Tuesday, June 24

Knowledge you need to enjoy the life you want

by Natalie Sirois

Personal Training Example
I continue to work to lose weight, meet our members and learn about all that the JCC has to offer.  

I will say that our members are great motivators. Whenever they see me in the hallway, they ask if I am coming to a fitness class. I need that accountability to keep me moving forward. Through my classes and change in habits, I am happy to report that I have lost another four pounds.  

Over the past month I have done a couple of new and different things to focus on my weight loss: 

I met with a personal trainer, and this was very helpful. My session was only for 30 minutes, and I would highly recommend at least 45 minutes if not an hour for your first meeting with a trainer. This is to better facilitate information sharing so the trainer can understand your goals and tailor a program for you. I also appreciated the advice of the trainer on my form so that I get the most out of exercise movements and don't injure myself.

I sat down with a nutritionist, and I now have a better understanding of how my eating habits and health history work together to impact my goals. In future meetings, we'll be talking about how to shop for food more effectively so that I have options in the house that are healthy, easy and able to satisfy all of my family. For example, think of purchasing meat for cooking tacos, and you can whip up burritos, tacos or taco salads in a single night. That's one ingredient but many options to make sure everyone at the table enjoys the meal.

When you are on a journey like mine, having knowledge advocates can make all the difference. And while I plan to benefit from multiple visits with my trainer and nutritionist, even a single meeting can provide you inspiration and knowledge to change your life.

Blogger Natalie Sirois is an multi-media artist and Oma (grandma). She is the JCC Indianapolis Membership Director. Although she does not get to do it often, she loves to ride her motorcycle as a stress reliever. She loves to laugh and act silly, because sense of humor is so important.  

Tuesday, June 17

Farmers Markets keep it fun...and local

by Katherine Matutes, Ph.D.

I can’t decide what to eat first when I get home from my shift as the Market Master at the new JCC Farmers Market, each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. We unpack the loot and start noshing. 

Everything is of course supremely fresh, but what grabs me most is how tasty everything is. The produce flavors are unlike the produce at the grocery store where items have been genetically bred in favor of transport survival and longer storage, which comes at the expense of flavor compounds and tenderness. 

My family has great fun trying to dream up interesting ways to combine our ingredients. Just one example from a recent Sunday is pictured at right, a fantastic quartet that included a French baguette from Amelia’s Bread, Tulip Tree Creamery Fromage Frais, cabbage sprouts from Lush Leaf Farms, and cherry tomatoes from Anna Belle’s Garden. 

My 10-year-old daughter inhaled our quartet creation along with a generous helping of Heeter’s Mediterranean Garbaage salsa and whole grain corn chips. Thank goodness Heeter’s salsa is made with heart healthy olives, because it’s hard to stop eating. 

We finished the day's feasting by eating handfuls of blueberries from Anna Belles right out of the carton. 

It is a pleasure to see your kids really excited about fruits and vegetables and to let them enjoy fresh healthy foods. But it is also an opportunity to teach them the value of supporting local agriculture and businesses. 

Farms have been diminishing over time, and it becomes more and more difficult for local producers to compete against larger, conglomerate growers. Our local farmers help support our local economy and the environment by avoiding extensive shipping. 

Before reaching your table, the average food item in the United States will travel 1,300 miles. Only about 10 percent of the fossil fuel energy used in the world’s food system is used for production. The other 90 percent goes into packaging, transportation, and marketing of the food. 

Whether or not shopping local is your reason, the JCC Farmers Market is a great way for the family to spend some time together! Join us, rain or shine, on Sundays through August 10, and see what your family can create in the kitchen.

More About Katherine Matutes, PhD

Tuesday, June 10

The Voluntary Spring

By Richard S. Kordesh

In the partly shadowed bed on the south side of our house, volunteer strawberries blossom and begin to fruit.  
We had purchased and planted their parents a few years ago, but the offspring have since spread and regenerated on their own.

Given the harshness of the recent winter, it’s impressive that these plants would revive at all. But with green leaves and white flowers ranging about, they have returned.

Most of the florae that flourish in and around our habitat are, in fact, volunteers. Proportionately, the many seeds and seedlings that we insert intentionally in vegetable beds pale in comparison to the numerous flowers, grasses, weeds, herbs, and edible plants that rise up with the arrival of spring.

According to the dictionary, a volunteer plant is one not deliberately sown. From that perspective, each year our strawberries achieve a more unmixed, volunteer status. From that standpoint, the garden triumphs as a teeming, surging voluntary enterprise.

More broadly, much of what makes a community or family habitat flourish is also voluntary – unprompted by government action, unsecured by binding contract.

Parents care for their children. Neighbors swap stories and look out for one another. Friends exchange greetings. Citizens converse about issues. Kids hang out, run, play, and liven up their places.

Such small-scale, informal goings on aren’t usually labeled “volunteer.”  Yet, they surely embody what Oxford’s definition calls “activities undertaken freely.”

The resurgent strawberries, unfolding fruit blossoms, and renewed neighborhood liveliness all reflect springtime’s spontaneity.

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. Visit Richard's website for more

Tuesday, June 3

A Day of Bridge at the JCC

by Lev Rothenberg

Research from the Illinois Institute of Technology and others indicates that card playing and board games may actually contribute to a healthier brain. 

Game playing also can stimulate the mind, relieve stress and improve energy.

So imagine the potential brain benefits of learning to play, and possibly even challenging in a match, one of the world’s finest bridge players.

Grand Master Eric Rodwell, who grew up in Lafayette, Ind., is coming home for a friendly game of cards, teaching and playing at the Arthur M. Glick JCC for the inaugural A Day of Bridge. 

Some 100 players are expected to join in the event, including Rodwell’s parents (how is that for a family get together).

A Day of Bridge includes a seminar with the grand master, a sanctioned game, and the opportunity to win a chance to play with Eric. Each registrant will be entered into a drawing for this opportunity.

Rodwell is one of the all-time top masterpoint holders in the American Contract Bridge League. Players of all skill levels will learn from him about playing defense against a suit contract.

The event is open to all, and players from around the Midwest have already registered. Get details and sign up to join us on June 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the events page of our website.

More about Lev Rothenberg