Thursday, March 04, 2010
What to order when you want to stay healthy on the go

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

One of the decisions that leads to confusion for people is what to order when they buy food at a fast food restaurant. Sometimes the decision is obvious. There is usually a low calorie item on the menu. Unfortunately, it is also low in taste. For that reason people do not like to order it. For example a garden salad (35 calories) with diet vinaigrette dressing (50 cal) will provide less than 100 calories at McDonald's. The problem is that no one wants to eat that. There are alternatives that might prove better tasting without adding a lot more in the way of calories. A McDonald's regular hamburger will provide only 270 calories. It will probably taste better. Of course that also means not adding a lot of condiments to it. If you add a salad to the hamburger, you would have a total of 365 calories for the meal. If you were to opt for a quarter pounder with cheese it would mean 530 calories. That is about twice as many as the plain hamburger. A large order of fries would add 450 calories. Thus a quarter pounder with fries would give you 980 calories. That is more than a half day's requirement for most people. Even a six piece chicken Mc Nuggets (290 cal) has more calories than the hamburger. At Arby's the best bet is a regular roast beef sandwich at 390 calories. If you add potato cakes (205 cal), you can have a meal for 595 calories. On the other hand, a beef and cheddar (490 cal) and curly fries (335 cal) will net you 825 calories. That is over 25% more. The hamburger at Burger King has only 320 calories. That is a little more than McDonald's burger. The Whopper gives a whopping 660 calories. Even the Whopper Jr (400 cal) has more. The BK broiler chicken sandwich has 370 calories without the mayonnaise. It jumps to 530 calories once the dressing is added. At Wendy's the grilled chicken has 310 calories. The Jr hamburger has 270 calories. However, if you decide on the baked potato with cheese, you would consume 570 calories. Hardee's hamburger has 270 calories. The regular roast beef is 320 calories. However, the Cravin Bacon Cheeseburger is 690 calories. Add a large order of fries (430 cal) to that and you have 1120 calories. That would leave you eating salad for your other two meals that day. Pizza is a little easier in terms of what to get. Any topping adds calories. So if you want to order pizza, it is best to stick with the plain cheese. Fried chicken tends to vary depending on where you go for it. For example an extra crispy chicken breast at KFC has 490 calories. Even a 6 piece hot wings at KFC carries 470 calories. At Popeye's and Bojangles the chicken breast has 270 calories. Four chicken strips at Chick-Fil-A have 230 calories. The sides at chicken chains are a little more reasonable. Mashed potatoes are 120 calories. Corn on the cob is 150 calories. However, the corn bread is 230 calories. That is about twice as much as the others. Subway has several low calorie subs. They are listed on the menu. However, be careful about the additions. Two triangles of cheese add only 40 calories. However, mayonnaise adds 110 calories. Olive oil adds 135 calories. Mustard only adds 8 calories. That is the way to go. At IHOP, the best bet is the 3 buttermilk pancakes. They have 315 calories. Each tablespoon of syrup adds 50 calories. Each tablespoon of butter adds 70 calories. So use them sparingly. At Taco Bell, the regular taco only has 170 calories. The Mucho Grande Burrito has 802 calories. You can have four tacos and still have fewer calories. The bean burrito (390 cal) has more calories than the beef burrito (330 cal). The Veggie fajita Border Wrap has 420 calories so it is not as veggie as you might think. The bottom line is that with a little research you can find out what each chain has in the way of calories in its servings. You can then get in the habit of ordering that particular item when you go. You do not need to know everything. You just need to know what to order. Then you can have something that tastes good but does not provide a huge amount of calories.

The lost art of playing outside

By Patti Miller, MPP Playing outside. It's almost becoming a lost art. As a kid, do you remember being told by Mom or Dad to "go outside and play!"? And we did, letting our imaginations and bodies run wild until it got dark and we were called in for dinner. But now, a University of Michigan study tells us, there's been a 50 percent reduction in the amount of time kids play outside compared to just 20 years ago. It's not that hard to imagine just think about your own family's busy schedule! Meanwhile, a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics states that some over-scheduled children, without that time for free play, are showing signs of increased stress. We need to give our kids the outlet of outdoor play. Unstructured, free play in the outdoors is a key factor in healthy childhood development. Play may seem silly, goofy and simply fun. And it is! But there's so much more going on. For kids, especially young children, play is learning. Studies show that play is a natural way for children to practice skills they will need throughout their life skills essential for success both in school and when they enter the work force as adults. Unstructured, outside play can: Increase physical activity - It makes perfect sense: the more time kids spend outdoors, the more active they are. The minute your child heads outside, he's running, jumping, skipping and climbing. Outside, kids just naturally move more there's no "mountain" they won't conquer, lightning bug they won't chase or tree they won't climb! In addition, being active at a young age can help lay the groundwork for being physically active as an adult. Aid cognitive development - When children are outside, they are exposed to new landscapes, and all their senses are challenged. They learn problem solving as they test new terrains by climbing in, out, over and through. Increase self-esteem - As kids play more outside, they want to explore and try new things. And when they master new environments, they feel a sense of accomplishment, which helps improve confidence and self-esteem. Develop motor skills - Physical activity in the outdoors allows kids to develop large motor skills like running, jumping, climbing, balance and coordination. Kids also develop fine motor skills as they grab for leaves and throw stones. Promote social development - As kids play with their peers, they make decisions about what they will play, who can join them and the rules they will follow. This fosters their development of important social skills like negotiating, resolving conflicts, compromising and cooperating. Promote emotional development - Play can also have a positive impact on a child's emotional health by helping to reduce anxiety, aggression and sleep problems. Physical activity, particularly outdoors with exposure to sunlight, has also been shown to improve mood. Of course there is certainly a place for technology in kids' lives as well as organized activities such as sports or dance. And there are legitimate concerns about kids' safety when they play outside. But Delaware offers many fun, safe outdoor activities so the entire family can get out together, "blow off some steam," and enjoy nature. Visit to discover the many Delaware State Parks and the activities they offer from camping and fishing to fun winter events like bird feeding, beachcombing and hiking. The Trail Challenge is an excellent way to explore some of Delaware's beautiful trails while being active as a family. Delaware Greenways' No Child Left Inside campaign also offers a regular listing of family events happening outside even during the winter months.

Visit Just think of all the precious family time you could have by "scheduling" some unstructured, outside play with your kids. About the author Patti Miller, a program and policy analyst at Nemours Health & Prevention Services, works to ensure that families haveeasy access to opportunities for outdoor physical activity and healthy foods within their community.

Hospice plans fundraiser Delaware Hospice's Beef and Brew fundraiser will be held on Friday, April 16, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Georgetown CHEER Center. Tickets are $30 per person through Monday, April 12, and $35 per person after April 12 or at the door. Beef and sides will be catered by the Georgia House and beer sponsored by Banks Wines & Spirits and the Starboard. The evening will include raffles, a silent auction and dancing with "The Funsters." Delaware Hospice invites you to participate through sponsorships or donations of auction items. Call Peggy Dolby, 856-7717, or Mary Morgan, 800-838-9800, for tickets or sponsorship information.

Brain Healthy Lifestyle Conference A free Brain Healthy Lifestyle Conference will be held on Thursday, March 4, 2:30 to 7:30 p.m., Delaware Technical & Community College, Georgetown. Featuring workshops on laughter, brain healthy food, working towards your dreams and a presentation entitled, "The Rhythm of Retirement." For more information or to register, contact Delaware Tech's Adult Plus+ program at 856-5618.

Patient Safety Awareness Week As part of Patient Safety Awareness Week, Bayhealth Medical Center will sponsor a variety of educational activities to promote patient safety and emphasize Bayhealth's important safety partnership with patients, families and the community. During the week of March 7 - 13, Milford Memorial Hospital and Kent General Hospital will feature educational displays, safety seminars, guest speakers, vendor presentations and a special "Interactive Room" which highlights Bayhealth's culture of safety. "Our activities are centered on educating patients, families and communities and encouraging them to be active participants in ensuring patient safety," said Bayhealth Director of Risk Management JoAnn Davis. Bayhealth has implemented many significant improvements in recent years to improve patient safety.

Registration open for Walk MS Registration is now open for this year's Walk MS season in Delaware. Organized by the Delaware Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the goal is to raise awareness and funds for the programs and services needed by more than 1,500 Delawareans with MS and their families. Each of the five events takes place on an accessible 5K route, and plenty of support is available as well as the opportunity for lots of fun with family and friends. Two events take place in Sussex County:
  • Walk MS: Twilight at Heritage Shores steps off at Providence At Heritage Shores, One Heritage Shores Circle in Bridgeville, on Friday, April 30, at 6 p.m.
  • Walk MS: Twilight at Baywood Greens steps off at the Baywood Greens Golf Course, 32267 Clubhouse Way in Long Neck, on Friday, May 21, at 6 p.m.
Day-of registration begins one hour before the event, but advanced registration is recommended. For more information or to register, call 302-655-5610 or visit

Cancer support group The Wellness Community-Delaware offers a free general cancer support group for people affected by cancer and their loved ones at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. The monthly support group meets in the second floor conference room of the Cancer Care Center on the third Monday of each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The Wellness Community is dedicated to helping people affected by cancer enhance their health and well-being through participation in a professional program of emotional support and hope. All facilitators of these groups are trained mental health professionals. Call 645-9150 for information or to register.

Man to Man support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers a Man to Man support group meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Man to Man helps men cope with prostate cancer by receiving information and peer support. Man to Man is a forum for men and their support network to learn about diagnosis and treatment options through presentations, written materials and videos. Specialists share information such as side effects and how to cope with prostate cancer and its treatment. News and information about nutrition, general health, research and treatment, as well as messages from men living with prostate cancer and other Man to Man activities, are offered to assist in the recovery process. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Larry Skala (337-3678) or Grafton Adams (628-8311).

Depression Support Group There is a free bimonthly Depression Support Group meeting in Laurel on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Any person who has signs and symptoms of depression and is under the care of a professional counselor/MD is welcome to attend. To register, call 302-465-6612.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. The program is facilitated by Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center professional staff - Terri A. Clifton, MS, NCC, Cancer Care coordinator; Mary Brown, RN, DSN, manager Cancer Care Center; and Wendy Polk, nutritionist - with assistance from Lois Wilkinson, DBCC special projects manager, who helps facilitate the program at Bayhealth. Together, they answer questions, help calm fears, and share information about resources that are available at Nanticoke, through DBCC, and other organizations within the local community. Of particular value to newly-diagnosed women is DBCC's Peer Mentor Program through which they are paired with a long-term survivor for one-on-one support. To learn more about Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

Bereavement support group Compassionate Care Hospice, The Wellness Community-DE and Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will collaborate to present a monthly bereavement group, The Next Step. The group focuses on issues of loss that continue beyond the early stages of grief. Mary Van House, bereavement coordinator, will facilitate the group at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, at the Nanticoke Cancer Care Center, second floor conference room. To register, call Lisa at 629-6611, ext. 2378.