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Cranberry Artichoke StuffingIt’s almost here – Thanksgiving! It is probably the most food-focused holiday there is, so it seems appropriate that this week we talk about a favorite side dish…stuffing! Who doesn’t love stuffing? All those mushy carbs soaked in fat. Yum! OK, yes, stuffing is delicious but it can also be very unhealthy. One website published this estimate of calories consumed on Turkey Day, stuffing comes in around 500.

We can do better, right? Change it up this year, and you’re looking at eliminating 340 calories! (That’s like and extra slice of pumpkin pie, one more dinner roll AND some additional cranberry sauce.) Try it out and let me know what you think. Will it become a regular staple on your Thanksgiving buffet?

  • 8 artichokes (medium size), prepared and cooked as directed for whole (OR buy canned, quartered artichokes – NOT marinated)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 5 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 cups cranberries, freshly chopped (for easier chopping, freeze cranberries and chop with food processor fitted with metal blade)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. crushed dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • pepper to taste

Remove outer petals from artichokes; save to enjoy as an appetizer or snack. Remove center petals and fuzzy centers of artichokes; trim out hearts. Chop hearts and place in a large bowl. Set aside. Steam carrots and onions for 8 to 10 minutes, or until carrots are nearly tender. Add steamed vegetables to artichokes; stir in bread crumbs, cranberries, thyme and allspice. Toss until well combined. Sprinkle orange juice over mixture to moisten stuffing as desired. Toss well; season with pepper. Bake in a lightly greased baking dish, covered, during the last 30 to 40 minutes of roasting.

Serves: 10.

Per serving: 160 calories, 1 g fat, 230 mg sodium, 35 g total carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 8 g protein




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Are you a person with diabetes? Whether you were recently diagnosed or have been living with diabetes for years, this is a helpful reminder on the four things you must do to maintain a healthy blood sugar. Even if you are NOT DIABETIC, these tips can help keep you on track to avoid future blood sugar or insulin-related problems.

1)     Test your blood sugar. Use a portable glucose meter to test your blood sugar level as recommended by your physician. Your provider will help pinpoint your target ranges, but most people with diabetes aim for blood sugar levels between 70 and 120 mg/dL before meals and less than 160 mg/dL two hours after the first bite of food, according to the American Diabetes Association.

2)     Upgrade your diet. A healthful diet will help control your blood glucose and weight. Divide your plate into quarters:

  • 1/4 whole grains such as brown rice
  • 1/4 protein like fish or skinless poultry
  • 1/2 non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and carrots.
  • 8 oz. nonfat milk
  • Fresh fruit for dessert

Small adjustments like drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables and limiting prime rib dinners to just once or twice a month can make a huge difference!

3)     Get moving. Exercise is a must. It helps you control blood sugar levels, maintain a ealthy weight, lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol. Your doctor may even be able to lower your dose of insulin or other medications. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. There’s no need to buy equipment or join a gym: dance in your living room, jog down your street or walk the dog. The possibilities are endless!

4)     See health care providers more often. At least once or twice a year, see your primary care provider for a checkup and tests to measure your glucose control, blood pressure, cholesterol and kidney function. See an eye professional and podiatrist for yearly exams and visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Don’t forget to stay in contact with your diabetes educator throughout the year to address any questions or concerns right away.

Diabetes education is a Medicare-covered benefit. People with diabetes are offered 10 hours of education during their first year of diagnosis and two hours every year following.

Ask your doctor for an annual referral to a Fort HealthCare diabetes educator or registered nurse. Learn more at

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Well Woman exam important in early detectionThe purpose of an annual Well Woman exam is to detect and treat any new or ongoing health problems, as well as to help prevent future ones from developing. Even if you’re not due for a Pap test, it’s still important to visit your doctor yearly for a comprehensive Well Woman exam. The standard components of a Well Woman exam include assessments of:


  • Current health status
  • Nutrition practices
  • Physical activity
  • Sexual practices
  • Tobacco, alcohol, and drug use

Across age groups, the exam also includes height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure. Annual breast and abdominal exams begin at age 19.

The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology currently recommends Pap screenings starting at age 21, every two years for most women under age 30, and every three years for women 30 and older who have three negative prior screenings and cessation of cervical cancer screening at age 65 or 70, depending on a woman’s screening history.

Women may be worried that less frequent screening is detrimental to their overall healthcare needs, but this isn’t the case. Over-screening can lead to unnecessary
treatment and could contribute to negative outcomes, such as preterm birth or having
low-birth-weight infants in the future.

Some women may have certain high-risk factors or conditions that may require additional or more frequent tests and interventions. For instance, it is recommend that women
have their first mammogram at age 40 and yearly beginning at 50, but a woman and
her doctor may decide to have a baseline mammogram before age 40 if there is a
family history of breast cancer.

Schedule your Well Woman exam today
Well Woman exams are a routine part of a woman’s health care and are covered buy nearly every insurance provider. We offer these exams at any of our family medicine or internal medicine clinics, and the Fort HealthCare Center for Women’s Health. Visit to find a physician that’s right for you.

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