Monthly Archives: November 2015

Tres Leches Carrot Cake Recipe

112315_carrottcake2Congratulations to Chef Ryan Conklin and his teammates Steve Pexton and Collin Jennings for winning the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Triangle Series.

Try out this award-winning recipe from the Battle of Champions cooking contest.


Tres Leches Carrot Cake
by Steve Pexton


112315_carrottcakeDry Ingredients: sift together and set aside

  • 13 oz Flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of table salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 TB Cinnamon
  • 1.5 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg

Wet Ingredients: Mix together in an electric mixer or mixing bowl

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of spiced dark rum


  • 5 oz Diced dried Apricots, re-hydrate in 2C boiling water for 30 minutes, drain and discard the water.
  • 1.5 lbs  Shredded Carrots, peel and shred the carrots on a box grater

3 Milks: mix together and set aside. You will have extra.

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup half and half

Cream cheese frosting

  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 6 TB of unsalted butter
  • 3 cups 10 X sugar


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add butter, and cream until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar on low speed, and mix until completely combined.
  • Beat frosting on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Proceed in a mixing bowl or an electric mixer, mix the wet ingredients together until well blended, add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the garnish.
  • Butter and flour 2 9” cake pans
  • Divide the batter between the two pans and bake in a preheated 350 degrees for 27-35 minutes (depending on your oven) or until an internal temp of 202 degrees is reached, or insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean it’s done, if not, bake 5 more minutes and test again.
  • When the cakes are done, transfer them to a cooling rack and cool to room temp. Remove the cake from the pans and place them individually onto display plates.
  • If you have a squeeze bottle, place the milk mix in the bottle and soak the cake with the milks. Allow the first pass to soak in and repeat one more time to make the cake nice and moist but not to the point where the milk is pooling at the base of the plate. If you don’t have a bottle, use a ladle or a large spoon and moisten the cakes.
  • Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe 12 strawberry sized rosettes on the cake, one each per slice.
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8 Helpful Ways to Communicate Effectively with the Hearing Impaired

12145Genevieve Spiliopoulos of Rex Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists at Wakefield is board-certified in audiology. She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association, American academy of Audiology Fellow and is also a licensed Fast ForWord® provider.

It is estimated that one out of every three individuals over the age of 65 have some degree of hearing loss. The onset of hearing loss due to aging is typically gradual over the course of several years. Once hearing loss has been diagnosed, hearing aids are typically recommended. There are various types and styles of hearing aids that should be discussed with your audiologist to fit your individual hearing and lifestyle needs. Hearing aids are not a one size fits most, but rather individually customized to maximize hearing and communication.

shutterstock_134283248Hearing aids are the first step to better communication, but it is not the only one. Hearing aids alone may not let a person with hearing loss communicate successfully. Remember, communication involves at least two individuals: a talker, who sends the message, and a listener, who receives the message.


As a family member or friend of a person with hearing loss, you can help improve communication by following eight simple suggestions.

1. Gain attention
Gain the listener’s attention before you begin talking, for example, by saying his or her name. If the person with hearing loss hears better from one ear, move to that side of the person. If necessary, lightly touch the listener’s hand, arm or shoulder. This simple gesture will prepare the listener to listen and allow him or her to hear the first part of the conversation.

2. Maintain eye contact
Face the person with hearing loss. Make eye contact. Your facial expressions and body language add vital information to the communication. For example, you can “see” a person’s anger, frustration and excitement by watching the expression on his or her face.

3. Keep hands away from face
When talking, try to keep your hands away from your face. You will produce clearer speech and allow the listener to use those visual cues.

4. Avoid covering or changing the shape of your lips and mouth
Most listeners lip-read. Lip-reading helps improve recognition of some sounds that are more difficult, especially in difficult listening situations. To help with lip-reading, do not overdo or create odd lip shapes when applying lipstick, do not talk with food in your mouth and do not chew gum. Keep in mind that heavy beards and moustaches can also hide your mouth.

5. Speak naturally
Speak distinctly, but without exaggeration. You do not need to shout. Shouting actually distorts the words. Try not to mumble, as this is very hard to understand, even for people with normal hearing. Speak at a normal rate, not too fast or too slow. Use pauses rather than slow speech to give the person time to process.

6. Rephrase rather than repeat
If the listener has difficulty understanding something you said, find a different way of saying it. If he or she did not understand the words the first time, it’s likely he or she will not understand them a second time. So, try to rephrase it.

7. Converse away from background noise
Try to reduce background noise when conversing. Turn off the radio or television. Move to a quiet space away from the noise source. When dining out, ask for a table away from the kitchen, server stations or large parties.

8. Move to an area with good lighting
When at a social gathering, sit where there is good lighting so that your face can be more easily seen. Also, avoid strong lighting coming from behind you, such as through a window. Writing, texting, using visual media (such as pictures, diagrams and charts) and finger spelling are other methods of effective communication. If the person with whom you are speaking is deaf and uses sign language, communicating by using sign language would be the most ideal.

To learn more about effectively communicating with someone with hearing loss, use the following links:

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 919-570-5900.

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Reaching the Finish Line: Beach2Battleship Half-Iron Distance Triathlon

051613_TheresaPost by Theresa Pearce, a member of Rex Wellness Center of Garner. Theresa completed her first triathlon sprint in 2013 with Rodney Jenkins, a group exercise instructor at the Rex Wellness Center of Garner. This year, Theresa shares her experience on the challenges and successes she faced while participating in two half-iron distance triathlons. 

After completing several sprints in 2013 and 2014, I decided 2015 would be the year I would tackle two two half-iron distance triathlons, the Raleigh Ironman 70.3 in May and the Beach2Battleship at Wrightsville Beach in October. Knowing that I had to prepare for two triathlons with several weeks of training, as well as having plans to travel overseas,I was looking forward to a busy yet exciting year for me.

Training for the Raleigh race began at the end of January, and went really well. The day of the race approached very quickly. During the swim course, I spent too much time, barely making the cut off time. I got through 50 miles on the bike before getting pulled off the course by race officials, at that point,  time was not on my side. After 22 weeks of training, I was left with heartbreak and disappointment. However, I had no choice other than get over it and move on.

The third week of training for B2B was starting the following week which would give me a new goal to focus on. In this race, I was part of the 70.3 training group at Rex led by Rodney Jenkins. After a couple of days off, I was right back at it for a few weeks before my trip to Europe. While traveling abroad, my friend, Angie Jenkins, and I managed to get in a few outside runs along with some indoor cycling. Once we got back to the U.S., we returned to our regular training schedule.

Publication1All of a sudden, race day for the Beach2Battleship arrived and the weather conditions were nearly perfect. With a little help from the ocean current, my swim was faster in this race. This allowed me to get on the bike sooner. As I transitioned into the cycling course, I looked at my Garmin and realized the bike ride would be faster too. This meant that I would make it to the run and have a chance to finish. I didn’t expect to break any speed records on my run, my main goal was to just keep moving forward to get to the finish line.

Throughout the run I saw everyone from our training group at various stages of their runs as well as spectating friends from Rex who were there cheering us on. About mile 8 or 9 it started to hit me that I was going to make it. From that point on, tears would come and go all the way to the finish line. I was so happy to finish and get that medal because it really had been a long year of training and it finally paid off.

At the end, it was a exiting day for all, as everyone on our Garner Rex team finished. After a few hugs and some food, the group waited for fellow Rex members Liz and Jason to finish the full distance race before leaving for the night.

The next morning I awoke with tears in my eyes just thinking about what happened the night before. Though I didn’t get much sleep because I was too excited, I was on cloud nine. Some of us met for breakfast to talk about the race before leaving town. When we arrived home, Rodney and Angie presented me with a 70.3 magnet for my vehicle. I can’t thank them enough for the love and support they have showed me throughout this journey and beyond.

Publication2Our entire B2B training team is much appreciative of the support the Rex Wellness family has showed us throughout this adventure. In 2013 the plan was for Rodney to coach me to finish what was to be my first sprint and only triathlon. Coach and his wife have long since become close personal friends of mine for life and now I’m a 70.3 finisher for life!! You could say there was a slight change of plans.

I am proof that if you commit to your training and don’t give up, it is not required that you be tall, lean, or super fast to accomplish something as great as finishing a 70.3 half-iron triathlon.

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Donor Hall of Fame: Brooke Hall

This November, REX Blood Services will honor one of our dedicated blood donors, Brooke Hall, as she is inducted into the national Fenwall Hall of Fame by Fresenius-Kabi. Fresenius Kabi is a global health care company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and medical devices for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition.

For more than a decade, Fenwal has partnered with blood centers through the Donation Hall of Fame to recognize the commitment and dedication of extraordinary donors and volunteers.  The program celebrates these individuals and the important cause that they support. It provides blood center staff with real, inspiring devoted donor stories to motivate staff and turn-key tools to help centers celebrate these donors and share their stories to support local recruitment efforts.

Brooke will be honored at Rex Donor Center in an induction ceremony on November 19th.  Here is the summary about Brooke that will accompany her picture in their Hall of Fame publications:

Brooke Hall has always been driven to help others.  Brooke is a loyal platelet door, a member of the national Bone Marrow Registry and has even shaved her head to help raise money for childhood cancer research. Brooke brightens the days of those around her through her positive outlook, radiant smile and by sharing inspirational Dr. Seuss quotes with others.  Brooke is now also pursuing a career in nursing so she can continue to dedicate herself to caring.

One of Brooke’s favorite Dr. Seuss quotes is “Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.”  These are words to live by from a young woman with a generous and giving spirit.

102615_Donor Hall of Fame 1

Congratulations Brooke!

If you are interested in donating blood at REX Blood Services, sign up online today!


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November is National COPD Awareness Month

102715_DrDharDr. Sanjay Dhar is a Pulmonologist at REX Pulmonary Specialists. Dr. Dhar completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in New York. He went on to complete a Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, as well as a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellowship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a chronic and progressive disease that is the third leading cause of death in the United States. COPD affects millions of people, half of whom have not been properly diagnosed in the United States. Most of the time, COPD is diagnosed in middle-aged or older adults. The disease isn’t passed from person to person so you can’t catch it from someone else.

mtbackgroundTo help understand COPD it may help to understand how your lungs work. The air that you breathe goes down your windpipe into tubes in your lungs called bronchial tubes, or airways. These tubes then branch into thousands of smaller, thinner tubes which end in bunches of tiny round air sacs called alveoli.

In COPD, less air flows in and out of the airways because the airways and air sacs lose their elastic quality.  The walls between many of the air sacs are destroyed or become thick and inflamed, clogging the airways.

Common symptoms for patients may be intermittent or daily cough, with long standing phlegm or sputum production. Patients also report shortness of breath which is persistent and progressive with increased effort to breathe, “heaviness”, or “air hunger.”  Often symptoms are worse during exercise and worse during respiratory infections.

In the United States, tobacco smoking is the biggest risk factor for COPD. Exposures to smoke and inhaled irritants through occupations, pollution, and hobbies are also risk factors. Certain genetic conditions can predispose individuals to COPD.

Unfortunately, a significant number of patients suffering with COPD are not diagnosed until they have reached an advanced stage of their disease. COPD develops slowly and patients will sometimes blame symptoms of cough or shortness of breath to simply “getting older” or “smoker’s cough.” Symptoms often worsen over time and can limit your ability to do routine activities. Severe COPD may prevent you from doing even basic activities like walking, cooking, or taking care of yourself.

Spirometry is a simple diagnostic test  to diagnose COPD.  Spirometry is relatively easy for the patient and can help determine the severity of COPD and other respiratory diseases.

COPD has no cure yet, and doctors don’t know how to reverse the damage to the airways and lungs. Some treatment strategies include:

  • Smoking cessation. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD.  Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Stopping Smoking is the best thing you can do for your lungs and for your health to help you feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease
  • Oxygen therapy when indicated.  Many patients with severe COPD have low oxygen saturations during the day or night. Oxygen therapy, when indicated, can improve mortality in advanced COPD
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation- Your provider may refer you to pulmonary rehabilitation, which can improve feelings of shortness of breath and limit hospitalizations without added medications.
  • Medical therapies- Various inhaled and oral medications may be indicated to treat COPD and limit frequent and severity of exacerbations or improve lung function.

We are REX Pulmonary Specialists with offices in Raleigh and Cary and can be reached at 919-784-7460.


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