January Harvest of the Month Features Dried Beans at BRMH and on WEAU-TV, Eau Claire

Media Release

Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RDN, CD 711 West Adams St. Black River Falls, WI 54615 Phone: (715)284-1348 Email: chippsr@brmh.net

Jan. 2, 2019, Black River Falls, Wis. For immediate release

Dried beans are the feature in January for Jackson In Action’s Harvest of the Month. They are a whole food with many varieties from pinto to navy, lima, black, garbanzo, kidney and great northern.

Beans can be made into a tasty dip: Puree cooked (or canned) beans with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings of your choosing. Serve with pita chips or sliced veggies.

Beans can be added to salads, omelets, burritos, tacos, chili, & soups. Substitute beans for meat in recipes.

Feature beans in a breakfast burrito:  Scramble eggs with chopped veggies of your choice. Add beans, sprinkle with cheese. Serve in tortillas with salsa and sliced avocado.

January brings cooking demos with beans on WEAU-TV 13, Eau Claire, Wisconsin and a taste-testing event at Black River Memorial Hospital. A video of each Harvest of the Month recipes is also available at www.brmh.net/recipes. Following are the event details:  ·        

  • WEAU-TV-13 (NBC), Thurs. Jan. 17th - 4p.m. Live Newscast - Harvest of the Month with BRMH Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Ruth Chipps cooking White Bean & Spinach Jumble.

  • BRMH Hospital - Harvest of the Month Dried Beans–Wed. Jan. 23, 11:30am – 12:30 pm. Black River Memorial Hospital Café, Black River Falls, Wisconsin.

 “Dried beans are the cornerstone of the Mediterranean style of eating - considered to be the most healthful way for people to eat,” explained Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RDN, CD, Black River Memorial Hospital Nutritionist.  “This month, we are preparing a simple recipe that is packed with flavor, color and good nutrition. White Bean, Spinach and Tomato Jumble is a crowd pleaser and can be a vegetarian entrée or a side dish.”

A video of the recipe is posted at www.BRMH.net/recipes. More videos and recipes are available at www.JacksonInAction.org/recipes.   photo: Katie Schmidt

Harvest of the Month is a partnership between Jackson County Department of Health and Human Services, Black River Memorial Hospital, Together for Jackson County Kids, Ho-Chunk Nation, UW Extension-Jackson County, Lunda Community Center, Boys and Girls Club, Hansen’s IGA, local school districts, The Library and the community.  www.JacksonInAction.org

See the Recipe and Print it HERE




Beans and Legumes: What’s the Difference?

 By Kendal Schmitz, Viterbo University Senior Nutrition & Dietetics Student

Legumes are a broad category of seeds that grow in pods, while beans are the seed from different variety of plants. Beans are always legumes, but legumes aren’t always beans. For example, legumes can be broken into different subcategories including: Beans, lentils, peas and peanuts. Some examples of beans include chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans and navy beans. There are over 20 different species of legumes varying in shape, texture, color, and taste. A great benefit to beans and legumes are that they are nutritious, inexpensive, and versatile.

Harvest of the Month for Jackson County, Wis. is DRIED BEANS

Harvest of the Month for Jackson County, Wis. is DRIED BEANS

 Nutrition Facts:

·         Low in fat

·         High in protein containing 15-20 g per cup

·         Rich in magnesium, folate, zinc, copper, iron and phosphorus

·         Great source of dietary fiber

How to incorporate legumes and beans into your regular diet:

·         Add beans or legumes to a homemade soup or stew

·         Make a lentil curry with your favorite spices and herbs.

·         Blend beans, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil into a spread. Serve with veggies/add to a veggie wrap.

·         Substitute hamburgers for lentil or black bean patties.

·          Prepare vegetarian tacos with beans, lettuce, onion, tomato and avocado.



Kendal Schmitz is a Senior Nutrition & Dietetics Student at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She is from Minnesota and is studying the connection between diet and cancer.

Watch the Harvest of the Month Recipe Video - “WHITE BEAN, SPINACH & TOMATO JUMBLE” here

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Celebrate the Holidays with Eight Guilt-Free Tips

by Hannah Robaczewski, RDN

It really is the best time of the year! And along with the best time of the year comes the best meals with those we love. While you may be tempted to make some choices you may regret later, here are eight tips to help you enjoy the holiday season and feel great afterward!



1.     Plate size. Plate size. Plate size. Having a large, empty dinner plate staring you down during a meal can be intimidating. It may pressure you to fill the plate with more food than you can handle. Instead, reach for a smaller plate. The fuller it looks, the less likely you are to overeat.

2.     Watch your step. Be sure to keep yourself far enough away from foods that are easy to mindlessly eat. A bowl of snacks can be easily eaten while distracted. Be sure to separate yourself if feeling too tempted!

3.     Put those utensils down! Between bites, try to put your utensil down. Take time to listen and talk with others at a meal. This allows you to take your time during a meal instead of rushing to finish. It gives you more time to catch up with others, while your stomach has time to tell you when it’s full. Be sure to chew and swallow first!

4.     Remember, you can always go back. You may feel tempted to take various servings your first time through the dinner line, but this can also add pressure later on when you’re feeling full. Who wants to waste food? Start with portions you know you will finish. After that, head back for what you know you want.

5.     Be a good host! Offer to help bring in gifts out from the car or clean some dishes. It adds brownie points with the in-laws while using up some extra calories!


6.     Drinks! . . . In moderation. Remember that alcohol carries a higher amount of calories per serving than fats, carbohydrates, or proteins. It can sneak unwanted extra calories into your celebrations that you may regret later.

7.     Back to the basics. This is a tip we all know, but it goes to prove itself useful! Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables first. You’ll feel more satisfied on smaller portions of other high calorie foods.

8.     Offer another option. While many meals are full of high-calorie recipes you’ll love, do some research and offer a recipe you feel leans on the healthier side. This encourages healthy choices for others as well as yourself at any celebration!

However you celebrate this holiday season, rely on these eight tips to make it a guilt-free celebration!

Click here for a free collection of healthy holiday recipes


Hannah Robaczewski is a Wisconsin local, practicing as a nutrition services director in long term care.  

TURNIP the Heat in Your Kitchen This December

By Allison Stoeffler, Jackson In Action Contributor


Turnips are an underutilized root vegetable available at your grocery store all year long, but have their peak season from October-March. Humans have been reaping the health benefits of this vegetable for over 2,000 years, and for good reason. Here’s why:

Why Should You Try Turnips?

  • The potassium and fiber content of turnips make them an effective at helping to lower blood pressure, which in turn reduces risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

  • The fiber in turnips also promotes good gut health and may help improve digestion.

  • Turnips contain vitamin C and ascorbic acid, which boosts the immune system the boost for the upcoming winter. One half cup of turnips accounts for 15% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.

  • The combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese, and beta carotene found in turnips gives them an antioxidant effect in reducing inflammation.

  • Turnips are low in calories, fat, and sodium. ½ cup of turnips counts as a serving of vegetables, and they are a tasty way to add to the 2 ½ cups per day of vegetables that is recommended for most individuals.


How Do You Prepare Turnips?

  • At the store or farmers’ market, look for turnips with smooth skins and crisp green tops. The bulb of the turnip should be white on the bottom and purple on the top. Smaller turnips will be sweeter, so those are the best option if you plan on eating them raw.

  • Wash the turnips under warm water with a vegetable brush.

  • Peel the turnips if you prefer them that way.

  • Cut off the greens and use them separately if desired.

  • Slice, dice, chop, or leave the turnip whole.

  • Cooking Options:

    • Bake at 400⁰F for about 45 minutes

    • Boil in water for 20-30 minutes. If desired, mash them as you would with potatoes.

    • Microwave with a few tablespoons of water for 6-9 minutes. Remove from microwave and let them sit covered for 3 minutes.

    • Add to soups, stews, salads, casseroles, or whatever dishes you would like!

    • Pairs well with rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, or basil

Turnip Medley


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  • Turnip Medley

  • 2 turnips

  • 2 medium sized carrots

  • 8-10 Brussels sprouts

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place peeled and cut turnips, carrots, and Brussels sprouts onto a large sheet pan Then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss  together. Bake for about 25 minutes, turning half way through. Remove from oven and toss with balsamic       vinegar. Top with cranberries and enjoy.


Boil turnips, potatoes and garlic in water to cover. Cook until tender. Mash until smooth, adding milk to desired texture and salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4

Allison Stoeffler is from the “Apple Capitol” of Minnesota and a senior Nutrition & Dietetics Student at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI

Allison Stoeffler is from the “Apple Capitol” of Minnesota and a senior Nutrition & Dietetics Student at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI

Watch the Live Cooking Demo on Turnips with Ruth Lahmayer Chipps on Thursday Dec. 20 on WEAU-TV 13(NBC-TV Eau Claire, Wis).
You can also taste the recipe at BRMH-Cafe on Wed. Dec. 19 from 11:30am - 12:30pm

What's the Deal with Winter Squash?

by Kendal Schmitz, Viterbo University Senior Nutrition & Dietetics Student

The United States imports more squash than any other country in the world! On top of that, within the U.S., about 400 million pounds of squash are produced each year. Winter squash originated in Central and South America, and people have been consuming it for over 10,000 years. China and India are now the top producers of this vegetable.


Fun Facts:

  • One cup of winter Squash contains only 80 calories.

  • The rich colors of winter squash come from its carotenoid content, which may help improve eyesight.

  • Squash seeds deliver great nutrients such as protein, zinc, magnesium, iron and phosphorus.

  • Winter squash is botanically classified as a fruit because it contains seeds.

Winter Squash Finished.PNG

Cheddar Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 1 acorn squash, halved/ seeded

  • 3/4 cup chopped ripe tomato

  • 2 scallions or green onions—thinly sliced

  • 1/4 tsp dried sage

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tbsp water

  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese—cut into cubes

Instructions: Serves 4

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

  • Place the squash halves in a roasting pan, cut side up

  • Add about an inch of water to the bottom of the pan

  • Combine tomatoes and scallions or onions

  • Season with sage, salt and pepper to taste

  • Mix well and divide the mixture evenly among the squash halves

  • Spoon 1 tablespoon of water over each and cover loosely with aluminum foil

  • Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until squash is tender when pierced by a fork

  • Divide cheese cubes evenly on top of squash halves, cook 5 more minutes and serve.

Taste the featured Harvest of the Month Recipe at Black River Memorial Hospital (Cafe) on Tues. Nov. 20 from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Kendal Schmitz is a Senior Nutrition & Dietetics Student at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She is from Minnesota and is studying the connection between diet and cancer.

An Apple a Day

By Allison Stoeffler, Jackson In Action Contributor


Humans have been consuming apples since 6500 B.C., and for over 1,500 years, apples have been utilized for their health benefits. 

  • During the 1860s, “eat an apple before bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread” started circulating. Fast forward to today, and everyone knows that “an apple a day will keep the doctor away.” However, this light-hearted saying does have some truth to it.

  • Apples are a nutrient-dense food that offers many health benefits.


What’s In an Apple?

One medium apple provides 18% of the daily value for fiber and 14% of the daily value for Vitamin C based on a 2,000 calorie diet

One medium apple provides 18% of the daily value for fiber and 14% of the daily value for Vitamin C based on a 2,000 calorie diet

  • Phytochemicals

    Phytochemials are non-nutrient compounds found in plants. The consumption of the phytochemicals found in apples has been associated with inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in the pancreas, colon, breast, and liver. They can also boost the body’s immune functions, reduce the risk or effects of asthma, and clean your teeth!

  • Fiber

    Fiber is an indigestible form of carbohydrate that is abundant in apples, especially in their peels. Fiber is effective in approving gut health, which helps to prevent diarrhea or constipation and reduces the risk of developing colorectal cancer. In addition to that, the fiber found in apples helps to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day by releasing glucose more slowly. Lastly, soluble fiber is associated with heart health because of its ability to lower LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and raise HDL (“good cholesterol”).

  • Antioxidants

    Apples are an antioxidant-rich food, which means they help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Because of this, frequent consumption of apples has been associated with a reduced risk of developing inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis or gout. These antioxidants also relieve oxidative stress in the brain, helping to prevent neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Vitamin C, an important antioxidant found in apples, has consistently been shown to strengthen the immune system.

What’s Not In Them?

Apples can keep you full on minimal calories, which reduces the risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and other weight-related issues. They are also free of sodium and fat, so swapping a salty, high fat snack, like potato chips, for an apple can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Experiment with Different Ways to Eat Apples This Month!

Apple Bake Recipe



2 large apples, cut into small pieces

¼ cup apple juice

¼ cup water

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash of ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine juice, water and spices. Put apples in a loaf pan; pour liquid over apples. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 45 minutes or microwave on high for 6 to 8 minutes. If microwaving, stir every 3 minutes. Serves 2


Harvest of the Month

Taste the featured recipe on Oct. 17 at Black River Memorial Hospital, More info here

Allison Stoeffler is from the “Apple Capitol” of Minnesota and a senior Nutrition & Dietetics Student at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI

Allison Stoeffler is from the “Apple Capitol” of Minnesota and a senior Nutrition & Dietetics Student at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI


By Noah O’Brien, Jackson In Action Contributor

1. You should avoid all fats if you’re trying to lose weight



Approx. 25-30 percent of our intake should be from fats, which function to help the body metabolize foods, produce hormones, maintain healthy hair and skin. Fats also provide satiety or fullness. Healthier fats include olive oil, avocados, nuts, nut butter and lean meat.

2. Dairy products such as milk should be avoided in healthy eating patterns



Milk has benefits such as providing a reliable source of high quality protein. It is also a nutrient-packed food with essential nutrients in every glass of milk including Vitamin A, D, calcium, protein, iodine, potassium, phosphorus and vitamins B2 and B12. Recommendations are 2-3 servings of dairy foods per day (More info. here)

3. The more protein you consume the more muscle you will gain.

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Consuming more than 30 percent of calories from protein could hurt your body. To build more muscle one should start by increasing caloric intake and exercise. The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and the Amer. College of Sports Medicine recommends 1.2 – 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily for athletes. For example, a 150-pound athlete should aim for a protein intake of 75 to 150 grams of protein daily to increase muscle mass.   More about protein needs here.

4. The Keto Diet is the best to lose weight and keep it off



The keto diet promotes rapid weight loss because of the drop in calories and extreme reduction in carbohydrate intake. Unfortunately a significant amount of the weight lost (if more than two pounds per week) may be from muscle mass and water weight with a small amount from actual fat weight. The diet is also very low in fiber which is a necessary component for bowel health. Keeping the weight off can also be difficult as many people return to their previous eating habits. A healthy balanced eating pattern such as the “MyPlate” approach shown in the link below is a healthier long-term approach for weight loss.  More about MyPlate here.

 5. Bread products should be eliminated due to empty calories and high carbs. 



Whole grain breads provide healthy components such as fiber and important nutrients. If you eliminate breads or other fiber containing foods like rice and cereals digestive health may be impaired. Focusing on healthier carbs such as whole grain breads and crackers, fruits/vegetables and dried beans and legumes provides the kind of fuel the body needs to function well.