, open mouth that will allow the milk ducts around the nipple to empty properly. If baby is latched only onto the nipple, it will likely cause you pain, and baby won’t fully empty the breast. This means baby isn’t getting a good feed, and your body isn’t sending signals to the breast to make more milk. To get a good latch, make sure the bottom of your areola (the area around the nipple) is in baby’s mouth and the nipple is toward the back of her mouth, where the palate is soft and flexible.
  4. Let others help with the housework. For the first six weeks, while you’re establishing your breastfeeding, let others help out with chores around the house. Friends and family will likely come over and ask what you need, so don’t be afraid to tell them. Nursing the baby is the one thing they and dad can’t do, so let them help with the cooking, cleaning, and changing the diapers.  When you’re not actively breastfeeding, focus on self-care, including eating well and getting rest.
  5. Know how to hold baby to get a good latch. Learn more about different nursing positions like the football hold, cradle hold, and others and don’t be afraid to try them out. Different positions may be more comfortable for you and baby than others depending on things like the size of your breasts, whether or not baby has reflux, and if you have healing incision from a cesarean birth. Again, nurses and a lactation consultant at your hospital may be able to give you tips on this and help you try different positions.

Information gotten from


Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry


1 lb 4 oz sirloin steak , thinly sliced

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

2 tbsp light soy sauce, divided

2 tbsp canola oil

1 tbsp chopped garlic

2 tsp peeled, chopped ginger

6 cups broccoli florets

1/2 cup homemade chicken stock , or sodium-free broth

2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp cornstarch , mixed with 1 tbsp water


Step One: Combine beef with sherry vinegar and 1 tbsp soy sauce, and toss together.

Step Two: Heat a wok or large skillet over high. Add oil and carefully tilt wok to coat. Working in batches, sear beef for 1 min or until browned on the outside but not cooked through. Remove beef with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Step Three: Add garlic and ginger to wok, and sauté for 30 sec. or until fragrant. Add broccoli and stir-fry for 1 min or until it begins to turn bright green. Add ¼ cup water to wok, cover with a lid and steam for 2 min or until just tender-crisp. Combine remaining 1 tbsp soy sauce, chicken stock and oyster sauce, and add to wok. Bring to a boil and cook 1 min or until flavors are combined.

Step Four: Stir in cornstarch mixture, add reserved beef and cook 1 min longer or until sauce is thickened and beef is heated through. Serve over rice noodles or steamed rice.


Recipe from


Importance of Vaccines

As parents, we all want to do what is best for our child, and making sure they get their vaccines early on is a great way to do that. Vaccines protect your baby from dangerous diseases such as polio, whooping cough, chickenpox, and many more. While it can seem like a lot of shots for such a little baby, those vaccines are protecting your little one when they can be most vulnerable. While breastfeeding can help protect babies from infections and viruses by passing on immunities, this only works for breastfed children and will wear off once they are no longer breastfed. Vaccines are the best way to protect your child from preventable diseases.

Vaccines work by imitating infection of a certain disease (but not its symptoms) in your child’s body. This prompts your child’s immune system to develop weapons called antibodies. These antibodies fight the disease that the vaccine is meant to prevent. With their body now primed to make antibodies, your child’s immune system can defeat future infection from the disease. Below are the vaccines you can expect your child to get within the first few years, and the important information you need to know about each one.

  • HepB: Protects against hepatitis B (infection of the liver). HepB is given in three shots. The first shot is given at the time of birth. Most states require HepB vaccination for a child to enter school.
  • RV: Protects against rotavirus, a major cause of diarrhea. RV is given in two or three doses, depending on the vaccine used.
  • DTaP: Protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). It requires five doses during infancy and childhood. Tdap or Td boosters are then given during adolescence and adulthood.
  • Hib: Protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b. This infection used to be a leading cause of bacterial meningitis. Hib vaccination is given in three or four doses.
  • PCV: Protects against pneumococcal disease, which includes pneumonia. PCV is given in a series of four doses.
  • IPV: protects against polio and is given in four doses.
  • Influenza (flu): Protects against the flu. This is a seasonal vaccine that is given yearly. Flu shots can be given to your child each year, starting at age 6 months. (First-ever dose for any child under age 8 is two doses given 4 weeks apart.) Flu season can run from September through May.
  • MMR: Protects against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). MMR is given in two doses. The first dose is recommended for infants between 12 and 15 months. The second dose is usually given between ages 4 and 6 years. However, it can be given as soon as 28 days after the first dose.
  • Varicella: Protects against chickenpox. Varicella is recommended for all healthy children. It’s given in two doses.
  • HepA: Protects against hepatitis A. This is given as two doses between 1 and 2 years of age.


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HOTFLASHES | July 2021

Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes


6 beefsteak tomatoes, (1/2 to 3/4 lb. each)

4 cups chopped rotisserie chicken

1 1/2 cups chopped tricolor bell pepper mix (from 1 [8-oz.] container)

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Step One: Remove and discard tops of tomatoes; then core and seed them.

Step Two: Stir together, chicken, bell pepper mix, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl until combined. Spoon about ½ cup mixture into each cored tomato. (Cover and refrigerate leftover chicken salad up to 5 days.)

Recipe from


Sun Safety

While everyone is outside enjoying the summer by the pool or at the beach, Ultraviolet (UV) rays can sneak up on you. It’s easy to tell yourself that you won’t need sunscreen because it’s cloudy or you won’t be outside for that long, but sunscreen can help protect you from those harmful UV rays that can damage your skin and lead to skin cancer.

When choosing a sunscreen, it’s important to choose one that offers broad spectrum protection (against both UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of at least 30 or higher. If you know you’ll be in the water, you may want to choose a water resistant sunscreen that will continue to protect your skin for a short period of time while you’re in the water. Even with water resistant sunscreen, it’s important to reapply every two hours while outside. You also want to ensure that you apply your sunscreen properly, paying close attention to your face, ears, neck, arms, and any other areas not covered by clothing.

While sunscreen is an important step to take in protecting your skin from UV rays, it’s not the only one experts recommend. You should also:

  • Protect your skin with clothing.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Wear sunglasses that block UV rays.
  • Sit in the shade whenever possible.
  • Avoid tanning beds.

Information from


Keep Cool During Pregnancy

Being pregnant can already be uncomfortable, but during the summer, it can be downright miserable. We know it isn’t easy, but we’ve got a few tricks that might help you make it through to cooler temperatures.

Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated is important for anyone out in the heat, but it’s all the more important with a bun in the oven. In addition to the 10 cups of liquid you should be drinking every day, you also need another 8 ounces for every hour you spend in the heat. Make staying hydrated a little more fun with a nice mocktail or an icy popsicle.

Avoid Swelling: Edema can be even worse when it’s hot outside, calling swelling in your calves, ankles and feet. You can help fight this by kicking up your heels (even when you’re not sitting poolside or on a sandy beach somewhere). Prop your feet up at home and at the office whenever you can. You can also try foot and ankle exercises and passing on the salt.

Beat the Heat: Even without summer heatwaves, pregnancy can make you feel hot all the time. Use this as an excuse to take a dip! A nice swim can help your lower your body temperature, and the weightlessness may help ease the stress on your body. If you don’t have access to a pool, try a plastic kiddy pool version or a cheap inflatable.

Choose Breathable: The summer heat and your growing body might have you chafing and sweating. To stay comfortable, choose loose, light-colored clothes that will keep you from overheating and allow sweat to evaporate.

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HOTFLASHES | June 2021

Easy Broccoli Salad


  • 24 ounces broccoli florets (about 3 large heads broccoli)
  • 8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup finely-diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (or goat or blue cheese)


  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon
  • pinch of salt and black pepper, to taste


Make the dressing. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until combined. Taste and season the dressing with salt and pepper, to taste.

Toss the salad. Combine the broccoli florets, bacon, almonds, dried cranberries, red onion, and feta cheese in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle evenly with the dressing then toss until completely combined.

Serve. Serve immediately, or transfer the salad to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Hydration Help: Tips to Increase Your Water Intake

Drinking plenty of water is one of the simplest ways to keep your body and mind working at their best. Water helps carry nutrients and oxygen through cells, aid digestion and prevent constipation, stabilize the heartbeat and blood pressure, regulate body temperature, and maintain your body’s electrolyte balance.

And because water is so essential to these biological functions, your body is sure to notice if you’re not drinking enough of it.  Symptoms of dehydration may include a dry or sticky-feeling mouth, dark yellow urine (or a less-frequent urge to urinate), dry skin, headaches, and muscle cramps. In more severe cases, dehydration can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, irritability, a rapid heartbeat and breathing rate, and even shock. With these tips you hit your hydration goals!

  1. Keep Water Close to Hand Throughout the Day
  2. Infuse Water With Fruit to Add Flavor and Variety
  3. Invest in a Gadget That Makes Water Exciting
  4. Download an App to Help Monitor Your Water Intake
  5. Pre-Portion Your Daily Water Goals
  6. Choose a Water Bottle That Suits You
  7. Snack on Foods With a High Water Content

Information from


Know How to Handle the Heat

High temperatures kill hundreds of people every year. Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet more than 700 people die from extreme heat every year in the United States. Taking measures to stay cool, remain hydrated, and keep informed can save lives.

The main things affecting your body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather are high humidity and personal factors. When the humidity is high, sweat cannot evaporate as quickly. This keeps your body from releasing heat appropriately. Personal factors like age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use all can also play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather.

Everyone should take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and death during hot weather:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as you can.
  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars.
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates.

Children playing a sport that practices during the summer can protect themselves and their teammates by following these CDC guidelines:

  • If you are wearing a cloth face covering and feel yourself overheating or having trouble breathing, put at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others and remove the face covering.
  • Schedule workouts and practices earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.
  • Monitor a teammate’s condition, and have someone do the same for you.
  • Seek medical care right away if you or a teammate has symptoms of heat-related illness.


Hypothyroidism Medication Mistakes to Avoid

The goal of hypothyroidism treatment is to replace the thyroid hormone that you are not able to produce. This helps you feel more energized and back to your normal self. After you’re diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your healthcare provider will likely prescribe a synthetic hormone that helps stabilize your thyroid levels. But there are some guidelines for taking the medication that you need to know about. Here’s how to avoid the most common hypothyroidism medication mistakes.

The synthetic thyroid hormone won’t be absorbed properly unless you take it on an empty stomach and wait 45 to 60 minutes afterward before eating. The simplest way to accomplish this is to take your thyroid medication first thing in the morning.

Just as there shouldn’t be food in your stomach when you take your hypothyroidism medication, it’s also important to avoid taking any other medication at the same time. Specifically, antacids, calcium, cholesterol drugs, and iron supplements can each interfere with the way the thyroid hormone is absorbed.

Some medication will affect the way your thyroid hormone is absorbed, including birth control pills, estrogen, testosterone, seizure drugs, and some depression medication, according to the American Thyroid Association (ATA). That doesn’t mean you can’t take these other drugs — but if you do, make sure your doctor is aware.

For your medication to work properly, you need to take it regularly and consistently. Skipping doses, taking your medication in the morning one day and in the evening the next, or taking it with food some days and on an empty stomach other days can affect how the medication is absorbed.

*information from


What to Expect at Your First Pap Smear

For most women, turning 21 has an odd caveat to go with the milestone: their first pap smear. A pap smear (also known as a pap test) is a vaginal exam that screens for cervical cancer. This is done by taking a swab to collect cervical cells to be examined for abnormal growth and other indications of precancerous/cancerous cells. It’s a simple procedure that takes a few minutes at most, but many women have concerns and fears when they step into their doctor’s office for their first one. Your doctor should explain every step as they proceed, but it should go something like this:

After undressing, your doctor will instruct you to lay on your back and put your feet up in the examination table’s stirrups.

Your doctor will then prepare and insert the speculum, which is an instrument that holds your vaginal walls apart so the cervix is seeable and reachable for your doctor. If you’re afraid that it will hurt, don’t be—doctors commonly use lube to ensure that the speculum will slide into place easily and as gently as possible, and when not opened, the speculum is a bit bigger than a tampon. Once inserted, there will be a slight pressure in that area, but just keep relaxing and it will be fine.

Then, using an instrument called a spatula (a small, flat scraping device) or a brush with soft bristles, your doctor will take samples of your cervical cells from the cervix’s walls. It doesn’t hurt, but again, the sensation will be a little odd.

After the samples are collected and transferred and the speculum is removed, you are all done! Your doctor will give you a chance to clean up and get dressed again before your appointment resumes. Be sure to check with your doctor about when to expect the results of your pap smear.

*information from


Carmalized Green Beans


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 1 small shallot, halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and halved
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 of a lemon

Step 1

In an extra-large stainless-steel or cast-iron skillet melt butter over medium until bubbling. Add green beans and toss well to coat. Add shallot, garlic, ginger, and dill. Season with a big pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, tossing frequently, until beans are darkened in color, slightly wilted, and caramelized, 35 to 40 minutes. Some of the green beans will be darker and softer than others; that’s okay.

Step 2

Sprinkle in the sugar and cook another minute to dissolve. Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Serves 4.

*information from

Hotflashes | April 2021

Is Sugar to Blame?

For years, researchers have suspected that the typical Western diet, high in fat, animal protein, and sugar, and low in vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fruit, plays a leading role in the high rates of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). While fat and animal protein have traditionally been considered the prime suspects, a growing number of studies now point to sugar as a leading culprit.

Sugar is already well known for its pro-inflammatory effects on the body and its link to a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. And while the precise nature of the relationship between sugar and IBD remains unsettled, more and more data from animal studies points to sugar’s deleterious effects on the gut microbiome.

A study published in October 2020 in Science Translational Medicine found that mice who consumed a 10 percent sugar solution for a week (less than the typical 15 percent contained in most soft drinks) significantly altered the composition of gut microbiota in a bad way. Two types of mucus-degrading bacteria became more abundant, leading to erosion of the gut’s protective mucus layer, while quantities of “good” bacteria, like Lactobacillus, diminished, effectively setting the stage for colitis.

Fiber-rich foods like vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fruits — mainstays of the Mediterranean diet — all encourage the production of short-chain fatty acids. And they’re just what a Western diet, with its taste for high-sugar foods and drinks, is missing.


Move Over Vitamin C

Move over, vitamin C. Zinc may be the new cold fighter in town. Many studies have shown that taking a zinc treatment may help shorten the duration of the common cold.

Zinc is considered a trace mineral, which means your body needs only a small amount of it to work properly. Most Americans get enough daily zinc in their diets. Zinc heals wounds and keeps your immune system humming and ready to take on threatening bacteria and viruses. An over-the-counter zinc supplement may help reduce the duration and the severity of the common cold — as long as you take it within 24 hours of the first sign of sickness.

Zinc lozenges are cold remedies that are often combined with vitamin C, whereas zinc supplements are fitting for people with a zinc deficiency. Zinc lozenges and nasal sprays directly interfere with the rhinovirus’ ability to breed in the moist environment of the throat or nose, so taking a zinc lozenge or using zinc nasal spray have been shown to have the greatest anti-viral effectiveness.


Six Signs You Are Dehydrated

Every creature needs water not only to survive, but to thrive. Next time you are experiencing these signs and symptoms of possible dehydration think to yourself, “When was the last time I had a glass of water?”

  1. Bad Breath: Saliva has antibacterial properties, but dehydration can prevent your body from making enough saliva. If you’re not producing enough saliva, you can get bacterial overgrowth in the mouth, and one of the side effects of that is bad breath.
  2. Dry or Flushed Skin: A lot of people think that people who get dehydrated are really sweaty, but in fact, as you go through various stages of dehydration you get very dry skin.
  3. Muscle Cramps: When your body loses enough fluid, it’s unable to cool itself off adequately, leading to heat illness. One symptom to look out for is muscle cramps, which can happen while exercising, particularly in hot weather.
  4. Fever and Chills Are Symptoms of Heat Illness: Other symptoms of heat illness include fever and chills. You may sweat profusely while your skin is cool to the touch. Fever can worsen dehydration. The higher the fever, the more dehydrated you may become. Unless your body temperature decreases, your skin will lose its cool clamminess and then become hot, flushed, and dry to the touch. At this point, it’s important that you cool yourself down immediately and see a medical professional.
  5. Food Cravings, Especially for Sweets, May Just Mean You’re Thirsty: When you’re dehydrated, it can be difficult for organs such as the liver, which uses water, to release glycogen (stored glucose) and other components of your energy stores, so you can actually get cravings for food. While you can crave anything from chocolate to a salty snack, cravings for sweets are more common because your body may be experiencing difficulty breaking down glycogen to release glucose into the bloodstream to use as fuel.
  6. Headaches Could Be a Sign You Need to Drink More Water: Even mild dehydration can cause a dehydration headache and trigger a migraine headache. Although various factors besides dehydration can cause headaches, drinking a full glass of water and continuing to sip more fluids during the day is an easy way to ease your pain if, in fact, dehydration is a culprit.

Hotflashes | March 2021

Endometriosis Awareness Month

Endometriosis, or endo, is a disease where the tissue that forms the inside lining of the uterus grows where it doesn’t belong – sometimes on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and other organs found in the pelvic area – which can cause chronic pain. Symptoms related to endometriosis vary, and some symptoms are associated with pain that can be debilitating and may interfere with day-to-day activities.  Common symptoms of endometriosis include swelling and period pain, as well as pain throughout the month and during sex. It affectes one in 10 women of reproductive age in the United States. Some girls start experiencing pain as early as age nine.

If you or your daughter have been experiencing abdominal pain, especially when combined with a cycle, contact a doctor to help diagnosis the issue. Don’t just live with the pain. There a treatment options available and a better quality of life ahead.


Beans Over Meat

There’s more evidence that swapping out a juicy steak for plant-based meals can benefit your health. A new study from Trusted Source, based on 30 years of observation, has reconfirmed that replacing red meat with plant-based protein can help keep your heart healthy.

The study, published by The BMJ, showed that replacing red meat with high-quality plant foods, like beans, nuts, or soy may be associated with a modestly reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). The study also suggests that replacing total red meat consumption with whole grains and dairy products, and processed red meat with eggs, may also reduce this risk. Researchers based their findings on observing 43,272 U.S. men with an average age of 53.

Red meats to stay clear of include processed bacon, hot dogs, sausages, and salami, which are associated with an increased risk of death and major chronic diseases, according to the study.

Choosing plant-based options over red meat can help reduce the amount of saturated fats, cholesterol, and heme iron, which can keep the heart healthy. Plant-based options also increase the intake of unsaturated fat, fiber, antioxidants, polyphenols — all of which can benefit heart health by either increasing protective cholesterol, reducing bad cholesterol, or improving the function of the heart’s blood vessels. Pass the beans!



Stone Cold Struggle

Kidney stones are common — if you haven’t had a kidney stone, you likely know someone who has as kidney stones affect 1 in 11 people in the United States. Overall, about 19 percent of men and 9 percent of women in the United States will develop a kidney stone by the time they are 70 years old.

Kidney stones typically develop when there is too much waste and not enough fluid in the kidneys which can be due to a number of factors, including:

  • Not drinking enough water
  • Not getting enough calcium
  • A diet high in salt or sugar
  • A lack of citrate, a substance that help prevent stones from forming
  • Family history and genetics
  • Eating large amounts oxalate-rich foods (such as nuts, spinach, chocolate, and certain teas)
  • Drinking colas, which contain phosphate and have a high sugar content
  • Consuming too much animal protein

A kidney stone often goes unnoticed until it starts to pass into your ureters. Once this happens, symptoms typically appear without warning. You’ll likely feel sharp, stabbing pain at the bottom of your ribcage, though the pain can shift into the genital area as well. The pain from kidney stones often comes in waves, and you may feel better for a few hours before the pain comes back.

Depending on the size of the stone, it can take up to six weeks to pass (though many patients opt for interventions within that time frame). Small stones may take only a few days to a week to pass. Your doctor will likely prescribe medications to help you manage the pain during this time. Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce pain while passing a kidney stones as well.


Painful Periods


Feeling pain before or during your menstrual period is very common. More than half of women and girls with periods have some pain for 1 to 2 days each month. During your period, your uterus contracts. Your uterus also releases natural chemicals called prostaglandins. These chemicals can cause cramps.

Symptoms related to painful periods can include:

  • Muscle cramps in your lower belly or back
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • If pain during your period is severe, you also may have trouble sleeping.

Period pain also can be caused by medical conditions, including:

  • Endometriosis
  • Cysts in the ovaries
  • Adenomyosis
  • Fibroids

Period pain that is caused by a medical condition may get worse over time. No matter if your period pain is mild or severe, you can ask your obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn); or other health care professional for help. Period pain can cause you to miss school or work, or it can disrupt your everyday activities. It is especially important to get help if your pain is severe, feels worse than usual, or is making your life hard every month.

Information gathered from

Depression During Pregnancy


Depression is a common illness that can be mild or very serious. It is more than feeling sad or upset for a short time or feeling grief after a loss. Depression changes your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and physical health. It affects how you function in your daily life. It also can affect how you relate to your family, friends, and coworkers. Depression can occur at different times of life or in different situations.

Depression is common during pregnancy, affecting about 1 in 10 pregnant women. Some women have depression and anxiety for the first time in their lives during pregnancy or after delivery. The signs of depression can seem like the normal ups and downs of pregnancy. A blue mood now and then is normal. But it’s important to know the signs of depression.

Talk with your OBGYN if you have any of these signs for at least 2 weeks:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • Loss of interest in work or other activities
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless, or worthless
  • Sleeping more than normal or having trouble sleeping
  • Loss of appetite, losing weight, or eating much more than normal and gaining weight
  • Feeling very tired or without energy
  • Having trouble paying attention, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Being restless or slowed down in a way that others notice
  • Thinking about death or suicide

Thinking about death or suicide is a sign of depression. If you are in crisis or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, call 911 right away. See the Resources section for other support options, including helplines you can text or call and online support groups for pregnant women. You also can talk with a trusted friend, family member, or your ob-gyn.

Women who have severe depression during pregnancy may have trouble taking care of themselves. They may not eat healthfully, attend prenatal care checkups, or get enough rest. If you took antidepressants before pregnancy, you may become depressed again if you stop taking them. Having untreated depression during pregnancy also raises your risk of postpartum depression.

Talk with your OBGYN as soon as possible. Tell them if you had depression in the past, if you take medication for depression, or if you are feeling depressed now. Your OBGYN may ask questions about your mood during prenatal care or postpartum visits. Or they may ask you to write down answers to a survey that screens for mental health conditions. Your answers will help your ob-gyn understand what kind of help you need.

Information gathered from

5 Most Common Questions About Menopause


Women tend to greet menopause with mixed emotions. They may be nervous about getting older or anxious about what they’re experiencing, physically and emotionally. To be sure, menopause is unlike anything you’ve felt before – and the transition can last for several years.

As an ob-gyn, I hear all sorts of questions about this time of life. Here are the top five questions I get – and my answers.

1. Should I start hormone therapy?

My patients either tend to be eager to start hormone therapy to ease their hot flashes, or already wary of it because of what they’ve read online.

Admittedly, there is a lot of scary information out there about hormone therapy and the risks of heart attack, breast cancer, and more. But the landmark 2002 study that raised some concerns about these risks was limited. The study looked at a unique population of older women. We now know that hormone therapy is generally a safe option, especially for women going through menopause in their 50s and younger.

Still, I recommend women try other methods first, especially for hot flashes: dressing in layers, carrying a portable fan, and sipping cold drinks. Avoid foods and drinks that can trigger hot flashes, such as alcohol and caffeine. Stop smoking and lose extra weight if you need to. Try meditation, which can make hot flashes less bothersome.

When these conservative measures and lifestyle changes don’t quite cut it, we consider hormone therapy. Certain types of antidepressants also can help with hot flashes.


2. How will menopause affect my sex drive?

This is a topic my patients are usually hesitant to bring up – understandably, it’s very personal.

The fluctuation of hormones during menopause can lead to vaginal dryness, which in turn causes pain during sex. Then women may find they don’t initiate sex anymore, for fear of this pain.

Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants can provide relief. If those don’t work, talk with your ob-gyn about topical or oral medications.

Don’t be resigned to abstinence after middle age. With a little help, everything can work as you want it to.

Yes, you should still come for your annual visit, no matter your age.

Dr. Shana Miles


3. Should I take natural supplements to treat my symptoms?

Ever seen an online ad for a product that relieves hot flashes? How about a natural remedy to improve your sleep during menopause? You may have also heard about “custom” compounded bioidenticals, which come from plants and resemble your body’s hormones.

The fact is, few plant and herbal supplements have been studied for safety or effectiveness. Know that these drugs are not well regulated. Some can contain dangerous levels of estrogen, progesterone, or even testosterone. Over-the-counter supplements also can have an effect on other medications you are taking or other medical conditions you have.

For these reasons, talk with your ob-gyn before taking supplements to treat your menopausal symptoms.


4. I haven’t had a period in years. Do I really need annual check-ups with an ob-gyn?

Yes, you should still come for your annual visit, no matter your age. You may no longer need birth control or prenatal care, but ob-gyns offer the full range of women’s health care. From screening for cancer and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) to discussing concerns about sex and urinary incontinence, your annual check-up can cover all aspects of your sexual and reproductive health.


5. Do I still need Pap tests and mammograms after menopause?

Yes to this one too. The recommendation is to continue with Pap tests until age 65, unless you have a risk factor for cervical cancer, such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Even women who have had a hysterectomy may still need screening.

With mammograms, most women at low risk of breast cancer can stop at 75. In both cases, you and your ob-gyn should share information, talk about your wishes, and agree on when and how often you will be screened.

There’s a lot to learn about what happens to your body during menopause. Turn to your OBGYN with questions – it’s what we’re here for. And don’t overlook the value of talking with your mom, sisters, and friends who have “been there.”

Rest assured: Menopause is just another stage of life, as natural as any other. With open communication, you can address any concerns you may have about your symptoms and get the help you need.

Information gathered from

COVID and Pregnancy


Experts are learning more every day about the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is following the situation closely. This page will be updated as ACOG learns new information for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Researchers are still learning how COVID-19 affects pregnant women. Current reports suggest that pregnant women have a higher risk for more severe illness from COVID-19 than nonpregnant women. Reports note that:

  • Pregnant women who have COVID-19 and show symptoms are more likely than nonpregnant women with COVID-19 and symptoms to need care in an intensive care unit (ICU), to need a ventilator (for breathing support), or to die from the illness. Still, the overall risk of severe illness and death for pregnant women is low.
  • Pregnant women with some health conditions, such as obesity and gestational diabetes, may have an even higher risk of severe illness, similar to nonpregnant women with these conditions.
  • Pregnant women who are Black or Hispanic have a higher rate of illness and death from COVID-19 than other pregnant women, but not because of biology. Black and Hispanic women are more likely to face social, health, and economic inequities that put them at greater risk of illness.

If you are planning or trying to get pregnant, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine. You also do not need to delay getting pregnant after you get a vaccine. Some COVID-19 vaccines will require two doses. If you find out you are pregnant after you have the first dose, you should still get the second dose.

While you are in the hospital or birth center, you should wear a mask if you have COVID-19. But when you are pushing during labor, wearing a mask may be difficult. For this reason, your health care team should wear masks or other protective breathing equipment. They also may take other steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, including wearing goggles or face shields.

Talk with your ob-gyn or other health care professional about your birth plan. In most cases, the timing and method of delivery (vaginal birth or cesarean birth) do not need to be changed if you have COVID-19. Women who are sick probably do not need a cesarean birth.

We believe that the safest place for you to give birth is a hospital, hospital-based birth center, or accredited freestanding birth center. Your hospital or birth center may be adjusting their policies. For example, there may be changes to the number of visitors allowed and how long you will stay in the hospital. Check with your hospital and ob-gyn or other health care professional about your birth plan. Be sure to mention if you are planning to have a doula with you during childbirth.


Please note that while this is a page for patients, this page is not meant to give specific medical advice and is for informational reference only. Medical advice should be provided by your doctor or other health care professional.

Information gathered from

Flu Vaccine and Pregnancy


Normal changes in the immune system that occur during pregnancy may increase your risk of flu complications. You also have a higher risk of pregnancy complications, such as preterm labor and preterm birth, if you get the flu. You are more likely to be hospitalized if you get the flu while you are pregnant than when you are not pregnant. Your risk of dying from the flu is increased as well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older—including pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding—get the flu vaccine each year. If you are pregnant, it is best to get the vaccine early in the flu season (October through May), as soon as the vaccine is available. You can get the shot at any time during your pregnancy. If you are not vaccinated early in the flu season, you still can get the vaccine later in the flu season. If you have a medical condition that further increases the risk of flu complications, such as asthma or heart disease, you should think about getting the vaccine before the flu season starts.

If you think you have the flu and you are pregnant (or you have had a baby within the past 2 weeks), contact your obstetrician or other health care professional right away. Taking an antiviral medication as soon as possible is recommended. Flu symptoms may include the following:

  • Fever or feeling feverish
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough or sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Antiviral medication is available by prescription. It is most effective when taken within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms, but there still is some benefit to taking it up to 4–5 days after symptoms start. An antiviral drug does not cure the flu, but it can shorten how long it lasts and how severe it is. Even if you just think you have the flu, it is best to be on the safe side and contact your obstetrician or other member of your health care team.


Information gathered from

Healing and Adjusting after Pelvic Organ Prolapse


At 36, Lauren is a happy and healthy Colorado mom who likes to hike with her two kids. But 5 years ago, after the birth of her second child, she developed pelvic organ prolapse (POP). That’s when one or more of the pelvic organs (in Lauren’s case, the rectum and bladder) drop down from their normal position.

At the time, Lauren didn’t know what prolapse was. “I spent the next few years learning how to manage and change my lifestyle, and what the treatment options could be,” she says.

In this edited interview, Lauren discusses what she’s learned about POP and how she’s adjusted to her changing body.


How and when did you notice the prolapse?

Lauren: It was 5 weeks after my second child was born. I sneezed in the shower and felt something pop inside of me. Right away I thought, this cannot be good. I reached up and I felt a bulge in my vaginal wall. Instead of a mostly smooth and firm wall, I felt a lump and the wall dropping down in one place.

I immediately got out of the shower, called my midwife, and described what happened. She said it sounded like a rectocele – a kind of prolapse where the rectum drops down and bulges into the vagina.


What happened when you saw your health care team?

Lauren: When I went to see my midwife and ob-gyn, they said I had a grade-one rectocele and a grade-one cystocele, which means my bladder also had dropped down. I hadn’t even noticed the cystocele.


What were your symptoms like?

Lauren: I was having a lot of bladder urgency and difficulty holding urine. I also was having trouble fully eliminating stool. Sexual intimacy was painful, and I was avoiding it because you know your husband can feel the rectocele. When the rectocele was very bad, it made me afraid to pick up my kids’ toys. Some days it also made hiking uncomfortable.

Another thing: sometimes a rectocele can feel like a flesh pocket filled with pebbles – the pebbles being feces that have gotten stuck in the rectocele and can’t exit the body normally. So, a lot of women will put a finger in their vaginas to press against the bulge to push the feces back so they can eliminate completely. This was one of the worst parts of the rectocele when it first happened.

Now, this is rarely a problem for me. And back then, I thought maybe it was just a unique problem I was having. I later learned it was a common symptom of a rectocele.


What kind of treatment did you try?

Lauren: First, my doctor referred me to physical therapy with a woman’s pelvic floor specialist. I did physical therapy once a week for a few months, and I made great improvements in controlling my muscles. The therapist checked nerves and ligaments and had me contract my vagina with Kegel exercises. The goal was to get my muscles working properly so my organs had support, even if the ligaments were overstretched.

Then my physical therapist recommended I see a rehabilitative Pilates instructor. This was only after I had gotten to a point where I would benefit from exercise again (and my body wouldn’t be compensating in incorrect ways that could cause more problems for me). I’ve now been doing that for 3 years. I feel much better, but not quite 100 percent.

I also decided to try an anti-inflammatory diet for other health reasons, unrelated to the prolapse. I cut out grains, gluten, and dairy, and I reduced sugar. I was an extremely healthy eater before – lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, organic foods – but cutting out those foods turned out to be the final step that relieved my rectocele symptoms.


How are you doing now? Are you back to hiking? Are you enjoying sex again?

Lauren: I am hiking again, even with my youngest in a back carrier. Sex varies depending on whether I’m having a good or bad pelvic floor day. And that varies with hormone fluctuations, digestion, bowel movements, how much pelvic tension I’m carrying that day, and a few other factors. On good days, sex is great.

I will say that with all the movement now, I’m always trying to predict how a physical situation will impact my pelvic floor. It becomes second nature, and I wish I would have had more of that earlier in life – working with my body and listening to its cues, instead of taking it for granted.


What advice would you give other women dealing with prolapse or planning a pregnancy?

Lauren: I read a lot of pregnancy books and asked a lot of questions, but I didn’t understand the pelvic floor and how it is affected by pregnancy. I wish I had known what my ligaments were doing and that they could stretch so much. I wish doctors would talk more about this.

If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, learn about the pelvic floor and the risk of prolapse so you can take care of yourself if it happens. If it’s already happened, know that you’re not alone. There are thousands of women dealing with this.


Information gathered from

21 Reasons to See a GYN Before Turning 21


Although most teens don’t need to have a Pap test until they are 21 years old, there are at least 21 reasons to see a gynecologist before then.


  • Learn about healthy lifestyles and how to feel good about yourself.
  • Discuss good habits for healthy bones.
  • Learn if you have a urinary tract infection (UTI) and the treatment options.
  • Get treatment for vaginal itching, discharge, or other symptoms.


  • Learn if your periods are normal.
  • Get relief if your periods are painful.
  • Find out why your periods are too heavy.
  • Discuss the timing of your periods and why bleeding may occur in between.
  • Learn ways to deal with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Sexuality & Relationships

  • Learn how to have healthy romantic relationships.
  • Learn what it means to be in a consensual relationship.
  • Ask questions about what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ).
  • Learn about safe sex.
  • Talk about how your reproductive system works.


  • Discuss birth control options.
  • Discuss the ideal time to start a family.
  • Get tested for pregnancy.
  • Weigh your options if you get pregnant.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

  • Learn how to lower your risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
  • Get tested for STIs and HIV if you are sexually active.
  • Get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.


Information gathered from

Top 3 Questions Parents ask About Daughter’s Puberty


Puberty is a time of growth, and it can be a confusing and awkward time for parents and girls alike. Often parents don’t want to see their little girls growing up, and girls can be scared about all the changes. The first time a teen comes in with her parent or guardian, sometimes the adult does most of the talking. Here are the three most common questions asked.

1. How do I know if puberty has started?

The first sign of puberty in a young girl is breast development. The average age of breast development is 10, though some girls develop later and some develop earlier.

Puberty is a process. After breast development starts, there are a series of changes that involve pubic hair and underarm hair growth, growth spurts, and her first period.

2. How old will my daughter be when she has her first period?

The average age of menarche (when a girl gets her first period) in the United States is about 12 and a half. On average, a girl’s first period is 2 years after breast development begins. If breast development starts earlier, it’s possible she may start her period earlier. If breast development is later, she may start her period later. The whole process varies from girl to girl.

3. Will my daughter grow taller after she starts her period?

A girl’s largest growth spurt is typically just before she starts her period. A girl may grow slightly after she starts her period, but her major growth spurt is finished before the first period.

We recommend that a girl’s first ob-gyn appointment be between ages 13 and 15. This office visit allows a teen to get her questions answered and to start a relationship with the gynecologist. A lot of times these conversations also allow us to address any risky behaviors that might be on a girl’s mind, like drinking or vaping. Most girls don’t need a pelvic exam during their first visit.

Also, we want you to have the right information as a parent. There’s so much that’s available in the age of the internet, but it’s hard to know if what you read is accurate. When you get information straight from a medical professional, you’ll know that what you’re hearing is as correct and up to date as possible.


Asking questions

It’s also important that girls talk with parents, guardians, or trusted adults to learn more about the changes they are going through. There are also a lot of good books out there, so if it’s hard to start that conversation with family, a book is a great way to begin.

Some teens feel awkward talking about puberty. I encourage girls not to be shy, whether they’re talking with an OBGYN or their parents. But girls should have some time alone with their doctor, without parents in the exam room, so they can ask questions that they may feel are personal. We want girls to ask all of the questions they have. There are no wrong questions, and we as OBGYNs are here to help. We want to make sure every girl has the information she needs to understand her body and to take charge of her health – now and in the future.


Information gathered from

My Periods Changed. Is Menopause Around the Corner?


It’s a common scene in any ob-gyn practice: A patient comes in, concerned that her periods have changed. “What’s going on?” she asks. “Is this menopause?”

If you’re a woman in your 40s, a change in your menstrual periods is the hallmark of perimenopause – that’s what we call the years leading up to your last menstrual period. Here’s a look at how we diagnose perimenopause and menopause, and what else to expect as you enter this phase of life.


A New Normal

A “change” can mean a lot of things when it comes to your menstrual period. It could be a change in the length of your cycle. It could mean your period is coming more often or less often. The flow could be heavier or lighter than you’re used to. You also could have some bleeding or spotting between periods. No matter the symptoms, women can usually recognize what’s normal for them – and when that stops being the norm. Your ob-gyn is there to help you figure out what’s going on.


Other Explanations

Perimenopause is what we call a diagnosis of exclusion. This means we first need to rule out other conditions that could be causing your abnormal bleeding. Other causes can include:

Hormonal problems, such as a thyroid disorder or hyperprolactinemia (high levels of the hormone prolactin). Problems with the uterus, such as polyps, fibroids, or adenomyosis (a problem with the lining of the uterus).



We use a combination of pelvic exams, blood tests, and ultrasounds to guide this framework. If nothing is wrong, then perimenopause is the likely explanation of irregular periods, especially for a woman in her 40s.


The Course of Perimenopause

A change in your periods is often the first sign of perimenopause, but there are other signs to look out for. The most common are hot flashes, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and a decrease in sex drive. Not every woman will experience all of these symptoms. For those who have symptoms, they may come in any order. Once these symptoms arrive, most women can expect menopause itself to be a few years away. (Menopause is officially confirmed after you go 12 months without a menstrual period. But the average age for the last period is 51.)

There are many treatments to help with bothersome symptoms like hot flashes and sleeplessness. Even a few years of hormone therapy can help you get through the worst of it.

If you are prone to anxiety or depression, know that perimenopause can bring those conditions back to the surface. Finding a support network can make a big difference. Antidepressants also may be an option.


Part of the Reproductive Journey

We usually diagnose menopause in hindsight, after that full year of absent periods. I’ve found that most women know they’ve reached menopause when they get there. Even if your irregular periods turn out to be something else, you’ll face menopause eventually. Talk with your ob-gyn about what you’re experiencing. Together we can work through this part of your health journey.

Information gathered from 

Gestational Diabetes


Cathy was looking forward to an uneventful second pregnancy when she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (also known as GD or GDM). Marked by high blood sugar levels, GD is a form of diabetes that first develops during pregnancy, often without any symptoms. Women with GD need special care both during and after pregnancy. The condition can put mom and baby at long-term risk for type 2 diabetes. Cathy knew she had to change her diet and lifestyle to keep herself and her baby healthy. In this edited interview, she explains how she did it.

When were you diagnosed with gestational diabetes?

Cathy: It came up after the routine glucose screening in my sixth month of pregnancy. My blood glucose (blood sugar) levels were high, and I went back for a follow-up. It was a total surprise. I had no symptoms. My first daughter had been born at 9 pounds and that was a risk factor – though I didn’t know it at the time.

I managed gestational diabetes with diet changes and insulin injections. My midwife told me GD was serious and could affect the baby’s health. But she also told me it was controllable. And we just rolled with it from there. I felt like I got very good care.

What was your treatment plan?

Cathy: We started with lifestyle changes, mostly to my diet. I ate low-carb, watching my carb and sugar intake and balancing it with protein.

At first, I was really overwhelmed because both my husband and then-3-year-old daughter have pretty severe food allergies. I dreaded adding another level of complication to our family meal-planning. I met with a nutritionist who helped me plan meals that would work for all three of us.

It turned out to be totally doable. I just had to adapt our existing system for my new diet with GD. I remember eating a lot of vegetables and lean protein, which we all could enjoy.

The other part was that I used a glucose meter to stick my finger and test my blood sugar after every meal. I kept track of my carb intake and blood sugar levels and sent the results to my endocrinologist every week.

What you do when you’re pregnant has a direct effect on your baby. Having GD made me so much more aware of that.

But then your blood sugar levels were still high. What happened next?

Cathy: The doctors could tell from my charts that my healthy eating wasn’t working on its own. So I started insulin injections. I had never given myself shots before – but there I was, doing it once a day. And that did the trick, getting my blood sugar levels to where they needed to be.

Was there any impact on your delivery or the baby’s health?

Cathy: I had more frequent nonstress tests in the last trimester. And it was best for me to deliver on or before my due date because GD can cause babies to be born larger. I had an induction scheduled for the latest date possible, but Willa came on her own in a quick, intense labor and delivery.

She was actually born on the small side, under 7 pounds, but with no complications. One of the delivery nurses mentioned I must have done a good job controlling my blood sugar! Now Willa’s a healthy 9-year-old.

How did GD affect your feelings about your pregnancy?

Cathy: What you do when you’re pregnant has a direct effect on your baby. Having GD made me so much more aware of that.  If I ate too much or the wrong things, it wasn’t just going to make me sick, it was going to make her sick. For example, if I ate a yogurt with a little too much added sugar – yep, 20 to 30 minutes later, my blood sugar would be high.

I remember splurging on a small piece of cake at my baby shower at work. I had been watching my diet so carefully for weeks, and that cake made me feel so physically terrible. My heart was pounding! I was fascinated with the instant feedback, learning how certain foods would impact my body. Having that information gave me a sense of progress and made the whole thing feel easier. (I aspire to keep eating that way!)

What would you tell someone who has GD?

Cathy: It seems like a lot, and it is. Take it one step at a time. Tackle what you can. Everyone wants a good outcome, and there are many treatment options available to help ensure that.


Information gathered from

Hotflashes | February 2021

What Can Cause Gestational Diabetes?

The cause of gestational diabetes is unknown. Thousands of women are affected every year, nearly ten percent of pregnancies in America. We do know that the placenta supports the baby as it grows. Sometimes, these hormones also block the action of the mother’s insulin to her body and it causes a problem called insulin resistance. This insulin resistance makes it hard for the mother’s body to use insulin. And this means that she may need up to three times as much insulin to compensate.

Gestational diabetes can also start when the mother’s body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose can’t leave the blood and be changed into energy. When glucose builds up in the blood, it’s called hyperglycemia.

Whatever the cause, you can work with your doctor to come up with a plan and maintain a healthy pregnancy through birth. Ask questions. Ask for help. There are many ways to combat gestational diabetes.



Pomegranate Hype

Technically considered a berry, every pomegranate bulb contains upwards of 600 arils (a.k.a. seeds), which have a unique sweet-tart flavor. Good to know, considering the arils are the only part of a pomegranate you eat.

Unlike other trendy foods, pomegranate nutrition is just as legit as its reputation. The winter fruit is packed with polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that help protect your body’s cells from free-radical damage linked to inflammation, signs of aging, and certain cancers. Fun fact: It’s got more antioxidants than green tea!

Admittedly, pomegranate is higher in sugar than other fruits (a cup of raspberries, for example, has only five grams). But it also has a LOT of fiber, which can help keep your blood sugar levels more balanced. Whether you’re pounding pom seeds by the fistful or incorporating them into dishes, they’re the ultimate palate pleaser.

Try out a few of these ideas

  • Blend them into a smoothie like you would any berry.
  • Toss them into salads to add crunch, texture, and color.
  • Sprinkle them over yogurt or oatmeal.
  • Use them as garnish for festive holiday cocktails or mocktails.



Manage Blood Sugar Spikes After Meals

If you’re trying to manage diabetes, you already know it’s important to keep track of your blood sugar levels. But how do you handle a spike that comes after you eat? It’s called “postprandial” blood glucose, and if you take some simple steps, you can get it under control and help avoid health problems.

Take these tips before and after meals to manage blood sugar spikes after meals.

  • Keep blood sugar in check before meals. That way, even if it goes up after you eat, it won’t be so dramatic.
  • Watch what you eat. Limit sweets, white bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes. They tend to trigger post-meal spikes.
  • The type of fat you eat may play a role, as well. One study shows you may be able to curb blood sugar spikes after you eat if you skip foods with lots of butter and choose a meal made with a little olive oil instead.
  • Eat breakfast every morning. Even when you’re in a hurry to get out the door, don’t be tempted to skip it. A study shows that folks with diabetes who don’t eat breakfast get higher blood sugar spikes after lunch and dinner. The ideal morning meal? It might just be one that’s packed with protein. A small study shows that when people ate a 500-calorie breakfast that was 35% protein, their post-meal blood sugar levels were lower than those who started their day with high-carb food. But check with your doctor to see what’s right for you.
  • Go for an after-dinner walk. It’s a healthy habit for everyone, but if you have diabetes, it’s also a good way to burn extra glucose from a meal.


COVID-19 Update

As the number of COVID cases continues to rise, we want to remind you to stay safe. At The Veranda, we are doing our part to keep our patients safe by being selective with appointment times, social distancing in our waiting areas, separating sick and well patients, and even allowing patients to remote check-in while waiting in their cars. Our goal is to continue to serve our patients and keep them safe at the same time. In the end, we are all in the same team and we will get through this. If you have any Covid symptoms like cough, fever, sore throat, loss sense of taste or smell, fatigue etc. please call the office to speak with a nurse. From there, we will give you instructions on how and when, we can treat you safely and quickly.

Don’t Forget…We have the Most Accurate Rapid Test in Town!
Our top priority at The Veranda is to keep our patients and their families healthy by providing them the most comprehensive medical testing and technology. We are taking another step to ensure your family and our community is safe from the spread of COVID-19. Back in October we started providing rapid testing for patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or to those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. We are the only facility in town currently offering the Abbot ID Now test, it is the MOST ACCURATE TEST IN TOWN with 95% accuracy and requires no need for a backup test. A specimen is still obtained through nasal swab, and only takes 13-minutes once processed to produce a result.
We are requiring all patients to make an appointment for the test. Most appointments can be made the day you start experiencing symptoms, so please call (229) 883-7010 right way if you feel ill, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Hotflashes | January 2021

Bath Time Parenting Hack

There comes a point in every day, when you have young kids, where everyone is having a bit of a moment. Mom is at her end and the kids need an activity. Cue the bubbles! Bath time is a great way to entertain the kiddos while mom takes a much-needed break. So, when you feel a tantrum or breakdown coming, start filling up the tub, drop in some essential oils and let the water work its magic.

It’s also the perfect time for messy, sticky snacks, saving your furniture and children from disaster. No need for clean-up because the kids are already in the bath. Having an afternoon bath lined up is an easy way to say yes to messy crafts like finger painting as well.

Possibly the best reason to fill up the tub is it kills endless afternoons and saves time at night for more family time. So, get that bath in early, snuggle up on the couch with your jammies and have a family movie or game night. Win, win!


Study Shows Teens Feeling Less Anxiety During Lockdown

A group of researchers in South West England suspected that young teens who were remote schooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic might be feeling more anxiety. They reasoned that many teens would be feeling worried about friends and family becoming ill. Also, they would have less social support due to being isolated at home. When they conducted a survey, however, what they found was surprising to them: the students were actually experiencing less anxiety. In addition, they were experiencing other benefits, such as a greater feeling of well-being and more connection to their schools.

  • A new study of over 1,000 students found that many young teens are feeling less anxiety, not more, during remote learning due to the pandemic.
  • The study found that 54 percent of 13- to 14-year-old girls were at risk of anxiety prior to the pandemic, but that figure dropped by 10 percent during lockdown.
  • That figure dropped from 26 percent to 18 percent for boys in the same age group as well.
  • Many students also reported feeling a greater connection to their schools with increased opportunities to talk with their teachers.



Heart Disease Top Cause of Death in Women

Heart disease is the leading cause of death of women in the United States. But if you ask most American women, a surprisingly low number would not know that fact, according to new research. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in every 5 female deaths are linked to heart disease.

The American Heart Association found that despite the risk, many women are unaware of the signs of heart attack and stroke or the risk heart disease poses. While chest discomfort is common, they may experience other symptoms that are less associated with heart attacks including dizziness, shortness of breath, or nausea. Know the signs, because they can be different in women.

Other symptoms can include:

  • pain or discomfort in the back, jaw, stomach or both arms
  • breaking out into a cold sweat
  • shortness of breath with or without chest pain
  • vomiting
  • chest pain

Hotflashes | December 2020

Creating Holiday Boundaries for Those with Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses come with their own sets of issues, especially during the holidays. The pressures from family and friends not dealing with your health issues can be heavy. Setting boundaries for yourself and informing your loved ones can help everyone, especially those living with chronic illnesses, enjoy the holidays together. Try starting with assessing these key issues and how you can strategize your holiday plans around your health needs.

Create time for rest: Some of us feel pressure to “keep up” energetically with our loved ones who aren’t living with chronic illness, and that pressure can lead us to disconnect from our needs and breach our own boundaries. Know your limits.

Communicate your expectations: Whether you decide to send a thoughtful group email, or have individual conversations with a few key people, being clear about your needs ahead of time can help everyone support you.

Consider set boundaries and moveable boundaries: decide where your boundaries may be more solid to serve you, and where you’re open to giving them more flexibility from time to time.


Beating Your Bloating During Pregnancy

Blame your hormones…well somewhat. Your body’s making more of estrogen and progesterone now to relax smooth muscle tissue. Unfortunately, this causes your gastrointestinal tract to relax a little too much, leading to side effects like bloating, indigestion, constipation, stomachaches and, yes, all that horrific gas you’ve been having lately. But, believe it or not, you could actually be adding to your own discomfort just by what you’re eating or what you wear. Here’s a list of the most common causes of bloating and indigestion during pregnancy.

• Eating greasy, fatty, or highly seasoned foods
• Eating or drinking too much caffeine—chocolate, soda, coffee, or other drinks
• Eating big meals
• Eating too fast
• Lying down/not moving much after eating
• Wearing restricting clothing

Sound familiar? Try these tips to help cut back on the bloating:
• Eat several small meals throughout the day
• Pace yourself while eating and drink less during each meal
• Drink water throughout the day and avoid caffeinated drinks
• Try to avoid lying down following a meal. But if you’re totally pooped, at least prop up your upper body with some pillows when you lie down.
• Wear loose and comfy clothing


Start New Traditions for the 2020 Holidays

The year has been very hard and many of us would rather forget it. However, the best family experiences, regardless of circumstance, are chronicled to create lasting memories. Christmas 2020 should be no different. We can use the season to salvage some good memories by using the unique circumstances to create new ones.

Create a Christmas 2020 scrapbook. Use this year’s season as the chance to start a scrap booking tradition.

Cue up an epic Christmas movie lineup. Make a list of must-watch Christmas movies for the family. This year’s twist? Include extended family members in this family activity via Zoom. For more fun, include extended family members in the movie compilation. This ensures that there’s something for everyone.

Camp out under the Christmas tree. Have a staycation one night under the Christmas tree and enjoy the lights while sipping hot cocoa before bed.

Go virtual with your Christmas greetings. Everything else is already virtual, why not Christmas cards? Record videos, include a TikTok, and even shots of the family pets. These will be a source of love, warmth, and hilarity for years to come.

Try a Christmas cookie swap. Get a couple of family members in on the plan, then mail cookies to each other.

HOTFLASHES | November 2020

National Diabetes Awareness Month

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), National Diabetes Month was actually established 40 years ago in 1975, but the U.S. presidents didn’t start passing proclamations recognizing November as “diabetes month” until the early 1980s. This month is of course a time when diabetes organizations of all sizes launch awareness efforts, initiatives and campaigns, and the diabetes community comes together to share stories about this condition with the general public.

34.2 million Americans have diabetes, and one in five of those people don’t even know they have it. The need for diabetes awareness month is more important than ever because of the high-stakes issues of affordability and access along with increased risk of death for those with diabetes. Eight in ten people have prediabetes, and can cut their chances of getting diabetes in half with the proper diet and exercise. Regular routine physicals are the best way to stay up to date on your healthcare. Your doctor can run important tests and help you get back on track if anything suspect comes back.

If you or a loved one has diabetes, there are numerous online resources to help cover your medical supplies, advise you on exercise programs and even provide meal ideas to keep you on the right track. Diabetes is a serious medical condition and should be treated accordingly. Make this your month!


Break You Binging Cycle

Everyone is guilty of binge watching a series every now and then, but with social distancing many of have turned to streaming services for our entertainment…and now it’s becoming a problem for our health, The key to binge-watching is to make it an occasional pleasure and not an everyday event. However, breaking the bingeing cycle may be more difficult for some than for others, especially for people who are bordering on the unregulated binge area.

Here are a few tips to help break the habit:

Break out of your couch potato habits and try to be more active: Get up after an episode and stretch or watch programs while on a treadmill or other exercise equipment.

For those inclined to reach for a snack and beverage during a binge, opt for berries, grapes, and other fruits, and skip the sugar and alcohol.

Be mindful of bingeing hours, stick to a time window such as 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to allow for “emotional cooling” before bedtime.

Try to spread out consumption over the week rather than chunks at a time; not only does this prolong the pleasure derived from streaming favorite shows, but it may also help bingers to switch to more physical activities and social connections.

Most importantly, the next time you reach for the remote, remember…everything in moderation.


What’s the Buzz About Honey?

Nutritionally speaking, raw honey contains very small amounts of a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and disease-fighting antioxidants that, theoretically, make it more healthful than granulated white sugar. Compared with granulated sugar, honey is sweeter, higher in calories, and higher in carbs and total sugars.

One tablespoon (tbsp) honey, equal to 21 grams, provides about 60 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrates (16 to 17 g from sugar), while 1 tbsp granulated sugar provides 49 calories and 13 g carbohydrates (13 g from sugar).

Honey’s natural antibacterial qualities are well known. When modern antibiotics were developed, medicinal use of honey fell out of favor. But with the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in recent decades, researchers are looking anew at honey’s antibacterial qualities. Because bacteria do not generally seem to develop resistance to honey, it has therapeutic potential for use as a broad-spectrum antibiotic (one that can treat different types of infections). Just be sure to follow your doctor’s orders.

Most Accurate Rapid Test in Town

Our top priority at The Veranda is to keep our patients and their families healthy by providing them the most comprehensive medical testing and technology. We are taking another step to ensure your family and our community is safe from the spread of COVID-19. On October 12, we will start providing rapid testing for patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or to those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. We are the only facility in town currently offering the Abbot ID Now test, it is the MOST ACCURATE TEST IN TOWN with 95% accuracy and requires no need for a backup test. A specimen is still obtained through nasal swab, and only takes 13-minutes once processed to produce a result.

We are requiring all patients to make an appointment for the test. Most appointments can be made the day you start experiencing symptoms, so please call (229) 883-7010 right way if you feel ill, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19.

HOTFLASHES | October 2020

Healthy Life with Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid gland, occurs when your thyroid produces too much thyroxine. This can result in a multitude of symptoms, including fatigue and insomnia, unintentional weight loss, rapid heart rate, and more. Once your hyperthyroidism is under control, your symptoms will improve, too.

Still, an overactive thyroid can be challenging to treat. Unlike hypothyroidism, (underactive thyroid) which involves taking thyroid hormone replacements, hyperthyroidism requires stopping the thyroid from making too many hormones. Treatments can include radioactive iodine, anti-thyroid drugs, and sometimes surgery.

Despite any hype you might read on the internet, there is no “natural cure” for hyperthyroidism. Still, you can embark on diet and lifestyle changes that can support thyroid treatments — some of these can even help you manage your symptoms and feel better.


Immunity Support for the Long Game

Recalibrating your immunity for the long game comes down to the classic health habits you hear time and time again: sleep, stress reduction, and sweating it out. The key is doing all of these to at least some degree and not expecting one to be the ultimate cure-all. “You won’t make your immune system healthier in a week by pumping yourself with vitamins because someone close to you is sick,” says E. John Wherry, PhD, director of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania. “But you absolutely can help your immunity by making certain lifestyle changes.”

Sleep—specifically getting at least seven hours most nights—might be the Most Important Thing. People who get six hours of shut-eye a night or less for one week were about four times more likely to catch a cold when exposed to a virus compared to those who got more than seven hours, according to a study published in the journal Sleep.

Exercise Smarter– Folks who exercise regularly develop more T cells (those destroyer white blood cells) than their sedentary peers, a recent study found. It also helps modulate the stress hormone cortisol, which, when raised, leads to inflammatory activity.

Stress Less– It’s well established that stress prompts the release of cortisol, that fight-or-flight hormone that enables you to run for your life. When cortisol is high, your immune system isn’t as active, your body sends all of its resources to the thing it thinks is most likely to kill you, and away from other stuff, like your protective network. Lean into the things that help you during your most stressful moments. Whether it is meditating, breathing exercises, practicing gratitude or a mantra, find what helps you the most and do it!


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread


1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg*

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger*

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar

1 and 1/2 cups (340g) pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)

1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil

1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice*

2/3 cup (120g) semi-sweet chocolate chips*


Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) degrees. Lowering the oven rack prevents the top of your bread from browning too much too soon. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt together until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, oil, and orange juice. Pour these wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. There will be a few lumps. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent the top from getting too brown. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs. This may be before or after 60-65 minutes depending on your oven, so begin checking every 5 minutes at the 55 minute mark or so.

Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing and slicing. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to about 10 days.

Flu Shots Now Available

This year, it’s more important than ever, to get a flu shot.  Flu season begins in October and can last until May. That means our community will be fighting the Flu and COVID-19 at the same time. With both the Flu and COVID having similar symptoms like, fever, cough, and difficulty breathing its more important than ever to get a flu vaccine to protect yourself and keep our healthcare system from being overburdened. Getting vaccinated yourself can also help protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months receive a flu vaccine especially those with chronic conditions, pregnant women and people over the age of 65.

At The Veranda, we are here to help. Schedule your flu vaccine today or request one at your next visit. Flu vaccinations are covered by most insurance companies.

For more information or to make an appointment, call The Veranda at 229-883-7010 or log on to your patient portal to request an appointment.

Get your flu shot today!

HOTFLASHES | September 2020

Let’s get Figgy

It’s fig season – but you better hurry and enjoy the tiny fruit while you can because fig season only goes through October. Not only is this small fruit a delight to eat, but it packs 7 percent of a person’s daily allowance of fiber. They are a great source of polyphenols, which can decrease the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The opportunities to use figs during mealtimes are endless: add sliced figs to yogurt or oatmeal, toss them into a salad, or place them on charcuterie boards next to your favorite salty cheese. One of our favorites is bacon-wrapped figs! Simply wrap each fig with half a slice of bacon and bake in a 425-degree oven until the bacon is nice and crispy. Serve warm for the best combination of sweet and salty you’ve ever tasted.


Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and that gives you the opportunity to have a crucial conversation with the men in your life. An estimated 192,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. That’s one new case every 3 minutes and another death from prostate cancer every 16 minutes. Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men in the U.S. – more likely to occur than colon, kidney, melanoma, and stomach cancers combined. (

Although prostate cancer can be silent, there are some common signs and symptoms such as frequent urination, difficulty in starting urination, difficulty holding urine, weakened or interrupted urine flow, burning or pain when urinating, blood in urine or pain and stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs. If a man is experiencing these symptoms, he needs to make an appointment with his doctor.

Screening for prostate cancer is easy, whether it’s done by a blood test or physical exam. Prostate cancer has a very high cure rate of nearly 100% if detected early. Encourage your husband, father, brothers, and friends to talk to his doctor about regular screening. It could save his life!


Helping Your Child with Depression

Let’s face it – being a teenager in the year 2020 is a lot harder than it was in the 80s and 90s. Sure, every teen goes through a moody phase, but depression is more than moodiness. It is estimated that one in five adolescents will suffer from depression; however, most never receive the help they need. We hope to provide some insight into signs and symptoms as well as things parents can do to help.


What are the signs and symptoms of teen depression? It is important to understand depression in teens is not the same as depression in adults. Teen depression may not manifest as sadness, rather in irritability, anger, and agitation. Other common signs are unexplained aches and pains, extreme sensitivity to criticism, and withdrawal from some – but not all – people. Teens lack the capacity to identify their state as depression, so it is important that a parent step in to advocate for them.

How can a parent help a depressed teen? Remember, depression is not a phase. It is a real issue that needs to be addressed. If you suspect your teen is depressed, bring it up to them in a loving way with no judgment. Don’t ask a lot of questions – just listen and acknowledge their feelings. If your teen will not open up, trust your gut, and consult a professional.

What are some practical tips to help a teen navigate depression?

  • A depressed teen has the tendency to withdraw from friends and activities they used to enjoy. Gently encourage them to connect again by making face-to-face conversations a priority, getting them involved in an activity that fosters their talent or volunteering for a cause important to them.
  • The link between physical and mental health cannot be denied. Lack of exercise and a poor diet will make depression worse. Help your teen become physically active, limit their screen time, encourage sleep, and provide healthy meals.
  • Stay active and involved in their treatment, from attending doctor’s appointments to helping with medication. Depression is not a straight and narrow road. It’s bumpy and can last for a while. Be patient and celebrate the wins along the way!


HOTFLASHES | August 2020

A Surprising Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer’s

Finding a definitive cause and cure for Alzheimer’s disease continues to leave scientists frustrated while the number of Americans diagnosed with the disease continues to rise – now approaching six million. Families struggle under the weight of caring for loved ones with the debilitating disease while the science community continues searching for answers.

One recent discovery is interesting and worthy of great consideration – the diabetes connection. It is estimated that thirty million Americans have type 2 diabetes – that’s one in ten people – and the number continues to rise. Scientists are still investigating the potential links, but here is what they know now:

·  Type 2 diabetes affects the ability of the brain and the body’s ability to process sugar and produce insulin
·  High blood sugar levels cause inflammation throughout the entire body – including the brain. Studies have shown high levels of inflammation in those with Alzheimer’s.
·  The damage to blood vessels as a result of diabetes reducing blood flow can lead to vascular dementia which some scientist believes to be a factor in developing Alzheimer’s disease.
While the jury is still out on the link between sugar and Alzheimer’s, one thing is sure – taking the steps necessary to prevent type 2 diabetes will benefit us all in the long run.


Debunking Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine condition that affects up to 27 percent of women ages 15-44 in which hormone levels are out of balance, throwing off ovulation and causing irregular periods. The main hormones affected are insulin and androgen, also known as the “male hormone” – however, it is also produced at lower levels in women. PCOS is typically characterized by irregular periods, hair growth on the face or chin, hair loss, acne, weight gain, and trouble getting pregnant without medical intervention.

Diagnosing PCOS can be frustrating as there is no one diagnostic tool. Your physician will work to put together all the factual pieces of test results, your family history, and symptoms. Equally frustrating is the fact that there is no cure for PCOS; rather, it can be successfully managed and treated. Living a full and healthy life with PCOS is achievable, but it’s important to listen to your doctor and ignore the fake news! Common misconceptions about PCOS include:

1.   It means you’re infertile. The number of your eggs and their quality is not affected by PCOS; however, medication may be needed to help your body release them on a regular basis.
2.   It only requires treatment if you’re trying to have a baby. Because of the hormone imbalances caused by PCOS, the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, and cancer are increased, so it’s important that you seek treatment.
3.   It causes cysts on ovaries. While the name may be confusing, PCOS doesn’t involve cysts at all; rather, it causes the growth of follicles.
4.   It causes pain. Ovary follicles on women with PCOS only measure between 2 to 10 millimeters, and since they do not rupture, they don’t cause pain as a cyst would.
5.   It causes your hormone levels to be that of a man. While PCOS does increase levels of testosterone in women, they are nowhere near the levels of a man.


The Best All-Natural Health & Beauty Ingredients

From your great-grandmother’s secret ingredient to the tips your friends are sharing on Instagram, it seems that everyone has an opinion about which all-natural beauty products are the best. Who do you listen to in your quest to clean up your health and beauty products? We have compiled a list of top ingredients that are tried and true.
Coconut oil for hydration and anti-inflammatory benefits. Science has shown that extra virgin coconut oil can suppress inflammation and enhance the skin’s protective function. Use it to moisturize skin and soothe diseases like eczema and psoriasis. Be careful – it can cause acne-prone skin to worsen.

Green tea for anti-aging. People have been drinking green tea for years, but there are also benefits to using it topically. Thanks to the polyphenols. Green tea can soothe the skin after a sunburn and help fight the signs of sun damage.
Oatmeal to decrease inflammation. Grandma might have been right about oatmeal baths for rashes and eczema, but you can’t use just any old oatmeal. The size and quality of the oats matter. Look for products that contain colloidal oatmeal, which is gentle and safe.

Soy to improve collagen production and brighten aging skin. The soybean produces a lot for a small legume – antioxidants, fatty acids, isoflavones, and estrogens or phytoestrogens that help with skin issues for menopausal women. As a woman goes through menopause, the decrease in estrogen the body produces results in skin that has lost its brightness. Topical treatments using products containing soy can help by decreasing pigmentation and improving collagen formation.

HOTFLASHES | July 2020

Sunscreen Specifics

Summertime means more time spent outdoors – and more sunscreen that should be used. If you’re like us, all of the information out there about sunscreen can be confusing. What’s the right SPF? Spray or lotion? Too much or too little? We’ve done the research for you, and some of our findings might surprise you.

When it comes to the amount of sunscreen – you probably aren’t wearing enough. Products that contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide tend to be thicker, which can trick you into thinking you’re covered. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends one ounce (think shot glass) of sunscreen applied every two hours.

Avoid sunscreen that contains oxybenzone, known to disrupt hormone balance, or vitamin A, which does not interact well with sunlight and may even trigger cancer-producing cells when exposed to the sun.

Don’t be misled by extreme SPF claims. The FDA says they “do not have adequate data demonstrating that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide additional protection.” Most experts agree – stick with an SPF between 30-50.

Spray-on sunscreens might be more efficient, but you run the risk of an uneven application resulting in sunburn. Plus, the airborne chemicals pose an inhalation risk to children and adults.

Don’t get burned by water-resistant claims. It’s best to reapply sunscreen after every swim!

And finally, it’s a misconception that sunscreen alone will prevent skin cancer. Wear a floppy hat to cover your face and buy a cute beach umbrella to sit under. You’ll thank yourself later!



What’s in Your Beach Bag?

Now that you’re clear on the sunscreen basics, it’s time to think about beach bag essentials for your family vacation. Try including these items in your bag for an easier, breezier day at the beach.

Baby Powder – Don’t let sand irritate you or your crew. Rub baby powder over sand-covered skin and watch it fall right off!

Rash Guard items – If you have ocean-swimmers, this is a must! Look for rash guard apparel and topical application sticks that reduce friction.

Resealable sandwich bags – Not only can these plastic bags be used to collect shells, but they serve as a smartphone protector. Simply seal your phone in the bag – it will protect it from sand, water, and sunscreen – and will still be functional through the clear plastic!

Wet wipes – A day at the beach can be messy. Use wet wipes to clean sticky faces and hands.

Lip Balm Sunscreen – Don’t forget to protect your lips from damaging sun rays. Reapply often throughout the day.

Taking the OUCH out of shots

Our moms said it to us when we were children, and chances are, we’ve said it to our kids too, – “This won’t hurt a bit.” Immunizations are a vital part of a child’s health, but the reality is that, for kids, needles can be scary. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to help ease the pain of shots.

Provide a distraction such as playing with a new toy, singing a song, reciting ABCs, or blowing bubbles.

One study has shown that coughing once before and once during vaccination can reduce painful reactions. Tell your child to blow out imaginary candles on a birthday cake or take a colorful pinwheel for your child to blow on during the injection.

For babies, make sure you bring a pacifier. Studies have shown that pain is reduced when infants suck on a pacifier before, during, and after a shot.

The most important thing a parent can do to help ease the pain and stress of a shot is to stay calm. Long “pep- talks” meant to prep your child for their immunization is futile and will only lead to more stress as your child pleads his case with growing intensity. It’s best to team up with your pediatrician to keep the child calm and accomplish the task at hand.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

The Veranda now has the capability to perform in-house COVID-19 Antibody Testing.

Limited Time Walk-Up Antibody Testing at The Veranda
June 8 -11th from 1PM – 4PM
No Appointment Required | Veranda Patients Only

A COVID-19 Antibody test looks for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, which are proteins made in response to a COVID-19 infection. Antibodies are detected in the blood of people who are tested after an infection; they show an immune response to the infection.

The Veranda has chosen to use the FDA-approved Beckman Coulter’s Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) COVID-19 Antibody test. This test will be performed in our own high-complexity CLIA certified lab by our own trained certified lab technicians. In the studies for the Beckman Coulter’s COVID-19 IgG antibody test, the test showed 99.1% clinical sensitivity at day 14 and 100% at day 18. In other words, this is a very accurate test with rare false positives and false negatives with results in 24 hours or less.

For your convenience, there is no appointment needed for the antibody testing and your labs will be drawn in our outdoor clinic area (the covered pavilion on the right of the building) and you will not need to come inside The Veranda.


Important things for you to know:

  1. This test is conducted via blood draw.
  2. Masks are required at the outdoor clinic and inside The Veranda at all times.
  3. No appointment is necessary.
  4. Results in 24 hours or less. Patients can access results via NEW patient portal account with Priva. If you do not have a portal, you can request a be put on the call list but this may delay you getting your results.
  5. This test can be filed with your insurance company.
  6. During walk-in lab testing, we will ONLY be doing the COVID-19 Antibody test and you will NOT be seen by a provider.
  7. This test is not meant to be used to screen for a current, active COVID-19 infection. If you think you currently have COVID-19, you should contact your doctor for assessment and potential nasal swab testing.

Who Qualifies for the COVID-19 IgG Antibody Test? Click Here

Interpreting The Results: What do they mean? Click Here

Purpose of the COVID-19 Antibody Test
At this time, the full use of the results of this test is unknown. It is in our opinion that, until a vaccine or cure for COVID-19 is available, this is one of the few tools available to us in the reopening of our communities and businesses, as we do not currently know when this pandemic will end. Results of this test should be used in addition to the recommended safety precautions. We do not know if the antibodies that result from COVID-19 will provide someone with protection (immunity) from getting the infection again. If antibodies do provide immunity, we don’t know how much antibody is protective or how long protection might last. Scientists are currently conducting studies to answer these questions. Antibody tests are important for detecting previous infections in people who had few or no symptoms.


HOTFLASHES | June 2020

Sleep Health

When it comes to your health, getting a good night’s rest is just as important as diet and exercise. Sleep affects everything from hormones to brain function and can directly affect your weight. You don’t have to be an expert to realize that quality sleep has declined in recent years for a variety of reasons thanks to our modern age – but there are things we can do to take back control of our sleep.

Open the windows and allow natural light to shine during the day. Our bodies were designed with an internal clock called the circadian rhythm, which helps you stay awake and know when it’s time to go to sleep. Natural bright light keeps your circadian rhythm healthy, which will increase daytime energy and help bring about better sleep at night.

While blue light during the day can be helpful, exposure at night can wreck your sleep by reducing the brain’s production of natural melatonin – the hormone that helps you fall asleep. Televisions, laptops, and smartphones are the electronic culprits that increase our nighttime exposure to blue light. Consider wearing blue light blocking glasses at night – or even better – avoid these things at least two hours before bedtime.

Caffeine has several health benefits, but for those who suffer from lack of sleep, the cut off for caffeine intake must be 6-8 hours before bedtime. That’s how long caffeine can remain in your bloodstream. If you must have a cup of coffee before bed, make it decaf!

Of course, when you’ve tried everything and failed – it’s time to see a doctor. You might have sleep apnea – a disorder which causes inconsistent and interrupted breathing during sleep. This condition commonly affects both men and women. Call your physician to discuss your next steps toward better sleep!



Packing Your Hospital Bag – Don’t forget DAD!

For weeks you’ve been packing the infamous hospital bag – gowns for mom, lotions and self-care items, baby products, and that cute coming home outfit for your newborn. But there’s one person you might be overlooking – Dad! While you’ve been busy growing a human, he’s been right by your side and will play an important role in the hospital. It will mean a lot to him to have a few of his favorite things in the hospital too. Here are a few ideas:

Cash and coins. There may be a lot of waiting time for dad while you’re in labor. Make sure he has enough money on hand to visit the cafeteria or nearest snack machine in a pinch.

Favorite snacks. You might not know it until the big day, but dad might tend to stress-eat. Pack his bag with protein bars, fruit, or other favorite healthy snacks.

New dads need showers too! Make sure his shampoo, body wash, toothbrush, and toothpaste are packed alongside yours.

Books or magazines. There can be a lot of downtime in the hospital as you hurry up and wait. Make sure he has something to occupy his mind, so the nerves don’t take over.

New fathers – especially first-time dads – are nervous. These little acts of kindness will show your appreciation and will let him know you think he’s going to be an awesome dad!



Summer Peach Sorbet

Nothing says summer in the south like a good batch of fresh, ripe Georgia peaches! Whether you are making an after-dinner treat for your family or bringing along dessert for your neighbor’s back yard barbeque, peach sorbet is a no brainer! A plus? It’s dairy-free and only has four ingredients!

6 large ripe Georgia peaches

¾ cup sugar

1 tsp. of fresh lemon juice

A pinch of salt

Peel and slice peaches. Freeze until they are firm. Add to a food blender along with sugar, water, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately or freeze for up to three days.

New Phone System Changes

Changes to Help Us Help You!

We have made several changes in the past few days in how we are managing incoming calls. Our goal is to decrease your on-hold wait time and get your needs met faster. The changes have decreased the average wait time significantly.

What you need to know:

There is now a menu of options. From appointments to refills, you can select the reason for your call and get routed to the correct person faster.

In the case of prescription refills, you will be connected to a voicemail with instructions to leave your information and details. Make sure you don’t wait until your medicine is completely out before calling for a refill. This will ensure there is no lapse in your prescription needs.

Our old system was very frustrating. But we are committed to making this process easier for our patients. We want every part of your visit to have the same attention to detail you expect when you meet with your provider. The phone system is no different!


Summer Safety for Kids

Even with the uncertain times, summer weather is still quickly approaching. Before you set foot on some summer fun, it’s important to make sure the kiddos stay safe. Let’s go over the top three areas of summer that have the potential to be hazardous and the steps you can take to ensure safety.

Water Safety. While swimming and other water activities are great ways for kids to stay active during the summer, precautions are necessary to keep them safe.

• If possible, take your children to swimming lessons.

• Make sure there is always an adult to supervise water fun.

• When boating, always make sure your child is wearing a life jacket.

Sun Safety. It only takes a few serious sunburns to produce skin cancer later in life. Adults must step in to make sure kids are protected from the damage of UV rays when outdoors.

• Stay in the shade as much as possible.

• When possible, dress your child in long sleeve shirts and pants.

• Hats and sunglasses are not only cool, but they go a long way to protect!

• Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 every time your child goes outside. Apply 30 minutes before exposure and reapply as needed based on activity.

Home Safety. Injuries among kids are common in the summer months, and with a little precaution, some of them can be prevented.

• Train your child on age-appropriate tasks such as using a stove, kitchen utensils, and other appliances.

• Make sure everyone in the family knows how to prevent house fires and how to respond should one occur.

• Take a look at your outside playground and repair or replace battered playsets.


The Incredible Edible Egg

In the 1970s, our healthcare system began to put great focus on the role of cholesterol in heart disease. It was said that eggs, which are high in cholesterol, should be very limited in one’s diet. It seemed logical that a food high in cholesterol could cause an increase of cholesterol – but new research shows this simply isn’t true. One study found that people who ate more than seven eggs per week saw an increase in HDL cholesterol, which has protective properties against bad cholesterol (LDL). There is evidence that suggests eating two eggs per day can actually be beneficial in lowering risk factors for heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

The egg, which is the most affordable and available food on Earth, is also one of the most nutritious! It contains Vitamin A, folate, Vitamins B5, B12 and B2, Phosphorous, Selenium, Vitamin D, and choline. It sounds to us that the egg is everything it’s cracked up to be!


Happy Mother’s Day – It’s all about YOU!

Women all across the globe are busy with careers, relationships, home, and children – but most are putting themselves on the back burner. In order to keep all those plates spinning, it’s crucial that you put yourself first! When it comes to women’s health, there are a few common issues that tend to be ignored but shouldn’t.

  1. Your annual physical is the most important appointment you’ll keep all year. This time spent with your physician is vital to ensure your body is functioning properly, from blood pressure to hormone levels.
  2. It may seem like that shortness of breath is related to inactivity on your part, but with heart disease being the number one killer among women, don’t chance it. If you’ve noticed shortness of breath, back or jaw pain, nausea, chest pain, or cold sweats, seek medical attention immediately!
  3. Pelvic issues such as heavy, painful periods, abnormal vaginal bleeding, or painful intercourse are not issues that should be tolerated. These conditions can be treated, and more testing needs to be done to make sure there isn’t a more serious underlying problem.
  4. Skin changes should never be ignored. A mole or freckle that has changed color or shape needs to be seen by a physician. Checking your skin should be as routine as checking your breasts.
  5. Speaking of breast checks – performing a breast self-exam is one of the easiest things you should be doing on a regular basis. Take the time during your morning shower to check for lumps, changes in size, shape, or skin. Notify your doctor of anything unusual and, most importantly – keep your annual mammogram appointment!

Welcome Dr. Donna Graf

Welcome to The Veranda Dr. Graf!

We are excited to announce Donna Graf, MD, MBA, FACOG will be joining our Obstetrical and Gynecological team at The Veranda.

A part of the Albany community for more than 22 years, Dr. Graf has extensive experience in serving women and their families. From starting a family to managing women’s health at any age, Dr. Graf is a understanding physician dedicated to the health and well-being of her patients.She is an amazing addition to our OB-GYN team and we welcome her and her patients to The Veranda.

Dr. Graf will begin seeing patients on May 26th at The Veranda. We are currently taking appointments for her schedule. Please contact us at 229-883-7010.

Veranda friends help us welcome her to our family.

We Are Members of Privia Medical Group

As of April 21, 2020, we are proud members of Privia Medical Group!

Introducing Judy Y. Yeh, MD

Judy Y. Yeh, MD- Albany’s Only Urogynecologist

Judy Y. Yeh, MD focuses on treatment of pelvic floor disorders, such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, overactive bladder, and recurrent urinary tract infections.


3D Mammography

The Veranda is excited to introduce new 3D Mammography for breast cancer screening! With the most advanced mammography technology in Southwest Georgia, The Veranda is proud to offer patients the latest and most accurate in imaging technology.

Because doctors are able to see breast tissue in greater detail with 3D Mammograms, there is more than a 40% higher rate of detecting cancer in earlier, treatable stages. And, with improved accuracy of detecting or ruling out breast cancer, you’ll have fewer false alarms and less chance of having to come back for repeat exams. Plus, the 3D offers patients a more comfortable screening process.

Don’t delay! You don’t need a referral from another doctor. You can schedule your appointment with The Veranda today and experience the difference for yourself.

Remembering Our Friend & Colleague

William A. Aultman, M.D., FACOG

It is with a very sad heart we say goodbye to a part of The Veranda family. For more than 16 years, Dr. William “Will” Aultman served as an OB-GYN here at The Veranda. He was dedicated to improving the lives of his each of patients.

Six years ago, Dr. Aultman was diagnosed with neurological disease. Despite the challenges, the disease never tarnished his perfection of manners and grace as a true southern gentleman.

A dedicated father and husband, our hearts and prayers are with his family. Dr. Aultman will be laid to rest this Friday in Albany. In lieu of flowers, his family has chosen St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Albany Humane Society and the Chattanooga Animal Center for those wishing to make a donation.

Arrangements and Donations:

The Veranda Introduces New OBGYN Dr. Brandon Seagle, MD

The Veranda Reignites Obstetric Practice

The Veranda is excited to announce the addition of its newest physician, Brandon Seagle, M.D. Originally from Leesburg, GA. Dr. Seagle received his bachelor’s degree from The University of Chicago. He then went on to receive his medical doctorate from Stanford University School of Medicine and later a Master of Science in Health Services and Outcomes Research from Northwestern University. Dr. Seagle has chosen Albany to open his practice in Obstetrics and Gynecology and he joins The Veranda.

“I truly believe that Obstetrics and Gynecology is the best specialty in medicine, at least for me. I like the variety of surgery and the routine good outcomes, as well as the physiology of pregnancy. Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life, and I enjoy being a part of it,” says Dr. Seagle.

This will be a re-entry into Obstetrics for The Veranda as the practice made a shift 3 years back to concentrate on women’s health rather than labor and delivery in their Gynecology practice. “The Veranda is thrilled to be able to offer obstetric services to our patients again. Being with families as they add new members, is something we have enjoyed in the past and are excited about continuing into the future,” says The Veranda President John Inman, III, M.D., FACOG.

As well, Judy Yeh, M.D., Dr. Seagle’s wife, is completing her fellowship at Yale School of Medicine in Urogynecology, and will be joining The Veranda in the Summer of 2019. The two new physicians will lead up the obstetrics practice at The Veranda.

Dr. Seagle is now accepting new patients for Obstetrics and Gynecology

Hospital Privileges Change

Dear Parents;

As you may have heard, Andrew Carlson, M.D. has relinquished his pediatric inpatient care privileges at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital except for newborn care as of October 1, 2017. Dr. Carlson joins the majority of local pediatricians with this change in his inpatient care status. The change in pediatric privileges is in response to the new structure of the pediatric hospitalist program at Phoebe. All but two local pediatricians have opted to relinquish privileges at the hospital for patients age 3 and over. Dr. Carlson will continue to provide inpatient care to his newborn patients while hospitalized at Phoebe. Pediatric patients requiring inpatient hospital care will continue to be managed by the hospitalist at Phoebe. Dr. Carlson will be able to continue to follow all of his patients should they be admitted to the pediatric service at Phoebe. Subspecialty care would continue to be provided at pediatric hospitals such as Navicent in Macon and Eggleston in Atlanta.

At the present time, Newborn care has not been affected by the change in the pediatric hospitalist program.

We know you may have questions. And, we are here to answer each one. We encourage you to speak to our staff at your child’s next appointment.


John S. Inman, III, M.D., FACOG
Chief Executive Officer
The Veranda

Andrew C. Carlson, M.D., F.A.A.P
The Veranda

The Veranda Continues to Receive Ultrasound Accreditation

Congratulations to the Ultrasonography Department at The Veranda. In early February the Veranda received official notification from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine of their accreditation renewal for the next three years.

The Veranda takes great pride in the work of each of the ancillary diagnostic departments in achieving the highest level of standards established by the various accreditation agencies. Accreditation comes with hard work and attention to detail. The Ultrasound Practice Accreditation Council congratulates the Veranda staff.

Dr. Inman, Jr. is Recognized for Years of Dedication

Hospital Authority Drafts Resolution in Honor of Inman’s Service

(ALBANY, Ga.)- Dr. John Inman, Jr. was recently recognized by the Hospital Authority of Albany and Dougherty County for his outstanding work during his medical career, and his work on its board as assistant secretary. They drafted and framed a resolution that included a list of his medical accomplishments including the staggering number of babies he has delivered, the many boards he has served on, and awards he has won including his most recent from Emory University in 2008.

Dr. Inman is very proud of his achievements and so is The Veranda. They are extremely honored to have him has the founder of OBGYN Associates and the legacy of excellence he has endowed to the practice.

The Veranda Elects New CEO

Dr. John Inman, III has been elected leader of multispecialty medical practice

The Veranda is proud to announce that John S. Inman, III, MD has been elected CEO of the multispecialty medical practice. Dr. Inman has been with OB-GYN Associates at The Veranda for 24 years. His father, John Inman, Jr. founded the practice in 1952. Additionally, William M. Sewell, MD is now Secretary/Treasurer for the corporation.

“I am honored to have been selected for this role,” stated Dr. Inman. “The healthcare industry is at a turning point. The Veranda is poised to meet these challenges and will continue to deliver the highest quality of medical services, which has been our hallmark for six decades.”

Dr. Inman received his undergraduate degree from Emory University in 1979. He then went on to earn his medical degree and completed his residency through Emory University’s School of Medicine in 1983 and 1987, respectively. Upon completion of his residency, he returned home where he has since practiced gynecology and obstetrics. Dr. Inman has earned numerous honors throughout his career. He and his wife Vicki have two children.

Dr. Sewell joined OB-GYN Associates at The Veranda in 1996. He completed his undergraduate studies at Christian Brother’s University in Memphis in 1983. Dr. Sewell then earned his medical degree at The University of Tennessee where he also completed his residency training. He too is active in several medical organizations and has earned numerous honors. Dr. Sewell and his wife Leah have two children and reside in Albany.