December 2011

December 2011 posts

Swedish Produces Short Video Featuring Two Quick, Easy and Healthy Holiday Drink Recipes

Small Goals = Big Rewards

New Years Resolutions are often bold declarations that are determined at the last minute. If you REALLY want to make a positive a lifestyle change, think small and tell someone that will hold you accountable. If you are not into New Years Resolutions, you can still set some goals.

Be realistic, change is hard work and will not happen over night. You may have a long-term goal of losing 10+ pounds or giving up a bad habit, but if you start planning now, January 1st will not come as a total shock to your body. Success is more likely when you set small goals that lead to a larger goal. For example, lose one pound a week for 10 weeks instead of losing 10 pounds. Allow room for error, a day off, a ‘cheat meal’ per week so that you can still have your life.

Here are some specific goals:

How important is 'tying one on'?

New Year’s Day is a day of celebration. A day for starting anew. We create resolutions to become help us be steadfast in reaching personal goals whether that’s to lose weight or stop smoking, or just be on time to work. We have a happy, fresh outlook on a new year.

But, there is a lurking danger following all those midnight celebrations. There is an increase in infant deaths on New Year’s Day. A 33% increase in infant deaths, in fact.

There is not a clear reason for these deaths. They are probably not all SIDS deaths since SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion

The bottom line is parents of infants must make good decisions and safe arrangements for their infant before they decide to celebrate the new year....

Using robotic technology to improve outcomes in myasthenia gravis and thymoma

New technologies have the potential to improve patient outcomes but need to be carefully studied so that patients will maximally benefit.  Robotic thymectomy for myasthenia gravis and thymomas was introduced at Swedish in May of 2009 after careful evaluation of our outcomes with traditional sternotomy and VATS thymectomy.

One of the more challenging aspects of being a surgeon is to understand how new technologies can benefit your patients and how those technologies might become part of your practice. If you’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy, read Time magazine or the Wall Street Journal or surfed the web recently, you’ll be aware of the da Vinci surgical robot. The robot has allowed many different surgical specialties to operate in confined areas of the body with tiny instruments placed through equally small incisions thereby avoiding a larger incision. In thoracic surgery, one of the confined spaces is an area in front of the heart where a gland called the thymus resides.

Most people don’t even realize they have a thymus nor do they know it’s responsible for the development of immunity. However, for a small number of patients the thymus can be source of disease either by generating a tumor called a thymoma or by producing antibodies that block transmission of nerve impulses making the patient fatigue or weaken very quickly which is called myasthenia gravis (MG). Removing the thymus gland (thymectomy) is an important part of the treatment in both diseases.

Traditionally, thymectomy is accomplished ...

Family Fertilizer

Family traditions are (technically) those repetitive memories from our childhood that are associated with a happy time. They could be repeated for holidays, birthdays, summer vacation, or any sort of annual occurrence. Some traditions are attributed to religions or culture, or for no reason other than they were fun to do.

Traditions create security and predictability during our childhood. We find comfort in predictability. As we get older and have children of our own, we like to recreate that secure, happy feeling for our own kids.

Some of us were not fortunate enough to have a family life as children that lent to the creation of traditions. Creating them for our children can be challenging. How do you create something when you never had it as a child, when you were never shown how?

The most important piece is....

Perfect Salmon Bundles

From prep to clean up, this dish is goof-proof! There’s no easier way to get more protein-rich salmon in your diet – and that means more of those valuable Omega-3 fatty acids we all need! The entire meal – from salmon to spinach to brown rice is all wrapped up and ready-to-go. So easy to make in advance, and at dinner time, just heat and eat! Serves 4.


  • 4 sheets of foil or parchment paper (approx. 12" x 12" each)
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice*
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped spinach
  • 1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium stewed tomato slices
  • 1 pound salmon filet, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (or lemon)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • *May substitute any cooked whole grain, lentils, or beans, or omit this ingredient.


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Arrange 4 sheets of foil on a work surface. Layer the ingredients beginning with ¼ of the following: rice, followed by the spinach, topped with the drained tomato slices.
  3. Place salmon on top and drizzle with one teaspoon of the olive oil, ¼ teaspoon dill, ½ teaspoon zest, and a dash of pepper. Seal tightly by folding edges and crimping. Place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on thickness, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Rest 5 minutes. Remove from foil and transfer to plates.

Per serving: 359 calories, 30g protein, 33g carbohydrate, 12g fat, 2g sat fat, 6g mono fat, 51mg cholesterol, 5g fiber, 371mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK The orange zest gives this dish an unexpected and delightful zing.

Healthy Holiday Drinks

As we enter the holiday season, it usually means we're running to more parties and more opportunities to indulge in tasty treats and drinks. But did you think about what exactly is in your holiday cocktails?

Dr. Lindquist from Swedish Weight Loss Services has some tips for eating at holiday gatherings.

And he offers some tips for preventing holiday weight gain:

Chef Eric has some tips for healthy holiday drinks, and you can make them yourself with the recipes below!

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