Author Archive | Becky Flansburg

Essentia Health Smarts | Blueberries are packed with nutrition

July even brings blueberry festivals in the Northland. Iron River, Wisconsin, celebrates blueberries on July 22-23 while Ely, Minnesota, celebrates July 28-30.

Blueberries are often featured in desserts and sweets such as blueberry muffins and blueberry pie. The added sugar may negate their health benefits.

This summer, stretch your taste buds and try blueberries in other ways. A simple, easy desserts is a Red White and Blue parfait. Try a chicken salad that adds these superstars to a main dish. Whip up some blueberry lime salsa for a great snack with chips or pair it with grilled chicken or grilled salmon.

Red, White and Blue Parfait

1/3 cup fresh blueberries
3 large fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon granola

Wash blueberries and strawberries; remove all stems. Cut strawberries into smaller pieces. Layer half the strawberries in a small glass, top with 3 tablespoons blueberries then 1½ tablespoons vanilla yogurt. Repeat layers. Top with granola.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Calories: 90
Total fat: 1 gram
Saturated fat: 0 grams
Trans fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 5 milligrams
Sodium: 10 milligrams
Carbohydrates: 18 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 2 grams

Blueberry Chicken Salad

2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh chicken breast (about 1 pound), cooked and cubed
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup fresh red pepper, chopped
¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced
5-ounce container of lemon Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Leaf lettuce

Wash blueberries and set aside 1/4cup to be used for garnish. In a large bowl, combine chicken, celery, red pepper, onions and remaining blueberries. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, olive oil and thyme. Add dressing mixture to chicken mixture. Gently toss to coat. Add in parsley. May be served on a lettuce leaf and topped with blueberries.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Serving size: 1¼ cup
Calories: 275
Total fat: 8 grams
Saturated fat: 1 gram
Trans fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 1 milligram
Sodium: 65 milligrams
Potassium: 270 milligrams
Carbohydrates: 20 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 39 grams

Blueberry Lime Salsa

1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed
5 medium strawberries, stems removed
¼ cup red onion, diced
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ avocado, chopped

Combine blueberries, strawberries, onion, lime zest, juice and cilantro in a food processor or blender. Pulse to the consistency that you like. Scrape salsa into a bowl and fold in chopped avocado. Serve with whole-grain tortilla chips or grilled chicken or fish.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Calories: 20
Total fat: 1 gram
Saturated fat: 0 grams
Trans fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 15 milligrams
Potassium: 60 milligrams
Carbohydrates: 3 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Protein: 0 grams

Bonnie Brost of Essentia HealthBonnie Brost, licensed and registered dietitian at Essentia Health

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Weekend Fun! Catch the Brainerd SkiLoons Water Ski Show on Sunday!

BRAINERD SKI LOONS WATER SKI SHOW SUNDAY! (July 16)

SkiLoons

The Brainerd Ski Loons will be performing a FREE water ski show at Lum Park on Sunday, July 16th at 5:00pm! Come and watch human ski pyramids, ski jumpers, barefooters, and skiers being pulled 360 degrees around the boat! This event is great fun for the whole family. Concessions will be available. Please bring blankets or lawn chairs for seating.

The Brainerd Ski Loons were started in 2014 by president Christopher Dens and his wife and show director Mandy Dens. They performed two ski shows in the summer of 2014 at Lum Park to a crowd of over 800 people. The team performs a variety of acts including human pyramids, barefooting, ballet line, jumps, wakeboarding and many more. Practices are typically twice a week throughout the summer months with shows in July and August. “Water sports are such an important part of Minnesota culture and history, and we are excited to be starting a group that will continue to strengthen this tradition,” said Christopher Dens, co-founder of the Brainerd Ski Loons. “Water sports have also helped build an appreciation for the lakes that so many of us love.”

There will be three additional shows later in the summer. Upcoming show dates are Sunday, July 30th at 5:00pm; Wednesday, August 16th at 6:30pm; and Sunday, August 20th at 5:00pm. All shows are performed at Lum Park in Brainerd.

The Ski Loons are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Brainerd. For more information, find the Brainerd Ski Loons on Facebook or visit their website www.skiloons.com.

 

Celebrate Brainerd Lakes Area Dining Courtesy of Up North Parent

The lakes areas newest source for all things HOT is Up North Parent and they are following  up our nation’s independence day celebration with a huge, fun celebration of their  own!

Up North Parent Launch Giveaway

In honor of the Up North Parent website launch, vision, and  passion for thriving families and strong communities, these 3 awesome Brainerd Lakes moms are offering up TWO awesome giveaways; both of  which will let two lucky winners enjoy two of our area’s yummies eats. UpNoPa is giving away $25 gift certificates to two of our favorite local hotspots; Grand View Lodge dining and The Chocolate Ox of Nisswa. We want you to be able to go and enjoy them too!

Up North Parent Summer Launch Giveaway

FIRST: Visit Facebook to Win The Chocolate Ox Gift Card Giveaway:
 
Here’s how to enter to win a $25 gift card to The Chocolate Ox (that will buy you A LOT of ice cream!):
 
1. go HERE and Like this post!

2. Comment on this post and tell us what your FAVORITE flavor of ice cream is.
 
Both tasks are required to enter. Giveaway ends Thursday, 7/13/17 at 11:59 PM CT. One winner will be randomly chosen and announced by 7/17/17. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.
 
THEN visit  Up North Parent website to learn how you can enter2WIN a $25 Grand View Lodge dining gift card on Instagram! Grand View Lodge has eight amazing dining venues to choose from. The UpNoPa moms were recently at their newest eatery, On The Rocks, and shared their mouth-watering experience here.
 
DISCLAIMER: VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW, NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. US Residents only. Please note that this giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Facebook. By entering, you are confirming that you are at least 18+ years of age, you release Facebook from any and all responsibility and you are adhering to Facebook’s Terms of Use.
 
 
 
 

Essentia Health Smarts | Pump up your potassium!

By Bonnie Brost, licensed and registered dietitian at Essentia Health.

Potassium is an essential mineral for our bodies, but many of us are not getting enough in the foods we eat.

Potassium is important for our bodies to digest food efficiently and help avoid constipation. It helps build strong muscles and makes them properly relax and contract. Potassium keeps our hearts beating correctly and our blood pressure in a good range. It also helps lower our risk for kidney stones and bone loss.

The Institute of Medicine at the National Academies of Science recommends adults get at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day. We should consume two to three times more potassium than sodium for our bodies to function well. But many of us have this ratio upside down. The average American gets only 2,500 milligrams of potassium daily while consuming 3,450 milligrams or more of sodium.

If we are healthy, it is almost impossible to consume too much potassium because our kidneys control how the mineral is eliminated. If we eat a lot of potassium, more is eliminated. When kidneys are damaged, or when certain medications are taken, potassium balance can be affected.

Too little potassium, or hypokalemia, can cause weak muscles, abnormal heart rhythms and higher blood pressure. Too much potassium, or hyperkalemia, may cause dangerous heart rhythms and needs to be addressed by your health care provider. It’s important to know that you can be deficient in potassium even if the level is normal in your blood. That’s because we need potassium throughout our body, not just in our blood.

Fortunately, potassium is found in a wide range of foods. Here are some good sources:

foods with potassium

  • Vegetables: broccoli, peas, dried beans, tomatoes, potatoes (especially their skins), sweet potatoes and winter squash
  • Fruits: citrus fruits, cantaloupe, bananas, kiwi, prunes and dried fruits.
  • Milk, and yogurt
  • Nuts
  • Meats: Red meats, chicken
  • Fish: salmon, cod, flounder and sardines
  • Soy products, including veggie burgers

 

If your potassium level is too high in your blood, choose lower potassium foods. It is impossible to eat a potassium-free diet. Just eliminating a few of the higher potassium foods will usually help.

 

Potassium supplements are not recommended, unless prescribed by your health care provider. A supplement could affect your heart rhythm. Getting more potassium from food is the better option, unless you are on a medication that warrants a potassium supplement.

It is hard to accurately estimate our potassium intake since nutrition labels on foods don’t include the mineral. A good resource is the USDA food database, which you can find on the internet.

Here are some high potassium foods with an estimate of the amount of the mineral found in each:

 

Vegetables

Broccoli, cooked                       1 cup                                        460 milligrams

Brussel sprouts, cooked             1 cup                                        500 milligrams

Mushrooms, cooked                  ½ cup                                       280 milligrams

Potato, baked with skin              1 medium                                  925 milligrams

Rutabaga, parsnips                   1 cup                                        560 milligrams

Spinach, cooked                       ½ cup                                       420 milligrams

Sweet potato, baked                 1 medium                                  450 milligrams

Tomato, raw                              1 medium                                  290 milligrams

Tomato sauce or puree              ½ cup                                       400-550 milligrams

Winter squash                           1 cup                                        500 milligrams

 

Fruits

Avocado                                   ¼                                              245 milligrams

Banana                                     1 medium                                  425 milligrams

Cantaloupe                               1 cup                                        430 milligrams

Kiwi                                          1 medium                                  240 milligrams

Orange                                     1 medium                                  240 milligrams

Prune juice                                ½ cup                                       370 milligrams

Raisins                                     ¼ cup                                       270 milligrams

Strawberries, raw                       1 cup                                        250 milligrams

 

Meats and fish

Beef, cooked                            3 ounces                                   270 milligrams

Chicken, cooked                       3 ounces                                   220 milligrams

Fish: cod, salmon, perch            3 ounces                                   300-480 milligrams

Pork, cooked                            3 ounces                                   350 milligrams

 

Other foods

Lentils, cooked                         ½ cup                                       365 milligrams

Beans and peas, cooked           ½ cup                                       300-595 milligrams

Nuts, seeds                              1 ounce                                     200-300 milligrams

Milk                                          1 cup                                        350-380 milligrams

Soy milk                                   1 cup                                        300 milligrams

Yogurt, plain or fruited               6 ounces                                   260-435 milligrams

 

Bonnie Brost is a licensed and registered dietitian at Essentia Health

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