Inflammation is a biological response of tissues in the body to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Its purpose of inflammation is to restrict and eliminate the harmful stimuli and to remove damaged tissue components so that the body can begin to heal. The response consists of changes in blood flow, an increase in permeability of blood vessels, and the migration of fluid, proteins, and white blood cells from the circulation to the site of tissue damage.

Myth One: Inflammation is Always Bad 

Inflammation actually is good in the short run. It is part of your immune system’s natural response to heal an injury or fight an infection. It’s supposed to stop after that. But if it becomes a long-lasting habit in your body, it becomes bad and can begin damaging your organs. Long-term, or “chronic,” inflammation is seen in many diseases and conditions.

When your body encounters an offending agent (like viruses, bacteria or toxic chemicals) or suffers an injury, it activates your immune system. Your immune system sends out its first responders: inflammatory cells and cytokines (substances that stimulate more inflammatory cells).

These cells begin an inflammatory response to trap bacteria and other offending agents or start healing injured tissue. The result can be pain, swelling, bruising or redness. But inflammation also affects body systems you can’t see.

Inflammation is an essential part of your body’s healing process. It occurs when inflammatory cells travel to the place of an injury or foreign body like bacteria. If inflammatory cells stay too long, it may lead to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a symptom of other health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. 

Myth Two: There is only one kind of inflammation 

There are two types of inflammation: acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. 

Acute Inflammation comes on suddenly and can last anywhere from days to weeks. However, acute inflammation settles down once the cause is under control. Common causes of acute inflammation include injury or infection, and this type of inflammation is generally the result of the body attempting to restore the health of the affected area. 


Chronic Inflammation can develop for what appears to be no clear apparent reason. This type of inflammation can last a lifetime and cause harm, instead of helping the body during a healing process. Typically chronic inflammation is linked with chronic diseases such as excess weight, autoimmune diseases, cancers, stress (both psychological or physical), infections (like hepatitis C), diabetes, or cardiovascular disease, including strokes and heart attacks.  Cholesterol levels ( LDL, HDL and Triglycerides) and Sugar levels (HbA1c), 

Image From: Cleveland Heart Lab 

Acute and Chronic inflammation each have their own symptoms. Acute inflammation may cause: Flushed skin at the site of the injury, pain or tenderness, swelling, and/or heat. Chronic inflammation symptoms may be harder to spot than acute inflammation symptoms. Signs of chronic inflammation can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Mouth sores
  • Skin rash

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a substance known as a biomarker that is produced by the liver in response to inflammation in the body. Elevated CRP is a concern because it is associated with an increased risk of heart issues, including heart attack.  This and other inflammatory proteins can be measured in your blood and provide your health care provider with an understanding of your overall clinical risk.

According to Dr. Nicolas Chronos, “We are seeing a great deal of chronic inflammation in the lungs of patients with pulmonary COVID infection. Concerns as to the long term outcomes include the development of long COVID.”

Talk with your provider if you have ongoing pain, swelling, stiffness or other symptoms. A healthcare expert can narrow down the cause and find ways to help you feel better and manage chronic inflammation. 

Myth Three: Inflammation Is Not Affected by Diet

There are certain foods that can fight inflammation. Try out a few simple changes to your diet or even a new eating plan. Below are some examples of food for an anti-inflammatory diet, examples of food to try and reduce that cause inflammation, and a specific eating plan that follows anti-inflammatory eating habits. 

“Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator.” (Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, Foods that fight inflammation 2021)



Your diet matters. The types of foods you eat can affect how much inflammation you have. Get plenty of  fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins (like beans and nuts), fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon, tuna, and sardines), and healthier oils, like olive oil. Also eat foods with probiotics, like yogurt (just check that it doesn’t have too much sugar). Limit saturated fats, found in meats, whole-fat dairy products, and processed foods.

Ginger root has anti-inflammation perks. So do cinnamon, clove, black pepper, and turmeric (which gives curry powder its orange-yellow color). Scientists are studying how much it takes to make a difference. These spices are safe to enjoy in foods. If you want to try them in supplements, ask your doctor first. They can check on whether they might affect any medicines you take or conditions you have.

Dr. Nicolas Chronos encourages his patients to follow the anti-inflammatory Mediterranean Diet. This diet focuses on eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils. 


Lake Country Medical Group Employee Spotlight: Rannie McCannon

Lake Country Medical Group and Concierge would like to welcome Rannie McCannon to our practice. She brings with her a tremendous amount of experience working within the community as well as a keen understanding of medication regimen and working with pharmaceutical companies. Rannie graduated from Greene County High School and was a cheerleader there for four years. She worked for Jay and Melinda Spivey at Lake Oconee Family Pharmacy here in The Harbor Club until it closed. In 2003, she was hired as a full-time Pharmacy Technician at Publix Pharmacy. Rannie stated, “I really enjoyed working at Publix and I’m very proud to say that I worked there for 18 1/2 years! I enjoyed working and building relationships with all of the Patients, Pharmacists and Technicians over the years.” 

At Lake Country Medical Group Rannie is taking on the roles of Chronic Care Management Coordinator and Medical Reconciliation Specialist. According to Dr. Nicolas Chronos, “Rannie is friendly, efficient, and effective. Since hiring Rannie we have seen a dramatic improvement in our ability to reconcile medications, check patients are on the correct medications, and save money for patients on their prescriptions. I am amazed by Rannie’s desire and ability to make sure patients are able to take the medications they need by finding grants and coupons to make their medications more affordable.” 

What Is Medical Reconciliation? 

Medication reconciliation is the process by which a healthcare professional creates a comprehensive list of all the medications a patient is currently taking, including information such as the proper route of administration, dose, time, and frequency of the medication. This sounds simple but it is actually a process that oftentimes gets disregarded in the business of a medical practice or hospital.

In fact, according to the NIH, 

“The average hospitalized patient is subject to at least one medication error per day. This confirms previous research findings that medication errors represent the most common patient safety error. More than 40 percent of medication errors are believed to result from inadequate reconciliation in handoffs during admission, transfer, and discharge of patients. Of these errors, about 20 percent are believed to result in harm. Many of these errors would be averted if medication reconciliation processes were in place.” 

Why is medication reconciliation important? 

Medication reconciliation is important because it reduces the medication errors made in regards to the patient. With more than 7 million Americans impacted by medication errors every year, this process is integral to the healthcare system. When medication lists are inaccurate, a patient may be receiving too much or too little of a certain medication. Healthcare professionals will also be checking to make sure that there are no duplicates on the list. A second healthcare professional who monitors the medication reconciliation process, ensures that a double-check is being done so that all medications are being prescribed within safe levels, none are being duplicated, and that the patient is safe from harm caused by medication errors. 

At Lake Country Medical Group and Concierge we believe it is vital to be diligent about medical reconciliation. We have had new patients come to their first visit with a list of medications which have not been properly managed by previous providers. In just two months Rannie has helped our patients understand their medications and ensure that the medications they are taking are serving their purpose and not causing harm. 

In addition, Rannie has been able to help many of our patients save money on their prescriptions. In several cases she has saved them thousands of dollars! When asked to share an example Rannie explained, “the other day a patient stated to me that he couldn’t afford his Eliquis medication and that he was spending over $200 per month for the medication. I reached out to the Eliquis Foundation that helps fund certain Medicare patients. Once all of the correct documents were sent in, the patient was approved. Because of their annual income, they were able to receive Eliquis free of charge for the remainder of the year! That saved them a total of $2,400 for the year which is amazing!!”

All About Rannie McCannon 

  1. How long have you worked for Dr. Chronos? 

I have worked with the Lake Country Medical Group for almost two months and it thrills me to come to work everyday to be of support to the team. 

  1. What do you enjoy most about working at the practice? 

I really enjoy working with the patients. I know most of them already which is also exciting! 

  1. How long have you lived in Georgia’s Lake Country and where are you originally from? 

I have lived here in Greensboro, Ga. all of my life. I love this community as it is where I was raised and where I have raised my family. 

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about your family? 

I’m very honored to say that I’m happily married to my wonderful husband, Robby McCannon, who is a Greene County Deputy Sheriff. He is also very well known in the community. We share a total of 21 years together and have 2 beautiful children (Rj and Jaxon) whom we adore so much!


Resources –


An Ounce of Prevention

You may have heard Benjamin Franklin’s popular saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We can conclude that he meant taking precautions can prevent consequences later. What some do not know is that Franklin’s statement was originally intended for fire prevention. During a visit to Boston in 1733, Franklin was extremely impressed by the city’s fire prevention methods.  Franklin sent an unsigned letter to his own newspaper The Pennsylvania Gazette. Published on February 4, 1735, his letter — “Protection of Towns from Fire” — began with the expression “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Then he wrote about how a city should prepare itself for a fire. 


Franklin may have been using this phrase in regards to fire safety, but it is also significant in terms of our health. According to the CDC, seven out of 10 U.S. deaths are caused by chronic disease, while roughly half of the country’s population has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, AIDS, or other conditions classified by the medical community as preventable. Statistics like these signal a need for greater national emphasis on proven preventive approaches to health care. Healthy People, a federal program administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, states routine cardiovascular exams alone save tens of thousands of adult lives each year, while vaccines save the lives of roughly 42,000 children on an annual basis. Preventive health screenings and primary care consultations have also been found to significantly increase life expectancy, particularly among the 30- to 49-year age group. National Institute of Health explains, up to date vaccinations, annual or biannual checkups as well as routine tests and exams are critical to preventative medicine.  


At Lake Country Medical Concierge our focus is on preventative medicine. Our focus on preventative medicine involves taking care of your long term health, making lifestyle changes, and being proactive about your risk factors for certain conditions so that you are two steps ahead before an illness strikes. Unlike traditional medical practices, we keep you healthy – not just treat you after you become ill.  In order to do so we complete a comprehensive annual wellness exam. This helps us to create a customized wellness plan that is personalized on your goals, lifestyle, family history, and health status. From there we focus on ensuring you stay physically and mentally healthy through support and guidance on nutrition, fitness, stress reduction, and improved sleep. 

Dr. Nicolas Chronos says “preventative medicine is at the heart of what I do. One important benefit of concierge medicine is the fact that my focus as a doctor is less about intervention and more about preventing disease and chronic illness.” The concierge model enables our practice to include extended visits, continuous follow-up, and a distinctive emphasis on prevention and wellness. These characteristics promote high-quality, individualized care.  When asked why they chose to become a member of our practice, many patients stated that they viewed a concierge practice membership as an investment in good health and disease prevention.


One of our members said, “They are concerned about your long term care, they make sure diagnostics are done as needed and have a focus on prevention. I feel very well taken care of.”


Let’s Add Turmeric Into Your Diet

Written by: Ofek Laks, Public Health Intern at Lake Country Medical Concierge

Want to add a little spice in your life? Try adding Turmeric into your diet! Not only is turmeric a great addition to your dishes, it has been found to have anti-inflammatory components which can lead to a reduction of conditions such as arthritis. 


What is Tumeric?

Turmeric is a common spice that is added to the more familiar spice known as “curry”. The spice comes from the root of the cucruma plant, similar to the ginger root, and the major ingredient is “curcumin”. Curcumin is what gives turmeric its yellow color, but beware it stains so be careful not to get it near white clothing! Turmeric and curry powder has been known to be added to common dishes from India and other parts of Asia, so we definitely recommend going out and trying some!

Turmeric Health Benefits

The biggest known benefit from the consumption of Turmeric is for the reduction of inflammatory diseases. Some common diseases turmeric has shown to relieve symptoms from are: rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. There have also been studies from WebMD that have mentioned how turmeric can protect against types of colitis, stomach ulcers, high cholesterol, and upset stomachs. This spice has also been found in studies that it can benefit memory health as well. A study reported by the Cleveland Clinic states that, “a group of 40 older adults with mild memory trouble, half took a curcumin (turmeric) supplement and half took a placebo for 18 months”(Cleveland 2022). The study reported that those who had been taking the supplements showed improvements with their memory, attention, and moods when the placebo showed no changes. This study was then further moved to help with Alzheimer’s studies, which is a common known memory loss condition. 

Turmeric and Heart Health

Here at Lake Country Medical Concierge, we want you to focus on your heart health as well, and studies have been conducted that show how turmeric can be helpful for yours! Turmeric has been found to boost blood flow and improve vessel function which can help decrease the risk of heart disease. Healthline reports that, “consuming curry powder may benefit heart health by reducing heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and by improving blood flow”(Kubala 2020). Turmeric consumption can also lead to a decreased risk of having a heart attack due to its anti-inflammatory components.  

Turmeric Healthy Recipes

Not only is turmeric heart healthy, it is also delicious when adding it into your recipes! Below are some healthy recipes that we recommend at Lake Country Medical Concierge to try out with the wonderful turmeric spice!

Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower


  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric 
  • ½ tsp ground cumin 
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minded 
  • 1 large head cauliflower, florets
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Mix oil and spices together in a bowl and add cauliflower, toss and coat then transfer to a baking sheet 
  3. Roasts for 15-25 mins until brown and tender
  4. Drizzle lemon juice and serve


Slow- Cooker Moroccan Lentil Soup


  • 2 cups chopped onions 
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minded 
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tsp ground coriander 
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric 
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water 
  • 1 ¾ cups lentils 
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups chopped fresh spinach 
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Combine onions, carrots, garlic, oil, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and pepper into a slow cooker. Add broth, water, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes, and tomato paste and stir to combine until well combined
  2. Cover and cook 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low 
  3. During the last 30 mins stir in spinach. Just before serving add in cilantro and lemon juice


Information from:

Reduce Plastic Intake for Your Heart

Written by: Ofek Laks, Public Health Intern at Lake Country Medical Concierge

Happy Heart Health Month! Did you know using plastic products like food containers or water bottles could increase your risk for cardiovascular disease? 

What is in plastic?

When people hear the word plastic, there are many objects and items being sold all over the world that come to mind, but it is important to think about what is in these products and how increased usage could have an impact on your health. The chemicals found in these products are commonly known as “phthalates” and this compound is the reason why plastics are flexible and soft. Exposure to these chemicals are mostly from diet, inhalation, and dermal contact. 

How does this affect my health?

Now you may be wondering, how do plastics impact my health. Recent studies have shown that the increased usage of Phthalates over time has been linked to chronic conditions including: cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. How such a compound can do such an impact is because the exposure of the chemicals alters your body’s normal hormone levels, thus leading to the possible conditions. A study conducted by Julie Corliss from Harvard Medical School released a study describing how 5,000 median aged (57 average) adults in the United States were given a survey with urine samples. These samples were then observed for over a decade and the results had illustrated that those with higher levels of phthalates had higher risks of cardiovascular disease. Phthalate usage can be reduced easily, if there were more knowledge on exactly what products are using these chemicals and how to cut them out. 

Ways to reduce Plastic Usage

Phthalates can be found in different types of shampoos, deodorants, hairsprays, plastic water bottles, plastics toys, and the highest amount can be found in plastic food containers. All of these can be easily replaced by buying different products and changing your lifestyle. Ways this can be reduced is by handwashing, not using plastic containers; good alternatives can be disposable ones, reduce or completely eliminate usage of plastic wrap covering, using phthalate free soaps, and the most important is to stop microwaving foods in plastic containers if you still want to use them. When the plastics are heated in microwave settings the chemicals from the material is being melted or transmitted into the food products that you are about to consume which is affecting your health.


Information from:,of%20cosmetics%2Fpersonal%20care%20products 


Are You Consuming Too Much Salt?

Written by: Ofek Laks, Public Health Intern at Lake Country Medical Concierge

Have a savory tooth? Next time while sitting on the couch watching television or having a party with friends, think closely about that potato chip you are about to grab. Processed foods have been known to have high levels of sodium which can ultimately impact your heart health. Sodium which is commonly called “salt,” is in most food and processed grocery items. It is important to monitor how much salt you are consuming everyday.


The Daily Intake of Salt

Sodium or otherwise known as “salt” is something that should be a part of the everyday diet in order for the body to function properly, but it is crucial to monitor your intake so there are no consequences on your health. The recommended amount of salt intake by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is “2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium”(Corliss 2022). The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention also reported that about “90%” of Americans consume too much sodium with an average daily intake of “3,400 mg”(CDC 2022). In October of 2021 the FDA called for the food industry to cut the amount of sodium that is being used in processed, packaged, and prepared food. The goal is that manufacturers of processed foods reduce the use of sodium by 12% to about 3,000 mg, which is still over the recommended amount. While this has not been fully put into effect yet, there is an overall realization that it is important to monitor sodium intake. 

Sodium and Your Health

You may be wondering, how does this affect my health? Sodium has been linked to higher blood pressure. This in turn can then lead to increased risk of heart disease and stroke. The CDC reports that annually there are “500,000” deaths related to high blood pressure which can become easily prevented and manageable through the reduction of salt intake. At Lake Country Medical Group, Hypertension is one of the leading causes of heart disease. Hypertension is having consistently high blood pressure.  It is important to us, that our patients and community members understand the effects of sodium on your health.  It may seem difficult to completely cut salt out of your diet, but there are several alternatives that can become replacements or different options when choosing the foods you consume. 

Ways to Reduce Salt Intake

Reducing the amount of salt intake in your diet is much easier than most people believe.When purchasing packaged foods it is good to look at the food labels and see if they have any mentions of “low” or “reduced” sodium.   Also, purchasing more fresh and frozen vegetables that have no salt included. Oftentimes “seasoned” frozen or canned vegetables are loaded with added sodium. In addition, eating leaner meats like fish and poultry can also lead to a lower sodium intake, especially if they are purchased fresh. 

When cooking at home, there are alternatives to salt. For example, garlic or salt free seasonings can add flavor without the added sodium of salt and salt based seasonings. Limiting pre-made sauces, mixes, and “instant” products is also an important way to stay away from sodium, since these products  include high levels of salt. Sauces and mixes can be easily made at home with much less sodium (See our favorite salt free seasoning below). When ordering foods at restaurants, be sure to ask the waiter to limit the amount of salt used. A little bit of salt goes a long way so if you cannot completely cut that out of your diet, just remember to limit yourself and to keep your heart in mind. 


Our Favorite Salt-Free  Seasonings

  1. Dash Original Salt-Free Seasoning Blend (Walmart or Publix)
  2.  Red Oak Provisions Everything Bagel Seasoning Salt-Free (Amazon)
  3. Salt-Free Cajun Seasoning (The Spice House)
  4. Mediterranean Garlic and Herb Salt-Free Blend (The Spice House)
  5. The Spice Hunter Salt Free Poultry Grill & Broil Blend (Amazon)




Energy Boosters

Two Natural Ways to Fight Fatigue



You yawn and look at your watch… It is two o’clock and you have to be ready to tee off in forty five minutes. Your heart says you can’t wait to play golf but your body is feeling heavy and your brain is having a hard time getting in gear. You begin to hope it will rain. This is an all too common feeling. At certain points of the day you feel tired. Or maybe you just can’t finish 18 holes with as much vigor as you used to. You just don’t have the energy. 


Like a car or cell phone battery, our bodies can be replenished of energy when we need it. However, it is not as simple as plugging our phone into an outlet for a few minutes for it to recharge. Instead, we must be aware of where our energy comes from and how we can get more of it. So how do we fill up our tanks, so to say? Below we will dig into two ways you can fight fatigue and feel more energized. 



You are sitting on the couch – tired – the last thing you want to do is get up and walk around the block. Nevertheless, YOU SHOULD! Why? Because exercise fights fatigue in several different ways. First, when you exercise your body creates more mitochondria. Mitochondria convert glucose and fat into a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is your cells’ source of energy. We only store a small amount of ATP but our bodies can create more when needed. In fact, exercise triggers your body to create more ATP which in turn gives you more energy. It is a win, win! Second, when you work out your body releases epinephrine and norepinephrine. The amount induced by exercise makes you feel energized. Along with this, exercise boosts levels of endorphins which are “mood lifters” and make you feel more awake. Finally, exercise is the only proven way to increase the amount of sleep you get. Studies show that exercise improves the amount of time you spend in deep sleep and REM sleep.


What kind of exercise is right for you? That depends on how much exercise you have been doing. It’s important to remember that it is never too late to start exercising. If you are reading this and wondering if exercise will cure your draining energy levels, start with a walk around the block and gradually build up from there. Experts say that when it comes to aerobic exercise, if you can talk easily during it, increase the level of effort. If you cannot carry on a conversation at all, back off a little. If you are wondering what kind of exercise is best for you, call us today or check with your doctor for advice based on your own health history. 

Eat Energy Giving Foods

Caffeine and energy drinks can provide you a temporary lift. Unfortunately, as you may have discovered, after a few hours you often find yourself more tired than you were before you consumed them. Although a cup or two of coffee can still offer some rewards, it is important to understand which foods can provide your body with lasting energy. When choosing foods, it is crucial to not only look at how many calories the food has but more importantly the source of the calories. To fuel our bodies we need adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, proteins, healthy fats, and a mix of unrefined or minimally refined carbohydrates. 


Choosing foods for what they provide your body is a mindset and something that most Americans can improve on. The type of carbohydrates, fats, and protein you eat can affect how you feel. For example, try to avoid highly refined carbohydrates and choose instead complex carbohydrates, such as high-fiber whole-grain bread, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, and most vegetables. These take longer to break down, so your blood sugar levels rise and fall more gradually. In addition, essential fatty acids, which are highly concentrated in the brain, support cognitive performance, providing an energy boost. Essential fatty acids include the omega-3 fatty acids- found in fish, flaxseeds, soybeans, walnuts, and canola oil. They are called “essential” because your body cannot manufacture them from other nutrients; they must be acquired through food or supplements.


Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can cause feelings of fatigue. Low levels in the following contribute to decreased energy: iron, vitamin B12, magnesium, and vitamin D. It is important to note that if your levels are normal for these vitamins and minerals, taking more will not give you more energy. At Lake Country Medical Concierge we can do blood work to test your vitamin and mineral levels. If you are having unexplained drowsiness, call us today and we can help you determine if you are suffering from a deficiency.


Reasons to Include Olive Oil in Your Daily Diet

Written by Ofek Laks


Now that the holiday season is over and it has come to the beginning of the new year, it is also time to change the way you prepare your meals for the benefit of your long term health, and Lake Country Medical Concierge is here to help! While browsing through your recipe book, every recipe requires some sort of saturated fat to help assemble the dish, for example butter or margarine, but what most do not realize is how switching to using olive oil has huge effects on your health and wellness. Not only is olive oil easy to find on the shelves of your local grocery store, it is not high priced so it enables you to prepare healthier food options while not breaking the bank.

Reduction of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular Disease has been known to be one of the main sources of mortality in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “one person dies every 36 seconds” from cardiovascular disease and “about 659,000 people die annually which leads to one in every 4 persons”. These statistics can be gradually decreased by substituting olive oil into your everyday diet. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) states that, “approximately half a tablespoon of olive oil may cut risk for CV death and all-cause death by 19%”. In the image below given by the JACC it illustrates the effects on the body when it comes to olive oil intake.

Nutritional Benefits

While olive oil reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, there are also nutritional benefits that can be added to your diet once you switch. Olive oil is simply made from being extracted from olives, so there are no artificial additives being added to the oil. Dr. Chronos recommends the usage of extra virgin olive oil since it is the least processed and is considered the healthiest type of olive oil. Healthline reports that one tablespoon of olive oil is “119 calories, 14% saturated fat of total calories, providing 13% of daily value of Vitamin E, and 7% of daily value of Vitamin K”.

Ways to Include Olive Oil in your daily meals

Olive Oil is very easy to incorporate into your daily diet, simply by switching out butter or margarine. Dr. Chronos recommends including the “Mediterranean Diet” into your daily lifestyle which in the end will help reduce inflammation and cardiovascular disease. CNN Health states that the Mediterranean Diet focuses on “simple cooking featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts all with the inclusion of olive oil”. Some examples of food choices that olive oil includes are: marinades, salad dressing,appetizers to eat alongside with bread, and the preparation of meat/vegetables before cooking.


Four Things to Add to Your Shopping Cart … And Some Quick Simple Recipes 


Whether you are young or graying, food nourishes our body and provides vital nutrients to satisfy our nutritional needs. Research shows that certain foods can even prevent disease and illness from occurring. Because of this, it is important to be vigilant about what you are adding to your shopping cart when perusing the grocery aisles. Continue reading to learn about five foods that prevent unwanted diseases. 



     Research has shown that blueberries help to prevent chronic illness due to anthocyanins and other beneficial compounds that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Now a new study suggests that blueberries may also help to keep your brain sharp as you age. A group of older adults who drank one ounce of concentrated blueberry juice, the equivalent of about eight ounces of whole blueberries, every day for 12 weeks experienced improvements in working memory, cognitive function, and blood flow to the brain. Go buy some blueberries, fresh or frozen today! You can eat them raw, blended in smoothies, topped on yogurt, or baked in your favorite dessert.

Vegan Blueberry Coconut Popsicles (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Yield: 10 Popsicles    Total Time: 5 Minutes  

(You will need a popsicle mold) 



  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (13.66 oz) 
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries 
  • 2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Directions: Add coconut milk, blueberries and maple syrup to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Pour this mixture into a popsicle mold. Make sure to leave about ¼” of space at the top of the mold to allow the popsicles to expand in the freezer. Insert popsicle sticks into the mold, or follow instructions for your mold. Freeze for 6-8 hours.



There are many great benefits of avocados. For one, they are full of unsaturated fats which have been shown to lower your bad cholesterol and total cholesterol. Avocados are also a great source of potassium, magnesium, vitamins C, E, and K, as well as several B vitamins. In addition, the antioxidants in avocados help protect you against free radicals and help protect your cells from oxidative stress. Also, avocados provide your body with fiber and loads of potassium. Be sure to toss some of these miraculous fruits in your shopping cart next time you are at the grocery store!

3 Ingredient Avocado Salad


  • 2.5 pounds avocados 
  • ½ cup green onion 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


To cut avocados, cut each fruit in half and remove the pit. Then cut each half into 2-3 strips, peel the avocado strip, and then slice each strip into inch long chunks. In a large salad bowl, add avocados, green onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir very gently with a wooden spoon and consume within the next 5-6 hours. Great on its own, on a toasted pita, or in a wrap.



    Walnuts offer omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. They are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, better brain health, and slower cancer growth. New research shows that walnuts may act as a “prebiotic,” a food that helps beneficial bacteria in the gut proliferate. There are many ways to eat walnuts. You can snack on them by themselves. They are also great in oatmeal or cereal. Roasted walnuts can be added to salads. Walnuts are also great in pesto along with fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil. 

Walnut Pesto



1/3 cup walnuts

2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 cups gently packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano



Place the walnuts and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until coarsely chopped, about 10 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper and process until mixture resembles a paste, about 1 minute. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly blended. Add the Parmesan and process a minute more. Use pesto immediately or store in a tightly sealed jar or air-tight plastic container, covered with a thin layer of olive oil. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.



    Recent studies show that extra-virgin olive oil may lower rates of dementia and help memory and learning. By lowering inflammation, olive oil reduces two forms of “debris” in the brain that characterize Alzheimer’s disease. Extra-virgin olive oil can be used in salad dressing, dips and any low-heat cooking. Avoid using extra-virgin olive oil when using it for high-heat recipes as it can produce certain toxins. 

Bread Dipping Oil Recipe


  • 2 cups olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil 
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • ½ teaspoon dried crushed rosemary 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste 
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice  
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese  

Directions– Stir together the olive oil, basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, oregano, black pepper, rosemary, salt, red pepper, and lemon juice in a bowl. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the surface of the oil mixture.




Brain Exercise… 6 Ways to Improve Your Brain Function Through Cognitive Fitness

6 Ways to Improve Your Brain Function Through Cognitive Fitness 

Brain Exercise? Yes Brain Exercise! The exercise you should be doing everyday… multiple times of day! In fact, exercising your brain should become your number one health goal no matter your age. The more you exercise physically in your adolescence and young adulthood the more likely you are to be physically fit as you grow older. Likewise, the more you perform a cognitive fitness routine when you’re younger the better brain function you will have as you age. 

No matter how old you are, it is important to start a cognitive exercise regime. Following these steps will improve the health of your brain. Our brain is vital to a happy and healthy life. At Lake Country Medical Concierge, our goal is to make sure you are as physically and cognitively healthy as you can be. 

Here are 6 strategies that are proven to improve your brain health. 

1. Eat a Mediterranean Diet 

You know that food affects your body and weight, but did you know that it also plays a vital role in your brain health? Certain foods play a critical role in keeping your brain sharp. These include omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants. The foods that are good for your brain are also beneficial for your heart and blood vessels. The Mediterranean diet in particular is great for increased cognitive function. 

When choosing brain smart foods consider these:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fatty Fish
  • Berries 
  • Tea and Coffee 
  • Walnuts 

It should be noted that the following foods have actually been shown to decrease brain function and should be avoided when possible: Red meat, whole milk, sugars, refined flour, trans fat, and diet soda. 


2. Exercise Regularly 

Studies show that exercise improves many brain functions that tend to decrease with age. Active people are able to focus and process information better than those who do not exercise regularly. According to experts, the ideal exercise regime includes both aerobic exercise (cardio) and weight training. According to Harvard Health, “The key with any form of exercise is that you work to the very limit of your ability, pushing yourself as hard as you can. It seems that extra push translates into real cognitive benefits.” 


3. Make Sure You are Getting Enough Sleep 

Sleep is essential for good brain health. In fact, not getting enough sleep for sustained periods can play a detrimental role in your long term cognitive function. Let your

doctor know if you consistently have trouble falling or staying asleep, so you can find the treatment or solution that best fits the cause. At Lake Country Medical Concierge we have a sleep clinic for those with sleep apnea because we know the importance of good sleep. If you are concerned you may have sleep apnea, reach out to us so we can help you achieve restful nights. 


4. Manage Your Long Term Stress

Stress is ever present in today’s world. The goal is not to get rid of the stresses in your life but learn how to manage stress. Short term stress can be beneficial for your brain because it pushes the brain to perform. However, when short term stress turns in to long term stress that does not get resolved it can produce changes to the brain’s structure and function. The cortisol and hormones that are produced from long term stress can really affect how your brain functions; unfortunately for the worse. Chronic stress can stop the development of new neurons in your hippocampus and also lead to the shrinkage of the frontal cortex.

Learning strategies that help you to relax can greatly impact your brain health. Exercise and relaxation techniques can build back lost volume in the hippocampus while also helping you to manage stress around you. 

5. Maintain Solid Social Ties 

We are inherently social creatures. Positive social interactions can have acute effects on your health and longevity. In a study of more than 2,200 women published in the American Journal of Public Health, women with a large social network were less likely to develop dementia than women with fewer connections. Dr. Nancy J. Donovan of Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s

Hospital found that participants who reported loneliness experienced faster cognitive decline. 

Social activities require you to engage several important mental processes, including attention and memory. Frequent engagement helps strengthen neural networks, slowing normal age-related declines.


6. Don’t Stop Challenging Your Brain 


The more you challenge your brain the more of a buffer you will create against the adverse effects of the aging brain. Everything you do can become mental exercise if you pay attention to it and try to get better at it.

Some ways to challenge your brain are:

  • Trying something new or learning new things
  • Puzzles and card games 
  • Travel 
  • Music 


Your brain health can both positively and negatively affect your physical health. It is important to us to help you improve your cognitive function. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to our office 706-510-3659 . Brain health is not something you want to put off until you start noticing detrimental effects. At Lake Country Medical Concierge, we work with people of all ages to improve the quality of their cognitive and physical vigor. Our concierge practice will allow more time with patients and the opportunity to develop a holistic approach that addresses the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and environmental influences that affect a person’s health. Together, we can work collaboratively to design and implement a customized plan to improve your overall wellness.



A Guide to Cognitive Fitness. A Harvard Medical School Special Report. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD.