Monthly Archives: December 2014

Slow Cooker Vegetable Lentil Stew

VegetableStewHere’s a great recipe that uses good-for-you greens — kale and chard.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt (optional)
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 2 cups chard, chopped
  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (or stock)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (16 ounces)
  • Fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt (optional)
  • Potatoes (optional)


  1. Sauté onion and garlic with olive oil.
  2. Combine sauté mix with the rest of the ingredients (except yogurt) in a slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  4. Spoon stew in bowls to serve and top with a dollop of fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt (optional).

Serves 8.

Per serving: 250 calories, 4.5 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 260 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrates, 14 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar, 14 g protein, 100 percent vitamin A, 60 percent vitamin C, 15 percent calcium, 35 percent iron. Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture,

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Tips for Common Winter Infections

Dr. DorfmanDr. Dorfman of Rex Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists at Wakefield is board-certified in Otolaryngology. His clinical interests are medical and surgical diseases of the ear, pediatric ENT, allergy, and head and neck, sinus, thyroid, facial plastic and reconstructive surgeries.

It wasn’t long ago that we were all enjoying those last few long summer days with lots of sunshine and warm weather. But, the reality is clear. Winter is here, and this is prime time for colds, influenza (flu), and other respiratory illnesses.

While viruses are active year-round, fall and winter are when we’re all most vulnerable to them. This is due in large part to people spending more time indoors with others when the weather gets cold.

 What can you do to avoid getting sick?

  •  Wash your hands often. Teach children to do the same. Both colds and flu can be passed through coughing, sneezing, and contaminated surfaces, including the hands.
  • Alcohol-based hand rubs may be used if soap and water are not available. They are not as effective if the hands are dirty.
  • Try to limit exposure to infected people. This is particularly important for premature infants, children with significant asthma, and those that are immunosuppressed.
  • Practice healthy habits:
    • Eat a balanced diet.
    • Get enough sleep.
    • It can help the immune system better fight off the germs that cause illness.
    • Do your best to keep stress in check.

It can be hard to differentiate between a common cold and a sinus infection (sinusitis).

How can you tell if you have a sinus infection instead of a cold?


  • Common colds are viral infections that usually last for 5 to 10 days.
  • Symptoms are most severe between days 3 or 5, and then improve and disappear.
  • Nasal discharge usually starts clear and watery, and after a day or two, the nasal discharge may become thicker with white, yellow, or green color.
  • After several days, the discharge becomes clear again and dries.

Sinusitis (Sinus Infections):

  • Sinusitis is an inflammation of the mucosal lining of the nose and sinuses.
  • The infection can begin with inflammation from a viral cold, which can lead to narrowing of the drainage passages of the sinuses. This narrowing can also be related to swelling from an allergy flare up.
  • Symptoms like nasal discharge, headaches, and facial pressure last more than 10 days without improvement or get worse after a week of a common cold.
  • The headaches in sinusitis in general are behind or around the eyes, and they get worse when bending over.

Once you have figured out if what you have is a cold or a sinus infection, what is the best way to manage the infection?


  • Common colds are treated only with over-the-counter medications based on the symptoms they cause.
  • Decongestants for difficulty breathing through the nose are available in oral forms, notably pseudoephedrine (e.g. Sudafed), and topical sprays, i.e. oxymetazoline (Afrin). Note that the decongestant sprays can be used for a maximum of 3 days.
  • For those with thick mucus or pus from a common cold, nasal rinses and neti pots are useful to irrigate the nose.
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) work well for pain.
  • Thick mucus in the nose and chest can be treated with guaifenesin (e.g. Robitussin, Mucinex), and dextromethorphan (Delsym) is helpful for cough.

Sinusitis (Sinus Infections):

  • For a bacterial sinus infection, all of the same over the counter medications and treatments listed above can be helpful for symptomatic relief.
  • However, in the case of a bacterial sinus infection, antibiotics (and sometimes oral steroids) are also indicated, so see your health care provider to confirm the diagnosis and get an appropriate prescription.

Dr. Brett Dorfman recently joined Rex Healthcare’s newly opened Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists at Wakefield. Board certified otolaryngologists Dr. Dorfman and his colleague, Dr. Esa Bloedon, have a combined 22 years experience in Raleigh.

The new practice provides a full range of medical and surgical ear, nose and throat treatment for adult and pediatric patients. In partnership with Rex, a member of UNC Health Care, patients have access to all of the resources and specialty care that Rex and UNC have to offer.

Call 919-570-5900 to schedule an appointment.

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Wellness Wednesday: Tips for Cultivating a Healthier Relationship with Exercise


Post by Samantha Bondo, Wellness Coordinator at Rex Wellness Center of Wakefield

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.

Maintaining an exercise regimen has the reputation of being challenging. Hundreds of articles provide tips on how to ‘stick with it’ and many of those tips suggest that failure to stay with an exercise program is due to a behavioral fault of the participant.

“Goal Setting”, “Routine”, and “Self-Discipline” are common buzz words associated with maintaining an exercise routine. However, little attention is spent on creating positive emotions around our personal relationship with exercise.

Exercise CAN be easy if you find your confidence and passion. Here are some tips to start:

  1. Acknowledge what you LOVE about your Body: Negative self image is typically what motivates someone to start an exercise regimen. But embracing what you LOVE is far more positive. If you love the way it feels to stretch after a hard day at work, begin by exploring Yoga. If you LOVE the shape of your arms, begin with strength training. By beginning your relationship with exercise in a positive manner, your confidence will grow and before you know it, you will explore the elements of exercise, that once scared you, with renewed vigor.
  2. Avoid the Three C’s: Criticism, Complaint and Can’t. Negative self talk will bring you down. Start your new goals by first being mindful of your thoughts. If the three C’s emerge, stop the thought and redirect to #1.
  3. Start with a Trainer: Rex provides two appointments with our trainers FREE to Members. Even if you are a gym rat, use these appointments. The fitness industry changes all the time, don’t miss your opportunity to gleam knowledge from folks who are in the profession of keeping up with the industry facts.
  4. You’re the Boss: Never forget you drive your choices. Yes, the world will throw curve-balls but you can pick them up and throw them back. If you get off course, don’t beat yourself up (refer to #2) but commit to getting back on course.

Start your fitness journey today! Enjoy this special offer from the Rex Wellness Centers:

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10 health tips for the New Year


Make 2015 your healthiest year yet!

Small, manageable changes can boost your health and happiness and inspire those around you to do the same. Here are 10 ways to improve your health:

  1. Ditch soda. Try switching to club soda—you’ll enjoy the same effervescence without the sugar or calories.
  2. Make a doctor’s appointment. Make room in your schedule for recommended health screenings. They can detect problems in their earliest, most treatable stages.
  3. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Use a timer or play a song to get used to brushing for the full amount of time.
  4. Wash your hands. It’s one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy and prevent the spread of germs.
  5. Take a break. Just five minutes for a quick walk or moment of quiet can help relieve stress.
  6. Protect your skin. Use sunscreen daily—it may already be in products you use!
  7. Make your lunch. You’ll save thousands of calories (not to mention dollars) over the year by bringing your lunch instead of buying it.
  8. Eat one more serving of fruit. Whether fresh, frozen, dried or canned, chances are you have opportunities to add fruits or vegetables to your meals.
  9. Set the stage for better sleep. Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet and keep work, computers and television out of the bedroom to promote optimal sleep.
  10. Avoid secondhand smoke. And if you smoke, quitting is one of the best steps you can take toward better health. Smoking cessation aids can help.
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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 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 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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