Wellness Wednesdays – 9/19/18


Healthy Eating on a Budget, Part 1

by Marcia Sikorski, registered dietitian at Pentucket Medical Associates

There is a misconception that healthy eating is expensive. In many cases, basic healthy foods are not only less expensive but often more nutritious than the more expensive processed foods. With a little planning and wise shopping, you can get the nutrients you need while staying within your budget!

Start by making a grocery list of the foods you need and stick to it. Impulse buying can add up on your grocery store bill. Focus on nutrient-rich foods and limitless healthy foods choices. Look at the unit prices of foods and compare. Generic/store brands tend to be less expensive than name brands, and are most often of similar nutrient value and flavor. Convenience foods are usually higher in price. Foods with added sauces or season packs generally cost more and often contain less healthy ingredients.

Whole grains can add nutritional value and be used as less expensive fillers in mixed dishes. This means you need less of the higher-priced ingredients! Bulk bins often contain basic whole grain options that are less expensive, like brown rice, whole grain pasta, barley and bulgur.

Look for the second part of “Healthy Eating on a Budget” in the Oct. 10 edition of Wellness Wednesdays!



Governor Charlie Baker, Local Officials Announce Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund

Governor Charlie Baker joined Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, Andover and North Andover Town Managers Andrew Flanagan and Andrew Maylor, officials from Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF), state agencies and nonprofit organizations to announce the establishment of a humanitarian relief fund to be named the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund at Essex County Community Foundation. The Fund will help serve the short and medium term needs of impacted residents, including housing, sustenance and support services.

“It is our top priority to provide Merrimack Valley residents affected by this tragedy with the proper assistance during this difficult time,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This fund will help us bridge the gap for families and businesses facing immediate needs for support services, ranging from sustenance to housing, and will be a vital tool for recovery in the coming weeks.”

They joined Columbia Gas of Massachusetts President Steve Bryant to announce a $10 million contribution by Columbia Gas to the new Disaster Relief Fund being established to coordinate relief efforts and provide resources in the community.

“After the gas crisis, we are in the process of rebuilding the greater Lawrence area, both mentally and physically,” said Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera. “I want to thank Columbia Gas for living up to their corporate responsibility with this $10M donation, and I will continue to advocate and fight alongside Town Managers Maylor and Flanagan, Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito to ensure that no resident affected by the gas crisis has to worry about cost as we work to repair our communities.”

Donations for the Sept. 13 fire victims are currently being made to the Lawrence Emergency Fund, a well-established ECCF fund opened in 2009 to respond to emergencies such as fires in the City of Lawrence, at www.eccf.org/LawrenceEmergencyFund


Mill City Grows to Hold 7th Annual Harvest Festival

Lowell-based nonprofit Mill City Grows (MCG) is proud to host their 7th Annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Lowell’s North Common Park, the site of the organization’s North Common Community Garden. Up to 20 local organizations will participate as activity partners during the Harvest Festival, providing families with fun, hands-on educational activities including culturally relevant food and harvest traditions, fresh food preparation, cooking resources, nutrition education and wellness education.

The event will also feature exciting live entertainment from the Jamaica Plain Honk Band, a poetry pumpkin display, garden tours and local food vendors serving up delicious lunch options. New for 2018 is a Healthy Food Resource Fair, organized in partnership with the City of Lowell’s Hunger and Homeless Commission.

For more information, visit MillCityGrows.org or call (978) 455-2620.



Daily Aspirin Therapy Might Not Be as Effective as Previously Thought

The New England Journal of Medicine has published new research showing that the preventative practice of taking daily aspirin — sometimes recommended for seniors — may not make much of a difference for most people. Healthy participants of the study who took aspirin daily actually died at a higher rate than those who did not. (via CBS News)



September 22

Lace up your running shoes for the first Navigation Brewing Co. 5K/0K Road Race. This year’s proceeds benefit Mill City Grows. For runners 21 years and older, registration includes a beer ticket. Lowell, Mass. | Eventbrite.com

Speaking of Mill City Grows, they’ll be hosting a workshop on seed saving. It’s part of their 2018 Gardener Training Program (GTP). Seating is limited to 12 participants, so sign up now if you’re interested! Lowell, Mass. | Facebook.com

September 28

Yoga in the Gardens at The Stevens-Coolidge Place will teach you breathing techniques to calm your mind, postures to balance and stretch your body, and relaxation to soothe your soul. Join in the tranquility at 9 a.m.


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