You’re in Labor!

dreamstime_xxl_48802990.jpgHere are some quick tips before heading to the hospital.  Be sure to pack your hospital bag ahead of time and install the car seat.

What to take to the hospital
Getting ready to head to the hospital can feel overwhelming but it does not have to.  Remember, keep it simple.  You will need to pack something for yourself as well as your new baby.

For yourself (Include items for when you’re going into labor as well as after you have the baby.)

  • A nightgown or big shirt to wear during labor, although a hospital gown will be provided
  • A few nightgowns, pajamas or T-shirts and sweat pants (breastfeeding mothers might find loose-fitting T-shirts or nursing gowns most comfortable)
  • Socks and/or Slippers
  • Washcloths and towels
  • A robe
  • Several pairs of underpants
  • Large, self-adhesive sanitary pads (the ones provided by the hospital may be small and hard to use)
  • Soap, Shampoo, Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Any other toiletries, cosmetics or hairstyling equipment you want
  • Phone numbers for people you want to call
  • A telephone charge card (you usually can’t use a cell phone in a hospital)
  • Clothes to wear home (be sure they are loose fitting)

For your baby

  • A receiving blanket
  • Clothes to wear home, including an undershirt, cap and socks
  • Disposable diapers (most hospitals provide these)
  • Bunting or a warm blanket if it’s cold outside
  • A car seat (if baby is to be driven home)

Focus of Fruit: Plantains

PlantainThis popular banana in Latin American, Caribbean and Asian countries, is often referred to as a cooking banana. Plantains resemble bananas but they are longer in length, thicker skinned and starchier in flavor. In most countries, plantains are used more like a vegetable than a fruit. They are not suitable for eating raw unless very ripe, when they turn completely black. Plantains are low in sodium, and high in vitamin A. This versatile fruit has three unique stages when they can be eaten.

Green plantains taste more like a potato with a starchy texture. At this stage, the interior is yellowish or slightly pink. The fruit is firm and is often used as side dishes.

Yellow plantains are the middle stage of the fruit. These plantains can have some brownish-black spots. At this stage, their role is both vegetable and fruit and is used in dishes for a slightly sweet taste and firm texture.

Black plantains are typically found in sweeter recipes. These plantains are all black or spotty black and are soft. Black plantains can be eaten raw.

Availability, Selection, Storage and Preparation

Plantains are available year round. You can buy plantains at any stage (green, yellow or black) depending on your use and when you want to enjoy them.

Plantains need to be stored at room temperature. After desired stage of ripeness is reached it is okay to refrigerate 2 to 3 days before cooking to slow down the ripening process. As with other bananas, plantains freeze well.

Plantains can be difficult to peel depending on their stage of ripeness. Black plantains are peeled like other bananas. It’s best to cut the top and bottom of the banana first. Then using the tip of the knife, run the knife along the skin from the top to the bottom of the banana. Repeat this step on all four ridges. Next, carefully peel the skin away from the pulp. The greener the plantain, the thicker the skin.  It is best to peel green plantains under water to minimize bruising.

Nutritional Analysis

  • Serving size: 1/2 cup, raw
  • Calories 90
  • Calories from Fat 0
  • Total Fat 0g
  • Sodium 0mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 24g
  • Dietary Fiber 2g
  • Sugars 11g
  • Protein 1g


What do you drink?


Calories in drinks are not hidden (they’re listed right on the Nutrition Facts label), but many people don’t realize just how many calories beverages can contribute to their daily intake. As you can see in the example below, calories from drinks can really add up. But there is good news: you have plenty of options for reducing the number of calories in what you drink.

Occasion Instead of… Calories Instead Try… Calories
Morning coffee shop run Medium café latte (16 ounces) made with whole milk 265 Small café latte (12 ounces) made with fat-free milk 125
Lunchtime combo meal 20-oz. bottle of non-diet cola with your  lunch 227 Bottle of water or diet soda 0
Afternoon break Sweetened lemon iced tea from the vending machine (16 ounces) 180 Sparkling water with natural lemon flavor (not sweetened) 0
Dinnertime A glass of non-diet ginger ale with your meal (12 ounces) 124 Water with a slice of lemon or lime, or seltzer water with a splash of 100% fruit juice 0 calories for the water with fruit slice, or about 30 calories for seltzer water with 2 ounces of 100% orange juice.
Total beverage calories:   796   125-155
(USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference)

Substituting no- or low-calorie drinks for sugar-sweetened beverages cuts about 650 calories in the example above.

Of course, not everyone drinks the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages shown above. Check the list below to estimate how many calories you typically take in from beverages.

 Type of Beverage Calories in 12 ounces Calories in 20 ounces
Fruit punch 192 320
100% apple juice 192 300
100% orange juice 168 280
Lemonade 168 280
Regular lemon/lime soda 148 247
Regular cola 136 227
Sweetened lemon iced tea (bottled, not homemade) 135 225
Tonic water 124 207
Regular ginger ale 124 207
Sports drink 99 165
Fitness water 18 36
Unsweetened iced tea 2 3
Diet soda (with aspartame) 0* 0*
Carbonated water (unsweetened) 0 0
Water 0 0
*Some diet soft drinks can contain a small number of calories that are not listed on the nutrition facts label.
( USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference)

Milk contains vitamins and other nutrients that contribute to good health, but it also contains calories. Choosing low-fat or fat-free milk is a good way to reduce your calorie intake and still get the nutrients that milk contains.

Type of Milk Calories per cup (8 ounces)
Chocolate milk (whole) 208
Chocolate milk (2% reduced-fat) 190
Chocolate milk (1% low-fat) 158
Whole Milk  (unflavored) 150
2% reduced-fat milk (unflavored) 120
1% low-fat milk (unflavored) 105
Fat-free milk (unflavored) 90
( USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference)

Learn To Read Nutrition Facts Labels Carefully

Be aware that the Nutrition Facts label on beverage containers may give the calories for only part of the contents. The example below shows the label on a 20-oz. bottle. As you can see, it lists the number of calories in an 8-oz. serving (100) even though the bottle contains 20 oz. or 2.5 servings. To figure out how many calories are in the whole bottle, you need to multiply the number of calories in one serving by the number of servings in the bottle (100 x 2.5). You can see that the contents of the entire bottle actually contain 250 calories even though what the label calls a “serving” only contains 100. This shows that you need to look closely at the serving size when comparing the calorie content of different beverages.

Serving Size 8 fl. oz.
Servings Per Container     2.5
Amount per serving
Calories         100

Sugar By Any Other Name: How To Tell Whether Your Drink Is Sweetened

Sweeteners that add calories to a beverage go by many different names and are not always obvious to anyone looking at the ingredients list. Some common caloric sweeteners are listed below. If these appear in the ingredients list of your favorite beverage, you are drinking a sugar-sweetened beverage.

  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose

High-Calorie Culprits in Unexpected Places

Coffee drinks and blended fruit smoothies sound innocent enough, but the calories in some of your favorite coffee-shop or smoothie-stand items may surprise you. Check the Web site or in-store nutrition information of your favorite coffee or smoothie shop to find out how many calories are in different menu items. And when a smoothie or coffee craving kicks in, here are some tips to help minimize the caloric damage:

At the coffee shop:

  • Request that your drink be made with fat-free or low-fat milk instead of whole milk
  • Order the smallest size available.
  • Forgo the extra flavoring – the flavor syrups used in coffee shops, like vanilla or hazelnut, are sugar-sweetened and will add calories to your drink.
  • Skip the Whip. The whipped cream on top of coffee drinks adds calories and fat.
  • Get back to basics. Order a plain cup of coffee with fat-free milk and artificial sweetener, or drink it black.

At the smoothie stand:

  • Order a child’s size if available.
  • Ask to see the nutrition information for each type of smoothie and pick the smoothie with the fewest calories.
  • Hold the sugar. Many smoothies contain added sugar in addition to the sugar naturally in fruit, juice, or yogurt. Ask that your smoothie be prepared without added sugar: the fruit is naturally sweet.
Source: Centers for Disease Control

Thank your Occupational Therapist!


April is Occupational Therapy Month, and Cameron is lucky to have four outstanding Occupational Therapist on staff!

Smith, GinaGina Smith, OTR: Gina is a long time Angola resident, and has been employed with Cameron for many years. She graduated from Indiana University and has since gained extensive knowledge in handy therapy, functional capacity evaluations, ergonomic, industrial rehab and modified barium swallow studies and lymphedema treatment. Gina has spent time educating interested high school students, doctoral OT students and even other staff members. In addition to her work at Cameron, Gina has spoken at the Indiana Occupational Therapy Association meetings on OT’s role in Modified Barium Swallow Studies.

Michael, Lisa

Lisa Michael, OTR: Lisa is also a long Angola resident, and has been with Cameron for many years. She graduated from University of Indianapolis, and has provided Cameron’s patients with the time and attention they need.




Geren, Jaimi

Jaimi Geren, COTA: Jaimi joined the Cameron team in 2013 when she graduated from Rhodes State College with her degree as an Occupational Therapist Assistant. In her role, Jaimi is able to assist the Rehabilitation Services department as both an OT Assistant and a Rehab aid.



Ramachandran, Anand


Anand Ramachandran, OTR: Anand joined the Cameron team as a PRN therapist for weekend needs on the Med/Surg floor of the hospital. He received his bachelor’s degree from Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore, India.

What do you know about OT?

  • Occupational therapists can work in a variety of setting such as hospitals, school systems, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, nursing homes, psychiatric facilities and private practice.
  • In addition to working in a variety of setting, there are different specialty areas of occupational therapy: hand therapy, pediatrics, acute care, post-operative care, lymphedema management, neurological rehab and ergonomics.
  • Occupational therapists hold advanced degrees. Currently to become an occupational therapist (OTR), you have to obtain at least a Master’s degree and pass a national board exam in order to become licensed to treat patients. Occupational therapy assistants (COTA) hold an Associate’s Degree.
  • Occupational therapists are trained to design, select, fabricate and train on orthotics (splints) for patients with hand and upper extremity injuries.
  • Occupational therapy is a rehabilitation science that promotes health by enabling people to perform meaningful and purposeful activities and work with individuals who suffer from mentally, physically, developmentally or emotionally disabling conditions by utilizing treatments that develop, recover or maintain client’s activities of daily living.
  • Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury or surgery to regain skills and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
  • Occupational therapists can treat patients with repetitive injuries such as tennis elbow and carpal tunnel by providing patients with education to improve their knowledge for prevention and joint/muscle protection, manual therapy and modalities to assist with pain management.

Be sure to thank an OT in April!

How to choose the best toys for your baby

mom and babyThe American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the best way to encourage your baby’s development is with consistent warm physical contact, regularly talking or singing with the child and stimulating his senses with colorful objects of different shapes, sizes and textures. A few well-chosen toys can help.

A brightly colored mobile or other movable object hung above the crib out of your baby’s reach helps her focus and provides stimulation.

Rattles will hold your baby’s attention and give him something to hold on to as his grip develops.

Soft, washable toys are easy to grip and promote exercise through movement.

Reading to your baby from durable books with large, bright pictures lets her hear you talk and mimic your sounds.

As your baby gets older and begins to understand cause and effect, pop-up toys become hugely entertaining.

Puppets and toys with finger holds help develop hand control.

Before purchasing any toy for your baby, check the package for the recommended age. Keep in mind that any toy can be dangerous if used incorrectly, so be sure to always supervise your baby’s play.

Vary Your Veggies: Okra

“Eat your fruits and vegetables.” You’ve likely heard this statement since childhood. Research shows why it is good advice:

  • Healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.
  • Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.

Tired of the same old fruits and veggies?  Add some variety to your diet by trying new fruits and vegetables.

Featured Vegetable:  Okra

Okra is an elongated, lantern shape vegetable. It is a fuzzy, green colored and ribbed pod that is approximately 2 to 7 inches in length. This vegetable is more famously known by its rows of tiny seeds and slimy or sticky texture when cut open.

Okra was discovered around Ethiopia during the 12th century B.C. and was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. This vegetable soon flourished throughout North Africa and the Middle East where the seed pods were consumed cooked and the seeds toasted, ground, and served as a coffee substitute. With the advent of the slave trade, it eventually came to North America and is now commonly grown in the southern United States. You’ll now see okra in African, Middle Eastern, Greek, Turkish, Indian, Caribbean and South American cuisines.

Okra is commonly associated with Southern, Creole and Cajun cooking since it was initially introduced into the United States in its southern region. It grows well in the southern United States where there is little frost.

Okra is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients. It is a good source of vitamin C, and is low in calories and it’s fat-free.


Clemson variety is dark green with angular pods.

Emerald type is dark green, with smooth round pods.

Lee is a spineless type known by its deep bright green, very straight angular pods.

Annie Oakley is a hybrid, spineless kind of okra with bright green, angular pods.

Chinese okra is a dark green type grown in California and reaches 10 to 13 inches in length. These extra-long okra pods are sometimes called “ladyfingers.”

Purple Okra is a rare variety you may see at peak times.

Availability, Selection and Storage

Okra is available year-round, with a peak season during the summer months. It is available either frozen or fresh. When buying fresh okra, make sure that you select dry, firm okra. They should be medium to dark green in color and blemish-free. Fresh okra should be used the same day that it is purchased or stored in a paper bag in the warmest part of the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Severe cold temperatures will speed up okra decay. Do not wash the okra pods until ready to use, or it will become slimy.


When preparing, remember that the more it is cut, the slimier it will become. Its various uses allow for okra to be added to many different recipes. Okra is commonly used as a thickening agent in soups and stews because of its sticky core. However, okra may also be steamed, boiled, pickled, sautèed or stir-fried whole. Okra is a sensitive vegetable and should not be cooked in pans made of iron, copper or brass since the chemical properties turn okra black.

Young vs. Mature Okra – What is the difference?

Most okra pods are ready to be harvested in less than two months of planting. If the okra is going to be consumed, the pods must be harvested when they are very young. They are usually picked when they are two to three inches long, or tender stage.

Okra pods grow quickly from the tender to tough stage. Pods are considered mature when they exceed three inches in length. Mature okra is tough and is not recommended for use in certain recipes.

How do I reduce okra slime?

Most people who have eaten or have cooked okra, know about the okra slime. Some recipes call for the whole okra, but how do you deal with the okra slime?

There are few ways to minimize the slime:

  • Trim off the ends and avoid puncturing the okra capsule.
  • Do not overcook okra.
Source: Centers for Disease Control 

How to choose a birthing center

1233Our article was featured in “How-To Guide”, a publication of Fort Wayne Newspapers.

Most hospital birthing centers follow similar practices and procedures for delivering you baby and caring for you and baby postpartum. But, it is the personal care and thought that truly makes the experience stand out. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing for a birthing center.

  1. Facility:
  • Private Rooms: The birth of your child will be much more meaningful and intimate if the birthing center offers private labor, delivery and recovery (LDR) rooms with a private bathroom. This will allow you and your support person to focus on your delivery, and you won’t have to worry about the person next door. Large private post-partum rooms are a must so you can rest and bond with your newest family member.
  • Jet Tubs: Hydrotherapy utilizes the soothing properties of warm water immersion to help a new mom relax and reduce their discomfort and anxiety during labor.
  • Safety though technology: State-of-the-art technology will help keep you and your baby safe during delivery. Fetal monitoring systems allow staff members to take care of and ensure the well-being of your baby during those first few days. Infant security systems, such as HUGS, will ensure the safety of your baby while your stay at the hospital with 24/7 security. Various state-of-the-art technology will be in place to make sure you are as comfortable as possible during your delivery.
  1. Personal Experience:
  • Caring staff: One of the most important aspects of a birthing center is to ensure that the center has caring staff that will be able to give undivided attention. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, you should never feel alone. Look for places that offer birthing planners and programs to help you throughout the entire childbirth journey, not just delivery. Even look for staff that will be there for you after the birth of your child.
  • It’s all about you: Does this birthing center allow me to choose my birth plan? Does this birthing center allow me to take a tour before I deliver? Does this birthing center offer childbirth, breastfeeding and nutrition classes? Does this birthing center allow me to return after? Can I choose how I want to control pain? Ask yourself these questions as you are looking for a birthing center. You want a birthing center that is going to put your wants and needs first.

At the end of the day, look for a hospital whose birthing center is going to provide the best care for you and your baby, and meet your wants and needs. The birth of your baby will be one of the most memorable experiences. The best birthing centers will go the extra mile to be part of that joy.

Baked Banana French Toast

Craving French toast, but don’t want all the calories that usually comes along with it? Our baked banana French toast saves you calories and adds nutritional value without compromising the traditional sweet, eggy bread flavors. We use simple swaps such as baking instead of frying and whole-grain instead of white bread. Give this dish a personal flair with your favorite toppings!


  • 3 medium (120 grams each) bananas, peeled and sliced, divided
  • 6 slices (30 grams each) reduced-calorie whole-grain bread, sliced in half diagonally
  • 4 large (50 grams each) eggs
  • 2 large (30 grams each) egg whites
  • 1 cup (245 grams) low-fat (1%) milk
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup


Coat an 11-by-7-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spread slices from 2 bananas evenly in the bottom; layer the bread on top, overlapping as necessary. Arrange the remaining bananas on top of the bread.

Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, covering it and pushing the slices down so they are coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sprinkle the French toast dish with pecans, if desired. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until puffed and light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Drizzle each serving with 1 teaspoon maple syrup.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 6 |  Serving Size: 1 (3 1/2-inch) square (165 grams)

Per serving: Calories: 229; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 125mg; Sodium: 197mg; Carbohydrate: 44g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 18g; Protein: 11g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 298mg; Iron: 9%; Vitamin A: 7%; Vitamin C: 9%; Calcium: 12%


Source: MyFitnessPal

Blueberry Oat Muffins

Try these delicious blueberry oat muffins for a healthy breakfast twist!


  • 1 cup (120 grams) plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour*
  • 1 cup (80 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (225 grams) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (80 grams) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) coconut palm sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (140 grams) blueberries, frozen or fresh


Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C), and prepare a muffin pan by coating the cups with cooking spray or greasing them with oil. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the  flour with the oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg until it becomes slightly frothy. Whisk in the yogurt, honey, sugar, almond milk and vanilla, mixing until well-combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing gently until just combined. Toss the blueberries with 1 tablespoon of flour to prevent them from bleeding or sinking to the bottom of the muffins, and fold them into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, filling almost to the top. Add a sprinkle of coconut sugar, if desired.

Bake for 20–22 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

*You can also use a mix of all-purpose and whole-wheat flour or sub oat flour, but the texture will be slightly denser and moister.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 12 |  Serving Size: 1 muffin

Per serving: Calories: 134; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium: 86mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 5g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 234mg; Iron: 6%; Vitamin A: 1%; Vitamin C: 4%; Calcium: 9%

Your Guide to Understanding Food Labels

Food labels can help you make healthy food choices, but they can be confusing. Here are some quick tips for reading food labels:

  • Check Serving Size and Calories: All the information on a food label is based on the serving size. Be careful—one serving may be much smaller than you think. If you double the servings you eat, you double the calories and nutrients, including the percent Daily Values (DVs).
  • Percent DV: This tells you if a food is high or low in nutrients. Foods that have more than 20-percent DV of a nutrient are high. Foods that have 5-percent DV or less are low.
  • Saturated Fat: Saturated fat is not healthy for your heart. Compare labels on similar foods and try to choose foods that have a 5-percent DV or less for saturated fat. Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Keep total fat intake between 20 percent to 35 percent of calories.
  • Trans Fat: Trans fat is not healthy for your heart. When reading food labels, add together the grams of trans fat and saturated fat, and choose foods with the lowest combined amount.
  • Cholesterol: Too much cholesterol is not healthy for your heart. Keep your intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol as low as possible.
  • Sodium (Salt): Salt contains sodium. Research shows that eating less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium about (1 teaspoon of salt) per day may reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
    • TIP: Many food labels say “low fat,” “reduced fat,” or “light.” That does not always mean the food is low in calories. Remember, fat-free does not mean calorie-free, and calories do count!
  • Fiber: Choose foods that are rich in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Sugar: Try to choose foods with little or no added sugar (like low-sugar cereals).
  • Calcium: Choose foods that are high in calcium. Foods that are high in calcium have at least 20-percent DV.
Source: National Institute of Health