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THE NOURISH LETTER
www.OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042
Meet the Men Behind Your Meals
PLOGGING AND THE ART OF MENTAL MAINTENANCE
N ot long ago, I got my third and final epidural shot to treat my back pain. The results have been amazing. I feel so much better! I’m able to walk around without my feet going numb or feeling like they’re on fire. This is great news, because I have a new dog, Shady, who needs me to take her on walks. Shady and I have certain routes we like to take on our walks, but there was one thing that drove me crazy for the longest time: Our routes were quite literally littered with nip bottles. And plastic bags. And
When Shady and I go on our morning walk, I grab a plastic bag and I pick up all the litter I see. Though we fill up an entire bag each morning, the next day, I know we’ll fill it up again with all new litter. Some people might see this as an endless cycle with no point, but I’m not doing this to shame people into not throwing trash on the sidewalk anymore. I’m doing it because it makes me feel better. I have a group of friends I meet with every month for what we call our “Wisdom Wheel.” Basically, we follow the lunar cycle and search for ways to help improve our mental focus and balance
“Plogging gives me a chance to spend time with my dog, enjoy the fresh air and make the Earth a little more beautiful
bottle caps, plastic straws, coffee cups and other items people carelessly flung from their car windows as they drove along. It’s not pretty, but it gave me the opportunity to take part in something the Swedish call “plogging.” A mix of the words “jogging” and “plocka upp,” which is Swedish for “pick up,” plogging is when people make a point to pick up trash while
Shady and our plogging haul
through the month. I picked up plogging at the start of one lunar cycle and was pleased to find out how much it clears the mind. Plogging gives me a chance to spend time with my dog, enjoy the fresh air and make the Earth a little more beautiful as I go along. If you are someone who goes running outdoors every morning or enjoys a walk with your neighborhood
friends once a week, I encourage you to try plogging for yourself. There are few ways to make a greater impact on your community through such a simple act. There’s a deep sense of peace to be found in plogging. Plus, it’s good for the planet, your body and your state of mind.
they are out running. It’s a bit of a cultural phenomenon in Sweden and I learned about it when an article popped up on my Facebook feed some time ago. When you see trash on the ground, you have two options. You could walk by and think, “These people are disgusting!” Or, you can turn the situation into something positive and make a difference.
as I go along.”
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A Friendship Through the Ages MR. DAN AND LITTLE NORAH
The unusual pair didn’t say goodbye forever at the grocery store. Norah insisted on visiting “Mr. Dan” every week,
In 2016, Dan Peterson, 82, was grocery shopping alone. After his wife passed away six months prior, Dan had fallen into a depression and was, as he put it, “waiting to die” — that is, until he turned a corner in the store and heard a little voice say, “Hi, old person! It’s my birthday today!” The voice belonged to 4-year-old Norah Wood, who was shopping with her mother. Dan was confused by the greeting from the strange child and even more so when little Norah demanded a hug. Unable to say no to such a request, Dan gave the little girl a hug and said, “You don’t know. This is the first time for quite a while that I’ve been this happy.” Norah’s mother, Tara, was utterly amazed by the interaction. “She zeroed in on him like a missile. And she didn’t want anything from him. She just wanted to make him feel loved and give him a hug. And his little lip quivered and he was teared up and it was just sweet.”
deciding that he was her new best friend. Dan spent Thanksgiving Day at the Wood household that following November. Two years later, the pair are still thick as thieves. When Norah graduated preschool this past spring, Dan joined the parents and grandparents in the audience to cheer her on. Dan takes Norah for walks around his vegetable garden and, according to Norah, Mr. Dan is “sweet like a peppermint!” Once, when Dan took a little while to answer his door during a visit, Norah started crying with worry and refused to let go once her friend finally appeared.
It’s a love that proves five generations is nothing when it comes to true friends.
MEET SHADOW: THE AMAZING HANG-GLIDING SERVICE DOG
owner. So, about 12 years ago, McManus
For his entire life, Utah resident Dan McManus has suffered from several mental health issues, including generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, night terrors, and severe panic attacks. Over the years, he’s utilized numerous coping mechanisms to stave off the symptoms, but there are two things that calm him more than anything else: hang gliding across the Utah skies and the companionship of his service animal, an Australian cattle dog named Shadow. Over the course of 37 years, McManus went from being a hang-gliding hobbyist to an expert instructor in Salt Lake City, going out gliding as often as possible. But it seemed that his passion gave his pup a bit of anxiety of his own. Whenever McManus would take off, Shadow always wanted to chase him. “So I would be out here flying, and he would chase me and jump up at me and sometimes get my foot and hang on a little bit … It felt like he wanted to keep me safe,” he says. And when he left the dog at home, he’d often come home to a scratched-up floor and doors. It seemed that Shadow couldn’t bear to be away from his
had a special harness made
Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Urquhart
for Shadow, enabling the pup to join him while he took to the skies. They’ve been side-by-side on nearly every flight since. Some pet owners might balk at the idea of taking a dog on a hang glider, but it’s clear that, in this case, Shadow definitely wants to fly. Whenever they go out, Shadow wraps his paws around McManus’ arm, remaining stoic as they survey the landscape together from high above. While we all struggle with our own obstacles in life, it’s nice to know that our canine pals will always be there to offer their furry support. As McManus and Shadow demonstrate, it’s a bond that remains strong even hundreds of feet above the ground.
SCAM IN A BOTTLE
The Truth About Oxygenated Water
Improving recovery time
The field of health and nutrition is always improving. As we learn more about how our bodies work, we learn better ways to take care of them. For this reason, dietary suggestions can change a lot. Has anyone decided if eggs are good or bad for us yet? While most research is backed up by science, shifting ideas about nutrition can allow health fads to pop up, many of which offer no real value. This is where oxygenated water comes in. Hailed as a “better” version of water, oxygenated water is infused with 7–40 times more oxygen than regular water, depending on the brand. Since athletes who breathe supplemental O2 often see enhanced athletic performances, the idea is that adding more oxygen to your diet can help your muscles and purify the body. Here are a few benefits oxygenated water claims to offer:
Helping you feel more energetic
TESTIMONIALS At October Kitchen, our mission is to provide delicious, nourishing meals. In doing so, we hope to help our clients lead healthy and independent lives. Nothing fills our hearts more than knowing we’ve succeeded in our goal when we hear such kind words from our clients. “Great menu, great food, at a great price. Where can you go wrong? October Kitchen fed me very well during my transition from Oregon to Connecticut. Love this place and so glad it’s here. I’m definitely going to continue eating their food.” –Seth M. “We have consistently purchased soups, salads, dinners and desserts from October Kitchen. It has always been good. Lately it has been very, very good. We are so pleased to have this service available. This business is generous to the community and to its customers. The owners and staff treat us like old friends and we love having that connection. Thank you!” –Sandra O. This all sounds great, until you realize that these are the same benefits people enjoy when they start getting enough regular water in their diets! There are some brands that insist oxygenated water also helps reverse hair loss, banish wrinkles, and cure spider veins. These sound a lot like the promises snake oil salesman have made for years and both products deliver the same results: nothing. If it sounds like oxygenated water doesn’t do anything, that’s because it doesn’t. Oxygen might be good for your body, but the whole idea of oxygenated water is flawed from the start. We absorb oxygen into our blood through our lungs, not our digestive tracts. And even if our stomach could absorb oxygen, an entire bottle of oxygenated water would provide less oxygen than you’d get by taking a single breath of fresh air. To put it simply, here’s the University of California, Berkeley’s official stance, as stated on their health blog: “Oxygen water is a scam.”
• • • • •
Being good for your skin Helping with digestion
Removing toxins from the body
Promoting weight loss Relieving constipation
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309 Green Rd. Manchester, CT 06042 INSIDE Plogging for the Mind and Body page 1
The Love of a Friend
Shadow: The Hang-Gliding Service Dog
Can You Breathe Through Your Stomach?
Fence Your Way to Better Brain Health
WANT TO IMPROVE BRAIN HEALTH? GRAB A SWORD! The Benefits of Open-Skill Sports
in unpredictable ways. Fencing is a great open-skill sport because, while you have to learn the right way to hold the saber and move your body, you also have to think on your feet and react quickly to your opponent’s attacks. Researchers from the Foro Italico University of Rome believe that it’s the required adaptability that makes open-skill sports so good for your brain. You challenge your body with complex motor movements and your mind with fast decisions. In the study from PSE, the researchers reported that “the open-skill athletes used less brainpower to do the same thing than the closed-skill exercisers did.” What’s the Best Open-Skill Sport? If fencing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other great open-skill sports, including tennis, badminton, basketball and racquetball. What are you waiting for? Swing by your local rec center and find out what open-skill sport will be your new favorite pastime!
are picking up swords, or “sabers” — and it’s not because they’re preparing to fight dragons. Exercise is important no matter your age, but some activities are more beneficial than others. Research published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise (PSE) suggests activities defined as “open- skill sports,” like fencing, can do more to improve brain health than “closed- skill sports.” Open or Closed? The difference between an open-skill sport and a closed-skill sport lies in the dynamic nature of the activity. Going for a jog is great for your heart health, but your body is doing the same thing during the entire workout. This makes it a closed-skill sport. The same goes for swimming; you might have different strokes to choose from when you jump in the pool, but your brain is focused on repeating the action while doing your laps. Open-skill sports require players to respond to unpredictable circumstances
Did you know fencing is making a comeback? No longer just for heartsick gentlemen of the Regency era, fencing is increasingly being taught in public schools, displayed in the pages of popular indie comics and practiced among seniors. Plenty of baby boomers
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