Archive for October 2013

Chicken Cordon Bleu

If you are bored with chicken, here is a super yummy and easy way to change things up!!! We love us some chicken at the Fowler house hold, but I am always looking for new ways to spruce it up and get creative!!! Chicken doesn’t have to be boring! You can enjoy it with many seasonings, spices, or marinades (caution with marinades and sauces b/c many of them have lots of sugar/ carbs! ) This recipe is one of my husbands new favs! He has requested it twice in 8 days! :) I know the way to a man’s heart :) ha! It’s super easy, looks kinda fancy on the plate, but only takes a few minutes to prepare. (I took a picture but am having a hard time getting it downloaded :()

Ingredients :

4-6 chicken breasts (free-rancge/ hormone free)

ham or turkey (nitrite free- I buy Boar’s Head)

swiss cheese

bacon ( nitrite free)

low carb Italian dressing (i used lite zesty italian- kraft brand- 3 nc/ 2 tbsp)



pound out each individual chicken breast to make it as thin/ flat as possible

lay a piece of ham or turkey (or both) down inside the chicken

next, lay a piece of swiss cheese on top of that (so its stacked, chicken, ham/ turkey, cheese)

roll chicken up with the ham/turkey and swiss in the middle

use a toothpick to secure it in place

wrap 2 pieces of bacon around the outside of the chicken and secure in place with 2 more toothpicks

lay in 13×9 greased pan (with olive oil)

drizzle italian dressing over top for marinade

bake at 350-375 for 45 minutes (could take longer if doing more chicken breasts or thicker chicken breasts)

Enjoy along side your favorite green veggies or with a spinach salad!

Additional Info:

If you are looking for good deals on free-range chicken, check out Trader Joes, they have some great deals! You could also try this with a BBQ sauce marinade instead of Italian, I am going to try this next!!! Probably Walden Farms brand since most BBQ sauces have lots of added sugar! You could also google “low carb BBQ sauce” and make your own! We had ours along side steamed green beans and brocolli sprinkled with parmesan cheese :) It was super yummy and simple and the hubs was super happy as well! :) Who doesn’t like their chicken wrapped in bacon, with swiss cheese oozing out!! Delectable!




​As I write this article, I am toasting by our fireplace after grabbing some wood from outside where the temperature is a brisk 29 degrees.  The colder fall temperatures have rolled into East Tennessee like a freight train and winter feels close on its heels.  I don’t mind it a bit, but for those with asthma, it carries a level of threat.  With the colder weather and more time spent indoors being exposed to other sick folks, comes an increase in colds and flu.  Those are no fun, but when a person has asthma those infections can trigger a more serious response with wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.  For that matter, even the wood smoke from my fire would be a problem for some.
Asthma is a common chronic airway disease characterized by periods of reversible airflow obstruction (asthma attacks).  Airflow is obstructed by inflammation and swelling in the airways along with contraction of the small muscles surrounding the airways that causes them to constrict.
There are a host of possible triggers for asthma attacks.  Sixty percent of asthma has an allergy trigger.  Other exposures include exercise, viral infections, pollutants (especially cigarette smoke), emotional stress, exposure to cold, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), and aspirin and other medication sensitivities.
Asthma affects 5-10% of the population or an estimated 25 million persons, including 7 million children.  Fortunately about half of all children diagnosed with asthma have a decrease or disappearance of symptoms by early adulthood.  There are approximately a half million hospitalizations yearly from asthma and it is the number one chronic cause of missed school days.  Unfortunately, the incidence of asthma has been steadily increasing in the U.S. over the last decade for reasons which are not clear.  Despite this, the death rate from asthma has been declining, though slowly, with about 3300 deaths per year currently.
There are certainly a ton of treatments available for asthma.  The key is to not let the readily available treatments lull you into not taking asthma as seriously or responding to it as promptly as we should. The earlier you jump on an asthma flare-up the better.
What kind of treatments are we talking about?
• Treating the triggers such as underlying sinus infections
• Aggressively treating allergy, possibly with allergy shots (immunotherapy)
• Using maintenance asthma meds daily (if needed) to keep the need for rescue inhaler use down to no more than two times per week
• Pre-treating with an asthma med prior to exercise if you have exercise-induced asthma
• Not smoking, and avoiding second hand smoke and other inhaled irritants as much as possible
If a flare-up occurs, get in to see your doctor as soon as possible so that you have a plan in place to nip the problem in the bud.  This can keep you out of the Emergency Department and hospital.  Aggressive treatment can usually allow an asthmatic to participate fully in sports and other exertional activities.  Don’t buy into the myth that aggressive treatment will somehow weaken your lungs – it’s quite the opposite.  So, if you wrestle with asthma, go after it early and vigorously so you can still enjoy these colder fall and winter months here in East Tennessee.
Andrew Smith, MD is board-certified in Family Medicine and practices at 1503 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville. Contact him at 982-0835


Smoothie Pop Molds



I haven’t been cooking new recipes as much lately but I have been preparing school lunches and afternoon snacks! I got the idea of smoothie pop molds from “100 days of real food” and my girls love them! Originally, I thought I would stick them in their lunches with an ice pack but I let them eat one at home first to try it out and it took them way over 20 minutes to finish which is how long they get for their entire lunch at school so we will stick to it being an afternoon treat.

 I got mine here:


I either put 100% organic (natural) fruit juice in them (NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP) or I make up fruit smoothies for breakfast and then freeze some in the molds for later. What kind of smoothies do you like?




Fruit Smoothies
  • 1 plain organic yogurt or carbmaster yogurt from Kroger (plain or flavored. This does have Splenda (sucralose in it).
  • 1 cup berries any kind, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons milk ( I use unsweetened almond milk for my lactose free girl)
  • ½ – ¾ cup fresh spinach leaves (sometimes)
  • Optional: if using fresh berries (instead of frozen) add some ice cubes
  • * I will ocassionally add some local honey if it is too tart.
  1. Blend ingredients in blender


The Nagging Sore Throat

Over the past couple of weeks, one of the most common sick visit complaints in the office has been the nagging sore throat. The causes can be broad and range from allergies to viral or bacterial infections. One of the most common concerns among patients and providers alike is whether or not strep throat could be the cause. Strep throat is caused by the bacteria Group A Beta Hemolytic Streptococcus, which infects the structures of the throat, including the tonsils.

The data changes slightly from year to year, but the Centers for Disease Control states that upwards of 80% of sore throat symptoms are caused by non-bacterial causes, like viruses. That said, only 7-10% of sore throat symptoms can be attributed to strep throat and the remaining percentage is due a variety of even less common causes. There are four clinical criteria that increase the chances that the sore throat may be caused by strep: fever, enlarged and tender lymph nodes in the neck, absence of a cough, and pus noted on the tonsils.

A rapid strep test can be done in the office in about ten minutes and is fairly accurate, however a throat culture may be indicated based on the age of the patient and their specific symptoms. These tests are helpful in determining which patients may need antibiotics to prevent against the rare, but potential harmful effects of untreated strep which can affect the kidneys and the heart. The more concerning shift these days, however, is overuse of antibiotics for illnesses that are typically caused by viruses (see Dr. Smith’s article “Who Needs an Antibiotic?”). All of that said, please get evaluated if you have a sore throat that lasts more than a couple of days or is associated with the above symptoms that may be concerning for strep.
If you end up with a nagging sore throat this fall and it turns out to be viral, you may want to try one of my favorite home remedies (please avoid honey in children less than 12 months old): boiling a couple of ginger roots, several cinnamon sticks, and 2 tablespoons of honey in a large pot of water. You can make it more or less potent by adjusting the amount of the ingredients. It’s a recipe that was passed down from my Korean great-grandmother and it truly works!
Here is a helpful reference from the CDC that provides more information: