“Let food be thy medicine,” said Hippocrates thousands of years ago. And, just like a lot of ancient wisdom, it still holds true today.
When it comes to aches and pains, specifically the kind that affects the joints, it’s well worth taking a look at how diet might impact how much discomfort we deal with each day.
Arthritis affects millions.  Sometimes it involves the whole body as a systemic illness. For others it comes with the wear and tear of life and aging. Whether it’s rheumatoid arthritis or the more localized osteoarthritis variety, this condition can be life altering. Stiffness slows you down, ordinary tasks become a challenge, and the pain takes the joy out of life.
Managing arthritis might mean taking medication and modifying your lifestyle, but why not start at the beginning with our daily diets.
So here are two lists:  foods to include, and those you might want to limit, as well as their specific links to joint pain and discomfort.  As with any change in lifestyle, it’s a good idea to discuss your plan with your healthcare provider.

Try Including (Increasing) These:

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS – decrease inflammation in arthritic joints. The best sources are salmon, sardines, tuna, trout, herring, mackerel, walnuts, almonds and flaxseed. There was study done close to home at Albany Medical College that showed that intake of Omega 3s significantly decreased the tenderness of inflamed joints.
OLIVE OIL – Contains polyphenol, an antioxidant that protects the body against inflammation. Use it in cooking instead of butter or other vegetable oils. Use it as a base for a fresh dressing for salads and cooked veggies.
FOCUS ON FRUITS – Pineapple contains bromelain, which reduces the swelling of inflammation. Other helpful fruits are grapes (particularly the skins), apples, and fruits rich in Vitamin C, such as berries, peaches, mango, kiwi, oranges and cantaloupe. Vitamin C also helps heal damaged cartilage in arthritic joints.
MORE VEGGIES – High intake of beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene correlate with lower incidence of certain types of arthritis. Find these in foods like: red bell peppers, cilantro, and corn. Add lots of greens and a few sweet potatoes.
SPICE IT UP! – Tumeric, the spice used in curry dishes, contains the powerful anti-inflammatory curcumin, which suppresses the enzymes responsible for inflammation in the body. Ginger also reduces joint tenderness and pain.

Try Limiting (or Avoiding) These:

MEATS – Although meat can provide valuable iron, B-vitamins, protein and zinc, a diet high in animal products is also high in saturated fats and Omega 6 fatty acids which are pro-inflammatory.
NIGHTSHADE VEGETABLES – Some folks are very sensitive to the effects of the nightshades: white potatoes, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. Although there doesn’t appear to be a ton of research on this, you might want to notice if eating these foods increases your pain, swelling and inflammation, and then decide to limit how much you eat.
PROCESSED FOODS – A diet high in refined grains, sugar, and empty calories does very little to build good health, and contributes to excess weight gain. Since the joints act as supports for the body, asking them to carry around extra pounds every day won’t make them happy.  Even five extra pounds can make a big difference in comfort for arthritic knees.
With any nutritional plan, self-awareness is key. Try to notice which foods seem to have a beneficial effect on how you feel physically and energetically.  Eat more of those things that “agree” with you, and less of those that seem to make things worse.
A balanced diet, low in processed foods, and high in fruits and vegetables is a good health practice. When the body is already stressed with a chronic condition like arthritis, choosing the right food is essential.

Come and laugh your kepele off!

Join us for one of our 160th anniversary events starring comedian David Glickman
He’s Clean! He’s Clever! He’s Kosher! You’ll crack up at Glickman’s wit & humor, funny Jewish jokes & music that includes Can’t Buy Me Lunch, Everything’s Coming Up Moses, and Hooray for Hanukkah.
DATE: October 26, 2013
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
PLACE: Steamer 10 Theatre, Albany*
COST: $36 per person – includes Kosher dessert buffet after the show.
Reservations required. Seating is limited.
Purchase tickets on our online form or call 518-482-8856 to reserve your seats.
* The Steamer 10 Theatre is  located at 500 Western Ave., which is in the fork of Western and Madison. They are at the back half of the police station. Look for the drawbridge – that’s the entrance. There is on-street parking (the meters on Madison are only for weekdays) or at the Citizens’ Bank parking lot across the street.

It’s hard to believe JFS has been helping families in the Capital Region for 160 years. That makes JFS older than the car (1920), but younger than the steam engine (1698). We are slightly older than the telephone (1876) and way older than the frisbee (1948).
Imagine our founding volunteers going to a home visit on a horse, or how far families had to walk to get the services they needed. Transportation and communication have come a long way, but many of our services have remained the same. JFS social workers visit with seniors in their homes every day and families come to our offices for professional guidance. At the core of our services, and something that has endured for 160 years, is that we are guided by the Jewish tradition of repairing the world.
We’ve come a long way and were are scheduling celebratory events. Stay tuned!
Look how far we’ve come…
A small group of volunteers worked together to help new immigrants and their families who came to Albany from Europe.
JFS created a home for the aged and infirm, which was later expanded to care for orphaned children.
Social services were developed and volunteers were replaced with professional staff.
JFS helped German refugees, placed children in foster care, helped families search for relatives, and provided a range of resettlement services including housing, employment, healthcare and citizenship.
JFS expanded its capacity by providing employment and financial counseling services.
JFS continued to assist new Americans with financial help, food, household goods, and furniture.
JFS integrated services to the wider community, instituting programs at Daughters of Sarah, local high schools, SUNY and other groups with critical needs.
Serving the elderly was in the forefront as JFS initiated  support programs at the Ohav Shalom Apartments.
Services to the Jewish community were expanded to include JCCs, day schools, and bereavement counseling.
JFS launched the Supervised Visitation program, which has tripled in size. Services to seniors remain a priority as JFS is the lead agency in caring for seniors in the NNORC (Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community). Counseling, both in-home and at JFS remains a primary service for the community.

Do you wonder what you missed, if you have not yet participated in the LIVING HEALTHY WORKSHOPS?   Would you like to participate in a series of six, free, award-winning workshops developed by Stanford University to empower you to manage aging and chronic health conditions with success?  Are you looking to participate in a group with supportive and fun people? Are you a graduate of Living Healthy and in need of a refresher course and curious about the new updated curriculum?
NNORC Nurses Judi England and Pat Gumson will be offering this program after the summer and before the cold weather sets in.
This is the perfect time to learn about living healthy; we just need your participation to make it a perfect experience. Every participant in these FREE workshops receives a free workbook and relaxation CD.
DATES: Tuesdays, October 15, 22, 29 and November 5, 12, 19, 2013
TIME: 1:00–3:30 p.m.
PLACE: B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation on Whitehall Road from
RSVP: 514-2023

Did you know that you were sort of, kind of, like a daisy?
Not just a daisy, but pretty much like any kind of plant. The ability to utilize and metabolize sunlight (and the resulting Vitamin D) isn’t just the territory of plants. Human beings can do it too! And not only can we do it, but we need to do it too for our health and well being.
You can get Vitamin D from the foods you eat. Deep cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel or fish oils are terrific sources.  So are mushrooms, beef liver and Swiss cheese. But being out and about on a sunny day, soaking up all those vitamins for free is a very cool idea.
The complex alchemy by which we transform the rays of el sol to Vitamin D has far-reaching effects that keep us strong and disease free.  A series of chemical reactions when sunlight hits our skin involving enzymes in the liver and kidneys is responsible for it all. (Read more.)
Remember too for all this to work you need some sunscreen free skin to come in contact with the sun’s rays. It doesn’t take much, and it doesn’t take too long either. Articles I’ve read say somewhere in the vicinity of 10 minutes or so—depending on where you live and how fair your skin is.  You don’t have to channel your inner Lady Godiva either.  Baring your arms or legs for a bit works just fine.
Most are aware of the link between sufficient Vitamin D and bone health and strength.  Health providers more frequently test women for adequate levels of the vitamin.  Here in the Northeast where sun is weak and grey skies frequent, I and many of my women friends are taking supplements to ensure our supplies are adequate to prevent osteopenia/osteoporosis.
Since Vitamin D is fat-soluble and can be stored in the body, there is a risk of overdose. Since the sunlight that helps us make Vitamin D also helps to break it down in the body, there’s a very small danger of overdoing it, except perhaps through over supplementation.  Signs of overdose are: nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, heart rhythm abnormalities, and an increased risk of kidney stones
Besides bone health, sunlight is good for us in many, many other ways.  Here’s just a few:

  • Exposure to sunlight may aid in the prevention of cancers especially breast and colon.
  • Alzheimer’s patients experience less agitation, and nighttime wakefulness when exposed to full-spectrum light during the day and full darkness at night. As a matter of fact, sunlight exposure during regular waking hours increases sleep-inducing melatonin as the sun sets resulting in better quality sleep for all.
  • Sunlight may reduce the risk of developing MS, particularly if exposure happens in the first two decades of life.
  • It helps to clear psoriasis.
  • Sunlight is a mood elevator.  The brain produces more serotonin on sunny days than cloudy ones…..and this is a surprise???

So with summer in full swing, get out there and catch some rays. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.

Once again, JFS NNORC is coordinating a day trip to Otsego Lake for lunch at the grand Otesago Hotel. This magnificent hotel occupies 700 feet of lakefront on the soutehr shore of Lake Otsego, the famed “Glimmerglass” of James Fenimore Cooper’s novels.
We will head home but NOT before visiting the Fly Creek Cider Mill for some wine-tasting and a visit to the gift shop and pastry shop.  It will be a day full of good food, fun and a little drink too.
This trip was one of our favorites last summer.  Don’t wait to sign up.  This trip will fill up fast.
When: Wednesday, August 21
Departure: 10:15 a.m. – St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church, 440 Whitehall Rd., Albany
Cost: $45 for NNORC members and $49 for non-members

Did you know that you could get all the benefits of a yoga practice without having to get down on the floor?
Join us at St. Sophias for the last two sessions of this series. We will practice yoga postures (asanas), breathwork (pranayama) and relaxation (yoga nidra ) either seated in a chair, or standing with the chair for support. Our practice will include opportunities to build flexibility, balance and strength in a safe and non-stressful way.
Instructor: Judi England, RN, NNORC Nurse and Health Educator
What: Gentle Chair Yoga
Where: St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church, 440 Whitehall Rd., Albany,
When: Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., October 1, 8, 15 & 22
Please wear clothing comfortable for movement. Bring a water bottle.


Featuring Corey Ellis and Kathy Sheehan

Want to learn more about the potential candidates’ positions?

The landscape in Albany is changing. With the imminent retirement of Mayor Jerry Jennings, the City of Albany will have a new feel. Both Corey Ellis and Kathy Sheehan continue to vie for the Democratic Party backing in the Albany City mayoral race.
NNORC residents and neighbors will have a chance to have their questions about the future of Albany seniors and the City answered by potential mayoral candidates Corey Ellis and Kathy Sheehan.
Audience members can submit their questions at the beginning of the night, so come prepared to discuss what’s important to you: neighborhood violence; scams perpetrated on the elderly; property taxes; gun violence; unemployment; the Affordable Care Act and healthcare in Albany; and more. It should be a great night for the NNORC, for those who love politics and those who want to be part of Albany history.
DATE Wednesday, July 17, 2013
TIME 6:30 p.m. (Come early; seats fill up quickly.)
PLACE St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church, 440 Whitehall Road, Albany, NY 12208
FEE Free

Days are longer and milder. Nothing like a good “stretch of the legs” to get your heart pumping, your lungs working, and your brain clear of those winter cobwebs.
Walking is great exercise. Walking in good company is even better.
Let’s get together once a week for a moderate walk and some easy conversation. We’ll begin gently with a ONE-MILE ROUND TRIP from the parking lot at St. Sophias’ Greek Orthodox Church, 440 Whitehall Road to the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center, 340 Whitehall Road, and back.
Depending on interest, we may finish our walk with a stop at Spinner’s Restaurant in Crestwood Plaza for refreshments.
WHAT A one-mile round-trip moderately paced walk along level terrain on Whitehall Road, Albany, New York
WHEN Monday evenings beginning June 3rd, 2013 at 5:30pm (Ongoing through the Fall)
WHY Because it feels good and is good for you too!
WHAT TO BRING/WEAR Water bottle. Comfortable clothing. Supportive, secure footwear. Dress for the weather, however, we will NOT WALK IN HEAVY RAIN.
RSVP We will leave the St. Sophias’ Parking lot promptly at 5:30 p.m. and would like to know if you are joining us. Call Judi England at the NNORC office to let me know if you are coming: 514 -2023.
And remember:…”The best form of exercise is the one that you will do!”

What a better way to recap the day than to do it with neighbors and friends over ice cream. That’s what seniors in the NNORC are doing.  Every Tuesday at 6:30 pm, from now until July 23rd, you’ll find our seniors sitting at the cottage-like ice cream parlor, surrounded by a white picket fence, bright lights, colorful walls, candies, chocolates and sprinkles. They’re talking about family, current events and good times gone by.
If you want to take a break and enjoy great company and a sweet bite, join us on Tuesday nights at Emack and Bolio’s.