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  • January 14, 2022

    By Allison Larson, MD

    Whether you’re a winter sports enthusiast or spend the season curled up by the fireplace, the low humidity, bitter winds, and dry indoor heat that accompany cold weather can deplete your skin’s natural moisture. Dry skin is not only painful, uncomfortable, and irritating; it also can lead to skin conditions such as eczema, which results in itchy, red, bumpy skin patches. 

    Follow these six tips to prevent and treat skin damage caused by winter dryness.

    1. Do: Wear sunscreen all year long.

    UV rays can easily penetrate cloudy skies to dry out exposed skin. And when the sun is shining, snow and ice reflect its rays, increasing UV exposure. 

    Getting a sunburn can cause severe dryness, premature aging of the skin, and skin cancer. Snow or shine, apply sunscreen before participating in any outdoor activity during the winter—especially if you take a tropical vacation to escape the cold; your skin is less accustomed to sunlight and more likely to burn quickly.

    The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends sunscreen that offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays, and offers a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.

    That being said, if you are considering laser skin treatments to reduce wrinkles, hair, blemishes, or acne scars, winter is a better time to receive these procedures. Sun exposure shortly after a treatment increases the risk of hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin), and people are less likely to spend time outside during the winter.

    Related reading: 7 Simple Ways to Protect Your Skin in the Sun

    2. Do: Skip products with drying ingredients.

    Soaps or facial products you use in warm weather with no issues may irritate your skin during colder seasons. This is because they contain ingredients that can cause dryness, but the effects aren’t noticeable until they’re worsened by the dry winter climate.

    You may need to take a break from:

    • Anti-acne medications containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
    • Antibacterial and detergent-based soap
    • Anything containing fragrance, from soap to hand sanitizer

    Hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer, which contains a high level of skin-drying alcohol, cannot be avoided; we need to maintain good hand hygiene to stop the spread of germs. If your job or lifestyle requires frequent hand washing or sanitizing, routinely apply hand cream throughout the day as well.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have seen a lot of people develop hand dermatitis—a condition with itchy, burning skin that can swell and blister—due to constant hand washing. Sometimes the fix is as simple as changing the soap they're using. Sensitive-skin soap is the best product for dry skin; it typically foams up less but still cleans the skin efficiently.

    3. Do: Pay closer attention to thick skin.

    Areas of thin skin, such as the face and backs of your hands, are usually exposed to the wind and sun the most. It’s easy to tell when they start drying out. But the thick skin on your palms and bottoms of your feet is also prone to dryness—and tends to receive less attention.

    When thick skin gets dry, fissures form. You’ll see the surface turn white and scaly; then deep, linear cracks will appear. It isn’t as pliable as thin skin. When you’re constantly on your feet or using your hands to work, cook, and everything in between, dry thick skin cracks instead of flexing with your movements. 

    To soften cracked skin, gently massage a heavy-duty moisturizer—such as Vaseline—into the affected area once or twice a day. You can also talk with your doctor about using a skin-safe adhesive to close the fissures and help them heal faster.

    Related reading:  Follow these 5 Tips for Healthy Skin

    4. Don’t believe the myth that drinking more water will fix dry skin.

    Contrary to popular belief, the amount of water or fluids you drink does not play a major role in skin hydration—unless you’re severely dehydrated. In the winter, especially, dry skin is caused by external elements; it should be treated from the outside as well. 

    The best way to keep skin hydrated and healthy is to apply fragrance-free cream or ointment—not lotion—to damp skin after a shower or bath.
    Some people need additional moisturizers for their hands, legs, or other areas prone to dryness.

    While some lotions are made better than others, most are a combination of water and powder that evaporates quickly. Creams and ointments work better because they contain ingredients that can help rebuild your skin barrier. 

    Look for products with ceramide, a fatty acid that helps rebuild the fat and protein barrier that holds your skin cells together. The AAD also recommends moisturizing ingredients such as:

    • Dimethicone
    • Glycerin
    • Jojoba oil
    • Lanolin
    • Mineral oil
    • Petrolatum
    • Shea butter

    For severely dry skin, you can try a “wet wrap” technique:

    1. Rinse a pair of tight-fitting pajamas in warm water and wring them out so they’re damp, not wet.
    2. Apply cream or ointment to your skin.
    3. Put on the damp pajamas, followed by a pair of dry pajamas, and wear the ensemble for several hours.

    Dampness makes your skin more permeable and better able to absorb hydrating products. If the wet wrap or over-the-counter products aren’t working for you, talk with a dermatologist about prescription skin hydration options. 

    Drinking more water isn’t the answer to dry winter skin. The best solution is to apply fragrance-free cream or ointment directly to damp skin. Get more cold weather #SkinCareTips from a dermatologist in this blog:
    Click to Tweet


    5. Don’t confuse skin conditions with dryness.

    Skin conditions are often mistaken for dry skin because peeling or flaking are common symptoms. Redness of the skin or itching in addition to dryness and flaking indicates a skin condition that may need more than an over-the-counter moisturizer.

    Skin cells are anchored together by a lipid and protein layer (like a brick and mortar wall). With very dry skin, the seal on this wall or barrier is not fully intact and water evaporates out of the skin’s surface. The skin will become itchy and red in addition to scaly or flaky. If you experience these symptoms, visit with a dermatologist.

    6. Don’t wait for symptoms to take care of dry skin.

    Be proactive—the best way to maintain moisture is to apply hydrating creams and ointments directly to your skin on a regular basis. Start by applying them as part of your morning routine. Once you get used to that, add a nighttime application. And carry a container of it when you’re on the go or keep it in an easily accessible location at work.


    You can’t avoid dry air, but you can take precautions to reduce its harsh effects on your skin. If over-the-counter products don’t seem to help, our dermatologists can provide an individualized treatment plan. Hydrated skin is healthy skin!

    Does your skin get drier as the air gets colder?

    Our dermatologists can help.

    Call 202-877-DOCS (3627) or Request an Appointment

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  • January 02, 2020

    By MedStar Health

    Research Grand Rounds are sponsored by MedStar Health Research Institute and Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) and bring together the MedStar Health community for a learning experience focusing on a different topic each month.

    On behalf of the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and MedStar Health Research Institute, you are invited to Clinical and Translational Research Grand Rounds on Friday, January 17, 2020 from 12:00 Noon pm to 1:00pm. The speaker will be Jacqueline Jonklaas, MD, PhD. The Talk is titled, “Hypothyroidism Treatment: The Basics and Beyond”. Grand Rounds will be held at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center True Auditorium (East Building, 1st Floor) rather than in the CTEC Auditorium. Lunch will be served at 1pm.

    Dr. Jonklaas is Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University, Co-Director of the Participant and Clinical Interactions component of the GHUCCTS, and Director of the Clinical Research Unit at Georgetown. Dr. Jonklaas obtained her MD, residency, and fellowship training at Georgetown University. Her NIH-supported clinical and translational research and patient care both focus on management of thyroid cancer and on the assessment and treatment of hypothyroidism.

    Her research spans from early molecular work through biomarker studies, novel therapies, clinical trials, and patient reported outcomes and then to translation into clinical practice via her leadership of the guidelines committee of the American Thyroid Association.

    Hypothyroidism Treatment: The Basics and Beyond
    Jacqueline Jonklaas, MD, PhD
    Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University, Co-Director of the Participant and Clinical Interactions component of the GHUCCTS, and Director of the Clinical Research Unit at Georgetown

    January 17, 2020

    12 Noon to 1 PM – Presentation
    1 PM to 1:30 PM – Lunch
    MedStar Washington Hospital Center, True Auditorium (East Building, 1st Floor)

    For those located at remote sites and unable to attend in-person, log on to: on January 17, 2020 at 12:00 Noon to hear Dr. Jonklaas’ presentation.

    If you have any questions regarding the Research Grand Rounds program, please contact

  • January 02, 2020

    By MedStar Health

    In December, MHRI associates took some time out of their busy schedules to celebrate the successes of 2019 with their fellow associates. These events are also our opportunity to recognize associates with milestone years of service with MedStar Health.

    Through feedback and collaboration with our Associate Engagement Committee, we moved to two parties for this year. Both celebrations brought together leadership and associates to embrace our circus/carnival theme, “Step Right Up!”. This year we recognized excellence as we acknowledged our High Recruitment Studies that have reached their goals.  We also recognized our 2019 SPIRIT Award Recipients: the Ryan White Team, Allison Selman-Lovell and Surafel Zenebe.  Our associate recognition program, KUDOS was highlighted as we congratulated individuals for sending and receiving Kudos from one another.  We played a competitive game of trivia that challenged our knowledge of carnivals, state fairs and the circus. The events also featured our service award presentations and our wonderful raffle and associate gifts!  

    Thank you to all of our MHRI performers and ringleaders, who achieve great things through the year on a daily basis and help make a difference in the lives of our patients and the organization they represent.

    Many thanks to all the associates who assisted with planning, set-up, and clean up at each location. Your efforts made the events a success! Thank you to all the associates who brought a donation for Dr. Bear’s Closest at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., We’d also like to thank Amy Avergas and Karen Vaughan for organizing donations from the Greater Baltimore Oncology Nurse Society. More than 60 toys were donated to help children and their siblings celebrate this season.

    Congratulations to our service award recipients for your years of dedicated service to MedStar. Your work and support allow us to continue our commitment to advancing health in our community.

    25 Years of Service
    Barbara Rector

    20 Years of Service
    Grace Nasrallah
    Petros Okubagzi
    Mary Park
    Jianhui Zhu

    15 Years of Service
    Lin Han
    Suman Singh

    10 Years of Service
    Rachel Campbell
    Brandon Clark
    Teshome Deksissa
    Stephen Fernandez
    Xia Liu
    Theresa Moriarty
    Patricia Tanjutco

    5 Years of Service
    Abdul Naser Alkhalil
    Susan Cranford
    Abera Dengezo
    Preethy Feit
    David Gaviria-Munoz
    Daniel Hoffman
    Matthew Hoffman
    Audrey Jenkins
    Ji Jin
    Chad League
    Florence Mwicigi
    Sarah Null
    Shreejana Pokharel
    Kevin Reeves
    Timothy Rodriguez
    Jose Rodriguez-Weisson
    Christina Stanger
    Sharon Taho
    Surafel Zenebe
    Amir Ali Zohdi­­­­­

    You may view and download photos here, along with the slide presentations:

  • January 02, 2020

    By MedStar Health

    Researchers from MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare and Georgetown University School of Medicine analyzed electronic health records (EHR) surveillance data collected by The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for safety issues that could lead to patient harm.  The ONC collects data to determine whether EHR systems, which were certified as meeting specific design, functionality, and security standards set forth by the ONC, still meet those standards when implemented and used. 

    The research team included Raj Ratwani, PhD and Aaron Z. Hettinger, MD from MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare; and Thomas B. Pacheco, BS from Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.,

    The ONC may perform surveillance on EHR vendor products in response to a reported issue (reactive) or by randomly selecting products for investigation (randomized). The researchers examined the surveillance data from January 2016 through June 2019 to determine whether identified issues had the potential for patient harm, and the frequency of these issues. The research focused on nonconformity issues that may have patient safety implications.

    The analysis surveilled 697 EHR systems and 358 of all vendor products examined had a certified capability nonconformity issue. The study found that close to 4% (275 EHR systems), had an issue with the potential for patient harm. Most surveillance was reactive, with 352 product IDs having a certified capability nonconformity issue and 273 were coded as being associated with possible patient harm. With most issues being identified through reactive surveillance, 41.8% of product IDs were classified as having a possible patient harm issue.

    The study concluded the need for an EHR safety reporting program.  To date, the health information technology industry does not have a method for clinicians or patients to openly report safety issues with EHR software. “This research highlights the need for proactive safety surveillance. We need to develop algorithms to identify safety issues before the issues reach patients, “ said Raj Ratwani, Ph.D.

    Dr. Ratwani is supported by AHRQ grants R01HS023701 and R01HS025136. Dr. Hettinger is supported by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) grant R01HS025136. Mr. Pacheco is supported by the Frank S. Pellegrini, MD Medical Student Research Scholarship Endowment.

    JAMA, 2019. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2019.17242  

  • December 30, 2019

    By MedStar Health

    Along with the holiday festivities, December brings an opportunity to reflect on the past year, and it’s been a busy one here at MedStar Health!!

    Over the past 12 months, we’ve covered a wide range of topics with one goal in mind—helping you stay healthy. From wellness tips, diet reviews, and nutritional advice to injury prevention strategies and screening recommendations, we published 33 healthcare articles this year and more than 9,000 of you read them!

    In case you missed a few, we combed through our most popular posts to bring you our top five health tips of 2019. If you’re setting some healthy New Year’s resolutions, you may want to consider adding one of these to your list.

    From all of us at the blog, we wish you health and happiness as you ring in the New Year!
    Are you setting healthy New Year’s #resolutions? From making better food choices at work to knowing when to use MedStar eVisit, check out our top 5 #healthtips of 2019 in @MedStarHealth’s #LiveWellHealthy blog.

    Click to Tweet

    1. 4 ways to make better food choices at work

    Eating healthy at work can feel like just another dreaded item you’ll never check off your to-do list. But making better food choices can actually help you boost productivity and increase focus and energy—and it only takes a few simple tweaks to your routine. Licensed Dietician Jessica DeCostole describes four ways you can easily incorporate nutritious habits into your workday so you can look and feel your best without adding stress to your busy schedule.

    Read four tricks to keep a healthy diet at work.

    healthy packed snacks on a desk

    2. Debunking colonoscopy: 3 common myths and what to really expect

    A colonoscopy is important for detecting colon cancer early, but many people delay the procedure out of fear of what to expect. And when that happens, cancerous tissue may not be spotted until it’s too late for treatment to be effective. In this June 2019 blog article, Dr. Michael Blume and Physician Assistant Jennifer Hamilton explain what really happens before, during, and after a colonoscopy so you can confidently seek regular screening if you’re at risk.

    Learn the truth about colonoscopy.

    Doctor explaining colonoscopy to her male patient

    3. Fast facts about hand, foot, and mouth disease

    If you’re a parent, you may have heard of hand, foot, and mouth disease. This contagious virus isn’t as well-known as the common cold, but it affects thousands of children every year. In this January 2019 blog post, we offer tips for reducing your child’s risk of developing the infection and how to quickly manage it if those blisters and rashes pop up on the mouth, hands, and skin. And as a bonus at the end of the post, you can watch Dr. Lee Fireman share how to avoid a doctor’s visit in a video.

    Find out more.

    toddler with hand foot and mouth disease

    4. 6 times to use a MedStar eVisit and when urgent care might be better

    MedStar eVisit makes it convenient to get the care you need at home, work, or while traveling via video chat with a doctor. But when an unexpected medical issue arises, it can be hard to tell if you should use an evisit or seek care from a nearby urgent care center or emergency room. In this blog post from fall 2019, Physician Assistant Megan Walling shares common conditions that can be treated virtually as well as signs you should visit an urgent care center.

    Understand when to use eVisit or urgent care.

    sick woman using her tablet to talk to a medical professional

    5. 7 common STDs and when to test for them

    Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise and having multiple partners increases your risk of infection. What’s more, STDs often have no symptoms and they can develop into serious health problems when left untreated. In this February 2019 post, Dr. Jasmeet Bhogal identifies the types of STDs we see the most and why timely treatment is important. If you’re sexually active, our prevention strategies and screening suggestions can help you protect yourself from life-threatening infections.

    Get our top tips on STD prevention and safety.

    happy healthy couple hugging in kitchen

    As you set healthy (and achievable) New Year’s resolutions, which of our top five health tips of 2019 are you adding to your list? We’d love to hear about your health goals for the upcoming year!

    Which of our top five health tips will you be adding to your list for 2020? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook by tagging us @MedStarHealth and using the hashtag #LiveWellHealthy.

    Share Your Health Goals

  • December 23, 2019

    By MedStar Health

    Eating healthy is one of the best things you can do for your health. In fact, consuming a healthy diet that prioritizes fruits, vegetables, and whole foods can reduce your risk of:

    As the medical director of Fresh & Savory, an eight-week culinary and lifestyle program in which we teach people how to cook and eat healthy using an actual kitchen, I’ve seen numerous people lose weight and improve not only their health after learning how to cook healthy meals but also the health of their entire family, as they often relay the information they learn during our classes to their loved ones.

    Eating healthy can be particularly difficult during the holidays. The average calorie intake during Thanksgiving alone is about 4,000 calories, and many people gain one to two pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. As a result, it’s important to prepare your meals or snacks ahead of time so you can avoid eating tempting but unhealthy foods.

    What to Make During the Holidays

    1. Date Energy Balls

    Date energy balls are ideal for when you want a snack throughout the day or eating prior to a workout, as they’re filling and have carbohydrates, which are essential to consume before working out. To make date energy balls, combine the following ingredients and mix them together using a food processor:

    • 2 cups of walnuts (substitute almonds, peanuts, or other nuts you prefer)
    • 1 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut
    • 2 cups of soft, pitted Medjool dates
    • 2 tablespoons of almond butter (or preferred nut butter)
    • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

    Scoop the dough using a tablespoon and roll it between your hands to form balls. Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and place in the freezer for one to two hours before serving. If you want gourmet-looking date balls, you can also roll them in shredded coconut or cocoa powder before chilling.

    These snacks store in a sealed container for about a week in the fridge or a month in the freezer.

    Get the printable recipe card here!

    Date energy balls are a great, easy-to-make #snack to keep you full during the #holidays. Learn how to make them and other healthy snacks, via @MedStarHealth. #LiveWellHealthy

    Click to Tweet

    2. Aromatic Quick Quinoa

    Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein, and a great source of carbohydrates. Moreover, it can work well as both a main dish and a side dish. To make quinoa, use the following ingredients:

    • 1 cup of quinoa
    • Juice from one lemon
    • 3 tablespoons of tamari (soy sauce)
    • 2 medium-sized zucchini
    • 1 small broccoli head
    • 1 tablespoon of tahini
    • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
    • Salt and pepper

    You’ll want to place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 1.5 cups of water, lemon juice, and the tamari. Stir and cook on high heat until it comes to a boil, then boil for one to two minutes and reduce to a simmer, covered, for 12 minutes (or until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy).

    Now, slice the zucchini in half, chop it into half-moons, and cut the broccoli into florets. Heat your pan on medium heat; add olive oil, tamari, salt, pepper, zucchini, and broccoli; and sauté for seven minutes. Mix the cooked quinoa together with the tahini and sautéed vegetables and drizzle with olive oil.

    Get the printable recipe card here!

    3. Mango Salsa

    Salsa is good for almost any occasion—and, thankfully, it doesn’t contain many calories and can be relatively healthy when you make it yourself. Use the following ingredients for a delicious mango salsa:

    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 jalapeno, diced
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • 3 limes, juiced
    • 3 red mangos or 6 yellow mangos
    • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
    • 1 ½ teaspoon of cilantro, chopped

    You’ll want to combine all of the ingredients together into a large bowl, mix them together, and chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two before serving with pita chips.

    Get the printable recipe card here!

    4. Glowing Turmeric Latte

    Some people may not initially consider lattes a snack, but they can be filling. A glowing turmeric latte is lightly sweetened with natural ingredients; can contain a good amount of protein (if you opt for regular milk); and contains turmeric, a spice from eastern Asia and Central America. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and a good source of antioxidants, or substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals.

    Use the following ingredients to make a glowing turmeric latte:

    • 1 cup of milk (of your preferred milk type)
    • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
    • 1 teaspoon of honey
    • 2 teaspoons of ground cardamom

    To prepare the latte, combine all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium to high heat until the ingredients begin to boil. Then pour into a mug and serve.

    Get the printable recipe card here!

    5. Zesty Curried Chickpeas

    Zesty curried chickpeas is a wonderful dish that’s uncomplicated, fast, and tasty. Chickpeas contain many healthy nutrients, such as fiber, potassium, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium, making them an ideal main ingredient for any meal. To make this dish, use the following ingredients:

    • ½ teaspoon of salt
    • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
    • 1 ¼ teaspoon of cumin seed
    • 1 ¼ teaspoon of kalonji seed (also called black caraway or nigella)
    • ¼ cup of olive oil
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • ½ chili pepper, chopped
    • One 15-ounce can of chickpeas
    • ½ cup of water
    • ¼ cup of cilantro

    Heat your saucepan and add olive oil, onion, and chili. Saute on low heat or until onion starts to brown at the edges. Add in the remaining spices, and continue to saute until the spices are well mixed.

    Add chickpeas and mix in the saucepan, add water, and let it simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Let the ingredients cool for a few minutes, then add cilantro and serve.

    Get the printable recipe card here!

    The Fresh & Savory Program

    Fresh & Savory consists of a shared medical appointment in which individuals meet as a group. This way they can work together and inspire one another, learn from each other, and share recipe ideas. We also introduce other lifestyle modifications that are known to promote longevity and vitality, including ways to:

    • Exercise regularly
    • Get more sleep
    • Develop a sense of community
    • Reduce stress

    If you’re near Washington, D.C., and interested in participating in the Fresh & Savory program, please call (202) 416-2000 to speak with a member of our team.

    While the holidays can make it easier to eat unhealthy foods, you can still continue eating a healthy diet by planning your meals in advance and sticking to them. Make sure to consider these snacks during this year’s holidays.

    Want to learn more about the Fresh & Savory program? Call us to find out how you can enhance your healthy eating habits.

    Call (202) 416-2000


  • December 12, 2019

    By MedStar Health

    Tailgating can be one of the best parts of football season. However, between the plethora of concession stands around the stadium and the unhealthy foods your friends might bring to your tailgate, it can make it difficult to maintain healthy eating habits.

    With a little preparation ahead of time and focusing on quality ingredients, you can attend your next tailgate with healthy foods that won’t kill your diet. Read on for five healthy food ideas.

    It doesn’t have to be hard to eat healthy when you’re #tailgating. Learn what #healthyfoods to bring with you the next time you go to a game, via @MedStarHealth

    Click to Tweet

    1. Salsa

    Salsa is a staple of tailgating season and with the right ingredients, you can enjoy it without ruining your diet. The good news: it can actually be low in calories. I recommend avoiding jarred salsas that are often filled with preservatives and salt, and make your own with fresh ingredients.

    Consider blending the following ingredients together for a good Tex-Mex style salsa that’s sure to please your tailgating friends:

    • 3 ripe tomatoes
    • Lime juice
    • 1 clove of garlic
    • ¼ cup of onions
    • ¼ cup of cilantro
    • 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

    Make sure to adjust the recipe above based on your taste, how many people you’re serving, and food allergies.

    2. Guacamole

    Guacamole is a great food to eat while tailgating, as it’s not messy and easy to use as a dip. What’s more, avocados—the key ingredient of guacamole—are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. A good, general recipe for guacamole consists of:

    • 4 avocados
    • 5 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
    • Juice of 2 limes
    • 2 diced Roma tomatoes
    • ½ cup of diced onion
    • 1 teaspoon of salt

    Blend these ingredients together and enjoy!

    3. Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

    For those who prefer to go meatless or don’t like the taste of buffalo wings, this simple recipe is a nutritious and yummy spin on a traditional tailgate party staple. You can feel good about eating it, too, since cauliflower is rich in B vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, which aids in digestion. You’ll need the following ingredients:

    • ½ cup water
    • ½ cup almond butter
    • ½ cup red hot sauce plus extra for tossing with cooked bites
    • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
    • 1 ½ Tablespoon granulated garlic
    • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets ( makes about 6 cups)

    Preheat an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all the ingredients except the cauliflower in a large bowl and mix well. Add the cauliflower florets and toss to coat them well. Place the coated florets on a nonstick baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Toss them with extra red hot sauce, if desired, and enjoy!

    4. Hummus

    Like salsa and guacamole, hummus can be used as a healthy and tasty dip at your tailgate. Hummus is a terrific source of plant-based protein, about eight grams per serving, and other nutrients, such as fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, and phosphorus.

    Furthermore, hummus helps fight inflammation, which is your body’s way of protecting itself from infection, illness, and injury. This is due to ingredients such as virgin olive oil, which contains oleocanthal, an antioxidant that is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to common anti-inflammatory medicines.

    To make hummus, throw the following ingredients into a food processor (and then store it in a plastic bowl that you can bring with you to your tailgate):

    • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
    • ¼ of lemon juice
    • ¾ teaspoon of salt
    • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic
    • ¼ cup of tahini
    • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

    5. Taco Bowls

    If you’re looking for a filling entree, taco bowls can be a great and relatively healthy option. Although ingredients can vary depending on your food preferences and food allergies, a good and popular recipe includes:

    • Ground beef or turkey
    • Tomatoes
    • Avocado
    • Lime
    • Salsa

    Taco bowls don’t take a lot of preparation, outside of preparing the meat. I recommend grilling the meat while at the tailgate so that it’s warm, or cooking it the night before, refrigerating it, and reheating it in a microwave at your tailgate. Make sure you don’t forget to bring plastic or paper bowls and spoons!

    Maintain your healthy eating habits when you’re tailgating. With a well-planned menu, you can be confident the only penalties that occur on game day are on the field—not with your diet.

    Want more advice from Dr. Theresa Stone? Click to schedule an appointment or watch the video below to learn about the Fresh & Savory Culinary Program.

    Make An Appointment