Category Archives: Health

WATCH: Flu season one of the worst in nearly a decade, officials say

Transcript for Flu season one of the worst in nearly a decade, officials say

Next, this evening, new concerns over the deadly flu epidemic. Doctors in the northeast say the rapid flu tests that help diagnose know quickly are now in short supply, as well. And in New Hampshire tonight, a mother of four dying of flu complications. She had decided against taking ant anti-viral medication. Here’s ABC’s linsey Davis, on this again tonight. Reporter: Hospitals and clinics across the country now trying to stave off what officials are calling the worst one of the worst flu seasons in nearly a decade with the best defense possible — free flu shots. In New York — would you categorize this as a severe flu season? Yes, it is severe now. It certainly is severe now. Reporter: Nearly 8,000 confirmed cases of the flu last week in New York state. Close to 2,000 patients hospitalized. This doctor tells us those rapid tests used to quickly diagnose the flu are in short supply in the New York area. Most urgent care centers don’t have them and the major suppliers can’t provide them right now. I’m just feeling exhausted. You know, I still got achy pains right now. Reporter: Ronald Townsend was just diagnosed with the flu today. Yeah, I took the flu shot this year and I caught the flu. Reporter: One of the latest victims, 35-year-old Amanda king, a mother of four from new Hampshire. She was just getting rest and fluids and doing everything she thought was right. Reporter: Her family says she didn’t take anti-viral medication because she worried about the side effects. Two days later, she got sicker. She died on the way to the hospital. This has been such a horrific flu season. We know doctors recommend the ant anti-viral drugs, to lessen the symptoms of the flu. And linsey, I wanted to get back to that patient who had a flu shot, still got the flu. Doctors have told us that even if you have the shot and still get it, that the vaccine often helps knock down the severity of the flu once you do get it? Reporter: That’s correct, David. Doctors say even when you get the flu shot, if it doesn’t prevent the flu, it can lessen the see theirty of the flu and keep up out of the hospital. David? All right, linsey Davis with us tonight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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Federal officials say flu epidemic has killed at least 30 children

A deadly flu epidemic spreading across the nation has now claimed the lives of at least 30 children, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

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The CDC’s latest influenza-associated pediatric mortality report released Friday shows that at least 10 children died between Jan. 6 and Jan. 13, and the others have died the since the flu season started in October.

The report also shows that 8,990 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported across the nation between Oct. 1, 2017 and Jan. 13, 2018.

A total of 110 died during the 2016-17 flu season, but CDC officials said this years flu hasn’t even hit its peak.

Among the latest casualties Zainab Momin, a third-grader from Pike Road, Alabama, whose death has yet to be counted in the CDC report.

PHOTO: A flu vaccine injection is administered.Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP Photo, FILE
A flu vaccine injection is administered.

The girl died Tuesday night after her parents took her to the hospital with flu symptoms and fever, Pike Road Schools Superintendent Dr. Chuck Ledbetter told ABC affiliate WBMA in Birmingham, Alabama.

Ledbetter he’s been urging parents to “do the little things that seem inconsequential,” such as washing hands, getting the flu vaccine, and making sure sick students stay at home.

“We’re working very hard to protect our children,” Ledbetter said.

PHOTO: A Fluzone influenza vaccine is shown at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy in San Francisco, Jan. 9, 2018.Jeff Chiu/AP Photo
A Fluzone influenza vaccine is shown at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy in San Francisco, Jan. 9, 2018.

The CDC has identified a particular strain of influenza A, H3N2, as the culprit affecting thousands from coast to coast. Agency officials said 49 of 50 states have reported widespread flu activity at the same time.

In Swampscott, Massachusetts, Phyllis Gotlib, a beloved 68-year-old music teacher at the Clark, Hadley and Stanley elementary school died from flu complications. Schools in the district were closed Friday, so students and staff could attend her funeral.

“Phyllis was a wonderful person loved by everyone. She brought music into the lives of so many children in Swampscott and Marblehead,” her family said in statement. “We are shocked and saddened and can’t express how much we will miss her.”

In Texas, the influenza outbreak is so severe that the Bonham Independent School District, which has about 2,000 students, canceled classes through Tuesday.

At Loma Linda Medical Center in San Bernardino County, California, the medical staff has erected a triage tent outside the emergency room to handle the influx of flu patients.

“This seems to be the worst flu season we’ve had here in the last 10 to 15 years,” Dr. Adrian Cotton, chief of medical operations at the Southern California hospital, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “We’re seeing a lot more patients for the flu and the patients we’re seeing are a lot sicker than usual.”

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Man who aided disoriented patient says she's getting care

The man who said he came to the aid of a visibly disoriented woman discharged from a Baltimore hospital wearing only a gown and socks on a frigid winter’s night said Friday that she’s been reunited with her family.

Imamu Baraka, a psychotherapist who has an office across the street from the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus, told The Associated Press he was so angry at the woman’s treatment that he decided to record Tuesday night’s events on cellphone video, fearing no one would believe him if he reported a patient being left at a bus stop like that on a cold January night.

“I knew that she was not supposed to be discharged from a hospital with no clothing on and no shoes,” he said during a Friday interview in his office.

Baraka’s cellphone video shows several guards strolling back to the hospital after escorting the patient out wearing only a hospital gown and socks. He described temperatures in the 30s and a cold wind blowing at the woman’s hospital gown, exposing her to the elements.

Her street clothes were stuffed in plastic bags and dropped at an open-air bus stop. She appeared disoriented and distressed as she stumbled along the sidewalk, making keening vocalizations but unable to formulate any words.

Baraka said he’s been in regular contact with the 22-year-old woman’s mother, who is grateful for his intervention, since his video went viral. The video alerted the woman to the whereabouts of her daughter, who had been missing for two weeks, he said.

“She’s doing a lot better. She’s getting the treatment that she needs. She’s in the company of family. This is a good thing now, because now she is getting things she could not get before because of this video,” he said.

The mother of the young woman has not immediately responded to AP requests seeking comment.

Baraka said he was furious at the hospital security guards. Of those who brought her outdoors, he said: “I asked them three times, I asked them specifically, ‘Are you going to leave this lady out here like this?’ They kept walking.”

He then went and tried to help the woman shelter in the bus stop while calling 911 for an ambulance. He said he asked the arriving ambulance crew where they would take her, and they replied “back to the hospital.”

That’s exactly where she went. That same night, she was put in a taxi and sent to a homeless shelter, according to Baraka.

Baraka questioned the judgment of the medical professionals who authorized her release, asserting that they failed to avoid doing preventable harm.

“They failed that simple test. They put her in an environment where she could have literally ended up dead because it was cold that night,” he said.

Dr. Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of University of Maryland Medical Center, told a news conference Thursday afternoon that there were no excuses for what happened.

“We believe firmly that we provided appropriate medical care to a patient who came to us in need, but where we absolutely failed, and where we own that failure, is in the demonstration of basic humanity and compassion as a patient was being discharged from our organization after having received that care,” he said.

When asked for any updates to the hospital’s internal review, spokeswoman Lisa Clough said the administration is continuing its investigation and are “working to ensure that such a situation does not happen again.”

“This includes re-examining our policies and procedures to better understand where the breakdown occurred regarding this patient’s discharge,” Clough said in a Friday email.

The hospital is cooperating with regulatory agencies such as Maryland’s Office of Health Care Quality, according to Clough.

Baraka said he has spoken twice to Suntha, who has publicly thanked him for shooting the video.

“We are going to talk again, in person, after all the bigness of this sort of calms down. Oh, but he will be held accountable fully, one way or another,” Baraka said.


Associated Press writer Bill Cormier contributed from Atlanta.

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Why this year's flu is worse and how to help prevent the spread

The flu has ramped up early this year and is rapidly spreading across the country, with widespread flu activity in 46 states, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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“This is a feature of this year’s flu — not only did it start early, but it seemed to occur all over the country more or less simultaneously,” Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, told ABC News.

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PHOTO: flu graphics

How bad is it?

The flu has not yet reached “epidemic” proportions, according to last week’s CDC data, but it may happen soon. A flu epidemic occurs when the percentage of people who have died from the flu exceeds a threshold set by the CDC using data from prior years. Last week, the number of people who died from the flu this year was only 0.2 percent below that threshold.

Doctor’s visits for flu-like illness are rising. This year’s numbers are almost identical to three years ago, in the 2014-2015 season — both years surpassed what was seen last year, 2016-2017.

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PHOTO: flu graphics2

Twenty-six states are reporting high flu activity, with some of the worst in Arkansas, where 14 percent of outpatient doctor visits were for influenza-like illness last week. Neighboring states of Mississippi and Texas also have high flu activity, with 12 percent of doctors’ visits related to flu-like symptoms.

But when patients must be admitted to the hospital, flu can turn deadly. The number of patients in the hospital for flu-like illness nationally has doubled in the past two weeks and is higher than in recent years — about 35 percent up from the same time last year. Most of the people who are hospitalized for the flu are over the age of 65.

The predominant flu strain this year is H3N2, a form of influenza A. This strain is included in this year’s flu vaccine, but information on how effective the vaccine has been is typically not available until the flu season is over.

Vaccine effectiveness typically ranges from 40 to 60 percent in a good year. Preliminary estimates from last year show the vaccine was 40 percent effective in the U.S., similar to 2014-2015.

Concerns have been raised about this year’s vaccine after an editorial published in the New England Journal of Medicine last Thursday said it was only 10 percent effective against H3N2 in Australia.

Schaffner cautions against using this statistic to predict how well the vaccine will work in the U.S., since this is not official CDC data, but warns it could be a bad sign.

“We are being affected by the basically same virus and using basically the same vaccine,” he said.

Additionally, years in which H3N2 is the predominant influenza strain tend to have higher death rates, with approximately 20,000 deaths in the 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 seasons when H3N2 predominated.

The good news is that this year’s flu seems to be quite susceptible to the available flu medications, like Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir. What’s more, Tamiflu, is “widely available” according to its manufacturers, who do not expect any shortage of the medication. It is most helpful if taken within 48 hours of the start of the flu.

Schaffner points out that the vaccine provides good protection against other influenza strains, which are becoming more common this season.

“It’s an imperfect vaccine, but it’s the best we have, and it still does provide a terrific amount of protection — complete protection and partial protection,” he said. “You contribute to your own protection and a healthier community — a community where there is less likelihood of spread.”

How the flu vaccine helps

First, get the vaccine — there’s still time.

“It is late and so do not walk, run,” said Schaffner. “Run to your provider’s office or pharmacy to get the vaccine.”

It can take up to two weeks for the body to build up defenses against the virus, he added.

The vaccine protect individuals from the flu, but also helps prevent spreading it to the sick, the elderly, pregnant women, and children — all of whom are more likely to have serious consequences from influenza.

It is especially important for pregnant women to get the vaccine, according to Schaffner.

“There is dual benefit for the pregnant woman to get vaccinated,” he said. “Not only will she get protection, but she’ll also pass those antibodies along to her infant, which will protect them for the first 6 months of life when the infant is too young to get the vaccine. And the vaccine is safe for pregnant women and the fetus.”

For those who contract the flu, it could make symptoms less severe, Schaffner added. According to the CDC, the vaccine helps to reduce doctor’s visits, missed school or work and hospitalizations due to the flu.

Other precautions to protect against the flu

Next, make sure to wash hands carefully to limit the spread of the virus and try to avoid close contact with sick people.

For those who do get the flu, Shaffner said, avoid contact with others.

“Stay home, don’t go to work, don’t go to the gym, don’t go to religious services,” he said. “Nobody wants to be a dreaded spreader.”

And remember to consider antiviral medications, like Tamiflu.

“If you get sick, call your provider, because your provider might prescribe an antiviral,” Schaffner said. “If we get in early enough, we can make your infection less severe, perhaps shorten it by a day and make it less likely that you get the complications.”

People who get sick should also keep up with fluids — and seek medical attention if they start to feel worse or develop shortness of breath, worsening congestion or cough.

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Keto, Whole30 diets rank last on one best diets of 2018 list

Two of the most buzzed-about diets, the Keto diet and the Whole30 diet, have landed at the bottom of a new ranking of best diets for 2018.

The Keto diet, which promotes a low-carbohydrate, high-fat regimen, tied for last on the Best Diet Overall list released today by U.S. News and World Report.

“One of our experts said, ‘Any diet that recommends snacking on bacon can’t be taken seriously as a health-promoting way to eat,'” Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News and World Report, told ABC News.

Ketogenic, or low-carbohydrate diets, have been used for treatment of epilepsy for decades and more recently gained attention as a tool for weight loss. Severely restricting carbohydrates can result in a process called ketosis.

PHOTO: Sliced steak with asparagus is a healthy meal for someone on a keto diet. Claudia Totir/Getty Images
Sliced steak with asparagus is a healthy meal for someone on a keto diet.

“One of the concerns with Keto is how high in saturated fat it is,” Haupt said. “Our experts say the diet can be especially dangerous to people with severe diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease.”

The Whole30 diet, which gets 60,000 searches per month in Google, came in next to last in the ranking of 40 diet plans. The diet, based on a bestselling book, strips food groups like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes from participants’ diets for a full 30 days, according to its website.

PHOTO: Fried wild asparagus and duck ham,soft-boiled egg and pine nuts is a healthy meal for the whole 30 diet. STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images
Fried wild asparagus and duck ham,soft-boiled egg and pine nuts is a healthy meal for the whole 30 diet.

The expert panel of nutritionists, dietary consultants and physicians that ranked the diets criticized Whole30 in particular, along with the Body Reset diet, for “being ‘fad diets’ that unnecessarily wipe out entire food groups,” according to U.S. News and World Report.

“The main thing about [Whole30 and Keto diets] is they’re both extreme,” Haupt said. “They’re both really restrictive, in some cases wiping out entire food groups, and our experts say it’s just not necessary and it’s not safe or healthy.

“You’re just not setting yourself up for any type of lasting, healthy, long-term success and you might even do damage to yourself in the process,” she added.

Topping the list of best diets for 2018 were the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet, which tied for first place.

“Both of them are really nutritionally sound,” Haupt said. “And they also have benefits for chronic diseases and even brain health and heart health.”

Haupt said a desire for drastic change and fast results could explain why diets like Whole30 and Keto have reached such popularity.

“Slow and steady might work but it’s not the exciting way to go about things and weight loss can be so frustrating,” Haupt said. “You might not see it as quickly but you are setting yourself up for longer, more healthy success when you do choose that sound plan.”

Diet trends in 2018 will focus on promoting health from the inside out, according to U.S. News and World Report. The magazine reports consumers are interested in eating for whole body health as well as for specific body systems, like skin, muscles, bones, and a healthy nervous system.

Here is a breakdown of the diets that rounded out the top five in U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 Best Diets ranking.

1. Mediterranean and DASH diets

PHOTO: A salmon steak and olive oil are being prepared for cooking in this stock image. STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images
A salmon steak and olive oil are being prepared for cooking in this stock image.

The Mediterranean diet, which features meals high in “good” fats, ranked as the top diet on the U.S. News and World Report’s ranking for the first time ever, in a tie with the DASH diet.

The Mediterranean diet recommends emulating how people in the Mediterranean region have traditionally eaten, with a focus on foods like olive oil, fish and vegetables. U.S. News and World Report called the diet a “well-balanced eating plan” and pointed to research that suggests the diet helps prevent some chronic diseases and increases longevity.

The DASH diet has been ranked as the No. 1 overall diet by U.S. News and World Report for eight consecutive rankings.

Originally started by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) as a diet to help reduce blood pressure, the DASH diet is made up of low-sodium and healthful foods. The NHLBI publishes free guides on the plan so you can see if it is right for you.

“The thing about the DASH diet is you’re eating specifically the foods you’ve always been told to eat, pretty much fruit, vegetables, whole grain, lean protein and low-fat dairy,” Haupt said. “And it eliminates foods high in fat and sugar-sweetened drinks and sweets.”

3. Flexitarian diet

PHOTO: A bowl of tofu is a part of a healthy vegetarian diet. STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images
A bowl of tofu is a part of a healthy vegetarian diet.

The flexitarian diet encourages people to try alternative meat options, like tofu, but leaves room for flexibility if you can’t quite fully give up meat. The diet was promoted by dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner in a 2009 book that says you can reap the benefits of a plant-heavy diet even if you eat meat occasionally, according to U.S. News and World Report.

This plant-heavy diet focuses on adding five food groups — “new meat,” fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy and sugar and spices — to your diet, instead of taking foods away. The “new meat” food group includes tofu, beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds and eggs, according to U.S. News and World Report.

4. Weight Watchers

PHOTO: Oprah Winfrey appears on the Weight Watchers website promoting their company. Weight Watchers
Oprah Winfrey appears on the Weight Watchers website promoting their company.

Weight Watchers ranked in the top five for best diets overall and also obtained the No. 1 ranking for best commercial diets and best fast weight-loss diets this year.

The program, which is backed by Oprah Winfrey, focuses on assigning points based on the nutritional value of foods.

Weight Watchers, which offers support online and with in-person group meetings, assigns a points value to foods to encourage dieters to make healthful choices that will “fill” you up. The points are higher for foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and lower for foods with high levels of protein.

5. MIND, TLC and Volumetrics diets

PHOTO: This food pyramid shows fruits, vegetables, pasta, cereals, bread, fish, meat, milk and dairy products and nuts.STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images
This food pyramid shows fruits, vegetables, pasta, cereals, bread, fish, meat, milk and dairy products and nuts.

The No. 5 spot in U.S. News and World Report’s latest ranking is a three-way tie between the MIND Diet, TLC Diet and Volumetrics.

The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet, ranked third last year, is a hybrid of the top-rated DASH and Mediterranean diets.

The diet focuses on “10 brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables in particular, all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine,” according to U.S. News and World Report.

Among the diet’s requirements is eating three servings of whole grains, a salad and another vegetable daily, as well as a single glass of wine if desired.

The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet was designed to help cut bad cholesterol and requires eating foods with less saturated fat.

The diet limits daily cholesterol intake while pushing more foods with fiber in order to help dieters manage high cholesterol without medication, according to U.S. News and World Report.

The Volumetrics diet is described as less of a diet and more of an approach to eating by U.S. News and World Report.

The diet, promoted by Penn State University nutrition professor Barbara Rolls, teaches you to, “decipher a food’s energy density, cut the energy density of your meals and make choices that fight hunger,” the magazine reports.

Gillian Mohney contributed to this report.

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Carrie Underwood's trainer shares a post-Christmas workout

If your Christmas celebrations left you feeling in need of a good workout, Erin Oprea, trainer to the stars, is here to help.

Oprea is a former U.S. Marine who now trains some of country music’s biggest stars, including Carrie Underwood, Kelsea Ballerini, Kellie Pickler and Lee Ann Womack.

The Nashville-based trainer appeared on “Good Morning America” today to lead a workout that anyone can do at home.

Watch the video above to complete the workout! Plus, read below for all you need to know about the workout and Oprea’s tips.


All you need is a mat. Ankle weights can also be used for an extra challenge.


This workout will shoot your heart rate up, burn calories and make working out fun, of course! You’ll hit nearly the whole body with chest, arms, legs and booty.

PHOTO: Erin Oprea, Carrie Underwoods trainer, shares a post-Christmas workout to do at home on Good Morning America, Dec. 26, 2017.ABC News
Erin Oprea, Carrie Underwood’s trainer, shares a post-Christmas workout to do at home on “Good Morning America,” Dec. 26, 2017.


The key here is to go at your own pace and make sure that you have perfect form. Challenge and push yourself and listen to your body.


This workout is going to be three Tabatas. These are high-intensity, timed exercises that consist of 20-second bursts of exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds for a total of four minutes. To me, these have been super effective and for my clients too!

PHOTO: Erin Oprea, Carrie Underwoods trainer, shares a post-Christmas workout to do at home on Good Morning America, Dec. 26, 2017.ABC News
Erin Oprea, Carrie Underwood’s trainer, shares a post-Christmas workout to do at home on “Good Morning America,” Dec. 26, 2017.

It takes your mind off the exercise a bit and it’s a challenge against the clock. This way it’s fun! Download a free Tabata timer on your phone and let’s get at it!

Tabata 1: LEGS

1. Jumping lunges: Go down into a lunge and then drive up into the air, switching legs and dropping back down into a lunge. Repeat this for the whole round.

2. Squat and jumps: After going down into a squat, drive up into the air and land straight back down into the squat again. Repeat this for the whole round too.

3. Repeat this series until you run out of rounds!

Tabata 2: BOOTY TIME

1. V squeezes, left leg: Go on your hands and knees with your left leg extended out behind you. Squeeze your bottom and lift your left leg up in the air to a point then back down to the right side of your body. Return using the same motion in reverse, making sure to squeeze your bottom throughout, keep your core engaged and your left leg held straight.

2. V squeezes, right leg: Now with your right leg extended backward, perform the same maneuver using your right leg.

3. V squeezes, left leg.

4. V squeezes, right leg.

5. Table slides, left leg: On your hands and knees lift your left leg as a dog peeing on a hydrant; this is your starting position. Keeping that knee high, slide your leg backward with a full extension squeeze. Return to the starting position, never letting your knee drop and repeat for the round.

6. Table slides, right leg: Using your right leg this time, raise your right knee up into the starting position and slide your leg backward for round six.

7. Table slides, left leg.

8. Table slides, right leg.

Tabata 3: PUSH-UPS and DIPS

1. Push-ups

2. Floor dips: Sit on your butt, bend your knees, and go on your heels. Place your hands next to your glutes with your fingers pointing toward your feet. Raise your hips up and bend your elbows, shooting them straight back, then push back up.

3. Repeat these two exercises, round by round, for the rest of the Tabata.


1. Good hydration. This matters more than you imagine and can actually provide energy. Drink about half your body weight in ounces every day to stay ahead of the game. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

2. Beet juice. This wonderful veggie is gonna hook you up! I take a 3-ounce shot of beets, lemon and ginger twice a day, every day. About 1.5 hours later I get a burst of energy and over time I saw my resting heart rate drop and my 3-mile run time drop too! I’m a bit obsessed.

3. Jump rope. The most portable piece of equipment that makes every excuse just about void. It can be done anywhere. Personally, I never leave home without it and make the best use out of my kids’ practice, games, in my garage and even at the airport.

4. Step counter. This may sound tired, but tracking your steps is a great way to stay active. Ten thousand a day will keep you off the couch and your mind on physical activity. Movement throughout the day matters more greatly even when paired with an hour in the gym. I’ve seen great things from my clients who put effort into their 10,000 steps.

5. Meal prepping. No one has enough time to shop every day, to cook everything every day and to come up with new dinner ideas every day. Yummy family-friendly meals work best when you plan your whole week, making it easier to eat healthy. I don’t need fancy things in the kitchen. I need fast yet delicious. You can check out my Menud app to take the guesswork out of meal planning and even create a shopping cart. Eating clean is the key to seeing results and this app will help make that happen!!

Bonus: Oprea’s ‘The 4×4 Diet’ recipes:

Peanut butter chocolate protein brownies.

Lettuce wrap tacos.

Zucchini noodles with pesto and tilapia.

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WATCH: Santa delivers Christmas magic to babies in the NICU with special visit

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Transcript for Santa delivers Christmas magic to babies in the NICU with special visit

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“id”:51820311,”title”:”Santa delivers Christmas magic to babies in the NICU with special visit”,”duration”:”3:00″,”description”:”Santa Claus visited more than 20 preemies at Hurley Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Flint, Michigan, on Dec. 5.”,”url”:”/Lifestyle/video/santa-delivers-christmas-magic-babies-nicu-special-visit-51820311″,”section”:”Lifestyle”,”mediaType”:”default”

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WATCH: Boy with congenital heart defect becomes a chef for a day

Transcript for Boy with congenital heart defect becomes a chef for a day

Today is our sponsor Macy’s national believe day when they offer double donations $2 instead of every $1 for every letter to Santa up to an additional million dollars and all that will benefit children with life-threatening medical conditions, take a look at how they helped make a wish come true for a boy born with congenital heart disease who also dreamed of being a chef. Hi, my name is Josh. Aisle 8 years old and I like to cook. ??? Reporter: This culinary cutie loves to whip up recipes with his mom. He’s probably going to outshine me very, very quickly in the kitchen. When I grow up I want to be a chef. Reporter: But his little story started with a not so sweet beginning. Joshua was born with severe congenital heart defects and had three surgeries before he turned 40 years old. Reporter: Now his heart is beating strong and thanks to make a wish. My wish was to become a chef for a day. ??? Reporter: He’s getting a tasty surprise from world famous celebrity chef Marcus Samuelson at his New York City restaurant red rooster. Here’s a chef hat. Here’s a chef jacket. You and I are going to cook together. It says Joshua right there. Are you ready? All right. High-five. Go, Joshua. Reporter: On today’s menu, pasta Bolognese. ??? Chef, Josh is amazing. He is a really fast learner. You can tell he enjoyed cooking because he was always curious and wanted to smell every ingredient. He wanted to be there every step of the way. ??? Fireball ??? ??? you are the future ??? To know what he’s been through to get to experience something like this is just — Absolutely incredible. Right. Such a tiny thing for us but it’s a big deal for the family and any time you can do that during the holidays you should. Thank you, Marcus and Macy’s and make-a-wish. ??? You are the future ??? What a cutie. Josh and his family joined us Thursday on the “Gma” set for a behind the scenes tour. So much fun meeting everybody there. There we are. I like the Penn state sweatshirt of course and Michael and robin. It was a wonderful experience and please, guys, remember to get those wish letters in a Macy’s mailbox nationwide or submit one online today if you want it to count as double the donation. Thank you so much, Macy’s. And can you go to our website to learn more about national believe day. Please do so.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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WATCH: First American baby born to a mother who received transplanted uterus

Transcript for First American baby born to a mother who received transplanted uterus

We’re getting our first look rat a huge medical breakthrough, the first American baby was born from a uterus transplant. Now that successful birth is raising hope for thousands of women. We’re going to speak with Dr. Ashton in a moment. First the incredible journey. What you’re watching is a medical milestone. For the first time in the united States a woman has given birth thanks to a uterus transplant. All of us had tears in our eyes and little boy will stay with us for our entire lives. Reporter: Born last month he was delivered via c.-section when his mother born without a uterus received a transplant at Baylor last September. The woman is part of their uterus transplant clinical trial. Thee suffered from absolute uterine factorer infertility. A type of infertility affecting 1 in 500 women where the uterus is nonfunctioning or nonexistent. Approximately 1 in 4500 females in the U.S. Are born without a uterus every year. It was very special to look in the eyes of the mother. She was told that when she was a teenager that she would never experience this moment. And then all of a sudden you see this happening and you think everything has a meaning. Reporter: The little boy is now the ninth baby born in the world from a transplanted uterus. Joining the eight other babies successfully born from transplanted uteruses in Sweden as part of its trial, Baylor chas completed a total of eight uterus transplants including the mother who just gave birth. While three have been unsuccessful, one woman is currently pregnant. The remaining four women are in different stages of the process. This birth on this boy is giving hope to all these families out there who have this type of infertility. I think that’s a truly amazing thing. Our thanks to Diane Macedo. We’re joined by our chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton. You’ve been in tears over this. Ob/gyn you are and to have this kind of moment. Aui. Right. Let people know what it is. Basically most women who fall under that category are actually born with something — other initials mrkh syndrome born without a uterus. They do have ovaries and their eggs can be used but this affects women who lost their uterus surgically due to a hysterectomy and want to carry their own fetus talking about significantly a good number of women. Of course, always with something like this there’s some controversy surrounding it. Yeah, really when you talk about uterine transplants it falls under a different category than other organ transplantations because, let’s say, heart, kidney, liver, you need those organs to survive, to live. A woman doesn’t need her uterus to survive, obviously, but she does need it to give life in this particular way and there are significant medical, surgical, financial costs involved. This is a procedure that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars right now and so there are people who say is it necessary in a country like ours where uterine surrogacy is legal in parts of Europe it’s not legal, but I think it speaks to the very powerful compelling drive that some women have to carry their own baby and the technology and the science is there right now that is finally making that possible. Well, what are the medical and surgical risks for both mother and baby. In obstetrics we have two patients. You need to remember that. With these type of women you’re talking about rejection, bleeding, damage to the surrounding anatomy for both the donor and resip Jens and need for immune Zhu suppression temporarily because after that delivery that uterus will come out and for the fetus risk of preterm delivery and the baby has to be born by c-section. This is your wheelhouse. You’ve heard me talking about it since 2014. It’s huge for reproductive health and huge for my specialty, ob/gyn and families everywhere that want to become parents in this way and for that very, very special family who delivered in Texas. This is really historic for this country. It is. All right, Jen, thanks so much.

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WATCH: Can dieting around the holidays backfire?

Transcript for Can dieting around the holidays backfire?

holiday season which means lots of great food that could make dieting difficult. Starting early can actually backfire and Dr. Jen Ashton is here and, Jen, before we start I have a quick question. How many of you by a show of hands are now dieting today after indulging over this past Thanksgiving? I’m already seeing — yeah. Oh, wow. That’s about right. So people say, Jen, can you tie to watch what you eat before a holiday party. It sounds like a good plan but it can actually turn against you? It can and I’ll explain why. A very complicated process. Dieting. It’s not as simple as calories in, calories out. Take a look. What happens in general when people start to diet. Their weight may drop a little. That produces an increase in the hunger hormones. People are hungrier and metabolism actually slows down so that your body can restore itself to its equilibrium which is its heaviest weight, the set point theory so starting around holiday time not the best time to tart an aggressive diet. Then you have to — if you put fewer calories in your body regulates then you add more calories because you indulge because you have this at the table. You have a three-bite rule. Listen, I want to be clear. Everyone needs to find — you want some of this at the end? What works for them and this is by no means scientific rigor but a three-bite rule if you go to a party you will see tempting things like this, take three bites and move on. Talking about three bites of a delicious cheesecake that’s almost half the slice. That’s a huge slice, by the way or you could share it with someone then you’ll hear other tips like eat before you go so you’re not ravenous. I think also, you know, I practice something that I find working really well which is if you just keep talking a lot you’re not going to be able to eat a lot in sparkling water in your hand I think that helps too. You can’t put food in your other hand if you’re holding a glass so it’s about finding a trick, having a plan in advance that will work for you. There’s no right or wrong. How about a plan afterwards. Best way to burn it off. You have to be active. Everyone has a phone with an app. Track your step, walk to and from the party. A great time of year to start something new like a group cardio class can be fun with friends then when you get back to work the next day please use the stairs. Every little bit helps. Great advice. Thank you very much, Jen.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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