Healthy Holidays Image


Thanksgiving is just two weeks away, and Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s celebrations are right around the corner.  The holidays are a time of year when you really want to feel your best, but this time of year can also challenge our physical and emotional health with everything from cold and flu viruses to party hangovers, and even depression.

In addition to getting your flu shot, there’s plenty you can do to help your system weather the season of joy. Here are 6 tips for staying happy and healthy as you shop, travel and celebrate.

1.Prevent Illnesses

Since colds and the flu are most prevalent in winter, use precaution both at home and while traveling. Prevent illnesses by washing your hands liberally and regularly. Before settling in on planes or trains, use disinfecting wipes on the armrest, tray table and seatbelt buckle, and let them air-dry. This way, you’ll avoid germs previous travelers might have left behind.

Diabetes Image


During National Diabetes Month, Southeastern Med in Cambridge, OH, urges you to think about the important role you play in diabetes prevention and control.

In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new and alarming statistics on diabetes that tie an increase in obesity rates to the increase in new cases of diabetes.

Approximately 29 million Americans, adults and children, have Type 2 Diabetes. Perhaps more alarmingly, 25% of people don’t even know they have the disease – a scary fact, since complications of chronically high blood sugar include stroke, heart attack and kidney failure. Worse yet, an additional 86 million adults have prediabetes, a condition characterized by elevated blood sugar just below the diabetic threshold.

The good news? Type 2 Diabetes is largely preventable, and studies demonstrate that complete lifestyle modifications reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58%.

frozen meal


Eating healthy on a hectic schedule can be tricky, especially during the busy holiday season. When your “to-do” list never seems like a “to-done” list, it might feel easier to skip the gym in favor of a night on the couch or head to the drive through instead of the grocery store.
Regularly giving into takeout convenience gets expensive and unhealthy quickly. As an alternative, stroll down your grocery store’s frozen foods aisle. Dinner options are different than you might remember, including many that are healthier than fast food. But, are frozen meals really satisfying, tasty alternatives to a home-cooked meal?

At Southeastern Med, we’ve done our homework, and want to ensure families in our community commit to a healthy holiday season. Consider these 3 frozen food meals you might want to give a try:


Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids and adults alike. But for parents, there’s often a fine line between trick-or-treating fun and safety concerns, especially when it comes to pedestrian safety.

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that more pedestrians are injured by cars on Halloween than any other time of year. Follow these dos and don’ts to ensure your children have a safe time on the trick-or-treating trail:

  • DO accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds.
  • DON’T get into a car or enter anyone’s home to get a treat.
  • DO plan and review an acceptable trick-or-treating route for older children to travel in groups.
  • DON’T run across the street or dart out from between parked cars.
  • DO put down the electronic devices and keep your head up.
  • DON’T let children eat any treats before coming home.
  • DO travel in familiar, well-lit areas.
  • DON’T let younger kids go trick-or-treating alone.


Between studying, attending classes and maintaining a social life, many college students struggle to maintain their health. But developing healthy habits now will make it easier for students to stay healthy throughout their adult lives.

Follow these 5 tips to stay healthy during college.

1. Eat right
A healthy diet can help students boost their immune systems and maintain an ideal weight. It might seem difficult to eat healthy in college with an abundance of cafeteria food and restaurants, but making simple and small adjustments to your diet goes a long way. Remember moderation, variety and balance when choosing foods.


Shorter days and cooler weather are here, a sure sign that flu season is right around the corner. The flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease that affects the throat, nose and lungs. Flu season typically runs from October to May, peaking between December and March.

Get your flu shot to reduce the odds that you’ll get the seasonal flu and spread it to others. Each person 6 months and older should get vaccinated this fall. Additionally, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people who have had cancer or who currently have a diagnosis of cancer – as well as their families and close contacts – get vaccinated before the end of October.

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Cambridge, Ohio is located between three major metropolitan areas and some of the most well-known healthcare systems in the country. But there are a lot of benefits to your local community hospital, too.

Community hospitals can develop more patient-centered care practices than larger medical institutions. Our leadership, doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers live right here in the Cambridge area. Because we’re all so closely aligned with our community, we can better consider your daily life and design treatment plans that will work not only for your condition, but also for how you live, work and play.

Community hospitals can standardize care practices more efficiently. Our medical staff can easily collaborate and coordinate your medical care, so there’s no waiting for your hospital physician to contact your primary care doctor with lab or imaging results. In fact, most of the physicians on staff at the hospital also maintain private practices in Cambridge and surrounding communities, so you may see your physician here at the hospital and again at his or her office for follow-up care.

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Can you feel the chill in the air? Fall is almost here! Think of the new season as a fresh start to healthier habits. Enjoy the seasonal produce that makes autumn so tasty, and celebrate the holidays like a pro without overindulging.

Read on and consider these three tips to staying healthy and fit throughout the fall.

1. Pick the right foods.
It’s true – we often gain weight this time of year. Avoid putting on extra pounds by eating plenty of apples, pumpkin seeds and hearty greens, like Brussels sprouts, all of which are in-season during the fall. Other go-to foods include fruits and veggies with rich, dark colors, like pomegranate and kale. They’re packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, and they’ll give you plenty of energy, too.

Staying Active2You’ve probably heard the phrase, “you’re only as young as you feel (or act).”

While perhaps not always taken seriously, it’s actually in your best interest to put this adage to practice. Staying as active as you’re able, both mentally and physically, has been shown to help prolong and improve your life.

September is Healthy Aging Month, and Southeastern Med encourages you to take an active role in maintaining your health. Regardless of your current health status, there are still things you can do every day to age healthily.

Healthy Aging magazine offers the following tips:

  1. Don't act your age. What was your best year so far? 28? 40? Picture yourself at that age and live your life as if you were your favorite age. Some may call this denial, but we say it’s positive thinking and goes a long way toward feeling better about yourself. (Tip: Don’t keep looking in the mirror, just FEEL IT!)

  2. Be positive in your conversations and your actions every day. When you catch yourself complaining, change the conversation to something positive. (Tip: Stop watching the police reports on the local news.)

  3. Cut negativity out. If you have negative-nancy friends who complain all the time and constantly talk about how awful everything is, spend less time with them. Keeping your distance from their negativity will help lift your mood and propel you forward in life. Surround yourself with energetic, happy, positive people of all ages, and you will be happier too. (Tip: Smile often. It’s contagious and wards off naysayers.)

  4. Walk like a vibrant, healthy person. Analyze your gait. Do you walk slowly because you have just become lazy or, perhaps, have a fear of falling? Walking with a purpose, keeping your head up and shoulders back, will boost your confidence.  (Tip: Take longer strides, walk with your heel first, and wear comfortable shoes.)

  5. Stand up straight! Your mother probably harped on you about this for years, but an erect posture can take years off of your appearance (and make you look slimmer). Look at yourself in the mirror. See how much better your neck looks! Proper posture can also boost your confidence and ward off back pain. (Tip: Practice it every day, all day until it is natural.)

  6. How’s your smile? Research shows people who smile more often are happier. Your teeth are just as important to your good health as the rest of your body. Not only is it the first thing people notice, but good oral health is a gateway to your overall well-being. (Tip: Visit the dentist regularly, and look into teeth whitening. Nothing says old more than yellowing teeth!)

  7. Lonely? Do something about it. Right now. Pick up the phone and make a call to volunteer your time, take a class, or invite someone to meet for a meal or a coffee. (Tip: Volunteer at the local public school to stay in touch with younger people and to keep current on trends, take a computer class or a tutorial session at your cell phone store to keep up with technology, and choose a new person every week to join you for social outings.)

  8. Start walking. This is great for your health and an easy way to meet your neighbors. Have a dog? You’ll be amazed how the dog can be a conversation starter. Southeastern Med regularly offers Walk with A Doc at the Cambridge City Park Armory. (Tip: If you don’t have time for a dog, go to your local animal shelter and volunteer. You will be thrilled by the puppy love!)

  9. Take care of yourself. Make this month the time to set up your annual physical and other health screenings. Keeping up with your regular appointments will help alleviate any worries about your health.

  10. Find your inner artist. Have you always wanted to play the piano, violin, or tuba? Have you ever wondered if you could paint a portrait or scenic in oil? What about working with wood? (Tip: Find an adult education class in your area of interest at a local college or museum.)

At Southeastern Med, we’re in this together! The medical center regularly offers free and reduced-cost health related screenings to help you stay active and well.

Join us for Southeastern Med’s Annual Older Adult Health Fair on Friday, October 7th from 9:00am to 11:30am at the Guernsey County Senior Citizen’s Center. This event is geared toward those ages 55 and older and provides area residents the opportunity to access low-cost health screenings, enjoy a variety of exhibits, win door prizes and enjoy themselves with their peers.

Since 1952, Southeastern Med, an independent community hospital, has offered high-quality health care services to our community. We're continually reinvesting to improve our facilities and technology, and we are more than just a community hospital. Southeastern Med is a place you can trust to be your destination for care. 


healthy lunchYoung minds need healthy food to learn and grow. According to Fuel Up to Play 60, a school-based health and wellness program for kids, children who eat a healthy lunch have a higher nutrient intake throughout the day.

One study showed that a healthy school lunch will give your child the energy they need to focus and learn throughout the afternoon. Children who ate more fruits, vegetables, and protein and fewer calories from fat performed better on literacy tests compared to children with a high-fat, high-salt diet, too.

Providing children with healthy foods at school is also a key step in decreasing childhood obesity rates. Healthy options, such as high-fiber foods, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, and low-fat dairy products, will help fill your child up and keep them going. This can prevent unwanted weight gain and chronic health conditions later in life.

Most families have the choice of packing lunch or getting one at school. However, a packed lunch is not necessarily healthier than one you buy at school. But, if you do it right, a packed lunch can be delicious and nutritious, and tailored to your child’s personal likes and dislikes.

So, what is the right kind of fuel to feed your children? What does a healthy lunch look like?

Make sure to include all the food groups when packing your child’s lunch: milk and milk products, vegetables, fruits, grains, and meat and beans.

Main Course
Sandwich on a whole-wheat bread, bagel, or English muffin:

  • turkey, ham, or chicken breast with mustard and low-fat cheese
  • almond butter and strawberry preserves
  • tuna or egg salad made with low-fat mayo
  • Whole-wheat pasta salad with vegetables
  • Vegetable bean chili or soup in a thermos
  • Cheese quesadilla with fresh salsa for dipping

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Orange wedges
  • Applesauce
  • Banana
  • Kiwis
  • Dried craisins or raisins
  • Baby carrots or celery sticks with low-fat ranch dressing
  • Bell pepper or cucumber slices with hummus


  • String cheese
  • Baked chips
  • Cottage cheese
  • Whole-grain cereal
  • Graham crackers
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Yogurt
  • Whole-wheat crackers with cheese


  • Water
  • Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
  • 100% fruit juice

ellen ratliff

About Ellen Ratliff, RD
Ellen Ratliff, MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with Southeastern Med. As part of her role as a community dietitian, she provides nutrition education and medical nutrition therapy to patients and the general population. She is registered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and licensed by the Ohio Board of Dietetics. Ellen completed her Master’s degree at Northern Illinois University in Nutrition & Dietetics and her Bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University in Dietetics with a specialization in Health Promotion. Ellen’s professional interests include employee wellness and adult weight management. Ellen’s personal interests include reading, bodybuilding, baking gluten-free desserts, and spending time with her family and friends in Michigan.