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Monthly Health Observances: What's New this Month?

Members of our team share helpful tips and takeaways throughout the year.

November 2022

  • The fall brings us our beautiful hearty produce in WNY. "The colder weather can also be a great time to try a new food or way of preparing it, as we spend more time at home with friends and family. Make the most of our local produce with these storage and preparation tips from Registered Dietitian Bethany Moran.

  • Registered Dietitian April Ho was featured in the fall issue of URMC's URology newsletter. In the feature article "Taking a multi-specialty approach to men's health and wellness," read what April had to say about collaborating with the urology team to "reframe the all-or-nothing approach to healthy eating."

  • CCHP Registered Dietitian Jill Chodak shares an example of a balanced plate for the Thanksgiving holiday. "Building a Thanksgiving plate while trying to improve your health doesn’t have to be an all or nothing decision," shares Jill. "Balancing the plate helps to create sustainable healthy change that also feels good! Here is an example of a balanced plate for those who are being mindful of carbohydrates to control diabetes, while also creating space for dessert and fun at the dinner table.

  • Have you had a desire to quit smoking or vaping, but have been hesitant? Why is it important to you, personally, to quit? Any reduction in smoking or vaping is beneficial to your health and can be an important step in the quit journey. In this short video, Jennifer Lee, tobacco cessation specialist at CCHP, shares more about motivation and how it relates to quitting smoking/vaping.

  • In honor of National Diabetes Month, the November Got Health talk is all about diabetes prevention. Rochester Diabetes Prevention Program (RDPP) Justin Kelsey and Mali Rosado share the impact of diabetes on our nation, ways to lower your diabetes risk and improve your health, as well as how the RDPP can help you achieve these goals by making lasting lifestyle changes.

October 2022

  • Registered Dietitian April Ho shares a simple recipe featuring her favorite squash - delicata!

  • Physical activity not only helps us stay physically healthy, but it can also positively impact our mental health. Over time, regular activity builds self-esteem and confidence. A recent article in Today's Dietitian magazine shares how activity improves mental health, and how we can break through barriers that sometimes hold us back from getting moving.

  • October is Healthy Lung Month. As part of the Center's Got Health series, Jennifer Lee, CPT, TTS, lead lifestyle counselor and tobacco treatment specialist, presents "Tobacco Effects on Lung Health." Learn risk factors for smoking and vaping, how lung health can improve after quitting and where you can find support to quit.

  • Halloween can be fun for many who celebrate, but for those who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it can be a challenge to navigate how to fit candy into the day without causing issues. Here’s a helpful resource from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on the carb content of certain candies for those who may be managing carbs this holiday.

  • Fall is a time when candy, treats and other indulgent items are often enjoyed. Limiting these foods can sometimes negatively impact physical and mental health goals, so instead, Clinical Dietitian Jill Chodak suggests using the balanced plate method to get what you need AND what you want this season. It's a great example of a balanced plate that emphasizes fiber and enjoyment while balancing carbs.

September 2022

  • We know that eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins can help support our heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular-related diseases and events. Did you know that many of these foods can also help to protect our skin from environmental damage, dryness and signs of aging? Registered Dietitian Bethany Moran shares some of the benefits of antioxidants and fatty acids for our skin.

  • Can certain nutrient deficiencies impact our mental health? April Ho, registered dietitian and certified personal trainer at our Center, recently spoke with Evan Dawson on WXXI Connections about this complex question and the importance of the whole health care team’s role in communicating with one another to help connect the pieces for the individual patient.

  • Warm up with this slow-cooker corn chowder that’s perfect for a busy night. Registered Dietitian Jill Chodak takes us into her kitchen to demonstrate how to make the fiber-rich, comforting and tasty meal!

August 2022

  • Family meals provide time to connect and slow down. While it can't always happen, it's important to take advantage of the opportunity to gather around the table.

    April Ho, registered dietitian with our Center, encourages making meal preparation and consumption an activity, such as family pizza or pasta making. Read more about her thoughts on family meals in "Family Meals: Why They're So Important," featured in the August issue of In Good Health.

July 2022

  • Break out your air fryer and keep your kitchen cool with this portobello mushroom burger recipe. This simple meatless meal, prepared by Registered Dietitian Leah Webster, takes about 15 minutes and is under $15 -- with leftovers!

  • What's in a burger? Registered Dietitian Jill Chodak breaks down some popular veggie burgers to see how they stack up when compared to beef and turkey burgers. No matter your health journey or allergy list, this chart can hopefully make your next grill adventure a fun and healthy success!

June 2022

  • In honor of Men’s Health Month, we're firing up the grill to help bring balance to the plate with fiber-rich foods that can be added to any meal or plate with ease.

    Registered Dietitian Jill Chodak shares tasty options that offer alternatives, or additions, to the favorite grilling classics!

  • Join Justin Kelsey, MHA, CPT-CIFT, employee wellness coordinator and Rochester Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle coach at our Center, to find out how to use exercise motivation strategies to build movement into your daily routines and overcome exercise barriers so you “stick with it.”

  • Check out this culinary secret – any time you use ground meat, you can mix one can of drained, rinsed lentils with one pound meat and no one will ever know! This trick cuts saturated fat and calories and increases fiber, without sacrificing protein or iron.

    Try Dietitian Manager April Ho's recipe for cheeseburger stuffed peppers that uses this trick. 

May 2022

  • In recognition of Women's Health Month, Registered Dietitian Nina Rosien shares simple heart-healthy swaps for your meals.

  • A twist on BBQ: Try pulled jackfruit for a nutrient-packed spin on a pulled pork sandwich! In this video, Leah Webster, registered dietitian, shares how she makes the sandwich, as well as coleslaw for extra crunch.

  • Liven up your salads -- there are endless possibilities! Jill Chodak, RD, CDN, shares how to create a balanced plate in a pinch with this buffalo chicken salad recipe.

    Women's Health Month is a great occasion to bring awareness to the importance of women's heart health. This salad is an easy, and tasty, way to increase fiber for a heart-healthy meal!

April 2022

  • April is Stress Awareness Month. In this video, Lead Lifestyle Counselor Jennifer Lee, CPT, TTS, demonstrates a simple stress relief exercise known as box breathing.

    Take a break and practice the guided exercise with Jen.

  • Did you know: Fats often get a bad rap, but dietary fats give our bodies energy and serve many other important purposes.

    Registered Dietitian Jill Chodak shares a few functions of fats and debunks some common myths.

March 2022

  • Spices are an easy and fun way to add flavor, color and fragrance to food. In this Got Health talk "Add Spice to Your Life with Healthy and Flavorful Cooking.", Nina Rosien, RD, CDN, shares how spices can improve our nutrition, ways to use them creatively and how they can inspire us to savor a variety of flavors in our everyday cuisine.

  • Dark soy sauce and star anise are two of the most flavorful and unique ingredients in CCHP Registered Dietitian April Ho's favorite Cantonese recipe for soy sauce chicken wings. April highlights these ingredients and others in recognition of National Nutrition Month's "World of Flavors" theme.

  • March is National Nutrition Month and this year's theme is "Celebrate a World of Flavors!" The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics outlines goals and action items for each week of the month, starting with eating a variety of nutritious foods. Registered Dietitian Jill Chodak shares resources to help you be successful, including MyPlate and a how-to for reading Nutrition Facts Labels

February 2022

  • Check out this recipe for vegan black bean brownies, recommended by Registered Dietitian Leah Webster. Leah was looking to add more fiber to her diet, but also wanted chocolate. 1/2 cup of cooked black beans contain more than 7g of fiber! Leah made a few adjustments to the recipe, including using an oil lower in saturated fat and rinsing the canned black beans to reduce the amount of sodium.
  • Get to the heart of the matter with this Got Health? talk by URMC Preventive Medicine Resident Jeanne Lee, MD. In this video presentation, Jeanne talks about the different types of heart disease, risk factors and how to lower your risk of developing the condition.
  • Cooking for one and not sure what to do with leftovers? Jill Chodak, CCHP registered dietitian, shares suggestions for making the most out of a balanced meal:
    • An example of dinner for one: Sheet pan of baked chicken with a spice rub, olive oil, roasted yellow potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
    • Leftovers: Put shredded chicken on nachos OR potatoes and pulled chicken in a taco! Brussels sprouts can go on a salad!

January 2022

  • Have you tried composting? It's a great way to reduce your food waste and also provides enriched soil for any indoor plants! Leah Webster, RD, MPH, shares how to make an indoor vermicompost
  • Routines provide structure and can help reduce stress. Lifestyle Counselor Anne Sammler shares ways to help you ease into a new routine, as well as the importance of practice and not giving up!

More resources from years past.

Improve Nutrition


Today's Dietitian

Cooking Matters

Increase Exercise


Fitness Blender


Indoor Physical Activity Ideas for Families

Stop Smoking


People riding bikes

Reduce Stress



10% Happier

Prevent Heart Disease

American Heart Association

Heart Risk Calculator