Wellness Wednesdays – 5/16/18

WELLNESS TIP OF THE WEEK

Looking to Eat Healthier and Feel Better? Try Going Meatless

The benefits of adopting a meatless lifestyle are many, registered dietitian Jessica Levings tells the Orlando Sentinel: going either vegetarian or vegan can help an individual “reduce their risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.” Levings isn’t even a vegetarian herself, but sees the obvious benefits of eating that way — with the caveat that careful planning be a part of the process before anyone makes a switch. If one is truly going to eat vegetarian or vegan, particularly kids, she tells the Sentinel, it is critical to make sure that all nutritional guidelines are still being met. While protein may seem like a challenge to obtain (especially for vegans), there are plenty of options: protein pasta, beans, nuts and tofu, just to name a few. Even if you don’t want to fully commit to going vegetarian or vegan, planning for a “Meatless Monday” or even eating plant-based meals a few days a week can reduce your risk of disease and result in a healthier, happier you!

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HEALTH IN THE VALLEY

Trial by “A Taste of the Tropics” for UMass Lowell Diatetic Grad Students

A graduate program introduced two years ago in the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences – the Master’s in Public Health with a focus on dietetics – lets students spend a semester working as interns for University Dining Services. The internship is part of a three-credit Food and Nutrition Management course taught by lecturer Michelle Palladino. For the graduate students in the program, the culmination of their hard work over the semester is serving up a “Dining Hall Takeover” lunch to the students of UML — an audience they’re well-aware can be a tough crowd. This year, the students picked the menu theme “A Taste of the Tropics,” which seemed to go over well with their hungry peers.

“Some people came back for seconds or thirds, which I was really happy to see,” first-year grad student Federica Fiore said as the tropical takeover was coming to a close. “We had a lot of positive feedback, which was great.”

Naturally, a big part of the students’ final project is making sure the food is both appealing and meets the nutritional guidelines required at the school. Fiore, a registered dietitian in her native Italy, was part of a student team serving the tangy beef bowls at the gluten-free “Choices” station. Another team served the jerk chicken (with sweet potato wedges and Greek yogurt broccoli slaw) at the “Homestyle” station, while a third team set up an appetizer table with three kinds of dip – red pepper hummus, pineapple salsa and honey Greek yogurt – along with fruit skewers, pita chips and sliced peppers, carrots and cucumbers. (Hint, hint: if you’re looking for some delicious snack options to take advantage of our Wellness Tip of the Week, these vegetarian appetizers might fit the bill nicely.)

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WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB

Aging Doesn’t Slow Down Growth of New Brain Cells, Study Finds

Good news for those among us who are “getting up there” in years: just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re not growing new brain cells. According to ResearchGate, a new study from Columbia University shows that people continue neurogenesis (the process of creating new neurons) at pretty much the same rate throughout their lives. Since neurons help with recording and maintaining memories, as well as coping with stress, it’s clear that the degenerative effects of aging lie outside of slowed neurogenesis. Says Maura Boldrini, associate professor of neurobiology and lead author of the study: “Instead, it’s the formation of blood vessels that seems to decline with aging … This may mean that these neurons could be making fewer connections and are less active in the circuit.”

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LOCAL HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS

May 20

The Lawrence History Center is welcoming athletes of all abilities to its 5th Annual North Canal Classic 5k Run/Walk/Roll and Kids Canal Dash in the North Canal district of Lawrence to raise awareness of the History Center in the community, and to promote fitness and economic and cultural development in the city. Lawrence, Mass. | Facebook.com

May 23

Come join Sue Parke from 6 to 8 p.m. for a killer workout on the beautiful outdoor grounds of Willow Spring Vineyards… followed by wine! This “Muscles & Merlot” class will be a combination of barre and bootcamp and is designed to target, shape and tone the whole body while increasing musclar endurance and overall physical fitness. Haverhill, Mass. | Facebook.com

May 30

Dermatologists David Gruber from Andover Dermatology and Christine Kannler from Northeast Dermatology Associates will hold free skin cancer screenings at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen from 2 to 4 p.m. To schedule your free screening appointment, please call Holy Family Hospital at 978-687-0156, ext. 2101 or email nancy.germain@steward.orgMethuen, Mass. | HolyFamily-Hospital.org

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FARMERS MARKETS

Tendercrop Farm, Newbury
Open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
108 High Rd.
TendercropFarm.com

Salem, N.H.
Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
14 Main St.
SalemNHFarmersMarket.org

The Farm Market @ Mill No. 5, Lowell
Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
250 Jackson St.
MillCityGrows.org

Mill City Grows Mobile Market – Lowell Community Health Center
Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
161 Jackson St.
MillCityGrows.org

Mill City Grows Mobile Market – River Place Towers
Tuesdays, 3 to 5 p.m.
1 River Pl.
MillCityGrows.org

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