Health and Wellness

Active Aging Redefines Health and Wellness

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What does it mean to be healthy as we get older? For most of us, it’s simply the opposite of illness. And staying healthy equates to managing diseases and chronic conditions.

But there is a movement to expand the definition of health and wellness in order to accommodate the idea that being healthy is the process of getting the most out of what life has to offer — regardless of physical age.

Click above to learn more about active aging.

Giving Thanks!

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Happy Thanksgiving! What a wonderful thing!  A whole day dedicated to giving thanks for what we have individually, and as a family or group!

If you are looking for a reason to be thankful, research has shown that being thankful is actually good for your health. Can an “Attitude of Gratitude” really change your health?

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Peg’s Perspective: Human Connection and Mirror Neurons

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Do you ever wake up and feel like you can conquer the world?   Yes—me too! And, if you carry that mood with you all day, chances are many people will pick up on it. They may say things like “You’re in a good mood today,” or “You look good today!” or many other phrases that we love to hear.  But have you ever stopped and asked yourself how these people know that you’re in a good mood? Or how your positive mood is impacting those around you?

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Staying Hydrated When It’s Hot!

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It’s summer, we are naturally spending more time outside. Enjoying our time playing with grandkids, gardening, and long neighborhood walks are many of the highlights of summertime. Make sure you stay hydrated while you are living life well this summer!
The Wesley Communities Dietician, Lisa Kaylor Wolfe, shares her suggestions on staying hydrated in the heat of summer.

A Peek into Our Kitchen: Winter Farro Grain Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

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After a long day of work, you come home and want a quick, healthy snack. But, cookies, chips and soda are all the foods that come to mind first. Sound familiar? At Wesley Woods at New Albany, we try to have healthy snacks premade, and ready to take on the go, should our residents, staff or family members need a quick treat. One of our chef’s, James Bline, favorite recipes is Winter Farro Grain Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette. This serves as a great snack or side dish during the wintery months, and it can be made in advance and stored in your refrigerator. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Salad
    • 1 butternut squash peeled seeds removed then diced
    • 4 parsnips peeled and diced
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
    • 4 tablespoons butter separated
    • 3 cups farro grain
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 large shallot minced
    • 4 cup chicken stock
    • 3 cups finely shredded kale
  • Dressing
    • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons cranberry juice
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • ¼ cup olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss butternut squash in olive oil season with salt and pepper and roast in oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
  • Toss parsnips in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, roast in oven for 15-20 min or until tender. Cool.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons butter, sauté shallots and garlic.
  • Add farro grain and lightly toast.
  • Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes or until tender. Cool.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons butter, sauté kale until wilted.
  • When all ingredients have cooled, toss all together.
  • In a small bowl mix cranberry juice, balsamic vinaigrette, salt and pepper. While whisking slowly add the olive oil.
  • Toss vinaigrette with the salad mixture and transfer to a serving dish.

What are your favorite healthy winter weather snacks?

Stroke and Nutrition

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A stroke occurs when there is a change in the flow of blood to the brain that leads to a change in and/or loss of function. Some risk factors for stroke include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stress
  • Family history
  • Health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity
  • Lifestyle factors, such as a diet high in fat and cholesterol, lack of exercise, and smoking

The effects of a stroke can vary, and depend on the location of the damage in the brain and the amount of damage. There may be changes in behavior or the ability to perform daily activities. Some individuals may find it more difficult to feed themselves or swallow. If these problems are present, an Occupational Therapist can help with self feeding, while a Speech Therapist can help with swallowing problems. A doctor can help determine appropriate treatment options.

Healthy eating may help with weight and blood pressure management, which can help to prevent another stroke. In general, healthy eating involves:

  • Low sodium: to help control blood pressure.
  • Plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products: to help keep blood pressure under control.
  • Choosing heart-healthy fats: such as soybean, canola, olive, or flaxseed oil over saturated fats and trans fats to reduce the buildup of plaque in your blood vessels.

There are many ways to incorporate healthy eating into your diet. Some ways to start include:

  • Choose foods with less than 300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per serving.
  • Use herbs and spices, or herb mixes (e.g., Mrs. Dash) to flavor food.
  • Choose carefully when eating out. Restaurant foods can be high in sodium.
  • Choose fiber-rich foods. These include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Choose fruits like bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, and apples, and vegetables like sweet potatoes, spinach, zucchini, and tomatoes. Whole grains include whole wheat bread products, oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa.
  • Eat fatty, cold-water fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel, and sardines) twice a week. These provide heart healthy fats. Try to choose fresh or frozen varieties, as canned may be too high in sodium.
  • Limit saturated fat and trans fat. Saturated fats are found mostly in animal foods, foods made with animal products, or fried foods. Trans fats are found in meat and foods that contain hydrogenated oils (e.g., peanut butter and margarine).
  • Limit cholesterol from food to 200 mg per day. Foods high in cholesterol include egg yolks, shrimp, and full fat dairy foods.

Check with a dietitian or doctor for your specific dietary needs.