Grant Hewitt

Why a Major Soda Company is Dropping Aspartame

Weight Management

I might be kicking a hornet’s nest here, but given the ever-growing aspartame controversy, the scientific facts are becoming more and more difficult to discern. Aspartame (commonly marketed as Nutrasweet®, or Equal®) is an artificial sweetener that is used in many non-caloric drinks and diet sodas.  One of those diet sodas is Diet Pepsi.  The aspartame issue once again hit the fan when PepsiCo announced in April that it would discontinue using aspartame for its diet line.  What is perhaps most interesting, is that PepsiCo does not believe aspartame is harmful in any way, rather, they are making the adjustment because the public thinks it is.  “Aspartame is the number one reason consumers are dropping diet soda,” said Seth Kaufman, … Continue reading

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Robin Duhon, RD, LMNNT

Making Your Own Healthy Summer Snacks


Summer brings a schedule packed with activities, the weather is nice, the kids are out of school and the sun sets late.  Healthy snacks you can take anywhere are important to keep you full of energy and lasting all day. Beware of packaged items that are high in sugar and salt. Many granola bars and trail mixes are loaded with sodium and sugar-covered dried fruit, so be sure to read the ingredients. These foods can leave you feeling tired or cause severe thirst, which many people mistake for hunger, leading to overeating. Having healthy snacks handy will not only give you the energy you need for summer fun, but it will also reduce your temptation of reaching for convenience foods … Continue reading

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Karen Bermel LIMHP, MC

Struggling with Body Image During Swimsuit Season

Mental Health, Wellness

Here in the Nebraska area we are putting our heavy socks and sweaters in the bottom drawer and getting out our shorts, t-shirts, and swimsuits. And we’ve already reached temperatures in the upper 90s. With the summer season upon us, it’s finally time to get outside and enjoy softball, picnics, swimming, and the many outdoor activities we long for during the winter months. This past week, however, I had three or four patients bring up the fear that they were not “swimsuit ready.” Each voiced concerns about not looking “just right,” being overweight, or not having the perfect shape to enjoy going to the pool with their friends and families. (And these were both men and women who voiced these … Continue reading

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Jamie Ryder, PhD, MS

The Bad-For-You Side of Social Media

Mental Health

Do you have the latest app? Have you checked your Twitter feed recently? Did you see what she posted on her Facebook wall? These are all common statements we hear nearly every single day that were not a part of our vocabulary 15 years ago. The social media revolution has transformed many of our lives into one where we face a barrage of information from multiple sources telling us about the fascinating lives of others, the things we need to be doing in order to look better and feel better about ourselves and all of the latest gizmos and gadgets that you need in order to make your life more fulfilling. All of this information coming at us at cyberspeed … Continue reading

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Andrea Jarus, MPH

Advance Directives: Even Important in your 20s

Advanced Directives

A year ago my husband, Gavin, was having shoulder surgery to repair a snowboarding injury. He was anxious – not just about the surgery, but also the pain and rehabilitation that would follow. A few days before his surgery, I attended a planning meeting for National Healthcare Decision Day activities at CHI Health. As a the group talked about the importance of having Advance Directives (AD), the idea came home to me–if something happened while Gavin was in surgery, I would not know what he would want. We had never had this conversation!  The timing of this meeting was good, because  it spurred my decision to have the conversation with my husband. There is no denying that it was uncomfortable to … Continue reading

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