Why get a flu shot?

CHAS Health recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get an annual flu shot to lower the risk of getting the flu and limit flu exposure to others.

Seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue as late as May. People of all ages can catch the flu, and now more than ever, no one wants to expose others to illness-causing germs.

Drive-up Flu Shot Clinics

This year CHAS Health will be hosting Drive-up Flu Shot Clinics on Saturdays in the months of October and November for you and your kids. These Drive-up clinics are available for patients and non-patients of CHAS Health. It is as easy as driving to the location for that Saturday and receive your flu shot. All from the comfort of your car! Dates and locations are as follows:

CHAS Health Drive-up Flu Clinics (Washington)

DateLocationTime
October 10thValley Clinic9:00am – 1:00pm
October 10thMaple Street Clinic2:00pm – 5:00pm
October 17thNorth Central Clinic9:00am – 1:00pm
October 17thDenny Murphy Clinic9:00am – 5:00pm
October 24thNorth County Clinic9:00am – 1:00pm
October 24thMarket Street Clinic9:00am – 5:00pm
October 31stValley Clinic9:00am – 5:00pm
October 31stPerry Street Clinic9:00am – 5:00pm
November 7thSouthgate Clinic9:00am – 12:00pm
November 7thMarket Street Clinic9:00am – 5:00pm
November 7thCheney Health Center2:00pm – 5:00pm
November 14thMaple Street Clinic9:00am – 5:00pm
November 14thValley Clinic9:00am – 5:00pm
November 21stMaple Street Clinic9:00am – 5:00pm
November 21stDenny Murphy Clinic9:00am – 5:00pm

CHAS Health Drive-up Flu Clinics (Idaho)

DateLocationTime
October 17thLatah Community Health9:00am – 1:00pm
October 17thLewis & Clark Health Center2:00pm – 5:00pm

If you are unable to make one of our Saturday Drive-up Flu Shot Clinics you can stop by at your medical primary care clinic beginning October 1st. Simply drive up and follow the directions.

COVID-19 & Influenza

Influenza kills and hospitalizes thousands of adults and children every year. COVID-19 can also be deadly and there is no vaccine available at this time. Both viruses are respiratory pathogens. It is possible to be infected with both influenza and COVID-19 at the same time, a situation to be avoided for everyone, not just the elderly or those with chronic diseases. If you have questions about whether or not you or your child should stay home due to any illness, please discuss this with your healthcare provider.

Telling the Difference Between a Cold & the Flu

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a cold and the flu, but there are some symptom differences:

Fever

Often the flu includes a fever while a cold does not. A fever is the body’s way of fighting infection. Fever is the most common reason adults stay home from work and why most parents keep their children home from school. The definition of a fever is a temperature of 100.4 or higher, however some schools and daycare centers have their own standards. The general rule of thumb is to stay away from work or school until the fever is gone and the ill person’s temperature has returned to 98.6 degrees.

Upper Respiratory

Adults and children may contract several different cold viruses each winter. Typical cold symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat and cough. Most people with these symptoms can participate in school without restrictions. Coughs may linger for several weeks after the other symptoms have resolved. It is important to remember the importance of coughing or sneezing into an elbow or a tissue, and to practice proper hand washing techniques to limit the spread of germs.

The flu is similar to a cold, but is accompanied by high fevers and body aches. It can also include extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms that diminish the body’s ability to function normally. If an adult or child has the flu, they should stay home until their symptoms have disappeared.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

When the flu brings vomiting and diarrhea, both adults and children should stay home until these symptoms have resolved. Adults and older children with only mild diarrhea (who are able to use the toilet and wash their hands on their own), may go to work and school if they don’t have other symptoms.

Illnesses are a normal part of life for both adults and children, but they are no fun to experience. We can’t keep ourselves or our children home for every sniffle and sneeze, yet we want to minimize the spread of germs to others. That’s why getting an annual flu shot is so very important.

For more information about the 2020-2021 flu season, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 3

Ingredients

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds (if salted, scale back on added salt)

3 Tbsp vegan mayo (sub tahini for a more earthy, nutty flavor)

1/2 tsp dijon or spicy mustard (if using tahini instead of mayo, use 1/4 tsp)

1 Tbsp maple syrup (or sub agave or honey if not vegan)

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 Tbsp fresh (or 1 Tbsp dried) dill, finely chopped

healthy pinch each salt and pepper (to taste)

4 pieces rustic bread, lightly toasted (gluten-free for GF eaters)

optional: Sliced avocado, onion, tomato, and or lettuce for serving

 

Garlic Herb Sauce (optional)

1/4 cup hummus

juice of 1/2 lemon (~1 Tbsp)

3/4 – 1 tsp dried dill (or sub 2-3 tsp fresh)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Water or unsweetened almond milk to thin

 

Instructions

  1. Prepare garlic herb sauce and set aside.
  2. Add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and lightly mash with a fork for texture. Then add sunflower seeds, mayo, mustard, maple syrup, red onion, dill, salt, and pepper and mix with a spoon. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Toast bread (if desired) and prepare any other sandwich toppings you desire (tomato, onion, lettuce).
  4. Scoop a healthy amount of filling onto two of the pieces of bread, add desired toppings and sauce, and top with other two slices of bread.
  5. Sunflower-chickpea mixture will keep covered in the fridge for up to a few days, making it great for quick weekday lunches!

Nutrition Information (without sauce, bread or toppings)

Serving size: 1/3 of recipe Calories: 311 Fat: 16g Saturated fat: 1.7g Carbohydrates: 26g Sugar: 7.3g Sodium: 107mg Fiber: 9g Protein: 11.5g

Cucumber, Watermelon and Arugula Salad

Number of Servings: 8

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups

Yield: 11 cups

Start to Finish: 25 min

 

Ingredients

4 cups chilled seedless watermelon cut into small chunks

4 cups baby arugula

1 medium seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 cup thinly sliced red onion (1 large)

1/2 cup snipped fresh mint

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine watermelon, arugula, cucumber, red onion, and mint. If desired, cover and chill for up to 1 hour.
  2. For vinaigrette, in a screw-top jar combine vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Cover and shake well. Pour vinaigrette over watermelon mixture; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and walnuts.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 159 cal., 12 g fat (2 g sat. fat), 6 mg chol., 10 g carb., 209 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 3 g pro.

Easy Quinoa Salad

yield: serves 4

prep time: 10 minutes

total time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients

FOR THE DRESSING:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove minced garlic

2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 large lemon)

1 tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar

1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or honey

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

 

FOR THE SALAD:

2 cups cold cooked quinoa

2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped

1 cup chopped cucumber

1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes

1 large avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped

2 green onions, sliced

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

 

Directions

First, make the dressing. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, maple syrup or honey, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, and green onions.

Drizzle salad with dressing and gently stir until salad is coated with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.

Avocado Tacos

Ingredients

  • 3 medium ripe avocados
  • Juice of 2 fresh limes
  • 1 lb. ground protein of choice (chicken, turkey, veggie crumbles, lean beef)
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
  • Homemade taco seasoning (or use store bought packet):
    • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
    • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/8 tsp onion powder
    • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp cumin powder
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • diced tomatoes
  • pico de gallo
  • cilantro
  • olives
  • shredded cheese
  • avocado
  • Combine spices well, you will only use about half of this mix per pound of meat, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut avocados in half, brush with fresh lime juice, sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
  2. Brown meat with the onion in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Once cooked through, drain well.
  4. Add homemade taco seasoning (I add a sprinkle at a time, and taste test until it’s right) and 1 Tbsp hot water.
  5. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until flavors combine.
  6. Scoop hot meat into avocados.
  7. Top with pico de gallo, cilantro, green onions and any other toppings you desire!

Tips for a Healthy Fall

Later, summer.
It’s been real. But, it’s time to welcome back short days, crisp air and colorful leaves of fall time. Time to stow away swimsuits in favor of sweaters for apple picking. Fall is incredible in the PNW; beautiful weather, colorful leaves and fall foliage make it for a great time of year for both exercise and wonderfully fresh seasonal foods. Here are some tips to make your fall a healthy and happy one:

All hail The Great Pumpkin!
Pumpkins are more than just pies and jack-o-lanterns, they are rich with vitamins A and C. Of course pumpkin seeds are a wonderful and healthy fall treat. There are a ton of possibilities with pumpkins. Check some of these healthy recipes out:

12 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

Get your flu shot and yearly check-up.
This one is pretty simple. You don’t want to be sniffling, aching, coughing and sneezing all winter long. Get your shot, keep the flu away. Schedule your appointment today by calling 509.444.8200

Boost your immune system! Hydrate throughout the day. adequate hydration has a huge impact on your immune system. Water helps all of your body’s systems function at optimum levels. Eat foods that add to your immune system with probiotics and vitamin C such as yogurt, oranges, peppers, garlic, yes even pumpkins can pack vitamin C.

Get outdoors. The bright colorful leaves on the trees add a visual treat to your walks as do the crunching of leaves under foot. What better season to put on a beanie and get active? In addition, outdoor time increases vitamin D levels, which can make you happier and improve concentration according to Harvard Medical School

Keep the treats in check. When you are stuck inside with delicious Halloween candy everywhere, it can be hard to resist eating 10 mini Snickers in a row. Don’t resist entirely, just don’t become a sugar zombie. Also, when it comes to game days make healthier choices by setting out veggies and dip instead of chips. You can also cut some of your favorite unhealthy snacks in to smaller portions.

Healthier Lunches: Three Bean Salad

Beans are a fabulous source of protein, fiber, folate, iron and calcium. Get in a serving of beans, vegetables and healthy fats with this super simple kid-friendly salad!

Ingredients

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

How to Make It

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cannellini beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, celery, onion, parsley, and rosemary.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, honey, salt, and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss. Serve at room temperature.

Weight Gain – 5 tips to get back on track

Blame it on the wild winter we had. Or perhaps you were too stressed about something in your life to worry about what you were eating? Maybe you had “just a sliver” of a few too many desserts, cakes, slices of pizza, etc. – because a little bit won’t hurt, right? Or to borrow an outdated Jamie Foxx lyric, “blame it on the a a a a a alcohol.” Whatever the excuse, it happened and you’ve acquired some excess weight over the past few months.

It’s easy to get in to a mode of sedentary lifestyle and casually eating when you aren’t even hungry. I mean, cheddar and sour cream chips are so darn tasty – why not?

We’ve worked with our providers to put together a solid plan to get you back on track. Here are our top 5 tips to get you back on track:

  1. Give yourself a break – You aren’t a bad person for switching off the exercise and food intake side of your brain for a bit. You’re a person – it happens to everyone. Too often people throw in the towel because they feel they’ve blown it or it’s too hard. They then give themselves permission to continue to over-indulge thus making it more difficult! No one is perfect and we all fall away from our best intentions and eat the wrong things, skip the gym or get a bit lazy and make excuses. The most important thing to remember is not to berate yourself about it but rather spend the energy getting back on track.
  2. Learn from the experience – If you don’t recognize what led you to fall off the healthy eating wagon, you’ll probably react the same way the next time the situation arises. Write down a list of the situations that trigger you to overeat, and plan an alternative for each. For example, if parties are your downfall, have a healthy snack beforehand to keep your appetite in check.
  3. Be kind – Don’t try to punish yourself with incredibly restrictive diets and over exercise. You may lose weight short term this way, but usually this sets up a pattern of gaining and losing weight. Look at the big picture and understand that weight loss requires a small decrease in calories over a longer period of time. Also, don’t deprive yourself. If you go out once or twice a month to Zips, it won’t kill your diet (depending on how much you drown your meal in tartar sauce-but that’s more of a personal issue. Guess who might be going to Zips tonight…). Just be sure that the majority of the time you’re getting a good dose of fruits, veggies and protein.
  4. Plan ahead – When you get hungry, that’s the moment you tend to overeat. Plan some healthy snacks throughout your day. If you’re away from home, be sure to bring a snack pack or two with options such as carrot sticks, trail mix, almonds, or fruits.
  5. Shake a leg – Can’t make it to the gym, don’t have time for a run? Do something small during a break. Go for a 15-minute walk, take the stairs, etc. Every little bit adds up to the bigger picture of being more active. It can also relieve stress you may have been building up (another reason people tend to overeat). When it is exercise time, try to find something you enjoy. There are a ton of activities out there, you just have to find the right one.

by Bill Bomberger and Matt Grebe

New Year’s resolutions suck.

New Year’s resolutions suck.

92% of all New Year’s resolutions fail 1. That’s a pretty staggering statistic. The concept of “starting fresh” is great. New year, new lifestyle…right? But the method of making a resolution is inherently flawed.

“Right from the getgo [a resolution] has failure and procrastination built into it,” says Timothy Pychyl, associate professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, in Canada, whose research focuses on procrastination. They’re typically big overarching ideas of what you want to do this year, with very little follow-up on how to achieve these goals.

It’s easy to throw your hands in the air and call it quits when things don’t go your way. I like to quote the brilliant Kunu from the film Forgetting Sarah Marshall in cases like this, “When life hands you lemons, just say forget (they used a different f word in the movie) the lemons and bail.” But the goal behind resolutions isn’t to get somewhere, it’s really to improve something; which can be more of a long term thing. The goal isn’t to lose 20 pounds and upon achieving that goal eat anything you want and sit-watching 10 hours of Netflix a day. It’s a lifestyle change.

Why January 1st?

January 1st is the date I give myself permission to do whatever thing. Change whatever I want to change. We decide January 1st is the date to do it. But each day is really a potential to start again or to begin. If you need a mental mark and you’ve decided New Year’s Day is the date, then that’s great. Let’s do this! But, let’s reframe your resolution.

How can we improve on our resolutions?

Instead of being vague, be specific. Take the example of “I want to lose weight.” How much are you going to lose? How are you going to lose the weight? What habits can you change in your life to achieve this goal? What support will you need to reach these goals? Is there a start date and an end date to achieve your goal? How will you monitor progress?

Set a specific goal and make a plan. So, in our example of, “I want to lose weight;” it needs to be broken down to make it achievable. Many people like to use the SMART goal strategy:

The acronym SMART has several slightly different variations, which can be used to provide a more comprehensive definition of goal setting:

Specific. Instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight,” specify how many calories you’ll burn per day, how many calories you’ll intake, etc.

 

Measurable. If you have a smart device that can track calories burned, that definitely helps. A scale is significant in tracking the goal of weight loss – considering it’s one of the only ways to measure your weight.

Attainable. This really depends on your level of exercise and food intake in a day. Start small, e.g. “I’m going to walk 15 minutes every day.” Or measure approximate calories burned, e.g. “I’m going to burn 300 calories every day through exercise.”

Relevant. Exercise is so important in weight loss! It definitely fits in your larger weight loss plan; so does watching your food intake. Personally I’m a big fan of myfitnesspal. It lets you diary your food easily and has great tips and recipes right from your smart phone or computer, plus you can log your workouts.

Time-bound. Set a goal for the week. You can try again next week, or set a new goal if it doesn’t work. It’s easier to be successful if you commit to a goal framed around a set amount of time. These can be short term – weekly goals or daily goals. Or your long term – “I want to lose 20 pounds by May 9th.”

Get others involved!

Talk about it! Let people know about your goal – friends, family, co-workers. There may be someone or a group working towards the same goal that would help hold you accountable for your actions. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle easier and less daunting.

Talk to your health provider about your goals. Did you know we have a program called “Quit Happens” to help our patients in their quest to quit smoking?* There are often different programs or support groups available to you that you might not be aware of.

Set a goal in the positive.

Add to your life instead of subtracting. For example, instead of “eat less unhealthy food,” try to “eat more healthy food.” Instead of, “don’t be so lazy,” try, “I’m adding more exercise to my routine.” You’re trying to improve your life, not make it feel like a chore.

Remember that it’s a process: If you have a terrible day, literally don’t move from the couch, and order nothing but pizza delivered to your door, don’t worry. Expect to consistently try at your goal vs. expecting perfection and giving up once perfection isn’t met. And remember, every day can by January 1st in your mind – a day to reset. If you fall back and need a reset date, there is always one tomorrow.

Keep your future in mind. Think of where you want to be in a few years and how this goal is just a piece of it.

 

1 University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology, January 13, 2012.

*If you are interested in quitting smoking, we have a lot of great resources for you. See your provider or pharmacist for more information and ask them about the Quit Happens program.

By Matt Grebe, Content Manager

Post-Holiday Depression

Presents have been unwrapped; cookies cooked and consumed, memories of joy on faces remain in your phone. But now that the festivities are over and it’s time to start taking down the lights, are you feeling down? It’s no surprise that the decrease in celebration and excitement can certainly affect moods, causing disappointment or even sadness. “It’s not an uncommon phenomenon, so if you are feeling that way, you are not alone,” says Martha Nelson, CHAS Health Behavioral Health Provider.

 

Causes:

  • Busyness – It’s a crazy hectic time of year. You just finished having so many people to get the perfect present for, the perfect meals, and attended too many functions. It’s such a wonderful time, but also, exhausting. Coming down from the busyness and hype is tough.
  • Family – Family is the best! Family is the worst! All kinds of feelings come up during the holiday season and it can certainly take an emotional toll. Do you have family members that are stressful to be around? “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst,” most definitely applies here. Even the most incredible families can cause some levels of exhaustion.
  • Memories – Holidays bring past memories, and often a sense of nostalgia for good times that have passed and loved ones that may be gone.
  • Fatigue – Fatigue is a common contributing factor for holiday depression. It can be a packed time of year, with normal routines and exercise out the window. Additionally, it’s cold outside (and so warm under the blankets). No wonder you can feel fatigued. It’s the time of year I personally put off a lot of things in exchange for sleeping in or going to sleep early.
  • Sugar and food – So many good treats! So many good foods! During this time of year, there is so much to eat, drink, and be merry with. It’s easy to go overboard, throw your routine out the window, and over eat (or under eat if you swap eating something good in order to splurge on a dessert). The amounts of blood sugar spikes can lead you feeling crabby, hungry and a little bit sad.

 

Ideas to help cope with post-holiday depression:

  • Take what you enjoyed during the holidays and continue it throughout the year. If you enjoyed spending time with friends and family, invite them over soon for a meal, play some games, or watch a movie.
  • Have fun! Go to a movie, see a play, go to the Museum of Arts and Culture, ski or do some tubing at Mt. Spokane.
  • Start or continue your exercise routine. Sometimes exercise goes out the window during the holidays (sometimes it goes out the window well before the holidays too). But, now is a perfect time to re-start or get in to a new routine. Include a buddy so you have company and someone you look forward to hanging out with and to hold each other accountable.
  • If you’ve gained weight, don’t worry about it. There were a lot of good treats around. No regrets. It doesn’t mean you are weak, worthless, or irresponsible, it means there were some awesome cookies around…gotta live a little. Right? However, it’s never too late to get back on track with a healthy eating plan.
  • Plan something each week to look forward to.
  • Take care of yourself, including eating well (don’t confuse this with not eating), exercising and getting enough sleep. Have a good attitude as well; it’s easily to slip in to negative notions.
  • If the post-holiday blues hang on for too long, consider reaching out to a behavioral health specialist. Seasonal affective disorder is a legit issue that many people deal with. As we roll in to 2017, remember to make the resolution to highlight health and happiness.

By Matt Grebe and Martha Nelson