ABCs of Summertime Health

Published on July 23, 2020

Making healthy choices this summer is as easy as ABC. The Bariatric Weight Loss Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s very own Registered Dietician, Giselle Cram Ortiz, has a few tips for how you and your family can get started on your health goals this summer.

Avoid Drinking your Calories.

Instead of cracking open a bottle of soda or ordering a sweet tea at your favorite drive-thru, switch to zero calorie drinks this summer. Try mixing up your water with some fresh fruits or find a healthy water alternative.

Be Mindful of your Stomach.

Take this season to become aware of your body and especially your stomach. Your stomach talks to you and listening to its cues are essential to losing weight. Be mindful of how you feel when you are eating; stop eating when you are full, and don't wait until you're very hungry to eat. When you eat to contentment, you avoid stretching out your stomach, and when you eat when you aren't painfully hungry, you can better control your food intake.

Cook your Meals at Home.

And we don't just mean dinner. When you cook at home, it is much easier to be mindful of what you are putting in your body. Many restaurants add ingredients into their food for flavor without you even knowing, so cooking at home is the best way to control what you're eating.

D is the Vitamin you get from the Sun.  

Get outside this summer to enjoy the sunshine and get some fresh air. Taking walks are a great way to get in tune with your body so that being mindful of your stomach is easier. You can reap the benefits of fresh air, but remember to wear your sunscreen!

Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.

Adopt a 'farm-to-table' mindset this season when you have access to fresh produce. With many local farms and grocery stores to buy your fruits and veggies from, shop local so that you get the most nutrients out of your food as possible. The fresher, the better. Even if fresh produce isn't as easily accessible to you, frozen vegetables with no sugars and low sodium are great alternatives.

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If you have a fever and cough or difficulty breathing, these steps will help you find the care you need and limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our region:

  • Call before you come

    Please call your doctor's office or an urgent care clinic for advice about where you should go for treatment.

  • Call 9-1-1 for emergencies

    Calling 9-1-1 is always the fastest and most efficient way to get proper treatment for medical emergencies.

  • Consider staying home and taking advantage of an E-Visit

    When symptoms strike, connect with a provider through an E-Visit instead of traveling to the urgent care or the doctor’s office.

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We want to thank our community and local businesses for their amazing generosity during this time. Here are some ways you can support our community and staff:

  • Donate items and resources

    We are currently receiving donations of items and other resources through the Foundation. Learn how to donate resources and other needed items by clicking here.

  • Sew Masks for Healthcare Workers

    Many people in our community are sewing masks for our healthcare workers. We have created some mask sewing instructions and information about drop-off locations. Get detailed mask-making instructions here.

  • Send a Digital Letter

    We would like your help making digital letters for the residents at New Horizons Nursing home. Email a letter to and we will hand them out to our residents and staff to enjoy.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, so the best way to avoid infection is to avoid exposure. Here are simple steps you can take to lower your risk of catching or spreading illness:

  • Wear a mask – a cloth face cover can protect other people in case you are infected. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • Avoid close contact – maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household. If someone in your household is sick, maintain 6 feet of distance from them as well.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching tissues.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces to help prevent the spread of germs
  • Monitor your health daily –  Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

Learn more by visiting the CDC COVID-19 website.

In late January, NGHS created a Coronavirus Task Force including leaders from across the system to begin preparing for the possibility that our facilities and staff may see patients with COVID-19.

We have been following the guidance of the CDC and are working to ensure staff are diligent in following standard protocol to ask patients about their travel history. In the event that additional preparation is needed, this team will move swiftly to follow any new guidance.

About COVID-19 Testing:

NGHS has the ability to coordinate testing at some of our locations. Please call your doctor's office or urgent care clinic for advice about whether testing is right for you. Recently we implemented a new E-Visit specific to the Coronavirus.

Learn more about E-Visits from these area practices:

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