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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Cutting processed foods

Published in Lifestyle Health, Weight Management, For the Health of It, Healthy Eating Tips Author: Briana Traut, RD, LD

Which of the following would you consider to be “processed foods?” Bagged spinach, roasted nuts, salad dressing, frozen pizza. Any guesses? The correct answer is all of them!

Processed foods have a bad reputation as a diet disrupter. However, they can be more than just potato chips, donuts and microwaveable dinners. Processed foods include any food that has been purposefully changed in some way prior to consumption — this would include anything that has been precooked, canned, frozen and even nutritionally fortified. There is a spectrum from minimally processed foods, such as cut vegetables and frozen fruit, to more heavily processed foods, such as crackers and deli meat.

It can be easy to allow processed foods into our diet. Many of us lead busy, on-the-go lifestyles and heavily processed foods are often the quick and easy convenience foods that we grab while on the run.

Here are some tips to help clean up your intake — starting with your pantry! 

  • Clean out your pantry. Out of sight, out of mind!
  • Start meal planning. Get the whole family involved.
  • Have a plan for grocery shopping. Make a list and stick to it!
  • Prepare meals ahead of time. Wash and chop vegetables so they are ready to go.
  • Have healthy snacks on hand just in case. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and eggs are great options!