Category Archives: Wellness

More Veggies = Healthy Kids

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Our experts Evelyn and Emmie are on Good Day, showing easy ways to get more veggies in your kids’ diets!



Mediterranean Secrets to a Long, Healthy Life


Residents of Mediterranean islands are known for having a much lower risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia than Americans.

When researchers took a closer look at why Mediterranean island inhabitants have long and healthy lives, they noticed some interesting habits: Residents drink herbal tea throughout the day, they consume fish twice a week on average, they eat a lot of greens and they exercise and get plenty of rest.

In general, island natives follow a “Mediterranean diet” – or more accurately, a fresh food diet that originated on islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

Mediterranean island residents typically eat a lot of locally-grown whole grains, vegetables and fruits and very little red meat. They also have cheese and yogurt every day, and cook with a lot of olive oil. They flavor their foods with herbs before adding salt and drink red wine in moderation. They stay physically active, in touch with nature and they spend time enjoying friends and family.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 11.27.40 AMFortunately you don’t have to relocate to the Mediterranean Sea to savor a fresh diet and experience its benefits. With just a few basic ingredients from your neighborhood store, you can recreate the flavors at home. Grab a bottle of olive oil and let’s get started! For more great Mediterranean-inspired recipes, check out our Spring 2016 issue of Something Extra magazine, now in our stores.

Mediterranean Braised Beans
Perfect for Meatless Monday!

1 (16-oz.) bag large lima beansMedBraisedBeans
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 bulb fennel, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup red wine (may substitute vegetable broth)
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup rosemary sprigs
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. molasses
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 bay leaves
1 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Prep: 20 minutes, Soak: 1 to 12 hours, Cook: about 2 hours, Serves: 6 to 8

1. Place beans in a large pot and add water several inches above beans. Soak overnight, or to quick soak, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes; let stand for 1 hour. Drain well.

2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1½ hours or until beans are tender.

3. Remove cover and cook for 15 minutes more or until excess liquid has reduced and beans are saucy but not watery. Remove bay leaves and herb sprigs and season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information
342 calories, 14 g protein, 9 g total fat (1 g sat., 0 g trans), 49 g carbohydrate, 13 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 547 mg sodium, 11 points

To Start Eating Better, Try Real Food






Emmie Satrazemis, Raley’s Dietitian
Learn more about what makes Emmie an expert.

One of the best things you can do to improve your health is to eat real food. But what does that mean? It’s food that comes from nature, spoils over a reasonable amount of time, is minimally processed and contains only food as ingredients.

At a time when nutrition recommendations seem to be everywhere and can often be contradicting, understanding what you’re supposed to eat can be confusing. In addition, nutrition needs can be very different from one person to the next, and there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet.

Choosing real food is key in making good nutrition choices. That can sound like a no-brainer, but most people tend to eat less of these foods than they think.

Here are some easy tips to follow:Apples2

Look at the food itself.
Most real foods can be identified just by looking at them, like an apple. Real food looks similar to how it did when it grew and is a color found in nature. If your great-grandparents were here today, they’d probably be able to identify it. Fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds are all great examples. Real foods don’t contain ingredients; they are the ingredients.

Eat foods that contain real food ingredients.
Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 2.19.49 PMIf you didn’t make it yourself or if it comes in a box, read the ingredients label before looking at the nutrition facts. That’s right! Stop counting all those grams and calories and focus more on quality food choices.

Looking at the nutrition facts can be deceiving. We’re meant to eat food as a whole, not as an individual nutrient. Focusing on individual nutrients like saturated fat, cholesterol, etc., not only makes things complicated, but allows food manufacturers to alter these nutrients and make any food appear healthier by adding ingredients.

The ingredients are listed in order of what the food contains most to least, telling you exactly what’s in your food and a lot about the quality of your choice. The fewer and simpler the ingredients, the closer it is to real food. Are you able to pronounce all the ingredients and better yet, do you know what they are?

When trying to improve your nutrition and food choices, learning what real food is and how to eat it is a great place to start. We’re all very different when it comes to our health needs. Eating real food allows you to eat what works best for you, increasing your intake of naturally occurring nutrients and possibly helping to reduce your risk of disease.

Try eating more real food and see what it can do for you!


How to Fill a Better-For-You Easter Basket



Most of us love Easter candy. From peanut butter-filled chocolate eggs to marshmallow chicks, there’s a sweet for everyone…but sometimes you want your family to enjoy healthier treats. (Cue the groaning kids.) Fortunately it’s easy to sneak some better-for-you goodies into Easter baskets without inciting riots among the under-12 crowd.

Try Other Treats
Fill plastic eggs with a small handful of healthier snacks:

  • Annie’s Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies and Chocolate Bunny Grahams
  • Raley’s Purely Made Freeze Dried Strawberries, Grapes, Blueberries, Apples and Bananas
  • YumEarth Organic Gummy Bears
  • Baby carrots and sugar peas
  • Visit our bulk bins for dried apricots, banana chips and granola
  • Raley’s Trail Mix

Better-For-You Packaged Delights

  • Find 2-cup packs of Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups near our checkstands – they’re made with organic ingredients and fair trade dark chocolate that’s full of antioxidants.
  • Alter Eco Organic Truffles are indulgent, individually wrapped fair trade treats in amazing flavors like Salted Caramel and Dark Milk Chocolate Velvet.
  • Yum Earth Organics Fruit Snacks come in individual packs the Easter Bunny can conveniently hide for the big Easter egg hunt.
  • All natural Raley’s Trail Mix with crunchy nuts and chewy dried fruit is now available in multi-packs that fit nicely in Easter baskets.

Skip the Sweets
Easter treats don’t have to be edible – try other items kids will love:

  • Colored chalk
  • Eos Lip Balm – it’s all natural and comes in a fun egg-shaped container
  • Coins – kids love to add to their piggy banks!
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Toy cars
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Stickers

Kids love to hunt for Easter goodies – here’s your chance to create new traditions with treats they might not expect. Do you have more ideas for Easter fun? Share them in the comments below. Happy hunting!

What’s A Registered Dietitian?

Emily Satrazemis

Dietitians are experts in the field of nutrition and diet. They work in just about every field of business you can imagine, including hospitals, sports and athletics, school cafeterias and grocery stores!

A registered dietitian must meet strict requirements, like receiving a specialized college degree, completing a supervised practice program and passing a rigorous registration exam. You can spot these nutrition experts by looking for the letters “RD” or “RDN” after their names.

EmilySatrazemisFor National Registered Dietitian Day, Raley’s dietitian and Wellness Evangelist, Emmie Satrazemis, RD, is sharing her own personal wellness story and how she developed a passion for helping others.

“I didn’t grow up as a nutritionist, nor did I eat like one. In fact, I had a pretty terrible diet as a kid. Fast food made up more than 50% of our family dinners. We even took our dogs to McDonald’s for their birthdays!

“I started watching Food Network cooking shows after school and as time passed, I became more and more passionate about food. Soon I started seeking out specialty and health food stores to hunt down exotic ingredients and new foods to taste and cook for my family. The fast food dinners slowly faded away and I could feel the benefits of my improved diet – inside and out.

“The most powerful thing I experienced during my personal food journey was the effect my cooking was having on my family’s nutrition habits. Through my love for food, I had transformed my family’s dinner habits into healthy, plant-based meals cooked with flavors from around the world. They too were beaming from the inside out!

“My understanding of the impact food could have on those around me lead me to study nutrition in the hopes that I could learn even more and help as many people as I could to live happier, healthier lives. There’s no greater feeling than inspiring someone else to take care of themselves with good food, and this is what drives me every day.”

The next time you need guidance on anything related to nutrition, turn to the experts. Call on a registered dietitian! To learn more about Emmie, visit her bio or listen to her recent appearance on IHeartRadio.

4 Baby Steps to Eating Healthier



Most of us have thought about making healthier changes to our diets, but it might feel overwhelming to add new habits to our busy lives. We have some suggestions for making it easier: Pick one new thing below and practice it once or twice during the week. After a few weeks it can become a healthy habit.

Eat more colorful foods. Plant-based foods with naturally bright colors are usually full of beneficial nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. They also look lovely on the plate!

Drink more water. It’s the best, and most economical, beverage for your body. If you miss flavor in your drink, add a squeeze of lemon or orange to your water, or fresh herbs like mint or basil.

Try whole grain choices. Switch up your traditional white rice dish with brown rice or another whole grain like farro, quinoa or barley. And if you’re reaching for a box of pasta, consider the whole wheat variety. Whole grains add fiber, protein and additional nutrients to your meal.

Eat with friends and family. Spend time sitting around the table with friends and family for meals. This gives you the opportunity to share stories and connect with those you care about. You’ll also eat more slowly and allow your body more time to feel full before overeating.

The Gender Gap in Heart Disease

Dave Fluitt

Dave Fluitt




Dave Fluitt, Supervisor, Raley’s Pharmacy
Learn more about what makes Dave an expert.

I was glad to see Dr. Tara Narula, spokesperson for the American Heart Association, speak on CBS This Morning last week to bring awareness to women’s unique risk for heart attack.

We often think of “heart attack” as a man’s disease, but this is simply not true. Heart disease is still the number one killer of women in the United States. It currently outpaces heart attacks in men and 80% of those deaths are preventable. And statistically, women do worse after their first heart attack. They can experience longer hospitalizations, more complications and have more re-admissions.

Women experience symptoms differently than men. For them a heart attack may present with sudden tiredness, dizziness or fatigue. Women are more likely to describe chest pain that is sharp, burning or more frequently have pain in the neck, jaw, throat, abdomen or back. The risk factors in women are differently weighted, too. For example, high blood pressure, depression and smoking are greater risk factors in women than men.

Women also react differently to these warning signs. They might be more prone to brush off the symptoms as anxiety because they don’t want to “panic.” They might be “too busy” and will deal with it later. Women want to be strong and don’t want to risk being embarrassed at the doctor’s office if nothing is “really wrong.”

Being a man, I often resist seeking medical attention. I don’t want to appear foolish if it’s a false alarm, and apparently this feeling isn’t gender-specific. But it’s important to note that when you’re dealing with heart attack, TIME IS CRITICAL. Minutes matter. The key is awareness.

The American Heart Association recommends a Well Woman Visit to evaluate your risks for heart disease, look at your family history, address any urgent needs and map out a plan for cardiac health.

Our Pharmacists recognize their role in helping women understand their unique risks for heart disease. We’re here to help you understand the importance of diet and exercise as well as the significance of taking medication as prescribed and managing its side effects.

If you’d like more information, talk with one of our Pharmacists or follow the links below.

Women’s heart disease symptoms often overlooked, study shows

Women and Heart Disease Fact Sheet

Raley’s is Helping You Love Your Heart

Dave Fluitt

Dave Fluitt




Dave Fluitt, Pharmacy Supervisor, Raley’s
Learn more about what makes Dave an expert.

The health of your heart is important all year round, and especially during Heart Health Month, Raley’s Pharmacists want to help you discover how beneficial and delicious healthy eating can be. While our Pharmacists are highly trained in the safe use of drug therapy, we’re also continually learning how important diet is in heart health.

Have questions about how nutrition can benefit your health? Ask a Raley’s Pharmacist!
Professional journals are full of studies that show the positive impact of diet on disease. These studies are motivating our Pharmacists to walk down the food aisles with our patients to show them the importance of real food, mindful eating and making the right choices. Helping our patients eat correctly meets 4 of the 7 criteria of the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple 7” and can reduce heart-related death by more than 50%. That’s real medicine.

Our Pharmacists can direct you to lower salt options to help reduce blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends staying under 2400 mg of sodium a day (equivalent to about 1 teaspoon of table salt), which can be achieved by eating as many fresh foods as possible and using “no salt added” items while avoiding processed foods.

We can help you find delicious sources of fiber. Our Pharmacists know that eating an orange with 100% of the daily requirements of vitamin C is also a great source of much needed fiber for reducing cholesterol. If you’re trying to control blood sugar and calories, nature has done a good job packaging a product that’s a much better choice than a glass of orange juice. The American Heart Association recognizes that delicious, pulpy orange juice is a treat, so it recommends making it the exception rather than the norm. Whenever possible, concentrate on whole, complete foods.

Let our Pharmacists help. Don’t be shy about making this part of your discussion at the Pharmacy counter. We’re in this together.

You Helped Us Spread The Love!


Earlier this month we launched a two-week campaign to gather donations of peanut butter and other spreadables for local food banks. Kid-friendly and a good way to nourish children, peanut butter can make a difference for a family facing hunger.

The campaign was a success! More than 7,000 jars of nut butter were donated by our customers to be distributed by food banks in your neighborhood. You truly helped us “Spread The Love” this February. Thank you!

Celebrate Your Heart This Month



February is Heart Health Month, so with the help of the American Heart Association we’re sharing some ways you can stay in love with your heart. For more ideas, check out the AHA’s article, Daily Tips to Help Your Family Eat Better.

  1. Set a goal of cooking meals at home 3 times a week. You’ll have more control over what goes into your food. To make cooking faster and easier, try using frozen veggies – they’re preserved at the peak of freshness, already chopped and ready to add to a skillet or casserole dish.
  2. Enjoy nuts and seeds as a snack. Go for lightly salted or unsalted varieties.
  3. Try steaming your veggies in the microwave. It’s convenient, fast and healthy!
  4. Go meatless once a week. Use beans and veggies in place of meat – there are some delicious and easy recipes in our Recipe Center.
  5. Eat more seafood. It’s a tasty, lean source of protein and cooks quickly!

Discover all the great ways you can save on delicious heart healthy foods and more with Hello Savings!