Posts Tagged ‘heart’

Heart Healthy Practices

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef at MediLodge of Monroe

So who’s tired of shoveling snow?? And the winter has just begun … at least as far as the calendar is concerned. I, however, am not convinced. As far as I am concerned, we are neck deep in winter. And while shoveling snow can be some good exercise, I for one am nearly over it. We are now about to be smack dab into February, a month notably attributed to Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day, a day associated with hearts, seems to be very appropriate for February, given the fact that February is also National Heart Healthy Month! Ah our heart … this great engine of our cardiovascular system unfortunately goes unnoticed until something terrible happens. This is why recognizing heart healthy practices are so important. Along with a bit of exercise, the easiest way to take care of our heart is by being diligent in choosing the right things to eat.

Heart-healthy is not only about oatmeal and omega-3 fats, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, and teas are just as important, in that they offer all sorts of complex heart-protective phytonutrients. Fresh produce provides the cornerstone for a heart-healthy diet because they help wipe out free radicals in the bloodstream, protecting blood vessels. Salmon tops the list of heart healthy foods, but many foods are really quite good and are not exotic at all. Almonds & walnuts, kidney beans, red wine, brown rice, carrots, broccoli, spinach, and blueberries are all very effective at nutritionally providing things the heart loves.

The main idea would be to eat “whole-foods”… foods that are not processed at all, or at least minimally processed. Eating these kinds of food every day will greatly help you to have a healthier heart. And with a greater number of different items, you allow yourself to not become bored, which is the death blow to any “healthy” change in lifestyle.

Maple Glazed Salmon Salad

Walnut Oil Vinaigrette:
• 1/2 cup walnut oil
• 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
• 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 garlic clove, mincedSalmon
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp real maple syrup
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 lb salmon filet
• Salt and pepper
• 6 cups baby spinach
• 1 cup Blueberries
• 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1. For Walnut Oil Vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together and set aside.
2. For the salad, preheat oven to 4250F and brush a baking dish with olive oil.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, maple syrup and maple extract.
4. Cut filet into 4 even portions and arrange in baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush with glaze.
5. Bake 9 to 11 minutes, until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Remove and let cool 10 minutes.
6. Divide baby spinach between 4 large plates.
7. Sprinkle each with chopped blueberries and walnuts.
8. Top each with a salmon portion.
9. Enjoy with a glass of red wine…my favorite – Valpolicella, a fruity but not sweet red.

Recipe provided by


For more information on locations and services, visit the MediLodge website.  Find us on Facebook for up-to-date pictures or watch our YouTube channel for videos of events and activities.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe


Happy New Year Cookies!

New Year Wishes!
To the many wonderful lodgers and very helpful staff I have met, thank you for making me feel so welcome. I look forward to being a part of a Zensational Journey at MediLodge of Milford.

Happy New YearI wish you health…
So you may enjoy each day in comfort.
I wish you the love of friends and
family and peace within your heart.
I wish you the beauty of nature…
That you may enjoy the work of God.
I wish you wisdom to
choose priorities…
I wish you happiness and joy…
and blessings for the New Year.
I wish you the best of everything…
That you so well deserve.
Happy New Year, Friends!
Roxanne Pappas, Leisure Coordinator at MediLodge of Milford

In honor of National Oatmeal Month, try this zesty twist to oatmeal cookies!
orange oatmeal cookiesOrange Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1 egg
1/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1/2 banana)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins (or 1/2 cup chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350°F. In bowl, cream butter and egg together until well blended and smooth. Gradually beat in banana, vanilla and brown sugar. Add orange zest. Mix well with wooden spoon until all ingredients are blended. In large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder, oats or 4-grain cereal, coconut, walnuts and raisins or chocolate chips. Use wooden spoon to combine dry ingredients until they are blended well and evenly distributed. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix thoroughly until there is no sign of dryness. Very lightly butter baking sheet, drop heaping tablespoon of dough onto greased sheet 2 inches apart, and press down lightly against dough to flatten. Bake 20 minutes in preheated oven until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Makes 16 large cookies.


For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge of Milford

MediLodge of Milford

Ten Tips For Safe Snow Shoveling

From the MediLodge of Rochester Hills Therapy Department

With winter now upon us, and snow covering many regions of the United States, millions of people are shoveling snow to clear their sidewalks and driveways. While most people recognize that snow shoveling is very hard work, and can put severe stress on your heart, fewer people recognize the stress and strain that is places on your back. In a study published by Dr. Brad Coffiner, the author noted “when handling heavy snow with a shovel, the L5/S1 disc (i.e. the lower back) has been identified as the weakest link in the body segment chain. The most severe injuries and pain are likely to occur in this low back region.”

So, as winter gets underway, the Colorado Spine Institute has outlined

Ten tips for how to keep your back healthy when shoveling snow.

shovel1. If you experience pain of any kind, stop immediately and seek assistance.

2. Choose a snow shovel that is right for you!

• Be sure that your shovel has a curved handle, as this enables you to keep your back straighter when shoveling.

• Obtain a shovel with an appropriate length handle. The length is correct when you can slightly bend your knees, flex your back 10 degrees of less, and hold the shovel comfortably in your hands at the start of the “shoveling stroke.”

• A plastic shovel blade will generally be lighter than a metal one, thus putting less strain on your spine.

• Sometimes, a smaller blade is better than a larger one. Although a small blade can’t shovel as much, it avoids the risk of trying to pick up a too heavy pile of snow with a larger blade.

1. Push the snow, do not lift it. Pushing puts far less strain on the spine than lifting.

2. Be sure your muscles are warm before you start shoveling. Cold, tight muscles are more likely to sprain than warm, relaxed muscles.

3. When you grip the shovel, make sure your hands are at least 12 inches apart. By creating distance between your hands, you increase your leverage and reduce the strain on your body.

4. Your shoveling technique is very important. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends: “If you must lift the snow, lift it properly. Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs. Do not bend at the waist. Scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and walk to where you want to dump it. Holding a shovel of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine. Never remove deep snow all at once; do it piecemeal. Shovel an inch or two, then take another inch off. Rest and repeat if necessary. In addition to these comments, remember to move your feet rather than twisting.

5. Never throw snow over your shoulder.

6. Remember that wet snow can be very heavy. One full shovel load can weigh as much as 25 pounds.

7. Pace yourself by taking frequent breaks to gently stretch your back, arms and legs.

8. Consider buying a snow blower. When used correctly, a snow blower will put far less strain on your back than show shoveling.

By following these tips, you are far less likely to be injured while shoveling snow.

Finally, for those of us who are able bodied, it is always worth remembering neighbors on your block who might not be able to remove the snow from their sidewalks. A few minutes of help can make the world of difference to the well being of a less able bodied person as well as make you a good neighbor!


For more information on locations and services, visit the MediLodge website.  Find us on Facebook for up-to-date pictures or watch our YouTube channel for videos of events and activities.

MediLodge of Rochester Hills

MediLodge of Rochester Hills

All About Avocados!

avocadoFrom the MediLodge of Rochester Hills Dietary Department

Avocados are native to the tropics and sub tropics. The first U.S. avocado trees were found in Florida but eighty percent of today’s crops come from California. There are quite a few avocado varieties, differing in size and shape. The skin can range from thick to thin, green to purplish black and smooth to corrugated. Their flesh is generally a pale yellow green with a buttery texture and mild flavor. The two most widely marketed avocado varieties are the Hass which has an almost black, pebbly texture and green Fuerte which has a smooth, thin skin. Like many fruits, avocados ripen the best off of the tree. When ripe, they yield gentle palm pressure.

1. Protein

Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet.

2. Beneficial Fats

Avocados provide the healthy kind of fat that your body needs. Like olive oil, avocados boost levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). HDL cholesterol can help protect against the damage caused by free radicals. This type of cholesterol also helps regulate triglyceride levels, preventing diabetes. A study published early this year in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that a vegetarian diet, which includes HDL fats, can reduce levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) as effectively as statin drugs.

3. Carotenoids

Avocados are an excellent source of carotenoids. Although many people associate carotenoids only with red and orange produce, avocadoes are also an excellent source of this phytonutrient. Avocados, also known as alligator pears, offer a diverse range of carotenoids including not only the better known ones such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein, but also lesser known varieties of this type of phytonutrient such as neoxanthin, zeaxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, neochrome, beta-cryptoxanthin and violaxanthin. Every time you consume foods rich in carotenoids, you deliver high quality vitamin A to your body, thereby protecting eye health. Carotenoids also enhance the functioning of the immune system and promote healthy functioning of the reproductive system. Since carotenoids are fat soluble, eating avocados optimizes the absorption of these nutrients.


The combined effect of the deluxe package of nutrients contained in avocados offers powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Avocadoes’ unique combination of Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids helps guard against inflammation. This means avocados can help prevent or mitigate against both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis.

5. Heart Health

The fat content, which causes some uninformed health “experts” to deem avocados as unhealthy, actually provides protection against heart diseases. Studies have shown that oleic acid improves cardiovascular health. Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocados. Many people now take supplements in order to consume more omega-3 fatty acids to lower their risk of heart disease. Avocados are rich in omega-3, delivering 160 milligrams per cup of alpha-linolenic acid.

6. Choosing and Eating

To get the most nutritional value from avocados, avoid those which have become over-ripe. You can identify these at the store because they will have dents and feel overly soft when you hold them. A ripe avocado should have no dents in its skin and will feel slightly soft when squeezed. You can also buy unripe avocados, which feel very hard when gripped, and permit them to ripen at home. The portion of the avocado closest to the skin is the most dense in nutrients, so be sure to scrape the skin clean before discarding it.

(List above from

Classic Guacamole:

• 4 ripe, Fresh California Avocados peeled and pittedguac

• 2 lemons, juiced

• 2tsp. minced garlic

• 1 tomato, diced

• 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

• 1/4 cup diced red onion

• 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

• 5 Jalapeno chiles or Serrano chiles, minced. Leave 3 of the chiles seeded.

• Salt and chili powder to taste


For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge of Rochester Hills

MediLodge of Rochester Hills

Get Out And Move For Good Health

Now that spring is here, it’s time to get outside and get moving.  Moderate-intensity exercise can bring a lot of health benefits.  No matter your age, exercise can help improve your health.  It can help you lose weight (when combined with a healthy diet), improve bone health and reduce your risk of heart problems – and even cheer you up.


According to St. Joesph Mercy Oakland Internal Medicine and Pediatrics specialist Steve Z. Kallabat, MD, exercise also is beneficial for muscles.  “Increasing muscle mass helps to burn calories, even while asleep,” Dr. Kallabat says.  “Each pound of muscle burns 50 calories per day.”  But, he warns, “each year, we lose a half pound of muscle when we do not exercise.”

Exercise also can:MediLodgeOlympics007

  • Boost your energy level
  • Prevent or delay some health issues such as diabetes, osteoporosis and some types of cancer
  • Speed your recovery from serious illness
  • Make everyday tasks easier
  • Beat stress
  • Build strength, balance and flexibility
photo courtesy of Federico Stevanin

photo courtesy of Federico Stevanin

Moderate exercise is the best way to go.  Examples are:

  • Washing and waxing your car for 45 to 60 minutes
  • Gardening or raking leaves/shoveling snow for 30 minutes
  • Walking briskly, take the dog for a walk or push your child or grandchild in a stroller
  • Riding a bike or swimming
  • Stair-climbing, working inside or outside the house

Try to do some activity for at least 30 minutes a day.  However, if you’ve injured yourself during exercise, Dr. Kallabat urges you to seek medical attention.  “If you are cleared to return to exercising, then slowly get back to your normal routine,” says the physician.  “Visit your doctor if you feel any relapse of your symptoms.”

The original article was published in Michigan Medical Report from the Physicians at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland.




To encourage you to get or stay healthy, your physician will tell you to eat right, exercise, stop smoking (if you do) and cut down on your alcohol intake.  But for older adults, these things are even more important, says Kristin A. Keskey, MD, internal medicine practitioner at St. Joesph Mercy Oakland.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITYRichmond Olympics 2012

For older adults, Dr. Keskey recommends physical activity their bodies can handle.  “The best activity is walking, 30 minutes a day,” she says.  She adds that chair and water exercise and lifting 3- to 5-pound weights for upper body strength and bone health also are beneficial.

“Physical activity is helpful for the heart, lungs and blood pressure and aids in weight loss,” she explains.  “Any muscle strengthening will help you get out of bed or a chair and reduce falls.  Mental functioning is improved with physical exercise.  It’s also a stress reliever.”

And physical activity brings a social benefit.  “Seniors who exercise with other people feel less isolation and depression, which leads to a general feeling of well-being,” says Dr. Keskey.  However, she cautions that before starting any exercise program or if you have barriers to exercise –  such as arthritis or balance, vision or orthopedic problems – you should consult your doctor.

euchre four


Just as important as physical health is mental health.  Dr. Keskey recommends activities such as reading, playing card or board games, learning a new language and doing puzzles for keeping your mind sharp.



“Seniors don’t absorb as many vitamins as younger people, so it’s important to focus on nutrition for seniors,” Dr. Keskey says.  An older adult’s diet should include:

  • Fruits and vegetablesMonroe Food Service
  • Three to four servings of calcium-containing foods per day
  • Plenty of fiber  (like brown rice and whole grains)
  • Low-fat milk and proteins
  • Whole foods, rather than processed foods
  • Vitamin D

Seniors also should reduce their sodium intake because it can cause high blood pressure and edema (fluid retention).  Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration and flush toxins from your body.


If you’re an older adult, Dr. Keskey advises you to eat a healthy diet, stay active, get immunized and have regular health screenings.  And don’t forget an annual physical, which is now allowed by Medicare.

Seniors should get a flu shot and pneumococcal vaccine and, at appropriate intervals, get screenings such as a colonoscopy, a mammogram or prostate cancer screening.  A shingles vaccination also is recommended.  Have your doctor review your blood pressure and cholesterol as well.

You can be healthy at any age,” says Dr. Keskey.  “It takes effort, focus and information.”

This article was originally published in Michigan Medical Report from the Physicians at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland.


Spring Into The Taste Of Garlic With MediLodge Of Monroe

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef of MediLodge of Monroe

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!  Now if we could only find ourselves in warmer temperatures, then things will be so much better.  I personally cannot wait until Spring arrives.  April happens to be National Garlic month.  With the exception of maybe the onion, I don’t know of any food product that is so widely used around the world.  It has a history that archaeologists have dated back to 3750 B.C. in Egypt, and has documented uses back to 2000 B.C. in China.  Its history is founded not only in culinary uses but also medicinally.  Garlic is a fundamental component in many or most dishes of various regions, including eastern Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, northern Africa, southern Europe, and parts of South and Central America.  The flavor varies in intensity and aroma with the different cooking methods.  It is often paired with onion, tomato, or ginger.

Medicinally garlic use dates back to the great Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder in his “Historia Naturalis”, where he prescribes garlic for a great number of ailments.  The French chemist Louis Pasteur recorded garlic’s antibacterial activity in 1858.  During both World War I and World War II, garlic was bandaged onto wounds to control infections. Recent medical studies confirm the health benefits of garlic known for millennia.  In 1924, it was found to be an effective way to prevent scurvy, because of its high vitamin C content.  Animal studies, and some early research studies in humans, have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits of garlic.  A Czech study found garlic supplementation reduced accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls of animals.  I am including two recipes for preparing garlic that can be kept around for a while. I hope you like them!

Roasted GarlicMonroe garlic

6 Heads of garlic, firm to the touch

Olive Oil | Salt & Pepper


1. Drizzle enough oil into a pie pan to coat the bottom surface.

2. Cut just enough of the top of the head of garlic to expose every clove.

3. Place cloves cut side up in pie pan (if cloves do not sit flat in pan, cut just enough of the bottom to stay flat)

4. Coat top of heads with olive oil.

5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Cover with foil and bake in a 325 F oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

7. After garlic cools squeeze cloves out onto plastic wrap, like squeezing a tube of toothpaste.

8. Make small parcels of roasted garlic wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. Pull out a parcel the day before you want to cook with it.

Korean Pickled Garlic

Garlic cloves, peeled and washed

Sugar | Rice wine vinegar | Soy sauce


1. Place garlic in a glass jar.

2. Fill jar with water until water reaches covers about 2/3 of the garlic cloves.

3. Pour out water and measure it. That’s the amount of soy sauce you need.

4. Use 3 parts soy sauce to 1 part vinegar and 1 part sugar. (So if you need 1 cup of soy sauce, then you need 1/3 cup of vinegar and 1/3 cup of sugar).

5. Bring soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar mixture to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.

6. When the sauce has cooled, pour over garlic in glass jar. Make sure garlic cloves are completely covered, using a small stone or bowl to weigh them down if necessary.

7. Store at room temperature for at least 3 weeks.

8. After opening, store in refrigerator.


%d bloggers like this: