Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A feast of farro is phenomenal

We tried something new at the recent Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon  at Green Hills Community – it's call farro. 
Kelli Fritz, CDM
Director of Dining
& Support Services

You’ve heard of common grains like barley, buckwheat and whole wheat, but farro?

Farro, also called emmer in some parts of the world, is a type of ancient wheat grain that has been eaten around the world for thousands of years.

The ancient whole wheat grain has a long and interesting history and for many years fed almost the entirety of the Mediterranean and Near East. Specifically, it fed the vast majority of Romans from 44 BC to the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476 CE.

All classes of people,  from the wealthy to the poor, ate farro. The poor of the Roman Empire ground farro and included it as an ingredient in a type of polenta called "plus." 

As grains become more easily cultivated, farro lost its popularity until the French began using the grain in soups.

How does farro stack up against other grains? 

The USDA does not provide nutrition information for farro at this time but we can presume it has similar nutrients to other closely related ancient wheat species.

With that in mind, a half cup serving of uncooked farro has about:
150 calories 
34 grams of carbohydrates 
7-8 grams of fiber
7-8 grams of protein 
1 gram of sugar 
1 gram of fat
4 milligrams of niacin 
60 milligrams of magnesium
2 milligrams of iron
2 milligrams of zinc

Here are the six health benefits of eating farro
1. High in fiber: A very high level of fiber makes it heart-healthy, good for digestion and beneficial for
preventing blood sugar or insulin spikes and dips. Fiber is more than just a regulator. It is beneficial for preventing constipation, clearing the arteries of plaque buildup, curbing hunger pangs and supporting a healthy gut environment. Farro breaks down slowly, keeping your energy levels more stable compared to eating refined grains.

2. Improves immunity and heart health: Studies conducted by a national health organization show the more whole grains someone eats, the more protections that person seems to have against chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

3.  Good source of protein: Farro is considered an excellent source of plant base protein, providing just about the same amount as most legumes or beans and even more than many other whole grains.

4. High in B vitamins: Farro contains multiple B vitamins, especially Vitamin B3 Niacin, which is important for metabolic health and breaking down carbohydrates, fats and proteins from foods into energy.

5. Good source of antioxidants: Most people think of vegetables or fruits as being the only high antioxidant foods, but unprocessed grains also provide antioxidants, especially the type called lignans. Plant lignans are known to reduce inflammation.

6. Provides iron, magnesium and zinc: Farro is a good source of nutrients that some plant-based eaters or anyone with a mostly processed diet might be missing out on, including magnesium, zinc and iron. Iron is important for preventing anemia and helps to improve energy while zinc is crucial for brain function, helping with growth and development and facilitating with DNA and cellular functions. Magnesium is a crucial electrolyte that has numerous benefits, - preventing muscle cramps, helping you sleep better, fighting of headaches and helping with digestion.

Farro can be purchased at most grocery stores, including Kroger, Meijer and Aldi.

After reading this recipe, you might expect it to be quite earthy. You’d be right but there is so much more going on here. 

The first taste delivers the earthiness, but then you get sweetness and creaminess from the roasted onions and sweet potatoes that is topped off with the sweet crunch of the pomegranate seeds.

Farro dish served at Volunteer Luncheon
Serving Size: ½ cup 
Serves: 6 people

 1 cup of uncooked farro
 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
 Salt
 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes – should be about 2 ¼ cups
 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
 1/3 cup shelled raw walnuts
 3 cups packed finely chopped Kale – make sure to remove the stems before cutting
 1 large garlic clove, minced
 Lemon juice
 Black pepper
 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1. Combine farro with 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until grain is tender (about 20 minutes). Add one teaspoon of salt stir and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes. Drain excess water.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, toss onions & Garlic with enough oil to lightly coat, but do not soak. Spread across a baking sheet. Toss sweet potatoes with oil in similar fashion and spread on a separate baking sheet. Sprinkle with cumin, coriander and a pinch of salt. Place in oven and roast – onions will finish first.

3. Toast walnuts on the stove top in an non-stick pan while your vegetables are roasting.

4. Once everything is done cooking, blend your vegetables, walnuts with your rarro, add in the kale (uncooked) and fold ingredients together. Drizzle with a bit of the olive oil and lemon juice to taste, season with salt and pepper. Use the pomegranate seeds to top off the dish after it is put on a plate.


Friday, April 7, 2017

What tunes are on the soundtrack of your life?

Rebecca Marker-Smith
Director of Marketing
I believe in the power of music and how it sparks memories. I believe in the Music and Memory program that we offer at Green Hills Community.

The earliest song that I remember from growing up is the theme song of Josie and the Pussycats, a mini-record that I cut out from the back of a Honeycomb cereal box. The band was part of the Scooby-Doo show – one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons.

My parents had a very extensive record album collection, a great stereo system, and we listened to the radio all the time. 

When I got to high school – I would “discover” a song and sing it before anyone else knew about it. Eventually, the song would hit the Top 40 and I was over it – tired of hearing it and onto something else new and exciting.

While a student at Bowling Green State University, I fulfilled my dream by becoming a disc jockey at 88.1 FM WBGU. Garage bands were the rage, MTV was exposing us to all sorts of exciting sounds, college radio was king, and U2 was finally making a name for themselves. It was a great time to tune into the music industry and WBGU-FM hosted a wide range of formats.

I began with an early morning Saturday shift playing “alternative” music – anything that was NOT played anywhere else, like Depeche Mode, Roxy Music, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order, the Smiths and many others of that genre.

Later, I spend two semesters playing 60s and 70s music with a “Classic Flashback” show in which I always opened with Rod Stewart’s Every Picture Tells a Story, which I picked from my parent’s record collection along with tunes from Kenny Rogers and the First Edition and Three Dog Night. Wow, did I have a great time with that show.

During my last year at college, I took over as director of “Jazz Afterhours,” featuring music from classic jazz artists and more modern jazz/new age crossover artists like George Benson, Larry Carlton and John Scofield.

Yes, I love and appreciate music. My greatest fear is that when the day comes that I no longer recognize my family, that someone will play Top 40 tunes from 1984 thinking that I want to relive my high school years. I. Will. Go. Nuts. if I hear Oh Sherrie from Journey or something from Madonna. 

What do I want to hear? I’m so glad you asked. Here are a few songs on my list:
Early compilation albums from the Windham Hill record label and anything from Bob Marley.

Think about it. What songs always put you in a good mood or reminds you of a special event in your life?

Just like making a will or appointing someone to handle your affairs, I believe it is also important to write what you want to hear when your short-term memory starts to break down.

Now, it’s your turn. What songs are on the soundtrack of your life?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Therapy is essential

Jerry Walker is a worker.

He volunteers his time at the Air Force museum at the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, the West Liberty Post of the American Legion, Many Churches Serving One God community meal in West Liberty at Christmas and is a Sunday school teacher at South Union Mennonite Church.

In mid-December, the U.S. Coast Guard retiree was clearing up the last batch of fallen leaves in his yard when he slipped on a patch of ice that caused him to break his left upper femur.

Luckily, he had his cell phone and called his wife for two things …“Call your brother to ask him to come down and clean up the rest of the leaves and then call the squad to take me to the hospital – I just fell on the ice and I hurt a little bit.”

He was taken to Mary Rutan Hospital where he underwent surgery performed by Dr. Steven Haman of Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio in Lima.

“He’s a craftsman. He did a beautiful job to allow me to bear weight on that leg again. He knows what he is doing,” said Mr. Walker.

After a lot of hard work doing intensive physical and occupational therapy, Mr. Walker is back home.

“I was transported to Green Hills on a gurney. About a month later, I’m capable of walking with some assistance,” he said, happy with the progress he has made.

 “Therapy is most essential to healing. You have to come in with an open mind, be willing to do the work, do what you are told to recover quicker and go home.

“Without therapy I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said.

Following some additional therapy to help with his transition back home, he looks forward to helping his wife around the house and his volunteer work.

“I’m not done helping people,” he said.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Nursing: Is it for you?

Nursing is a calling. It’s not something anyone can do. It takes a special person who is willing to be hands on and help those who are not able to help themselves.

“At the time when I was choosing a career, there weren’t many options available for women. I knew that I wanted to be hands-on … on the go and not sitting in an office,” said Karen Arnett, who is a trainer for the STNA program at Green Hills Community.

Fresh out of high school, Karen was hired at Green Hills Community as a nurses’ aide, before licensing was required.

“Green Hills hired me and trained me for the position. After a year, I decided that I liked it and wanted to do more,” she said and was enrolled in the first LPN class that was offered at the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center.

A career in nursing allowed her the flexibility to take time off, about 20 years, to raise a family. After the children graduated from college, she decided to go back to school to become a Registered Nurse.

She has spent a total of about 10 years in nursing, some years at Mary Rutan Hospital and the remainder back at Green Hills.

“Being an STNA is hard work. You have to be able to pay attention to those you are caring for and be able to handle the care of several people,” she explained adding, “You have to be willing to do what needs to be done for someone who can’t do it themselves,” she explained.

Do you think that you have what it takes to be a nurse? Are you flexible with your time? An STNA can’t cure someone but they can make a difference for those who can’t care for themselves.

"Of all my years in nursing, my true passion was being an aide. As Director of Staff Development, I get to pass that passion along to others," she explained.

The next STNA course is from Jan. 9 to 20. Classes are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Green Hills Community. At the conclusion of the course, students are eligible to sit for the state test for nursing assistants.

STNAs are permitted to work in long-term care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation care settings.

Is nursing for you? To find out more, ask about the course or to register call Karen at 465.5065. If she is busy with a resident, call Stacie Cingle, Director of Human Resources at 465.5065.
Karen Arnett, left, with Evie Hostetler, right, reviews a list of medications with those stored in the med cart.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Small towns are caring towns

There are some people who are not comfortable with the idea of moving to a small town. Their reasoning is that “everyone” will know their business.

I prefer to live in a small town - one where people know your name, greet you with kindness and ask about your family. They aren’t nosy – they are caring.

Several months ago, Scott Boyd, a West Liberty man, was involved in a machinery accident. During emergency surgery, he was given a total of 108 units of blood and a one percent chance of survival because of the extent of his injuries.

When the townspeople of West Liberty learned about the accident, they immediately asked, “What can I do to help?”

With that much blood missing from the blood banks, we all know that it is going to take a lot of people to replenish the supply for the next person who is in need.

To meet that need it was decided a blood drive was needed to replenish what was used during Scott's surgeries. In response, there were several blood drives in the area that were held in his honor. The response from the donors was tremendous and many people donated blood for the first time.

It shouldn't stop there. Blood donors are needed because we never know when there will be another crisis.

If you are a donor. Please make an appointment for a blood drive in your area. If you have never donated - please consider becoming a donor. Mary Rutan Hospital, the Discovery Center and Green Hills hosts blood drives on a regular basis.

If you live or work near West Liberty, call Rebecca at 937.650.7117 and she can register you for the next blood drive at Green Hills.

Give the gift of life - be a blood donor.

P.S. Scott has beaten the odds. He is at home where he continues to improve and recover from his injuries.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Laughter really is the best medicine

Adults don't laugh enough.  It is said that children laugh 300 times a day.  They giggle, they chuckle, they belly laugh and it all adds up to an average 300 times a day.  Adults on the other hand experience laughter less than 20 times a day. (on average)

Studies show that laughter is a great medicine for us. Several years ago there was an actual study where they invited people to watch a sitcom or a drama after work. They took blood work, blood pressure and measured heart rates both before and after the shows.  They learned that those that watched the sitcom lowered their blood pressure and blood sugar levels and went home happier and more relaxed than those that watched the drama.  This study also links laughter to relieving stress in our lives.  It's like a valve that releases the pent up emotions that often cause us stress.

Another study done in 2011 shows that laughing during a 15 minute comedy video increases our pain threshold by 10%.  The study shows that contracting your muscles during laughter releases the same endorphins as exercise, which help us fight pain.

We also burn calories when we laugh.  That's right, we burn up to 40 calories per 15 minutes laughed.  So if we can laugh for 60 minutes a day, that would be equivalent to rowing for 17 minutes.  Wouldn't you rather laugh!

So why don't adults laugh more often?  As we age we have more to worry about, grades and friends turn to work and family.  We have more responsibility, we may have less trust and we are always in a hurry.  We simply don't think we have time to laugh at the many funnies life has to offer.  But these studies show we really don't have time NOT to laugh.

Today is a good day to laugh a little more.  And if you are having trouble finding something to laugh about, find a child, they can help you without even thinking about it.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Know your fall risk!

Autumn is here in all it's beauty and splendor.  Autumn is a great time to discuss fall prevention and learn good practices to keep us on our feet.

Falling is not a natural part of aging. If you know and manage your own risk factors you can live a full and active life without fear of falling.  Following are some tips from the Ohio Department of Aging:

As the temperature starts its downward trend, and the days get increasingly shorter, it's time to start thinking about autumn and winter falls risks and how you can eliminate or reduce them.
  • Leaves, branches and other debris from trees due to the change in seasons can make walkways slippery or hide tripping hazards, like uneven surfaces, edges and steps. Keep walkways clean, and if you can't see that the surface is clear and flat, pick another path.
  • If winterizing your home includes cleaning gutters, changing light bulbs or other tasks that require you to get up high, use a step ladder or a step stool with a handle, and maintain three points of contact (two feet and a hand, or two hands and a foot) at all times. Do not climb on chairs or other furniture that was not designed for that purpose.
  • Shorter days mean less direct sunlight and less sunlight overall, meaning you may need more light to get around your home safely. Invest in extra lamps, nightlights and exterior pathway lights to make sure you can always see where you are walking, especially around doorways and stairs. Use the highest-wattage bulb recommended for your fixtures.
  • Don't let the cooler weather and shorter days limit your activity. Exercise that builds and maintains strength and balance is important to prevent falls year-round. Ask your doctor or physical therapist about indoor exercises that can help you maintain strength and balance when you can't venture out.
  • As the temperature drops, bundle up to stay warm, but make sure you can see in all directions and move easily and freely.
  • Keep shoes and walking aids (canes, walkers) free of dirt and mud. Dry them off immediately upon coming in from wet conditions. Remember, wet shoes are just as dangerous as wet floors.

Whether you are taking the "grand-ghouls" out trick-or-treating, or indulging in some adult fun this Halloween season, make sure your "trick-or-treat" doesn't become "TRIP-for-Treat."
  • If you'll be accompanying little ones on beggar's night, carry a flashlight and watch for uneven sidewalks, curbs, debris and other tripping hazards.
  • Fancy dressing is what Halloween is about, but avoid costumes with long gowns, robes or capes that can snag on objects or get tangled up with your feet.
  • Put on a scary face, but avoid masks that limit your peripheral vision and cause you to miss tripping hazards. Use make-up instead.
  • That fabulous footwear might be the thing that sets your costume off, but sensible shoes will be less likely to send you tumbling.
  • Your costume may fit your personality, but does it fit your body? Too loose, it can cause you to trip. Too tight, it can limit your movement.
  • Accessorize for success, but avoid dangling bits of costume that can be tripped on and ensure that props you are carrying won't cause injury if fallen on.
  • If you decorate your yard for trick-or-treaters, make sure walkways are far enough from decorations so that visitors don't trip on them, and are free of cords and debris.
  • If you're going for that "big scare," make sure the area is level and clear of objects to prevent falls when people react.
  • Know how alcohol affects your balance and perception, and drink responsibly.
  • Eat a balanced, nutritious meal before partying or trick-or-treating to make sure you have plenty of energy and to help curb the urge for sweet treats, which can affect blood sugar levels and cause dizziness.