Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Healthy Lifestyles

At Parkway Family Physicians we are strongly committed to preventative medicine and promotion of wellness for all of our patients. We believe regular screening exams, diet and exercise all play a key role in the health and well being of you and your family.

Healthy Lifestyle

We have included our Healthy Lifestyles page on our website as a source for you to check for interesting health related articles, tips, information and healthy recipes. We hope you visit this page as we will be updating and adding new items regularly.


Starting an exercise program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, and help you lose weight.

Regular exercise can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease, and strengthen your bones and muscles. But if you haven't exercised for some time and you have health concerns, you may want to talk with us before starting a new fitness routine.

When you're designing your fitness program, consider your fitness goals. Think about your fitness likes and dislikes and note your personal barriers to fitness. Then consider practical strategies for keeping your fitness program on track. By planning carefully and pacing yourself, you can make fitness a healthy habit that lasts a lifetime.

Take The First Step

  • Start with walking! Why? It's easy, it works and it pays.
  • Walking is the simplest way to start and continue a fitness journey.
  • Walking costs nothing to get started.
  • Walking has the lowest dropout rate of any type of exercise.
  • Walking is easy and safe. It Works.
  • Studies show that for every hour of walking, life expectancy may increase by two hours.
  • Walking for as few as 30 minutes a day provides heart health benefits.
  • Walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health.
And walking isn't your only option. Try these tips for increasing physical activity wherever you are. You may be surprised at all your opportunities to increase your physical activity every day.

At Home

It's convenient, comfortable and safe to work out at home. It allows your children to see you being active, which sets a good example for them. You can combine exercise with other activities, such as watching TV. If you buy exercise equipment, it's a one-time expense and other family members can use it.

Try These Tips:
  • Work in the garden or mow the grass. Using a riding mower doesn't count! Rake leaves, prune, dig and pick up trash.
  • Go out for a short walk before breakfast, after dinner or both! Start with 5-10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes.
  • Walk or bike to the corner store instead of driving.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Park farther away at the shopping mall and walk the extra distance. Wear your walking shoes and sneak in an extra lap or two around the mall.
  • Plan family outings and vacations that include physical activity (hiking, backpacking, swimming, etc.)
  • When golfing, walk instead of using a cart.

Weight Management

Losing weight means changing the balance of calories in to calories out. If we eat more calories than we need, we gain weight. If we eat fewer calories than we use, we lose weight.

To lose weight, you must use up more calories than you take in. One pound equals 3,500 calories.  To successfully and healthfully lose weight—and keep it off—most people need to subtract about 500 calories per day from their diet to lose about 1 pound per week.

Increase Calories Burned

Regular physical activity has so many proven benefits, such as to help control weight and blood pressure and decrease the risk for heart disease and stroke.

The amount of physical activity any individual person needs for weight loss can vary, but you will need to get both regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan to lose weight and keep it off.   A good plan may include 30 to 60 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity, like brisk walking, done nearly every day. Find something you can do and find ways to enjoy it. Take a brisk walk or a jog with a friend or your dog.

Physical Activity and Calories the chart below shows the approximate calories spent per hour by a 100-, 150- and 200- pound person doing a particular activity.


100 lb 

150 lb 

200 lb 

Bicycling, 6 mph




Bicycling, 12 mph




Jogging, 7 mph




Jumping rope




Running 5.5 mph




Running, 10 mph




Swimming, 25 yds/min




Swimming, 50 yds/min




Tennis, singles




Walking, 2 mph




Walking, 3 mph




Walking, 4.5 mph




Remember to focus on your goal: feeling your best and living a healthy life. In the long run, you'll be so glad you invested in your health.

Quit Smoking

Learn how to handle slips and enjoy your new smoke free life, one day at a time. As an ex-smoker, you'll have urges to smoke. Sometimes the urges are physical, as if your body needs a cigarette. At other times, they'll be mental — feeling like you deserve a cigarette. And sometimes you may want to smoke because it's a habit.

As a smoker, you became addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes. Nicotine can create good feelings that make you want to smoke more. But it also creates bad feelings when you try to cut back. Physical urges are one way your body tells you it wants nicotine.

This "craving" for nicotine is part of the withdrawal process, along with symptoms such as headaches and feeling tired or lightheaded. These symptoms go away after one or two weeks, but the urges may keep coming for a while. As time passes, you'll have fewer physical urges to smoke.

Stress Management

Whether you're facing crisis or simply managing the challenges of a fast-paced lifestyle, you can learn to take good care of yourself and solve many of life's problems. Don't let stress get out of control.

How Does Stress Affect You ?

Stress affects each of us in different ways. You may have physical signs (such as tense or sore muscles), emotional signs (such as feeling helpless or depressed) or both.

Healthy habits can protect you from the harmful effects of stress. Here are 9 positive healthy habits you may want to develop.

  • Talk with family and friends. A daily dose of friendship is great medicine. Call or write your friends and family to share your feelings, hopes and joys.
  • Engage in daily physical activity. Regular physical activity relieves mental and physical tension. Physically active adults have lower risk of depression and loss of mental functioning. Physical activity can be a great source of pleasure, too.
  • Accept the things you cannot change. Don't say, "I'm too old." You can still learn new things, work toward a goal, love and help others.
  • Remember to laugh. Laughter makes you feel good. Don't be afraid to laugh out loud at a joke, a funny movie or a comic strip, even when you're alone.
  • Give up the bad habits. Too much alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine can increase stress. If you smoke, decide to quit now.
  • Get enough sleep. Try to get six to eight hours of sleep each night. If you can't sleep, take steps to help reduce stress and depression. Physical activity also may improve the quality of sleep.
  • Get organized. Use "to do" lists to help you focus on your most important tasks. Approach big tasks one step at a time. For example, start by organizing just one part of your life — your car, desk, kitchen, closet, cupboard or drawer.
  • Practice giving back. Volunteer your time or return a favor to a friend. Helping others helps you.
  • Try not to worry. The world won't end if your grass isn't mowed or your kitchen isn't cleaned. You may need to do these things, but today might not be the right time


At the heart of good health is good nutrition. Find recipes, healthy cooking tips, secrets to heart-smart shopping and much more.


Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans. We can reduce heart disease by promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle. At Parkway Family Physicians we believe that even simple, small changes can make a big difference in living a better life. These steps can help add years to your life:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Engage in regular physical activity.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Manage blood pressure.
  • Take charge of cholesterol.
  • Keep blood sugar, or glucose, at healthy levels.

Recommended Servings

  • Fruits and vegetables: At least 4.5 cups a day
  • Fish: At least two 3.5-ounce servings a week
  • Fiber-rich whole grains: At least three 1-ounce-equivalent servings a day
  • Sodium: Less than 1,500 mg a day
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages: No more than 450 calories (36 ounces) a week
  • Other Dietary Measures:
  • Nuts, legumes and seeds: At least 4 servings a week
  • Processed meats: No more than 2 servings a week
  • Saturated fat: Less than 7% of total energy intake

Try These Healthy Recipes!

Louisiana Chicken & Vegetables


   4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat discarded
   2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun or Creole seasoning blend
   1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
   1/2 teaspoon salt, divided use
   1 tablespoon canola or corn oil, divided use
   1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed and patted dry
   1 cup chopped red bell pepper
   1/2 cup carrot in matchstick-size pieces
   1/2 cup chopped onion (yellow preferred)
   1/4 cup water
   1/4 teaspoon black pepper (coarsely ground preferred)
   Red hot-pepper sauce to taste (optional)

Cooking Instructions

Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the seasoning blend, thyme, and 1/4-teaspoon salt.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1-teaspoon oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the chicken for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in the center. Transfer to a serving platter and cover to keep warm.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the corn, bell pepper, carrot, and onion for 4 to 6 minutes, or until beginning to brown on the edges, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the water, black pepper, and remaining 1/4-teaspoon salt. Serve with the hot-pepper sauce.

Salmon With Cilantro Pesto

Vibrant orange salmon fillets get a double dose of crunchy almonds, one in the pesto and one in the topping. The lovely green pesto is easy to make and gets a delightful flavor boost – without salt – from the garlic-herb seasoning blend.


   Cilantro Pesto
   1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
   3 tablespoons fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
   2 tablespoons sliced almonds
   2 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
   1-teaspoon salt-free garlic-herb seasoning blend
   4 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each), rinsed and patted dry
   1/4 cup sliced almonds
Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or lightly spray with cooking spray.

In a food processor or blender, process the pesto ingredients for 15 to 20 seconds, or until slightly chunky.

Place the fillets about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Spread the pesto evenly over the top of the fillets. Sprinkle with 1/4-cup almonds.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Sweet & Nutty Stir Fry


   4 ounces dried multigrain vermicelli or spaghetti, broken in half
   2 teaspoons curry powder

   2 tablespoons sugar
   2 tablespoons soy sauce (lowest sodium available)
   2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
   1 teaspoon cornstarch
   1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
   1/3 cup fresh orange juice
   2 teaspoons grated orange zest

   1 teaspoon canola or corn oil
   1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
   2 cups bite-size broccoli florets (about 5 ounces)
   1 cup thinly sliced (not shredded) red cabbage
   1 cup matchstick-size carrot pieces
   1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, dry-roasted

Cooking Instructions

Prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt and oil and adding the curry powder. Drain well in a colander.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients except the orange zest, stirring until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the orange zest. Set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the onion for 1 minute. Stir in the broccoli, cabbage, and carrots. Cook for 4 minutes, or until just tender-crisp, stirring frequently.

Transfer the pasta to a serving platter. Top with the broccoli mixture. Pour the sauce over all. Sprinkle with the peanuts.

Cool Cucumber Dip


   1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
   3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
   1/4 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
   2 medium green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
   2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
   1 teaspoon salt-free extra-spicy seasoning blend
Cooking Instructions

In a medium skillet, dry-roast the almonds over medium-heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Put 1-tablespoon almonds in a small bowl. Set aside to use as a garnish.

In a food processor or blender, process the remaining almonds for 3 to 5 seconds, or until coarsely crushed (1/4-inch irregular pieces). Transfer to a medium-serving bowl.

Process the remaining ingredients until the desired consistency, 5 to 10 seconds if you prefer a chunky texture, 15 to 20 seconds for smooth. Stir into the crushed almonds. To serve, sprinkle with the reserved almonds.

Red & Green Bell Pepper Bites


   1 medium green bell pepper
   1 medium red bell pepper
   1/4 cup sliced almonds
   4 ounces fat-free or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
   1 teaspoon no-salt lemon pepper seasoning blend
   1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Cooking Instructions

Cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard the stems, ribs and seeds. Cut each half into six pieces. Arrange the pieces with the skin side down on a decorative serving platter. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, dry-roast the almonds over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the almonds to a small plate and reserve for garnishing. Process the remaining almonds in a food processor or blender for 15 to 20 seconds, or until finely ground.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, lemon pepper seasoning blend, and lemon juice with an electric mixer for 1 to 2 minutes, or until creamy. Add the ground almonds and beat for 10 seconds, or until combined.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a wide star or round tip. Or snip the corner off a resealable plastic bag (a plastic freezer bag works well) and spoon in the mixture. Pipe about 1 teaspoon of the mixture onto each bell pepper piece. Garnish with the sliced almonds.

Pear & Cherry Crumble


   Ingredients for the fruit
   Cooking spray
   Juice of one lemon
   5-6 fresh pears, the riper the better
   1 cup dried cherries
   Zest of one lemon
   1/2 cup pear juice (may substitute apple juice)
   2 tablespoons honey
   1 teaspoon almond extract
   1 teaspoon vanilla extract
   1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
   1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
   1 tablespoon flour

   Ingredients for the topping
   1 cup vanilla granola
   3 tablespoons flour
   1/2 cup brown sugar
   1/4 cup sliced almonds
   1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
   1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
   1/4 cup trans fat free margarine spread

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.  Fill a large bowl halfway with cold water and the juice of one lemon. Cut the stems off the pears and peel them, placing each one in the acidulated water as you do so. Then, half, core and seed the pears and cut them into inch-thick lengthwise slices or chunks, returning each sliced pear to the lemon water until the job is completed. Drain the cut pears in a colander and return them to the mixing bowl. Add the cherries, lemon zest, pear or apple juice, honey, flavorings, spices, and one tablespoon of flour to the fruit and stir to mix everything well. Let the fruit macerate for 15 minutes; then place it in the prepared baking dish.

Make the topping. Place the granola, flour, brown sugar, almonds, and spices in a large mixing bowl and toss them together lightly. Add the margarine spread and use your hands to work the spread into the dry ingredients until blended but crumbly. Spread the topping over the pears. Place the dish on the foil-lined baking sheet and bake the crumble for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the juices are bubbling and translucent. Serve warm.

Devil's Food Cupcakes With Almond-Mocha

Topping on Raspberry Sauce

Whether it’s a special occasion or you just want to make someone feel special, this decadent-looking dessert will bring smiles and compliments!


   1 18.25-ounce box devil’s food cake mix
   1 2.5-ounce jar baby food pureed prunes
   1-cup strong coffee, or 1-cup water plus 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
   3 large egg whites
   2 tablespoons canola or corn oil

   2 12-ounce packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
   1/2-cup sugar
   1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
   1-teaspoon vanilla extract

   2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
   2 teaspoons water
   8 ounces frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed in refrigerator
   2/3 cup sliced almonds, dry-roasted

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325°F, or as directed on the package. Lightly spray two 12-cup muffin pans with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cupcake ingredients. Follow the package directions for beating the batter and baking and cooling the cupcakes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, stir together the raspberries, sugar, and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Let cool completely, about 20 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, stir together the coffee granules and water until the coffee is dissolved. Fold in the whipped topping until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

For each serving, spread 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons raspberry sauce on a dessert plate, top with a cupcake, spoon 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons whipped topping mixture over the cupcake, and sprinkle with about 1 1/2 teaspoons almonds.

Fire Up The Grill

Grecian Pork Tenderloin


   1 1/2 cups fresh limejuice
   3/4-cup olive oil
   6 cloves garlic, sliced
   2 teaspoons salt
   6 tablespoons dried oregano
   2 (1 pound) pork tenderloins


Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and oregano in a large resealable plastic bag. Shake sealed bag until ingredients are well mixed. Taste the marinade for tartness. If too tart, add a little more oil. Not enough zing, add more lime. The garlic and salt flavors should also be up front, yet not overpowering. Place tenderloins in the bag, seal, and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 5 hours.

Preheat grill for medium heat.

Lightly oil the grill grate, and discard marinade. Grill tenderloins for 20 to 30 minutes, turning once, or to desired doneness.

Quick & Tasty Barbecued Fajitas


   1-pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
   1 medium green pepper, cut into strips
   1 medium red pepper, cut into strips
   1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
   1/2-cup barbecue sauce
   8 Flour Tortillas, warmed
   1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese
   1/2 cup chunky Salsa
   1/4-cup sour cream


Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Toss chicken and vegetables with barbecue sauce. Let stand 5 min. to marinate. Poke holes evenly in bottom of 13x9-inch disposable foil roasting pan with a fork or skewer. Place chicken and vegetables in pan. Place pan on grill and cover grill with lid.
Grill chicken and vegetables in pan 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

Spoon mixture evenly onto tortillas; top with cheese, salsa and sour cream. Roll up.

Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Lemon & Oregano


   3 lb jumbo shrimp in shell (7 or 8 per pound)
   4 large garlic cloves
   3/4-teaspoon salt
   5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
   1/2-teaspoon black pepper
   3/4-cup olive oil
   1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano (from 1 bunch)
   3 lemons, each cut into 6 wedges


Snip through shells of shrimp along middle of back using kitchen shears, exposing vein and leaving tail and adjoining segment of shell intact. Devein shrimp, leaving shells in place.
Mince and mash garlic to a paste with salt using a large heavy knife or a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a blender along with lemon juice and pepper and blend until smooth. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream, blending until emulsified. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in chopped oregano.

Prepare grill for cooking over direct heat with medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas).
Toss shrimp with 1/4 cup dressing in a large bowl and marinate no more than 15 minutes. (Texture of shrimp will change if marinated too long.)

Lightly brush lemon wedges with some of remaining dressing and grill, turning over once, until grill marks appear, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large platter.

Grill shrimp on lightly oiled grill rack (covered only if using a gas grill), turning over once, until just cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to platter with lemons as grilled. Serve with remaining dressing.

Make Room On The Grill For Veggies

A lot of veggies do well on the grill, but some really stand out--asparagus, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers (bell or hot), and onions, even cabbage.

Grilled Asparagus


   1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
   1-tablespoon olive oil
   Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat grill for high heat.
Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grill over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or to desired tenderness.

Marinated Barbequed Vegetables


   1 small eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch thick slices
   2 small red bell peppers, seeded and cut into wide strips
   3 zucchinis, sliced
   6 fresh mushrooms, stems removed
   1/4-cup olive oil
   1/4 cup lemon juice
   1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
   2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced


Place eggplant, red bell peppers, zucchinis and fresh mushrooms in a medium bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, basil and garlic. Pour the mixture over the vegetables, cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

Place vegetables directly on the grill or on skewers. Cook on the prepared grill 2 to 3 minutes per side, brushing frequently with the marinade, or to desired doneness.

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