Make This Delectable Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad and Become Everyone’s Favorite Human

Bright and tangy, cool and protein-rich, this healthy and delicious dish occupies the magical territory between salty and sweet. You may never have had a dish that combined golden raisins, dried cranberries, and capers, but–trust us–this is worth trying.

This dish is also heroically healthy, which is why it’s featured on the menu at Kardia Café, the Mediterranean restaurant on the first floor of our brand new, state-of-the-art North Carolina Heart and Vascular Hospital.

healthy greek yogurt chicken salad

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Cute Photos of REX Newborns in Little Red Knit Hats

On February 3, REX Women’s Center distributed 200 red knitted caps to babies and new parents for National Wear Red Day. The knit hats were contributed to the REX Women’s Center courtesy of Little Hats Big Hearts, an American Heart Association organization.

We couldn’t resist stopping by to snap some photos.

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Grilled Chili-Rubbed Pork Kabobs with Peach Salsa

Grilled Chili-Rubbed Pork Kabobs with Peach Salsa

Pork kabobs with peach salsa

Savory pork skewers with a fresh peach salsa are a great way to liven up dinner. You can bring a bit of summer to your plate by using frozen peaches when they’re not in season.

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Health Benefits of Ice Skating

Ice Skating for HealthThe brisk air on your face and in your lungs. The sense of flying as you glide across the ice. It’s easy to appreciate the sensation of ice skating, but are you aware of its many mental and physical health benefits?

Some may surprise you.

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Turkey Sausage and Herb Stuffing: Healthy Holiday Recipe

A healthy alternative to traditional stuffing, this dish will have you asking for more–and not feeling bad about it!

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad with Citrus Walnut Vinaigrette: Healthy Holiday Recipe (Video)

Last week’s UNC REX Health Talk focused on “Healthy Holiday Eating.” UNC REX Executive Chef Ryan Conklin and registered dietitians Shelly Wegman and Mary Gray Hutchison joined host Sharon Delaney to take questions from the online audience and showcase a delicious and healthy holiday dish.

Check out the step-by-step video and recipe below!

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Take Advantage of Winter Exercise Options in Raleigh, NC (Video)

When winter comes to Raleigh, exercising on outdoor trails remains an option for much of the season. Sure, some cold, nasty days make the gym the only option. But plenty of mild days make winter in the North Carolina Piedmont pleasant. Outside activity remains a viable way to keep your heart healthy.

Certified Trainer and REX Wellness Coordinator Logan Johnson agrees, saying, that “Regular aerobic exercise is important during all months of the year. It improves cardiac and pulmonary function, leading to a reduction in long-term stress on the heart.”

Logan offers the following tips for winter exercise in Raleigh.

Tips for Winter Exercise in Raleigh, NC

  • Plan your outdoor activities around the forecast.
  • Dress in easily removable layers.
  • Protect your head, hands, feet and ears from heat loss.

Stretching in Park in Winter

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10 Silent Symptoms of Diabetes

112316_briers_bioAlexa Briers is currently a Dietetic Intern with REX Nutrition Services and REX Diabetes Education Center. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech.

Do you have undiagnosed diabetes? The American Diabetes Association reported 29.1 million Americans had diabetes, with 8.1 million being undiagnosed in 2012. Additionally, 1.4 million Americans are newly diagnosed each year.

In recognition of National Diabetes Awareness Month, we want you to monitor for these 10 subtle signs of diabetes. If you have questions or concerns about diabetes, talk with your doctor and ask about getting your blood glucose checked.

  1. Frequent urination: Your kidneys are working overtime to flush out excess sugar in the blood. Extra sugar not absorbed by the kidneys are filtered out through urine. High sugar equals more bathroom breaks.
    1. How do you know? People urinate 4-7 times in a day; are you making more trips to the bathroom?
    2. RED FLAG: Waking at night to use the bathroom.
  2. captureExcessive thirst: With frequent urination comes replacing the fluid lost. Your body feels parched and dried out!
    1. How do you know? 4 or more liters, over a gallon per day, is excessive. The average person needs approximately 2 liters a day.
    2. RED FLAG: Feeling thirsty just after drinking water.
  3. Extreme hunger: When blood sugar isn’t properly regulated it leads to fluctuations throughout the day. Low levels tell the brain to eat more calories and sugary food.
    1. How do you know? You find yourself eating more times a day than usual.
    2. RED FLAG: Extreme hunger even after a meal.
  4. Weakness/fatigue: Sugar is unable to get into your cells to energize them. The kidneys are also working overtime with sugar highs and lows. Add in interrupted sleep from night time urination and you are exhausted!
    1. How do you know? Your body and mind feel an ongoing exhaustion, lethargy or weakness.
    2. RED FLAG: You find yourself too weak to do everyday activities you were able to do with ease before.
  5. Pins and Needles: Extra sugar in the blood is damaging the nerve and nerve-endings. Due to poor circulation, the nerves located farthest from the heart, typically the hands and feet, have difficulty being repaired.
    1. How do you know? Feeling numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.
    2. RED FLAG: The tingling or numbness feels like burning upon waking up.
  6. Blurry vision: The sugar lingering in the blood takes fluid from the cells and tissue of the eyes. This leads to swelling, making focusing difficult for your eyes.
    1. How do you know? Road signs, menus, books or computer screens are not as clear.
    2. RED FLAG: Floaters in the field of vision.
  7. captureItchy skin: Poor circulation paired with the extensive loss of fluids causes the skin to dry out. Dry skin leads to itchy skin.
    1. How do you know? You notice yourself itching more than usual, coupled with noticeable dry skin.
    2. RED FLAG: Constant need for lotion and cracking skin.
  8. Slow healing wounds: Again, lingering sugar in the blood wreaks havoc on veins and arteries disrupting circulation. Without proper blood flow, cuts and bruises heal more slowly.
    1. How do you know? Paper cuts, bumps and bruises are taking more than a few days to go away.
    2. RED FLAG: Cuts that scab over again and again or wounds lasting weeks to months.
  9. Moody: Riding the roller-coaster of unstable blood sugar may cause a short-temper. High blood sugar may even disguise as depression symptoms.
    1. How do I know? You are noticeably more grumpy or irritable. Family or friends may comment on your unusual demeanor.
    2. RED FLAG: Depression-mimicking symptoms such as low energy drive and feelings of staying in bed.
  10. UTIs & yeast infections: High sugar levels within the urine are a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast near the genitalia.
    1. How do I know? Urinary tract infections come with a burning sensation during urination and cloudy, dark, or off-smelling urine. Yeast infections come with itching, burning and discharge.
    2. RED FLAG: Regularly occurring UTIs or yeast infections. Diabetics are 2 times as likely to suffer from these.

Only your healthcare provider can diagnose diabetes. Once diagnosed, our REX Diabetes Education Center can help you manage your  diabetes through individual and group support. To learn if you are at risk for diabetes, take our free online health assessment today.

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REX Bariatric Specialists Quick Recipes

Spice up your meal variety with these healthy, quick recipes recommended by REX Bariatric Specialists!

Ham, Egg, and Broccoli Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 16oz low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups 2% Italian cheese blend
  • 2 cups low sodium chopped sliced ham
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 10oz chopped frozen broccoli
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Beat eggs in a large bowl until blended
  • Add remaining ingredients into bowl and mix until combined well
  • Spray 13×9 inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray
  • Pour mix into baking dish
  • Bake at 350°F for 50- 60 minutes


Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup rolled oats, dry
  • 2 tsp Stevia (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • fruit (raspberries, blueberries)

Directions:

  • Combine ingredients into a bowl and blend
  • Spray skillet with olive oil cooking spray
  • Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto medium-low heat skillet
  • Flip batter when it begins to bubble
  • Repeat with rest of batter
  • Top finished pancakes with fruit

Serving size: 4 pancakes


Moroccan Chicken Thighs (slow cooker meal)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  •  1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (trimmed of excess fat)
  • pinch of pepper
  • Greek yogurt (for garnish)

Directions:

  • Blend cilantro through lemon juice in a food processor or blender
  • Add chicken thighs to bottom of slow cooker pot
  • Season with pepper and cover chicken with paste from food processor
  • Cook on low for 3-4 hours
  • Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt


Hummus and Crackers

Ingredients:

  • Crackers:
    • 1/2 cup chia seeds
    •  1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds (unsalted)
    • 1/2 cup pepitas
    • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
    • 1 clove of grated garlic
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • 1 cup water
  • Hummus:
    • 15oz canned chick peas (drained)
    • 15oz canned chick peas (with liquid)
    • 1/4 cup tahini sauce
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 3 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 medium garlic cloves (peeled)
    • 1/4 tsp cumin
    • dash of cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 cup kalamata olives (rinsed, pitted and chopped)

Directions:

  • Combine all cracker ingredients in a bowl and stir mixture until combined
  • Let sit for 2 minutes so water absorbs
  • Spread mixture onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Bake at 300°F for 35 minutes
  • Remove from oven and cut sheet into squares with pizza cutter
  • Flip squares and bake again at 300°F for 25- 35 minutes
  • While crackers are baking, combine all hummus ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth
  • Pour into a bowl and refrigerate while crackers finish baking (optional)
  • Garnish with additional olives (optional)

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Breast Cancer Myths vs. Facts

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we want to dispel some common myths about breast cancer that you often hear.

Myth: All lumps are cancerous.

Fact: Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer.  But if you discover a persistent lump in your breast or notice any changes in breast tissue, it should never be ignored. It is very important that you see a physician for a clinical breast exam. He or she may possibly order breast imaging studies to determine if this lump is of concern or not.

Myth: Only women get breast cancer.

Fact: Each year it is estimated that approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. While this number is still small, men should also check themselves periodically by doing a breast self-exam while in the shower and reporting any changes to their physicians.

Myth: If you have a family history of breast cancer, you are likely to develop breast cancer, too.

Fact: While a family history of breast cancer can place you in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history. Statistically only about 10% of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of this disease.

Here are the familial risks of breast cancer according to degree of family relation:

  • If you have a first degree relative with breast cancer: If you have a mother, daughter, or sister who developed breast cancer below the age of 50, you should consider some form of regular diagnostic breast imaging starting 10 years before the age of your relative’s diagnosis.
  • If you have a second degree relative with breast cancer: If you have had a grandmother or aunt who was diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk increases slightly, but it is not in the same risk category as those who have a first degree relative with breast cancer.
  • If you have multiple generations diagnosed with breast cancer on the same side of the family or if there are several individuals who are first degree relatives to one another, or several family members diagnosed under age 50, the probability increases that there is a breast cancer gene contributing to the cause of this familial history.

Fact: Early Detection is Key

When it comes to breast cancer awareness, the most important thing to remember is that early detection is key. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 98%.  Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.

Learn more about the REX Comprehensive Breast Care Program and how to make an appointment for a mammogram at rexhealth.com.

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