Veterans wellness session focuses on healthy cooking, smoothies - September 20, 2017
Courtesy of Post Tribune
Written by Sue Ellen Ross
Residents in NWI Veterans Village are learning quite a bit since they partnered with Methodist Hospital for a year-long wellness program.
The weekly sessions focus on a properly managed diet, nutrition, exercise and prevention of obesity and diabetes.
“We’ve had great participation so far,” said Carol Sakelaris, Methodist Hospital diabetes educator. “With our large variety of topics, there’s something for everyone.”
One recent session, “Smoothies, Juicing & Cooking to Better Health,” included a presentation by master gardener James Pavelka of the Hobart Garden Club; and updates regarding the program by Sakelaris and LaTanya Woodson, Methodist Hospital Community Outreach Manager.
“You can add many healthy things to make a delicious smoothie,” Pavelka said, as he sliced strawberries and added leafy greens to the blender. “This is an opportunity to be creative.”
Pavelka also serves another role in the health programs.
With the financial support of Methodist Hospitals, James assisted NWI Veteran Village residents with the planting, transplanting and maintenance of their rooftop garden this spring.
It currently is producing tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant, among other vegetables, as well as basil and other herbs.
Majorie Newman is among the 15 residents involved with the garden. She visits every day, watering and weeding.
“Maintaining the garden is a labor of love,” she said. “And I try to attend the weekly classes, there’s so much important information they bring to us that we can’t get elsewhere.”
Veterans Village property manager Gloria Crook is getting great feedback that agrees with Gordon and Newman.
“The Methodist Hospital people are doing a wonderful job with this wellness program,” she said, as she checked out crops in the rooftop garden. “This is just what our residents need.”
The bounty from the rooftop is being shared with the kitchen staff for residents’ meals, as well as being utilized for the wellness program, such as the recent smoothies class.
“I make smoothies all the time, but I had no idea you could use so many different types of vegetables in them,” said resident Randall Gordon, as Woodson gave him a sample infused with spinach. “I love these courses they present, they’re very beneficial. I’m diabetic, so much of the information hits home.”
Methodist Hospitals four months ago joined with NWI Veterans Village for the 12-month wellness program, which was sanctioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote wellness.
Woodson manages the agenda, which includes various clinical specialists, dietitians, podiatrists, physical therapist, spiritual wellness, among others, to speak on subjects relating to improving the overall health of veterans.
For more information about NWI Veterans Village, call (219) 951-0460.