Monthly Archives: December 2013

Tape isn’t just for wrapping Christmas gifts

Brian TrabulsiBrian Trabulsi, MPT, ATC is a physical therapist at Rex Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation in Raleigh.

Kinesio Tape

What’s the most colorfully wrapped item under your tree this year? If you suffer from any type of muscle pain, then it could be your own leg!
(…or your shoulder …or your back …) 😉

Kinesio tape was developed in Japan in 1996 by Dr Kenzo Kase. It differs from other forms of therapeutic tape due to its elasticity. Kinesio tape is capable of stretching to 140% of its resting length. The purpose of Kinesio taping differs depending on the type of deficits you are trying to address. Depending on the tape’s direction and amount of stretch, therapists are able to either decrease muscle spasms or enhance muscle contractions. Kinesio tape is effective at reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain by lifting the skin to create space allowing for drainage and a cooling effect in the subcutaneous tissue. To address biomechanical faults such as poor patellar-femoral tracking, the tape is applied with a vigorous stretch to correct alignment and improve function within the joint/muscle.

Kinesio tape is latex free and only stretches in a longitudinal direction. The elasticity of the tape when applied properly provides a unique combination of stability without sacrificing mobility. This combination makes it a great option for athletes trying to remain competitive despite acute or chronic injuries. Physical therapists can use Kinesio tape to extend the effects of their treatment. Ideally, it works as an extension of the therapist’s hands from one treatment to the next to minimize setbacks and speed up recovery. Oh, and it makes a great stocking stuffer for the “sore” athlete in your family!

Leave a comment

WRAL Healthy Holiday Eating Recipes

Roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta & White asparagus
Brussel Sprouts & Asparagus with Bacon


1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 pound (white) asparagus
1 ½ TB olive oil
2 slices bacon, diced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground, black pepper
Additional salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any old outer leaves. Cut them in half. Cut the woody ends of asparagus, leaving only the tender stems.
  • Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Dump them on a foil lined baking sheet, making sure to leave space between the vegetables.
  • Sprinkle the diced bacon over everything and put the baking sheet in the oven.
  • The vegetables take about 30 minutes to roast, so set your timer for 10 minute intervals (3x) to rotate and flip them and prevent anything from burning.
  • Check for seasoning and add any addition salt and pepper if needed.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition (1/6th recipe):
Calories 96
Fat 5.2g
Saturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 2.5mg
Sodium 252mg
Potassium 502mg
Total carbohydrates 10.3g
Dietary Fiber 4.5g
Sugars 1.7g
Protein 5.1g

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

3 medium sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2c pecan pieces
1tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2tsp chili powder
1/4tsp kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Place foil on a large baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
  • Chop sweet potatoes into bite size pieces about ½ inch cubes and place in large bowl.
  • Add pecans, maple syrup and spices into bowl.
  • Toss well to coat sweet potatoes and nuts.
  • Place on greased baking sheet and roast in oven for about 40-45 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are lightly golden brown on edges.
  • Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition (1/6th recipe):
Calories 155
Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 0.7g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 70mg
Potassium 319mg
Total carbohydrates 23g
Dietary Fiber 3.2g
Sugars 14.2g
Protein 2.1g

Pumpkin Mousse

1 ½ cup skim milk
1 small package sugar free vanilla pudding mix
½ cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp allspice or nutmeg
1 cup reduced fat whipped topping


  • Whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes then let stand for 2 minutes more.
  • Fold in pumpkin, spices, and ½ cup of the whipped topping.
  • Divide into 6 serving dishes and top with a dollop the remaining whipped topping.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information- per serving (1/4 of recipe):
Calories 152
Fat 2.2g
Carbohydrate 18g
Protein 4g
Sodium 208mg

Leave a comment

Fight Holiday Stress

Post by Chiara Phillips, a dietetic intern from Meredith College currently working with Rex Wellness Centers.

It is the most wonderful time of the year! But wait, it is also the most stressful time of year. Everyone’s to-do list seems to be ever-expanding and for all the stress and planning, the job can be thankless. When the realities of our day-to-day life conflict with our efforts to make our holidays memorable and perfect, stress ensues.

We accept this stress as normal part of the holiday season. Stress is a normal reaction, when our body is “at war.” Stress causes our bodies to go into “fight or flight,” releasing hormones that allow our bodies to focus on the task that it causing the stress. Our main stress hormone, cortisol, shuts down the systems we are not using such as reproductive, immune, and digestive and increases the body’s availability of glucose.

This increase in glucose causes an increase in insulin to control our blood sugar. This reaction leads to an increased appetite, stress eating, weight gain, and difficulty losing weight. This causes unhealthy food choices during the holiday when junk food is plentiful. So, how do we combat this stress and its negative effects? Here are five simple steps to help you handle the holiday stress:


121613_breatheDo you know that most of us only breathe out of the upper ¼ of our lungs? Taking deep breaths and truly filling your lungs improves our circulation, slows our heart rate, and lowers our blood pressure. So, when our in-laws, parents, children, siblings, or spouses are pushing our buttons this holiday season, take some deep breaths before you explode.


121613_exerciseExercise reduces stress! Physical activity bumps up our production of endorphins. Our endorphins help make us happier and more content. Find an activity that you enjoy. Walk for 15 minutes around the neighborhood looking at your neighbor’s decorations.

Eat healthy

During the holidays we are blessed because our families and friends remind us how much we are 121613_eatingloved, but often their love is shown through food. Often the food is not healthy. Preventing stress eating begins with being a mindful eater. Planning your meals before you eat can help avoid extra calories. At holiday parties, notice all of the options before you prepare your plate. Splurges are okay, but consume the smallest amount necessary to satisfy the craving. When you build your plate, make sure you can still see the bottom of your plate.


Don’t skimp on sleep. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When the subjects resumed normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood. Be at your best during joyful and memorable times. Aim for 6-8 hours a night.


Something doesn’t need to be funny to laugh. So, laugh to laugh. As we age, the less we are laughing. Children smile 300-400 times a day and laugh 150 times a day, but adults are only laughing 17 times a day. Whether laughter is fake or real, it has the same benefits. Laughter reduces stress, increases blood flow, increased immune response, and helps with relaxation and sleep. So, when you feel that bit of holiday stress approach just laugh it off. Then laugh and laugh again!



Leave a comment

Happy Holiday Eating!

Tessa Nguyen, Certified Chef de Cuisine and student at Meredith College, is a Dietetic Intern with Rex Culinary Services. Follow her on twitter @TNutritionista.

The Holidays. Sometimes we say it with a twinge of fear as we brace for the whirlwind months filled with shopping and getting everything “just right” before family and friends come to visit. This is all without even thinking about what we’re going to prepare for the holiday feast! Here are some easy tips to take on healthy holiday eating.

Small plates, big taste.

Our eyes are good at deceiving us. In the case of holiday eating, this is a good thing. Swap out a large dinner plate for a smaller salad plate so you can fill up your plate without filling up past the point of comfort. Having a smaller plate helps encourage you to eat slowly so you can savor each bite of delicious holiday goodness.

Eat your fruits and veggies.

Yes, mom was right. Not only will Mother Nature’s bounty make us grow up to be big and strong, they also taste delicious and are super easy to prepare. Wash fruits and vegetables, cut them up, and serve with low fat Greek yogurt (for the fruit) and hummus (for the vegetables) for an easy appetizer. This is always a crowd-pleaser because who doesn’t like finger food?

Hold the bubbly.

The holidays are all about celebrating, and what better way than with your favorite bubbly beverage, be it beer, champagne, or the like. Although a finely crafted beverage can taste quite good, they fill you up pretty quickly. All the carbonation leaves you feeling bloated without room to eat any of the holiday treats your family and friends have so lovingly prepared for you. To be friendly on your belly this season, try alternating between drinking water and your favorite fizzy beverage throughout the evening. This will give you the satisfaction of enjoying some bubbly without bubbling over.

Indulge, a little.

We all have our favorite holiday food, from Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies to Aunt Sue’s green bean casserole. When someone tells us we can’t have something, we want it even more. That’s why having a small taste of your favorite item is just the trick to satisfy your craving. The key is to make sure to keep to a small serving so you don’t overdo it.

*   *   *

Hopefully these healthy holiday eating tips will help you feel more prepared and ready to take on this holiday season without having to break out your favorite pair of sweatpants!

Leave a comment