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Healthy Habits from Fellow Patients
| In May, we asked our loyal Advancing Health readers "What are your tried and true ways of reducing your intake of processed foods?" Here's what our readers had to share:
- Bonnie: "I bring my lunch--usually leftovers--to work every day. This way, I'm less tempted to get fast food on my lunch break."
- Jack: "When I go grocery shopping, I always read the ingredients on the nutrition label. If it has ingredients that I can't pronounce or the list is a mile long, back on the shelf it goes."
- Sherri: "I shop for fresh items around the perimeter of the store. Foods such as vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy have a short shelf life. Most of the products in the center isles--such as cookies, cereal and crackers--have a long shelf life. If a food product can last over a year on a shelf, without needing to be put in the fridge or the freezer, it's definitely processed."
- Dan: "As a single guy with limited cooking skills, I was used to eating a TV dinner or frozen burrito for lunch AND dinner. But I knew that sooner or later, all the salt and other junk in my diet would catch up to me, so I cleaned up my eating habits. It's actually really easy to find healthy, quick and simple recipes on the Internet. I stick with basic recipes that usually don't have more than 5 or 6 ingredients. I watch online cooking shows to brush up on my kitchen skills. And I haven't had a salty, flavorless TV dinner in months!"
Parsley is more than just garnish for your plate. Read on to learn more about this popular herb.
Characteristics: mild, slightly bitter taste.
How to use and store:
Foods commonly used in: Parsley is used in Middle Eastern, European and American cooking. Curly leaf parsley is typically used as a garnish.
Possible health benefits: Parsley contains volatile oils and flavonoids, which have shown to have anticancer and anti-oxidant properties. Parsley is a good source of vitamins A, C and K. It may also help aid with digestion.
- When possible, choose fresh parsley, as it has a much bolder taste.
- Select dark green parsley that looks crisp.
- Store fresh parsley in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
- Just before cooking, wash fresh parsley by placing it in a bowl of cold water. Swish the leaves around to remove dirt
- Parsley is a good source of folic acid, which may help reduce risk of heart disease.
- Ancient Greeks used parsley to decorate tombs of their deceased loved ones.
Living with diabetes is complicated
What would you do with FREE time away from some of the daily worries and burden of treating diabetes?
FREEDOM-1 is a clinical research study investigating an innovative approach to delivering treatment for type 2 diabetes that doesn't require needles or even pills. This study is now enrolling.
You may be able to take part if you:
- are between 18 and 80 years of age
- have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes from more than 3 months
The study will last for approximately 1 year, and throughout this time you will receive care from a dedicated team of medical staff. There will be 10 visits to the study center.
Investigational product, examinations, and medical care relating to the study will be provided at no cost to you.
If you would like to help us in our research to deliver a simpler, more convenient diabetes treatment, please contact Ava at (925) 930-7267
or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hormone Highlight: Gastrin
AKA: Stomach acid regulator
Location: produced by G cells (found in gastric pits) in the stomach lining.
- Stimulates the release of gastric acid (Hydrochloric Acid)
- Aids in gastric motility (involuntary movements of the stomach that help move food along so that it can be properly digested)
- Gastrin is released in response to:
- Hypercalcaemia (high amounts of calcium in the blood)
- Partially digested amino acids (protein)
- Stomach/abdominal distension (bloating)
- Procedures that stimulate the vagus nerve, such as treatments for epileptic seizures.
- Gastrin is not released if there's already enough acid in the stomach--why would you want more?! Other hormones, including secretin, somatostatin, glucagon, gastroinhibitory peptide (GIP), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and calcitonin.
Do you have Type 2 Diabetes?
Are you a Type 2 diabetic and take Lantus? Take our free survey to see if you may be eligible to participate in one of our clincial research studies!
Go online to Survey Monkey
to complete the survey. If you qualify for a study, a member of our recruiting staff will contact you shortly.
|Advancing Health Newsletter ||June 2013|
Hello! Here's what we have going on at DCR throughout the month of June:
- Recipe Redux: Do you have a favorite recipe that isn't so healthy? Submit your recipe to our Registered Dietitian for a makeover! She will revamp the dish to make it more nutritious yet delicious. These upgraded recipes will be posted on our website.
- Expand your nutrition knowledge! Our Registered Dietitian will be holding a FREE nutrition talk on Wednesday, June 26th from 4-5pm. The topic is on Super Foods. The class will be capped at 7 people. Offer available only to persons NOT currently enrolled in a research study. To RSVP, call (925) 930-7267 x 244 or send an email to email@example.com.
- We're always looking for more people for our studies! If you have a friend, co-worker or family member who you think could benefit from medical research, let us know! They can fill out a Contact Form on our website or they can call (925) 930-7267 and ask for Recruiting at extension #201.
- And stayed tuned for MD medicine & health talks coming in July and August!
Start Strength Training
|At the start of every year, millions of people make New Year's resolutions, yet a majority of these resolutions have fizzled out by February. Engaging in goal setting (such as S.M.A.R.T. goals) or making your goals known to friends and family are just two of many sure-fire ways to help those resolutions stick. And Diablo Clinical Research is here to help! Each month we'll be highlighting a resolution or goal and ways to help you achieve it. Read on for this month's resolution...
June: Give strength training--also called resistance or weight training--its proper due.
- Get cleared for exercise: If you suffer from any chronic medical conditions (especially heart conditions), or take medication, it's a smart move to talk with a health professional before jumping into a program.
- Make it personal: Consider hiring a certified personal trainer. If you're new to exercising, it's a great way to learn proper form, as well as to help motivate you. Click here to find a certified personal trainer in your area.
- Pick up the dumbbells: Also referred to as free weights, lifting dumbbells are a great way to kick off your resistance training program. You can perform basic exercises with dumbbells, such as bicep curls and chest presses, or take it up a notch by using weighted bars or working several muscles (i.e. bicep curls + lunges) at the same time.
- Body weight = weight training: Body weight exercises don't require any equipment at all--just your mind & body! Your own weight provides the resistance in the movement. Push-ups are probably the most well known body weight exercise, but there are dozens out there to try.
- Get muscles on the yoga mat: Yoga is great for stress relief and flexibility, but many types of yoga will also help build strength. Since yoga is just you and your mat, it's a form of body weight resistance. Types of yoga that involve more strength work include: Power yoga (or Vinyasa/flow) and Ashtanga yoga. Keep in mind, these types of yoga are physically demanding, so go at your own pace if you're new to yoga or exercising in general.
- Make like the Swiss: The Swiss ball, also commonly known as a stability ball, is another piece of equipment that's often used for resistance exercises. It's very versatile and can be used in abdominal exercises, push-ups and in total body workouts.
- Be friends with the BOSU: BOSU (pronounced 'bow-sue') stands for BOth Sides Up, meaning that you can do exercises on both the flat platform AND the rounded half-Swiss ball side. It's great for increasing balance and core (stomach) strength. The BOSU can be used in a similar manner to a Swiss ball, but you can also stand on it to perform additional exercises.
- Be a band-it: Resistance bands are stretchy, rubber tubing, usually with handles. You can use the bands in place of dumbbells in many of the same exercises. The bands can easily be packed into a suitcase or overnight bag so that you can exercise while away on business or on a vacation. Different colored bands have different resistances, so consider buying a few different bands so that you have different options to choose from.
What are your favorite strength training exercises?
Send an email with your ideas to our Registered Dietitian
and your healthy habits will be posted in our June newsletter.
Are you a Type 1 diabetic with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN)?
We are currently enrolling patients for a new investigational product for Type 1 diabetics who suffer from diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). If you are interested in participating in this study, please visit our website ad for more information. You can also call our clinic at call (925) 930-7267 or send an email to
Recipe Roundup: Grilled Chicken with Tomato Tarragon Sauce
Summer is here! Time to fire up that grill and get cooking! Turn plain old chicken into a grilled masterpiece with tomatoes and tarragon. Use fresh tarragon if possible.
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 Tbsp dried tarragon)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 boneless chicken breast halves, skin on (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 cups chopped fresh tomato (1-2 tomatoes, depending on their size)
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- Get the grill started on medium high heat. While the grill is heating up, whisk together half of the tarragon, half of the oil, and all but 1/4 teaspoon of the minced garlic in a shallow dish. Lightly pound chicken between sheets of waxed paper to uniform 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to tarragon mixture and turn to coat. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, blend the tomato and remaining olive oil until smooth. Add the vinegar and remaining tarragon and garlic and pulse until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Grill chicken until brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plates. Spoon sauce around chicken.
- Tip: To reduce the fat content, remove skin AFTER cooking. Leaving the skin on the chicken will help the meat to retain moisture so that you don't end up with overly dry chicken.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 410 calories, 26.7 g total fat (6g saturated, 14.8g monounsaturated, 4.9g polyunsaturated), 109mg cholesterol, 4.7g carbohydrates (1.1g fiber, 2.7g sugar), 36.6g protein, 210mg sodium, 637mg potassium, Vitamin A 19%, Vitamin C 21%, calcium 5%, iron 8%
RD Taste Test: Cashew Cheese
YES, you CAN make 'cheese' from cashews! Nut-based cheeses are great for those people who have lactose-intolerance or a milk allergy, or just want to avoid dairy altogether.
|Dr. Cow Aged Cashew Nut Cheese|
Cashew cheese characteristics:
Making cashew cheese at home is a breeze with this easy recipe:
- Taste: nutty, savory and, if using nutritional yeast, a very 'cheesy' taste
- Texture: Ranges from very soft and creamy (like cream cheese) to very thick yet spreadable(like hummus). Depending on how fine the cashews are blended, the cheese may be a little grainy.
- Nutrition: 1/4 cup = 66 calories, 4.8g fat, 18g carbohydrates (6g fiber, 0g sugar), 5g protein, 300mg sodium,
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, unsalted
- 1 lemon
- 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2tsp-3/4tsp sea salt
- Optional: Fresh or dried seasonings, including thyme, basil, rosemary, etc (I used 1 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
- Optional: Other add-ins like sun-dried tomatoes, olives, etc
You can also purchase cashew cheese at health food stores or online.
- First, soak the cashews. Put the cashews in a bowl and add several cups of filtered water. Soak for at least 2-3 hours or overnight. This will soften the cashews and make them creamier and easier to process.
- Juice the lemon. This should yield about 2 Tbsp of juice. Then zest the lemon. This should yield about 1 -2 tsp of zest, but this measurement does not need to be exact.
- Drain the cashews and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the lemon juice, zest, salt, nutritional yeast, and process for about 1 minute. Stop the food processor occasionally and scrape down the sides. Continue processing until the mixture becomes creamy and starts to hold together, almost with the same consistency as ricotta cheese.
- Optional: add whatever seasonings or add-ins you like.
- Process until mixed in and adjust seasonings to taste. The cashew cheese will stay good in the refrigerator for several days.
Other ways to enjoy cashew cheese:
- As a stuffing for homemade ravioli
- Spread on bread or crackers
- Enjoy as a dip with veggies
Have you suffered from 5 to 14 migraine days in the past month?
Are you between the ages of 18-55 years old?
If so, you may qualify to participate in a research study of an investigational drug to see if it can help prevent migraines.