What’s for Dinner?? It has happened, ha

What’s for Dinner??

It has happened, half way through the week and you are standing in front of your fridge with no idea of what to cook for dinner. You are tired and don’t want to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen and you hear that question in the back of your head “what’s for dinner then?”.
Well how about a yummy, easy and quick pasta that is not just cheesy and delicious, but healthy too! Try out this recipe for Easy Cheesy Vegetable pasta to get a quick and healthy dinner on the table!

Easy Cheesy Vegetable Pasta
[Makes 4 servings]
Preparation Time: 10 mins.
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins

2 cups cooked pasta (penne, macaroni or fusilli)
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp chopped celery
1/2 cup capsicum (bell peppers), sliced
1 cup boiled mixed vegetables
3/4 cup milk
3 cheese slices ( or 1/2 cup grated processed cheese)
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp butter
salt and black pepper powder to taste

1. Heat the butter in a pan and sauté the onion, celery and capsicum for 2 minutes.
2. Add the milk and cheese slices and bring to a boil.
3. Add the vegetables, mixed herbs, salt and pepper and mix well.
4. Toss the cooked pasta in the sauce and bring to a boil.
Serve hot with toast or garlic bread.

-Approximately 1¼ cups of dried pasta will yield 2 cups of cooked pasta.
– Try broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and spinach as the mixed vegetable to make this meal even more rich in folic acid! Or try different vegetables you have at home, be creative!
-Eat your colors! Add red, green and yellow bell peppers to make this a colorful dish.
-Serve alongside some protein (like grilled chicken or salmon) to make this a heartier meal

And there you have it, a quick easy pasta that will save you from that Mid-week dinner slump. Enjoy!!!

Check out this recipe and more at : http://ow.ly/qBqc309udce http://ow.ly/i/sl2iH

Hello Everyone! My name is Diana Bonilla

Hello Everyone!
My name is Diana Bonilla and I am an intern through the Health Education Program at San Francisco State University. I am so excited to be doing my fieldwork this semester at the San Francisco Department of Family Planning Program. I am looking forward to expanding my experience and knowledge when it comes to Family Planning and Women’s Health throughout these next months and strive to be an advocate for those that are underprivileged and under-served.

I wear quite a few hats throughout my day, from intern to student to mom to wife to daughter. I am married to a wonderful man and have a beautiful daughter that will be turning four soon. How time flies! I am also the eldest child of a single mother who immigrated here from Guatemala. Although I was born here I am so grateful for the lessons I learned from my mother about the need to advocate for yourself and the value of hard work. I look forward to bringing everything that I have learned from my personal life experiences and utilizing them as tools to connect with others.
I am very much looking forward to connecting with others and sharing valuable information about the Go Folic! Program because I have seen how important it is to incorporate folic acid into your daily life before, during and after pregnancy. My pregnancy was not planned so I was very grateful for all the information that I received as well as the resources and support from others. The importance of Folic Acid was introduced to me at that time and I continue to take vitamins with folic acid now. I was blessed to have a healthy baby girl and continue to see how folic acid continues to benefit my health. I hope that I can also encourage other women to learn about the benefits of folic acid and to apply it to their lives. http://ow.ly/i/sf1li

Meet Sophie Mou!

Sophie Mou, SFDPH Performance Improvement SpecialistMeet Sophie Mou, the latest addition to the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Family Planning and Preconception Health Program team, for which she will be working as a Performance Improvement Specialist.

A Bay Area native, I am thrilled to work with the SFDPH, both to help improve health care services for under-served populations and to learn from the diverse group of professionals who are all invested in the state of health care here in San Francisco. Most of all, I am looking forward to understanding how the different stakeholders in health care contribute to the overall system. I am immensely excited to meet everyone!

I am a recent graduate of Cornell University, where my four years were defined greatly by my global health minor, through which I learned about public health matters on an international scale. My experience shadowing physicians in peri-urban Peru and my role as a research assistant within Cornell’s Division of Nutrition have given me a taste of the problems that health care entities face with regards to the dissemination of information and resource allocation. This past June, as a result of the work I had been doing, I presented a poster on the mental health status of HIV and TB patients in northern Uganda at the University of Rochester’s first annual Global Health Symposium.


LARC Awareness Week is November 15 – 21, 2015!


National LARC Awareness Week, organized by the California Family Health Council, gives community partners and women the opportunity to join together on various media platforms to spread awareness for the LARC methods. With an almost 99% rate of effectiveness, LARCs have the potential to significantly reduce unintended pregnancies in the United States. While the use of LARCs is at an all-time high, women with the highest risk of unintended pregnancy are less likely to use them. We can and should do more to increase awareness about LARCs, particularly now that cost barriers will be removed for many. Tell us why you #LoveYourLARC throughout that week! 


Introducing Susannah Champlin!

Susannah is a new summer intern at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and will be updating the Go Folic! website periodically. She is an undergraduate at UC Berkeley entering her senior year. Throughout her time in college she has volunteered in hospital and clinic settings, ensuring that underserved populations receive quality healthcare. She is excited to continue this work on a larger scale by implementing an interdepartmental communication network, contributing original social media content and conducting youth outreach. In her spare time she enjoys dancing, yoga, and traveling as much as she can! In the future she hopes to obtain an Masters in Public Health. She is so excited and honored to work at her dream internship!

Here is Susannah in Budapest, Hungary this past June.

Here is Susannah in Budapest, Hungary this past June.

A word from Curtis Chan

Good evening San Francisco!  I hope everyone was able to enjoy the perks of folic acid awareness week.  This week was just the beginning of a new year, a year where awareness and action will be the driving force taking control of our very own health!

Today’s blog comes to us from the fabulous Curtis Chan, MD, MPH, Medical Director of Maternal, Adolescent & Child Health in SF.  Let’s here what he has to say….

  1. Importance of Folate
  • Vitamin B9, also called folic acid or folate is found naturally in some foods, including leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, salmon, and whole grains.   However, most women do not eat enough of these foods to provide the optimal health benefit of folic acid.
  • B9 is an essential nutrient for amino acid synthesis and DNA replication.  Hence, it’s particularly important during the critical first 8 weeks of pregnancy, during the critical window of early brain and spinal cord development of the fetus.
  • Compelling research showing that folic acid drastically prevented neural tube defects caused the US Preventive Services Taskforce and the National Academy of Sciences (1996) to recommend daily consumption of 400 mcg of folic acid.
  1. Study Findings
  • In July 2014, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the main professional organization for OB-GYN physicians, published in its highly reputable peer-reviewed scientific journal, Obstetrics and Gynecology, a research article from Harvard Medical School, “Maternal pre-pregnancy folate intake and risk of spontaneous abortion and stillbirth.”
  • The study showed that the risk of miscarriage (or spontaneous abortions) was 20% lower among women taking high amounts of folate acid (730 ug/d) compared to those with the lowest intake (0 ug/d).
  • Since 1992, public health and medical authorities have recommended that all women U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all women capable of becoming pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to prevent neural tube defects.  While many women aren’t familiar with the brain and spinal cord deformities of neural tube defects, research has since shown other health benefits of folic acid to the mother and infant.
  • The significant risk reduction in miscarriage is another important reminder about the benefits of women taking folic acid vitamins as part of their daily routine, before becoming pregnant.

Curtis Chan, MD, MPH

Medical Director of Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health

San Francisco Department of Public Health

30 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 260b, SF, CA 94102

It’s Food- Tuesday! So there is no bette

It’s Food- Tuesday! So there is no better time to share one our most favorite (and easy) yummy recipes, full of folic acid!!

Lentil-Walnut Burgers
Prep time: 35 min
Chill time: 1 hour
Cook time: 15 min

Ingredients needed:
• ¾ cup dry lentils
• 1 ½ cups of water
• 2 Tbs. cider vinegar
• 1Tbs. olive oil
• 1 cup finely minced onion
• 4 to 5 large cloves of garlic (minced)
• Approximately 10 large mushrooms (minced)
• ½ cup very minced walnuts
• 1tsp. salt (optional)
• ½ pound fresh spinach, finely minced
• 1 tsp. dry mustard
• Fresh black pepper (to taste)
• ½ cup fine breadcrumbs or wheat germ
Directions for a successful healthy, folic acid filled burger:
1. Place lentils and water in small saucepan and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer,, partially cove red, for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the liquid is gone. Transfer to a medium- sized bowl, add vinegar, and mash well.
2. Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add onions and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except wheat germ or bread crumbs, and sauté 5-10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Add the sauté 5-10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Add the sauté and crumbs to the lentils and mix well. Chill for about 1 hour before forming patties.
3. Form 4-inch diameter burgers (or however large you would like). Fry in a small amount of hot olive oil on broth sides until heated and crispy on the outside, or broil for 5-8 minutes on each side.
Lentils- 1 cup= 358 mcg of folate (90% DV)
Spinach- 1 cup= 263mcg of folate (65% DV)
Beats- 1 cup (boiled)= 136 mcg of folate (DV)