Bake this Nut

AcornComfort food is appetizing when the temperature gets as cool as it’s been these past few days.  Today’s Tasty Thursday recipe is for one of the fruits of the fall season – the acorn.  To prepare this recipe you have to bake the oval nut, which is the fruit of an oak tree.

Low in fat – only five grams – and sodium – only 6 grams – this is one healthy recipe provided you are not allergic to acorns or walnuts. The recipe, found in the book Southern-Style Diabetic Cooking by Marti Chitwood,RD, CDE, makes four servings and is recommended by Carol Schindler,  RD, CDE, co-coordinator of the Outpatient Diabetes Self-Management Education Program at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.

Enjoy and please share your recipes on the Saint Peter’s University Hospital Facebook or Google + pages or via Twitter @SPHCS_news. Mention #mytastythursday when you post.

Baked Acorn Squash


2 medium acorn squash

dash of allspice (or other spice of your choice)

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. corn oil

2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

4 tsp. sugar-free maple syrup



  1. Preheat the oven to 400* F.  Cut each squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Place the squash, cut side down in a nonstick baking dish.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until tender.
  2. Turn the squash, cut side up and drizzle with lemon juice.  Fill each half with ½ tsp. oil, 1 tsp. syrup, allspice, and ½ Tbsp. walnuts.  Return to the oven and bake 5 more minutes.


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Helping Student Athletes Avoid Injury

football-players-sports-medicine-institute_NJFirst in a series of posts about student athlete sports injuries, including concussions






The death of three high school students from around the country in one week, the most recent a student from Long Island, New York, has raised concerns again about the dangers of sports injuries.

The Long Island student collapsed following what his coach described as a routine tackle play.  The school has refused to say anything more, adding that the cause of death would only be released to the family.

Football remains popular among students today.  According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, more than a million boys play football in the United States.  Safe Kids, a nonprofit that advocates for child injury prevention, reports that more than 1 million students were seen in emergency departments in 2013 for sports injuries.

Common injuries in football players include traumatic injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, sprains and strains of the knee and ankle, and concussions.

Concussions are common in sports such as football.  A mild traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or to the body with an “impulsive” force transmitted to the head. , This injury disrupts the brain’s normal physiology, usually affecting mental endurance and function causing the brain to work harder and longer to complete even simple tasks. Cognitive and Physical Rest is essential to recovery.

As in other sports, injury prevention is key.  A good injury prevention program should include, dynamic warm-up, strengthening, plyometrics, and sport specific agility drills.    The Prevent injury, Enhance Performance—or PEP—Program, as it is known, is a 15-minute exercise regimen that replaces the traditional warm-up.  Developed in California by a team of physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and coaches, PEP increases flexibility and strength, and teaches athletes how to avoid injury.

All athletes regardless of age and sport should have a pre-season physical. In addition to taking and updating the athlete’s medical history, a physical exam is done. The examination includes taking height, weight and blood pressure measurements, listening to the heart and lungs, and  and a general musculoskeletal examination. It has been reported that the Long Island student had a physical.

The following can help to reduce football injuries:

  • Practice good warm-up and cool-down routines before and after practices
  • Strength-train and stretch during workouts
  • Always hydrate
  • Always wear protective equipment and make sure it is properly fitted – mouth guard, pads, helmet
  • To protect from concussions, never lead with the helmet; tackle head up
  • Speak with a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about football injuries or football injury prevention tips.


This blog is posted courtesy of Arlene Goodman, MD,  pediatric sports medicine specialist at the Sports Medicine Institute, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System.  Dr. Goodman specializes in the treatment of concussions and other athletic injuries. Call 732-565-5455 for more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Goodman.  The physical therapists of the Sports Medicine Institute at Saint Peter’s University Hospital provide a training program designed to help prevent injuries. The PEP Program is offered to town leagues and school athletic programs—free-of-charge—and includes a follow-up visit several months later to evaluate the athletes and make sure the program is working for them.


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