SALEM -Registered and licensed dietitian Linda Ro of the Salem Area Visiting Nurses described fruits and vegetables as the super foods of nutrition: key ingredients in the quest to keep young.
But she also warned when trying to change the way the whole family eats, make sure the food tastes good. Spice up the vegetables, experiment with herbs and make the food smell good, too. Increase the size of the servings gradually.
Those were just some of the suggestions made during Ro's presentation on "The Fountain of Youth: Spicing It Up" during the fifth annual Women's Night Out at the Salem Community Center.
Marty Dixon of Poland gets pampered with a parafin hand treatment by Natural Solutions stylist/nail tech Shawna Stokoe during Women’s Night Out at the Salem Community Center. A mini spa service featuring various vendors was an added treat to this year’s fundraising event for the Children’s Fitness Center. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)
Ro's talks on nutrition at past Women's Night Out events always packed the room and Wednesday was no exception. She focused on a number of ways for staying young, with the eating of five servings of fruits and vegetables every day the one she focused on the most.
She said don't smoke and quit if you do, noting that smoking ages skin. Although she's never smoked, she said she understands it's not that easy and referred to 1-800-QUITNOW where smokers can go for help. As for the weight gain claim that goes with quitting, she said quitters won't gain as much as they think, suggesting they plan ahead for healthy snacks to replace their cigarettes.
Another way she noted to stay young was physical activity, such as walking, running, dancing, or swimming. She said do a few exercises while waiting for faxes at work, get up and walk around at least once an hour, dance with the grandkids, do gardening, do something you enjoy.
"If you do not like jogging, don't decide to jog," she said. "Any chance you have, move."
She said it's not about losing calories, but maintaining muscle mass. Another way to stay young was keeping a body mass index between 18.5 and 25. She said anywhere between 25 and 29 is overweight and over 30 is obese.
To lose weight, she said don't go on a diet. She said "you must change your eating habits permanently." Gradually decrease portion size.
She talked about food groups, advising to look for whole grain or whole wheat products. She said vegetable servings can be increased easily and take the form of salads or even tomato sauce. She said it doesn't matter if the fruit is fresh, canned or frozen, and look for low sodium or no sodium and lite syrup. She said focus on low fat dairy, which is a good source of calcium and protein. Make a smoothie and get the dairy and fruit together. Eat lean red meat at least a couple times a week for the iron and zinc and include fish such as salmon or albacore tuna. Include eggs, nuts and legumes.
Another necessity for staying young is getting your vitamin D level checked and take a supplement if necessary to increase the level.
Local weatherman Jim Loboy, host of Daybreak WYTV on Channel 33, also spoke, talking about his career in radio and television and warning that the area may experience a colder than normal spring due to the ice still covering Lake Erie.
New to this year's event were mini spa treatments featuring chair massages, hand massages, cuticle cleanings and paraffin hand treatments, along with a shortened time frame and cash prizes. The event still included a buffet dinner by The Catered Affair, a chocolate fountain, shopping in the vendor's marketplace, giveaways and entertainment. The Jack Halkides Quintet presented a jazz concert.
At least 300 attended and SCC Executive Director Heather Young said what really excited her was the way the people seemed to take advantage of all the offerings. She said everybody was socializing and having a good time, which is one of the main goals of Women's Night Out, along with raising funds to maintain the Children's Fitness Center and its programming.