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DECATUR -- Heavy snow kept away much of the crowd and some of the vendors Crossing Healthcare had planned on for Wednesday's Your Heart Matters health fair.

But there was a moment that made the day worthwhile to Crossing registered dietitian Allison Raiha and intern Stephanie Hillyer.

As Raiha and Hillyer finished up serving the crowd of Crossing employees who came out for the demonstration, several children in the waiting room noticed the smell and came over to see if they could try some.

Soon, the whole Tullison family -- Selley Tullison and his children -- were chowing on a cup of Hillyer's chicken, brown rice and vegetables stir fry.

"Seeing kids munching on broccoli -- I was thrilled with it," Raiha said. "Even if just that family got something out of it, it's important for us to have resources like this for people."

During Hillyer's cooking demonstration, several Crossing employees gathered around, and some asked questions.

"Can you use hot sauce?" asked Crossing employee Tracy Barnes.

"Yes, in small amounts," Hillyer told her.

"What about soy sauce?" Barnes asked.

"Soy sauce is extremely high in sodium, so that's not as good," Hillyer said.

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Those who did make it through the snow to have exhibits at the event included the Macon County Health Department, which had information on quitting smoking among its resources, and My Healthcare Coordination of Decatur. Crossing also had a booth set up with nutrition trivia and information on joining its Lose to Live program.

Raiha said Crossing is planning more health fairs and food demonstrations. Savor the Flavor of Eating Right is planned for March 23.

"Being a federally qualified health center, we have so many resources and a big audience to talk to and build awareness with," Raiha said. "One in three people die every year related to heart disease.

"We want to reach people and help them learn to control their blood pressure and other things they can do to live longer and healthier."

Heart Healthy Chicken

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces skinless chicken breast
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 cup mushroom
  • 1/2 cup white onion
  • 1 teaspoon Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb

Directions

Follow package instructions in separate pot. Pour olive oil in large skillet and turn on medium/high heat. Add in diced onion and heat for 2-3 minutes. Rinse and dice chicken into bite sized strips. Place chicken in skillet with the onion and let cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rinse and chop and broccoli and mushroom to bite size pieces and add them to skillet. Add the seasoning and stir. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken reaches 165 degrees and veggies are beginning to brown.

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Sports Editor

Sports editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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