Celebrate National Nutrition Month – Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right!

Contributed by Area Agency on Aging 1B, Karen Jackson- Holzhauer, RD & Justine Yaldo- Wayne State University, Dietetic Intern

NNM - spoons and forks2014 National Nutrition Month is celebrating “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”! The theme puts local foods and the diversity that Southeast Michigan has to offer at the center of the plate. Drawing from a variety of foods and cultural traditions, the rich heritage of Metro Detroit is reflected in our restaurants, farmers markets, local gardens, neighborhoods and senior centers. Family elders play a leading role in cultivating food traditions and creating food memories with familiar flavored dishes and family recipes passed down by each generation to the next. These recipes originate from the Metropolitan Detroit area family’s ancestral ties which have circulated the globe. This year we are celebrating healthy food traditions with dishes prepared using locally grown vegetables. NNM also coincides with spring’s first crops of asparagus, beets, broccoli, wild mushrooms, cabbage, and also carrots that are still available from winter storage.

The diversity in our meals also plays a role in getting a balanced and nutrient rich diet. Incorporating different spices and herbs along with recipes featuring local foods makes National Nutrition Month a memorable family affair. It is important to remember that getting plenty of fluids and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is important part of healthy aging.

This recipe is adapted from the Michigan Bean commission “Well-Red Bean & Green Salad“ and uses a base of brown rice, red and green vegetables, dried fruit, and fresh herbs with healthy oils. This is designed to increase the flavor profile of familiar ingredients like beets and red beans in combination with rice and broccoli to target essential nutrients for healthy aging. This includes the excellent sources of fiber in the main ingredients and high quality protein and potassium found in the dried beans. This unique vegetable combination contains cancer fighting antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory components which are also good for heart health.

Healthy Snacks for Seniors

* Pre-cut Veggies * Natural Granola Fresh Fruit * Nuts * Cheese * Dried Fruit * High Fiber Cereal* Green Salads * Greek Yogurt * Peppers

Remember to always Eat in COLOR!

Grocery Shopping Tips for One or Two

  1. Don’t shop when you are hungry.
  2. Buy seasonings that can be used in multiple recipes.
  3. Plan out a weekly menu and bring a list when grocery shopping.
  4. Rethink your shopping list and buy in small sizes as needed to keep foods fresh and avoid a spoilage or waste.
  5. Clip coupons and toss them in an envelope that is convenient when shopping.
  6. Check out senior discount days.
  7. Take the time to read the Nutrition Food Labels on products before you buy.
  8. Find out when the store restocks its fresh produce.
  9. Shop the parameter of the store for fresh foods and avoid the grab and go and impulse items at the ends of each aisle.
  10. Eat before you go to the store.

Well-Red Bean & Green Salad

Salad

30-ounce cooked Dark Red Kidney Beans,

1 cup long-grain brown rice, uncooked

1 cup fresh broccoli, florets cut, stems sliced, and blanched

or 1/2 pound asparagus, chopped grilled

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced thin (about 2-1/2 cups)

4 to 6 scallions, sliced

Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon tarragon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Garnish

Spring Greens for serving

Michigan dried cherries

Diced beets

PREPARATION

Cook rice. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients, including the cooked rice. In a jar, combine all dressing ingredients. Cover the jar, shake well, and pour dressing over the salad mixture. Toss salad to mix thoroughly. Refrigerate salad until serving time. On a large platter, serve salad on a bed of mixed spring salad greens and garnish with Beets and Cherries.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving)

Servings per recipe: 6

Serving size: 1-1/4 cups

Calories: 273

Carbohydrates: 37g

Fat: 10g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Protein: 10g

Fiber: 8g

Sodium: 120mg (320mg if using canned beans)

Adapted from The Michigan Bean Commission. 

2 Million Meals…and Counting!

WOWZA! 2 million meals is a lot of meals delivered to the homebound in Washtenaw County. And the best part is that we know we’ve delivered a lot more than 2 million meals. We have delivered friendly smiles, caring hearts, and respect…and it shows. Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels opened its doors (as Motor Meals of Ann Arbor) in 1974. A partnership with the University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems formed, followed by a name change to align with the national Meals on Wheels Association of America, and here we are today.

The experience of Meals on Wheels, both from the volunteer delivering hot and nutritious meals to the client receiving the care and the helping hand, is invaluable. Seeing clients’ faces light up when the volunteers arrive is pure joy. The relief and gratitude of family members who live far away and are unable to care for older family members as they might wish is palpable.

We are so very thankful to have reached this milestone and we couldn’t have done it without the generosity of our volunteers, staff, and donors.

Thank you!

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Meals on Wheels and Senior Services Programs Face Budget Reductions in January!

The Budget Control Act of 2011 is the debt ceiling and deficit reduction legislation signed into law in the summer of 2011. This Act also created the “Super Committee” to produce a debt reduction plan with projected savings of more than $1 trillion dollars over 10 years.   When this committee failed to come to an agreement, a process known as “sequestration” was triggered to begin on January 2, 2013. (For more information on sequestration: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42050.pdf)

If Congress cannot agree on ways to reduce the total budget, or fails to pass a Budget Resolution, then an automatic form of spending cutbacks will occur. “Sequestration” is a process of automatic, largely across-the-board spending reductions under which budgetary resources are permanently canceled, with no departmental or agency control, to enforce certain budget policy goals.

Most exempt programs are mandatory, and include Social Security and Medicaid; refundable tax credits to individuals; and low-income programs such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program; and Supplemental Security Income.

Senior meal programs, as well as all other programs authorized by the Older Americans Act (OAA) are subject to the automatic spending cuts of sequestration. Current projections indicate a 7.8% – 8.4% cut in funding will occur in January of 2013.

What does this mean for older adults in Michigan, and across the U.S.?

If sequestration occurs, over $1 million dollars in home-delivered meal funds will be cut in Michigan alone. This funding translates into over 1.4 million meals for over 15,000 homebound Michigan seniors for one year. Across the country, over 17 million older adults will no longer receive home-delivered meals.

This reduction will exacerbate an already growing number of seniors who face food insecurity.  In 2010, over 14% of seniors in Michigan faced the threat of hunger. Nationally, the number of seniors facing this threat has increased significantly.

Food programs protected from sequestration include Child Nutrition Programs (School Lunch, School Breakfast), Child and Adult Care Food, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  But ,Senior Nutrition Programs are not protected.  Congregate and home-delivered meal programs deserve parity with these other federal nutrition programs also serving vulnerable populations (children, low-income individuals).

There are very real consequences to funding reductions for seniors and older adults: compromised health, poorer nutrition, increased isolation, and higher risk of falls and injury.  Reduced energy, muscle strength, functionality; reduced skin integrity; susceptibility to infection; and longer, more frequent hospitalizations are just some of the effects of under- and malnutrition. A 64 year-old suffering from hunger is likely to have the functional limitations of a 78 year-old.

The consequences will cause huge negative ripples throughout our public health and our social services infrastructure.

Support Meals on Wheels and help us end senior hunger!  Contact your Senators and Representatives and urge them to work out a budget agreement without automatic spending cuts to Older Americans Act programs! To find your Representatives and Senators go to: http://house.gov or http://www.senate.gov.

A Special Thanks to our Volunteers, Sponsors, and Donors

Every year on Thanksgiving, many people celebrate with a bounty of food. We take a moment to remember the things we are grateful for: our families, our home, our health, and anything else that fulfills our lives. In some cases, it gives us an opportunity to appreciate the things that we may normally take for granted during our busy, daily lives. But for Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels clients, the nutritious meals and visits they receive from us are appreciated every day.

Without Ann Arbor MOW and the people who support our program, many of our clients would not eat. Many would not have somebody to check in on them during the hot summers and the cold winters, and give them a friendly smile to let them know that someone cares. We at Ann Arbor MOW are grateful that we can provide this much needed service to our clients, and we are especially thankful to the staff, volunteers, and donors who make it happen.

Your generosity is more than a nice gesture, it is a life-saving act. Nothing illustrates that more than these words of gratitude from the very people you have touched:
− I don’t know what I’d do without you all. Such a very fine and life-saving program. I thank you all with a very full heart.
− I wouldn’t eat if it wasn’t for Meals on Wheels…may the lord bless all of you.
− The volunteers are excellent—caring, friendly, and very much appreciated by me.
− You’re there to help when I can’t help myself.
− You’re all angels at Meals on Wheels. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
− The meals are such a help for me and there is no telling you how much I appreciate this service. Thank you!
− Everything about it and the blessing of it and the friendly people [are what is most helpful]…God bless you all!

These are just a handful of things our clients say about our service. For all who are a part of the Meals on Wheels family, we thank you.

If you have not yet become involved with Ann Arbor MOW, consider joining our program. Whether through a modest monetary donation or a contribution of your time, your participation can change—and save—the lives of many.

One of the best ways to celebrate our blessings is to provide for someone else in need. It is a celebration that can happen throughout the year, one that is deeply appreciated by hundreds of people. Visit our website for information on how you can donate or volunteer at Ann Arbor MOW.

MOW for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Imagine trying to cross the street without being able to see the crosswalk signal. Or carrying bags of groceries for long distances while also holding on to a walking stick or a seeing eye dog. Or grabbing a knife without seeing which end is the handle or the blade. These are the challenges that make it difficult for the blind or visually impaired to prepare their own meals.

With our older population rapidly increasing, so is the population of people with limited or no sight. Over half of the world’s blindness is due to age-related cataracts. Other causes include age-related macular degeneration and diabetes, afflictions common in older adults. Over 80% of the world’s blind population is over 50 years old. For our clients, low vision is related to, or in addition to, other conditions that make it difficult for them to leave the home.

On October 11th, World Sight Day will be observed around the world to raise awareness about visual impairment and efforts to prevent avoidable blindness. However, for the MOW population, treatments or cures for their vision problems are either unavailable or unaffordable, and the meals we deliver allow them to eat a hot, nutritious meal that they might not otherwise be able to prepare.

“Due to my eyes and hearing…I am very grateful for your help. Thank you.”
-Meals On Wheels Participant

The service Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels provides meets the needs of hundreds of people with a variety of limitations. Many are older adults with age related conditions, while others may have disabilities that are unrelated to their age. Some may be temporarily homebound for a minimum of three weeks. Others may need meals delivered indefinitely.

If you or someone you know in Ann Arbor has difficulty obtaining meals on a daily basis, MOW may be able to help. Visit our website for eligibility requirements. Eligible clients are served regardless of age or financial status. Each delivery includes a hot meal and a cold meal, both include a beverage.

To apply for Ann Arbor Meals On Wheels, call (734) 998-6686 or email aamealsonwheels@umich.edu for more information.

Let’s Celebrate Grandparents

This month we celebrate National Grandparents Day. This is a time to honor the older adults who have helped to shape our world. They are the memory keepers of our history. Many protected our country, labored for our economy, and contributed to technology and innovation. They also built our families, provided for our education and futures, and passed on our family traditions, recipes, photos and memories. They are a treasure of information and knowledge, and thus a generation worth treasuring.

This year, we celebrate grandparents as a nation on September 9th. But Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels provides an opportunity for you to celebrate them throughout the year with a population who is in desperate need of attention and care.

Many older adults are homebound due to illness, disabilities, or other age-related limitations. They may have children living hours away. Some may not have children or family at all. Yet they, too, have lived a life worth celebrating and remembering.

For many, the Ann Arbor MOW volunteers are like family. Not only do the volunteers deliver nutritious meals, but they provide the much needed human contact that our clients need for good quality of life. For many, the volunteers are the only people they see all day. During these brief visits, volunteers and clients can share a smile, a laugh, or a memory. Many clients proudly share pictures of their grandchildren who live far away, or tell stories about when their children were young. Volunteers who are parents often bring their children on deliveries. Many clients are delighted by visits from young children, which can truly brighten their day.

Volunteers also serve as the eyes and ears for family members who are unable to regularly check on their parents and grandparents. They make sure that their clients are feeling well. They look for signs of distress, such as poor hygiene, inability to keep up the home, or the client is unable to answer the door. If a volunteer has concerns, they immediately contact the home office where staff can take action, such as calling emergency services and/or contacting family.

As we take a moment on Grandparents Day to remember our loved ones and celebrate their contributions to our lives, also remember those older adults who may not have family available for celebration. Consider becoming a member of our volunteer team. Whether you make yourself available as an occasional substitute driver, or you take on a regular delivery schedule, any amount of time you donate can make a difference in someone’s life.

Delivery routes take 1-2 hours to complete. In that time, volunteers reach about 10-13 people. It doesn’t take long before volunteers get to know our clients and become a treasured part of their day. Please join us to celebrate and care for our older generation all year long.

A Lion, Rubber Duckies and Baby Birds…Oh My!

Monday, July 16th dawned bright, sunny and warm. The weather reports all warned of extreme heat and humidity, but that didn’t stop the 128 golfers from arriving at Reddeman Farms in Chelsea, ready to knock out 18 holes in support of Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels!

It also didn’t stop the amazing crew of volunteers and staff from Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels and from Reddeman Farms arriving at dawn to set up the signs, arrange the raffle prizes and to make sure the water was chilling over ice.

Breakfast was perfect. The bagels from Barry Bagel’s in Westgate were still warm from the oven, and then the donuts, smelling of sugary-fried-dough-goodness, were delivered from Washtenaw Dairy. After noshing on these delicious goodies, the golfers quickly made their way out to their carts. The busy volunteers had arranged the goody bags and scorecards on each cart so all the golfers had to do was show up. Sound good so far? (Hint, come out and golf with us next year!)

Judy Fike and Patty McCarthy got things started with a bang. And then they were off! The day couldn’t have been better (ok, it could have been cooler and less humid). Everyone had a great time and enjoyed a beautiful day on a lovely golf course in support of a wonderful organization. This was the fourth year for the event, and over $21,000 dollars was raised, nearly doubling the amount raised in 2011! That translates into 3,500 meals! Great job everyone!

It may be too early to say this (and I may be on an emotional Olympic sport adrenaline rush)…but who thinks we can double that amount in 2013????

Thank you to all of our sponsors and donors! We could not have pulled off such a successful event without your help.

2012 “Tee it Up to Make a Difference” Sponsors and Donors

A HUGE Thank You to all of the volunteers and to the fabulous planning committee. Your dedication to the success of Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels is both humbling and inspiring.