August 2018 Food of the Month - Cantaloupe

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August in South Eastern Pennsylvania heralds the beginning of harvest season which brings a bounty of delicious local fruits and vegetables to supermarkets and farmer’s markets throughout Philadelphia!  This is a great time to choose locally grown produce because the taste is great and the price is right.  Cantaloupe is highlighted this month as our “Food of the Month”, but be sure to enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables this harvest season!

Did you know cantaloupe is a good source of vitamins A, C and potassium?  The average American gets less than 60% of the daily recommendation for potassium which is a key nutrient for bone health, muscle function, and even plays a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure.  While some fruits have little variation in taste year round, cantaloupe is significantly more flavorful when purchased in season, so this month try cantaloupe slices as a snack or added to fruit salad for a tasty potassium boost!

Article written by Spectrum nutritionist Christina LiPuma, RDN, LDN




Add Sweetness to Your Summer!

Healthy, hot weather sweet treat tips from Spectrum's nutrition expert, Christine LiPuma, RDN, LDN. To schedule a nutrition counseling session, contact 215.471.2761 or join us for our monthly Food as Medicine cooking demonstrations!

July 2018 Food of the Month - Blueberries


Looking for a way to cool off in the July heat?  Fresh blueberries straight out of the refrigerator make a great summer snack!  Luckily, blueberry season lasts from early July to mid-August to help you through the hot weather.  Blueberries contain beneficial plant chemicals called anthocyanins, which give them their blue color and help protect your body’s cells from damage. 


They are also an excellent source of Vitamin C and taste great in yogurt, oatmeal, salads, smoothies and more.  Get them at your local farmers market, super market or, if you’re up for an adventure, pick your own and get a variety of shapes, sizes and varieties (as seen above).


Photo and article written by Spectrum nutritionist Christina LiPuma, RDN, LDN

June 2018 Food of the Month - Strawberries



Now that June is upon us it is officially strawberry season!  Fresh local strawberries at great prices will soon start popping up everywhere you shop, from farmers markets to grocery stores, so now is a great time to add some of this colorful fruit to your diet.  

These red gems have over half your daily needs of Vitamin C in just one cup and make delicious additions to oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, smoothies, and salads.   Whether in a mixed dish or just washed and eaten straight out of the carton, the flavor this time of year will not disappoint!  



Written by Spectrum nutritionist Christina LiPuma, RDN, LDN

May 2018 Food of the Month - Collard Greens

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Collard greens can be an incredibly nutritious dish, but how they are prepared is important.  Collards are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C and, as part of the cruciferous vegetable family, can help your body produce compounds that cleanse your liver!  However, when greens are cooked in leftover animal grease or stewed with ham hocks, bacon, or turkey necks, they become a significant source of unhealthy saturated fat.  Try sautéing greens in oil instead of animal grease or butter and adding leaner cuts of meat such as skinless chicken or turkey.  Small changes to traditional preparation will allow your body to enjoy collard greens as much as you do!  Click here for a healthier collard green recipe (try it with low sodium vegetable broth for healthiest option).




Written by Spectrum nutritionist Christina LiPuma, RDN, LDN


April 2018 Food of the Month - Spinach

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Did you know that more than 80% of American’s don’t meet the recommendations for vegetable intake?  It’s recommended that adults eat a minimum of 2-3 cups of vegetables each day and spinach is a great way to meet this goal.  Spinach is high in Vitamins A and C and also contains fiber and iron.  This versatile green can be used in salads, stir fry’s, smoothies, side dishes and more! 

Try the spinach containing green smoothie recipe below as a way to get vegetables some greens in at breakfast!

Basic Green Smoothie
(makes 2 servings)

  • 2 cups spinach
  • ¾ cup frozen berries, apples, or peaches
  • 1 cup chunks of frozen bananas or mangoes
  • 1 ½ cups liquid (i.e. 1% milk, almond milk, water)

 Directions: Blend all ingredients together.   If too thick, add water to thin.

For more information or to suggest other complementing recipes, please contact our nutritionist at 215.471.2761 or send us a message!




Written by Spectrum nutritionist Christina LiPuma, RDN, LDN


March 2018 Food of the Month - Asparagus


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In March, when few vegetables in the North East are in season, asparagus hits its prime.  This unusual vegetable comes in both green and white varieties, grows directly out of the ground, and comes back each year without having to be replanted.  To learn more about how asparagus grows click here.

Asparagus is packed with fiber and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K and folate.  It tastes great sautéed or oven baked and makes a perfect side dish for chicken, fish, and beef.  See the recipe below for a quick, easy way to prepare delicious baked asparagus!

Garlic Parmesan Asparagus


  • 1 Bundle of asparagus
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic (minced fresh or powder)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Rinse asparagus in cold water and let dry.  Lightly coat asparagus spears with olive oil and spread out on cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with garlic, pepper, and salt if desired.   Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for another 3-5 minutes (until asparagus is fork tender).

Tip: To best store asparagus, place the bundle in the fridge standing upright in a bowl with ½ to 1 inch of water.  This will keep the spears fresh until you are ready to cook them, especially if you plan to wait a few days!



Written by Spectrum nutritionist Christina LiPuma, RDN, LDN

Happy Valentine's Day to the City of Brotherly Love

#HealthTip : #DarkChocolate (not the sugary-filled milk chocolate) is filled with #antioxidants which can improve #bloodflow, lower #bloodpressure, and lower risk of #heart disease.

LOVE - valentines dark chocolates.jpg

source: Kris Gunnars,

#happyvalentinesday and much #LOVE to the entire #CityofBrotherlyLove
#PreventiveHealthCare is a #FamilyAffair

February 2018 Food of the Month: Walnuts

Photo by

Photo by

With 16 grams of heart healthy unsaturated fat per ounce, walnuts are a great food to eat in celebration of American Heart Health month.  They also contain twice the recommended daily amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) for females and over one and a half times the recommended amount for males.  ALA is an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid that can help protect against heart attack and stroke.  Have a small handful as a snack, toss them into a trail mix or try them chopped up in a bowl of salad, yogurt, or oatmeal!


New Year’s Nutrition Tips

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Looking for a New Year’s resolution that will help improve your health?  Here are three simple ideas for resolutions to make 2018 your healthiest year yet!

1) Rethink Your Drink

It’s recommended that you drink 64oz (about 8 cups) of water each day.  Try to increase your intake of water and cut back on soda, juice, and other sugar-sweetened beverages.  Sugary drinks tend to add a lot of calories but provide very little in the way of nutrition!  Not drinking enough water can lead to headaches, difficulty concentrating, constipation, and even bad moods.   If you don’t like water plain, try adding lemon, lime, or cucumber as flavoring.

2) Get Moving

Everyone should aim to exercise at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.  If you’re trying to lose weight the recommendation is twice that amount!  In addition to promoting a healthy weight, exercise improves mood, energy levels, and reduces your risk of chronic disease.  Whether you prefer to play sports with friends, hit the gym, or go for a brisk walk, any type of exercise will benefit your body.   Not big into exercise right now?  Start small then gradually work your way up to the goal—every little bit counts!

3) Add Color

Colorful fruits and vegetables are packed full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  They’re also low in calories but still give you that full feeling, which can help you lose weight.   Aim for a minimum of 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits daily.  To maximize the benefit, try to eat a variety of colors each day.  Vegetables taste great in soups, salads, pasta, stir-fried, on pizza and even on their own.  Fruit makes a great snack or topping for your favorite breakfast food.  So get creative and eat the rainbow!

Christina LiPuma, RDN, LDN


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December 2017 Food of the Month: Clementines

Photo courtesy of @snapfitness

Photo courtesy of @snapfitness


Season: November through February

Clementines may be small, but they pack a powerful nutritious punch.  On top of other vitamins and minerals, a single clementine has only 35 calories and contains 36 mg of Vitamin C.  That’s over half of what is recommended for you to get in a day! 

While there is no evidence that Vitamin C can help cure a cold, research shows that if taken before symptoms of a cold begin, then it may shorten the duration and severity of a cold.  Include clementines in your diet for a low calorie source of Vitamin C.  They make convenient snacks and go great in salads!  Delicious and nutritious, consistent intake of clementines and other Vitamin C-containing foods may help you get over your next cold a little faster.

Christina LiPuma, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.


Keep Your Brain Active


This week is Active Aging Week, a week dedicated to encouraging older Americans to remain active.  However, activity is not limited to physical activity.  As we get older, it is important to stay mentally active as well.  Studies show that practicing brain-boosting activities can help to prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia.  Here are some ideas of activities to do this week and keep your mind active!  Learn a new language or musical instrument, do puzzles, brain teasers, or strategy games, and practice memorization: maybe the 50 state capitals or the US presidents.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Service, Inc.

Be Good to Your Eyes


Wear protective eyewear when outdoors.  Some sunglasses can block up to 99% of ultraviolet A and B rays in addition to aiding in the prevention of cataracts and wrinkles around the eyes.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

National Employee Health & Fitness Day


Celebrate by taking the stairs, hand-delivering messages instead of sending emails or voicemails, or sharing a healthy meal with a coworker.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

National Bike to Work Week (May 11th - May 15th)


This is an opportunity, if you live close enough to work, to save the environment, a couple dollars, and incorporate more physical activity into your day. 

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Good Posture Month


THIS SPRING, PULL WEEDS, NOT YOUR BACK!  May is “Good Posture Month,” so I encourage you at least once this week to consciously practice good posture (whether you are gardening or not).  When you are sitting this means:

  • Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don't reach the floor.
  • Don't cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.
  • Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
  • Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.
  • Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.
  • Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
  • Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.

Who knew there was so much to think about for something as simple as sitting?!  However, studies show that good posture:

  • Helps keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly
  • Reduces stress on ligaments holding spinal joints together
  • Allows muscles to work more efficiently, preventing muscle fatigue
  • Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and back and muscular pain

American Chiropractic Association

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Fun In The Sun


ALLOW YOURSELF 20 MINUTES OF UNPROTECTED SUN EXPOSURE DAILY.  The average person only needs about 20 minutes in the sun to meet the recommended level of Vitamin D intake for the day.  However, it must be unprotected exposure.  This means no sunscreen.  Sunscreen inhibits the absorption of Vitamin D, so if you are prone to sunburns, spend 20 minutes in the sun first without sunscreen.  Then apply sunscreen if you plan on spending additional time in the sun.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Sniff Rosemary


Yes, you read that right.  Several new studies have found that the scent of rosemary stimulates the brain and can possibly boost mental speed and accuracy.  And, of course it’s a good spice to use in the kitchen as well!

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Spring Cleaning


IT’S SPRING CLEANING: Give yourself time to clean out your mind as well as your house!  Take a few minutes each day to rest/reflect on your life.  Being grateful for everything, both the good and the bad, can change your perspective, relieve stress, and improve mental health.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

American Diabetes Alert Day!

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The fourth Tuesday in March is American Diabetes Alert Day.  Below is a link to a diabetes risk assessment.  If you have never been screened for diabetes, or are curious to know your risk, I encourage you to complete this short, 7 question risk evaluation.  Not all risk factors can be controlled, but this may help you identify which risks ARE within your control.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.