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Click here to check out the $6-Grab & Go

 

Click here to check out the Board Sponsored events

 

New Nutrition Phone Line: 608-848-0438

Please call this number for any questions, concerns or changes with anything to do with meals or Meals on Wheels. Thank you!

Post 10/1/2021 –

 

Healthy Aging: What do we know?

Aging is a taxing process

 

Aging is a taxing process on our bodies that often times impedes our ability to maintain optimal health. The following are a few small steps you can take to help maintain your health, function, and independence as you get older. From improving your diet and levels of physical activity to getting regular health screenings and managing risk factors for disease, these behaviors can have positive impacts on many different areas of health and wellbeing.

The National Institutes on Aging, recommends the following:

 

  1. Get up and moving!

 

Exercise and staying physically active are considered cornerstones of healthy aging; 30 minutes a day is all it takes! This can be broken up throughout the day if needed.  Being physically active does not require you to hit the gym. Activities such as gardening, walking, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help you stay fit and continue to do the things you enjoy.

 

  1. Pay attention to your weight and body shape

 

Many health problems are linked to being overweight or obese including: This being said however, thinner is not always better. Research shows that older adults who are thin (BMI of less than 19) have an increased mortality rate compared to those of a normal weight (BMI of 19 – 24.9 depending on height and weight). Being or becoming thin as an older adult can be a symptom of illness or disease, or an indication of frailty. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about any weight concerns, decisions to lose/gain weight, or unexplained weight changes.

 

  1. Mindful eating

 

While proper food choices and portion sizing are key elements of mindful eating, special attention should also be paid to a food’s glycemic index value. The glycemic index represents the relative rise in blood glucose level two hours after consuming a particular food. This value is determined by the quantity and type of carbohydrate the food contains. Some examples of both low and high glycemic index value foods include:

Low – fruits, veggies, high-fiber grains &  breads

 

These foods decrease hunger and have a minimal effect on blood glucose levels. Plus, they are full of nutrients our bodies need!

High – White breads, pastas, refined grain products, junk foods.

 

These foods tend to cause the highest spike in blood glucose levels and contain minimal nutrients.

 

Vitamin and Mineral

 

Another aspect of nutrition that should be focused on and prevented, is vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Low concentrations of vitamins and minerals in the blood are often a result of poor nutrition intakes, usually caused by poor dietary choices. A diet lacking in fruits and vegetables can lead to low carotenoid, which is associated with a heightened risk of skeletal muscle wasting in older adults.

 

Vitamin E.

 

Further, low levels of vitamin E (especially in women) is correlated with a decline in physical function. Healthy eating behaviors and getting enough physical activity is not just about weight control, it can help protect you from health issues that present themselves more frequently among older adults.

 

For more detailed information on smart food choices and healthy aging, visit:

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-do-we-know-about-healthy-aging

**If you are concerned about how your dietary choices and activity level may be affecting your health, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider.

Torie Beckwith, VSC Nutrition Coordinator

Post 9/1/2021 – The Woman Behind the Meals

Hello, readers!

 

For this month’s article, I wanted to take the opportunity to better introduce myself and provide you with a little information about who I am, and what I do.

 

To begin, my name is Torie and I am the Nutrition Coordinator here at VSC. My role involves handling all food and nutrition-related aspects of our Meals on Wheels, Drive Up, and “Grab and Go” meal programs. In addition to coordinating meals, I also share informational articles on key health and nutrition practices. I hold a Bachelors degree in Nutrition Science and enjoy using my knowledge to provide tasty, balanced meals to Verona area seniors and help promote optimal health as we age. I am very eager to continue growing our meal programs and extending our reach to more local seniors.

 

Besides my work at the Senior Center, I am also a first-time mother to a wonderful baby boy named Soren. He just celebrated his first birthday at the end of July and so far, it has been such an amazing journey to watch him learn and grow. He is the sweetest, most gentle and caring soul I have met to date, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for him and for myself as his mother!

 

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little better. I look forward to working with the Verona Senior Center and TNT’s Catering to continue making delicious meals convenient and easily accessible for you!

 

Torie Beckwith, BS
VSC Nutrition Coordinator

Make Food More Fun

 

  1. Drink plenty of liquids – Great choices include low fat milk, or water with fruit slices. We love cucumbers!
  2. Make eating a social event – Meals are more enjoyable with eating with friends. Grab a friend and a Grab & Go lunch at VSC.
  3. Vary your veggies – Veggies are a great source of fiber. Check out the free veggies in our edible garden!
  4. Use herbs and spices – This is an easy way to enhance your meals. Summer is a wonderful for fresh herbs.

Post 8/1/2021 –

Nutrition for Optimal Health

No matter your age, making healthy food choices is key in maintaining optimal health and overall wellbeing. The body changes throughout each stage of life and nutrient requirements do as well. The following list some tips from the National Institute on Aging to help choose food and beverages to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Drink plenty of fluids

 

Aging has been known to cause loss of thirst, so it is important to track water consumption throughout the day to ensure fluid requirements are being met. In addition to water, here are some other good choices:

 

      1. Low or fat-free milk
      2. 100% juice – no added sugar
      3.  Limit beverages containing added sugars and sodium

Meal planning and portion sizing

 

Meal planning helps make preparing meals easier and builds a healthy routine. This, when coupled with portion sizing, promotes adequate calorie intake and optimal health.

Vary veggie intake

 

Eating vegetables is not always everyone’s favorite thing to do, but including a variety of different colored, flavored, and textured veggies can make things more interesting. Vegetables are low-calorie, nutrient-dense, and full of fiber. Aim to include a serving of vegetables at each meal and who knows, you might even discover a new favorite!

 

Read nutrition labels

 

Reading and understanding nutrition labels is an important part of healthy eating. When choosing packaged foods, pay special attention to key nutrients:

    • Calories
    • Fats (limit saturated/trans fats)
    • Protein (ensure recommended intakes are met)

 

    • Carbohydrates (ensure recommended intakes are met)
    • Sodium (limit)
    • Sugars (limit)

Always check with your doctor about your specific nutrient requirements as they can provide you with intakes to best suit your health needs.

Keep food safe

 

Food-related illnesses can be life-threatening for older individuals. Be sure to properly store and date food (all non-shelf-stable foods should be used within 5-7 days) and cook/reheat all foods to proper temperatures. The biggest threats when undercooked are:

 

    • Eggs
    • Sprouts
    • Fish/shellfish
    • Meat/poultry

 

 

Detailed information on meal planning/portion sizing, recommended nutrient intakes, reading nutrition labels, and food safety can be found at:

 

https://www.myplate.gov/life-stages/older-adults

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/healthy-eating

Torie Beckwith, BS

VSC Nutrition Coordinator