Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy


Eat this! Don’t eat that! Pregnancy is an exciting time but knowing what foods are safe to eat can cause confusion for a lot of women. There is an abundance of information being thrown around that can make it even more overwhelming. Knowing exactly what foods to avoid can take the burden away and help women prepare for their upcoming addition.

One of the most controversial foods for pregnant women is seafood.  There is some belief that pregnant women should not eat any but the USDA recommends that pregnant women eat at least 8 ounces of seafood a week and no more than 12 ounces. However, it is important to choose the right kinds of seafood. The environment where the fish come from has an affect on the amount of methyl mercury that may be found in fish. It is always beneficial to check with the DNR for a guide on healthy fish to eat in a specific area. Mercury found in fish can cause damage to the baby’s developing brain, which is why it is so important to avoid foods that are high in it. Always avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel or tilefish. Pregnant women should also avoid smoked seafood and raw fish, such as sushi due to food borne illnesses or food poisoning. “White” tuna or albacore is safe in small amounts but no more than 6 ounces a week should be consumed.

Other foods that pregnant women should be mindful of include any kind of raw meat. Undercooked beef or poultry should be avoided because of the risk of foodborne illnesses. Lunch meats and hot dogs are also foods that should be avoided. These may contain Listeria, which can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, or other serious health problems. It is advised that if pregnant women are going to consume lunch meats they should heat them until they are steaming. Soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk should also be avoided. Brie, feta, Roquefort, or queso blanco are all examples of these. Raw vegetable sprouts are another food item to stay away from. Bacteria can easily exist in raw sprouts such as alfalfa, clover radish, or mung bean sprouts.

Another food item to consider with caution when pregnant is raw eggs. Some foods such as Caesar dressing, mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, and homemade custards or ice cream may contain raw eggs without the consumer even knowing. Usually if these foods are commercially made they will be cooked at some point or made with pasteurized eggs but it is best to always double check.

What a person chooses to eat or drink will always directly affect their health. Pregnant women need to take the extra step or precaution to make sure that what they are eating is safe for not only themselves but for their baby too.

Article by Melanie Jaecks, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Should I Take a Supplement?


Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients, meaning that we must get them from our diets. They are important in many bodily functions such as growth, reproduction, and physiologic processes. Not consuming enough can result in deficiencies that can lead to permanent damage.

In general, the best sources for these nutrients are the foods that we eat. By eating a variety of foods from each main food group, you can ensure that you are getting a sufficient amount of these nutrients along with all the other benefits of eating a varied diet which include other important nutrients such as fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Getting vitamins and minerals from food can also improve the bioavailability (or degree to which they can be absorbed) of the nutrients.

While most populations can get a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals from food, there are some who may benefit from taking a supplement. These populations include those who are going through periods of growth or repair, such as pregnant or lactating women, those who have diets that restrict certain food groups such as meats, dairy, or grains, those of advanced age, or those who have certain medical conditions that may decrease the absorption or increase the need of certain vitamins and minerals. These should be treated on a specific nutrient basis and not by a multivitamin or mineral supplement. Taking a vitamin or mineral supplement of a specific nutrient missing from your diet will prevent deficiency of that nutrient. Those who restrict total calories for weight loss or other purposes or those who have low appetites may benefit from a multivitamin or mineral supplement to cover the range of nutrients missing from their diet.

The large amount of other vitamins and minerals in a multi-supplement can be detrimental to the absorption of other vitamins and minerals, or when taken incorrectly over a period of time could lead to toxicity. Another issue related to supplement use is the question of purity and dosage of the supplement. These products are not heavily regulated and may contain other contaminants or a different actual dosage than what is advertised on the bottle.

Consuming a variety of foods should ensure proper vitamin and mineral intake along with other important nutrients for most populations. If you are someone with a restricted diet, have increased needs or decreased absorption due to age, medical condition, or period of growth, you may benefit from taking either a specific nutrient supplement or a multivitamin from a reputable processor.

Article by Alyssa Blume, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Homemade Hummus



  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 drops sesame oil, or to taste (optional)


Blend garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and sesame oil in a food processor; stream reserved bean liquid into the mixture as it blends until desired consistency is achieved.

Recipe provided by Alyssa Blume, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Spinach Balls



  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 cups finely crushed herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl combine spinach, stuffing mix, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, black pepper, Italian seasoning, melted butter and eggs. Shape into walnut-sized balls and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through and browned.

Recipe provided by Alyssa Blume, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Quick Facts on the Nutritional Label


Find out more about the foods you eat and what to look for to make better decisions at the grocery store.

Start with Serving Size

Look at how much 1 serving is and how many servings the product actually contains. If the serving size is ½ cup and you eat 1 cup, you are getting double the amount of everything the nutrition label states.

Utilize the Percent Daily Values (DV)

Nutrition labels show average levels of nutrients based on a 2,000 calorie diet. The %DV shows the amount of that nutrient based on 100% of the requirement for that nutrient.  Remember, this value is for the entire day, not just for a meal or snack.

High and Low Daily Value

  • 5% DV or less is low – examples of foods you want less of are fat, cholesterol, sodium, etc.
  • 20% DV or more is high – examples of foods you want more of are vitamins, calcium, fiber, etc.

Look at the Ingredients

If a food contains more than one ingredient it must contain an ingredient list on the label. Ingredients are listed by abundance in weight.  The largest amounts are listed first and descend on.

For more information visit:

What Do Health Claims Actually Mean?

  • Low calorie – less than 40 calories per serving.
  • Low Cholesterol – less than 20mg of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving.
  • Reduced – 25% less of the specified nutrient or calories than the usual product.
  • Good Source of – provides at least 10% of the DV of a particular vitamin or nutrient per serving.
  • Calorie Free – less than 5 calories per serving.
  • Fat Free/Sugar Free – Less than ½ gram of fat or sugar per serving.
  • Low Sodium – Less than 140 mg of sodium per serving.
  • High in – Provides 20% or more of the DV of a specified nutrient per serving.
  • High Fiber – 5 or more grams of fiber per serving.


Article by Sam Ahrens, UWGB Dietetic Intern

The Importance of Sleep


Insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and management of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Here is how sleep can put you at an increased risk:


Research shows an increased risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes.  Specifically, sleep duration and quality have emerged as predictors of level of Hemoglobin A1c, an important marker of blood sugar control.

Cardiovascular Disease

Persons with sleep apnea have an increased risk of developing hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease and irregular heartbeats.


Research has found that short durations of sleep can result in metabolic changes that may be linked to obesity.  The association between lack of sleep and excess body weight has been reported in all age groups, especially children as sleep is critical for brain development and optimal functionality.


Although the relationship between sleep and depression is still under study, recent research has indicated that depressive symptoms may decrease once sleep apnea has been effectively treated and sufficient sleep has been restored.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Although individual sleep needs can vary, below are the recommended daily sleep guidelines from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Age & Recommended Amount of Sleep:

  • Newborns = 16-18 hours a day
  • Preschool-aged children = 11-12 hours a day
  • School-aged children = At least 10 hours a day
  • Teens = 9-10 hours a day
  • Adults (including the elderly) = 7-8 hours a day

Healthy Sleep Habit Tips

Here are a few healthy sleep habits from the National Sleep Foundation you should incorporate into your daily routine.

  1. Go to bed each night at the same time and rise at the same time each morning.
  2. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot nor too cold.
  3. Use your bedroom for sleeping only. Do not use electronic devices in the bedroom.
  4. Avoid large meals before bedtime.

For more information visit the CDC:

Article by Sam Ahrens, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry

Chicken Cashew with Rice and Veggies


  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted whole cashews


  1. Chop scallions, separating white and green parts.
  2. Pat chicken dry, then cut into 3/4-inch pieces and toss with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a wok or 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over moderately high heat until a drop of water evaporates immediately.
  4. Add oil, swirling to coat, then stir-fry chicken until golden in places and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  6. Add bell pepper, garlic, ginger, red-pepper flakes, and scallion whites to wok and stir-fry until peppers are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
  7. Stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar, then stir into vegetables in wok.
  8. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in cashews, scallion greens, and chicken along with any juices accumulated on plate.

Original recipe found on

Recipe provided by Sam Ahrens, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers



  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green chiles, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheeses, cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Spoon the filling into each bell pepper cavity. Place on prepared baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes. 
  4. Serve immediately.

Original recipe found on

Recipe provided by Sam Ahrens, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Winter Break Fitness Challenge – Week Two

During week two of the Winter Break Fitness Challenge (January 9th to January 15th), 50 entries were submitted at the Kress Events Center from 26 employees!  Julia Noordyk’s slip was picked for the week two drawing – Congratulations Julia!  One week to go – the Winter Break Fitness Challenge lasts through January 22nd.  Keep up the great work!

CSA Lunch ‘n Learn


Would you like to enjoy fresh-picked locally grown veggies and herbs delivered for you to UW-Green Bay each week? Please come to this Lunch ‘n Learn to find out more about CSAs!  Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between a farm and a local community of supporters that provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food. CSA members cover the farm’s operating cost by purchasing a share of the harvest. This provides members with a healthy supply of locally grown, seasonally fresh produce throughout the growing season.

Sleepy Hollow Farm & CSA is a small, farmer owned farm in Kewaunee County. They specialize in growing a variety of veggies using sustainable farming practices, and no chemicals, herbicides or pesticides touch your food. (For more information about Sleepy Hollow Farm & CSA, you can visit their website at:

Presenter Suzi Sevcik has a lifetime of farm experience. From growing up on her parent’s dairy farm to now working the fields with her own farm. Using techniques that are kind to the earth to grow veggies, she takes the approach of never ending improvement. Trialing different varieties to see what grows well in their micro-climate, to constantly find better ways to grow veggies and manage weeds and pests. The mission always remains the same – To produce nourishing food that respects that land, and feeds our community and to exemplify a sustainable model for small-farm viability.  Suzi brought the shares right here to UWGB last year, once per week during the harvest season, so that it was convenient for employees to pick up, and plans to do the same in 2017!

When: Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Time: 12:15 to 1:00 p.m.

Where: University Union, 1965 Room

Please RSVP at