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National Diabetes Awareness Month
November 7, 2018
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month November is here, that means that along with elections, we get to talk about diabetes again. Once again I’ll just provide a brief recap, or overview of diabetes, then highlight some of the things that we are doing in our pharmacies to help patients with diabetes. What exactly is diabetes? Diabetes is a progressive disease in which your body is unable to efficiently process sugar to use as energy. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin that is used to move sugar from your blood into your cells to use for energy or store for later. When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or your cells don’t respond to insulin. When this happens, you are unable to get the sugar from your blood into your cells. There are two main types of diabetes; Type 1 and 2. Type 1 diabetes (formerly known as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes) is caused when your own immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is caused by your body not producing enough insulin or your body not responding to the insulin being produced, called insulin resistance. Is diabetes that big of a problem? The answer is YES! The most recent statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that in 2015, it’s estimated that 9.4% (30.3 million) of the U.S. population had diabetes, 1 in 4 didn’t know they had diabetes. With numbers like this, diabetes is a growing epidemic. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled as the American population has aged and become more overweight. Are you at risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes? You’re at risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes if you: Are overweight Are age 45 or older Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes Are physically active less than 3 times a week Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant) or given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds So what can you do to reduce your risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes? Maintain a healthy weight Lose weight if you’re overweight Regular physical activity – 150 minutes per week Eat healthier How can we help? We will be offering prediabetes screenings at our pharmacies through the month of November We will also be offering free blood glucose testing at pharmacies this month Having diabetes makes you more likely to contract Hepatitis B and Pneumonia. We offer immunizations for both at our pharmacies (don’t forget your flu shot) Talk to our pharmacy staff about our PharmaSmart program to help monitor your blood pressure Join our RX Savers club for access to affordable medications to treat diabetes Free Glucocard meter and 50 count test strips for $9.99. Dietitian approved, month-long diabetic menu and shopping lists As always, stop by any of our pharmacies if you want any more information or help with your diabetes concerns. Thanks! Jason Miller, Pharm. D. Pharmacy Clinical Program Manager...
Managing Diabetes Through The Holidays
November 1, 2018
Managing Diabetes Through the Holidays Hey there! The most wonderful time of the year is just over the horizon! The time when friends and family gather to share those special moments around the table with holiday goodies in every corner of the room. It can be fabulous and so enjoyable, but it can also be a time of stress for those of us that have prediabetes and diabetes and for those that are interested in being the best and healthiest version of themselves and strive to maintain that status through all the holiday cheer. The temptations can be overwhelming, but our team of Registered Dietitians have some great tips for you. Tip #1 You can ALWAYS create a healthier “better for you” version of almost anything. It is all about selecting the right ingredients. We’ve made it easier to find better-for-you options of all your favorite ingredients through our shelf-tag programs like Food Facts & Dietitian’s Choice – These programs will help guide you towards more nutritious options in every aisle. Items have been hand selected by our team of Registered Dietitians as better-for-you options. Swapping out ingredients in your favorite recipes for some better for you options is a great place to start making small, sustainable changes. Here’s a list of some of our favorite healthier substitutions. Find more ideas in our Eat Healthy, Shop Smart Newsletter. White flour → whole wheat white flour Mayo, sour cream → plain, non-fat Greek yogurt Plain, non-fat Greek Yogurt can be used in so many dishes! Check here for more ideas! Egg → 1 Tbsp. Flax + 3 Tbsp. water Vegetable oil → Canola Oil Stick margarine → Land O Lakes Light Butter (tub) Butter → Avocado (1:1 ratio) Chocolate Chips → 60% Cocoa dark chocolate baking chips Sugar → Sugar Substitute (equal, stevia, etc.- check package for amounts) Half and half → Fat Free half and half Peanut Butter → Natural Peanut Butter Powdered Sugar → Sugar Free Instant Vanilla pudding Instead of making a cake or cupcakes use mini cupcake liners to limit portion Pumpkin pie in the can → 100% canned pumpkin puree + add your own spices Tip #2 It can still taste amazing! Try to be open minded about trying new versions of your favorite recipes. Still not sure what to make? Check out this great vegetable side dish for Sweet and Spicy Brussels Sprouts. Tip #3 It’s all about proper portions and moderation. Balance is key. The first few bites are the most satisfying when compared to the last bites. This is all about being present and mindful when eating. Be sure you are enjoying your time and conversations with family and friends. The French say that hunger is the best sauce. They’re right! When you’re hungry, everything tastes better. The very first bite of food has a much stronger taste and creates a stronger sensation than the one after that. And the more you eat, the less additional pleasure you get from each bite. Tip #4 Don’t skip meals! Don’t think you should save your carbs and calories for a dinner or party. It is very important to eat consistent amounts of carbs throughout the day to keep your blood glucose levels more consistent, minimizing those peaks and valleys. It will help you feel better throughout the day, too! Happy & healthy eating throughout the holiday season! Peace & wellness, Ashley...
October 25, 2018
Hey everyone! I’ve got another fun DIY project that’s perfect for this time of the year. This cute pumpkin arrangement will look super cute on the front step when trick or treaters come, and it’s also a great centerpiece for Holiday gatherings! Here’s what you’ll need to make this: Pumpkin from the produce department, hollowed out Enough wet floral foam to fill the pumpkin One package of cash and carry Fall Floral Mum One stem of baby’s breath Mixed Greens Hyacinth stake to hold pumpkin top on the bouquet Scissors or floral knife Have fun mixing all your favorite fall colors to make this project your own. The possibilities are endless! Have a great Halloween! Ashley, Floral Manager, Sauk Rapids ...
October 18, 2018
Antibiotics are medicines that fight bacterial infections. Used properly, they can save lives. But there is a growing problem of antibiotic resistance. It happens when bacteria change and become able to resist the effects of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to the public’s health. Antibiotic resistant bacteria can cause illnesses that were once easily treatable with antibiotics to become untreatable, leading to dangerous infections. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are often more difficult to kill and more expensive to treat. In some cases, the antibiotic-resistant infections can lead to serious disability or even death. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics allows the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria (bacteria that antibiotics can still attack) are killed, but resistant bacteria are left to grow and multiply. This is how repeated use of antibiotics can increase the number of drug-resistant bacteria. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections like the common cold, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections. Widespread use of antibiotics for these illnesses is an example of how overuse of antibiotics can promote the spread of antibiotic resistance. Smart use of antibiotics is key to controlling the spread of resistance. To help prevent antibiotic resistance Tell your healthcare professional you are concerned about antibiotic resistance. Ask your healthcare professional if there are steps you can take to feel better and get symptomatic relief without using antibiotics. Take the prescribed antibiotic exactly as your healthcare professional tells you. Safely dispose of leftover medication. Ask your healthcare professional about vaccines recommended for you and your family to prevent infections that may require an antibiotic. Never skip doses. Never take an antibiotic for a viral infection like a cold or the flu. Never pressure your healthcare professional to prescribe an antibiotic. Never save antibiotics for the next time you get sick. Never take antibiotics prescribed for someone else. Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern in the healthcare community, it will take a combined effort from providers and patients to help address this, following the tips above will certainly help. Thank you and be well! Jason Miller, Pharm. D. Pharmacy Clinical Program Manager...
There’s No Place Like Halloween
October 12, 2018
There’s no place like Halloween! It’s our 4th annual Halloween video and I am so excited for this year because I have so many fun ideas and great recipes to share. As I’m sure you all know by now, I have so much fun planning for my Halloween party every year, and this year is no exception! First, I made a Cauliflower Brain to hold some chip dip. Simply remove all the leaves from a head of cauliflower and slice the end of it flat so it stands. Then cut out a bowl shape on top of cauliflower to hold the dip. Decorate the brain by weaving thin strands of red and blue fruit strips between the florets to make veins and arteries. Then it’s time to add the dip and I just had to use Crazy Fresh Guacamole because it’s the best! Every menu needs something hot to serve and these Eyeball Sandwiches using Simek’s meatballs are the perfect way to really make your Halloween theme come to life! Using a nice chunky sauce adds flavor and makes the eyes look bloody. A little melted cheese over the meatballs makes the whites of the eyes. Top them with a sliced black olive to complete the look. You can cut these into smaller sections to serve as an appetizer or keep them bigger and make this a fun meal too! Next, it’s witch’s brooms and these are so cute and easy! All I did was cut Crystal Farms Mozzarella Cheese sticks in half, then shred one end of the cheese and the other end I placed a pretzel stick in. Then take some chives to tie just above the broom bristles to really make it look awesome! Variety is always nice when throwing a party. One of my new favorite dips is that’s perfect for Halloween is Dead Man’s Dip and this recipe is fantastic and so quick and easy. Simply combine all the ingredients and bake it in the oven. The corn is an unexpected surprise that really makes this dip one people will remember! Now to make some fun and healthy items for the kiddies. I cam across some seriously adorable ideas that kids are sure to love. I made some little carved oranges and all you do is hollow out an orange and carve it like a pumpkin. Then add a variety of blueberries and raspberries. Another quick and easy kid friendly idea is monster munchies. For these I cut rambutan fruits in half and filled the spikey shells with pomegranate seeds. White fruit from the rambutan is perfect to toss in the punch recipe for some spooky eyeballs too! Next I made little Frankenstein heads that I thought were so cute. First, cut off the bottom of a kiwi so that it sits flat, then use a vegetable peeler to remove the fuzzy skin from the kiwi leaving some on the top for hair. To make neck bolts, take a pretzel stick and break it into three pieces. Push the ends of the broken pretzel on each side of the kiwi towards the bottom so they stick out just a little bit. For the mouth, take the center piece of your broken pretzel and gently push that piece sideways into your kiwi where the mouth should be. Lastly, use two mini chocolate chips and push them each into position above the mouth to make his eyes. These are a great way to get the kids to eat some fresh fruit by making it fun! Now, the kids need something fun to drink too so make sure to serve Kemps Chocolate Milk! October is usually pretty chilly in the Midwest, so what better way to have chocolate milk than to heat it up and turn it into hot chocolate! This is great for when the kids get back from trick or treating… and make sure to add Kemps new whipped topping before serving! Of course, kids aren’t the only ones that enjoy Halloween! I love using dry ice to set the mood and make some spooky fog flowing out of my punch bowl. This recipe for Eye Of Newt Punch is a tasty adult beverage and the greenish glow makes it look like a potion straight from the witch’s cauldron. Adding the rambutan fruit for eyes makes it even spookier! When decorating for a party, don’t forget there are fun ways to make your food be part of the decor! We have Here are some more fun and creative decorating tips to make your food the life of the party! Order fun halloween themed desserts from any of our bakeries. It will save you tons of time and you can custom order cakes, cupcakes, giant sugar cookies or our 12 inch chocolate chip cookies to fit your halloween theme! Turn whole carrots into witch fingers by placing a dab of cream cheese on the pointed end of the carrot. Then add a sliced almond for a nail. Then place them into your dip bowl for a dramatic look. Use whole carrots instead of candles in candelabras to add more color and texture. Serve dips in small, hollowed out pumpkins. They add color and variety, plus save on dishes! I put our new spinach and artichoke dip in a pumpkin and added the witch finger carrots to it as well to make it even more interesting! Adding small decor to your food like plastic spiders, skulls or fake cobwebs can really help set the theme and take a simple plate of chips and turn it into a spooky spider web! I hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!!! Jayne, Coborn’s, Inc. Merchandising Specialist Team Manager – Bakery & Deli...
SPOOK-tacular Halloween Treats!
October 1, 2018
Boo! I hope I didn’t scare you too badly! But let me tell you, the leaves are changing color, the air is getting cooler and it’s giving me the chills! Where did summer go? As we know, the cooler weather is inevitable, but fall isn’t so bad, especially when we have Halloween to look forward to! As a dietitian, I would love to say that handing out a healthy apple instead of candy is a perfect way to make the holiday a little more nutritious… but I would be lying. Truth be told, that was my least favorite trick or treat goodie. Of course, that’s not to say we can’t make Halloween healthy – c’mon, I’m a Dietitian! So, how do we make the season healthy? By getting the kids involved and making it fun! I’ve gathered some of my favorite Halloween ideas that will be fun for the kids and also provide some good nutrition! Fruits and vegetables are all you need to make this adorable Halloween scene! This is great for the little ones in your family, because they can help peel the bananas and oranges and they can add the face to their ghost! I personally like to use raisins for the ghost, but I’m sure the kids won’t argue if you use chocolate chips instead. Everyone loves pizza! Start by taking your favorite whole wheat pizza crust and add-on a lower sodium pizza sauce. When topping with cheese, do a light layer of reduced fat cheddar cheese and then add-on slices of reduced fat mozzarella. The cheddar will add a bright orange color, while the sliced mozzarella will be perfect for your ghosts! Use black olives to make spiders and small faces for your spooky little ghosts. Tip: We have numerous whole wheat pizza crust options at the store! Check in both center store as well as near the deli for some great options. Be sure the first ingredient reads: whole wheat flour. This is a simple trick you can use to find whole grain products throughout the store! We all know avocado toast is trending, but let’s switch it up a bit and make these fun little Frankensteins at breakfast. Avocados are one of the only fruits that provide healthy monounsaturated fat, which will also keep you fuller longer! Be sure to use whole wheat toast as well. You can use olives, red peppers and the egg whites from hard-boiled eggs to make your Frankenstein as friendly or as scary as you’d like! These adorable little monster mouths are easy and so fun to make with apples, nut butter, and macadamia nuts! Tip: When choosing a nut butter, look for an option with lower sodium and sugar. Did you know, we have some nut butters where the only ingredients is “peanuts?!” You’ve heard our dietitian team loving up on veggie spaghetti, but how cool is this meal!? You can heat up the veggie spaghetti with some pesto in a skillet for a few minutes until cooked through. Then, add-on slices of cooked egg yolks, black olives, and some red peppers to make a perfect meal for Halloween! Happy & healthy eating, Emily...
DIY – Fall Mums
September 25, 2018
Fall is just starting to show in the trees, and we have a whole bunch of gorgeous fall decor in stores already! One of my favorite Fall flowers is mums. They add a splash of color and are really fun to dress up to make them even more festive. In this arrangement I used a variety of items, all of which you can pick up at the floral department in any of our stores. If your store doesn’t have a full floral department, you can probably find most of these items at a local craft store too! What you’ll need is: Mums (indoor or outdoor and any color) Tin bucket, or other decorative pot, large enough to fit mum inside Floral foam Wired ribbon Scissor Flexible wire Cattails Lotus pod Midelino sticks The trickiest part is making the ribbon into the bow. Just take your time with it! Going slow and steady will make it turn out the best. And you can always start over if needed too! I hope you enjoy dressing up your fall mums! Ashley Floral Manager, Sauk Rapids...
Flu Season Is Coming!
September 18, 2018
School is back in session and fall is in the air, sad to see summer go but I sure do love this time of year. This month we have a guest blogger, Ben Varoga. Ben is a 4th year pharmacy student from NDSU who is doing a management rotation with us. Ben has also worked at our Cooper and Pinecone locations for the past few years and has some great information to share with you regarding the flu. Flu Shot Season Every year there is a lot of news coverage about flu vaccines and influenza in general. A lot of information out there can be misleading, and it is important to get accurate information. Influenza, or more commonly known as “the flu,” is an infectious disease caused by a virus. Some symptoms that you experience from this virus include a high fever, a runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, a headache, coughing and feeling tired. The influenza virus can also lead to more serious problems including pneumonia, hospitalizations and in rare cases, death. Last flu season there were 6,446 hospitalizations attributed to the flu in Minnesota and five pediatric influenza-related deaths. These serious events can help be prevented by getting the flu vaccine and why it is so important to get immunized every flu season. Flu vaccines, also called flu shots, help protect against the influenza virus. These vaccines are updated every year because the virus changes rapidly. For this reason, it is important to get your flu shot every year because last year’s vaccine likely won’t protect you during this flu season. In addition, the more people that get the vaccine in a community, the less that the influenza virus spreads throughout the community. The effectiveness of this vaccine varies from year to year but most commonly they provide modest to high protection against the influenza virus. There are different kinds of flu vaccines available; injectable vaccines and an inhaled intranasal vaccine that is again approved this year. Neither type of vaccine is recommended over another, it is just important to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine is recommended for the vast majority of patients aged 6 months and older. Patients aged 65 years or older are recommended to get the high-dose flu vaccine to increase the effectiveness of the vaccine. There are even options now for people with certain allergies, such as egg allergies, to get a flu shot. It is important to talk with your local pharmacist if getting a flu vaccine is right for you. The flu vaccine is currently offered at all of our pharmacies for everyone aged 19 years and older. I hope everyone has a great start to the school year! Benjamin Varoga NDSU Pharm. D. Student...
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