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Hannibal Regional Blog


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

Happy and Healthy Holidays!

Trying to eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight and live a healthy lifestyle? You may think you are doomed with the upcoming BBQs and holiday get togethers, but no need to worry. Getting through the holidays without weight gain is do-able with a little self-motivation, realistic goals, and a PLAN! Below we have included tips to surviving the holidays without weight gain, along with a satisfying recipe, of course.

      Holiday Party Tips


  • Make a plan. Before you dive into every dish and dessert served up buffet style, check out your options. Decide what and how much you are going to eat. Get a plate and silverware, and then sit down while you eat.
  • Be realistic. Aim to maintain your weight during the holidays—not to lose weight. Eat small, lower-calorie meals during the day so you can enjoy some of those traditional holiday foods later.
  • Don’t arrive at the party famished. You’ll be more likely to overeat. Instead, eat a small, low fat snack such as yogurt, fruit and low-fat cheese or cottage cheese, or a half sandwich with lean meat before you head out to the party.
  • Keep the buffet trips to one. Choose the foods you just can’t live without or the ones that make the holidays so special to you. Take small portions, eat slowly and savor each bite.
  • Bring a healthy appetizer, such as a fruit tray, fresh veggies with a low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese dip, or a whole wheat tortilla roll up with lean deli meat, low-fat cheese and pickle. This ensures you have a healthy option.
  • Get enough sleep! Being sleep deprived can increase your appetite and lead to poor decision making.

    Easy Ways to Eat Less
  • Keep a food journal. It’s an easy way to become more aware of what you eat.
  • Choose the smallest plates, cups and bowls. You’ll be satisfied with less.
  • Be the last one to start eating.
  • Serve the food in the kitchen, rather than leaving it on the table- you’ll be less likely to get seconds.
  • Take small portions and wait 20 minutes before deciding to get seconds- you’ll probably still eat less than if you took a large portion and did not get seconds. (Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll flatter the cook!)
  • Keep a reminder of how much you have already eaten (such as toothpicks from your appetizers). This will help keep you from overeating.
  • Limit pre-snacking to a few hors d'oeuvres. Studies show that 10% of our holiday calories come from these pre-meal foods. Focus on socializing instead.

    Drinks to Your Health!
  • Alcoholic and holiday beverages tend to pack a ton of calories yet provide very little nutritional value. In addition, beverages rarely satisfy hunger because they leave our stomach quickly. Choose more zero-calorie drinks like water, sparkling water and diet beverages and treat other beverages, including 100% juice, as an occasional treat.
  • Instead of homemade or traditional eggnog (350 calories, 19g fat per 8oz), try this low-fat recipe: (see attached Powerpoint for recipe)
  • Try your favorite coffee house drink with non-fat milk or almond milk and no whipped topping. A 12-oz peppermint mocha with whole milk and whip has 360 calories and 16g fat where a 12-oz nonfat, no-whip peppermint mocha has only 240 calories and 2.5g fat). If you have diabetes or are watching carbohydrate intake, try using Splenda, Stevia or other type of sugar substitute to save on calories and carbohydrates. Of course, with any sweetened beverage or treat, portion and moderation is key!
  • Keep the alcoholic beverages to 1-2 drinks. This will save you empty calories and keep you healthy!

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

Flavor Up!

Spices and HerbsSpices and herbs can help enhance and retain flavor in your foods while cutting back on dietary sugar, sodium/salt, and fat. When you start adding flavors to your foods with herbs and spices, you may be surprised at what you’ve been missing. Try the following food and flavor combinations to enhance a meal.

For meat, poultry, and fish, try one or more of these combinations:

Beef: Bay leaf, marjoram, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme

Lamb: Curry powder, garlic, rosemary, mint

Pork: Garlic, onion, sage, pepper, oregano

Veal: Bay leaf, curry powder, ginger, marjoram, oregano

Fish: Curry powder, dill, dry mustard, marjoram, paprika, pepper, turmeric

Chicken: Ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, poultry seasoning, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, anise seeds

For vegetables, experiment with one or more of these combinations:

Carrots: Cinnamon, cloves, dill, ginger, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, sage

Corn: Cumin, curry powder, onion, paprika, parsley

Green Beans: Dill, curry powder, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme

Greens: Onion, pepper

Potatoes: Dill, garlic, onion, paprika, parsley, sage

Summer Squash: Cloves, curry powder, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, sage, allspice

Winter Squash: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, onion

Tomatoes: Basil, bay leaf, dill, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley, pepper


  • 1 tablespoon of fresh herb = 1 teaspoon of dried herb.
  • If you are creating your own recipe, begin by trying one or two spices or herbs. The amount to add varies with the type of spice or herb, type of recipe, and preference.
  • When doubling a recipe, do not double spices and herbs only increase by 1½ times. Always taste and adjust by preference
  • There are many, many varieties of spices and herbs. Begin to experiment and find new flavors.

Blog post provided by:

Katie Foster, RDN, LD

Nutrition Services

Hannibal Regional

Tips for Adding Fiber to Your Eating Plan
Foods High In FiberWanting to get some more fiber in your diet? Consider these simple tips:
• Slowly increase the amount of fiber you eat to 25 to 35 grams per day.
• Check the Nutrition Facts labels and try to choose products with at least 3 g dietary fiber per serving.
• Compare food labels of similar foods to find higher fiber choices. On packaged foods, the amount of fiber per serving is listed on the Nutrition Facts label.
• Choose fresh fruit and vegetables (skin on!) instead of juices.
• Have brown or wild rice instead of white rice.
• Eat the skin when having potatoes.
• Enjoy a variety of grains. Good choices include barley, oats, farro, kamut, and quinoa. • • Look for choices with 100% whole wheat, rye, oats, or bran as the first or second ingredient. Popcorn is another good choice (air-popped or lightly buttered)!
• When baking, use whole wheat pastry flour. You can use it to replace some white or all-purpose flour in recipes.
• Enjoy beans more often! Batch cook dried beans and freeze in smaller portions, then add to casseroles, soups/stews, taco meat, pasta salad and salads. Beans also make a great finger food for babies (age appropriate).
• Drink plenty of fluids. Fluid helps your body process fiber without discomfort.

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

Eat More Fiber
Are you getting enough Fiber, fiber rich foodsThe average American falls very short of the daily fiber recommendation. Women should get at least 25 grams fiber per day, and men should get at least 38 grams. Unfortunately, the average intake is only 16 grams per day!

How do we reverse this trend? Choose more WHOLE foods! There are many natural sources for fiber, including delicious fruits and vegetables (skin on!), nuts and seeds, and 100% whole grains. The fiber in whole grains such as brown rice, barley, quinoa, oats, farrow, kamut, wheat germ/bran, wheat berries etc. help promote regularity. Whereas the fiber in fruits and vegetables generally promotes cardiovascular health by removing cholesterol from the blood.

Start small when increasing the fiber in your diet to give your gut time to adjust to the extra work. Most importantly, increase water as you increase your fiber intake!
(It is important to note the above fiber recommendation is for the average person; high fiber diets are not recommended in certain health conditions).

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

Egg Safety

Easter eggs and egg safetyEggs are a potentially hazardous food and are capable of supporting the rapid growth of disease-causing bacteria like Salmonella. However, if you keep these few simple tips in mind, you should be able to enjoy a fun, happy and healthy Easter celebration.

  • Before boiling eggs for Easter decorating/painting, they must be kept refrigerated
  • Never leave raw eggs in any form at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Use only clean, unbroken eggs. Don't eat or cook with cracked eggs or eggs that have been unrefrigerated for more than two hours.
  • When you boil your eggs, make sure the water is hot (185-190 degrees F). Cool your eggs in cold water or just in the air.
  • Cleanliness of hands, utensils and work surfaces is essential in preventing the spread of bacteria. Always wash your hands when handling your eggs, especially between cooking, cooling and dyeing. Wash hands again, along with all utensils, equipment and countertops that have been in contact with any raw food before preparing other foods.
  • Store eggs in their original cartons in the refrigerator rather than the refrigerator door.
  • If you're having an Easter egg hunt, consider hiding places carefully. Avoid areas where the eggs might come into contact with animals, insects or lawn chemicals.
  • Make sure you find all the eggs you've hidden and then refrigerate them. Discard cracked eggs.
  • As long as the eggs are NOT out of refrigeration over two hours, they will be safe to eat. Do not eat eggs that have been out of refrigeration more than two hours. Refrigerate hard-cooked eggs in their shells and use them within 1 week.






*tips are specified for store bought eggs, farm fresh eggs differ

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

Hannibal Regional Hospital's Pediatric Speech Therapy Goes Above and Beyond For Local Family
Speech Therapy Scholarship Program at Hannibal RegionalCandy Golian’s son, Trey Golian, started taking speech therapy about a year ago after he was screened at his daycare facility, Grow and Learn. “After his screening, we learned that he was farther behind then what we thought,” said Candy. “We knew he was behind but we chalked it up to other factors, but we didn't realize that he was as far behind as he was until I called out and talked to Patty Schenk on the phone.” Patty Schenk is a Speech Therapist with Hannibal Regional Hospital’s Pediatric Speech Therapy team. “She went over everything and explained everything that he was tested for and where he should be at his age and how far behind he was,” explained Candy.

After the assessment and talking to Patty, Candy Golian and her husband discussed the cost of therapy that Trey would have to work through, weekly. “At the time we had health insurance but we had a very high deductible and didn’t know if we would be able to afford the therapy sessions,” stated Candy. “I talked to our daycare center owner and she actually told me about the Scottish Rite program. She said that she really thought Trey needed speech therapy and would greatly benefit from it so I decided that we would check into it.”

Tammy Lieurance, secretary for Hannibal Regional Hospital’s Pediatric Speech Therapy, helped Candy with all the paperwork and anything else that would be needed for the Scottish Rite scholarship application. Within a day Tammy was able to let the Golian family know that they qualified for the scholarship and that the scholarship would cover most of the cost for each session. “If we had not qualified for the scholarship I don't know if Trey would have been able to get the help that he needed,” said Candy.

“The ladies at Hannibal Regional have made this experience one of the easiest things to do, they work with you and your schedule to make it to so easy on us,” explained Candy. “My husband and I both work during the day and it makes it so much easier for us that Ms. Patty comes to Trey at daycare for his session and we don't have to worry about how we are going to get him to each session. Every Tuesday when we pull up to daycare he is looking for her vehicle and gets so excited knowing she is there. Without her help, I know that Trey wouldn't be where he is today and ready to start Kindergarten next year. Without the Scottish Rite program, he would not have received the help he needed. I can never thank the ladies at Hannibal Regional enough for helping Trey and our entire family with this.”

Hannibal Regional Foundation is hosting “Cheers for the Kids” Friday, April 21st, 2017 from 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm at the Cave Hollow Winery. Tickets are $20 per person or $30 per couple. You can purchase them in advance by contacting the Hannibal Regional Hospital Pediatric Speech Therapy Department at 573-406-5777 or Hannibal Regional Foundation at 573-629-3577. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. Your ticket includes four wine tastings, live entertainment, and appetizers. A commemorative wine glass will be given to the first 100 attendees. The event proceeds will benefit Hannibal Regional Hospital’s Pediatric Speech Therapy Department to help children like Trey Golian get the therapy services they need.

To learn more about the Hannibal Regional Foundation, visit hrhf.org or call 573-629-3577. To learn more about Hannibal Regional Hospital's Pediatric Therapy Services call 573-406-5777.

Pictured is Hannibal Regional Speech Therapist Patty Shenk, Trey Golian, and mother Candy Golian.

Spring Peanut Pad Thai
spring peanut pad thai recpieNeed a change in cuisine? Asparagus, green peas and ginger-peanut sauce make this nutrient-dense pad thai a flavorful meal. This meatless recipe packs 25g protein per serving. Make it your own by adding additional vegetables.
Tip: Prepare all ingredients before prior to cooking, for a quick, throw together meal.
8 ounces flat brown rice noodles
1 tablespoon canola oil
⅓ cup chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces trimmed asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 large lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons juice)
½ cup roasted peanuts, lightly salted, roughly chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup hot water

Prepare rice noodles according to package instructions. Pour noodles into a colander and let drain.
Meanwhile, make sauce by whisking peanut butter, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a medium bowl.
Slowly whisk in hot water and stir until sauce is blended. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add scallions and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in eggs and stir to scramble for about 2 minutes or until soft. Add asparagus and peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until asparagus is tender.
Add drained noodles and sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in lime juice.
Transfer cooked noodles and vegetables to a large platter or bowl and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cups (350 grams)
calories 232; Total Fat 3g; sodium 227mg; Carbs 24g; Fiber 3g; Sugar 5g; Protein 25g;

Reference: http://www.foodandnutrition.org/March-April-2016/Spring-Peanut-Pad-Thai/

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

Dr. Purvi Parikh Gives Attentive and Life-Saving Care to Patient
Dr. Parikh and her patientAfter being referred by her primary care provider in Bowling Green, Missouri a year and a half ago, Patricia Sinapole came to see Dr. Purvi Parikh, Endocrinologist at Hannibal Regional Medical Group, about her health concerns. Pat, who was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes 14 years ago, was having difficulty keeping her blood sugar under control. “Within a week of seeing Dr. Purvi Parikh, my blood sugar levels were finally in a good place and I felt so much better,” she explained.

Becoming a patient of Dr. Parikh transformed her health completely. “Without Dr. Parikh, I would not be here today,” said Pat. “First of all, she changed my medications to treat me and my disease - not just my symptoms - which made a huge difference in how I felt; it was like night and day. Secondly, during an exam, Dr. Parikh noticed an odd sound in my carotid artery (on the left side of my neck) and sent me to a pre-cautionary CT scan which would end up saving my life.” Through that CT scan, Dr. Parikh found that Pat’s carotid artery was 99% blocked. After this discovery, Pat underwent surgery to have the artery cleared. Now, along with Dr. Parikh, she is keeping a watchful eye on the carotid artery on her right side, which also has some blockage, so she doesn’t have another close call like before. “I had seen four other physicians who did not notice anything wrong, but Dr. Parikh noticed, and she is the reason I am still here,” stated Ms. Sinapole.

“I would recommend everyone I know to come see the providers here,” stated Pat. “They are so nice and if I really need to see them, they make sure to get me in as soon as they can. I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”

What is diabetes and how do I know if I am at risk?
what is diabetes and how do I know if I'm at riskIt is known that with time, we are prone to developing certain illnesses. One of the most common chronic illnesses that people develop is diabetes. This is a disease in which the pancreas gradually puts out less insulin, and eventually results in a high blood sugar and the symptoms of diabetes. In honor of Diabetes Alert Day on March 28th, 2017, Hannibal Regional Medical Group would like you to know about diabetes and how to determine if you are at risk.

“There are many different types of diabetes, but the most common types are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.” explains Dr. Purvi Parikh, Endocrinologist at Hannibal Regional Medical Group. “In type 1 diabetes mellitus, the problem is that the pancreas (an organ in the abdomen) does not make enough insulin early on and eventually makes no insulin. In type 2 Diabetes mellitus, the pancreas does not make enough insulin and the body becomes resistant to normal and/or even high levels of insulin. In the United States, Canada, and Europe, about 90 percent of all people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. You can actually do a great deal to delay or even prevent ever getting type 2 diabetes by being aware of your risk factors and leading an active lifestyle with healthy eating habits.”

The cause of type 2 diabetes is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Many people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have family members who are diabetic or have medical problems associated with diabetes like high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, heart disease or obesity. Some environmental factors that contribute to your risk of diabetes are physical inactivity, high caloric foods consumption, as well as genetic factors. Dr. Parikh would like for you to be aware of some symptoms of diabetes: needing to urinate frequently, increased thirst, increased hunger (even after eating), dry mouth, fatigue, headaches, tingling/numbness in toes/feet and blurred vision. It is important to know, however, that many people with type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms at all.

Screenings and timely diagnosis and treatment help prevent more serious complications of this disease. Chronic hyperglycemia (chronic high blood sugars) causes long-term damage of eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, or blood vessels, stroke, coronary heart disease, and peripheral vascular disease. You should get tested for Diabetes if you have any of the symptoms listed above, are overweight, over the age of 45, have a family history of diabetes, have a history of gestational (pregnancy) diabetes, and/or have a history of polycystic ovarian disease. If you believe you are at risk, call 573-629-3500 to get tested by your primary care provider.

Adding Plant Based Protein to Your Diet
plant based protein for nutritionProtein, fat, and fiber are the three nutrients that stay in your stomach the longest; contributing to your satiety level. Protein at each meal and snack helps to stabilize blood glucose levels and prevents the breakdown of lean body mass. Although protein recommendations are exceeded by the average person, consumption of plant based proteins are low. Plant based proteins such as nuts and legumes can be easily packed for a satisfying snack, and beans or grains can make for an inexpensive protein rich meal. Below is a brief list of plant based protein foods to incorporate into your diet!



Protein (g)


½ C


Beans, cooked

1 C



1 C



½ C


Chia Seeds

2 Tbsp





Edamame, cooked

1 C


Hemp Seeds

3 Tbsp



¼ C


Lentils, cooked

1 C


Peanut butter, chunky

2 Tbsp



1 cup



½ C



½ C


Quinoa, cooked

1 C


Soybeans, cooked

½ C



½ C


Sunflower seeds

½ C


Tofu, firm

½ C



½ C


Wheat berries, cooked

1 C


Wheat germ or flaxseed

2 Tbsp


C=cup, fl oz=fluid ounce, oz=ounce, Tbsp=tablespoon

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