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“Lunch and Learn” program for seniors is planned to be a regular fixture at …

The Plainfield Park District has kicked off a new monthly lunch time program at the recently opened Plainfield Township Community Center in downtown Plainfield. The “Lunch and Learn” program for seniors is planned to be a regular fixture at the new Community Center, with an informative program to go along with the midday meal. Plainfield area resident Mimi Poling, a degreed nutritionist, led the initial program, entitled “Food Fad Feud”.

The session explored 19 separate food fads relating not only to 2015 but over the last hundred years. Participants enjoyed competing in teams to guess the food fads in a game show format. Once a fad was named, Poling then discussed the nutrition, health, merchandising, inventions and a little history of each one. These included fads like the current interest in quinoa and kale. The group sampled a variety of the foods discussed, and recipes were also distributed, with the quinoa and farrow salad with lemon vinaigrette dressing drawing rave reviews.

One surprise item learned was that the “grapefruit diet” is not of recent origin – it has been around since the 1930’s – and originally known as “The Hollywood Diet”. Over the decades fans of this 800 calorie weight loss diet have passed it on to their friends by every means from hand-written notes to the internet. Known by various names, it has also been called “The Mayo Clinic Diet” although the Mayo Clinic has never had anything to do with it. Poling doesn’t recommend 800 calories for a long term diet plan, but believes grapefruit is a great addition to a healthy diet for most people along with a variety of other fruits and vegetables. Grapefruit is a good source of Vitamin C and A, has potassium and the anti-oxidant Lycopene. Half of a medium grapefruit has only 52 calories along with two grams of fiber and one gram of protein, and Poling suggested that if you like to load sugar on your fresh grapefruit to try a pinch of salt and only one teaspoon of sugar next time. She believes you’ll be surprised at how the salt can balance out the high acid content of the fruit. Poling did add, though, that grapefruit can also affect medications an individual may be taking, so always check with your doctor before changing your normal food plan.

“Lunch and Learn” is scheduled for the second Thursday of the month at 11:00am. Bring a sack lunch and coffee and dessert will be provided. The next event, entitled “Brown Bag Prescriptions”, will feature a Walgreens pharmacist who will be on hand to will discuss how prescriptions may interact and answer questions. To make a reservation at least a week before the event, call the Plainfield Township Community Center at 815-267-3350.

For more information on Plainfield Park District programs and events, call (815) 436-8812, visit www.plfdparks.org, sign-up for our e-news updates, like us on Facebook, and/or follow us on Twitter.

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