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An elite club: 10 years with a ventricular assist device



Edgar Arredondo was 15 when he had a heart assist device implanted in his chest to keep his blood flowing after a muscle disease weakened his heart.

In children, mechanical heart pumps usually act as a bridge to heart transplants so that patients with heart failure can leave the hospital until a donor is found. But Arredondo, now 26, never had a transplant. Instead, he recently celebrated 10 years of life with the device – a rare milestone – and doctors say he is strong despite his recent COVID-19 infection.

“I never thought I’d get this far and live with a VAD for so many years. It’s easy and difficult at the same time,” Arrendondo said in a Stanford Children’s Health article.

Arrendondo is in an elite club. He lived on a cardiac assist system much longer than any other pediatric cardiac patient at Stanford and longer than most adult patients worldwide. Out of 27,000 adult recipients around the world who own the device, only 370 have lived with it for more than 10 years.

Implanted in open heart surgery, ventricular assist devices contain a motorized pump. Attached to the left ventricle of the heart, it continually pushes blood through the heart and back into the body. A cable inserted through the patient’s abdomen connects the pump to a portable controller, battery, and power cord outside the body.

Take care of your heart (pump)

When Arrendondo received its first implanted device – the HeartMate II – at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in 2010, many children’s hospitals had not tried the procedure as almost all ventricular assist devices were developed for adults.

Edgar Arredondo has been wearing a cardiac assist system for 10 years. (Courtesy Arredondo)

In 2018, he received the latest version, HeartMate 3, which maintains better blood flow and leads to fewer complications.

Living with a mechanical heart pump takes a lot of care. The patient must take the cable, controller, and extra batteries with them wherever they go; keep your entrance area clean; and alert your care team if something doesn’t feel right.

Because clotted blood can clog the pump, Arrendondo’s care team must balance anticoagulant drugs with blood thinners to keep blood flowing. He has avoided hospitalization since 2018, even if he was infected with COVID-19.

Although patients with cardiac assist systems are prone to pump malfunctions, strokes, and infections, Arrendondo recovered from COVID-19 without needing supplemental oxygen or hospital support. He credits his family for helping him stay healthy.


Arrendondo, who enjoys going to church, eating healthy meals with his family, drawing and playing video games, celebrated his fifth anniversary on a ventricular assistant with a celebration in Lucile Packard’s courtyard. He celebrated his 10th anniversary with his parents and sisters and hopes to celebrate with his doctors and nurses once the dangers of COVID-19 are over.

“Edgar’s views make him superhuman. For most people, living with a VAD would take a greater psychological toll,” said pediatric cardiologist John Dykes, MD, medical director for the ventricular support program at Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center. “His willingness to move on, together with the incredible support from his family, is truly remarkable.”

The top photo of Norbert von der Groeben shows Edgar Arredondo, surrounded by his care team at the Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center, his parents and sisters, as he celebrated on a cardiac assist system for five years.

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Healthy Eating

Try these recipes for Halloween party treats from your kitchen – News-Herald



Since Halloween falls on a weekend this year, either Saturday or Sunday are great days to party.

In my mentor neighborhood, people have a street-wide celebration framed by trick-or-treaters. In accordance with social distancing protocols, housekeepers gather at the ends of their driveways to hand out goodies.

Some plan to hand out small boxes of raisins and tangerines to keep the treats healthy, while others hand out wrapped candies.

Many children are accompanied by parents who usually hang around in the shade when their children approach the lighted neighboring doors to greet them. This year it is hoped that the adults will join in and introduce themselves again, as we haven’t seen each other for almost two years.

Take a tip from Catherine McCord, co-founder of the One Potato Subscription Food Plan and founder of the popular Weelicious website. She makes sure that her three children get a healthy snack before they put on their costumes and go trick or treating. That way, they’re less likely to indulge in the candy they’ve collected.

McCord’s Halloween Taco Dip is perfect for the occasion. It layers guacamole with black beans, salsa, and sour cream with a delightfully whimsical sour cream spider web on top and spiders from olives. Using a plastic zip bag for the piping, cut off one corner to press the sour cream into a mesh shape on top.

Her cooking videos have more than 50 million views and many fans for her healthy eating recipes. You may have seen McCord on “Today” or “Good Morning America”.

Your Deviled Egg Spiders might even be a treat itself on Halloween. They are easy and inexpensive to make, and adults are sure to like them.

Devil spiders are as fun to eat as they are to look at. (Submitted)

McCord includes videos for hard boiling eggs for Deviled Egg Spiders ( and how to make pie crust for Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts ( But if you want, you can conjure up the smart pop-tart delicacies with a packaged cake base from the supermarket’s milk crate.

Your Halloween recipes used here are all gluten-free and nut-free, so that allergy sufferers can also enjoy them.


Halloween taco dip


1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup of Greek yogurt

Half a lemon, juiced

½ teaspoon of salt

¾ Cup of mild, chunky salsa


¼ cup sour cream (for cobweb)

2 to 3 black olives (for spiders)


Put the first 4 ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree to a smooth or desired consistency.

Layer the bean dip on the bottom of a cake plate, followed by a thin layer of salsa, then guacamole.

Put the sour cream (if it is too thick, add a little water) in a small plastic bag with a zipper, press the corner of the bag and twist the bag like a piping bag.

Use scissors to cut off an one-eighth inch point from one corner of the bag.

Use as a piping bag for the spider web design. Sprinkle sour cream onto the dip in a cobweb design.

Cut 1 olive into “legs” and add black olives “spin” for garnish.

Devil spiders

(Makes 12 spiders)


6 hard-boiled eggs

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

15-20 whole pitted olives (black, green or kalamata)


Halve the eggs lengthways.

Remove the egg yolks and place in a mixing bowl.

Add the mustard, mayonnaise and salt to the egg yolks and mash them with a fork.

Using a piping bag or sandwich bag with the lower tip cut off, inject the egg yolk mass back into the middle of the egg white. (You can also just spoon the egg yolk mixture back into the egg white.)

Halve 12 olives lengthways.

Place one half, cut side down, on top of each devil’s egg.

Halve the remaining olives again lengthways and then cut into 4 slices to form the legs.

Place 3-4 legs on each side of the olive halves on top of the devilish eggs.

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tartlets

(Makes 10)


1/2 cup of pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 recipe cake batter


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice together.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the cake batter to a quarter of an inch thick.

Use a pumpkin cutter to cut out around 20 pumpkin shapes.

Using a paring knife, cut out pumpkin faces in half of the pumpkin shapes.

Place a pumpkin (without cutouts) on a floured surface and place a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center. Use a spoon to spread the filling almost to the edge.

Lightly dip your finger in the water and rub the edge of the pumpkin pastry mold with the water.

Cover with a cut-out pumpkin and gently pinch the edges to seal them.

Repeat with the remaining shapes and filling.

Place the pies on your prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Mummy dogs hug a hot dog in pizza dough. (Submitted)

Mom dogs

(Serves 8)


8 vegetable, turkey or cattle dogs

1 recipe for pizza dough


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease it with cooking spray.

Cut the pizza dough into 8 even strips with a pizza cutter or knife.

Stretch each piece of pizza dough until it is about four times the length of the hot dog.

Starting from the top, wrap the pizza dough around the hot dog until it is completely covered and leaves little room for the face.

Place the wrapped hot dogs on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

When the hot dogs have cooled, dab the ketchup and / or mustard on the eyes with a toothpick.

Serve with ketchup and mustard.

– Recipes courtesy of Catherine McCord, co-founder of One Potato and founder of Weelicious

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Healthy Eating

A Look At Some Of The Food Choices Americans Are Making As We Emerge From The Pandemic



To eat healthy food


The last 18 months of pandemic life have ushered in tremendous changes in almost every facet of life as we knew it. Our eating habits and food choices are no exception.

From where we eat to what we eat, food industry veteran Arlin Wasserman spoke to us about some of the most notable adjustments Americans have made since the pandemic began. Wasserman is the founder and managing director of the food strategy consultancy Changing Tastes.

Gary Drenik: Arlin, thank you for talking to us today. By and large, let’s start with a look at how the pandemic experience changed our diets and how our health affects our food choices.

Arlin Aquarius: Thanks for talking to us, Gary. I am looking forward to starting broadly. One of the biggest changes we see is that where we eat turns out to be a bigger change than what we eat. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were mostly home whether we liked it or not.

So the Americans went to the kitchen and cooked many of the recipes that they were familiar with, including many home cooking. These look different for each of us and are closely linked to our cultural traditions and regional cuisines in which we grew up. However, many families were high on the list of baking cookies and cooking dishes like macaroni and cheese, hamburgers, and hot dogs. As Americans protected from Covid-19, many also gained weight. It is reported that we gained about two pounds a month while cooking for ourselves at home, according to the JAMA Network Open.

We’ve also focused a lot more on disease prevention as we’ve started wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and wiping surfaces regularly. For many of us, this has resulted in a greater focus on eating foods that might boost our immune systems and keep us healthy, and those aren’t esoteric ingredients or supplements. We have increased our consumption of foods like honey, ginger and oranges over the course of the pandemic.

Drenik: We have just spent over a year cooking for each other at home, much to our dismay in some cases at the American affinity for food. Do you think this will go on?

Aquarius: No, or more precisely, only if we are asked to. That summer, as the Covid-19 restrictions began to lift, Americans flocked back to restaurants. In May 2021, restaurants in the United States had a record month in sales revenue, with consumers spending over $ 60 billion in restaurants. We broke that record in June and then again in July when we combined spent over $ 72 billion eating out as restaurants also had a record month for the number of diners served.

At least some of us even continued to dine in restaurants, even when we were forced to stay at home due to lockdown mandates at the start of the pandemic. During Covid-19, many Americans showed extraordinary determination not to cook for themselves. As many restaurants closed their doors to diners in mid-2020, Americans flocked to delivery services or dared to stand in line near others to pick up meals so as not to have to cook their own meals.

The significant increase in out-of-home dining that we saw was not surprising for another reason either. After each economic downturn, Americans have increased the percentage of their food spending in restaurants, as eating out is one of the first affordable luxury items we enjoy, and now more of us return to work as employment recovers.

From what we hear, the continued growth isn’t the lack of guest interest. The challenge is to hire and train enough staff to cook and serve food fast enough to keep up with the increased volume.

However, with the arrival of autumn and the delta variant, we are seeing more people reluctant to eat out again. I proved this in a recent survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics, which shows that around 1 in 3 Americans still avoid restaurants due to concerns about Covid-19.

Prosper – avoid restaurants

Prosper Insights & Analytics

Drenik: What have been some of the most notable changes you have seen in food purchases by American consumers, and do you think these changes will be permanent?

Aquarius: Two of the biggest changes we saw at the start of the pandemic are Americans reduced the number of grocery purchases each week and increased the amount of groceries we delivered home, whether it was groceries, purchased or delivered directly from producers from grocery stores or meals from restaurants delivered to our homes. They all roll back quickly.

The restriction on trips to the grocery store was a requirement in part because stores were limited in the number of shoppers and times people could enter, and shopping took longer, including queuing. We still shop less often, but that is turning around.

Grocery stores also faced some empty shelves as Americans stocked up for the long quarantine, with a shortage of toilet paper and bleach making headlines. One of the categories that saw a big turnaround was canned foods, especially tuna, which saw significant sales increases after years of decline. At Changing Tastes, we conducted a consumer survey in late spring 2020 and found that if food shortages worsened, consumers stored it and the more cans of tuna Americans bought, the less likely it was to eat any of it.

Shopping online for groceries also increased during Covid-19, but that is rapidly declining today. Online grocery sales rose 43% to over 9 billion at the start of the pandemic. We buy groceries more conveniently online and directly from producers, but in the end we prefer to go shopping and choose for ourselves.

What has also changed is how much we want to have meals delivered to us. The high cost of food delivery services is certainly a factor. But also the very social aspect of eating and eating with others. “Ghost kitchens”, restaurants that only exist online and cook meals in a central kitchen for online ordering and delivery but never greet guests, are likely already overbuilt, as investments were made there during the pandemic.

Drenik: One of the major health trends before the Covid-19 pandemic was eating less meat. Will we continue to move beyond meat as we move out of the pandemic, and if so, what will replace the meat that has so often been on our plates?

Aquarius: The long-term trend towards less red meat is something we can see every year when we ask consumers what their intentions are for the year ahead and then look at what we actually buy and eat. About a third of Americans intentionally try to eat less red meat, and Covid-19 has not affected it. It was true before, during the darkest days and now that we are emerging from the thicket of the pandemic. And less really means less, not nothing at all. The proportion that is vegetarian or vegan remains consistently low.

What has changed is how we want to get there. A few years ago, the best choices were to eat less meat, eat smaller portions of meat, and try meat alternatives made from plants that were just coming on the market. A few years later, and for the past two years, the first choice has been to eat more seafood. My opinion is this: Because we’ve significantly reduced the portions of meat we eat, including recently more chefs taking up the plant-centric culinary approach I developed more than a decade ago and offering products like the mixed burger, who relies on it when scratch cooking real food.

Interestingly, and especially during Covid-19, our flirtation with artificial meat substitutes faded after a few months. Their predictable flavors in the factory were not comparable to the flexibility of real meat, poultry, or fish to take on all the flavors a chef or home cook can imagine with condiments, condiments, and the like. A recent survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics found that only one in 20 younger adults buys meat substitutes when shopping for food.

Prosper – Buy more vegetable meat products

Prosper Insights & Analytics

Drenik: What are some of the ingredients people will be looking for in this next chapter and what makes them rising stars?

Aquarius: We see two different types of ingredients that will shine in the market.

As consumers become more concerned about their health and wellbeing, the benefits of ingredients that boost the immune system are compelling. Covid-19 has made consumers aware of the benefits of staying healthy and many choose ingredients that boost the immune system, such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, green tea, CBD, and citrus fruits.

There is also a new desire to eat a wider variety of ingredients caught or grown in our oceans, particularly in the waters of the United States, as more Americans become interested in some of the red meat they eat replace it with more fish and seafood. Notably, we eat a greater proportion of seafood meals out than at home. There we are more open to trying out new ingredients. For example, when was the last time you cooked an octopus at home? However, octopus is becoming increasingly popular on restaurant menus.

When Covid-19 first disrupted global supply chains, seafood was hit hard, reducing or interrupting the number of flights that could transport fresh fish. This threatened to spoil frozen shipments. More than ever, many Americans are concerned about where our food comes from, what precautions are being taken, and who has touched it before us. All of this has shifted our focus and tastes to local fish and seafood sources, among other things.

Drenik: Very interesting, Arlin. Indeed, a lot has changed in what, where and how we eat. We can only hope that the increased focus on our own health and wellbeing and where that merges with the health and wellbeing of our planet continues.

Many implications for the food industry beyond restaurants and delivery services play a role here. The ups and downs in demand for certain products will certainly continue to put pressure on supply chains to expand and contract as consumer habits and preferences change. Grocery manufacturers and grocers are likely to remain on their guard as these preference changes appear to be frequent and rapid.

Thank you today for your thoughtful insight.

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Healthy Eating

12 Quick and Healthy Recipes That Star Canned Pumpkin — Eat This Not That



Pumpkins, the quirky orange fruit synonymous with sweater weather, can also be the figurehead of the fall season. Every year, when the temperatures start to drop, everything “pumpkin” starts to show up. Whether as a cake on bakery shelves, as a decoration on the front steps or as a popular coffee shop aroma, pumpkins seem to be everywhere in autumn.

If you’re in need of some fresh new ideas on what to do with all that extra pumpkin you’ve got lying around this season, there are only a limited number of pumpkin pie to make, keep reading. From pumpkin marinara sauce to pumpkin and chicken chili and beyond, here are 12 fun ways to use pumpkin in your next fall dinner. Also, bookmark our 45+ best soups and chilies to make with a rotisserie chicken.

Blaine trenches

This pumpkin marinara is a great recipe to try out when you want to break out of the traditional tomato sauce pan. This fragrant sauce is made from ingredients such as tomato paste, canned pumpkin and chopped garlic and tastes great on pizza dough or in spaghetti.

Get our Pumpkin Marinara recipe.

RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter for more delicious recipes and tips for healthy eating.

Pumpkin mashed potatoes in a large bowl with chives, oil and salt.Blaine trenches

Mashed potatoes, the ultimate comfort food, get an exciting twist when canned pumpkin and light sour cream are added to the mix. Easily cooked in about half an hour, this delicious dish makes a great Thanksgiving side dish.

Get our recipe for pumpkin and potato puree.

RELATED: 20 Thanksgiving Pages to Cook in the Microwave!

Fudgy pumpkin brownie canapes on a wooden boardBlaine trenches

Fall is known for its pumpkin pie, but why not go against the current and do something different with your canned pumpkin and bake some brownies? Decadent, fudgy, and only 54 calories each, these pumpkin brownie bites are the perfect way to end any meal.

Get our recipe for Fudgy Pumpkin Brownie Bites.

RELATED: 33 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin and Chicken Chili served in white potsJason Donnelly

Slow Cooker Chili goes well with cool autumn evenings and cozy couch nights. This recipe, which features a combination of chickpeas, roasted diced tomatoes, and chopped red bell peppers, will get an autumn update when canned pumpkins are introduced.

Get our Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili Recipe.

RELATED: 20 Best Healthy Chili Recipes for Weight Loss

Pumpkin ravioli with pest sauceBlaine trenches

If you are a fan of traditional ricotta filled ravioli, you must try these sweet pumpkin ravioli. This sweet and savory dish is made from pumpkin puree, whole milk ricotta and a mixture of different spices such as ginger and nutmeg and reinterprets an old classic. Note: This recipe uses pre-made wrappers rather than making batter from scratch, which can help cut prep time significantly.

Get the recipe from Running to the Kitchen.

RELATED: 65 Cozy Comfort Foods That Help You Lose Weight, too

Pumpkin strudel cheesecakeCourtesy of Sally’s baking addiction

If you’re looking for a dessert for this Thanksgiving season that is both delicious and unexpected, this Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe is a must-try. This cheesecake is made from a crispy ginger biscuit crust, a pumpkin spice swirl and salted caramel sauce.

Get the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

RELATED: The Best Cheesecake in Every State

Pumpkin and Chicken Tortilla SoupCourtesy Kims Cravings

This smooth pumpkin and chicken tortilla soup is a great dish to add to your dinner recipe rotation. Made with Zoup! Chicken broth, pumpkin puree, black beans and Greek natural yoghurt, this tasty dish can also be prepared easily vegan and gluten-free with just a few simple substitutions.

Get the recipe from Kim’s Cravings.

RELATED: The Best and Worst Greek Yogurts in 2021 – Ranking List!

fried pumpkin and spinach saladCourtesy of Recipe Can Eats

Common autumn vegetables like kale and beetroot are no stranger to salads – so why not roast some pumpkin and throw it on a green bed too? Made with baby spinach, crumbled feta and perfectly cooked pumpkin pieces, this undeniably refreshing salad is easily served with a flavorful honey and balsamic dressing that you can make right at home.

Get the recipe from recipe jar eats.

RELATED: This Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe is the Perfect Fall Snack

Pumpkin Mac and CheeseCourtesy Minimalist Baker

This velvety macaroni and cheese recipe proves that you don’t need a lot of cheese and butter to make a delicious dish. This plant-based version of the iconic comfort food gets its cheesy taste when cooked penne is tossed into a mix of nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan, and almond milk.

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

RELATED: The Worst Mac and Cheese Dishes in America

Chipotle Pumpkin SoupCourtesy Half Baked Harvest

Autumn’s favorites – pumpkins and apples – combine to create a smoky chipotle soup that gushes over with taste. Made with pumpkin puree, coconut milk, chipotle powder, and paprika, this delicious soup is served in delightful hollowed-out acorn gourd shells.

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

Pumpkin dream cakeCourtesy How Sweet Eats

This pumpkin sheet cake is perfect when you need a cake to celebrate a fall birthday or want to make a delicious, easy-to-prepare dessert for the holiday season. Stuffed with ground nutmeg and brown sugar and topped with cinnamon and cream cheese frosting, this recipe can feed up to 12 people.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

RELATED: The Best Apples for Any Fall Dessert

Coconut Cream Pumpkin Quinoa PorridgeCourtesy of Cotter Crunch

If you decide to have a large bowl of oatmeal in the morning, be sure to try this vegan pumpkin and quinoa breakfast bowl. Filled with pumpkin puree, coconut milk, ground ginger, pumpkin spice and maple syrup, this recipe proves that quinoa can also be enjoyed beyond hearty dishes.

Get the recipe from Cotter Crunch.

Get more of our delicious and cozy autumn recipes:

25 delicious apple recipes that are perfect for fall

65 cozy comfort foods that also help you lose weight

45+ best cozy casserole recipes for weight loss

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