What You Need to Know about COVID-19 (aka coronavirus)

February 28th, 2020 by Laura

There is a ton of information out there, some reliable, some not so much. Here are the highlights of what we know as of now about COVID-19.

– The most common symptoms include fever, cough, and fatigue.

– Symptoms typically occur 5 days after exposure (though can take as long as 2 weeks), with a wide range in severity from fairly benign to full blown pneumonia.

– What makes this virus scary is that in the second week of illness, severe shortness of breath (acute respiratory distress) may occur, requiring hospitalization for supportive care (i.e. supplemental oxygen and breathing support).

– There is currently no effective treatment to eradicate the virus; most often the body is able to clear the virus with appropriate supportive care as needed (rest, fluids, breathing support as needed).

– Folks who are most at risk are the elderly and those with chronic diseases (think asthma, diabetes, immunocompromise, etc).

What You Can Do:

If you think you may be sick, stay home to minimize potential spread.

As you’re out and about, be sure to WASH YOU HANDS for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. IF you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) on every part of your hands and allow to dry fully.

Want more info? Check out the CDC guide at the link below:

We’re here to help!

If you are dealing with anxiety and fear around the spread of COVID-19 and/or want to put some systems in place to stay healthy, give us a call at 503-222-1315 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Torgerson!

In Health!

~Dr. Torgerson

Update on Food Poisoning (S. aureus)

June 29th, 2012 by Dr Lisa Shaver

It’s summertime and that means picnics, barbeques and food potentially left out to spoil. Know how to protect yourself and your loved ones, so you can have a carefree and healthy fun summer.

Staphylococcus aureus is one of the oldest recognized sources of foodborne illness, and is the cause of what was once called “ptomaine poisoning.”

Foods that are frequently incriminated in staphylococcal food poisoning include meat and meat products; poultry and egg products; salads such as egg, tuna, chicken, potato, and macaroni; bakery products such as cream-filled pastries, cream pies, and chocolate eclairs; sandwich fillings; and milk and dairy products. Foods that require considerable handling during preparation and that are kept at slightly elevated temperatures after preparation are frequently involved in staphylococcal food poisoning.

Staphylococci exist in air, dust, sewage, water, milk, and food or on food equipment, environmental surfaces, humans, and animals. Humans and animals are the primary reservoirs. Staphylococci are present in the nasal passages and throats and on the hair and skin of 50 percent or more of healthy individuals. This incidence is even higher for those who associate with or who come in contact with sick individuals and hospital environments.

Although food handlers are usually the main source of food contamination in food poisoning outbreaks, equipment and environmental surfaces can also be sources of contamination with S. aureus. Human intoxication is caused by ingesting enterotoxins produced in food by some strains of S. aureus, usually because the food has not been kept hot enough (60°C, 140°F, or above) or cold enough (7.2°C, 45°F, or below).

Some history

Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning has been studied since 1894. In 1914, an investigator deliberately drank milk that had been contaminated with a culture of the microbe in order to confirm its effect. Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin first was detected in food in 1930.

What is Staphylococcus aureus, and where is its natural habitat?

Staphylococcus aureus is a gram-positive spherical bacterium (coccus) that grows in grape-like clusters. It is a common inhabitant of the skin, the nostrils, and around the perineal area of humans and many domesticated animals.

How is Staphylococcus aureus transmitted? What is the incubation period of the illness?

Staphylococcus aureus produces a heat-stable toxin (enterotoxin) when given the opportunity to grow under certain conditions of moisture, temperature, pH, and oxygen levels. When a person eats food containing enterotoxin, he or she will develop symptoms within 1-6 hours, depending on the amount of toxin present and the susceptibility of the victim.

What are the symptoms of Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning?

Food poisoning symptoms caused by staphylococcal enterotoxin develop suddenly and typically consist of nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. Diarrhea and fever can also occur, but are less common.

What is the prognosis of Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning?

Symptoms of staphylococcal food poisoning typically are self-limiting and last 24-48 hours.

What foods carry Staphylococcus aureus?

Many foods of animal origin, including dairy products, may contain low numbers of Staphylococcus aureus; however, this microbe is more often introduced into food by human carriers through lapses in hygiene. If a contaminated food is held at improper temperature, Staphylococcus aureus will multiply and may produce sufficient enterotoxin to cause symptoms.

How can people protect themselves from Staphylococcus aureus?

First, by paying attention to food recall announcements and immediately discarding any recalled food or returning it to the store. Secondly, by not allowing any food to stand for extended periods of time at room temperature. Food that is not to be eaten immediately should be refrigerated or frozen promptly. A frozen, cooked food should be thawed in the refrigerator, and not at room temperature.

For more information on Staphylococcus aureus and other food-borne pathogens, visit the CDC website or read Food Safety: Old Habits, New Perspectives.



Nutrition in canned beans?

April 2nd, 2012 by Dr Lisa Shaver

Q: Sometimes I used canned beans, since I can’t always cook dried ones. I always drain the liquid from canned beans and rinse them under cold water in the hopes that I am lowering the sodium content. Am I also rinsing away some other nutrients?

A: Packed with protein, fiber, iron, potassium, and many other nutrients, beans are an essential ingredient in a plant-based diet. Studies have shown that people who eat beans four or more times per week have a 22% lower risk of coronary heart disease. Nearly half of all beans consumed in the Unites States are pinto beans.

Canned beans can be a great time saver. When you drain and rinse canned beans, you reduce the sodium content by about 40%. All of the other beneficial nutrients remain within the bean. Beans are relatively inexpensive and come in many different colors and sizes, so be sure to include all varieties in your diet.

by Alison Ozgur, Registered Dietitian specializing in health and fitness nutrition. – from NW Veg e-Thymes April 2012 vol 68

Pasta with Sautéed Kale, White Beans & Almonds

February 24th, 2009 by Administrator

Pasta with Sautéed Kale, White Beans & Almonds
This warming wholesome dish can be a whole meal. It is easily made dairy and gluten free.

8 ounces whole wheat or rice pasta
1 bunch kale
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon anchovy paste or chopped anchovies
15 oz. white beans fresh, canned, or jarred—rinsed and drained
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Fresh grated parmesan cheese

In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta. Reserve one-half cup pasta-cooking water.

Separate kale leaves and stems. Shred leaves and thinly slice the tender part of the stems.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, onion, and kale stems. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne, and cook for two to three minutes until the onion is tender. Lower the heat and add anchovy paste and garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add kale leaves, cook, stirring occasionally for five minutes or until tender.

Add beans, almonds, and reserved pasta-cooking water and bring to a boil. Add pasta, toss until heated through, and serve topped with fresh parmesan.

Fresh Berry Smoothie

January 10th, 2009 by Administrator

Fresh Berry Smoothie. By Reba Akin, ND
Smoothies are one of my breakfast favorites. Smoothies are fast and easy to make as well as a nutritious way to start the day. Maybe you have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is breaking a fast. Your body has just fasted anywhere from 8-12 hours and to really be effective it needs quality protein, fat, and fiber. Below is a basic smoothie recipe. Smoothies allow you to be creative. Mix up the fruits, use vegetables, or add a liquid multi vitamin.

½ cup fresh seasonal berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries)
1 cup milk (cows, rice, soy, almond, coconut)
1 tablespoon (or scoop) whey, rice, or hemp protein powder
½ cup organic yogurt (optional)
½ banana (optional)
1 teaspoon soy lecithin (optional—best when used with rice or hemp protein powder)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (optional—adds fiber)

Blend it all together and enjoy.
Be creative by adding different berries and fruits.

Avocado Salsa

January 10th, 2009 by Administrator

A great salsa to serve with tortilla chips or mix it up and serve it with salmon. by Reba Akin, ND

1 pound grape tomatoes, quartered,
2 avocados cut in chunks
1 cup of fresh or frozen cooked corn (thawed)
2 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped cilantro
Juice of one lime
Salt to taste

Toss ingredients together in a bowl and serve with tortilla chips. This salsa is rich in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Left over salsa is a great addition to your morning eggs.

Easy Sunday Morning Gluten-Free Pancakes

October 24th, 2007 by Administrator

Dairy-free, sugar-free, egg-free
Yummy for the whole family! These are quick to make, light and fluffy, and a crowd pleaser.


1-1/3 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (Bob’s Red Mill – avail at health food stores)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 to 2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup (to desired sweetness)
1/2 tsp vanilla
¼ to 1/3 cup organic applesauce

In a bowl combine the flour, powder, salt and soda. Sifting the dry ingredients yields a lighter pancake, but is not necessary.
In another bowl combine oil, sweetener, and vanilla. 
Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients – mix only until blended. Then gently fold in the applesauce. Do not over-mix, as this makes pancakes tough and chewy.
Ladle pancake batter onto a preheated and oiled pan, flip pancakes over when they begin to puff and become lightly browned on the edges.
Serve with maple syrup or your favorite fruit, and turkey breakfast sausage for a wholesome, balanced breakfast.

Note: these pancakes must be eaten warm; they do not reheat well.

Kale Chips

October 24th, 2007 by Administrator

Reba Akin, ND

1 bunch curly kale

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash the kale, tear off of the stem into large chunks. Place on a baking sheet and dizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Spread the kale out on the baking sheet and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Kale will dry and crispy but not burned.

Carrot Cake

October 24th, 2007 by Administrator

Reba Akin, ND
This cake is dairy free and without the frosting it is made without refined sugar. The cake can also be made gluten free.

2 cups whole wheat flour
gluten free option: 2 cups Bobs Red Mills Gluten Free flour blend + 1tsp xanthum gum
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup canola oil
¼ cup molasses
¾ cup maple syrup
4 eggs
1 Tbl. vanilla
3 cups grated carrots

1 pound confectioner sugar
½ cup coconut butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
8 ounces tofutti cream cheese
½ tsp. lemon juice

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 13×9 inch baking pan or 2 9-inch cake pans.
Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs then add molasses, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla and mix till well blended. Add dry ingredients mix till just blended. Fold in carrots.
Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25-40 minutes.

Mix all ingredients together and spread on cooled cake.

Sautéed Greens

October 24th, 2007 by Administrator

Reba Akin, ND

1 pound dark leafy greens (Chard, Kale, Bok Choy)
2-4 garlic cloves crushed
1 small onion diced
2 Tbl olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar

Wash greens well.
Remove stems and cut greens into bite-size pieces.
Heat a large frying pan over med-high heat; add olive oil once pan is hot.
Add onion and sprinkle with sea salt sauté onion in olive oil for 3 minutes.
Add greens, stir to mix, cover and let cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add garlic sauté for an additional minute.
Remove from heat. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and balsamic vinegar.

This green colorful dish is a nutritious delight. Dark leafy green vegetables like chard, kale, collards, and bok choy are rich in fiber, calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc and vitamins A, C, and E. Additionally onions and garlic are known to be antimicrobial and supportive of the immune system.

The doctor who tells you what's up.