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3 Diet Myths Busted

Friday, November 17th, 2017

3 Diet Myths Busted

Don’t let the rapidly approaching diet season fool you3 Diet Myths Busted: Don’t let the rapidly approaching diet season fool you

By Abby Wilson, RDN, LD, CDE

Myth #1: Fad diets work.

an old ad for a fat-jiggle machine

Truth: Fad diets are like bad fashion. Disco bell-bottoms and crushed velvet suits, anyone? Fad diets are re-packaged almost every year with new accessories and blingy-tech to keep them appealing. They also sell inadequacy: if diet companies can make you think you aren’t good enough without them, you will be more tempted to buy into the myth.

Be aware of advertising that promises rapid weight loss. Any diet (such as the grapefruit diet, bone broth diet, or the forever recycled HCG diet) tend to make claims like “Lose 10 pound in less than 7 days!” These diets are extremely low calorie—of course you would lose weight eating only 800 calories! However, the diets are not sustainable. Extremely restricted diets put you risk of becoming malnourished and hangry. Avoid diets that make wild health claims, like controlling the body’s pH or curing diabetes. Foods cannot change the body’s pH. Only a serious illness will—and when your body’s pH changes, you will require medical treatment and even hospitalization! If lemon juice and honey could cure diabetes, wouldn’t everyone with diabetes be cured by now? Just say no to health claims that seem too good to be true… because they probably are.

Myth #2: Low-carb diets are best for health and weight loss.

Truth: Carbohydrates, frequently referred to as “carbs,” provide the BEST source of fuel to the brain. Did you know your brain requires nearly 120 grams daily of glucose? Glucose is a primary source of carbohydrate in our foods. “Glucose is virtually the sole fuel for the human brain, except during prolonged starvation,” according to an article from the scientific journal Biochemistry (Berg JM, 2002). In one day, your brain burns through almost 420 calories—which is about 105 grams of carbs. Eating much less than 105 grams of carbs per day could put your brain on the struggle bus. When your brain doesn’t have enough glucose, communication between those neurons in the brain can break down (Edwards, 2017).

Glucose is also the primary source of fuel for every cell in the body. So if you’re on a low-carb diet, your whole body might be low on fuel! Instead of eating very low amounts of carbs, cut down on added sugars. Aim to get your carbs in moderation—large amounts of carbs may overwhelm the body. Try nutritious foods that are high in fiber such as whole fruits, beans, lentils, or whole grains like steel cut oats. If you have diabetes, speak with a registered dietitian or a certified diabetes educator to learn how to manage carbs for individual needs.

Myth #3: If I’m not on a diet, I’m not taking care of my health.

Truth: Dieting does not equal health. A study from Frontiers in Psychology (Lowe MR, 2013) has found that dieting or restrictive eating are predictors of weight gain. Dieting also has been identified as a risk factor for eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors (Keel PK, 2013). Not the outcome you were probably expecting, right? But all is not lost in the pursuit of better health. Instead of classic dieting, look at health through a new lens. Try this analogy: Health is like a three-legged stool. The three legs of health are: physical activity, balanced nutrition, and mental wellness. Take one of those legs away, and your stool will fall out from under you. Instead of going on a diet when the New Year arrives, try one of these simple goals to improve health:

  1. Finding joyful ways to move your body and move more often: Walk with friends instead going for drinks. Try an outdoor sport like hiking, skiing, or biking instead of being a slave to the treadmill. Have a dance party with your kids instead of watching Netflix.
  2. Try gentle nutrition: Honor your hunger. Honor your fullness. Eat more plants: whole fruits, vegetables of all colors, beans, and legumes. Find satisfaction in your meals (if you are satisfied, likely you will eat less overall).
  3. Take steps towards caring for your mental health—your brain is an organ too, just like your heart:Spend more time connecting with your loved ones (and I don’t mean on Facebook!). Practice self-care. Don’t shy away from therapy or counseling.


Berg JM, T. J. (2002). Each Organ Has a Unique Metabolic Profile. (W. H. Freeman, Ed.) Biochemistry(5th), Section 30.2. Retrieved from
Edwards, S. (2017). Sugar and the Brain. On the Brain: The Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute Letter. Massachusetts. Retrieved from
Lowe, M. R., Doshi, S. D., Katterman, S. N., & Feig, E. H. (2013). Dieting and restrained eating as prospective predictors of weight gain. Frontiers in Psychology4, 577.
Keel, P. K. and Forney, K. J. (2013), Psychosocial risk factors for eating disorders. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 46: 433–439. doi:10.1002/eat.22094


Helpful Hints to Avoid the Holiday Bulge

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

Helpful Hints to Avoid the Holiday Bulge

By: Krista Diekemper, RD, LD

lovely display of food on a buffet table

As we enter the holiday season, our calendars are sure to be filling up with commitments to holiday dinners, parties, and festivities of the season, all which seem share a common denominator of an overabundance of delicious food.  While this time of year might be the only time you can have some of Grandma’s famous cookies, or Aunt  Sue’s amazing casserole, it is important to keep a couple of hints in mind to avoid having to spend the first three months of the new year trying to shed the weight you gained during the holiday season.  The following are some tips to help you enjoy the food you love without going overboard.

  • Before attending a holiday party or dinner, be sure to eat a healthy breakfast and a healthy lunch. Often times, people will skip the preceding meals telling themselves that they are saving the calories for the upcoming evening.  The problem with this is that the individual then arrives at the party ravenously hungry because they haven’t eaten all day and as a result, they have a very difficult time practicing portion control.  Furthermore, the food that they are overindulging on is usually high fat and high sugar, with limited amounts of vegetables.
  • Be sure to stay hydrated this holiday season, drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day. In the summer months this is not a problem for people as they are often thirsty due to the heat.  However, as the cold weather arrives, it is easy to not think about drinking some cold water.   When you do not drink enough water you become dehydrated, which in turn causes your body to send you signals that you are hungry, when in fact it is just thirsty.  This often results in people eating when they should just be drinking some water.
  • When arriving at a holiday dinner buffet, survey the table and identify your must have foods out of the smorgasbord. Secondly, fill a good portion of your plate with some vegetables, and then proceed to serve yourself a small amount of your must have foods.  Keep in mind that 3 bites of a food will typically satisfy a craving, so aim for about 3 bites worth of each of your favorites.
  • Once you have plated your food, go and have a seat at the table, being sure to eat slowly and enjoy the food and the company you are with. It helps if you put your fork down between bites.  The goal is to make your dining experience last at least 20 minutes, as this is the amount of time it takes your brain to get the signal from your stomach that you are full.
  • Limit your intake of sweetened beverages or alcoholic drinks to 1 or 2 as the calories in these can add up quick. So once you have met your quota for drinks, switch to water, and work on meeting your goal of 64 oz or 8 cups of water a day.
  • After eating avoid loitering around the food tables, as this can lead to mindless grazing. Instead, consider taking an after dinner stroll or engaging in a game of family football.

Hopefully, some of these tips can help you enjoy this holiday season, and prevent you from having to welcome 2018 with a jolly Saint Nick waistline.

Nit Picking

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Nit Picking

Hair with nits on itWhile the cold and flu are typically of concern this time of year, there is another tiny, flat-backed insect known as head lice that just may hitch a ride home with your child. It happens and contrary to popular belief, lice are not a sign of uncleanliness. In fact, every child is at the same risk of getting infested.

Statistically, head lice affect six to twelve million people in the US every year and can be a very stubborn parasite to eliminate. The most common symptom of a lice infestation is persistent itching, particularly around the ears, the back of the neck and the crown of the head. Adult lice can be rather hard to spot. The eggs, called nits, are usually found in the warmest spot on the head, commonly in the places where itching occurs.

If diagnosed, there is a three step process for getting rid of head lice. First, kill all the live lice. Second, remove all nits by combing and manually nit picking. Third, clean the infested person’s belongings and home environment to prevent re-infestation.

“We make every effort to control the spread of head lice in the schools,” said Lori Craney, Director of Elementary Education. “There is a process of due diligence that comes from years of dealing with infestations. Our goal is to eliminate the nits, provide help when needed and keep families and classmates informed when head lice is found in a classroom.”

It is important for parents to know that school district #25 has a policy requiring all children with lice receive appropriate treatment and be nit-free before he/she may return to school.

There are several over-the-counter products, but manual removal – the most time consuming part of the process – plays a key role in eliminating the infestation. Additionally, all bedding, towels and clothing must be washed separately from other items. Items that cannot be placed in the washing machine can be sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 14-20 days outside the home. All affected family members should be treated simultaneously to avoid reinfection.

Tips to Help Control the Spread

Lice are contagious, wingless creatures that migrate through direct contact. To help prevent and control the spread of head lice consider the following:

  • Avoid head-to-head contact during activities and play
  • Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves and coats
  • Do not share hair accessories, headphones or sporting equipment
  • Keep girls hair in a braid or bun
  • Avoid hanging coats and hats on the same hook as other classmates or place personal belongings in a plastic bag
  • Avoid sitting on furniture recently occupied by someone with head lice




Are All Processed Foods Bad?

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Are All Processed Foods Bad?

unhealthy snacks in a cart

By Jessy Griffel, RD, LD

The days are getting shorter and we may find ourselves reaching for more convenience and/or processed foods to feed our families, because they are cheap and fast. But the big question is… are all processed foods bad for us? Well, let’s take a closer look.

Processed food is more than boxed macaroni and cheese, potato chips and fast food. It may be surprising to learn that whole-wheat bread, homemade soup and chopped apples are also processed foods.

What is processed food?

Torey Armul, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, reports, “The term processed food includes any food that has been purposely changed in some way prior to consumption. It includes food that has been cooked, canned, frozen, packaged or changed in nutritional composition with fortifying, preserving or preparing in different ways.” For example, Armul considers white bread refined since most of the healthy fiber has been removed during the processing. “Any time we cook, bake or prepare food, we’re processing food. It’s also the origin of the term ‘food processor,’ which can be a helpful and convenient tool for preparing healthy meals.”

Processed foods falls on a spectrum, ranging from minimally to heavily processed. Minimally processed foods include bagged spinach, cut vegetables and roasted nuts. These are processed at their peak to lock in nutritional quality and freshness including canned tomatoes, frozen fruit and vegetable and well as canned tuna. Ready-to-eat food such as crackers, granola and deli meat are more heavily processed And heavily processed foods are considered pre-made meals like microwaveable dinners and frozen pizza. These foods have many additives such as sugar, sodium and fat to add flavor and freshness, but at times is unnecessary in our diets.

So what is good about processed foods?

Well, there are several products on the market that are considered good for us. A few good examples are milk and juices which are sometimes fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and breakfast cereals with added fiber to help supplement our diet with important nutrients. Canned fruit packed in their own juices and other minimally processed food such as pre-cut vegetable are also quality convenience foods for people with busy schedules and easy way they can adding a serving of fruits and vegetables a day.

“The trick is to distinguish between foods that have been lightly processed versus heavily processed,” says Armul. “Lightly processed foods include pre-cut apple slices, hard-boiled eggs, canned tuna and frozen vegetables. These are nutritious choices and can make healthy eating more convenient for busy people. Heavily processed foods can be recognized as food not in its original form, like potato chips and crackers, or food that is not naturally occurring, such as sodas, donuts, cookies and candy.”

“Ultimately, you have to familiarize yourself with the Nutrition Facts Label and ingredient list,” she says. “Do more cooking and food prep at home to maximize control over the food processing.”

Next time you are in a pinch and need something fast, it is ok to rely on some of those minimally processed food, and now you have some of the tools to distinguish between healthy vs not so healthy processed foods.


Source: EatRight.Org

Daisy Award Winner Q1 2017

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Congratulations to DAISY Winner Q1 2017 – Amber Golson, RN, NICU

Daisy Award Winner Amber Golson, RN - Q1 2017

Amber Golson, RN, works in the Neonatal Intensive Care U (NICU) and is our DAISY Award winner for Quarter 1, 2017. Amber works in the NICU and was nominated by a patient. The nomination read:

“The nurse that I have the privilege of nominating I first came to know a year ago when our son was born – October 3, 2015 at just 26 weeks. On October 5, my husband and I received a call that our son was not going to make it, so we headed to the hospital. The memory that stands out to us and which is near and dear to our hearts is watching the NICU doors open to see a tear-filled Amber doing chest compression on our son. Amber was trying to keep Griffin alive so we could see him before he passed. Not only did Amber work with others to keep Griffin here so we could say goodbye, Amber also attended Griffin’s funeral later that week.

Fast forward a year and you can imagine our heartbreak when we were told our son, Colin, born at 35 weeks, would have to go in to the NICU. Although my husband and I were devastated, our hearts were filled with a renewed sense of hope when we saw Amber’s face again taking care of our son. Every single member of the Portneuf Medical staff is exemplary and we are thankful for all that they have done for other families and us. We do not intend to minimize any of the amazing nurses, however, Amber deserves the Daisy Award not only because of the amazing nurse that she is, but for the fact she continues to be consistent in this.

Amber went above and beyond in several cases with our family from attending Griffin’s funeral to enclosing a hat that baby Colin had worn in a bag with a note for me to have while I was waiting for my milk to come in. Amber answered my numerous questions, often the same questions numerous times, without making me feel inferior. Amber communicated so well with us and with the medical staff; she helped explain procedures, plans of care and anything I did not understand. Amber’s level of critical care provided to us can be second only to that given by the actual doctors themselves; Dr. Lawrence and Dr. O’Donnell. Amber has a level of professionalism and compassion that has been unparalleled in my experience as a mother of three NICU babies in two different states.”

It’s Getting Chili!

Monday, October 30th, 2017

It’s Getting Chili!

By Eva Sorrentino, MS, RD, LD

Chili is a great, hearty, warm dish for this time of year and the good news is that chili can be a very healthy dish if you do it right. It can warm you up right and fuel your day. Typically, chili is made with ground meat, beans, and tomatoes. Garnishes include cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips. In addition to the many colorful toppings, chili pars well with corn bread.

Here are a few tips to help make chili a bit more heathy:

  • Ground meat-chose a lean ground meat such as fat free ground turkey or ground beef that is at least 93% lean. Try browning it in a separate pan and drain it on a paper towel before adding to the pot to help soak up all that additional fat. You can also skip the meat all together and just go for a veggie chili.
  • Beans-beans have an array of health benefits, whether you chose black, navy, pinto, or chili beans; they are a great source of fiber, B-vitamins, and protein. If you use canned beans, drain all the liquid and rinse them under the faucet to remove the sodium before tossing them in the pot.
  • Tomatoes-No changes needed here, tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C.
  • Veggies-get creative and add some extra veggies in to your chili like zucchini, carrots, onions, peas, cauliflower, or bell peppers to add extra texture and vitamins
  • Toppings-instead of high fat, salty toppings, try fat-free sour cream, avocado for good fats, extra veggies like diced scallions, and baked tortilla strips instead of fried.
  • Think outside the box-try adding a can of pumpkin for extra vitamin A, antioxidants and fiber, make corncake pancakes to top the bowl, try a different kind of bean or legume


Turkey Chili

hearty bowl of chili con carneIngredients

6 Servings

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. canola or corn oil
  • 1 medium or large onion, chopped
  • 20 oz. ground, skinless turkey breast
  • 2 large garlic cloves (minced)OR
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 15.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added pinto beans (rinsed, drained)
  • 15.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added black beans (rinsed, drained)
  • 14.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added, diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 6 oz. canned, no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 4 medium green onions ((green part only), sliced)


  • Lightly spray a Dutch oven with cooking spray. Add the oil and heat over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the onion for 3 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the turkey. Cook for 5 minutes, or until browned, stirring frequently to turn and break up the turkey.
  • Stir in the garlic, chili powder, pepper, and cumin. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the green onions. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until heated through, stirring frequently. Just before serving, sprinkle with the green onions.
Sources: Recipe from the American Heart Association.

Beyond Pink Ribbon Month

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Beyond Pink Ribbon Month

A pink ribbon along with a list of other cancers and their respective ribbon colorOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer risks, the value of screening and early detection, and treatment options available to women and men who are diagnosed with one of the many forms of breast cancer. Here in Idaho, breast cancer screening rates have been consistently lower than the national average. Through education and awareness, we hope to increase the number of women receiving screening mammograms so we can detect and diagnose cancers when they are most treatable.

As we wrap up Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is important to remember that cancer affects people’s lives 365 days of the year. There are more than 100 types of cancer. They are commonly named for the organs or tissues where the cancers form, but they also may be described by the type of cell that formed them. With each type of cancer there is a different colored ribbon; each ribbon is there to remind us that we need to continue to raise public awareness and draw attention to the many ongoing challenges of survivorship and to help promote the need for more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation to improve quality of life for all those who have been touched by cancer.

Portneuf Cancer Center physicians have expertise in breast, lung, gastrointestinal, colorectal, gynecologic, urologic, orthopedic, prostate, skin, blood and liver cancers. Our interdisciplinary team brings together experts from different disciplines to deliver personalized therapies and treatments that follow published and acceptable treatment standards for cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment as established by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). The Network is a not-for-profit alliance of 27 of the world’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care for cancer patients.

Portneuf Cancer Center delivers the same treatment therapies as all other NCCN affiliated Cancer Centers and we do so right here at home.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, we at Portneuf Cancer Center recognize and understand the importance of treating the whole person. A cancer diagnosis changes everything. Personalized, one-on-one care is important to ensure that each of our patients gets the information and resources they need. Each individual’s journey through cancer is unique; each page is filled with a story and each life is very special.

Our Cancer Center is fully accredited and provides a multidisciplinary, team-based, technologically advanced approach to care. Our program has been designed with you in mind so that we are able to provide clinical, diagnostic and support before, during and after treatment. To learn more about our center call 208-239-1720.

Circle Around Our Campfire

Friday, October 27th, 2017

A photo fo Cynthia Allison Billmeyer 2017Circle Around Our Campfire

On July 14, 2015, Cynthia Allison-Billmeyer wrote, “Well, I need all of you! Circle around our campfire … I have infiltrative breast cancer. I’m scared, tired, worried about my brilliant daughter’s (high school) year, worried about not having energy, worried about the inevitable hair loss, missing my tennis loves, pool buddies, book club sisters, worry about my momma, sister, nieces and my magnum opus. So … we need prayers … we need every imaginable kind of help from our family and friends. Run to us, not away.”

A diagnosis of cancer changes everything. It forces you on a journey that is often deeply powerful, brutally humbling and charged with many changes. And for those who have witnessed the battle, a personal diagnosis can be overwhelming. Cynthia lost her husband to prostate cancer in 2008.

“Years ago, when I moved back to Pocatello from Wisconsin with my terminally ill husband, two house payments, a young daughter and cobra insurance, Drive for a Cure paid for my first mammogram,” Cynthia said. “Well, now I am a survivor, I want to tell everyone how important it is to get your mammogram; to be an advocate for yourself and be a friend to those in need. There are resources to help you pay for your mammogram!”

As a survivor who had three tumors, four weeks of oral chemotherapy, surgery followed by six weeks of radiation, she prays for a cure. Before there is a cure, her hope is that all breast cancers are caught in their earliest stages when there are more treatment options.

“If 3D mammography would have been available when I had my first mammogram, they may have been able to catch the tumors earlier,” said Cynthia. “For those of us with dense breast tissue and small breasts, this technology is a game changer.”

“Keep the prayers and positive energy coming,” she writes. “It will be a tough year, but I have amazing peeps and I know all too well how lucky/blessed I am. My cup runneth over.”

Her year was filled with cancer therapy, but it too was a year filled with friendship, prayer, travel, weddings, graduations, and much gratitude.

On February 16, 2016 she writes, “Done! Cheers! Thank you to my fabulous sister and extraordinary boyfriend for accompanying me to my last treatment. Thank you to amazing care team at Portneuf Cancer Center … I can’t say enough about the wonderful staff in the Cancer Center … (and) thank you to the entire camp circle … Let the healing begin.”


How to Be a Part of the Circle of Helpers

As one who is had dealt with a diagnosis as well as loss, Cynthia has a few tips so you can be a resources to others. It is quite common to feel uncertain about what to do; so often, rather than do anything, we do nothing. Here a few tips to reach out to a friend in need:

  • Don’t run away or avoid me
  • Pray for me
  • Don’t ask me what I need. I often don’t know and I am likely not to have an answer
  • Please know that I love you, but may not have the energy to see you or even to talk to you
  • Bring dinner over in disposable containers
  • If I am not up to a visit, it is okay to just drop stuff off on the porch
  • Drop off a gift card
  • Listen and hear me
  • Share a hug, a smile and compassion

Halloween is Knocking at the Door

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Halloween is Knocking at the Door

Prepared by: Abby Wilson, RDN, LD, CDE

Photo of a little girl Trick or Treating at a home.Ghosts and goblins, spooks galore… Halloween candy will soon be at your door….

All Hallows Eve brings out the spookiest of ghouls, stealthiest of ninjas, and the most spectacular heroes and heroines. Unfortunately, it can also bring out the highest of blood sugars! Halloween can be a very difficult for families living with diabetes. This doesn’t mean you or your child have to miss out on the treats. Here are 3 tips to keep those blood sugars from causing toil and trouble:

  • Eat candy like a boss: Pick out your favorites and get rid of the rest. Together, search through your child’s Halloween loot and encourage them to only keep treats they actually enjoy. Help them spread out their favorite goodies across several days after Halloween.
  • Find fun-size: A common ghost story in diabetes is that sugar is off limits… but actually, all foods fit! Use carbohydrate counting to work Halloween treats in on your own, or your child’s, meal plan. Fun-size candy bars contain about 10-15 grams of carbohydrate. Pairing the 15-gram carbohydrate sweet treat with a balanced meal that includes some protein, non-starchy veggies, and fat can help with blood sugar management. But don’t get tricked by the treat—check the nutrition facts label just in case or use this handy quick reference guide for Halloween candy to make sure you have accounted for all carbs.
  • Apple Mummies and Kiwi Witches’ Brew: Halloween treats don’t have to be candy or gummies! Wow, visitors can come with ghoulish, creative, and nutritious snacks. A quick search for healthy Halloween treats on Pinterest can do magic or you can find some fun treats here.

Halloween is full of fun and can be very busy. Sometimes, high blood sugars happen. Don’t get spooked or chilled by surprise—remember to check those blood sugars and take diabetes medications as prescribed.

…Jack-O-Lanterns shining bright, your registered dietitian wishes you a haunting night!

Halloween Tips and A Treat

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Halloween Tips and A Treat

By Amy Kramer, MPH, RD, LD

pumpkin pie on a white plate with two orange pumpkins as decorations

With Halloween just around the corner, here are some tips to prevent being spooked out of enjoying the holiday.

Does your little pumpkin have food allergies? With most Halloween candies containing the “top” allergens or sharing a manufacturing line with allergen foods, we offer the following tips to help you keep your children safe this holiday:

  • Talk to your child about possible hidden allergens
  • Have a plan in the event of an allergic reaction – educate family, fellow parents, your child’s friends, school or caretaker if they will be taking your child trick or treating or hosting a party
  • Read all labels for yourself and discuss/educate your child on how to do this
  • Limit or avoid homemade treats unless you know the person providing the treat; this is important for overall safety as we are unsure about the preparation, cleanliness, and storage of the items.
  • Look for teal pumpkins: in 2014, the Food Allergy Research & Education created the Teal Pumpkin Project to raise awareness of food allergies and provide safe food alternatives for allergic trick-or-treaters. *Be sure to ask if this is the case just in case the pumpkin was merely decorative.

Remember this is only one day a year so it is okay to splurge a little. It is what we consume daily that has the greatest impact on our health so if you find an abundance of leftover candy portion it out, set a “treat schedule” or place it somewhere out of sight. Encourage filling up on healthy snacks and being active before having candy. Another way to use up some of the candy would be to make your own trail mix by combining it with nuts, whole grain cereals, pumpkin seeds and pretzels.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

½ cup canned pumpkin
1 cup milk or almond milk
1 medium banana, frozen (if you have a fresh banana, just add 1 cup of ice)
1 Tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice(optional whipped cream topping)

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and top with optional whip cream.

Nutritionals: 126 calories, 1.80 grams total fat, 28 grams carbohydrates, 2.1 grams protein
Allergens: *dependent on type of milk used: milk, nuts, soy