New Year New You: Consider your health triangle

Originally posted in The Jamestown Sun.
By Dr. Dean Cramer, South Central Human Service Center

In thinking about wellness, and New Year’s resolutions related to improving health, I often encourage people to consider the concept of the “Health Triangle.” True to its name the health triangle proposes that there are three core components to healthy living including physical, emotional and social health.

So often our New Year’s resolutions narrow in on one side of this triangle and perhaps even a single aspect of that side. For example, most of you reading this article have likely had a New Year’s resolution at some point related to weight loss. Physical health, however, is a much broader concept than your weight and should include an emphasis on nutrition, exercise habits, sleep, and use of alcohol and/or drugs, etc.

It is also important to consider the other two sides of our triangle. Emotionally healthy and socially supported individuals are more likely to be successful in any change they make than are those who feel isolated or unhappy.

New Year New You taps into the idea of having a support network as you seek to make changes. Healthy home environment, loving families and close friends are all critically important parts of our overall well-being. Consider the people around you and whether they are supportive people who build you up or are negative/critical people who lead you to doubting yourself.

As much as possible, consider increasing your involvement with those who will support you. Likewise, set limits and if necessary consider removing or reducing the influence of the negative people in your life. It is remarkable how much our mood, feelings of self-worth and view of the world are impacted by those around us.

The final side of this triangle relates to emotional health, which is an area that people often fail to consider when making New Year’s resolutions. Emotional health includes the way you feel about yourself, how you deal with emotions and how you manage stressors. In my work as a psychologist, I encounter people who often hold a very negative self-perception. People will berate or be continually critical of themselves in ways they would never consider talking about another person. I would encourage everyone reading this article to take a day and “watch” your thoughts carefully while considering “what sort of messages am I sending myself” and depending upon what you discover consider practicing sending more positive messages. This rather simple change can lead to a marked difference in mood and attitude.

Other activities that can positively impact emotional health include taking time for your hobbies, reaching out to friends, managing stress, stepping away from the television or computer monitor and limiting worry. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety or some other mental health concern, please reach out for help to your physician or a counselor. The research is conclusive that therapy and/or medication management are extremely effective in treating these disorders.

The biggest barrier for so many people is taking the risk to share their struggle and ask for help. Change happens every day, and often it comes from a person simply deciding “I’m worth it.” If you are so inspired and are looking at making changes with regard to your health please consider the New Year New You program’s global vision of wellness.

Korean students visit JRMC

DSC_4613Jamestown College is hosting 22 nursing students from Cheongam College, Korea. The student’s grade levels range from sophmore to senior. They are in Jamestown for four weeks, attending classes relating to the delivery of healthcare in the United States as well as English as a second language. They enjoyed tours of several healthcare facilities such as JRMC, the Anne Carlsen Center and the James River Correctional Center. A trip is also planned to visit facilites in Fargo. They were most impressed with the layout of JRMC and how convenient the available services are for the patients.

JRMC U: Heart Health


Join Jamestown Regional Medical Center (JRMC) on Wednesday, February 20th at noon for a free educational forum on heart health.  This forum is part of the “JRMC U” education series and will be hosted by the JRMC Cardiac Rehab department.

Outpatient cardiac rehab demonstrates a 25% reduction in long-term, all-cause and cardiovascular mortality rates. At JRMC Cardiac Rehab, they focus on making positive lifestyle changes in diet, exercise and smoking cessation that will enable individuals to better manage their heart conditions. In honor of American Heart Month, JRMC Cardiac Rehab would like to educate individuals on achieving optimal outcomes for preventing and controlling heart disease. A free, light lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to (701)952-4796 as space is limited.

National Cardiac Rehab Week

Cardiac Rehab Week
February 10th – 16th

Cardiac RehabThis week is National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week! This week JRMC would like to recognize the cardiac rehab department for the hard work that they do for their patients. Each day the cardiac rehab department helps people with heart disease recover faster from recent heart related events.

To learn more about the cardiac rehab department, plan to attend the JRMC U: Heart Health on Wednesday, February 20th at noon. Please RSVP at ext. 4796.

Thank you to the JRMC Cardiac Rehab staff for your contribution in helping improve the health and physical performance of patients at risk for or diagnosed with heart disease.

New Year New You: Limit your sodium intake to keep a healthy heart

About 90 percent of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. Too much sodium increases a person’s risk for high blood pressure, which often leads to heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association has recently lowered its recommendation to 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily for the general public. Americans eat on average about 3,300 mg of sodium a day.

Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants. Sodium is involved in the preservation of foods and cannot be removed. However, manufacturers and restaurants can produce foods with less sodium. At a restaurant or grocery store, select lower-sodium foods when possible. You can also cook more foods yourself to better control how much sodium you eat.

More than 40 percent of sodium comes from the following 10 types of foods:

  • breads and rolls
  • cold cuts and cured meats
  • pizza
  • poultry
  • soups
  • sandwiches
  • cheese
  • pasta dishes
  • meat dishes
  • snacks


Ideas to reduce salt intake

  1. Eat more fresh foods and fewer processed or packaged items. Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium.
  2. Choose fresh and frozen poultry or meat that hasn’t been injected with a sodium-containing solution. Fresh meat is lower in sodium than more processed meat choices.
  3. If you do choose to buy processed foods, look for those labeled “low sodium.”
  4. Remove salt from recipes whenever possible. You are able to remove salt in casseroles, stews and other main dishes.
  5. Remove the salt shaker from the table and taste your foods before adding additional seasonings
  6. Limit the use of condiments such as soy sauce, salad dressings, sauces, dips, ketchup, mustard and relish.
  7. Use alternative flavorings to enhance foods. Try using fresh herbs, spices, zest from citrus fruits, or fruit juices to jazz up your meals.
  8. When dining out share entrees, order small portions, and ask for your meal to be prepared without salt. Ask for no sauce or have it on the side and use it sparingly.

Use the nutrition label to help make low sodium purchases:
Sodium Free: each serving contains 5 mg (milligrams) of sodium or less.
Very low sodium: each serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less.
Low sodium: each serving contains 140 mg of sodium or less.
Reduced or less sodium: each serving contains at least 25 percent less sodium than the original version.
Light in sodium: each serving contains at least 50 percent less sodium than the original version.
Unsalted or no salt added: no salt has been added during processing.

Work on decreasing your salt intake slowly. Your taste buds will gradually adjust and you will begin to enjoy the true flavor of food while you reap the benefits of eating healthy for your heart.

Pride in Foodservice Week

NS StaffFebruary 4th – 8th is designated “Pride in Foodservice Week” by the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP).

Now in its 22nd year, this recognition week applauds nutrition and foodservice professionals and other members of the nutrition service team for their hard work and dedication to client care.
Nutrition and foodservice professionals are trained in understanding the basic nutrition needs of their clientele, and are responsible for purchasing, storing, preparing and delivering balanced meals, three times a day, 365 days a year.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our nutrition services employees. We appreciate all that you do.