A New Year’s Refresher on Bone Health


Post by Diane Danchi, R.D., L.D.N. Diane is a Registered Dietitian at Rex Wellness Center of Cary and Rex Wellness Center of Knightdale.

This information is summarized from an article in the December, 2014 “Nutrition Action Health Letter”

  1. Osteoporosis is a silent killer; you cannot feel your bones getting weaker – until one breaks
  2. We all lose bone after age 50. Women lose 15% of their bone density in the 1st 5-7 years after menopause. The only way to know your individual bone mass is via a DEXA scan. This scan is recommended for women at age 65 and me at age 70 or ages 50 – 69 if you are at high risk (have had a fracture or have a medical condition that increases the risk of osteoporosis).
  3. Bones may break because peak density wasn’t reached in your mid-20’s. Eighty percent of bone density is determined by genetics; 20% is determined by exercise and nutrition. After age 65, exercise and nutrition play a bigger role in density than genetics. What you eat, if you exercise, if you limit alcohol and do not smoke impact the amount of calcium retained in bones.
  4. Keeping your core and overall muscle system strong help keep bones calcified and prevent falls and fractures.
  5. You can get too much calcium and research is indicating it could be a cause of kidney stones. About 1200 mg per day from food and supplement is the recommended limit. A lot of food are being fortified with calcium so read labels. Taking a 500 – 600 mg supplement is sufficient for most, but ask your doctor.
  6. There was some concern about calcium supplements and heart disease in women, but the current science does not indicate that is an issue.
  7. An intake of about 600 – 1000 IU Vit D daily along with adequate calcium intake can help with calcium absorption and may improve muscle building. Strong muscles help keep bones calcified and help prevent falls.
  8. A high intake fruits and vegetables (about 10 per day!) along with moderate whole grain and moderate protein intake can help the body maintain a beneficial acid / alkali balance for both maintenance of muscle mass and for bone calcification.
  9. Weight-bearing exercise, strength-training and balance training are all important in bone calcification and prevention of falls.
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Wellness Wednesday: Tailgating with a Healthier Twist – Low Fat, Gluten-Free Turkey Chili

Post by Diane Danchi, R.D., L.D.N. Diane is a Registered Dietitian at Rex Wellness Center of Cary and Rex Wellness Center of Knightdale.

“Tailgating with a Healthier Twist” continues this week with another delicious tailgating menu from Rex Wellness Center Registered Dietitian Diane Danchi, R.D., L.D.N.

This week’s menu includes: Low Fat, Gluten-Free Turkey Chili, Cornbread and a Low-Fat Waldorf Salad

Be sure to visit the Rex Wellness Centers’ Facebook page every Wellness Wednesday for a post featuring recipes, tips, workouts and more from our wellness experts.

ChiliLow Fat, Gluten-Free Turkey Chili

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey Breast
  • 2 (15 oz) cans Petite-Diced Tomatoes (no-added-salt)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans Kidney Beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can Black Beans, drained
  • 1 large Onion, cut up in coarse pieces
  • 2 T Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 dash Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • Light Sour Cream
  • 2% sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Optional:  1 T. grated Semi-Sweet Chocolate and a dash of Allspice


  1. Brown ground turkey breast, stirring constantly break it up
  2. In slow-cooker, mix in turkey, tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, and onion. Season with chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, and salt.  Add chocolate and allspice if using them.
  3. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high
  4. Garnish with light sour cream, low-fat cheddar cheese, and cilantro

Makes 8 1-cup servings

Waldorf Salad

  • 1/2 cup Walnuts Halves
  • 1/2 cup Non-Fat Yogurt
  • ¼ cup Light Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup light or fat free Cool Whip
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1/2 Lemon Rind, zest or finely grated
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 large crisp apples, such as Gala or Red Delicious
  • 2 ribs celery (with leaves), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (leaves chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Raisins
  • 1 cup Red Grapes, halved
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 head Boston lettuce, trimmed, washed, and dried


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool and break the nuts up into small pieces.
  3. Whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, Cool Whip, honey, and lemon zest in a large bowl and season lightly with pepper.
  4. Halve, core, and cut the apples into 3/4-inch pieces, leaving the skin intact.
  5. Add the apples, celery, raisins and grapes to the bowl, and sprinkle with the lemon juice; then toss with the dressing.
  6. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.
  7. When ready to serve, toss walnuts into the salad. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter, or divide them among 4 salad plates. Place the salad on the lettuce and serve.

Serves 4


 Mix together:

  • 2 Eggs or ½ cup Egg Whites – beat well
  • 1 cup Water
  • ¼ cup Canola Oil
  • 2 – 4 T. Honey, Sugar or Sugar in the Raw

In separate bowl combine:

  • ½ cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • ½ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • Note: can use all whole wheat pastry flour if you like – it’s healthier!
  • 1 cup plain yellow cornmeal (NOT self-rising)
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt


Make a well in center of dry ingredients; mix just until all is moistened. Pour into an oiled 8” square pan and bake at 400º for 20 min or until lightly browned

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Wellness Wednesday: Quick Workout

Be sure to visit the Rex Wellness Centers’ Facebook page every Wellness Wednesday for a post featuring recipes, tips, workouts and more from our wellness experts.

May every joy be yoursthis Holiday

Sometimes it’s hard to make time for your regular workout, especially during the holidays. That’s why we’ve put together a quick workout you can do anytime and anywhere.

 Quick Workout:

  • 1 minute: Walk, March, Jog or Climb steps
  • 1 minute: Squats
  • 1 minute: Push Ups (or Wall Push Ups)
  • 1 minute: Jumping Jacks (or Half Jack option)
  • 1 minute: Controlled Mountain Climber (or standing elbow to knee twist)

Repeat this sequence 2-3 times for a quick workout that will increase your energy.

Reduce rest in between each exercise for a more intense cardiovascular challenge.

*Gradually warm up and cool down as you perform this workout.

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Runners’ Must-Have: Road ID

Post by Rodney Jenkins, a Group Exercise Instructor at the Rex Wellness Center of Garner. He is also a business teacher, a soccer coach and an athletic trainer with the Wake County Public School system.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who was so excited for her daughter who was training for her first marathon.  I love hearing about first timers and was eager to listen to her share her daughter’s training experiences.  She did have one major concern and that was the fact that on most weekday runs, her daughter trained alone and because of her job, was running in the dark.  As a runner, running solo on weekdays is certainly something that most of us can relate too since we see usually see our training groups on weekends only.

120514_roadID5Her concern for her daughter’s safety took me back 6 years when I was traveling with high school students through Europe.  In order to get my runs in, I had to leave at the crack of dawn before the students arose for breakfast and that meant running alone.  After all, who could resist the opportunity to run along the Seine River in Paris, through the Black Forest in Germany or a quaint Swiss village among the Alps?  Not me. I loved it.

Having grown up in an urban area, I never threw caution to the wind while running but there was one thing that I never carried with me and that was identification.  On this particular journey through Europe, I traveled with three wonderful teachers who were a bit nervous about me running alone in foreign countries.  One of them shared a story with me about her sister-in-law who was also a runner.  Tragically, she was struck by a car while running alone and she was not carrying identification.  Before her roommate or family realized that she was missing, she passed away.  Needless to say, the family was devastated.  My friend encouraged me to buy a Road ID and as soon as we returned to the USA, I did.

So what is a Road ID?  It is easy-to-carry identification for anyone who spends time outdoors.  If you are involved in an accident and incapacitated, family members and friends can be contacted because in addition to carrying your name, you will be carrying the names and telephone numbers of family or friends on your wrist, ankle, shoe or around your neck.

120514_roadID6I have all but the shoe ID and I keep the Fixx necklace ID which looks like military dog tags on 24/7.  I keep my ankle ID in my gym bag.  I really like the Fixx ID which looks like military dog tags.  It’s roomy enough to add your favorite slogan in addition to your contact information.  The other side can be engraved with any type of logo you can imagine.  I have the Ironman MDot on the back of mine.

One freebie that Road ID offers is the Road ID App.  You can create a lock screen for your smart phone to include all of the vital contact information that you have on the physical IDs.  It even has a really cool e-crumb option to let family or friends know that you are on a training run or ride.

So, will a Road ID save your life? Perhaps not, but it can give loved ones some peace of mind.  You certainly don’t have to rely on a Road ID.  You can carry another form of identification with you.  My wife Angie travels quite a bit and before she leaves home, I always make sure she has her Road ID.  Peace of mind is so important.  So before that next outdoor outing, take some identification with you or make sure you have your Road ID.  If not for you, do it for your family and friends.  By the way, my friend ordered one for her daughter as soon as we finished talking.

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Wellness Wednesday: Tailgating with a Healthier Twist – Jerk Chicken Thighs

Post by Diane Danchi, R.D., L.D.N. Diane is a Registered Dietitian at Rex Wellness Center of Cary and Rex Wellness Center of Knightdale.

“Tailgating with a Healthier Twist” continues this week with another delicious tailgating menu from Rex Wellness Center Registered Dietitian Diane Danchi, R.D., L.D.N.

This week’s menu includes: Jerk Chicken Thighs, Low-Fat Herbed Potato Salad, Fresh Fruit Kabobs and a Feta Craisin Salad with Light Balsamic Dressing.

Be sure to visit the Rex Wellness Centers’ Facebook page every Wellness Wednesday for a post featuring recipes, tips, workouts and more from our wellness experts.

Jerk Chicken Thighs and LegsJerk Chicken

  • 4-5 lbs. Skinless Chicken Thighs and Legs
  • 1 T. Salt
  • 2 T. Brown Sugar
  • 2 T. Ground Ginger
  • 2 T. Ground Coriander
  • 2 T. Black Pepper
  • 1 T. Onion Powder
  • 1 T Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper

Make Rub: Mix salt, brown sugar, ginger, coriander, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, allspice and cayenne pepper in a bowl.

Marinate Chicken: Sprinkle rub on all sides of the legs and thighs and rub in. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Cook: Grill over medium high heat, preferably charcoal, for 20-25 minutes, turning every 5-7 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Low-Fat Herbed Potato Salad

Mustard and seasonings give this healthier version of old-fashioned potato salad super flavor. Serves 6.

  •  1 pound thin-skinned small, New Red Potatoes (not peeled – about 4 cups cooked)
  • 1 c. sliced Celery
  • 1 c. sliced Green Onions


  • 4 T. Fat-Free Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 T. Light Mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
  • ½ tsp Minced Garlic
  • ½ tsp dried Basil
  • ¼ tsp dried Onion Powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt (optional)

Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Place into saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain.

Mix dressing ingredients. Combine hot potatoes, celery, green onion and dressing.

Serve hot or refrigerate and serve cold.

Nutrition: Serving size = 1/2 cup
Calories – 74; Carbs – 14 g; Prot – 2 gm; Fat – 1 gm; Sat Fat – 0; Fiber – 2 gm; Cholesterol – 1 mg; Sodium – 78 mgs.

Craisin Salad

Mix spring greens, Craisins, toasted slivered almonds, feta cheese and light Balsamic dressing.

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Giving TuesdayThanksgiving. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday!

We have a day for giving thanks, followed by two for getting deals. Now there is a day dedicated to giving back.

Rex Healthcare will be participating in #GivingTuesday on Tuesday, December 2nd. #GivingTuesday is a day where charities, families, businesses, and communities around the world unite to celebrate generosity and to give.

This #GivingTuesday, we hope that you will join us by making an appointment to donate blood at the Rex Donor Center. Our goal is to have 100 appointments made on December 2nd, with donations to take place before January 2nd. This will help us to secure a consistent blood supply throughout the holidays.

Get Involved:

  • Announce your participation in #GivingTuesday @Rexhealthcare to your social networks and email lists
  • ‘Like’ and share posts from the Rex Healthcare Facebook page or the Rex Blood Services Facebook page
  • When you make a donation at Rex Blood Services post an #UNselfie on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (Take a ‘Selfie’ with a sign or caption explaining how or why you are giving this year. Remember to use the hashtags #UNselfie #GivingTuesday and tag @rexhealthcare)
  • On Dec 2nd make an appointment to donate blood – Visit RexHealth.com or call 784.4750

#GIVINGTUESDAY – Why not give blood!

GivingTuesday_BloodOn any given day, blood transfusions are needed for accident victims, patients in surgery, organ transplants and patients receiving treatment for cancer, or other diseases. In fact, even with all the advances in medicine today – when a patient needs a transfusion, there is simply no substitute for a human donor.

The need for blood is great. It is estimated that 95% of the population will receive a blood product by the age of 72 but less than 5% of the eligible population actually gives blood. Each pint of blood you donate can save up to 3 lives! Won’t you please help?

The donation process only takes about an hour, and is completely safe. Your gift will help ensure blood will be available for someone who needs it – even you or someone you love.

Rex Blood Services is located at 2709 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150 in Raleigh (across from Rex Hospital). Their hours are Monday – Thursday 7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fridays 8:30 am – 4:30 pm and the first three Saturdays each month from 9 – 1 pm.

To schedule an appointment visit RexHealth.com or call 919.784.4750.

Looking for another way to give? Make a donation to The Rex Healthcare Foundation

The Rex Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, works to support Rex Healthcare’s commitment to excellence in patient care and caring for the community.

Donations made to the Rex Healthcare Foundation help to support Rex’s programs and services. Your donations help Rex provide educational and training programs, purchase the latest technology and provide medicine and services to patients who may not be able to afford them.

To make a donation, call 919.784.4424, print and mail a donation form, or donate online.

Donate Now

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Wellness Wednesday: Stress Less This Holiday Season

Be sure to visit the Rex Wellness Centers’ Facebook page every Wellness Wednesday for a post featuring recipes, tips, workouts and more from our wellness experts.HolidayStress

Holidays are a time to bond with family and friends, but it is hard to find time or energy. Shopping can also cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. If you have a case of the holiday crazies, here are a few ways to cope!

 1. Plan a get-together with one person at a time, or meet in small, intimate groups. Have coffee, go shopping, or have lunch. This might relieve that “family duty” you might feel on the actual holiday.

 2. Make gift tags with personalized messages telling each person what they add to your life or the world.

3. Gather a group of friends, contribute money and exchange recipes. Make the recipes, spend the day with the friends and everyone goes home with treats to give away for the holidays.

4. Do not charge anything on your credit card after July, which can allow you to decrease any debt you have accumulated before the holiday season – or do your holiday shopping on a cash-only basis.

5. Buy holiday items throughout the year when they are on sale to use for office party gifts, your child’s teacher or other acquaintances. This will leave you time during the holidays to shop more selectively for those closest to you.

6. Give gift certificates that tap into a hobby or talent like baking, cooking, sewing, or simple things like babysitting and housekeeping.

7. To avoid holiday chaos at toy stores, shop for kids at the beginning of the season so you don’t have to endure crowds and long lines.

8. Check out the stores for the most popular items and hit eBay. You might find a good deal!

 9. Start a holiday account at your bank. Saving $20 a month will put a nice chunk of change in your pocket before the holidays. You can also put a portion of your paycheck, loose change, or birthday money in a box to save for holiday shopping.

10. Organize a gift exchange among adults in your family. Buy the children individual gifts, but draw names among the adults. This will save you a lot of money and time.

11. Host a brunch or dessert party instead of a sit-down dinner.

12. Purchase gift certificates to the stores where you will shop during the holidays. Use these to do your holiday shopping, so you don’t feel as if the money is coming out of your pocket all at once.

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Healthy Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Oatmeal cookies


  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup of craisins/dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup walnuts/pecans


  1. Preheat heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix vanilla extract and cinnamon into the applesauce.
  3. Blend applesauce mixture with all other ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes
  4. Drop cookie dough, by spoonfuls, onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and flatten cookies into rounds.
  5. Bake approx. 20 – 30 minutes, or until golden and done.
  6. Remove from oven and let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack.
  7. Store in a covered container when completely cool.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 90
  • Fat: 2.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.1
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
  • Sugars: 6.0g
  • Protein: 2.3g
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Help us say ‘Thank You’ to Rex Healthcare

RustyWagstaff3Hi, my name is Rusty Wagstaff and my wife is helping me write this post, I’ll explain why in a moment.

If you’ve made a donation to the Rex Healthcare Foundation in the past, I want to personally thank you, on behalf of the hundreds of patients and families you have helped  this year — including us.

Here’s how important your donations are.

The next time you drive by Rex, or walk through their doors, please take a moment to look around and realize how much you have done to keep Rex at the forefront of medicine.

Your help turned out to be tremendously important to me last December, when I suddenly needed everything that Rex could give.

It began with what I thought was the flu. At 54, I was still pretty athletic, but this was packing a punch. Three days before Christmas, with a fever of 105, an ambulance brought me to Rex.

By early Christmas morning, I was in a coma, in septic shock, with my organs failing. Our family gathered at my bedside.

This is where my wife Bonnie has to give you the details.

Bonnie tells me the doctors, intensive care nurses, and all my caregivers were quietly, compassionately determined I’d make it. Few people in my situation did. With a lot of help, I came through.

RustyWagstaff2However, in fighting the bacteria and staying alive, my body concentrated blood flow to my core. Later, my doctors were forced to amputate my legs and hands.

Now, with my new high-tech legs and ongoing rehab, I feel good and I’m doing great.

So here’s where you come in. Bonnie and I need a favor, and it’s not what you may think.

We’re asking you to help us thank Rex by sending a gift today.

When you do, you’ll help us make sure that Rex’s advanced care and kind compassion is always there whenever someone in a situation like mine comes through their doors. You’ll also be helping hundreds of patients and families in need.

With everything we’ve been through, we don’t have the resources to do this ourselves, but maybe you do.

If you can help us thank Rex, please make your gift of $25, $50, $100 or more online now. Or if you prefer, you can print the donation form and mail in your donation.

Please make a donation by Dec. 10th so the Rex Healthcare Foundation can start their 2015 planning.

Rusty visits the nurses that helped him during his stay at RexYour contribution, which is tax-deductible, will give them a running start towards meeting their year-end goal of $1.1 million and starting 2015 on firm footing.

You can give to thank a caregiver, or in memory of someone who changed your life.

If you’re like Bonnie and I were, healthy and busy, you might take hospitals for granted. But when we faced some-thing this traumatic and life-threatening, having Rex there was a blessing.

I know if it weren’t for Rex, I wouldn’t be writing this. I have to say, between my faith, everyone at Rex who supported us, and our family and friends, we have been very blessed.

You and yours may not need Rex as much as we did. But I can assure you, you can feel a lot of satisfaction knowing that when you donate to Rex, you’re saving someone’s life.

Please send the most generous gift you can.

(Want to learn more about Rusty’s journey? Read more via the News & Observer)

Donate Now

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“Rapping Up” How Rex Express Care Can Serve You

042114_expresscare1Dr. Linwood Watson is the medical director for the Rex Express Care system and sees patients full time at the Knightdale Express Care site. He is board certified in family medicine and works with an enthusiastic group of nurses, emergency medicine physicians, family medicine physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the Rex Express Care system. Dr. Watson enjoys acute care medicine and the satisfaction of people walking out of the clinic truly feeling better.

As many people have seen, the Rex Express Care physicians and staff recently released a humorous rap video highlighting the unique niche that our Express Care system occupies: More services than a retail clinic while still having the ability to do many basic procedures (lacerations, abscesses) and avoid the ER.

Below are some insights into this fun project paired with some Express Care reminders.

Thanks for all the video viewership, comments, and support!

Was the video fun?

Obviously no one expected BET/MTV to be buzzing the phone, but it is healthy to never take yourself too seriously. While medical personnel take their jobs seriously, you always need the ability to laugh.

One item that isn’t fun, is chest pain/potential heart attacks in the Express Care. On average, each of our 4 suburban locations have 1-2 ER transfers each day. Yes, each day!

People “know” the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, but denial and fear prevent them from doing the correct thing- picking up the phone and calling 911!

Did the video take a long time to film?

Well, as anyone who has made a media production knows, lots of work goes into 30 seconds. Including voice work, it took about 6 hours of takes to compile enough film and audio to assemble the finished product.

Here’s the one tip to (most likely) ensure a quicker Express Care visit: Remember that the least busy time at the Express Care offices is usually between 1pm-3pm on weekdays.

While every day is different and there are no guarantees, this is usually the least busy time to come, if your schedule allows it.

Who was most enthusiastic about the filming?

Age is just a number, and that was proven with the beloved Dr. Jefferson’s performance.Dr. Jefferson is a fixture in the Cary Express Care. He was a bundle of energy for the entire production and had an affinity for the camera!

The Express Care teams also have an affinity to use all of our Rex resources to help you. Remember us if you decide to go to a retail clinic, but are turned away or referred elsewhere because you are out of their scope of practice.

Need an x-ray? We can rule out pneumonia. Need some basic lab work? We have most acute care situations covered. With 4 convenient locations, we can serve you well.


Looking for more ways to determine which type of care to seek? Check out this infographic!


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