Tag Archives: bowie

8 Tips for Healthy Summer Grilling


Grilling is a great way to enjoy the warm summer weather and spend quality time with family and friends. Before firing up the charcoal, review these easy tips to keep your grilling healthy and safe.

1. Start with a clean grill. Don’t let the charred buildup on your grill stick to your food. Use a wire brush to give your grill a good cleaning, then wipe it down to remove particles.

2. Practice safe food handling. Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood separate from vegetables and other foods. Place grilled foods on clean plates, not on the ones you used when they were raw.

3. Avoid smoke and fire. Exposing meat to high heat and open flames can create chemicals that have been linked to some cancers. Reduce your exposure to these chemicals by:

  • Lining the grill with aluminum foil
  • Cooking food at temperatures below 325 degrees
  • Using a spray bottle of water to put out any fat fires

4. Marinate for flavor and health. Marinating meat before cooking helps prevent the formation of potential carcinogens. Make your own healthy marinades or use bottled marinades that are low in salt.

5. Flip burgers often. Research suggests that flipping a burger every 30 seconds reduces E. coli and potential carcinogens from charring.

 6. Check internal temperatures. Use a meat thermometer to make sure your meat reaches minimum temperatures to kill harmful bacteria. See the USDA’s temperature guidelines.

7. Choose leaner meats:

  • When grilling red meat and pork, buy “choice” or “select” grades of beef, which have the lowest fat content.
  • For chicken, choose breast cuts and remove the skin before eating. Skinless chicken breasts are less fattening than dark meat legs and thighs.
  • Fish are typically lower in fat than other types of meat and contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Try grilling salmon, trout and herring.

8. Don’t forget the veggies and fruit. Grilling amps up the flavor of fruits and vegetables. You can mix things up by cooking kabobs that alternate meat, vegetables and fruit.

Tired of the same old burgers? Check out these grilling recipes for a healthy and tasty summer.


BARBARA NELSON, CRNPBarbara Nelson, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, received her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Walden University, completed a family medicine post-master certificate program at the University of Cincinnati, and is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She cares for patients in MPCP’s Bowie office.


Telemedicine: Evenings, Weekends, and Daytime Hours


Did you know that since the start of the pandemic, MPCP created ways to be more available to meet your medical needs? MPCP offers telemedicine visits to enable you to get medical care right in the comfort of your own home. This not only lowers your risk of being exposed to the coronavirus but offers a very convenient way of getting care. Telemedicine allows you and your provider to see each other while you talk together. It can be scheduled during regular office hours, but after-hours and weekend appointments are also available.

What equipment do I need for a telemedicine visit?
You just need your smartphone, an iPad, or a home computer with a camera and microphone. MPCP uses Zoom and a few other HIPAA-safe apps to connect with patients.

Is telemedicine really effective?
Most of our patients say it works very well for most appointments. Your doctor will listen to your symptoms and ask questions, just as if you were in one of our exam rooms. Using video, your doctor will be able to see things that will help make a diagnosis. But if there is a concern at the end of your visit that something is still unclear, your doctor will have you come into the office as safely as possible for a face-to-face evaluation.

Can I get a prescription filled from the visit?
Yes, your provider can send any necessary prescriptions to your pharmacy electronically. If you need blood tests, X-rays or other tests, your provider will arrange for you to get them safely.

How do I schedule a telemedicine visit?
You can simply call your MPCP office to schedule a telemedicine visit. If you prefer a particular video platform, just let the scheduler know when you make your appointment. Otherwise, a medical assistant will call you before your appointment to help you connect. You may also be advised to collect your medication bottles, gather information such as your blood sugar or blood pressure logs, and to take your temperature or weigh yourself prior to your visit.

What about after-hour appointments?
MPCP offers evening and weekend telemedicine visits for acute care (illness or injury) to better fit your schedule. Appointments can be scheduled Monday to Friday 5-10 pm, Saturday 10 am – 4 pm, and Sunday 12- 6 pm. Call 410-729-3368 to schedule an after-hours telemedicine appointment, or see this video to learn more.

Will my insurance cover telemedicine visits?
Yes, insurance companies are encouraging doctors to connect with their patients through telemedicine. However, deductibles and co-pays may be applied. You should check with your insurance company as it relates to your specific coverage.

Ariel Warden-Jarrett, M.D.Dr. Warden-Jarrett is a Maryland Primary Care Physicians, LLC partner and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. She holds her medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and sees patients in the Bowie office.

Tips for Dealing With Isolation During Covid-19

By: Ariel Warden-Jarrett, M.D., FAAFP

People are meant to be together. Relationships and community are an important part of our lives, and we need meaningful connections to be happy and healthy.

To stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been forced to cut ourselves off from some of our normal connections: family, friends, coworkers and social activities. This enforced social isolation is more than unpleasant, it can result in emotional and physical problems.

The Health Effects of Isolation

Changes to our daily lives can be unsettling, and the extended isolation we’re experiencing can lead to negative health effects, such as:

  • Sadness: Being deprived of our regular routines and social contacts can cause feelings of loss and sadness.
  • Depression. Being isolated and lonely can lead from sadness to depression, and depression can, in turn, make you want to withdraw further from others.
  • Anxiety. Loneliness and isolation can cause anxiety, and if anxiety increases you may suffer from irrational fears.
  • Lack of sleep. Socially isolated people tend to have more restless sleep, insomnia, or not enough sleep. This leads to fatigue, lack of focus and concentration, irritability and mood swings.
  • Heart disease and stroke. There is a strong link between emotional and physical health. Isolation can result in heart disease or stroke due to the lack of support to promote healthy lifestyle choices.


Tips to Maintain Connections

Quarantining is necessary during the pandemic, but there are simple things you can do to maintain your social connections and stay healthy. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make a call. Have daily check-ins with close friends and family. Make a list of people to call, text or video chat. Try iPhone Facetime, Skype or Google Hangouts for face-to-face chats.
  • Use Zoom or another platform to have a “party” with friends. Zoom allows you to connect with several people at once, so it’s ideal for occasions such as happy hours or birthdays.
  • Get the popcorn. Watch your favorite shows or movies with family, or with friends over video platforms.
  • Share a meal. Make time to connect as a family over dinner. Or schedule a time to eat with a friend via video chat.
  • Take up a hobby. Hobbies can fill the hours while enriching your life. Rediscover an old interest, such as art, music, writing or try something new. There are many hobbies you can do with a family member or while Facetiming with a friend.
  • Exercise. Exercise is a great way to release natural endorphins and relieve feelings of anxiety. Take a walk with a family member or socially distanced friend. There are also many free online workouts you can do indoors with someone else. See the article in this issue to get started.
  • Give back. Think how you can support neighbors, friends, family, your community or coworkers. Make a contribution to your local food pantry. Clean out your closet and set aside things for donation. Bake something or make a meal for a friend and drop it off at their front door.
  • Foster a pet. Having a furry friend keep you company helps ease anxiety and depression from isolation. If you already have a pet, make time for walks and play. If not, check with your local animal shelter to learn about fostering or adopting.

Being quarantined hasn’t been easy for any of us. If you find that your feelings of loneliness and sadness are interfering with your life, reach out to your MPCP provider. We can help with advice or treatment to see you through the hard times.


Ariel Warden-Jarrett, M.D.Dr. Warden-Jarrett is a Maryland Primary Care Physicians, LLC partner and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. She holds her medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and sees patients in the Bowie office.

Should I take dietary supplements? Common myths

By: Katherine Grote, CRNP

More than three quarters of Americans take dietary supplements, such as vitamins and minerals. If you’re one of them, your reasons may include improving your nutrition, preventing disease and living a healthier life.

Taking dietary supplements for the right reasons can help supply your body with important nutrients. However, there is a lot of misinformation about supplements, and not all of them perform as advertised. See these common myths about supplements and how to get real benefits from them.

Myth 1: Most people need supplements. In fact, most adults can meet their nutritional needs with a well-balanced, healthy diet.  In cases of nutritional deficiency that cannot be solved through food alone, taking the vitamins and minerals you need can help fill the gaps. If your doctor recommends a supplement, well and good. Otherwise, you’ll do better to eat healthy.

Myth 2: Supplements are natural, so they are safe. Natural doesn’t necessarily mean safe or effective. Supplements that have been linked to significant health risks include St. John’s Wort, kava, comfrey, chaparral and pennyroyal.

Myth 3: Supplements are approved by the government. Supplements do not need to be proven safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration. In fact, the FDA gets involved only after a supplement is on the market, and can ban supplements that have negative effects. However, that happens after people are already using the supplements.

Myth 4: You can’t take too many vitamins. Some people believe large doses of certain supplements can prevent or cure certain health issues, such as vitamin C for colds. In most cases, this overdosing has no effect, and you just waste your money. However, some supplements can be toxic in large doses. For example, too much vitamin C can cause upset stomach or diarrhea, and excess vitamin B-6 can cause neuropathy, a form of nerve damage.

Myth 5: Supplements won’t interfere with medicine. Some supplements, especially the herbal varieties, can interfere with medicines, making them less effective or causing unwanted side effects. For example, if you are on the blood thinner warfarin, vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting, can interfere with the warfarin. Also, if you take antibiotics at the same time as probiotics, the antibiotics will kill the probiotics, and you end up with no benefit.

Myth 6: Supplement labels are accurate. Since dietary supplements are largely unregulated, it may be hard to know what’s in them. For example, a supplement can claim to contain 100% of a vitamin but really contain as little as 10%. Some supplements are tested by independent third parties, such as NSF International, to verify their contents. Look for that information on the label. If you don’t see it, you can’t be sure what you’re buying.

Myth 7: Supplements do what they claim. Some supplements make unproven health claims, such as preventing cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, causing quick weight loss and improving your immune system. Dietary supplements can’t legally claim to treat or prevent a disease, but some do it anyway. A good rule of thumb: if a supplement’s claim sounds too good to be true, it is.

The takeaway: if your doctor recommends a dietary supplement to treat a nutritional deficiency, go ahead and take it. Otherwise, it probably won’t benefit your health or bank account.

Katherine Grote, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, holds her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Indiana State University, and is board certified by the AANP in Family Practice. She sees patients in MPCP’s Bowie office.