Saturday, June 29, 2013


If you didn't know by now, I love music....ALL music, especially world music, electronica, new age and chill out music.  I talk to many of my patients about taking time out to relax each day.  Here is one of my favorite songs to listen to when I just want to be with my thoughts and clear my mind.
This is Blank & Jones - Lullaby (Les Yeux Fermes) (HQ)
You can download their music on iTunes.

I will share some of my other favorites with you in time to come.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cataracts and Nutrition

Sure, cataracts can be surgically removed and replaced with a lens implant, but most individuals have to deal with the symptoms related with them for years before the cataracts are significant enough to be surgically removed. 

Cataract symptoms include reduced vision, glare at night and decreased color discrimination.

We know that sun exposure can increase the risk of cataracts so we recommend sunglasses or ultraviolet protection while outside.

We know that diabetics are more likely to develop early cataracts, so it is another reason to do whatever it takes to keep from becoming diabetic (Granted, there are some forms of diabetes that are unavoidable, but I am talking about the type of diabetes related to poor nutrition and lack of exercise).

We know smoking increases the risk of, you guessed it, it is yet another reason to either stop smoking or never start in the first place.

We know that cataracts can develop from ocular trauma so it is another reason to avoid or protect our eyes during activities or situations that increase the likelihood of ocular trauma.

We know some medications have a side effect where they can increase the risk of cataracts so prescribing physicians take this into consideration as they determine prescribing the dosage, frequency and duration of them.

Did you know that eating healthy has been shown to affect cataract progression, too?

Please watch the video below: 

This LINK shows a slideshow of what it is like to have cataracts.

Glaucoma and Nutrition

Would you do anything to reduce your risk of developing glaucoma? 
I would.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Floaters Video

One of the most common symptoms that presents in an optometrist's office is that of floaters.  Floaters that have been experienced for awhile are less concerning than new floaters, however, any symptoms of floaters require evaluation of the inside health of the eye.  New floaters, especially within the first two weeks of noticing the floaters, need to be evaluated carefully as they can have an association with retinal holes, tears and detachments.  Any new floaters resulting from head or eye trauma or associated with flashes of lights also need to be evaluated immediately.   Any new floaters demand a dilated evaluation of the retina to rule out any retinal involvement. 
 There is a gel inside of the eye called the vitreous.  This vitreous is part gel and part water and it is common for there to be debris or collapsed gel that can cast a shadow onto the back of the eye if light comes into the eye at just the right direction and intensity.  So, the debris is always there but you only see the floater if light entering the eye causes the debris to cast a shadow onto the retina.  The debris inside of the eye can look like specks, cobwebs or veils. There can be a single piece of debris or a collection of debris.  Looking at certain colored backgrounds with yellow, white or blue tones can enhance the visibility of these floaters.
When we look inside of the eye, we often see this debris floating around with every movement of the eye.  Depending on the size and location of the debris will dictate how visibly annoying the floater is.
Below is a great floater video that I found on YouTube with the view of the optic nerve, blood vessels and the retina in the background.  As this patient moves their eye with each blink, you will see the debris in the clear vitreous gel move around. 
Make sure you let your eye doctor know if you are experiencing any floaters, new or old.  If you are experiencing any new floaters, make an immediate appointment with your eye doctor to rule out any retinal involvement that may coexist with these new floater symptoms.

If I can do can, too.

You CAN feel better than you do now.    How do I know?  I used to feel like many of you feel now.  I used to be tired all the time.  I made excuses on why I didn't have time to work out.  I ate whatever I wanted and continued to eat past the point of being satisfied.  I used to feel overwhelmed about nutrition and food choices.  I used to feel guilty about the food choices I was making.  I used to feel horrible after my meals.  I used to make some good choices and some really bad food choices.  I was looking at food  completely wrong.  I used to look to food to make me happy when few other things in my life gave me the pleasure that food did.  As a result, I became disappointed in food and I was on a downward spiral of deteriorating health. 

As I mentioned above, food used to be one of the only things that made me happy.  I will be the first to admit that I was a food addict.  My life revolved around unhealthy food in XXXL portions.  The food I was eating was destroying me, sapping me of the life I wanted and deserved.   I felt ashamed and disappointed that I let myself go.   I thought about healthy eating, but at only about 20 percent of my diet was close to being ideal.  For a few moments there, I lost the will to make a difference in my own life.  I knew what I was doing to myself was not only unhealthy, but was killing me. 

Over time, I began to realize a number of things.  I started to appreciate is that even though I exercised that I couldn't just eat anything and everything that I wanted.  I realized that I was setting a horrible example for my patients and my children.  I learned that I had to incorporate exercise AND healthy eating for my body to respond the way I wanted it to.  I had to reverse many years of bad habits and doing things the way my stubborn self wanted and thought I should do things.  I did things my way for decades and I realized that my way of doing things was taking me down the path of self-destruction.

 What I needed to make a change...I had to make a transformation.  I had to make a stand and commit to complete a alteration in my thoughts and actions.  I drew a line in the sand and told myself that enough was enough.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.   I thought about what I needed to do, I committed to a dramatic change and put an immediate plan into action.  There was no, "I will start next Monday/after the holidays" .  I made my change that night, the night we watched the documentary, "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead".  My approach was aggressive in that many things that I used to eat were not just to be eaten in reduced portions or in moderation, rather a good portion of my dietary menu needed to be eliminated.   I elected to make changes that allowed food to be my medicine and not my poison.  I embraced this lifestyle change.  I was not going to focus my thoughts on deprivation, rather I was excited about all the diversity of healthy food options I was about to allow my palate to explore.

My old dietary menu provided me with about 15 minutes of pleasure and then a length of time of regret.  I now know that the healthy food I eat enables me to enjoy both instant gratification as well as a lifetime of happiness and health.  I just had to flip a switch in my brain to accept that what I was doing to myself was harm and that I deserved better than that. 

You deserve better, too.  Start today by accepting that you need to change.  Create a plan and stick to it. Don't equate eating healthy with depriving yourself of flavorful food.  Explore all that the world of healthy food has to offer you.   

Then come back to this blog daily for motivation, recipes and ideas of how to transform your life.  If I can do it, anyone can.   Don't talk yourself out of doing one of the best things you can do for your future self.  Be proud of yourself and enjoy the journey towards better health.   


Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I often get asked, "Do you work for Walmart?".   
- No, I am an independent Doctor of Optometry who chose to locate my practice at Walmart.  We are a private practice doing business within a Walmart, who is my landlord.   I make no income or have any influence on the sales of eyeglasses or contacts on the optical side of the office.  In addition, Walmart does not have any influence on my recommendations or decisions.  
Another question is, "Are the opticians employees of my corporation?". 
- No, the opticians (wearing white medical jackets) are employees of Walmart.   Rather, the team members wearing black scrubs are employees of Schlueter Optometric Corporation.
When you have your eye exam completed at our office, you are supporting a small business.
For all of you that have supported our practice and referred your friends and family to our practice over the years, we really appreciate it!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Here is your daily dose of inspiration


Vernon's Vision is now on Facebook!

We would love to have you Like and follow us on Facebook, too!
Thank you for all of your support! 
We appreciate it.
Vernon and Casie

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Repost Alert!!! But well worth watching again.

Although this is a repost, this has to be one of the best videos I have posted on this site:

Photographs in our office

Multiple times per day, I get asked who took the family photographs and calendar pictures that are hanging in our office. 
The photographer is my father-in-law, Russ Lindeman, Jr.. 
Here is his website and contact information for his business, Regal Photography:

1417 S 133rd St, Omaha · (402) 330-7649


Dear 16 Year Old Me

If this doesn't get you motivated to make an appointment with a dermatologist then I don't know what will.
As you will see in the video, the one individual acquired melanoma of the eye.  If you have a history of any type of cancer, it is very important to make sure you get your eyes dilated and evaluated frequently (every 6-12 months) to make sure there are no abnormal pigmentation, growths or tumors in the eye.
Thanks to L.L. for bringing this video to my attention.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Call (402) 292-0651 to schedule your eye appointment

Did you know our office provides evening and weekend appointments? 
We are an independent practice located inside the Bellevue Walmart Vision Center
Our physical address is 10504 South 15th Street  Bellevue, NE
Heather, Shelby or Autumn will be happy to assist you in scheduling your exam.
Make sure you have your vision and medical insurance information available when you call.
We accept most vision and medical insurances. 
However, we are out of network providers for VSP (Vision Service Plan) and we are unable to accept EyeMed insurance.
Call our office at (402) 292-0651 to schedule your next eye exam with Dr. Tammy Richert or me.
I can't wait to talk to you about your vision!

Food Labels: Sodium

Why do I, an optometrist, care about your sodium intake?  Increased sodium intake can affect your blood pressure (high blood pressure can affect you eyes), can affect your heart, can increase your risk of stroke (many stroke victims have resulting loss of vision), can cause dry eyes, can lead to contact lens discomfort (via dry eyes), can be related to puffy eyes and one study I found relates high sodium intake with cataracts (clouding of the lens inside of the eye). 

I recommend all my patients to monitor and limit their sodium intake, even if they do not have high blood pressure.

So, how do you monitor your sodium intake? The American Heart Association recommends that for every 1,000 Calories of food consumed, the sodium intake should be 1,000 mg and should not exceed the 3,000 mg limit.    How can you make sure you meet this equal ratio of calories to sodium intake?  BECOME A FOOD LABEL READING EXPERT!!!!!

Interpretation of food labels can be baffling but there is an easy way to keep your calories to sodium ratio close together.  Look at the number of calories per serving and compare that to the amount of sodium per serving.  You want the amount of sodium per serving to be equal or less than the number of calories per serving.  This is a rule of thumb advocated by a well-known registered dietitian, Jeff Novick

Here are some samples of food labels I found on the Internet:

Label I has 190 calories and 20 mg of sodium per serving.  Label II has 190 calories and 220 mg of sodium per serving.  Label III has 60 calories and 890 mg of sodium per serving.  Under Jeff Novick's rule of thumb for gauging the sodium, the item with Label I would be the best choice because the sodium amount is significantly lower than the number of calories.  Label II is better than Label III, but the sodium with the Label II item is still 16% more than the amount of calories.

Let's take a look at some items I found in our pantry: 

Which would be the better one to buy if you are concerned about sodium(and you are concerned about sodium, right?):

Option 1)  Quaker Oats 100% Natural Whole Grain Oatmeal.  Calories per serving: 150; Sodium per serving: 0

Option 2)   Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal.  Calories per serving:  167; Sodium per serving:  324.76 mg.

#1 has no sodium and #2 has twice the amount of sodium compared to the the instant oatmeal may be quicker to fix but it is well worth making the regular oatmeal since it doesn't contain any sodium.

Here is another example:

We use couscous often in our meal plans because it is quick and easy to make with vegetables and beans. 

Option 1) Near East 100% Natural Couscous Mix with Wild Mushroom and Herb.  Calories 220.  Sodium 580. 

Option 2)  Rice Select Couscous Tri-Color with Sundried Tomato and Spinach.  Calories 160.  Sodium 0.

Sorry Near East, Looks like Rice Select is going to be our couscous choice going forward. 

Here are some videos featuring Jeff Novick, R.D.:



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Here's 30 minutes for you

Are you someone who is always making other peoples' quality of life better and yet don't expect/receive anything in return? Well, what have you done for yourself lately? Make sure you take at least 30 minutes a day to do something for yourself. Make sure it doesn't involve anything associated with a media device....In my opinion, the time will go by too fast if you waste that time using social media.
Make sure everyone in your household knows not to bother you....they can have their 30 minutes later....this 30 minutes is yours. Where's that last book you wanted to finish but never got around to it? Look through your music collection....I guarentee you can find at least one CD or more that you haven't listened to in a long time(especially if it is one that hasn't been transferred to your MP3 player yet).
How about a 30 minute nap/walk/workout/meditation/breathing exercises? Don't let the stess and speed of life keep you from taking time out for yourself. Other people need you to be at the top of your game....and there is absolutely no way you can do this if you aren't committed to being there for yourself.


Let's reflect for a moment. If YOU were your own parent, would you be happy with how your "parent" was doing? Don't forget to look at how we come across to our children. Same could be said for siblings, spouses, significant others and coworkers. Would we want children that treat us like we treat our own parents? What can you do to be a better child, parent, spouse, significant other or sibling?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Time Green Tea

Our favorite summer tea is cold brewed Moroccan Mint from The TeaSmith here in Omaha.
With a bit of sweetener this is quite the refreshing drink.  Hydrate yourself plus you get your antioxidants, too, with this awesome drink.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pizza on the Grill

*Casie Here*
I have been craving pizza on the grill for the LONGEST time. Finally, I picked up some pizza dough from Rotellas (which, by the way ~ I was the 100th customer and got 10 balls of pizza dough for $4 in stead of 9!!!! Can't beat that). I made the 'toppings' and Vernon did the crust and grilled it. 
 Ok, lets see if I can remember what all I used. This is for all 7 mini medium pizzas we made: Chopped up about 3/4 of a big onion, added some FENNEL seeds (I LOVE this spice) and a little Italian seasoning in with the onion to saute and get warm, 2 small cans of mushrooms, 1 can of whole, seeded black olives, sliced. About a 1/2 cup of dried TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) reconstituted. Pasta sauce, tomatoes chopped, some pesto and Go Veggie Cheese on top.
 It was seriously SO delicious and I don't think it's because I haven't had it in a long time. The flavor was so great. Vernon got the crust perfect. 

Muffins Muffins Everywhere

*Casie Here*
We love muffins around my house. I usually make the Orange Date Muffins HERE, but today I decided to switch it up a bit. I get most of my muffin recipes from Weelicious. I love that sight. These are on there too!

*I only made a few substitutions I put them next to the origional recipe below*

Very Berry Muffins  (Makes 12 Regular Muffins)

  • Prep Time:5 minutes,
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes,
  • Total Time: 25 minutes,
  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour (I used all wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (didn't have any so used honey instead)
  • 1 large egg, whisked (my regular Chia seed egg substitute 1 tbs chia powder and 1/4 cup water mixed and let sit for few minutes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk (I only use Almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil (I only use Coconut Oil)
  • 2 cups frozen berries (I had fresh blueberries and frozen raspberries 1 cup each)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and combine.
  3. Combine the egg, vanilla extract, milk and oil in a separate bowl.
  4. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. Gently mix the frozen berries into the batter, do not over mix or the berries will bleed.
  6. Pour batter into greased or muffin lined regular sized tins.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
  8. Allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.

*I only made a few substitutions I put them next to the origional recipe below*

Carrot Apple Coconut Muffins (Makes 30 Mini Muffins)

  • Prep Time:5 minutes,
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes,
  • Total Time: 20 minutes,

  • Ingredients
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour  (I used all wheat flour)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
    2 carrots, peeled & grated, about 1 cup
    1 apple, peeled and grated, about 1/2 cup (gala, fuji, pink lady or red delicious are good choices)
    2 large eggs (my regular Chia seed egg substitute ~ 1 tbs chia powder and 1/4 cup water mixed and let sit for few minutes)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/3 cup milk (I only use Almond Milk)
    1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil (I only use Coconut Oil)
    1/2 cup honey

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl.
    3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
    4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to combine.
    5. Place 1 tbsp of batter into greased mini muffin tins.
    6. Bake for 15 minutes.
    7. Serve.

    Thursday, June 13, 2013


    This has been on my mind for a few weeks and I thought I would share with all of you. This is not towards anyone in particular, just thought it was interesting enough to share.

    I heard a speaker(unknown) give a talk that included the topic of being offended. He talked about how he would often ask the audience two successive questions. The first one was, "With a show of hands, how many of you... have been offended by at least one other person in the last month?" The majority of the hands were raised. He then went on to inquire how many of the audience members knowingly and intentionally went out to offend just even one person in the last month. Only a few hands went up.

    As was concluded, the majority of people are offended by people that aren't out to offend in the first fact, they might have good intentions that were interpretted incorrectly. I admit, I am as guilty as the next person on this. I don't get offended easily, but there has been times where I did, but the person did not have any ill intent...rather, it was my erroneous interpretation that created the stir.

    May this help at least one of you other there sometime. It made me reconsider some things in my own life.

    Looking for a bit of Motivation for your next workout?

    ....then look no further.  Here is a great video by Nike that I found online: 


    Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    It's time to improve your vision!

    Call our office at (402) 292-0651 and talk to Shelby, Heather or Mary to schedule an exam at our office.
    My passion is educating patients about their eyes and how they can maintain/improve their eye health and comfort.
    If you know of friends or family in the area that would benefit from our services, please know that we greatly appreciate your referrals. 
    We provide night and weekend appointments!
    Thank you in advance,
    Vernon Schlueter,O.D.

    Monday, June 10, 2013


    What it is like to be colorblind

    I came across a colorblind simulator on the Internet.  I often get asked by patients if people who are colorblind see the world without any color.  The site allows you to upload a photograph and then you can see how three different colorblind conditions affect the appearance of the the world. 

    CLICK HERE to view the interesting color blindness simulator.

    This is the original photograph I used for the simulator:

    (I had more colorful pictures to upload but the simulator has limitations to the file size.)

    Here are the three results of the colorblind simulator:


    More Hummus

    For Sophie's 6th birthday party I made some new kinds of hummus. I have said before that I ALWAYS have hummus in the fridge. A L W A Y S. When I run out, I make some more that day. Anyway, I have made this black bean & curry one (on the left) before, but I have never made the sun dried tomato one (on the right) and OH MY GOODNESS that one is definitely my new favorite, BY FAR!!!! Here is how I made them. (There are more picts of some of the ingredients back on THIS original hummus blog post)

    Black Bean & Curry Hummus
    In a food processor I dumped in one can of RINSED black beans
    One can of garbanzo beans (chic peas) NOT DRAINED. *Put the juices in from that can*.
    2 bulbs of garlic that has been roasted. (Chop the very top off both whole bulbs, put it in a piece of foil and drizzle a little olive oil over the top of them. Close the foil up in a little pouch and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes. Let cool and squeeze the soft, roasted garlic into the food processor. 
    Add the juice of one lime 
    About a tablespoon of honey
    About 1/4 cup of Tahini Paste
    Cumin powder to taste (I like a lot)
    Curry to taste (start with a little - it goes a long way)
    Salt to taste
    Olive Oil (as processing, drizzle in until you get the consistency you want)

    Sun Dried Tomato Hummus
    2 cans of Garbanzo Beans (one drained, one not)
    2 bulbs of roasted garlic
    1 small jar of Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil (drain off the oil)
    Juice of 1 lemon
    Fresh Basil leaves (as much as you like)
    About 1/4 cup of Tahini Paste
    Cumin powder to taste (I like a lot)
    Salt to taste
    Olive Oil (as processing, drizzle in until you get the consistency you want)

    This one is a little thicker. It is so, so good. 

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Close up views of animal eyes

    I came across this site that shows the close up views of 15 animal eyes.  CLICK HERE to view the web site.

    What animal do you this this photograph was taken from?

    Ideas to help kids eat veggies

    Trying to figure out how to get your children to eat more vegetables? 
    CLICK HERE to view a web page I came across discussing ten links focusing on getting the little ones to eat more of the veggies.  Check it out!