Peruvian-Style Roasted Chicken


Peruvian-Style Roasted Chicken

This wonderfully aromatic chicken dish is short on prep and big on flavor. It’s also a great dish to make ahead the day before and reheat—it’s even tastier when the flavors meld. Service with rice and green salad. Serves 6.



Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil a large roasting pan and set aside. In a small bowl, combine paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, vinegar and oil to make a paste. Place onions in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the paste. Rub chicken pieces with remaining paste and place in prepared pan, then cover with onions, peppers and lemon. Roast, basting occasionally with pan juices, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

*Note: If the chicken has been precut into eight pieces, simply cut each breast in half through the rib cage to ensure even cooking. Or, you can ask your butcher to cut a whole chicken into 10 pieces with breasts deboned.



1 1/2 tsp expeller-pressed canola oil, plus more for
oiling the pan
1 1/2 TBS sweet paprika
1 TBS ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 TBS white wine vinegar
2 large sweet onions, thickly sliced
1 chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces*
2 red or yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks

Provided by Rebecca McGonigle of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the November 2014 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.


3D-printed hearts help surgeons save babies’ lives


A close-up of the 3D printed heart (James Carlson/ OSF St. Francis Medical Center)

Replicas of the human heart that are made on 3D printers could help save babies’ lives, new research suggests.

The heart replicas are designed to match every tiny detail of a baby’s heart, so they can help surgeons plan where to cut tissue, reroute piping and patch holes in children with congenital heart defects, researchers said. The new findings were presented Nov. 19 at the American Heart Association meeting in Chicago.

Though just a handful of such hearts have been used so far, the replicas have already revealed hidden Swiss cheese-like holes in one child’s heart, and in another case, inspired a repair strategy that dramatically extended the baby’s projected life span.

“From the first two cases straight out of the gate, we’ve had this dramatic impact,” said study co-author Dr. Matthew Bramlet, a pediatric cardiologist at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, both in Peoria.

The early results suggest 3D printing hearts could dramatically improve surgeons’ understanding of defects before they go into the operating room, the researchers said. [See Images of the 3D Printed Hearts]

Tiny hearts

Children who have certain congenital heart defects such as holes in one of the four chambers of the heart or misrouted arteries and vessels often face years of complex, risky surgeries. When these fragile babies are born, doctors typically do a very quick surgery that improves blood flow just enough for them to grow. Once the little ones have doubled in size (usually when they are 6 to 9 months old), surgeons often perform more complicated repair surgery, Bramlet said.

But even the hearts of bigger babies are tiny, and the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans that are currently done to guide surgical decisions are difficult to interpret. Although researchers have 3D-printed an artificial heart sleeve, an artificial wind pipe and replicas of kidneys and livers to guide surgeries, 3D replicas of the heart were slower to come along, Bramlet said.

Holding the heart

So Bramlet and his colleagues began using detailed MRIs to design anatomically accurate replicas of the heart that were then printed at the Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center, also in Peoria.

Almost immediately, the printed hearts helped guide surgical decisions. In the very first case, doctors believed that a baby had a single hole in the wall of one of the heart’s ventricles, based on the MRI images. This kind of defect, called a ventricular septal defect, is usually patched up with a fairly straightforward technique. But the 3D-printed heart clearly revealed several Swiss-cheese-like holes in the heart that also had to be closed.

The realization helped the surgeon rethink his strategy, which reduced how long the heart had to be stopped during the surgery, Bramlet said.

In the second case, a baby had problems with the major arteries emerging from the heart’s right ventricle, as well as several holes in the heart. Normally, with the procedure used to fix these defects, doctors destroy so much heart tissue and reroute blood flow so dramatically that they essentially reduce the heart to two functional chambers. But in this case, by looking at the anatomy in 3D, the team was able to find a better work-around and spare all four of the heart’s chambers, which increased the baby’s life expectancy from 20 to 30 years to near-normal, Bramlet said.

“Holding [the heart] in her hand, the surgeon could much, much more easily determine how to appropriately perform that surgery,” Bramlet told Live Science.

Since the first repair, the team has gone on to create eight or nine heart replicas, and all of them have improved the surgeon’s understanding of the heart anatomy prior to the surgery, he said.

But the total number of hearts they’ve studied so far is small, so it’s too soon to know whether the heart replicas improve surgical outcomes, Bramlet said. Because these complicated heart defects are rare, researchers would need to set up a clinical trial at multiple sites to get enough cases, Bramlet said.

Improved Mental Health Linked to Nature Group Walks

Improved Mental Health Linked to Nature Group Walks140923121413-large

Walking through nature in a group sounds like a lovely way to spend an afternoon, but can it lower depression? According to a new study from the University of Michigan, the answer is yes, suggesting potential health benefits of national outdoor group walk programs. Although it is well known that outdoor walking groups encourage interaction with nature, social engagement and physical activity, until now, little has been known about how effective they are at promoting mental, emotional and social well-being.

A recent study published in April suggested that walking boosts creative thinking, while another from July suggested brisk walking is  therapeutic for people with Parkinson’s disease. Though the health benefits of going for a good walk are wide ranging, researchers
from this latest study focused on the mental benefits of the activity. Their results are published in the journal Ecopsychology.


To conduct their study, the team, led by Dr. Sara Warber, associated professor of family medicine, evaluated nearly 2,000 participants
from the Walking for Health Program in the UK, which organizes almost 3,000 weekly walks each year. “We hear people say they feel better
after a walk or going outside, but there haven’t been many studies of this large size to support the conclusion that these behaviors actually improve your mental health and well-being,” says Dr. Warber.

Results from their study show that group nature walks are linked with “significantly” lower depression, less stress and better mental health and well-being, both before and after controlling for covariates.  Additionally, people from the study who had recently encountered
stressful life events—such as a serious illness, death of a loved one, marital separation or unemployment—experienced a mood boost
after outdoor group walks.


Commenting on their findings, Dr. Warber says, “Walking is an inexpensive, low risk and accessible form of exercise, and it turns out that combined with nature and group settings, it may be a very powerful, under-utilized stress buster. Our findings suggest that something as simple as joining an outdoor walking group may not only improve someone’s daily positive emotions but may also contribute a non-pharmacological approach to serious conditions like depression.”


The team cites an increase in mental health issues and physical inactivity in the developed world for why they seek to explore new ways
to help improve quality of life and well-being. “The present study identifies the mental and emotional well-being benefits from participation
in group walks in nature and offers useful information about the potential health contribution of national outdoor group walk programs,” the researchers conclude.

Source: WebMD, Inc.


Provided by Rebecca McGonigle of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the November 2014 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.


Disfigured man is growing his new face on his chest

A Chinese man, who was severely disfigured when he was electrocuted, hopes the growing “head” bulging from his chest will eventually become his new face.

Yan Jianbin sustained serious facial burns and lost an eye and his nose after he opened the door of a high-voltage transformer, according to the Daily Mail.

Doctors at Shenyang Army General Hospital, in Liaoning Province, began a procedure six months ago to stretch the skin on his chest by injecting saline water to create a head-shaped mound.

Plastic surgeons plan to create new facial features and then attach the stretched skin to his face in a five stage procedure that will take two years to complete.

The first two stages of the groundbreaking procedure involves creating a new nose using part of his rib cartilage.

In the third phase, they will create new blood vessels and arteries.

The fourth phase will be the face transplant. The final phase will consist of fine-tuning the new face.

Avoiding Irritants and Allergens

COPD Avoid Irritants

Many people with chronic lung disease need to avoid irritants (substances containing particles that irritate the airways). Some people are also sensitive to certain allergens (substances that cause inflammation in the lungs). You probably can’t avoid all of these things, all the time. But you’ll most likely breathe better if you stay away from the substances that bother you.

You Should Try to Avoid…

Smoke: This includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and fireplaces.

  • Don’t smoke. And don’t allow anyone else to smoke near you or in your home.
  • Always sit in the no-smoking section at restaurants.
  • Ask for smoke-free hotel rooms and rental cars.
  • Make sure fireplaces and wood stoves are well ventilated, and sit well away from them.

Smog: This is made up of car exhaust and other air pollutants.

  • Read or listen to local air quality reports. These let you know when air quality is poor.
  • Stay indoors as much as you can on smoggy days.

Strong odors: These include scented room fresheners, mothballs, and insect sprays. Perfume and cooking can be other causes of strong odors.

  • Avoid using bleach and ammonia for cleaning.
  • Use scent-free deodorant, lotion, and other products.

Other irritants: These include dust, aerosol sprays, and fine powders.

  • Wear a mask while doing tasks like dusting, sweeping, and yardwork.

Cold weather: This can make breathing more difficult.

  • Protect your lungs by wearing a scarf over your nose and mouth.

You May Also Need to Avoid…

If you have allergies, you should try to avoid the allergens that cause them. Ask your healthcare provider if you need to avoid any of these:

Pollen: This is a fine powder made by trees, grasses, and weeds.

  • Try to learn what types of pollen affect you the most. Pollen levels vary during the year.
  • Avoid outdoor activities when pollen levels are high. Use air conditioning instead of opening the windows in your home and car.

Animal dander: This is shed by animals with fur or feathers. The particles can float through the air and stick to carpet, clothing, and furniture.

  • Wash your hands and clothes after handling pets.

Dust mites: These are tiny bugs too small to see. They live in mattresses, bedding, carpets, curtains, and indoor dust.

  • Wash bedding in hot water (130°F) each week.
  • Cover mattresses and pillows with special mite-proof cases.

Mold: This grows in damp places, such as bathrooms, basements, and closets.

  • Run an exhaust fan while bathing. Or, leave a window open in the bathroom.
  • Use a dehumidifier in damp areas.
Medical Reviewers: Foster, Sarah, RN, MPHLast Review Date: Mar 13, 2013