COVID-19 Swabs are by appointment only. Right now due to the high demand, we have a large influx of testing demand and allocation of supplies from the manufacturer are limited. Because of the rapid increase and testing demand, we are currently not testing for travel, return to work, or asymptomatic patients. Appointments can be made by calling the appointment line at 316-721-4544, or by sending a message in via the Healow app or patient portal. Please note that due to illness, staffing and demand, our phone lines have been very busy recently. Please be patient as we work through these concerns.
Children's Mercy Vaccination Clinic
Children's Mercy Wichita Mass vaccine clinic is for ages 5 -11yrs. Dec. 3rd - Dose #1: 1-4 P.M . Vaccines at Children's Mercy Appointments are needed. Walk-ins are not available. How to schedule an appointment: If you have an account already, log into the Children's Mercy Patient Portal If you do not have a Patient Portal account, call the COVID-19 Scheduling Hotline: (816) 302-6300 We are currently experiencing high call volume. We appreciate your patience. We will work hard to get you scheduled. Important information: Vaccines are available for ages 5 years up to 22 years. Please note the Pfizer vaccine will be administered and a second dose will be needed three weeks later. Families coming for the vaccine will be expected to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, including masking and social distancing. Please continue to check back for additional clinic dates. We will add clinics as needed to meet demand. For more information on COVID-19 Vaccine at Children's Mercy, visit childrensmercy.org/covid-vaccine
2021 Flu Clinics
We have influenza clinics on: 10-02-2021 and 10-09-2021 from 8-11:30 am. Please call or send a message in via the patient portal / Healow app to be scheduled.
Labor Day Weekend - Closed
The entirety of the West Wichita Family will be closed on Labor Day, 9/6/2021. This includes West Wichita Family Physicians, West Wichita Minor Care Clinic, the West Wichita Surgery Center, and the West Wichita Family Pharmacy (WWFRx). Please have a safe and blessed weekend, and we be back to serve you on Tuesday, 9/7/2021.
MCC Closing Early 8/5/2021
The Minor Care Clinic will be closing at 4:30pm on 8/5/2021
Facts on Fruit
Which fruits are better for me? And which are too high in sugar and ought to be avoided? In short, all fruit is a tremendous source of vitamins and minerals that are often under consumed. Think fiber, potassium, vitamin C and folic acid. All of these (and others!) are essential for healthy living. That is then, ALL fruits are nutritious choices to include, so please consume a variety from day to day to compliment a meal. Let's detail one of these benefits to eating fruit a bit further. Bring on the fiber! What's all the hype about fiber? Fiber helps improve cholesterol and heart health, promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation, and also, keep us feeling full longer. And how much fiber do we need each day? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women need an average of 25 grams per day, and men, 38. Fruit is a good source of fiber, as are so many other foods. Examples of high fiber carbohydrate choices include whole grains, beans and lentils, and starchy and non-starchy vegetables. What do these foods all have in common? Carbohydrate. Thus, we must include carbohydrate daily to consume adequate fiber. If you had not been consuming fiber previously and are looking to increase your intake, please fill up on fluids as you do so. Since fiber will add bulk to your stool, there must be plenty of water to help move the stool through your gut. Those who are short on water may notice abdominal cramping and discomfort as they increase fiber intake. This can be prevented by drinking plenty of water as you add fiber! Want to know the breakdown of fiber between some different fruits? Check out the table below. All fruits can be included in a healthy diet, and variety is a good thing. Healthy Regards, Gretchen Stroberg, RD, LD, CDCES Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
COVID-19 Vaccination Now Available (16+)
We now have the COVID Vaccine available to administer to our patients! The county has opened the vaccine to anyone 16 or older with no other restrictions. These will be by appointment only and we will be limited on how many we can give per day. Please call our COVID triage to schedule an appointment at 358-6999.
Get Moving This Winter
You step outside to 25 degrees and 20 mph winds. Is that a helpful motivator for you to continue the walk you’ve been keeping up with over the last 6 months? Not really. Taking on the chilly weather can be a big barrier for regular exercise throughout the winter months. Where are we going to find the motivation to get moving then, regardless of whether you are exercising inside or outside? First things first, think less about the energy you are expending or calories you are burning by exercising. Rather, be more mindful of non-scale benefits to exercise. I am thinking along the lines of improving your sleep, less shortness of breath, a better mood, more focus and energy, etc. This is self-care and such an important piece of why exercise is helpful for us all. If you know that you will be more productive and less stressed if you were to begin your day for a walk, does that motivate you to wake up just a bit early to squeeze in a short walk? Probably more than viewing that same exercise as punishment or a penance for what you’d eaten the day before! One other piece to the exercise puzzle is figuring out what to do for exercise. Of course, there is always walking or weight training. And for some, these are just the ticket. For others, not so much. To feel more motivated to want to exercise, you must find a type of exercise that you genuinely enjoy. How about this, what comes to mind when I say, “joyful movement?” Dance, swimming or roller blading? Perfect. Get creative to find a type of exercise that, again, is more for joy and less for punishment. Lastly, challenge any all-or-nothing type of thoughts related to exercise. Most have very high expectations for the exercise they will do. And often, these high expectations are leading to even lower motivation to get started. By keeping exercise flexible and realistic, you will likely feel much less overwhelmed by the idea of exercising and more motivated to get going. Here’s an example for you. Someone loves jogging, especially outside. After he is finished, he feel more energized, less overwhelmed or anxious and overall happy. Summer turned to fall though, and now, it is cold outside. Rather than giving up jogging altogether (all-or-nothing type of thinking), he opts to bundle up with layers of warm clothes and continue jogging. When he begins to feel uncomfortably cold, he is finished exercising. Each day, he may jog for a different amount of time or at a different intensity. This permission for flexible exercise keeps him from feeling overwhelmed and is more realistic to maintain. Is there anything you’ve found that helps you to feel more motivated to exercise? Share below! Of course, please talk with your primary care physician if you have any concerns with exercise or to determine which exercise options are best for you. Healthy Regards, Gretchen Stroberg, RD, LD, CDCES Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
An Introduction to Head Hunger
I say food records, and most would say “what” you ate and “how much” you ate. Is this the whole story though? Not usually. An importance piece of increasing food awareness is understanding “why” you eat as well. Yes, your belly growls or you begin to feel weak or irritable or dizzy. I like to call this belly-growling hunger. Another type of hunger is head hunger. You may eat when feeling bored or stressed, when watching TV or driving, when in pain or tired, when celebrating or as a reward, or when feeling anxious or overwhelmed. These are all triggers for head hunger, and these triggers are why eating can become so complicated. I firmly believe you cannot develop a more healthy lifestyle without considering not only “what” or “how much” you are eating, but also, “why”. If you notice a very strong urge to eat that you’d relate to head hunger, most would assume he or she is not to eat. If only it were this simple. Restricting food (even when eating related to head hunger) will likely only trigger feelings of deprivation, guilt when you do indulge, and so then, we overindulge. Not so helpful. Instead of even more effort to restrict food, why not try a different approach? One that empowers choice and enjoyment when you choose to eat. I have a few thoughts on coping more effectively with head hunger below. 1. Are you eating enough? To more cope with any urge to eat, you must be sure you are eating enough earlier in the day. When you eat enough, you leave a meal feeling both full and satisfied, and in doing so, you will likely notice less frequent and less intense urges to eat later. Eating enough includes a variety of foods on your plate in an adequate amount. Before you try to manage your response to any head hunger experience, first take a look at why this strong urge to eat is even happening. First things first, eat enough at a meal to leave that meal feeling both full and satisfied. 2. Permission to eat. Remember, restrict food --> feel deprived --> indulge --> guilt from eating --> overeat or restrict again. And the worst part? You probably didn’t even enjoy the foods you were eating. That is guilt, and that is why permission to eat all foods is so important. For most, the scariest part of giving yourself permission to eat the foods that you would typically restrict is a fear of overeating these foods. And to be honest, you may overeat after that first bite. But this is temporary. You will quickly realize that you will always have permission to enjoy these foods, so why overeat? Overeating makes the eating experience so much less pleasurable. And weren’t you eating the food for enjoyment to begin with (head hunger), not necessarily nutrition (belly-growling hunger)? 3. What do you need? And now, I will throw a curve ball for you. Just because you have given yourself permission to eat the foods you had previously been restricting (and truly enjoy) doesn’t mean you will choose to eat the food in that moment. The permission is there for you to be able to make the choice without feelings of guilt or obligation. You are choosing to cope with these head hunger triggers (boredom, stress, isolation, reward, etc.) with either food or a non-food alternative. Non-food alternatives are any activity that does not involve food or drink (which leaves chewing gum or drinking a glass of water off this list). These activities are not a better or worse option than eating food to cope, just different. In that moment then, when you are experiencing a strong urge to eat and you relate it back to head hunger, ask yourself, “What do I need?” Most would immediately think to redirect, since that is what diet culture has taught us—restriction! Ask yourself again, “What do I need?” but this time, in the voice of a caretaker. That caretaker is not critical of you and wants to best meet your needs, whether that be with food or another option. Now what? Both food and redirecting to a non-food alternative are equal options. This allows us to choose what we need most in that moment to help cope with that initial head hunger trigger (boredom, stress, isolation, reward, etc.). Go ahead and take action. Either indulge in the food you were craving or redirect to a non-food alternative. 4. It is progress. Head hunger in combination with diet culture makes eating complicated. Give yourself time to better distinguish between head hunger and belly-growling hunger. And then, give yourself even more time to learn that it is okay to eat foods you enjoy. And after that, give yourself some time to explore non-food alternatives that may better meet your needs. It takes time. Time to learn more healthy eating habits and to develop a more healthy relationship with food. Do not expect perfection, but rather, progress over time. Healthy Regards, Gretchen Stroberg, RD, LD, CDCES Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
White vs Sweet Potatoes
Given a white potato and a sweet potato, which do you eat? Well, first things first, which of these two potatoes do you enjoy eating most? Or, do you prefer a different type of potato depending on the meal it is accompanying? Either way, the good news is that both types of potato are wonderful choices and can be included in a healthy diet. A white potato refers to Russet, red skin and Yukon gold potatoes. And according to the USDA, 100 grams of a white potato has 95 calories, 21.4 grams of carbohydrate and 2.3 grams of fiber, while 100 grams of a sweet potato has 86 calories, 20 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber. White potatoes are especially high in vitamins B and C, and sweet potatoes, in vitamin A. In reviewing these nutrition facts, the only significant difference between a white and sweet potato is the type of vitamin they are a good source of. Lucky for you, we need all B vitamins and vitamin C and A. So again, which type of potato do you prefer eating? Enjoy a serving of that type of potato. Of course, most are not eating a potato raw, so we must also consider the preparation and cooking methods used on the potato. Potatoes can be boiled or baked, roasted or mashed, fried and so much more. Of course, these cooking styles will impact the nutritional value of the potato as well. My guess—you aren’t eating the French fries (white or sweet) because these are a nutritious choice, but rather, delicious. And the extra butter or bacon or brown sugar in your mashed potatoes (white or sweet)? Once again, probably delicious. These food choices then really do not have as much to do with the nutrition of the potato as much as your taste preference and satisfaction. That’s a whole other topic for completely different post. In summary, both white and sweet potatoes are foods with carbohydrate. One is high in vitamins B and C, while the other is high in vitamin A. Both have dietary fiber in the peel of the potato. Enjoy both types of potatoes prepared in a heart healthy way with a variety of other foods on the plate to make a meal. Healthy Regards, Gretchen Stroberg, RD, LD, CDCES Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
Bread: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
You walk down the bread aisle and how many options are there for you to choose from? A gazillion. Where do you even begin? Let’s start with the basics. What macronutrient does bread have? Carbohydrate. And yes, we need carbohydrate. Carbohydrate in foods breaks down into sugar in our bodies, and this your body’s preferred energy source. On average, men need 60-75 grams of carbohydrate per meal, and women, 45-60 grams per meal. I guess it is okay to go ahead and have bread on that sandwich then or a bun on your burger :) What kind of bread to eat though, because again, there are SO MANY options? In short, think fiber. When adding a food with carbohydrate to your plate at a meal, there is usually an opportunity to make that carbohydrate a high fiber choice. Bread included! But wouldn’t a lower carbohydrate bread be better? Not necessarily. Here is why. Again, we need carbohydrate at each meal. If you choose for the carbohydrate to be in the form of bread, great! If you choose for the carbohydrate to be fruit or milk or a potato or baked beans or any combination of these foods, that’s great, too! What you may find is these carbohydrate choices at a meal can add up very quickly. If that is the case, then it may be more helpful to find a bread that is lower in carbohydrate to better manage how much carbohydrate you are eating at that meal. Even then, however, you must still consider taste and enjoyment of that bread. Often, reducing the carbohydrate in a food will compromise texture and flavor. Then, it’s up to your taste buds! Would you rather enjoy regular bread with less wiggle room for carbohydrate in your side options at that meal, or would you rather have more carbohydrate-dense options on the side and enjoy a lower carbohydrate bread or no bread at all? For most, eating regular foods is the most enjoyable. Substituting a lower carbohydrate option or skipping bread at a meal can quickly trigger feelings of deprivation, and then, overindulging with guilt. If this is something you struggle with, I would suggest finding a high fiber bread to enjoy at your meal rather than skipping or substituting the bread. How do I know a bread is high in fiber? Look past the marketing messages on the front of the package to review the nutrition facts. Here is my guide for you to navigate the nutrition label. A bread with > 20% Daily Value of fiber is high in fiber, and < 5%, low. The % Daily Value is based on a 2,000 calorie diet and is listed on the far right side of the nutrition facts or directly after the grams of each nutrient. Be sure to glance at the serving size on the label as well to compare products. Has anyone found a high fiber bread they enjoy? Share! Let’s kick the idea that bread is “bad” and get back to the facts. We need carbohydrate. Bread has carbohydrate. So enjoy bread at a meal with the rest of the foods on your plate. Healthy Regards, Gretchen Stroberg, RD, LD, CDCES Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Care