Healthy Tips – July 2019


Topics This Issue:

Happy, safe and healthy summer fun

Summer is here and travel season is officially in full swing. Dr. Ari Gilmore shares these tips for fun and safe adventures.

Outdoor Safety:

  • Apply sunblock that’s SPF 30 or higher every two hours or after swimming in saltwater.
  • Avoid alcohol while boating or have a designated boat driver.
  • Know your capacity with waves and ocean currents. If caught in a riptide, face into the waves and swim out diagonally about 100 feet; then try to return to shore again.
  • Wear the right shoes for the activity. Don’t hike in flip-flops; wear sturdy shoes that cover your feet.
  • Keep an eye on the ground when you’re walking. It’s easy to get distracted by the sights and trip!

Food Safety:

  • If eating from a food truck, observe it first to see if they have clean meal preparation surfaces and whether it’s busy and popular.
  • Avoid fresh fruit that has been prepared out of your sight. Cooked vegetables are generally all right to eat, but it’s a good idea to avoid the lettuce/cabbage on tacos.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water before eating.

Travel vaccines:

  • Avoiding Zika virus: Zika is endemic near the equator, in warm humid climates. Physicians recommend women wait eight weeks after departing a location where Zika might be present before attempting to get pregnant. Likewise, we recommend men wait six months after visiting, because they have the ability to transmit the disease for some time, even after symptoms have subsided.
  • Make sure you have the proper vaccines if you’re travelling abroad. Visit or consult at least one month before you depart with a travel-clinic physician regarding malaria, typhoid and yellow fever.

Long flights:

  • Jet lag has less to do with time changes and more to do with the low pressure and low oxygen levels on the aircraft. Increase your oxygen intake by drinking more water in-flight and being properly hydrated in the days before your flight. Also, avoid alcohol (which causes dehydration).
  • Get up from your seat every few hours to stretch your legs and do a few calf squeezes to increase blood flow.

Trips with children:

  • On a long car trip, take breaks and walk with your kids for 5-10 minutes. This blows off steam and helps circulation.
  • If your child is in diapers, pack individual diapers in plastic baggies—easy to grab and a bag for disposal, too.
  • Expect some acting out and fussiness—travel is stressful for everyone! Come prepared with snacks (such as nuts, granola bars, dried fruit and crackers) and activities (books, finger puppets, drawing materials, a new toy).

Food allergies:

  • Research your dining options in advance. At a restaurant, ask open-ended questions, like “What kinds of oil is in the salad dressing?” instead of “Does this contain walnut oil?”
  • Avoid buffets. It’s easy for foods to be cross-contaminated when serving utensils are shared across containers.
  • Take the medications you need for an allergic reaction, and know where the nearest hospital is that can treat you or your child.

Ari Gilmore, MD, practices family medicine at the PacMed Beacon Hill clinic. You’ll also find comprehensive travel services for adults and children at The PacMed Travel Clinic—like country-specific health advice and immunizations. Bon voyage!

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Our Back-to-School List—Check! Check!

Parents, get a jump on September with our back-to-school checklist for immunizations, checkups and communicating with your child’s school. You’ll also find inspiring ideas for healthy lunches and tips on which vaccines are recommended for your child.

Check out PacMed Back to School

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PacMed is smart, wired and fun

Smart. Our doctors regularly share their expertise in interviews with our local media. Here’s how to catch that latest PacMed provider videos of their interviews.

Wired. Through our secular partnership with Providence Health & Services, PacMed has some great partners—like Swedish Medical Center! By joining together, we have access to excellent tools, like our new MyChart. With MyChart, you can schedule appointments, see test results and message your doctor—all online. If you’re a PacMed patient, learn more and get started with the new MyChart.

FUN! Yes, it’s that time of year again—time for the popular PacMed Back-to-School Bash in Federal Way on August 14, 5:30-7:30 PM! This free event offers cooking demos, a scavenger hunt, face painting, healthy snacks, prizes and more. Visit for all the details.

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NUTRITION CORNER: Get more fruits and vegetables into your day

Summer is such an easy time to add an extra serving of fresh fruits and vegetables to your day. Produce is plentiful in grocery stores and local gardens. For maximum health benefits, medical experts recommend 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Eating more produce has been linked to a lower risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Along with exercise, make this a high priority for your health!

Here are a few tips:

  1. Make it convenient. Y Have a mixture of fresh, frozen and canned fruit and vegetables on hand. This makes it easy to add them to sandwiches, soups, stir-fries, pizzas, yogurt or salads.
  2. Shop locally. There’s nothing like the local farmer’s market or fruit stand to get out of your produce comfort zone! Signing up for a produce box is another good way to experiment with new flavors. Need a recipe? Search the USDA My Plate Kitchen site.
  3. Sign up for a cooking class. Learning new ways to cook produce can help you discover what appeals most to you and inspire you to cook more fruits and vegetables after the class. Try a local cooking class through Living Well Alliance, YMCA, PCC or Cancer lifeline.
  4. Swap vegetables in place of grains. Have you heard about zoodles (zucchini noodles) or spaghetti squash taking the place of pasta? You can also try using cauliflower for rice. Another trick? Hiding vegetables in plain sight: shredded carrots in muffins, frozen spinach in smoothies, pureed canned beans in brownies.
  5. Fire up the grill. Grilling produce adds flare to a summer meal. Try vegetable kababs or experiment with grilled fruit like pineapple, pluots or peaches.

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Savory zucchini-egg breakfast muffins

Summertime means a plethora of fresh vegetables from the store, farmer’s market or your own garden. Zucchini is affordable and delicious, and it compliments most meals. Try it in these breakfast muffins!

Yield 12 Muffins Total Time: 45 minutes (Cooking Time: 30 minutes)


  • Cooking spray, such as canola or coconut oil
  • 3 cups grated zucchini (2 medium zucchini)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup milk (or milk alternative)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary or other herb
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup grated manchego or cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat muffin tin with spray oil.

Place grated zucchini in a strainer and sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon salt and let sit 5 to 10 minutes. Squeeze excess water out of zucchini; this prevents the muffins from being soggy.

Sauté onion in olive oil for 2 minutes over medium heat. Then allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Add zucchini, onion, rosemary, oats, optional cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined.

Pour mix into muffin cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly golden.

Note: These muffins can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Just pop a muffin in the microwave for 20 seconds to reheat.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: Two muffins

Calories 230, Total Fat 12g, Saturated fat 5g, Cholesterol 230mg, Sodium 565mg, Potassium 400mg, Total Carbohydrates 16g, Dietary fiber 2g, Sugars 5g, Protein 14g

Recipe from by Macha Davis, MPH, RDN.

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LWA Spotlight: Mingle, Network and Make a Difference in your worksite wellness program

This year the Living Well Alliance is hosting its 4th annual Workplace Wellness Symposium – a free event that is designed to help Puget Sound-area wellness coordinators promote and grow their wellness programs. This year, network with others in the field, hear from a panel of experts about organizing a wellness team, health fairs and negotiating with insurance brokers. Full lunch provided.

Save the Date: September 11, 2019 from 10-2:30pm in the Pacific Tower, 8th floor panoramic room
1200 12th Ave S Seattle, WA 98144

RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by August 30. Bring a friend not already connected with LWA and receive a gift card

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The Living Well Alliance is run by Pacific Medical Centers. Call us today at 206.621.4419 for more information or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).