Archive for July, 2010

Walking in the Footsteps of St. Marguerite d’Youville

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Pilgrimage visit to Sisters of Charity, Saint-Hyacinthe, June 14, 2010 - Front row: (Left to right) Elizabeth Keene, Monique Shrader, Pam Beaule - Back row: (Left to right) Ruth Buzzell, Sr. Florence Dalpe, Helen Feldman, Sr. Diane Beaudoin, Sr. Rita Lariviere, Sr. Estelle Lamothe, Sr. Gloria Morneau, Sr. Florence Rossignol - Thanks to our driver, Frank Preble, from Landfall Custom Tours, for taking the photo!

Last month several St. Mary’s Health System employees traveled to Montreal for our annual pilgrimage to “Walk in the Footsteps of St. Marguerite d’Youville.” Each year the Marguerite d’Youville Award winners and a guest are invited to participate in the pilgrimage. We traveled to Chateauguay, a beautiful retreat center on an island outside of Montreal, purchased by Marguerite d’Youville herself in 1765 (in spite of the fire which destroyed her hospital just a few weeks before.)

On Saturday we toured Accueil Bonneau, a program run by the Sisters of Charity of Montreal to meet the needs of homeless men. The dining room serves an average of 750 meals per day! We were able to assist in serving the meal that day and it was a powerful experience for all of us. We also toured the Maison de Mere d’Youville to learn about her life and spirituality. On Sunday we joined the sisters at the Mother House for Mass and enjoyed a delightful visit with some of the sisters at the infirmary there. We also went to Varennes, birthplace of Marguerite d’Youville. On Monday we went to Saint-Hyacinthe and met with the sisters there, including a wonderful reunion with Sr. Estelle and Sr. Rita! Sr. Diane Beaudoin, Superior General of the Sisters of Charity of Saint-Hyacinthe, hosted our visit and arranged for us to meet with some of the sisters who have provided ministry in Maine. We are grateful for the generous hospitality extended by all of the Grey Nuns with whom we met on the pilgrimage.

Participants of this year’s pilgrimage remarked that “the pilgrimage was a beautiful and inspiring experience. The impact that Marguerite d’Youville has had on our organization only scratches the surface compared to the impact she has had on the lives of the people of Saint-Hyacinthe, Montreal, Varennes and Chateauguay. I could never have imagined how highly esteemed she is held to those folks until I saw it with my own eyes. She truly was an amazing woman and one that will continue to inspire me in the years to come.”

Wow! Last week was a huge success at the market. It was our busiest week yet!

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

We had many people stop by to get their produce and take advantage of the Double Value Coupons, including many who had never been to a farmers’ market before. As with anything, the first day of the new program was a bit hectic, but it was wonderful to see so many people enjoying fresh vegetables, getting to know their farmers, and taking advantage of a great new program! You can continue to come use your EBT card or WIC at the market to get your Double Value Coupons, and we hope you come check out everything that the market has to offer!

This week, look for even more fresh produce, like BLUEBERRIES, which are just starting to come into season, more greens, zucchini and squash, onions, carrots, and many fresh herbs, as well as meat, eggs and Nezinscot Cheeses.

We look forward to seeing you at this week’s markets!

This week’s recipe was Spring Vegetable Salad–a huge hit!

SPRING VEGETABLE SALAD
The ideal vegetables for this salad are the most angelic: miniature squash, baby carrots, slender green beans, flat snow peas, pencil-thin asparagus, etc. So use the loveliest vegetables you can find. Also, feel free to make substitutions as necessary. This is a very flexible recipe. The salad can be assembled a day in advance. Just hold off on adding the lemon juice until shortly before serving. (If the vegetables sit too long in an acidic substance, their colors will fade.)

Preparation time: about 45 minutes, plus time to chill.  Yield: 5 or 6 servings.

1/4 pound baby carrots
1/2 pound fresh green beans, as slender as possible
1/2 pound snow peas
8 to 10 very small red potatoes
1 small head cauliflower
2 small yellow summer squash
1/ 2 pound asparagus, pencil thin, if possible
2 to 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/ 4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
4 to 5 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
Minced fresh basil, tarragon, marjoram, dill, and/or chives
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1. Prepare the vegetables: Trim both ends of the carrots, green beans, and snow peas. If desired, cut them in half. Or leave them whole. Halve the potatoes, separate the
    cauliflower into 1-inch pieces, and slice the squash. Snap off and discard the coarse lower ends of the asparagus. Cut off the tips, and slice the middle parts into 1 1/2-inch
     pieces.
2. Steam the potatoes until just tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. While potatoes are cooking, place the garlic and olive oil in a large bowl. When the potatoes are done, transfer
     them – still hot – to the bowlful of garlic and oil.
3. Steam the carrots, cauliflower, and green beans together until just tender, for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Refresh under cold water, drain well and transfer to the bowl.
4. Steam together the asparagus, snow peas, and squash until just al dente. (This will take less than 5 minutes.) Add to the rest of the vegetables, and mix gently.
5. Add remaining ingredients, except for the lemon juice, and stir again. 6. Cover tightly and chill until very cold. 7. Stir in the lemon juice within about 15 minutes of serving   
    time.

St. Mary’s Farmers & Artisans Market Today, Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Stan & Myrna Haynes of Clay Hill Farm sell a large assortment of farm raised, black Angus beef products (including ground beef, stew meat, ribs, NY sirloin, minute, rib eye & tenderloin to name a few.) The beef is all natural with NO growth hormones used. They also sell farm fresh eggs, seasonal produce and coming soon, farm raised whole broiler chicken.

It’s going to be a hot and humid, but beautiful day; and the growing season is in full bloom. Come on out between 11:30 am and 3:00 pm for some amazingly fresh produce and berries.

The corn is super sweet and the the blueberries are in season . . . . you’ll also find blackberries, cucumbers, string beans, eggplant, carrots, lettuces, kale, squashes, tomatoes (include green ones), a variety of potatoes, goat cheese, meats, farm fresh eggs and more.

Joining us for the first time will be Hummingbird Farm, a specialty nursery located in Turner, Maine. Brian and Cindy Tibbetts raise clematis, fancy leaved geraniums, and herbs. They also make handcrafted herbal soaps and body care products. They will have plants, fresh cut herbs and herbal body care products to share with you today!

St. Mary’s Farmers & Artisans Market
Wednesday, July 28th
11:30 am – 3:00 pm (rain or shine)
Parking Lot – Corner of Lafayette Street & Campus Avenue

This Weeks Vendors


Valley View Farm
A traditional farm located in Auburn (visit them at www.valleyviewfarmme.com) Offering seasonal produce, eggs, meat and Sunset Acres cheese. If you purchased a CSA for pick-up at the market (or have a Senior share) these are the folks you need to see.

Phoenix Farm
An Organic farm located in Monmouth
This week offering head lettuce, bok choy, garlic scapes & Easter egg radishes, rhubarb & strawberry jams, baked goods including fruit muffins, bread and sweet breads or pastries.

Fresh Start Farms
The New American Sustainable Agriculture Project is a community-based agricultural initiative that supports new Americans as they establish agricultural businesses. Offering seasonal vegetables, fruit & herbs.

Clay Hill Farm
Located in Peru, Maine. Offering all natural angus steer beef, produce & farm fresh eggs.

What’s Up Farm
Located in New Gloucester. Offering home-grown seasonal vegetables and local artwork.

“Head Huggers”
Hand crocheted hats in a rainbow of colors, made by Lily Gagnon. Proceeds from sales are used to make additional hats that are donated to cancer patients & programs.

ArtVan
A mobile arts therapy program of VSA Maine brings original works of art; pottery and cards made by youth artists, sharing their gratitude by helping to raise funds for the program through sales of their fabulous art work! Come support youth and the arts & learn about the program.

Great Things, Inc
They have 2 product labels; Medieval Magic and Native Way’s , with 17 organic skin care products. Full appeal between apothecary and spa. Product lines include items for face, body, infant care, pet care, bug patrol, & pain relief. The herbs are home grown and every piece is handmade. Learn more at www.greatthingsinc.net.

Hummingbird Farm
Located in Turner, Hummingbird Farm is a specialty nursery who sells clematis, fancy leaved geraniums, and herbs. They also make handcrafted herbal soaps & body care products.

EBT machine available – credit & debits cards, in addition to food stamps/WIC transactions are welcome

Did you know that St. Mary’s supports local organizations and our friends in Haiti?

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Did you know that United Way supports over 40 community organizations in the Lewiston/Auburn area?

Did you know that St. Mary’s supports local organizations and our friends in Haiti?

When you give to the Hearts United and United Way campaigns you are touching the lives of many people. You can make a difference on problems you care about as well as those that fall outside the course of your daily life.

Join us as we spotlight some of those organizations and interview individuals whose lives have been touched by one of the groups we support.

This weeks focus is Haiti. Carol Clark, Pharmacy Technician, has been involved with St. Mary’s Haiti Mission since 2003.”

“Carol, what first got you involved with Haiti?”

My connection to Haiti began in 2003 when our family attended a Big Daddy Weave concert here in Maine. This particular concert was a promotional event for Compassion International. That evening my husband Sam and I became sponsors of a beautiful little girl, Paulonne, who lives in the Northern part of Haiti.

A few years later, in April of 2006, I began working here at St. Mary’s. During the new hires’ orientation program, I learned about St. Mary’s mission to the poor, which included outreach right here in central Maine, and also in Haiti. So, now I had a second connection to Haiti, and I remained very interested over the next two years.

In January of 2009, I joined the St. Mary’s Mission Team and spent 10 days in Haiti. This first-hand exposure to the severe poverty as well as the work of the missions bringing such hope — it all had huge impact on me. Our group stayed at St. Boniface Hospital in Fond-des-Blancs, but also visited Pwoje Espwa (Hope Village) in Les Cayes. In the land surrounding this school and orphanage in Les Cayes, massive concrete platforms have been constructed to allow the local farmers to dry their freshly harvested rice in the sun. I remember looking across the millions of grains of rice spread out to dry. It was one of those special moments in life when God downloads a treasure into your heart, and you know you are called and chosen and empowered. In response, I reached out and picked up one little rice grain, one seed. I had an overwhelming sense that what I was to bring home from this trip to Haiti was like a very precious seed and it was my privilege to plant it, to tend it and help it to grow.

I returned knowing that I needed to respond in a way that would continue to raise both awareness and support, but I had no idea what shape this would take. Initially, I wrote a 40 page photo journal of my experiences and impressions and was invited to speak to a few groups here at St. Mary’s. But since then, rice seeds have turned to seed beads, and Now H-earings have started blooming in my mission garden!

“What is H-earings all about?

H-earings is a “grass roots” effort to raise awareness of the great need of people struggling to exist in the deeply rooted poverty of Haiti, and to let people know about the wonderful work being done to empower Haitians to build a better life. Hopefully, through the production and sale of unique hand-made earrings, a significant impact will be made over time to financially assist with this work.

The mission of H-earings is three-fold:

To raise awareness for the poor – to awaken “EARS that HEAR”

To invite anyone who is interested to participate in and help fund the creation of unique hand- crafted earrings by attending and/or hosting a H-earings Party.

To sell these earrings to the public, raising funds to further the work of four fine organizations, working alongside the poor of Haiti. Three of these missions are supported directly by the St. Mary’s Haiti Fund: St. Boniface Haiti Foundation (Fond-des-Blancs), Pwoje Espwa (Fr. Marc Boisvert’s orphanage in Les Cayes), and The Missionaries of Charity’s homes for children and the dying throughout Haiti. A fourth mission (an orphanage in Port-au-Prince “Wayom Timoun”), has recently been added as well.

The H-earings Parties are where all the fun and action is! These regular gatherings of interested volunteers provide the opportunity to educate the public, produce more earrings, and also to raise donation money to support the project. 100% of all proceeds from the sale of the earrings goes directly to the missions H-earings supports.

H-earings are currently sold at three locations: St. Mary’s Gift Shop, Joyful Hope Gift Shop in the Auburn Mall, and Sandcastle Clinical and Educational Services in Lewiston.

“What do you want others to know about the mission in Haiti?”

Since the earthquake of January 12, many people have donated money to humanitarian aid organizations working in Haiti. Much of that money has provided supplies and help for the people who need it, but much has not. You’ve probably heard reports of the frustration being voiced about the lack of organization and efficiency of the Haitian Government in getting the aid to the people. And this is a huge problem for the larger relief organizations. That is why it’s so great to have a connection through H-earings to be able to assist smaller NGO’s that have been working alongside the Haitian people for years. This aid for the most part does not have to pass through government hands and does not get tied up in customs. The help we give to these organizations is really getting through to the people in a way that makes a positive difference in their lives. The organizations we support are nothing short of Excellent. They are helping Haiti in the right way, with respect to their autonomy and way of life, meeting immediate needs short-term and empowering Haitians to rise up and lead their people to a better future. I am just so honored to be a part of this great work.

I would encourage anyone to check out their websites:

www.haitihealth.org

www.freethekids.org

www.projectbethlehem.org

www.elleninhaiti.wordpress.com

Not everyone can commit to traveling to Haiti or doing the amount of work that you do. What do you recommend for those that want to be involved but in a lesser capacity?”

“It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters. “ (Mother Teresa)

I don’t think I need to add to this….it’s not how much we do; it’s the heart of compassion that matters. Here are several ideas that come to mind:

• Pray. If you are a believer, please include the people of Haiti and the mission work going on there in your regular prayers.

• Keep informed, not just from the TV news reports, but find out what is happening at the mission locations we support. Check out the websites. Subscribe to RRS feeds. Spread the word.

• Join the St Mary’s Haiti Committee. This is a very small time commitment most of the year and we need your fresh ideas. 

• Volunteer to help with St. Mary’s annual mission week coming up in October. (This is where I first jumped in. It’s a lot of fun helping out at the Haiti Marketplace! ) Plan to at least come by to bid on some auction items, buy some raffle tickets, and get some lunch.

• If you’d like to try your hand at making jewelry, come to a H-earings Party. No prior skill required. All materials provided. Or you can host a party at your home.

• If you are a “facebooker”, go to the H-earings page and click on “like”. Then you will stay updated with all the latest news. Also coming soon: www.h-earings.org

• When you have a need for a gift for a lady, please consider a pair of H-earings. It’s unique, affordable, it always fits, and it’s the gift that gives twice.

• If you have the means, consider a direct donation to the St. Mary’s Haiti Fund.

Do you support a St. Mary’s or United Way organization? Let us know what that means to you. Contact Cindy Cronkhite @ ccronkhite@stmarysmaine.com

At the St. Mary’s Farmers & Artisans Market Today

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Rebecca Dugan (Bates student) runs the information table and operates the EBT machine which allow us to accept payment with debit & credit cards in addition to food stamp/WIC transactions. Lily Gagnon sells hand crocheted "head huggers," she then uses the money earned through sales to purchase additional yarn to crochet hats that she donates to cancer patients and programs at St. Mary's and CMMC.

Join us as we welcome restaurant manager Ginni Singh from Mother India located on Lisbon Street. He will have taste samples of several of their dishes, including; mixed vegetables, chicken masala, vegetable fritters, samosa & garlic nann. 

Beginning this week EBT and WIC users can “Double your Dollar” and get up to $10 of fresh fruits and vegetables FREE when they use their EBT card or WIC checks. The program runs for a limited time through August, so come to the market to take advantage of the Double Value Coupons! 

Double Value Coupon is a program run by Wholesome Wave, which doubles the value of Federal Food Stamps (now called SNAP), Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (FMNP) when used at participating farmers markets nationwide. The mission of Wholesome Wave is to nourish neighborhoods by supporting increased production and access to healthy, fresh, and affordable locally grown food for the well-being of all. 

For sale today; Wild Maine Blueberries (1/2 pints, pints, quarts & 6 quart flats,) Sweet Native Corn, Peppers, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Zucchini & Summer Squash, in addition to assorted baked goods. 

   

St. Mary’s Farmers & Artisans Market
Wednesday, July 21
11:30 am – 3:00 pm (rain or shine)
Parking Lot – Corner of Lafayette Street & Campus Avenue 

This Weeks Vendors 

Mother India
From 11:30 – 1:00 pm meet restaurant manager Ginni Singh from Mother India located on Lisbon Street, he will have taste samples of several of their dishes, including mix vegetables, chicken masala, vegetable fritters, chicken masala, vegetable fritters, samosa & garlic naan. 

Valley View Farm
A traditional farm located in Auburn (visit them at www.valleyviewfarmme.com) Offering seasonal produce, eggs, meat and Sunset Acres cheese. If you purchased a CSA for pick-up at the market (or have a Senior share) these are the folks you need to see. 

Phoenix Farm
An Organic farm located in Monmouth
This week offering head lettuce, bok choy, garlic scapes & Easter egg radishes, rhubarb & strawberry jams, baked goods including fruit muffins, bread and sweet breads or pastries. 

Fresh Start Farms
The New American Sustainable Agriculture Project is a community-based agricultural initiative that supports recent refugees, immigrants, and other new Americans as they establish agricultural businesses.  We will have 2 farmers from this program offering seasonal vegetables, fruit, herbs & flowers. 

Clay Hill Farm
Located in Peru, Maine.  Offering all natural angus steer beef, produce & farm fresh eggs. 

What’s Up Farm
Located in New Gloucester. Offering home-grown seasonal vegetables and local artwork. 

“Head Huggers”
Hand crocheted hats in a rainbow of colors, made by Lily Gagnon. Proceeds from sales are used to make additional hats that are donated to cancer patients & programs. 

ArtVan
A mobile arts therapy program of VSA Maine brings original works of art; pottery and cards made by youth artists, sharing their gratitude by helping to raise funds for the program through sales of their fabulous art work! Come support youth and the arts & learn about the program. 

Great Things, Inc
They have 2 product labels; Medieval Magic and Native Way’s , with 17 organic skin care products. Full appeal between apothecary and spa. Product lines include items for face, body, infant care, pet care, bug patrol, & pain relief. The herbs are home grown and every piece is handmade. Learn more at www.greatthingsinc.net. 

EBT machine available
     – credit & debits cards, in addition to food stamps/WIC transactions are welcome 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take Control of Your Diabetes!

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

People with diabetes or pre-diabetes are invited to join the Diabetes Support Group at St. Mary’s Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology. Come and meet new friends, share ideas, and offer ongoing support for the many factors related to diabetes self-care. Topics will include: healthy eating, exercise, changing habits, and many other topics of interest. The support group will be facilitated by two individuals with type 2 diabetes and supported by St. Mary’s Certified Diabetes Educators.  

The support group will be held in the Diabetes Education Classroom at St. Mary’s Auburn Campus, 15 Gracelawn Road in Auburn on Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at 6:00 pm. The support group will continue to meet on the first Tuesday of every month. This service is free. Refreshments will be available. Please call ahead to register at 777-8625.  

The Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center understands the importance of ongoing diabetes support and is excited to make this service available. For more information, please call 777-8625.  

We hope to see you at the markets this week!

Monday, July 19th, 2010

It is an exciting week for the Lewiston and St. Mary’s Farmers’ Markets! Beginning on Tuesday, July 20th, EBT and WIC users can “Double your Dollar” and get up to $10 of fresh fruits and vegetables FREE when they use their EBT card or WIC checks. The program runs for a limited time through August, so come to the market to take advantage of the Double Value Coupons! See below for a step-by-step guide to using the program!

___________________________________________________

To use your EBT Card and get up to $10 of free food at the farmers’ market:

· Visit any vendor at the market and choose your food.
· Inform the farmer that you will be using EBT (Food Stamps)
· Farmers will total your purchase and provide receipt with total (farmers will hold purchased items until you return).
· Take the receipt and your EBT card to the Market Information Table.
· Your EBT card will be charged for the amount you spent and you will get a receipt.
· The Market Manager will give you vouchers equal to the amount of your purchase, up to $10
      -If you spent $6 with EBT, you will get $6 in vouchers
      -If you spent $18 with EBT, you will get $10 in vouchers.
· Return to the farmer to pick up your food and give them a copy of your receipt.
· Use these vouchers at any vendor to buy more food!
· The vouchers must be used at the market where they were issued.

To use your WIC checks and get up to $10 of free food at the farmers’ market:
· Visit a vendor who accepts WIC checks at the market and choose your food.
· Tell the vendor that you will be using your WIC checks.
· The vendor will take your checks and give you a WIC receipt.
· Take the receipt to the Market Information Table
· For purchases up to $10, you will receive vouchers for up to $10
      -If you spend $5 in WIC checks, you will receive a voucher for $5.
      -If you spend $10 in WIC checks, you will receive a voucher for $10.
· Use these vouchers at any vendor to buy more food!

______________________________________________

As always, both markets will have a wide variety of fruits (like fresh local raspberries!), vegetables, local meats and cheeses, and eggs.  Lots to Gardens now carries Nezinscot cheese!

Be on the lookout for all the delicious, local, and affordable ways that you can enjoy the bounty of summer at the farmers’ markets!

This week’s cooking demonstration at the Lewiston Farmers’ Market will feature a recipe chock-full of local vegetables and whole-grains, a perfect healthy summer salad for your next picnic! Check out the table at the market for the recipe and a free taste, and look here for the recipe to be posted tomorrow!

We hope to see you at the markets this week!

Lewiston Farmers’ Market: Every Tuesday 2-6pm in Kennedy Park, corner of Bates and Pine

St. Mary’s Farmers’ Market: Every Wednesday 11:30-3pm on the corner of Campus and LaFayette.

Quality Care You Don’t See

Friday, July 16th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

There are times when you strive to make something good even better when you know no one else may notice. You make the effort because it’s the right thing to do and therefore, must be done.

That is the case at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. Every day employees are searching for ways to enhance the quality of care they deliver. One shining example comes from within the hospital’s Imaging Services Department.

The staff who operate the Computerized Tomography (CT) machine set a goal to reduce the amount of radiation patients receive during these common diagnostic exams. CT scans use ionizing radiation, which has the potential to cause cancer. The risk increases each time a patient has a scan. The benefits of the scan can far outweigh the risk associated with any individual scan. This is especially true if a physician orders a test to get the definitive information he or she needs to tailor a patient’s treatment plan.

“Patients who have had a CT scan at St. Mary’s don’t know they have been given the additional benefit of reduced radiation dose by using our service, but we do and that makes us proud.” said Cindy Brousseau, Director of Imaging Services. “Our efforts won’t stop here, however. We’re always looking for ways to improve our services.”

CT staff initiated a campaign to educate health care providers in the use of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria, an evidence-based reference guide for physicians. Imaging Services Manager Donna Knightly traveled to doctors’ offices to demonstrate the easy access to the Criteria via the Internet and answer questions about its use. “The physicians really appreciated the information — after all they have their patients’ best interests at heart,” Knightly said. “Technology is constantly changing and so is the way we use it. Some doctors weren’t aware that the link to this evidence based guide can be placed on their computer desktop.”

According to Dr. James Place, Medical Director of St. Mary’s Imaging Services Department, those outreach sessions really paid off. “We’ve seen a 48% improvement in the selection of the correct CT studies for a wide range of diagnoses. This means fewer incidents of repeat testing for patients and faster, more efficient service. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

In a system of checks and balances, radiologists now review all scheduled CT exams to ensure the ordered tests are the most appropriate for the patients’ signs and symptoms. In some cases, the radiologists recommended using an ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test as a better way to get the answers without exposing the patient to ionizing radiation.

Of course, reducing radiation doses was the ultimate goal. After a great deal of research, CT staff revised the machine’s scanning parameters and refined protocols for each test performed. The results were astounding. They were able to reduce radiation levels 75% for the head, 66% for the neck, 50% for the lower back, and 50% for arms and legs.

Additionally, reductions in radiation doses to sensitive breast tissue were achieved by using supplemental shields whenever possible. These shields can reduce the radiation dose by approximately 29%.

Up to $10 in Fresh Food Free Each Week!

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Starting Tuesday, July 20, 2010, the Lewiston and St. Mary’s Farmers’ Markets will offer a Double Value Coupon program for EBT and WIC users. Participants in these programs will get one dollar for every dollar spent at the market up to $10 per week. Over the course of a month, that can mean up to $40 of fresh food for free!

The Lewiston Farmers’ Market is held every Tuesday in Kennedy Park from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The St. Mary’s Farmers’ Market is held in the “J” parking lot on the corner of Lafayette Street and Campus Avenue in Lewiston. It is open from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm.

Double Value Coupon is a program run by Wholesome Wave, which doubles the value of Federal Food Stamps (now called SNAP), Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (FMNP) when used at participating farmers markets nationwide. The mission of Wholesome Wave is to nourish neighborhoods by supporting increased production and access to healthy, fresh, and affordable locally grown food for the well-being of all.

Through a partnership between the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center and Cultivating Community, the Lewiston and St. Mary’s Farmers’ Markets are two of only a few markets in the state that are participating in the Double Value Coupon program. Other markets participating in Wholesome Wave’s program include the Kennebunk Farmers’ Market, the Boyd Street and Washington Gardens Farmers’ Markets in Portland, the Skowhegan Farmers’ Market, and a consortium of farmers markets overseen by the Downeast Business Alliance.

Cultivating Community is a Portland, Maine based non-profit group whose goal is to strengthen communities by growing food, preparing youth leaders and new farmers, and promoting social and environmental justice.

For more information about our farmers’ market or the Double Value Coupon program, please call 207.513.3848 or email.

A Japanese Philosophy

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

I was reading about a Japanese philosophy called Kaizen recently. The article referred to Kaizen in regards to business but I couldn’t help but think how a similar approach could successfully be applied to one’s wellness. The basis behind Kaizen is gradual continuous change for the better, which is something I’m always striving for in my family’s health including our diet.   

Below is a practical example of how I’ve applied this philosophy with a delicious seasonal recipe. I’ve altered the recipe over time, little by little, to improve the nutritional value while maintaining the flavor and texture. I’ve also provided a few explanations for my ingredient choices. My goal in cooking and baking is always to use the most nutrient-dense ingredients without compromising the taste.   

I also strive to use fresh, local ingredients especially those from my own garden. If you don’t already have rhubarb growing consider planting this easy-to-care for perennial early next spring. I have mine growing in a raised bed in a mix of loam and compost. I mulch it in the fall with coffee grinds and pine needles and it’s growing like a weed. My neighbor has had his rhubarb growing for years in rather poor soil and his is just as plentiful leading me to believe rhubarb is a relatively undemanding hardy perennial. I hope you enjoy these rhubarb and applesauce muffins as much as my family does!   

Rhubarb-Applesauce Muffins 

2-eggs or 1/3 c. egg whites
1 1/3 c. brown sugar
1 ¼ c. applesauce
½ c. canola oil
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ c. whole-wheat flour
1 ½ c. white whole-wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 ½ c. rhubarb stalks cut into 1/8″ pieces
Optional: Brown sugar and cinnamon for topping   

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F.
Beat eggs. Add brown sugar, applesauce, canola oil, cinnamon, and salt. Stir well.
Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda being careful not to over-mix.
Fold in rhubarb.
Spray muffin tin with canola oil.
Distribute batter evenly.
Sprinkle with extra brown sugar and cinnamon, if desired.
Bake 15-minutes or until muffins spring back when touched.  

rhubarbRhubarb is a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as calcium, potassium, manganese and fiber.       

canola 

Did you know that canola oil is 93% healthy monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fats and that it contains the least amount of saturated fat of any common edible oil? (Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that you hear so much about are both polyunsaturated fats.)    

   wheat2Why are whole grains healthier?
Whole grains provide all three parts of the grain –the germ, bran, and endosperm, while traditional flours generally provide just the white endosperm. When grains are processed and refined to remove the germ and bran, the grains become less nutritious losing protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
     

flourWhat’s the scoop on white whole-wheat flour? Like whole-wheat flour, white whole-wheat flour is made with the whole grain. The difference is regular whole wheat flour is made with red wheat which has a slightly bitter taste and a darker color, while, white whole wheat flour is made with an albino variety which is lighter in color and has a sweeter, milder flavor.

 
 
sugarDid you know that while refined sugar and corn syrup have minimal antioxidant activity (<0.01 mmol FRAP/100 g), brown sugar and honey have an intermediate level, raw cane sugar has a higher FRAP, and dark and blackstrap molasses have the highest antioxidant activity at 4.6 to 4.9 mmol FRAP/100g? By comparison a serving of berries or nuts contains about 2.6 mmol, so if you choose to make something that calls for sugar, why not substitute with another sweetener that has a higher FRAP value?

     

      
eggwhites2Eggs or egg whites?While one egg yolk generally has about 210mg of cholesterol and the American Heart Association recommends an upper limit of 300mg per day, eggs are still a good choice for pregnant women as well as healthy adults. Eggs are rich in choline, which is an essential nutrient for the normal functioning of all cells. According to the American Dietetic Association, choline is especially important for proper liver, brain and nerve function, memory, and transporting nutrients throughout the body.   

One large egg contains approximately 150mg of choline. The Adequate Intake (AI) levels for choline are:     

                                                                                    Women 425 mg
                                                                                    Pregnant women 450 mg
                                                                                    Breastfeeding women 550 mg
                                                                                    Men 550 mg
     

The choline in eggs is found in the yolk along with 40% of an eggs protein as well as two important nutrients for eye health, lutein and zeaxanthin. So when we eat only the egg whites, we’re missing out on some other important nutrients that eggs have to offer.     

However, if you’re worried about cholesterol, you can also be sure you’re obtaining enough choline through other sources such as:     

1/6 medium head iceberg lettuce 6.0 mg
1-oz peanuts 15.8 mg
2-Tbsp wheat germ 21.3 mg
1/6 medium head cauliflower 38.7 mg
     

For our prenatal yoga participants, it’s important to note that eggs also contain folate, iron, and high quality protein, which are three other key nutrients for pregnant women. Research suggests that choline plays an important role in an infant’s development from not only preventing birth defects but also in brain development. Are you getting enough choline?     

Jennifer Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine with a concentration in nutrition and a minor in education, a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion and is a nationally certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and speed coach.