How often have you heard that you should start following a Mediterranean Diet? But do you know what that really means? And if you do, how often do you follow it? I you’re like me, you may have found it hard to give up the pizza and ice cream.

But there are good reasons to follow a Mediterranean Diet. According to the websites Medline Plus (the U.S National Library of Medicine website, which does not include annoying ads) and the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean Diet is a heart-healthy eating plan that may lead to more stable blood sugar, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and a lower risk for heart disease and other health problems.

So what should you eat to follow a Mediterranean Diet?

You should serve plant-based meals with just small amounts of lean meat and chicken and more servings of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and legumes. (You should aim for 7 to 10 servings a day of fruit and vegetables.) Eat foods that naturally contain high amounts of fiber such as grain bread, cereal and pasta.

Also eat plenty of fish and other seafood, such as fresh or water-packed tuna, salmon, and trout, which are healthy choices rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that may reduce inflammation in the body and also help decrease triglycerides, reduce blood clotting, and decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure.

In addition, when preparing your meals use olive oil as the main source of fat.

 Olive oil is a healthy, mono-unsaturated fat which has been found to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels.

Nuts and seeds also contain mono-unsaturated fat. And try spicing it up.

Herbs and spices boost flavor and lessen the need for salt.

Now that you know what you should eat, what shouldn’t you eat, or eat only in small amounts?

Limit your intake of red meat. If you eat meat, make sure it’s lean and keep portions small. Throw away the Halloween candy and avoid other sweets and desserts. Eat moderate amounts of dairy, poultry and eggs. (Eat low-fat Greek or plain yogurt and small amounts of a variety of cheeses.) Avoid butter—and instead of putting butter or margarine on bread, try dipping it in flavored olive oil.

If you aren’t following a Mediterranean diet, try it. Many people who’ve switched say they’ll never eat any other way—although I’d still have my occasional bowl of ice cream!

I recently heard from Rod Runyon that the Columbia Gorge Veterans Museum on Second street needs volunteers and board members—and you don’t have to be a veteran to volunteer. Show your appreciation to our veterans by volunteering. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Last week when I mentioned the St. Peter’s and the Center’s Holiday Bazaars on Saturday, Nov. 23; the Mosier Holiday Fair on Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1 (that’s a gentle reminder), I forgot to include Habitat for Humanity’s Annual Christmas Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the United Church of Christ Congregational located at 5th and Court. Besides hosting a variety of vendors, they’ll be serving their popular luncheon, which includes your choice of soup and pie. It all goes to support the good work of the Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity—building homes and community.

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The expression seldom heard anymore is “Knee high to a grasshopper,” but as Lana Tepfer points out, that’s still higher than a “snake’s belly.” I received correct answers from Becky Roberts, Laura Comini, Sandy Haechrel, Sam Bilyeu, Louise Wooderson, Lana Tepfer, Rhonda Spies, Cheri Brent, Kim Birge, Darlene Marrick, Jeannie Pesicka and Alice Penman, who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Switching to the subject of dance for this week’s “Remember When,” who was the American ballroom dancer and businessman whose name is most often associated with the dance studio chain that bears his name, and who in 2019 celebrated more than 100 years of teaching dance across the globe? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or mail it with a DVD of the film Top Hat—the 1935 American screwball musical comedy starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

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Well, it’s been another week, weaving and bobbing when trouble heads my way. Until we meet again, keep your spirits up and the barking dogs down.

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Commandment #12 for growing older, “When you were a child, you thought nap time was punishment.  Now it feels like a mini vacation.”

Meals-on-Wheels dinner served at noon at the Center

MENU

Thursday (21): Chicken Fried Steak (Music – Tom Graff)

Friday (22): Hamburgers

Monday (25): Chicken Pot Pie

Tuesday (26): Roast Beef with Mashed Potatoes (Music – Andre and Friends)

Wednesday (27): Baked Ham

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