An Italian Grandmother’s answer to Healthcare

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by Olivia Rossi, RN MSN
Your Personal Trainer

How would an Italian grandmother solve our current health care crisis? That was the topic of one of the talks at a nursing conference I attended recently. It was asked by a doctor. His comment? “One grandmother is worth a dozen physicians.”1 His topic? The Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet is a culinary delight. It is also a heart’s delight. Why? It’s really a kind of old-fashioned, sensible way of eating but it’s more than that. It’s a lifestyle. Here are the main elements of the Mediterranean way of eating and living . . . in a nutshell.

• Whole fruits and vegetables
• Nuts—almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts
• Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil
• Avocadoes
• Whole grains—corn, barley, brown rice, oats
• Fish, especially oily fish like salmon and mackerel
• Dark chocolate
• Honey as a sweetener
• Minimal amounts of refined carbohydrates and preserved meats
• Regular exercise and daily physical activity
• Plenty of sleep
• Time and talk around the kitchen table during meals together
• Laughter, jokes and humor
• Pace, don’t race
• Take a breath, relax, smile often
• Plan tomorrow today—it helps to “lessen the stressin’ ”

So listen to your Grandma. Work hard, play hard, eat well and enjoy life. Taking good care of yourself pays healthcare dividends that are priceless.

Yours in fitness,
Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN
Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, ACSM
Certified Personal Trainer, ACSM

1From Dr. Miles Hassell, MD, Medical Director, Department of Integrative Medicine, Providence Cancer Center, Portland, Oregon.