Are you having trouble loading this page? Click here to view a text-only version.

MOW Walkathon banner 2019

Carol Foote Headshot July 2018Carol FooteFor the 15th year in a row, on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at 3 p.m., Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) will hold a benefit concert for Meals on Wheels at the beautiful and fully accessible Rhodes Art Center on the school campus under the direction of Steve Bathory-Peeler, director of orchestras, and his colleague Ron Smith, director, band and jazz programs.

We’re excited to share that the NMH musicians have a varied and spirited selection of  music to perform this year. Concert attendees will enjoy a medley of college fight songs played by the NMH Band; a movement from Georges Bizet's First Symphony; an Irish reel called Toss the Feathers; a Frank Sinatra medley, and music by Count Basie.  

Come swing, tap, bop, and sway with us as you enjoy musical talents you just have to hear to believe. The concert is free, and 100% of donations given will support Meals on Wheels, a vital program for hundreds of area elders who depend on the daily hot meal delivery and wellness check.

The concert is a part of the spring drive to support Meals on Wheels that culminates at the Meals on Wheels Walkathon on Saturday, April 27, 2019.

For more information about the Walkathon, contact Carol Foote at (413) 773-5555, ext. 2225, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For information about the concert on Sunday, February 24, at 3 p.m., at Northfield Mount Hermon, contact Sue Rhenow at 413-498-3281.

Part 2: Limiting sugars and salt and choosing healthy fats

Limit added sugars

Added sugar is the extra sugar added to foods and drinks during preparation. Corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, and honey are examples of sweeteners added to foods and drinks, especially regular sodas.

Feb 2019 Plan Your Plate Series 2 photoThe Healthy Living program at LifePath is offering several workshops during the 2019 winter season, including a free "Healthy Eating for Successful Living" workshop for people who want to learn more about nutrition and healthy heart and bone strategies. The workshop series covers MyPlate dietary guidelines, water and exercise, label reading, grocery shopping, getting the support of a nutritionist or registered dietician, behavior change techniques, and self-assessment techniques. The next six-week Healthy Eating workshop series starts on February 19 at the Gill Montague Senior Center. To learn more about this and other workshops, contact Andi Waisman, Healthy Living Program Manager. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash.com.“The sugars present normally in milk and fruit are not considered added sugar,” explains Dr. Kimber Stanhope, a nutrition researcher at the University of California, Davis.

Stanhope’s research focuses on the effects of added sugar on the development of disease. Her studies have shown that consuming too much high-fructose corn syrup may increase the risk of weight gain and heart disease.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest a daily limit on added sugar of no more than 10% of calories. That’s about the amount in 16 ounces of regular soda (190 calories). You can find information about added sugars on most Nutrition Facts labels now.

“Anybody can improve their diet by substituting fruits and vegetables for sugar as their snacks, as part of their dessert, and as part of their meals,” says Stanhope. “There are no advantages of consuming added sugar.”

Consider your fats

Fat is high in calories and can increase your chances of developing obesity, heart disease, and other health problems. But there are different kinds of fats.

Fats that are liquid at room temperature, or oils, are considered to be healthier than those that are solid. Solid fats are found in high amounts in beef, chicken, pork, cheese, butter, and whole milk. Solid fats have more saturated fats than liquid oils. Liquid oils—such as canola, corn, olive, or peanut oil—have mostly unsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.

The dietary guidelines encourage consuming liquid oils rather than solid fats. Dr. Holly Nicastro, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) nutrition research expert, advises that you examine the fat content on the Nutrition Facts label. The label shows how much saturated fat a product contains. Experts suggest that you aim for getting less than 10% of your calories from saturated fats.

“For the average person, that’s going to be less than 20 grams of saturated fat per day,” Nicastro says.

For example, a small cheeseburger may have 5 grams of saturated fat, a typical cheeseburger may have 13, and a double cheeseburger with bacon may have 24!

Check labels for salt

The Nutrition Facts label also shows salt, or sodium. Experts advise you to limit salt, which tends to be very high in processed foods.

If you eat salty, highly processed food, you can quickly go over the daily limit of one teaspoon of salt (2,300 milligrams of sodium). Two hot dogs might have 900 milligrams of sodium. A can of ravioli might have 1400 milligrams. Other examples of salty, highly processed foods are bacon, frozen pizzas, and salad dressings.

Along with a lot of added salt, processed foods might have preservatives, sweeteners, and other substances added during preparation.

“Stuff that comes in a box or a bag that has a whole lot of different ingredients—many of which you can’t read and understand or pronounce—those things are highly processed and generally bad for your health,” explains Dr. David C. Goff, Jr., a public health expert at NIH.

Learn more about making a meal plan and talking with a nutritionist next week.

Article adapted from the NIH December 2018 News in Health, available online at newsinhealth.nih.gov.

Learn to advocate for residents of local long-term care facilities

Want to make a difference in your community? The next Long-Term Care Ombudsman training is your chance! Volunteers in Greenfield, Shelburne Falls, Athol, and Turners Falls are especially needed.

Attend the next free volunteer training for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program on March 27 and 28, 2019, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and March 29, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with breaks for lunch, in Springfield, Mass. A snow date is reserved for April 1.

With questions or to apply, call Trevor Boeding, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program director at LifePath, at 413-773-5555 x2241 or 978-544-2259 x2241, or send him an email. Even if you can’t make it to this training, you can still reach out to be added to the list for a future session. Find application materials and more information.

“The skills helpful to be an Ombudsman are good people skills, good listening skills, level-headedness, and comfort in helping to advocate for another's needs to be met,” says Trevor. “It is not necessary to have healthcare knowledge or experience. Training is provided to fill in the gaps.”

Robert Amyot has visited with and advocated for residents living at Quabbin Valley Healthcare as a volunteer Ombudsman for several years. “I’ve always seemed to relate well talking to people who are my age or older,” says Robert.

At first, Robert was nervous. “Especially when you start out, you really need a lot of guidance.”

The structure of the ongoing training put his mind at ease. Robert and Trevor did introductory visits together. “I always keep his phone number handy,” says Robert. “I can call from my car if I need to have an answer right away.” Regular meetings with other Ombudsman volunteers have also helped.

Thanks to the Ombudsman, “People are so much better off and happier,” says Robert. “It gives me a lot of satisfaction to be able to advocate for them.”

Interested volunteers must successfully complete the application process, which includes CORI, reference checks, and an interview with the program director, before attending the training. Volunteers are reimbursed for their mileage to and from the facility to which they are assigned.

Feb 2019 Rainbow Elders brunch ranked choice voting photoBring some springtime into your day while learning about ranked-choice voting with an assortment of flowers.Join the Rainbow Elders of LifePath for “Flower Power in February” on Thursday, February 21, 2019, at the South Country Senior Center in South Deerfield. Arrive between 11:45 a.m. and 12 p.m., and the Rainbow Elders Luncheon Club will serve a special brunch menu: cheese omelet, ham steak, waffle fries, muffin, wheat bread, maple syrup, juice, and milk. Special dietary needs, as always, will be accommodated if possible, or you may bring your own food. Coffee and tea will be available.

Following the meal, retired teacher and Western Mass local Linda Castronovo of Voter Choice Massachusetts will lead a flower-filled workshop on “ranked choice voting.” Learn about this system of voting, recently used for the first time in a Maine election, by voting for your favorite flowers. Experiencing how this system works is sure to surprise you!

Save your place online or reserve your meal by calling 413-773-5555 x1242 or 978-544-2259 x1242 if you are unable to go online. The deadline to register is 9 a.m. on Wednesday, February 20.

According to Voter Choice Massachusetts, “Ranked Choice Voting is a simple, fair, and easy way to give more voice and more choice to Massachusetts voters. Instead of picking just one candidate, Ranked Choice Voting allows you to rank the candidates on your ballot — as many or as few as you prefer — in your order of choice.” Learn more about ranked-choice voting at www.voterchoicema.org.

There will be time to socialize and enjoy a few sights of spring. Regardless of the results, six attendees will go home with one of the flowers!

More about the Rainbow Elders Luncheon Club & the Rainbow Elders

Taking place on the third Thursday of each month, the Rainbow Elders Luncheon Club will provide a hot noontime meal to LGBTIQA people 60 years of age and older, their friends, and any supportive members of the public at large. The meal is offered to elders for a suggested donation. Elders can be joined for lunch by their spouse of any age or an individual with a disability who lives in the same household as the elder. A suggested donation of $3 is requested. People under 60 are welcome to attend for a fee of $8. The meal is supported by the Older Americans Act

The South County Senior Center also serves meals on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and many other sites are available around Franklin County and the North Quabbin. Find a complete listing and schedule of dining centers and luncheon clubs, along with monthly menus.

Rainbow Elders builds connections among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, asexual, aromatic, and agender elders and their allies. Learn more and sign up to receive emails with future Rainbow Elders event invitations and relevant news and information..

Special thanks to our sponsors, The Arbors at Greenfield and Rockridge Retirement Community. 

Part 1: Make the shift to a healthy eating style

What’s the eating style that’s best for health? Is it a Mediterranean eating plan? Vegetarian? Low carb? With all the eating styles out there, it’s hard to know which one to follow.

Feb 2019 Plan Your Plate Series 1 photo WEBThe Healthy Living program at LifePath is offering several workshops during the 2019 winter season, including a free "Healthy Eating for Successful Living" workshop for people who want to learn more about nutrition and healthy heart and bone strategies. The workshop series covers MyPlate dietary guidelines, water and exercise, label reading, grocery shopping, getting the support of a nutritionist or registered dietician, behavior change techniques, and self-assessment techniques. The next six-week Healthy Eating workshop series starts on February 19, 2019, at the Gill Montague Senior Center. To learn more about this and other workshops, contact Healthy Living.Healthy eating is one of the best ways to prevent or delay health problems. Eating well, along with getting enough physical activity, can help you lower your risk of health problems like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and more. To reach your goals, experts advise making small, gradual changes.

“The best diet to follow is one that is science based, that allows you to meet your nutritional requirements, and that you can stick to in the long run,” says Dr. Holly Nicastro, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) nutrition research expert. “It’s not going to do you any good to follow a diet that has you eating things that you don’t like.”

The main source of science-based nutrition advice is the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines describe which nutrients you need and how much. They also point out which ones to limit or avoid.

“Every five years an expert panel reviews all available scientific evidence regarding nutrition and health and uses that to develop the dietary guidelines,” Nicastro explains.

The guidelines are regularly updated because our scientific understanding of what’s healthy is continuously evolving. These changes can be confusing, but the key recommendations have been consistent over time. In general, healthy eating means getting a variety of foods, limiting certain kinds of carbs and fats, watching out for salt, and being aware of your portion sizes.

Learn more about limiting added sugars, recognizing healthy fats, and limiting salt in Part 2.

Article adapted from the NIH December 2018 News in Health.