Archive for December, 2010

How to Make a New Year’s Resolution and Stick to It

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

By Jennifer Smith, Coordinator of Health Promotion Services

With 2011 right around the corner, many of us will soon be making New Year’s resolutions. How many of us actually keep those resolutions through January…February…even March? This year let’s use some time tested goal setting strategies to ring in the New Year!

When reading articles about goal setting, one of the first details the authors seem to share is that studies show the #1 predictor of success is the tendency to set goals! What are your resolutions? What do you want to accomplish? How will you carry out your plan?

Before we go any further, jot down your goals. Now look for negative words like stop, reduce, limit, quit, decrease, discontinue, no, not, never, etc. … Words are powerful. They can lead to success or failure. For example, if one of your goals is to stop eating chips, chocolate, or some other “junk” food than you’re focusing on what you can’t have rather than what you can. No one wants to feel deprived. Think about what you’d like to add to your life instead of what you’d like to take away. How about changing the goal to eating a certain number of servings of veggies a day instead? Many times making something off-limits causes it to be that much more desirable.

When setting your goals keep the S-M-A-R-T acronym in mind.
S – Specific: You want your goal to be clear cut and precise. Don’t deal in absolutes. Avoid the words, “some” and “more”, as in:

“I will get some exercise.”                or                  “I will eat more fruits and veggies.”

It leaves you with too much leeway. Having too much flexibility or breathing space in the goals department isn’t a good thing. You want your goals to be crystal clear. Find a photo that represents your goal and keep it in sight. You could post it on your fridge or even as your screen saver.

M – Measurable: Goals should be assessable and quantifiable so you know whether you have met them or not. Put it on paper. Just as you strive for a grade in a class or a PR in a sport, you want to endeavor to achieve certain tasks all leading towards your goal. A written plan may encourage you to stay on track. I like to keep a running to-do list. It keeps me focused as to what I want to achieve.

A – Attainable: Start off with a goal that is within reach. Begin with baby steps. You want your goal to be achievable, realistic, and manageable so you can experience the thrills of success that much sooner. For example, your first goal might be to drink 8 cups of water a day. Once you’re in that habit then maybe your second goal will be to add 10-minutes of walking each day during lunch. Other examples could include:

  • Pack a healthy lunch.
  • Accumulate 10,000 steps on your pedometer daily.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep each night (at least 7 if 8 is completely impossible).
  • Eat mindfully. Make a pact with yourself not to eat while driving, watching TV, or working on the computer.
  • Do 15 minutes of calisthenics while watching TV
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Carry around a stress-squeeze ball to use. It’ll strengthen your forearms and hands and can help you lose weight by replacing emotional eating with movement.

R – Relevant: Remind yourself of how the goal is significant to your life. Set goals that are truly important to you. Surround yourself with positive visual reminders of your goal to help further reinforce your resolve. Visualize your goals. Can you imagine how achieving your goal will affect your life? What will change? What strategies will you use to accomplish your goal? The plan you’re envisioning is your blueprint. If you can unmistakably visualize your goal, and realize that it’s within your reach; you’re that much closer to success.

R – Reward yourself. (I added this “R”). Positive reinforcement can really help. Maybe I’m strange but I always get excited when I have a cool new pair of kicks or a new gadget like my Nike IPOD tracker. I want to exercise that much more to try out my new purchase. Rewards don’t always have to cost money though. Think about something you enjoy doing but don’t always make time for and use that for your reward. How about sitting down to enjoy the lights on your Christmas tree while sipping hot mulled cider, taking a moment to listen to your favorite song, enjoying a relaxing bubble bath, or puttering around in your garage. (I included this last one for my husband.) It’s completely up to you. What is something you’d like to do and would anticipate?

T – Time-based. Create a timeline to help produce a sense of urgency. Don’t wait for “some day” to roll around. Setting your goal is the first step. Now it’s time to figure out strategies to achieve your goal. List your objectives. Don’t forget, deadlines turn wishes into goals. Let’s make 2011 a year of success!

Jennifer Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine with a concentration in nutrition and a minor in education, a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion and is a nationally certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and speed coach.

Just a reminder that St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center will have extended Imaging & Lab Hours on Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Extended Imaging & Lab Hours on Friday, December 31, 2010

The imaging and lab departments will be open on the hospital-observed holiday: 

Imaging Hours

Screening Mammography                         8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Call 777-4059 to schedule an appointment

Women’s Ultrasound (MFM patients)      8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Call 777-4049 to schedule an appointment 

MRI                                                          8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Call 755-3700 to schedule an appointment   

Lab Hours 

Main Lab                                                   7:00 am – 12:00 pm 

**There will be someone present to register patients as they come in.**

Just a reminder – We are open Christmas Day and New Year’s Day if you need us!

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Convenient Care
A Department of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center
Auburn Campus
15 Gracelawn Road
Auburn, ME  04210

We hope you all enjoy a healthy and happy holiday, but if you find you need a doctor and your primary care office is closed, visit our Convenient Care at 15 Gracelawn Road in Auburn.   The office will be open Christmas Day and New Year’s Day from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Coming up at the Next Winter Farmers Market

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Have you stopped by the Lewiston Winter Farmers Market yet? If not, what are you waiting for? The first two markets have brought together hundreds of people from around Lewiston and Auburn to shop local, support community, and enjoy the festive and family friendly atmosphere each month. With more than 15 vendors selling a variety of handmade arts and crafts, home-baked goods, and locally grown produce, the Lewiston Winter Farmers Market has a little something for everyone. Customers can pick up a bouquet of Maine grown fresh cut lilies from Maplecrest Lilies to enliven their dinner table, purchase fresh caught haddock, scallops, or live lobster from Luscious Live Lobsters, or pick out a cozy handknit pair of socks made by Kidds Hillbilly Farm. While shopping visitors to the market can pick up a hot meal from our Winter Market Cafe and enjoy that month’s featured local musician.

The Lewiston Winter Farmers Market meets monthly, the second Thursday of every month, from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, 208 Bates Street in Lewiston. The next market will be Thursday, January 13, 2010. The Lewiston Winter Farmers Market is an extension of the Lewiston Farmers Market in Kennedy Park, and the St. Mary’s Market at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. It is organized by the Great Falls Farmers and Artisans Market Association and sponsored by St. Mary’s Health System. For more information on the Winter Farmers Market or to join our market email list, please contact or (207) 513 3848.

Red Cross Blood Drive at St. Mary’s

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

The American Red Cross likes to call it the gift of life, and as far as St. Mary’s Health System is concerned, it really is.  During the course of a year, this hospital uses approximately 1500 units of blood products as we care for our patients.  So, every unit of blood that is donated at one of our blood drives – or at any other blood drive – is incredibly valuable.  When you consider that one individual blood donation can be broken down into as many as five different blood products that can help as many different people, it really is a wondrous gift.

St. Mary’s had a blood drive Tuesday in Lepage Conference Center in Lewiston, and participation was good.  Employees are always generous with their time supporting these drives and Red Cross staff always makes the process run smoothly.  They are warm and friendly with donors, making sure that small glitches never become anxious moments.  Just as important are the St. Mary’s volunteers.  Manning the registration desk, keeping the canteen flowing, visiting with donors, and keeping everyone comfortable during their visit is what these folks do exquisitely.

An extra special touch to the event was the presence of players from the Lewiston Maineiacs hockey team.  Players spent time at the “canteen” table talking with people after they completed their donation, telling stories about their hockey experiences and adding another level to the experience of donating blood.

If you are an experienced blood donor, you probably are familiar with the process of giving double red cells. This means you give two units of red blood cells during one appointment.  Key to this is a special machine that takes blood from you, filters out the red blood cells, and then returns the remaining blood components (along with a little saline) into your arm. To do this, you need to be an eligible type O, A negative, or B negative donor.  The process takes about 30 minutes longer than a whole blood donation, but you get the satisfaction of knowing your donation goes twice as far. 

There are some other benefits as well to giving double reds.  A smaller needle is used in the collection process, which makes it more comfortable than a whole blood donation.  Since all your platelets and plasma are returned to your body along with a bit of saline solution, you don’t lose the liquid portion of your blood.  When done with your donation you aren’t dehydrated or light-headed as sometimes can be the case with a whole blood donation.  (You also don’t need to wait 15 minutes at the canteen.)

It really is the gift of life.  So, please think about joining us for our upcoming blood drives, which will be held in Lepage Conference Center at 99 Campus Avenue in Lewiston:

Friday, February 18, 2011
noon to 5 pm 
Friday, April 22, 2011
noon to 5 pm


Eating fresh in the winter

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Eating locally grown produce is pretty easy in the summer and fall, but what are we supposed to do during the winter? No bright red tomatoes, no juicy watermelon, and no peas picked straight off the vine. Not to mention all those holiday cookies, eggnog, and candy canes that are sure to tempt us away from fresh fruits and veggies. All in all, it seems hard to get the nutrients and vitamins we need from fresh produce. 

There’s actually a lot of produce available locally during the winter. Winter squash are everywhere, from butternut squash to spaghetti squash. They store well, so a squash bought in December will last you until March or April if you store it in a cool, dry place! Root vegetables abound during the winter as well. Farmers have mostly harvested and stored their root crops by now, and they can pull them out all winter long, keeping you stocked with potatoes, turnips, beets, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots. Winter greens (yes, greens!) are mainly of the kale and collard variety. 

Winter fruit is a bit less plentiful, but there’s always the ubiquitous apple. Apples can be stored during the winter, much like those root veggies. Local apples, along with cranberries, should tide you over until late spring and summer. 

Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have frozen or canned some of that summer produce, you can still eat nutritious local garden items even during the darkest winter months. If not, keep your eyes out for local produce stands that are still open. Winter farmers markets are popping up in communities around Maine, including at our very own St. Mary’s Nutrition Center in Lewiston. Join a winter CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group, which will ensure that you get fresh produce all winter long, straight from the farmer. Finally, check into area Buying Clubs, where you can choose which winter produce to purchase. With just a little hunting, it’s pretty easy to eat local, delicious fresh produce all year long. 

Roasted Roots Recipe
Serves 4-6 

2 lbs. of any root vegetables (suggestions include turnips, potatoes, or rutabagas), squash, or apples
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. rosemary 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Slice each vegetable ¼ inch thick (or cut squash into ½ inch cubes). Toss with olive oil and season with garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Place vegetables on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the vegetables, and roast for another 5 to 10 minutes. 

Thank you Sam’s for your generous donation!

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Photo: (left to right) Mike Marchus, General Manager of Sam’s Italian Sandwich Shoppe and Ernie Fecteau, Manager of Sam’s Italian Sandwich Shoppe on Lisbon Street , presented a check for more than $3,600 to Joyce Gagnon, Manager of the St,. Mary’s Food Pantry and Dan Asselin, a member of the St. Mary’s Food Pantry Advisory Committee. Each year, Sam’s sells paper cornucopias to raise money for the food pantry. The Sam’s location that raises the most money, wins a plaque and other prizes. This year, the Lisbon Street location raised the most at $1,764.

Give the Gift of Maine and Come do Your Holiday Shopping at the Winter Market!

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

The St. Mary’s Nutrition Center will be hosting the second Lewiston Winter Farmers’ Market  Thursday December 9th from 5- 7:30 pm at 208 Bates Street in Lewiston. More than a hundred people showed up to the last market helping to make it a great success!

For this market we are inviting people to “give the gift of Maine”  and stop by to do their holiday shopping with us. There will be over fifteen vendors selling handmade arts & crafts, home-baked goods, and locally grown produce. For the holiday season there will be beautiful balsam fir wreaths and holiday gift baskets.

In addition to a selection of great vendors there will be live music a Winter Market Cafe for customers to grab a bite to eat and a “Kids Corner” for parents and children with a chance to make holiday ornaments and cards. 

For more information on the Lewiston Winter Market please contact or 207-513-3848

A little sour fruit that from a distance resembles the cherry

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

From St. Mary’s Nutrition Center

One of our favorite foods as of late to use at the Nutrition Center is the little sour fruit that from a distance resembles the cherry. Yup, you  got it! The Cranberry. The cranberry happens to be a convenient fruit to have as a favorite because it is both a native Maine berry, which means we can more easily find it from local farmers and distributors, and a healthy food to boot.

The cranberry, along with the blueberry and Concord grape, is one of North America’s three native fruits that are commercially grown.  Cranberries were first used by American Indians, who discovered the wild berry’s versatility as a food, fabric dye, and healing agent.  First Nations people used cranberries to treat bladder and kidney diseases and frequently enjoyed them sweetened with maple syrup and honey.  The Wampanoag tribe first introduced cranberries and other native foods to the Pilgrims back in 1620 and ever since, cranberries have been a Thanksgiving and/or Harvest Celebration tradition.  Early settlers from England learned to use the berry both raw and cooked for many ailments, including appetite loss, digestive problems, blood disorders, and vitamin C deficiency (scurvy).  Today, cranberries, are ranked number one for high antioxidant content.  In other words, they are full of cancer fighting properties, vitamin C, and phytonutrients that improve our immune system, keep our cardiovascular system healthy, and even cure urinary tract infections.  Simply put, cranberries are a mouthful of medicine and a bowl full of flavor.   

At the Nutrition Center we incorporate the cranberry into a few different savory and sweet dishes including pumpkin cranberry apple crisp and vegetarian holiday stuffing. Our most favorite recipe however, is an unlikely combination of bread crumbs, oil, shallots and of course, cranberries. Passed along to one of our staff members from a chef friend of hers while living in Columbus, Ohio, Cranberry Rouie has made another home in Maine and developed a fast growing fan base. This tangy, sweet spread adds just the right color, flavor, and texture to your holiday buffet and can be made with either dried cranberries or fresh or frozen whole cranberries. It can be frozen for later use, too!  Don’t forget to stop by the Lewiston Winter Market on Thursday, December 9, 2010 from 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm at the Nutrition Center to pick up your fresh and local cranberries.

Cranberry Rouie
Serves 8


1 cup dry cranberries or 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts
1-2 shallots or one onion, chopped
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs *
½ cup orange juice
½ cup vegetable oil
½ tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt

* can use day old bread for crumbs instead of store bought bread crumbs


1.     Heat orange juice over low heat in a pan.
2.     Add cranberries to the warm orange juice and cook until soft.
3.     Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor.
4.     Blend until smooth adding oil in at the end. Serve on crackers or with fresh vegetables.

If using fresh/frozen cranberries:

  • Add ½ cup more OJ
  • Add honey, until it is no longer bitter
  • Cook cranberries until they break and simmer until they are the consistency of a thick cranberry sauce

Mammography Department Passes MQSA Inspection With No Faults Found

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Just one more point of distinguished service at St. Mary’s.

On November 15, 2010, St. Mary’s Mammography Department underwent their annual MQSA (Mammography Quality Standards Act) inspection. This is the highest level of mandatory State and Federal compliance. Happily the inspection showed no areas of deficiency and we proudly demonstrated no areas of noncompliance. This inspection was our first full field digital federal inspection; and the mammography team was at their best.

Congratulations to all who worked very hard this year.