Thursday, August 30

Go See Grandma

by Eunice Trotter

There is a special day coming up that reminds people to visit loved ones in senior communities. 

The day is National Grandparent’s Day and it falls on the first Sunday after Labor Day every year. 

This year it is Sunday, Sept. 9. At senior-living communities nationwide, including American Senior Communities in Indiana, activities are held each year on this day to encourage visits from families.

National Grandparent’s Day was started by Marian McQuade, of Fayette County, W.Va., to bring attention to the need for people in nursing homes to receive visits from family, especially grandchildren. It was proclaimed national holiday in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter.

Grandparents have a special bond with grandchildren that can be strengthened with regular contact. Plus kids are so much fun. They help brighten your loved ones’ day. When family visits, it assures the loved one they have not been forgotten. It keeps the family connected. 

How often should visits take place? Some people drop in three or four times a week; others a few times a month and on special days like birthdays or special anniversaries. The frequency varies. Ask yourself how often you would visit if your loved one lived at home. Use that rule of thumb, and start making your regular visits on National Grandparent’s Day.

Guest blogger Eunice Trotter is the communications specialist for American Senior Communities, which operates 25 centers in the Indianapolis areaFor more information, visit  

Tuesday, August 28

Knee Pain: A Holistic Approach to Treatment

by Frank J Klene, PT, DPT, CSCS

Knee pain is a common symptom for active individuals and runners.  

The fancy word for pain in the front of your knee or underneath your knee cap is patellofemoral pain. This pain can be caused by several factors and new research supports a holistic approach to treatment. 

Think about where your knee is located...between your hip and ankle, right? Due to their close proximity to the knee, these joints can affect knee alignment, forces, and ultimately can cause knee pain. So, it's best to think about the whole lower extremity together as possibly contributing to pain. 

Let’s move down from the hip to the foot to see how altered movement and strength at these joints affect knee pain…

Hip - Weak hip strength can cause your lower leg to rotate inward during dynamic exercise causing increase stress under your knee cap.

Thigh - One of the functions of your front thigh musculature (quadriceps) is to absorb compression and shock from your knee.  If these muscles are weak then added compression forces are transferred to the knee joint.

Foot – Too much or limited motion of the foot alters knee alignment also attributing to knee pain.

All of these factors can contribute to knee pain, so make sure your health-care provider looks at the whole picture! Take a look at the figure below. The good news is that there are targeted interventions for each body part that are proven to be beneficial! 
The figure above is courtesy of the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. You can visit the journal for even more information on common physical therapy treatments for knee pain.

More About Frank J Klene

Friday, August 24

Horsin’ Around

Guest blogger Harvey Gould riding One-Eyed-Jack
by Harvey Gould

For those of you who might have just finished getting your fill of the Olympics, all equestrian events (dressage, show jumping and cross-country) are the only Olympic sports in which one human and one animal athlete are part of the same team. It’s also the only Olympic sport in which men and women compete evenly against each other - now there’s true equality for you!

Somewhat late into our working years my wife and I started taking horseback riding lessons. Done correctly, both horse and rider will get a solid workout. In addition, you can’t ride effectively without concentrating on what you’re doing, so you leave behind your mental burdens.
If you’re show jumping, for example, you better not be thinking about that upcoming conference. Perhaps more accurately, you’re an idiot if that’s what you’re thinking about because you need to be concentrating about a whole sequence of events that have to happen to complete the task successfully and safely.

You need to have your horse approach each jump as much in the center and as squarely to the jump as possible. You need to adjust his gait, slowing or speeding up between jumps, so that he takes off at exactly the correct spot. You also need to know when to stand in your stirrups to take weight off his back, move your hands up the horse’s withers as he’s about to launch—to give him the freedom he needs to take the jump without getting hit in the teeth by the bit.

While in mid air, you can’t be looking down. A rider’s mantra is “look down and you’ll end down—in the dirt.” Instead, in mid air, you should be looking at the next jump to calculate the angle at which you’ll need the horse to move while anticipating all other necessary adjustments for the next jump. Not a good time to be thinking about that conference.

Jumping is dangerous if done foolishly or without proper training. However, when done correctly, nothing can match the exhilaration of the momentary sense of weightlessness while you’re vaulting over an obstacle on a 1,200 pound animal. 

Guest blogger Harvey Gould is the author of A Fierce Local: Memoirs of My Love Affair with Ireland, a finalist in the San Francisco Writers Conference Indie Publishing Contest. For more information, visit or check out Harvey’s blog.

Tuesday, August 21

Mangoes – the kings of fruits

photo courtesy

by Katherine Matutes

I’ll never forget the first mango I ever tasted – it was 25 years ago. The fruit was so sweet and exotic, almost like a plant marriage between a peach, pineapple and a banana. I stood on my back porch eating the flesh from the fibrous pit with juice running all the way down my arms and dripping off my elbows. 

There was a limited selection of fruits for me to enjoy growing up in Indiana, but today it is much easier to get fruits and vegetables from afar. Mangoes come from Asia and South America and are grown more locally in Florida and California. There are so many varieties  over 1,000 – growers are able to cultivate mangoes starting in May, and they stay in season until September.

The mango has been dubbed “the king of fruits,” and four amazing nutrients are the jewels in its crown for being a super-healthy fruit.

1.  Fiber – One mango has more than 10 percent of your daily-recommended fiber, which is a good thing, because fiber promotes a healthy heart and colon.

2.  Folate – Anyone with cells – that’s all of us – benefits from folate. Folate promotes healthy cell regeneration, which can be especially important for expecting mothers.

3.  Vitamin C – Depending on the variety, one mango can have twice the vitamin C of an orange. That is a whole lot of immunity-boosting power to help your body fight off illness.

4.  Beta-carotene – Made famous by carrots, beta-carotene is a vitally important antioxidant that helps your body fight off free radicals, or chemicals, that can damage your body’s tissues.

With all its health benefits, you can savor the fruit alone or transform ordinary dishes with the recipe below for mango pico de gallo. It’s fabulous on just about everything. Try it on grilled chicken, fish or hamburgers or turn it into an amazing salad by mixing it half and half with quinoa.

Mango pico de gallo
3 Ripe mangoes, diced (look for a firmness similar to a ripe peach and a strong fragrance)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jicama, diced (substitute a cucumber if you can’t find jicama)
½ red onion, finely diced
1 bunch cilantro chopped
Juice of ½ lime

More About Katherine Matutes, PhD

Thursday, August 16

Israel - A Land Rich in Dichotomy

by Robin Clare
This is a follow-up post to This Week in Jerusalem. 

“Hurry Garrett, take this picture!” I exclaimed to my son as we walked up the path to the top of Mount Bental in the Golan Heights. I jokingly said, “This picture could make the cover of Time Magazine.”
What is so extraordinary about a picture of a religious Jew and a group of Israeli soldiers looking out across the rich fertile soil of the Golan Heights to Israel’s neighbor Syria? For me, it represented the range of emotions that I felt over our entire twelve days in Israel. 

My feelings ran the spectrum from deep love to deep fear. Every day, Hashem would share with me glimmers of hope that we could live in a state of world peace on our planet. Throughout Israel what I saw were people (Jews, Christians and Muslims) who so desperately wanted to be closer to their Divine Source (deep love) that they were willing to live with the undercurrent of harm (deep fear) as part of the day-to-day fabric of their lives.

Our first day in Jerusalem was a Friday. We were unable to move around the streets of Jerusalem “freely” in our air-conditioned bus because the city was filled with Muslims participating in the last day of Ramadan. Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship on the Muslim calendar.  On one hand, I was relieved that the Muslims were distracted by their holiday focus and on the other hand, I was honored to be in Jerusalem on such a holy day for our neighbors.

As we walked through the Shuk – the open market filled with Jewish, Christian and Muslim vendors - we were able to feel the excitement of the Jewish people purchasing last minute items for Shabbat – the Jewish Sabbath - and the store-keepers hurrying to close their shops for Shabbat. It was a beautiful reminder of the importance and sanctity of Shabbat.

And yet, as we were walking up the ancient stone staircase out of the Shuk, our tour guide stopped to share with us the beautiful teachings of Yeshua ben Yosef. He explained how Yeshua’s insightful teachings as a Jew morphed into the important teachings of Christianity and how he later became known as Jesus. While we were listening, a group of devoted Christians came up the stairs carrying a large cross that they had been carrying through the nine Stations of the Cross or Via Dolorosa (“Way of Grief") on route to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 

Our group parted to let this group come through. While many of our group found the monotone prayers of the Christian pilgrims a bit eerie, I stood in awe of the Divine timing. Here we are, being taught Yeshua’s teachings of Oneness with God, and then we were actually given an opportunity to experience how his teachings have impacted a much larger segment of the population, the Christians.

Even on our first day, we were given the opportunity to see why Jerusalem is so important and why it is so important for this city to remain neutral and to have mankind co-exist here in peace. The question for Jerusalem is not to whom it belongs but, rather, how can we continue to have it belong to everyone.

At sunset on our first day in Israel, we went back to the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple Mount (the Kotel) in Jerusalem to experience Shabbat at one of the holiest sites for all of Judaism. I was guided to anchor-in the energies of my first book, Messiah Within into the holy ground in front of and under the Western Wall.  Messiah Within is a book about my journey to becoming the Messiah of my own life though my own inner divinity – as each of us can do – and that the Promised Land that I have been waiting for was not geographically here in Jerusalem, but to be found within the inner terrain of my heart center and within the phenomenal connection that I felt to each and every person who stood at the Wall with me. 

Standing in awe at the Western Wall, I saw hundreds of people from all over the world; from many nations, many religions, many religious points of view standing together … connected to their Divine source… praying, for what I imagined as (first) inner tranquility and (ultimately) world peace. 
Shalom for now!

Guest blogger Robin Clare, author of Messiah Within, is the co-founder of two spiritual organizations: Enlightened Professionals and The ATMA Center. You can read more posts about her trip to Jerusalem at her blog.

Tuesday, August 14

Something for everyone...literally

by the JCC staff 

How do you prepare a community festival so that it has something to offer everyone? 

The perfect recipe would probably look something like this: 10 author events, 5 films, 2 concerts and toss in an art gallery, 
workshops, yoga, food and a book sale, just for good measure. 

The 14th Annual Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts at the Arthur M. Glick JCC will offer all of this when it opens Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012. We're blogging about it now because registration is already open for each of the 18 unique events that will make up this year's festival. 

With likes of Delia Ephron, Ira Shapiro, Rick Recht, former Daily Show writer David Javerbaum and a host of other featured guests, the three-week cultural celebration has already drawn the attention of the Indianapolis Star, which reported on the Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts on August 8

The festival opens with the popular Community Reads event, featuring Ephron. Right now, her novel, The Lion Is In, is available for purchase at a significant discount at either of our membership desks at 6701 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis. A free ticket to the event, where you'll be able to hear from and speak with the famous author, comes with each book purchase.

Stretching over three weeks until Saturday, Nov. 17, the Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts is the largest of its kind in all of Central Indiana each year, and we at the JCC are proud to bring leading authors, musicians, film makers and other presenters to Indianapolis for the entire community to enjoy.

Head over to our website,, and click the special events tab to learn more about the festival including information on each of the 18 festival features.

Tuesday, August 7

Hard and Fast They Appeared

by Richard Kordesh

I concede that “Hard and Fast” might seem a weird use of the phrase, given that I’m referring to vegetables! But, this is the time in the summer when we can barely keep up with the harvest. The climate favors this window in time, so the gardeners must stand ready.

We added to the challenge of readiness this year by taking a trip to England and France during the final two weeks of July. That vacation coincided with the explosive arrival of our cucumbers, many of which we had wanted to pull while they were small enough for pickling. Fortunately, our now-adult daughter, Kathy, has grown up with our gardens, and stepped in to maintain a good harvesting pace while we were sailing in the English Channel. Bush beans appeared during the same time. And the first waves of red onions – we had planted them at two-week intervals – began demanding their liberation from the ground.

As for liberation, the excursion to Europe also included visits to such D-Day sites as Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach. The bluffs along the five beaches where courageous American, British, and Canadian soldiers landed are still marked by the remnants and scars of war. Bomb craters abound, but they now burst with meadow grasses and flowers.

The back-and-forth between the rhythms of the earth and the sometimes violent spasms in our lives yields many surprising outcomes. The gardens we tend as well as the fields that flourish without our guidance nourish and heal us, sometimes it seems against all odds

Guest blogger Richard S. Kordesh is the author of Restoring Power to Parents and Places  and has worked professionally in the community development field for 35 years.

More about Richard S. Kordesh