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Health & Wellness

Just Right Eating fuses healthy eating, with delicious and convenient meals made locally

Staff Contributor



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Just Right Eating in Springfield, Illinois, is helping people enhance their nutrition intake and improve their eating habits, setting them on the road to a better quality of life.

Whether picking up a nutritious pre-made snack, side, entrée or dessert or purchasing meals for home delivery, clients who take advantage of the myriad of services and healthy food products Just Right Eating has to offer will taste the advantages of a healthy diet. Just Right Eating is a nutritional meal service and food service store.

Harboring a wide selection of food products carefully chosen and created by Founder Stephanie Johnson, M.S., Exercise Physiology, a fitness professional and sport nutrition expert, Just Right Eating’s selection of goods encompasses heart healthy, well balanced and proportioned meals that are low-glycemic and created from whole foods. Ninety percent of meals are naturally gluten-free. Stephanie is always available to coach Just Right Eating shoppers on how to increase their consumption of nutritious foods as well as offer advice on weight loss, diabetes, heart health, athletic performance and nutritional balance.

”The different options clients have to choose from in the store is based on healthy eating principles,” says Stephanie. “The goal is to provide people with convenience and nutrition to get them on the path to living well.”

In addition to teaching clients the basics of healthy eating, Stephanie combines nutrition with fitness expertise to help clients achieve their optimal fitness level. “I combine both fitness and nutrition methodologies to help clients lose weight and get healthy. My program combines the nutrition found at Just Right Eating with personal training services for sport, fitness and weight loss. I promise to take my clients on a journey that will mentally, physically and emotionally change their life for the better.”

Centered on Fitness

Having actively pursued her passion for fitness and nutrition for over 20 years, Stephanie’s expertise in exercise and fitness as well as her education, experience and philosophy set her apart from other fitness trainers.

“I’ve been studying exercise and nutrition since I was 16 years old,” she says, “educating myself on the relationship between nutrition and human performance and how it deeply affects our quality of life”

Beginning Just Right Eating in 2011, Stephanie’s professional and personal life is centered on fitness and nutrition. In addition to managing Just Right Eating and meeting with clients for personal training, Stephanie studies the latest journals on fitness and nutrition, applying science and logic to better enhance her clients’ and athletes’ fitness programs. Her book, Just Right Eating, explains the principles and methods for healthy eating and includes over 170 recipes and principles to help her clients achieve a balanced lifestyle.

Good Nutrition & CD

Stephanie’s involvement in the health and wellness field derives from more than a passion for helping others achieve a healthier life. Her own personal experience with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune system disease that causes a person’s body to reject the protein gluten, helped her understand the challenges that individuals face.

Celiac Disease (CD) is a multi-symptom, multi-system, lifelong genetic disorder that attacks the small intestine so that the intestine has difficulty absorbing nutrients from food. Lack of absorption causes a person to become malnourished. When individuals with CD consume foods that contain gluten, including wheat, rye, barley and oats, their bodies’ immune system responds with a toxic reaction. Symptoms include diarrhea; constipation; gas/bloating; nausea; nutritional deficiencies; irritability; depression; fatigue; and weight loss.

“I’ve had Celiac Disease my entire life but I just never thought to seek a diagnosis for it until it became prevalent and was diagnosed in 2008,” Stephanie says. “I had all the classic symptoms – I was miserable. After researching the disease, I am now acutely aware of how it can affect a person’s lifestyle and have developed effective solutions and delicious alternatives to help myself and my clients.”

Stephanie offers her clients one-on-one nutrition consultations to help them identify gluten in foods and change the way they eat. She also has a line of delicious specialty products on the market that are gluten-free, dairy free, and soy free. All her products are healthy, natural, balanced, and low-glycemic except for her delicious gluten free, dairy free cupcakes for the indulgences.

Healthy, Convenient Options

At Just Right Eating, shoppers will find a selection of low-sodium, gluten-free, dairy free and vegetarian meals. All meals are made fresh daily in the kitchen and contain a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Protein may consist of white turkey; eggs; edamame; soy, chicken; fish; tuna; and shrimp while carbohydrates can take the form of slow-digesting, low-glycemic whole-grain pastas; brown rice pastas, vegetables; wild rice; quinoa; couscous; and fresh fruit. Coconut; olive; canola; or nut oils help supply daily fat intake.

“We have our own crew and make about six thousand meals per week,” says Stephanie. “Our meals assist with disease management and prevention, athletics and weight loss. When shoppers are too busy to cook, our meals provide a nutritious, convenient option.”

Whether her clients decide to purchase meals through the store or have them home delivered, Stephanie provides a variety of options. Just Right Eating Complete Meal Delivery is a 5-7 day lifestyle perfect for those who desire both nutrition and convenience to help them lose weight, eat healthy, build muscle or increase sport performance. The Just Right Eating Storefront option allows shoppers to come into the store and choose meals: either breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. The Athletes Menu is designed around athletes’ and active individuals’ daily workouts and activity and ensures individuals are receiving the correct balance of nutrients to perform to their best potential.

Just Right Eating menus, which vary from week to week, include a wide range of choices for different occasions. Grab n’ Go Meals come in several calorie and macronutrient portions. Breakfasts combine high-quality protein and complex carbs with healthy fats, fiber and nutrients. Always combining fresh ingredients, salads include berry chicken, buffalo chicken, cobb salad and more while dinner may feature chicken, fish, pork, sirloin, tuna casserole or Mexican dishes and pastas.

“Fun” foods, such as pizza, burgers and wraps, are made with gluten-free breads, 96/4 lean ground beef and whole-grain, low-carb, gluten-free tortillas. Wraps may be skinny, spicy tuna, veggie, BBQ, chicken, southwest style while pizzas come in Skinny Italian, Chicken Bacon Ranch, Mediterranean, Marguerite, to name a few. Healthy snacks are also an option. Some gluten-free foods include banana bread, pumpkin muffins, almond butter cookies, fruit and yogurt and mint patties.

Getting Started

Clients who would like to have meals delivered to their home should fill out the health form and the order form by logging onto and clicking on the Just Right Eating link on the toolbar and then clicking Meal Packages and Pricing. Once Stephanie receives the forms, she contacts her client via email or phone to discuss any logistics and answer any questions. She then sends her clients an email with all the important information they will want to reference, a copy of their calories, a calorie deficit they should anticipate and how Stephanie calculated the deficit.

The Best of Both Worlds

Co-joining the benefits of good nutrition and fitness into the everyday lives of her clients, Stephanie get results. “Whether my clients’ goals are to lose weight, become stronger athletes, be in the best shape of their lives, improve their golf game or look and feel better about themselves, I will work with them to help transform their bodies and minds to lead a healthier lifestyle.”

Through her fitness program, SJFitness & Performance, Stephanie designs safe and effective workouts tailored specifically to meet clients’ goals by improving their lifestyles and fitness habits. Dependent on a client’s fitness level, Stephanie designs challenging but fun workouts to help her client achieve her greatest transformation. Each training session builds on the progress of the previous session. Programs are designed to be performed both indoors and outdoors to keep routines fresh and new while helping her clients stay motivated. Stephanie works with clients in the environments where they are most comfortable—even their own home.

“I am daily rewarded by the individuals that I work with,” Stephanie says. “It is satisfying to watch them progress and then maintain a lifestyle that is balanced, healthy and active.”
For more information on Just Right Eating, visit or call 217.827.2669. For more information on Stephanie Johnson’s credentials and expertise, log onto

Just Right Eating is located at 3047 Hedley Road, Springfield, Illinois.

Stephanie Johnson, M.S., Exercise Physiology, is an exercise physiologist, Sport & Fitness Certified Nutrition Specialist, personal trainer, YogaFit instructor and sports conditioning professional with nearly two decades of experience. She holds multiple certifications from various accredited associations and keeps up with the latest research.

Stephanie is the owner and operator of Just Right Eating and SJFitness Training & Performance. She is a member of the American Council of Sports Medicine (ACSM), THE National Sports Conditioning Association (NSCA), AND THE American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP). This article is sponsored advertising content, paid for by Just Right Eating. 

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Health & Wellness

Davis, LaHood Announce Grant to Fight Opioid Epidemic Awarded to HSHS St. John’s Hospital

Staff Contributor



picture from HSHS St. John's Hospital's Facebook page.

PRESS RELEASE | U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) today announced that HSHS St. John’s Hospital System was awarded a $429,008 Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant from USDA Rural Development that will help fight the opioid epidemic.

These funds will help HSHS St. John’s Hospital address opioid misuse through the purchase and installation of interactive telemedicine equipment. A telehealth network will be implemented at 14 health care facilities in 13 central Illinois counties. Additionally, the grant will provide for eight virtual urgent care sites, two occupational health clinic sites, and four hospital emergency department teleconsult sites. This project will provide access to rural telemedicine for approximately 25,000 rural patients in these communities each year.

“Grants, like this one, help communities fight the opioid epidemic by giving them access to the resources they need,” Davis said. “Residents across the 13th district will benefit from increased access to health care services that will help them recover from opioid misuse. Congress has taken action and just last week, the president signed comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid crisis from all angles. I will continue to ensure communities have access to federal assistance to fight against this epidemic.”

“Our 18th District is comprised much of rural communities across central and west-central Illinois and grants such as this will further help combat the ongoing opioid epidemic that is striking communities of all sizes, all while connecting residents in rural areas with quality healthcare providers in a more prompt and efficient fashion,” stated Rep. LaHood. “Once again, I applaud the USDA Rural Development for understanding the needs of our district and I will continue to advocate for methods that help curb opioid abuse across central and west-central Illinois and provide better access to healthcare to all individuals.”

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Health & Wellness

CDC: Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Infections Linked to Raw Chicken Products

Staff Contributor



CDC | 92 people have been sickened in a recent outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella, including five in Illinois. 21 people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported. This outbreak is more worrisome because the Salmonella strains are resistant to several types of antibiotics.

No single source of contaminated chicken has been identified yet. The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw chicken pet food, raw chicken products, and live chickens. Because the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis is present in live chickens and in many types of raw chicken products, indicating it might be widespread in the chicken industry. The CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked chicken, or that retailers stop selling raw chicken products.

The CDC advises individuals to always handle raw chicken carefully, and cook it thoroughly to avoid contamination. Chicken needs to be cooked at at least 165ºF to kill harmful germs. Properly cooked chicken should not pose a risk of illness. Always wash your hands, utensils, and cooking areas after handling raw chicken. Do not wash raw chicken before cooking. This can cause cross-contamination.

Salmonella Symptoms

  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
  • In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
  • In rare cases, Salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
  • Children younger than 5 years of age, adults older than 65 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.
  • For more information, see the CDC Salmonella website.

To learn more about this outbreak and food safety, check out the CDC’s website.

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Health & Wellness

Center gives Illinois perfect score for mental health, substance use disorder parity laws




Illinois came out ahead of every other state in a new state-by-state report of mental health and addiction parity laws.

Typically, when Illinois is compared to other states for financial health, it’s among the worst. When compared to other states for taxes, it’s among the most expensive. Illinois even leads the country in having the most people leaving for other states and the worst credit rating. But The Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity gave Illinois an “A” grade for mental health parity, the highest grade in the nation.

“In advance of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Federal Parity Law, we examined how states enact strong parity statutes in order to ensure that state regulators have a full set of tools to make parity a reality and to hold both health plans and state officials accountable,” the report card said.

Illinois Department of Insurance Director Jennifer Hammer said it’s rewarding for Illinois to get the recognition. She said mental health and substance use disorder parity means your insurance company is required to treat mental health services the same as medical and surgical benefits.

“So that means when you go to the doctor, your copays need to be the same, the quantitative limitations have to be exactly the same,” Hammer said. “You can’t pay $40 for a visit for mental health and only $20 for a physical health visit.”

A new Illinois law signed this summer by Gov. Bruce Rauner, Senate Bill 1707, requires insurance companies to treat mental health and substance use disorder treatments equally and strengthens the state’s ability to protect consumers.

“After enactment of SB 1707, Illinois now has the strongest mental health and addiction parity law in the country,” The Kennedy Forum of Illinois Executive Director Cheryl Potts said. “By increasing transparency and accountability in the coverage of mental health and addiction treatment, Illinois has built a solid foundation to improve health plans’ compliance.”

Illinois scored 100 out of 100 in the Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity state report card. That A grade was the best in the country followed by Tennessee with a C grade, or 79 out of 100. Many states got “F” grades.

Hammer said Illinois’ grade shows the hard work the Rauner administration has done to ensure mental health and substance use disorders are treated the same as other medical conditions.

“With a struggling budget, financial situation, with continued uncertainty out of Washington, and as our department stayed focused on mental health, behavioral health, opioid addiction, we focused our current staff, we didn’t have to upgrade any of the staff, we focused our current staff and came through with an A grade,” Hammer said.

Hammer said the Rauner administration’s focus on mental illness in the overall health of an individual is also crucial to the state’s federal waiver bringing in $2 billion from the federal funds for state pilot programs to make such treatment more accessible and modernized.

“Thirteen state agencies worked with health care advocates to develop a plan to improve delivery of mental health and addiction services,” the governor’s office said in a statement.

Illinois’ report card from Kennedy-Satcher said nearly 1 in 6 adults have mental illness and 1 in 7 adults with mental illness are uninsured, both in line with the national average. For young people, 1 in 13 has a mental illness in Illinois, slightly below the national average of 1 in 12, while 1 in 13 has private insurance that does not cover mental health, in line with the national average.

The report card said 51 percent of residents in Illinois are covered by employer-based health insurance, slightly above the national average of 49 percent.

Article by Greg Bishop, Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit 

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