Healthy Tips – July/August 2018


Topics This Issue:

A Leopard Isn’t the Only Animal with Spots…

We humans have them, too! How do we avoid skin spots—and which ones are cause for concern? Can nutrition help? What about collagen? Read our 4 newsy bursts below!.

1. Going outside?

We all know the sun is bad for our skin—but hey, we live in cloudy Seattle, right? Wrong! Even on drizzly summer days, 80 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays still reach your skin. If you are going to be out for more than a few minutes:

  • Always wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 on all exposed skin.
  • Cover all the skin you can.
  • Avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when it is most intense.
  • Seek the shade when possible.

2. What’s that spot? When in doubt, check it out.

Many common growths occur on the skin, and it can be difficult to know which lesions may be suspicious. The best bet always is to see your physician when you have questions or concerns.

You also should examine your skin regularly, at least every three months—every square inch! Be proactive about your skin health and watch for new or enlarging pigmented (brown) spots, especially if they are irregular in shape or color. Any new pink or red bumps that persist and enlarge over several months are of concern, especially if they are crusty, bleed or scab easily.

3. Eat your vitamins!

These four antioxidant nutrients can help promote healthy, radiant skin. Try our tips to incorporate foods rich in these nutrients into your daily diet.

  • Vitamin A: decreases cell damage and helps the healing process of wounds. Increase your intake of sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, apricots, cantaloupe and other yellow and orange fruits and vegetables.
  • Vitamin E: helps protect against skin damage and plays anti-inflammatory roles in the skin. Try grabbing some sunflower seeds and almonds for your afternoon snack.
  • Vitamin C: plays an important role in the synthesis of collagen, a major protein in the skin. Include broccoli, red peppers and green peppers in your favorite dishes, and enjoy oranges, strawberries or kiwi for dessert.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: may include a protective effect against sunburn and premature aging. Your body can’t make them; you have to get them through food. So, make sardines, tuna or salmon for dinner tonight.

4. Instant youth with collagen?

You may be hearing lots of push in advertising for collagen peptide supplements and other skin products. Collagen is a protein in our bodies, particularly the skin, hair, joints and nails. As we age, we gradually lose collagen, and our skin begins to look less moist and full.

So, will using collagen change the effects of time and age? It’s hard to say. Research is tricky when it comes to skin products. It’s hard to isolate whether the product is making an improvement, or whether some other aspect has played a role—like a change in diet, humidity, sleep or hydration.

The jury is still out. Collagen is generally safe and tolerated by most people. In the long run, however, you might do better to save your hard-earned cash and follow the sun-smart tips above for long-term preventive care.

Meet the Dermatology team at PacMed. We also invite you to learn more about our dietitian services. Call 206.505.1300 for an appointment.

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Staying on Top of Back-to-Scholl Anxiety and Bullying

As summer slips away, children may experience a range of emotions for the coming school year—excitement, nervousness, anxiety. The new school year presents many unknowns for a child: Will my teacher be strict? Will I get picked on? Will I make the sports team? Here are proactive steps you can take to combat back-to-school anxiety, including knowing the signs of bullying.

Alleviating Anxiety

Parents can help alleviate young students’ concerns before school begins through consistent emotional and mental support. Some ideas include setting up a bedtime routine at least two weeks before school starts to help ease your student into the school season. Also, take advantage of any scheduled events to meet teachers, classmates and families before the first day; this can help to ease nerves. Finally, be attentive to your child’s concerns. Well before school begins, start having consistent one-on-one conversations about your child’s day. Listen and validate any worries they express. Let them know they can come to you with any issues.

Watching for Bullying

Once school starts, a common source of anxiety for children is bullying. A bully is someone who asserts his or her power by repeatedly being aggressive toward a weaker person. Some types of aggression include physical (such as hitting, stealing and threatening posturing); verbal (such as name calling, public humiliation and intimidation); and behavior focused on relationships (like spreading rumors, social rejection and ignoring).

Here are some signs that can appear in a child who is being bullied:

  • Unexplained bruises or other injuries
  • Lost or damaged clothing, books or electronics
  • Frequent headaches, stomach aches or “invented” illnesses to stay home from school
  • Severe anxiety, nightmares, depression
  • Bullying younger kids or siblings (bullied children may switch roles and become the bully)
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Inconsistent mood swings, secretive or sullen behavior, temper outbursts

If bullying becomes a recurring issue, don’t hesitate to address the issue directly with the school. Come to the meeting with specific examples, and remember to be respectful as you work together to determine a plan of action.

Keeping Track with a Well-Child Checkup

Now is a good time to get your child in for their annual checkup. Your child’s doctor will check their height and weight, look at other signs of healthy development, screen for childhood diseases, and check for needed vaccinations. If your child has been affected by bullying, you can also talk with their provider about healthy ways to support your child.

We wish you and your children a respectful, healthy and interesting school year.

If you and your family are looking for a primary care provider, please explore the PacMed Family Medicine and Pediatrics providers. We have 10 clinics in neighborhoods around Lake Washington and the south Puget Sound region.

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Fueling Your Student-Athlete

Participating in a school sports programs is a great way for adolescents to develop muscular strength, boost confidence and inspire camaraderie. When participating in sports on any level, eating the right balance of nutrients is essential.

For athletes looking to build muscle and strength, understanding caloric intake and proportions of different macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and protein) is key. Young athletes, in general, need more calories than adult athletes because of their faster growth and metabolic rates. Eating regular, well-balanced meals each day helps the body get nutrition, balances blood sugar levels and provides the foundation for a strong, healthy body.

Carbs Fuel Explosive Power.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for an athletes’ explosive power. About 45-65% percent of the athlete diet should be whole forms of carbohydrates, such as whole grains, quinoa, legumes (beans and lentils), fruit, and starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes. Carbohydrates that come naturally with fiber, such as oats and winter squash, help control blood sugar for long-term energy.

Healthy Fats Are Critical to Endurance.

During the first two minutes of high-intensity exercises, all energy generated comes from carbohydrates. As exercise time increases, however, the calories the body burns start to transition from carbohydrate stores to the fat stores—meaning that it’s important for athletes to also include healthy fats in their diet. At most, 30 percent of total caloric intake should come from healthy fats such as nuts, salmon, avocado, omega-3 eggs and grass-fed meats. All of these also help with inflammation and are good for joint health.

Protein Builds and Repairs Muscle.

In our western diet, protein deficiency is generally not an issue; we eat plenty of protein. Also keep in mind that protein is not the main energy source for the body, unlike carbohydrates so young athletes should not overdo protein in hopes of gaining muscle faster. For young athletes up to age 18, protein should comprise 10–30% of total energy intake. Some good sources of protein are lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, and beans and nuts.

Healthy Fluids Oil the Machine.

For the most part, it is a myth that sports drinks keep athletes hydrated better than water. Generally, sports drinks should be considered only for high-endurance and high-intensity sports in which the participant is sweating heavily and exerting themselves for greater than 90 minutes. Otherwise, water is enough to hydrate … plus it’s cheap and readily available! And while some youth often think that sugary or caffeinated beverages will give them an energy boost, these in fact can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, which can lead to a subsequent energy crash.

A good rule of thumb? Drink when you are thirsty. If properly hydrated, urine should be very light yellow to clear in color. If it’s yellow or dark yellow, you need more fluids.

Without proper fuel and nourishment, the body cannot attain its full athletic potential and is more susceptible to fatigue and injury. To learn more, the dietitians at PacMed are available to support your young athlete. Should any of the athletes in your family experience injury, the doctors in our Sports Medicine department can help diagnose and treat them.

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Back-to-School Lunch Nutrition Tips

When it comes to feeding your children, it can be stressful—especially once school starts. For starters, there’s the time it takes to prep and cook. Add to that the worry about whether they will even like what you prepare. Their preferred foods may be an easy, quick option, but they often aren’t the healthiest choices. Because children are still growing, they need nutritious foods to support the development of their bones, muscles and brains. What’s a parent to do?

A few things to consider for success:

Know your time-saving tips. Use the three Ps of meal planning: Plan, Purchase and Prepare. To save time and money, plan several meals before you head out to shop. When you go to purchase ingredients, be smart at the grocery store and use a list to stay on track. If possible, avoid going when you are stressed or hungry. Finally, set some time aside on the weekends or in the evenings to prepare ingredients: do some cutting, cooking and assembling for the week. Try cooking your grains and proteins for the week all at once or precutting vegetables and fruits so they are ready for lunches and snacks. Still strapped for time? Use frozen or pre-cut vegetables and fruits.

Get the kids involved. Children who help with meal prep tend to be better eaters and more willing to try new foods, so get them in the kitchen! If your child is 6 or older, give them more power to pick out healthy items at the store for their lunch and then to help pack their lunch bag. Try using the terms “growing foods” for foods that are nutrient rich and “fun foods” for those that taste good but are eaten less often or for special occasions. A challenge: can you and your kids find growing foods that are also fun?

Develop healthy eaters. To help children grow an open, healthy attitude to food, follow dietitian and therapist Ellyn Satter’s wisdom about the division of responsibility. In her approach, adults are responsible for choosing and preparing foods for their children, providing regular meals and snacks, and letting children grow into the bodies that are right for them. The children’s job is to eat the amount that is right for them, learn to behave well at mealtimes and grow predictably in the way that is right for them. When done consistently, children tend to be less picky and more willing to try new things. Read more stories about the division of responsibility in feeding to start a new mealtime strategy.

Use the healthy plate guideline. For a healthy plate, include at least three food groups in every meal to ensure balance. Children tend to need snacks between meals to keep themselves going, so make these snacks more like mini meals with veggies and fruits, proteins and fiber-rich grains. Avoid empty-calorie options like chips or cookies. For more meal ideas, use our helpful lunchtime planner!

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Recipe: Camping Quesadilla

Eating healthy while camping can be a challenge since most nutritious foods tend to need refrigeration. Being a regular camper myself, I’ve learned some tricks to packing a cooler with vitamin-rich foods. 1) Choose hardy vegetables that last longer such as carrots and dark leafy greens like kale, broccoli and collards. 2)Put all foods in sealed plastic baggies or water-tight containers, including precooked meats, cheeses and dips like hummus. 3) Avoid taking raw meats (or eat them at the beginning of your trip to avoid contamination). 4) Layer your drinks at the bottom making a flat shelf for the foods on top. 5) Be prepared to restock ice halfway through your trip to prevent food borne illness. —PacMed dietitian Christy Goff, RDN

Who wants to make a four-course, fresh meal in the woods?! Try this simple, vegetable-laden quesadilla, being sure to keep perishable ingredients chilled until dinnertime. For even simpler preparation, precut/prechop vegetables, measure and store together in a sealed container or baggie. Consider adding a salad or carrot sticks!

Serves 2. Prep Time: 20 minutes (includes marinating time). Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup broccoli, finely chopped
  • 3 button mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 2 large whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons refried black beans
  • ½ cup shredded cheese, perhaps a cheddar blend
  • ½ cup of precooked shredded chicken
  • ½ cup guacamole

Homemade guacamole:

  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: red pepper flakes, diced tomato, garlic powder


On camping stove, place heavy frying pan over medium heat and add oil. Add onion, broccoli and mushroom and sauté until golden brown and starting to wilt, about 6 minutes. Remove vegetables to bowl and set aside. In frying pan, add one tortilla and spread with refried beans. Sprinkle half (¼ cup) of the cheese on top and add cooked vegetables, chicken and remaining ¼ cup of cheese on top. Place second tortilla on top and cook 3-4 minutes. To flip quesadilla and cook other side, place a plate over the quesadilla in the pan and flip the pan over, placing the quesadilla onto the plate. Now slide the quesadilla off the plate and into the pan. (This maneuver tends to keep the quesadilla from falling apart!) Cook another 3-4 minutes until cheese has melted and tortilla is lightly browned. Serve with guacamole.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1/2 recipe)

Calories: 398, Total Fat: 23g, Sat. Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 680mg, Total Carbohydrate: 34g, Dietary Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 22g

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Events: PacMed Back-to-School Bash and Giveaway!

Come join us at our Federal Way clinic (Aug. 8) from 5:30-7:30pm or Canyon Park clinic (Aug. 25) from 12-2 pm. We have lots of free fun planned—like door prizes, face-painting, games and snacks. And while supplies last, we will give away school backpacks at Federal Way and lunch bags at Canyon Park to children. Come have fun and meet some of our providers!

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The Living Well Alliance—Summer Classes for Your Employees!

Happy summer! The Living Well Alliance™ (LWA) would like to remind you of our favorite wellness programs.

Our team continues to help local companies reach their employee wellness goals by providing complimentary services – including biometric screenings, health fairs and one wellness class each year. Don’t forget to schedule your LWA programming soon, as fall will be here before you know it!

With our 2018 webinar subscription program, you can offer your organization more wellness initiatives on a regular, monthly basis! Because we are now halfway through 2018, we’ve prorated our monthly subscription to just $200 for 6 webinars for your whole company to enjoy. What a deal!

Lastly, we’d like to share some of our most popular summer wellness topics:

  • Fight with Food: Nutrition for Cancer Prevention. Nearly 50% of most common cancers can be prevented! In this class, you will learn what cancer is and the common types, review risk factors to avoid, and gain positive lifestyle interventions that have been shown to lower your risk.
  • Brain Boost. With all the fresh produce available in our area, it’s easy to choose foods that energize and protect the brain. You can choose to include a cooking demo at no additional cost other than food supplies.
  • Food for Thought. This class reviews the importance of mindful eating in our busy summer lives and offers a good basis for thinking about long-term health goals.
  • Plant Forward Nutrition. Want to understand different plant-based diets? We will review the research on these diets and the different types out there. Want to taste some plant-focused foods? Add in a cooking demo at no additional cost other than food supplies.

Classes from the Living Well Alliance help you provide wellness programming to your employees. These 45-minute, in-person classes are interactive, fun and current—an easy fit for your worksite.

Learn more about scheduling Living Well Alliance events for employees by contacting Christy Goff, RD, by email or at 206.621.4419.

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