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Welcoming the New Year 2015

By Carol Witte, RDN, Director of Nutrition Services and Senior Centers

As each new year begins, resolutions are made and often include issues related to diet, exercise and health. I believe you should always have goals in life, and the most important is to enjoy life each and every day. So instead of new year resolutions of what not to do, I want to start this year with reminders of what we can do for ourselves.

Spend more time with friends and family! Enjoy something about each day!
Join us at one of our six Activity & Dining Centers to meet new friends and enjoy life. It has been five years since I started working at Senior Services and each day I am amazed by the people I meet. There are so many amazing and talented individuals who attend the centers, receive Meals on Wheels, volunteer and work at Senior Services. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to know so many different people! Share a story, get to know someone at a center and learn something new like wood carving, cards, crocheting, knitting, painting, sewing, exercise and more! “Better living starts here” is our philosophy and it is so true. Take the time to meet others and find something to make you smile each day!

Smiles are contagious!
My dad taught me this when I was a little girl. He would always notice someone who smiled from the heart and could see it in their eyes. How can you have a bad day if you are smiling? Laughter is even better as it also burns calories! Share a happy story, a joke or a good memory. Bring a smile to others. I know our volunteer Meals on Wheels drivers do this every day!

Help others!
We have some of the most amazing volunteers! I just received a card from a Meals on Wheels participant stating “I enjoy the food and look forward to the smiling faces on my volunteer drivers who come to my door! Thank you so much!” How amazing that we have so many giving individuals in Midland County who volunteer for Senior Services. We definitely have many caring people here with over 145 volunteers in our Meals on Wheels Program and over 500 in our entire organization. But even with all these volunteers, we always have a need for more!

Enjoy colorful foods in your daily diet!
The dietitian in me has to add a little nutrition in the healthy things to do! Color is the way to go when it comes to eating. Colorful fruits and vegetables on the counter are as decorative as flowers and entice you to eat foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Remember to fill half your plate with colorful food items. It will make your heart happy and do amazing things for your health! Avoid the extra vitamin and mineral supplements and try whole foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy. Tomatoes, peppers and broccoli provide us with vitamin C and vitamin A to help with our immune system. Mushrooms also provide selenium which help white blood cells fight sickness. Variety is the key. Of course you can also come to one of our six centers for an amazing meal Monday through Friday. Many of the centers offer salad bars which provide a variety of colors to go with a colorful hot meal.

I encourage you to start this New Year with happiness, family, friends and smiles. Top it off with a colorful meal. Enjoy life and each special day!