Let’s talk turkey – and sodium

{shared, with permission, from a Essentia Health press release)

Let’s talk turkey – and sodium
By Bonnie Brost, Essentia Health registered dietitian

You don’t even need to pick up the salt shaker to find yourself consuming more than a day’s worth of sodium in your Thanksgiving dinner.

Depending on your menu and ingredients, you may easily have more than the daily recommended allowance of 2,300 milligrams of sodium on a single plate. And if you or your guests have high blood pressure, heart failure or kidney disease, that number should be below 2,000 milligrams each day.

For the past decade, I’ve worked to help Essentia Health patients make healthier choices for their Thanksgiving menus and other holiday gatherings. Many need to limit sodium when they are in cardiac rehabilitation, part of the Heart & Vascular Center at Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center.
More than 80 percent of Americans eat turkey around Thanksgiving so the first place to look for sodium is your turkey. Frozen turkeys can range from 200 milligrams of sodium in a 4-ounce serving to more than 740 milligrams per serving. Check out the table below for some comparisons.
Turkey producers inject a solution into the bird to help keep the meat moist and help with their bottom line. This solution is often rich in sodium. These frozen turkeys are often labeled as “basting” or “self-basting.” The amount of added solution can range from 4 percent of a turkey’s weight in a Butterball Fresh Whole Turkey to up to 25 percent in Butterball’s Ready to Roast Classic Boneless Turkey Breast.
I have to give the turkey producers credit. Many have reduced the amount of sodium in their products by 200 to 400 milligrams of sodium per serving since I first began my annual survey. Ten years ago, most frozen turkeys had more than 500 milligrams of sodium.
To lower your sodium, choose a fresh or free-range turkey. A 4-ounce serving of fresh turkey has 75 to 120 milligrams of sodium. Remember, a 4-ounce serving is about the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards.  Many grocery stores and meat shops carry fresh turkey this time of year. Check to see if you need to order your fresh bird ahead of time.
The amount of sodium in a 4-ounce serving of turkey can vary greatly, depending on whether you choose a fresh bird or a frozen one. There’s also a broad range among frozen turkeys, depending on the solution that producers inject into their birds during processing.
Brand of turkey                                 Sodium in 4 ounces
Fresh turkey                                                     75 -120 mg
Free-range turkey (fresh or frozen)                             75-120 mg
Jenni-O Turkey Breast Tenderloins                               75 mg
Jenni-O All Natural Fresh Whole Turkey                  80 mg
Jenni-O Premium Basted Turkey                           210 mg
Jenni-O Oven-Ready Whole Turkey                          460 mg
Jenni-O Smoked Whole Turkey                                     550 mg
Jenni-O Tender & Juicy Young Turkey Breast – Bone In            350 mg
Butterball Fresh Whole Turkey                                   130  mg
Butterball Premium Whole Turkey                         200 mg
Butterball “Lil” Butterball Turkey                              250 mg
Butterball Ready to Roast Classic Boneless Turkey Breast        740 mg
Bonnie Brost is a licensed and registered dietitian in the Wellness Program at the Essentia Health St. Mary’s-Heart & Vascular Center in Duluth.



Free “Shop Small” Flyers for Small Business Owners

(reprinted from Samantha English at Retail Marketing Academy Support)

The six week holiday season, starting just before Thanksgiving, likely accounts for 20-30% of your annual revenue, according to the National Retail Federation. So you’ve got to be prepared and on top of your game to ensure you finish strong in 2015.

We want to help you sell the benefits of shopping small this holiday season, starting right now! So we’ve put together a document you can customize with your logo, contact information and even a discount to encourage consumers to shop with you this holiday season.

Click the links below to access your customizable flyer. (This is a 100% free resource. No catch. When you click the relevant link below, you will have immediate access to the Word document.)



Shop Small United States

Shop Small Australia

Shop Small Canada

Shop Small United Kingdom

So how can you use this document in your business?

  1. Click the relevant link above and open the Word document.
  2. Customize the bottom section with your logo, contact information and discount (entering a discount is optional…if you don’t want to offer one, simply highlight that section and Delete!)
  3. Print or send the file to a local printer.
  4. Use the flyers as bag stuffers and encourage customers to keep one for themselves and share one with a friend. (The discount area at the bottom will encourage return shoppers!)
  5. Post it on social media. This is great shareable content that really illustrates the impact $100 has on our local economy when spent with a small, independent business rather than a big box store.
  6. Send the graphic out via email to encourage your customers to shop small this holiday season and forward the email to their friends to boost the local economy.
  7. If you don’t own a retail or product-based business (say you’re a realtor, insurance agent or B2B service provider), customize the flyer with your information and provide it to local businesses to give to their customers. Replace the discount with an alternative message: “We’ll support our local businesses this holiday season, and we hope you will, too!” This goodwill gesture is a great way to help local businesses, and get your name out in the community!

Civic Economics has conducted significant research on the impact of shopping with small, independent merchants versus shopping with big box stores. One of its studies found that if residents shift 10% of their spending from chains to local businesses, it would generate an additional $235 million in ONE local community in ONE year.

Shopping small impacts everyone…not just our businesses: our kids’ schools, the quality of healthcare in our communities, the number of jobs, support for non-profits, and the availability of police/fire/rescue services.

Shopping small just makes sense, and we’re on a mission to help spread the word.

Much success to you this holiday season!



Teach your Kids the Meaning of Giving this Holiday Season

Christmas makes kids wide-eyed, with thoughts of a ton of presents under the Christmas tree. Some kids even like to count their presents under the tree. This holiday season, teach your kids the true meaning of Christmas — giving to others.the meaning of giving

Give to Others – One simple way to teach your children the value of giving is to have them donate to a local shelter. Have your children go through their toys and clothes. Make sure they give away one really nice thing that they don’t really need or play with. Place an emphasis on the fact that there are many children who have no home or parents.

Another way your children can learn about the gift of giving is to donate canned goods to a local food drive service. These services provide food to families in need. The holidays are often a difficult time for those in need. Take your children to the grocery store and have them choose a nice variety of canned foods to donate.

One more way your children can learn a lesson in giving is to buy gifts for others. Choose a needy family in your church or community. If you don’t know of anyone in need, ask around. Officials at your city’s municipal building, or local pastors will be able to make recommendations to you.

Take your children shopping and help them pick out age-appropriate toys and gifts. Let them wrap the gifts, too. Finally, drive your family to your “adopted” family’s home and let your kids hand out their gifts. You can also give a gift to a local gift drive for children in need, most of these will advertise in stores and the local community during the holidays.

Then there’s this book written my buddy Becky Mansfield from Your Modern Family . She always has amazing blog posts crammed with solid info, and lately I’ve discovered the joy and bounty of the many ebooks that she has written. One in particular really caught my eye because I know many moms doubting that they can be a STAHM & get by on ONE Income.

The Moms Guide to Saving Money was one that caught my eye. As a self-employed individual, I am always curious about creative ways to cut costs, stretch the budget and hacks and shortcuts that can save money. SO…I bought Becky’s book.
A Mom's Guide to Saving Money

“My goal, for writing this book, is to share ideas with you about how you can save money for your family, make money from home, and make it easier plus more affordable to reach your goal, whatever that may be. I will share with you tips to prepare your family for your journey to be a stay-at-home parent or to teach your family how to save money.”Becky Mansfield

I truly think e-book will be helpful to far more people then stay-at-home-moms or work-from-home-moms. This ebook is for anyone who wants to start saving now in hopes of working less in the future. It would be helpful to ANYONE who is just looking for ways to supplement their income. It’s perfect anyone who loves to make their dollars stretch as far as possible.

Within the pages of this ebook, readers will learn so many tips, ideas & secrets to help them save more money & live easier! The stress of money can be a big one if you let it; but a work-around is to learn to take control of your money NOW. Spend less & save more, live below your means (not above it) and do so the easy way!

This book was previously called You Can Be a Stay at Home Mom on One Income, but because it is filled with money-saving ideas Becky opted to changed the title to The Moms Guide to Saving Money.

click-here-to-buy-now-If you are someone looking to trim your budget in the coming months, or as a goal for 2016, I am confident Becky’s book can help!


November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month-A Survivor’s Story

Reprinted, with permission, from Essentia Health’s press release
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women. To know if you are at a higher risk of having lung cancer, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Are you between the ages of 55 to 74 years old?
  • Are you smoking or have quit smoking within the last 15 years?
  • When you smoke is it an average of one pack a day for 30 years (or an equivalent of two packs a day for 15 years)?
If you answered yes to the questions above, you may want to consider a new lung cancer screening test. Early detection has helped Ramona Beach survive not one, but two cancers.
Like most people diagnosed with lung cancer, the tumor in Ramona’s left lung was discovered when she had an X-ray for another condition. Her annual mammogram last fall found breast cancer.
“Ramona is a great example of what early detection can do in patients with cancer,” says Dr. Aby Z. Philip, a hematologist and oncologist at the Essentia Health Cancer Center at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd. “Her annual mammogram found a very early breast cancer. A low-dose CT scan could have done the same for her lung cancer.”
Until recently, there was no screening test for lung cancer. Low-dose CT scans are now being offered for people ages 55-77 who are long-time smokers and therefore at high risk for developing lung cancer.
In December 2011, Ramona had a lingering cold and went to see her primary care physician, Dr. Sara Lokstad, to see if she had pneumonia. “I had a bad head cold that went into my chest and I found I was getting short of breath,” Ramona recalled.
A chest X-ray found a 3-inch tumor in her left lung. Further tests revealed she had small-cell lung cancer.
This type of cancer is very aggressive and almost always caused by smoking, explains Dr. Philip. Ramona’s cancer was discovered before it had spread and that early detection helped save her life, he says.  Most lung cancers are found in later stages, which make them difficult to cure. That’s because people don’t have symptoms in the early stages.
“When I first found out, I just cried and cried,” Ramona recalls. She was comforted by a call from Melissa “Missy” Laposky, a registered nurse who works as a patient navigator at the Essentia Health Cancer Center.
“I’d just found out, and Missy called to say if you need to talk, or need more information, just call her or come see her,” Ramona says. “It was just the way she worded things. Missy made me feel like I had a little hope.”
Missy answered Ramona’s questions and explained each step in the treatment plan. She also helped set up and coordinate appointments for treatments, tests and office visits. The coordination saved time and precious energy for Ramona. Missy also accompanied her to appointments. “Missy was always there to take notes, explain the big words,” Ramona recalls. “I was too emotional to listen. She really, really helped.”
Ramona had twice daily radiation treatments and chemotherapy at the same time. “They wanted to go in and attack it,” she recalls.
Treatment took its toll. Ramona remembers telling family and friends she wanted to change her birthday because she didn’t feel like celebrating that March 17. But the treatments worked and she praised Dr. Walter Roberts, her radiation oncologist, and the staff in both radiology and chemotherapy. “Dr. Roberts was so good and it went just like he said it would,” she recalls. “If he said it would last six weeks, it lasted six weeks.”
After killing the tumor, Ramona had whole brain radiation as a preventive measure. She’d smoked for 40 years but was able to quit.
Last fall, Ramona’s annual mammogram discovered a tiny tumor – just 2 millimeters – in her right breast. She was diagnosed last Oct. 3 with Stage I A breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy and six weeks of targeted radiation treatments. She didn’t need chemotherapy.
“I thought, ‘I’ve got to go through all that again?’ But my breast cancer was detected early, and it was nothing compared to my lung cancer,” Ramona says.
Dr. Philip says there is no link between Ramona’s lung cancer and her breast cancer. “As women age, their risk of breast cancer rises, so that’s why mammograms are very important,” he advises.
Support from family and friends helped Ramona through both her recoveries. “You need to stay strong, even when it’s hard, and believe in a higher power,” she advises other survivors. “Find help from your family and friends.”
“I appreciate each and every day that I’m alive,” Ramona says. “I take whatever comes my way, and I stay positive.”

On Give to the Max Day Support Local At-Risk Kids (LARJP)

Lakes Area Restorative Justice Community is a community-directed, operated, and supported non-profit organization which was established in 2004 by the collective efforts of Roger Lynn, a retired Methodist Minister and Stephanie Haider a retired Dakota County probation officer. The mission of LARJP is: “To foster a strong and healthy community through restorative practices.”

Lakes Area Restrative Justice

LARJP is the only Restorative Justice youth program in all of Crow Wing County. The core program for LARJP has been a diversion program for youth who may be facing the court system. The referrals for this program come directly from the County Attorney’s Office, the local Police Departments and/or schools. Using the diversion program is voluntary and allows the party harmed to have a voice in how the harm will be repaired and the person who caused the harm an opportunity to repair the harm by completing a contract designed by both parties through a process called Restorative Group Conferencing. When the contract is completed to the specifications written the case will be closed and the offender’s record for the case will be cleared. If the offender chooses not to use this program their case will be returned to the agency that it was referred from.

Each year, generous supporters like you celebrate Give to the Max Day by making your online donation on GiveMN.org  Your generosity on this day makes a difference far beyond the 24-hour giving event.

Please join us on November 12, 2015, for Give to the Max Day and help us continue to change lives by supporting LARJP programs and mission for supporting youth in Crow Wing County.

Your donation on Give to the Max Day also may help us receive an additional donation of $1,000. How? On November 12, every gift made on GiveMN.org will be entered into an hourly drawing for a $1,000 GiveMN Golden Ticket to be awarded to a nonprofit organization. That adds up to 24 opportunities for you to help us receive an extra $1,000!

Here’s the really exciting part: One donation made on GiveMN.org will be randomly selected at noon and at the end of Give to the Max Day to receive a $10,000 Super-Sized GiveMN Golden Ticket!

The more gifts we generate on GiveMN.org on November 12, the more our chances increase to receive that additional $10,000 donation. Imagine what we could do with $10,000!

Our goal is to raise $5000, and you can help us reach it!  For a $500 donation to LARJP you will receive a free registration to our 5K race to be held in July, 2015 and every $1000 donation will receive a copy of ” The Little Book of Restorative Justice” by Howard Zehr.

HELP AT RISK KIDS TODAY!    It’s Give To The Max Day!

Please consider supporting our efforts to improve the lives of our youth by visiting our GiveMN site at https://givemn.org/organization/Larjp  today!



On Give to the Max Day, Help Those with Mental Illness

Give to the Max Day is November 12, 2015 and once again Vail Place, a community of recovery for those with serious mental illness, will be participating. Your support will help people living with a mental illness find the support and services they need including housing, employment, social services and education. Most importantly, Vail Place is where members can regain and maintain their mental health while living in the community.

Go to GiveMN.org for more information about GTMD 2015 and Vail Place, or visit their website.

About Vail Place

Vail Place improves the lives of those living with a mental illness and serves over 1,600 people a year at the cost of less than $10 per person per day. What a small price compared to the costs of homelessness, crisis intervention, hospitalization, and long-term care! Many members experience long-term recovery after becoming a member at Vail Place. The organization operates two Clubhouses in Uptown and Hopkins.

Vail Place’s Goal

Vail Place hopes to raise $12,000 or more on Give to the Max Day. Please support Vail Place on November 12th. Together we can help improve the lives of people with mental illnesses in Minnesota, and strengthen communities across the state.


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