chicken Dietitians Dietition Eating Right Healthy Living Heart Health muffins Nutrition prepared recipes 911 active Activities Alzheimer's Disease appetizer appetizers attentive physicians Awareness back to school baking barley bbq beauty sleep Better Sleep blood pressure blood sugar BMI breakfast brussel sprouts busted butternut squash calories Cancer candy Cardiology child development childbirth children chili cholesterol clean eating coconut oil cooking cranberry sauce cucumber dairy Daylight Saving Time dessert dessert hummus diabetes diet Dietitians digestive health doctor and patient relationship Doctors easter easter egg easy eating Eating Right eggnog eggs exercise fall fiber flavoring Food food safety Foot Care fruits General gi tract guilt free gut health gut-brain connection halloween candy happy health healthy healthy eating healthy food healthy living healthy recipe heart attack heart health heart health numbers heart healthy oils helping those in need high fiber diet holiday holiday swaps holiday treat insomnia kale less than 100 calories lowcalorie lunch management meals meat meatloaf mexican brown rice mini meatloaf myths New Year New Years Resolutions November nutrient dense food nutrition Orthopedics physical therapy picnics plant based nutrition poppy seeds prepared preparing protein psl pumpkin pie pumpkin spice pumpkin spice latte quick quick and easy quick and healthy quinoa recipe recipes risk roasted chicken and vegetables salmon salsa scholarship program school side dish sleep Sleep Apnea smoothie smoothie recipe snack snacks soup southwestern speech therapy spinach and artichoke dip Spine spring peanut pad thai substitutes sugar super bowl; Surgery sweet potatoes Thanksgiving tips toe walking truths ultimate salad vacations vegetables warning signs weight control whole grain

Hannibal Regional Blog


Our blog offers content about healthcare, healthy living and the culture at Hannibal Regional.

What is your favorite holiday recipe?

Email me your favorite holiday recipe at katie.foster@hrhonline.org.  Over the next two weeks I will feature my top picks. Recipes do not need to be “healthy” just family favorites worth sharing!

Below is my favorite that I use to make around Christmas time but now tend to make year round! 

Sweet and Spicy Pecans (or any nut)


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 2 teaspoons of water (add last, see step 3)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt and cayenne pepper. 
  3. Add the pecans to the sugar mixture, along with water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved into a sticky glaze. (If the mixture is still too powdery after stirring for a while, add a few more drops of water -- just don't add too much!) 
  4. Transfer the pecans to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Drizzle all remaining glaze from the bowl over the nuts. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the pecans are crusty on top and golden on the bottom. Immediately slide the parchment off of the hot baking sheet and allow the pecans to cool completely on the counter top. Let cool and store in an airtight container.
Note: Make sure you're using parchment paper and not wax paper. Wax paper is not nonstick.

Blog post provided by:

Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clincial Registered Dietitian
Hannibal Regional Nutrition Services

Sweet Leftover Turkey Salad


4 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seed kernels
1/2 cup raisins
2 small apples, cored and diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon, juiced

Combine mayo, salt and lemon juice in medium bowl, whisk together. Add other ingredients and mix to combine. 

What is it good for? 

Turkey - Turkey (without skin) is low in fat and high in protein, a source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins. 

Sunflower Seeds - One ounce of roasted kernels contains 170 calories, is a good source of protein, fiber, zinc, folate and vitamin B6, and supplies about one-third of the Daily Value for vitamin E and phosphorus. The seeds are also rich in healthful unsaturated fatty acids. The USDA counts one ounce of hulled sunflower seeds as a two ounce equivalent in the Protein Foods Group. Sunflower seeds contain the essential nutrient choline, important for healthy cell structure, synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and brain and memory development in the fetus.

Raisins - Raisins are high in potassium and a source of phytonutrients.

Blog post provided by: 
Katie Foster, RDN, LD

Intuitive Eating During the Holidays

The holiday season can be a stressful time for many individuals, especially those who follow specific diets and eating patterns. Food seems to be the focal point of holiday gatherings. Choosing what to eat and how much to eat can be overwhelming to some, and/or a completely mindless act to others. Learning how to become an intuitive eater may allow you to relax in these stressful situations, make peace with food, and overcome overeating. 

Honoring your Hunger
It is common for people to restrict themselves from eating breakfast or lunch in preparation to have a large holiday meal on Thanksgiving Day, however, this can lead to a ravenous feeling of hunger. This feeling can often lead to hunger that is out of control when the holiday meal time comes. It is important to continue to feed your body according to what you need and want during the holidays, just as you would any other day. This might include enjoying breakfast, and having a light snack as you make your holiday meal. Every BODY is different and has different nutritional needs, therefore, it is important to honor YOUR hunger and not compare what you are having with what someone else is having.

Honoring your Fullness
It is important to realize that you can stop eating when you start to feel satisfied or possibly even before. It takes 15-20 minutes for our body to send a signal to our brain that we are full. Try to “check in” and realize when your body is telling you it is satisfied throughout the meal. It is okay to take dessert for later, or pass on a side dish knowing that you can have leftovers later. Rather than feeling deprived of certain recipes/foods at your holiday meal and over consuming them until you are miserably full, ask for the recipes and know that you can enjoy them all year round or as desired. 

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving and remember what the Holidays are truly about, relaxing and enjoying the family, friends, and FOOD we are thankful for.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Bethany Porter, MBA, DTR

Poor Sleep? Talk To Your Primary Provider
We all visit our primary care provider once or twice a year for preventative and ongoing care. We start out at the scale for our weight and height. This gives our care provider a picture of our overall BMI or Body Mass Index. The BMI is a screening tool to assess for potential health problems associated with unhealthy weight, both overweight and underweight.

Another screening tool is yearly blood tests. Depending on our individual health history, blood tests vary from basic, to more specific. These tests often include Cholesterol, Blood Glucose, CBC, and Metabolic panel. These tests give the care provider an overall picture of your health and can catch potential future health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and abnormal kidney and liver function.
Your care provider may put a pulse oximeter on your finger to measure the oxygen saturation of your blood. Low oxygen saturation can signal lung function problems and heart problems.

What we sometimes don’t discuss is our sleep. Poor quality sleep can affect our overall health and in some cases poor sleep can make other health problems worse. According to the National Sleep Foundation poor sleep can lead to overwhelming sleepiness during the day, increased risk of motor vehicle accidents due to drowsy driving, high blood pressure, increased risk for heart attack and stroke, increased cholesterol and higher blood glucose, cardiac arrhythmias, and depression. 

Talk to your primary care provider if you:

  • Have trouble falling asleep or maintaining sleep.
  • Awaken earlier than you wish.
  • Feel un-refreshed after sleep.
  • Buffer from excessive sleepiness during the day.
  • You should share any concerns about your sleep and also tell them about any medications and sleep tips you have already tried and for how long.
  • Write down your questions for the doctor, and bring any medicines you are taking with you to your appointment.
There may be an underlying sleep disorder, and proper diagnosis is an important first step to resolving your problems with sleep. In order to treat the problem, your doctor may refer you to the Sleep Lab for a sleep study.

Please make sleep a priority! If you think you may have a sleep disorder, take the first step to better health and make sleep a part of the conversation between you and your family doctor or health care provider.

If you have questions about sleep and sleep disorders please contact Hannibal Regional Sleep Lab at 573-248-5344.

Mary Duesterhaus, RPSGT, REEGT,CRT Clinical Coordinator Neurodiagnostics-Hannibal Regional Hospital- Sleep Services

Dietary Recommendations For Those With A History Of Cancer

Cancer FoodDietary recommendations for those with a history of cancer are essentially the same as they are for anyone seeking to optimize their health and longevity, and offer similarly profound benefits in terms of risk reduction. Given the evidence on diet and cancer incidence and recurrence, the American Institute for Cancer Research, National Comprehensive Cancer Network and American Cancer Society all recommend people with a history of cancer consume a diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based fats, nuts and legumes, with limited amounts of refined grains, added sugars, red and processed meats, and alcohol.

Diets rich in plant foods have a positive impact on health and quality of life after cancer treatment, due in part to their nutrient density and fiber, which also help promote a healthy weight. Research suggests a lower risk of cancer recurrence in people who eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with most dietary fat coming from nuts and olive oil, and low amounts of red and processed meats, refined grains and full-fat dairy. The impact of individual dietary factors, such as fat, fiber and meat, on recurrence of various types of cancer has been evaluated in studies with mixed or inconclusive results.

Many people with a history of breast cancer question the potential cancer-promoting effects of dairy or soy. However, evidence indicates that neither low-fat dairy nor soy is linked to increased risk of recurrence. Moderate consumption of minimally processed soy foods may even have a protective effect. Similar questions have been raised regarding the effect of phytoestrogens in soy or flax on prostate cancer recurrence. The best available evidence suggests consuming soy and flaxseed may have a protective benefit, but people with a history of prostate cancer should avoid consuming large amounts of flax oil.

Restrictive dietary regimens are often promoted to people with a history of cancer. However, there is no evidence that such approaches reduce the risk of recurrence any more than a sensible dietary pattern.

The American Cancer Society recommends working with a registered dietitian nutritionist during and after cancer treatment for individualized nutrition care. Research suggests working with an RDN is especially helpful for healthy weight management, particularly in individuals with past female reproductive cancers.

Reference: What Type of Diet is Best for People with a Previous Cancer Diagnosis,  By Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS, Food and Nutrition Magazine

Blog post provided by:

Katie Foster, RDN, LD

Nutrition Services

Hannibal Regional

The BEST Simple cucumber salad
Cucumber SaladCucumbers have seemed to be the star crop this year for gardeners. Cucumbers are 99% water which makes them an excellent low calorie snack, which is hydrating as well! 1 cup of sliced cucumbers has just 16 calories, with trace amount of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Personally I love cucumbers sliced and as is but there are a lot of great cucumber salad recipes out there as well. When it comes to any recipe, I like to leave it simple. My favorite for a crisp veggie salad is a vinegar/herb combination. Below is a recipe that is pretty much in my fridge all summer long!

2 large cucumbers, 1/2 peeled and diced
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon dried dill weed, or one tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Prepping tip: I don’t like to peel cucumbers because their deep green skin is honestly the best part for you. However I have to admit, the skin can sometimes be bitter and not always tasteful. I take a carrot peeler and skin the cucumber lengthwise, leaving stripes so that every other section is peel/no peel.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD 
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional

Recipe Makeover: Blondie Bars

Blondie Bars

Cooking spray
1 can (15oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup all natural peanut butter (or any nut butter)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chocolate chips plus 2 tablespoons
coarse salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a food processor, add all the ingredients except chocolate chips and process until batter is
smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan then sprinkle 2 tbsp of chocolate chips on top. Bake for
20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are brown. The batter may look
a bit undercooked.
Cool pan for 20 minutes on wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt and cut into squares!!!
*Batter will be thick and super delicious, so you could actually just eat it on its own before
cooking! We like to freeze it into cookie dough bites :)

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD 
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional

100 Lunch Box Ideas

100 Lunch Box IdeasProtein Rich Foods

  1. Lean turkey, roast beef, ham and/or cheese rolled up around a pickle spear
  2. Lean turkey, roast beef, ham and/or cheese cut into squares or with mini cookie cutter for a DIY “lunchable”. Put into muffin wrappers to divide
  3. Lean turkey, roast beef, ham and/or cheese slices in lettuce wraps
  4. Lean turkey, roast beef, ham and/or cheese rolled up in whole wheat tortilla, or sliced into pinwheels
  5. Cheese cubes or string cheese
  6. Hummus, refried beans, or any bean dip
  7. Hard-boiled eggs
  8. Cottage cheese 
  9. Yogurt
  10. Chicken salad
  11. Tuna salad
  12. Egg salad
  13. Ham salad
  14. Chicken, beef, black bean and/or veggie  quesadilla
  15. Build-Your-Own-Taco (whole wheat tortilla + cheese + tomatoes + meat + avocado + onion + peppers + shredded lettuce + salsa/sourcream etc.)
  16. Build-Your-Own-Pizza (whole wheat English muffin, whole wheat pita or tortilla shell + sauce + cheese + mushroom + meat + chopped broccoli + onion + peppers etc.)
  17. Burritos 
  18. Egg Frittatas
  19. Nuts 
  20. Nut butters (peanut, almond, soynut, cashew) on celery, apples, bread, crackers etc.
  21. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hempseeds
  22. Leftover rotisserie chicken, shredded pork, roast etc.
  23. Grilled cheese
  24. Quinoa salads

Thermos Ready

  1. Anything leftover!
  2. Spaghetti
  3. Soups
  4. Stews
  5. Beans and rice
  6. Refried beans and cheese
  7. Homemade mini meatballs (can be pre-made and frozen)
  8. Whole wheat pasta with shredded cheese and steamed veggie
  9. Lentils 
  10. Pesto over whole wheat noodles
  11. Stir fry
  12. Oatmeal 


  1. Mini whole wheat bagels
  2. Whole wheat pita pockets
  3. Whole grain crackers (Triscuit, wheat thins)
  4. Baked tortilla chips
  5. Soba noodle salads
  6. Whole wheat pasta salad
  7. Quinoa or couscous salads
  8. Mini whole wheat pancakes or waffles
  9. Rice cakes
  10. Whole wheat French toast


  1. Grapes, fresh or frozen
  2. Strawberries, raspberry, blueberries, blackberries
  3. Mandarin oranges, fresh orange, grapefruit or tangerine
  4. Pears, fresh or canned in juice
  5. Cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew
  6. Frozen fruit slushy in reusable pouch 
  7. Applesauce
  8. Dried fruit, boxed raisins/Craisins  
  9. Freeze dried fruit
  10. Fruit leather
  11. Avocado slices or guacamole


  1. Celery sticks
  2. Carrot sticks, baby carrots
  3. Sweet bell peppers
  4. Broccoli/cauliflower
  5. Olives, Pickles
  6. Pickled beets
  7. Edamame
  8. Sugar snap peas
  9. Grape tomatoes
  10. Sweet potato/potato wedges
  11. Homemade sweet potato/potato chips
  12. Mixed greens salad
  13. Frozen peas
  14. Fresh green beans
  15. Cucumber slices
  16. Radishes 
  17. Kale chips

Savory Snacks

  1. Pita chips baked with favorite seasonings
  2. Homemade tortilla chips baked with favorite seasonings
  3. Popcorn
  4. Trail mix
  5. Jerky
  6. Blue corn chips
  7. Rice crackers
  8. Cottage cheese dip for veggies
  9. Cream cheese or sour cream dip for veggies


  1. No bake cookies/bars
  2. Fortune cookie
  3. Homemade mini muffins
  4. Waffle sandwiches 
  5. Hershey kiss, or a few chocolate chips
  6. Granola bar
  7. Graham crackers
  8. Yogurt cream cheese dip for fruit
  9. Banana chips
  10. Chocolate covered nuts or raisins
  11. Pudding cup/homemade pudding

Fun Extras

  1. Colorful/decorative napkin
  2. Sticky note
  3. Sticker
  4. Joke written on napkin, answer inside
  5. Cloth napkin so they feel fancy
  6. Silly drawing

Source: realmomnutrition.com

Back to School Priority
Back to SchoolDecades of research demonstrate the benefits of breakfast, especially for school age children. “Time” is the number one reason given for skipping breakfast, but with good planning, a healthy and delicious meal can be prepared and eaten in under 10 minutes. A high protein breakfast (about 14g for children and 21g for teenagers) promotes longer periods of fullness. This in return prevents growling stomachs and enhances alertness at school. Protein-packed breakfast ideas include eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, nuts/ nut butters, and lean meats (ham, Canadian bacon etc.).

Eggs are my go-to food for any meal. They taste great and go well with anything, are super quick and easy to prepare, inexpensive and offer a lot of nutrition. In addition to protein, eggs (the whole egg that is, yolk included!) contain two important nutrients: choline and lutein, which play a critical role in brain development and cognition. One large egg contains 147 milligrams of choline, more than half of the choline most 4-8 year old’s need. Choline is an important nutrient involved in mood and learning. Lutein plays an important role in brain function for infants and toddlers.

Streamline breakfast and make it as efficient as possible by planning. Planning is huge! Next week will include “make ahead” and last-minute breakfast ideas.

7 Tips For Cutting Sugar
  • Cutting SugarSatisfy your sweet tooth with fruit! Dried fruits are especially good at satisfying a sweet tooth as they contain a lot more sugar per ounce than regular fruit. Keep portion size in mind.
  • Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. Start by cutting the usual amount of sugar you add by half and wean down from there.
  • Try new toppings, instead of syrup on pancakes/waffles or jam on toast/muffins/baked goods, try natural nut butter, chopped fruit, dried fruit, fruit purees, and toasted nuts.
  • Eat fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruits. Choose fruit canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup.
    Keep in mind that sugar is a treat, not an everyday food! Use white sugar, brown sugar, syrup, honey, molasses etc. as an occasional splurge.
    Compare food labels and choose products with the lowest amounts of added sugars. Dairy and fruit products will contain some natural sugars. Added sugars can be identified in the ingredients list, as mentioned last week.
  • Make more at home! Make your own marinades and salad dressing with oil and vinegar. Instead of buying pop tarts, doughnuts, cereal bars and other bakery/packaged items, make up your own muffins and sweet treats at home. This way you control the ingredients! Make a double batch and freeze to save time.
  • Cut the serving back. When baking cookies, brownies or cakes, cut the sugar called for in your recipe by one-third to one-half. OR…
    Replace it completely. Enhance the flavor of foods with spices and extracts instead of sugar. Try ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg. Use extracts like almond, vanilla, orange or lemon.
  • Substitute. Switch out sugar with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana, date puree or any preferred fruit puree. Try using these in an equal amount as called for in recipes; take note, you may have to alter your recipes a bit!

    Blog post provided by:
    Katie Foster, RDN, LD
    Nutrition Services
    Hannibal Regional