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(March is National Nutrition Month and to commemorate the occasion, Hillcrest Hospital South Lead Dietitian Jennifer Watkins shares her expertise on the topic of nutrition in a pandemic through a series of weekly blogs. This week, Watkins shares an article from Kerri Rusher, RD, LD, who wrote “Three strategies for successful meal planning” on eatright.org)

Let's face it, life's hectic. Planning ahead can relieve mealtime stress. Follow these three steps and to plan and prep nutritious and delicious meals that fit a family’s preferences and lifestyle.

March is National Nutrition Month. The theme for National Nutrition Month 2021, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is “Personalize Your Plate.”

Hillcrest South Lead Clinical Dietitian Jennifer Watkins will provide tips throughout the NNM campaign, which invites people to learn about making informed food choices, developing healthful eating and physical activity habits. The NNM campaign also includes weekly key messaging.

This week’s message is to eat a variety of nutritious foods every day. In order to do so, the NNM campaign recommends a few tips.

Another possible fallout from the long-term COVID-19 effects is one particularly concerning for Megan Durant at Hillcrest South.

Durant references studies where the virus has been found to increase the likelihood of blood clots in patients, which can cause heart attacks and strokes in patients. Possible stroke symptoms can increase when patients ignore the initial signs, which has unfortunately become an all too common occurrence during the pandemic.

Jaclyn Duvall, M.D., of Utica Park Clinic shares with News on 6 how severe headaches can impact COVID-19 patients. See story here.

This time of year is about spending time family, friends and, for some, the road. You will likely have to spend more time than usual driving during the holidays, which means you should make sure your car is up to the task. Whether you’re driving down the street or out of state, it’s recommended to practice safe driving.


Here is a car safety checklist:


The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family, which often means plenty of food and drink. People gain an average of 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This is a strain on anybody’s health but can be particularly troubling for those with diabetes.

If you are living with diabetes, you can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and holiday treats with everyone else, as long as you have a plan and stay on top of your blood sugar levels.

Follow these tips and be better prepared to celebrate the holidays.


Breastfeeding is an important part of motherhood during the early stages of your baby’s life but can be difficult in the beginning. There can be struggles even experienced moms face. Hillcrest South has a team dedicated to helping moms have the best breastfeeding experience possible.

Lactation Consultant Connie Lovell, RN, IBCLC), has worked with moms who have different questions and different needs. Read this Q&A to learn informative tips.

Prolonged use of medications to soothe heartburn and acid reflux may result in serious health problems. Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System have linked long-term use of such medications, both prescribed and over-the-counter, to fatal cases of cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and upper gastrointestinal cancer. This study could have a wide effect on the more than 15 million Americans who have prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).