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Healthier Vacation Eating

By Laura Stepp, MA, RD, LD, CDE at LMC

Its summer, time to live care free and enjoy life! Wait, eat healthy on vacation? It’s summer, I’m traveling and eating out, not cooking!

sunscreenWe have all experienced the challenges eating out while on vacation and for some trying not to gain weight can be a greater challenge. It seems we are surrounded by high calorie, high fat and high sugary foods when we travel. As we drive down the road, every mile brings a dozen fast food options all trying to temp us to stop. As you walk through an airport not only are many of the food choices high in calories, they are also expensive! Although it is sometimes difficult to find a “healthy” choice or to decide what to make while on vacation there are a few options try.

Healthy Snacks to the Rescue! In many cases, eating a snack replaces a meal especially if you are driving longer distances, flying, or spending a day on the beach or in the mountains. Snacks are going to be necessary to keep you going. Below are some ideas to help you eat healthier and save your waistline:

veggie tray•1 oz (1/4 c) servings of raw or dry roasted nuts. Any nut is good
•½ c- 1 cup individual servings of a lower sugar, higher fiber cereal
•Personalized trail mix: combo of nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Approx ¼-1/2 c serving
•1 oz individual cheese sticks or rounds
•1 -2 Tbsp Natural peanut butter or almond butter with 1 oz serving of whole wheat crackers, graham cracker or gluten free crackers
•½ – 1 oz sliced cheese with crackers or fruit slices
•PB & J sandwich on sandwich thins
water pouring•Raw veggies of your choice: cut carrots or baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, celery, yellow squash, zucchini or cherry tomatoes (all better dipped in hummus or a little of your favorite salad dressing)
•Fruit: banana, apple, pear, peach, berries, orange, melon
•Low sodium lunch meat and cheese roll ups with or without tortilla

Remember to drink water. Traveling, especially in airplanes is very dehydrating. Drinking water will help to keep you alert when driving and keep you from over heating if you are at the beach or hiking in the mountains. Water is the most important nutrient for our bodies and especially important when we are traveling and not in our regular routine.

The Most Experienced TAVR Facility in the Midlands

Reaching a significant milestone in comprehensive cardiovascular care for the people of our community, Lexington Medical Center has become the most experienced hospital in the Midlands for transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR. The procedure allows doctors to replace the heart’s aortic valve with a catheter instead of open heart surgery.

Lexington Medical Center is celebrating the one-year anniversary of beginning its TAVR program. So far, the hospital has performed more than 60 TAVR procedures, more than any other hospital in the Midlands. TAVR is considered the greatest advance in cardiology since coronary angioplasty.

Currently, TAVR is for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are high-risk candidates for open heart surgery because of their age, history of heart disease, or other health issues.

Lexington Medical Center's TAVR Team. L to R: Jeffrey Travis, MD; Robert Malanuk, MD, FACC; Kristen Davis, MSN, RN, CCRN; Robert Leonardi, MD, FACC; Dee Prastein, MD

Lexington Medical Center’s TAVR Team. L to R: Jeffrey Travis, MD; Robert Malanuk, MD, FACC; Kristen Davis, MSN, RN, CCRN; Robert Leonardi, MD, FACC; Dee Prastein, MD

“We feel so lucky to be able to help these people, many of whom are debilitated by heart failure and did not have any good options in the past,” said Dr. Robert Leonardi of Lexington Cardiology at Lexington Medical Center, who works with a team of clinicians on the hospital’s TAVR team.

Patients with severe aortic stenosis have a narrowed aortic valve that does not allow blood to flow efficiently. As the heart works harder to pump enough blood through the smaller opening in the valve, the heart eventually becomes weak. Over time, that can lead to life-threatening heart problems.


To replace the diseased aortic valve with TAVR, the new aortic valve is compressed into a catheter. Doctors thread the catheter through the body to the inside of the diseased aortic valve.

Then, they deploy the new valve inside the diseased aortic valve, which becomes the anchor for the new valve. The new valve is functional immediately and normal blood flow is restored.

Lexington Medical Center performed the first fully percutaneous TAVR procedure in South Carolina. With this minimally invasive technique, doctors deployed the new aortic valve through just a small puncture in the femoral artery in the leg. The hospital also performed the first TAVR procedure in South Carolina where the patient was awake, and it remains the only South Carolina hospital routinely doing the procedures fully percutaneously, without putting patients to sleep, and without the need for a transesophageal echocardiogram. This “minimalist” approach has been shown to make recovery from valve replacement easier.

Lexington Medical Center hosted a reception on the hospital campus in May with patients who underwent TAVR, clinicians and hospital employees.


To learn more about cardiovascular care at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMed.com/heart

LMC Earns “Gold Plus” Stroke Award

For the fifth time, Lexington Medical Center has received a “Gold Plus” Quality Achievement award for stroke care from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke program. The “Gold Plus” award is the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for stroke care and recognizes commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients.

“Lexington Medical Center is proud to receive this award as it demonstrates our commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing effective, evidence-based stroke care,” said Vicky Hicks, RN, BSN, CPHQ, outcomes coordinator at Lexington Medical Center.

www.heart.org_idc_groups_heart-public__private__wcm__hcm__gwtg_documents_downloadable_ucm_461524.pdfThe honor goes to hospitals with excellent adherence to stroke quality indicators and measures for two or more consecutive years, including timely treatment, aggressive use of proven medications, therapy, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability, and improving the lives of stroke patients.
According to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

A stroke occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs and begins to die. Warning signs include weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, facial drooping, confusion and the inability to talk. Risk factors for stroke are untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and high cholesterol. Stroke is an emergency. Call 911 at the first sign of stroke. Modifying your lifestyle can help prevent stroke.

stroke“Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines® National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “Lexington Medical Center’s team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients.”

Lexington Medical Center also has certification from Det Norske Veritas Healthcare, Inc. as a Primary Stroke Center in the Midlands. The Certification Program for Primary Stroke Centers recognizes organizations that follow the best practices for stroke care. Achieving Primary Stroke Center Certification indicates the hospital’s dedication to cultivating better outcomes for patients.

May is Stroke Month. Think FAST to remember the warning signs of stroke.

Face – Look for an uneven smile.
Arm – Check if one arm is weak.
Speech – Has speech become difficult?
Time – Call 9-1-1 immediately.