On Monday evening, December 7, Bon Secours Community Hospital, Port Jervis, NY, hosted another in the series of Ladies Night Out dinner lectures on health issues. Approximately 125 guests attended the event, which was held at the Erie Trackside Manor in Port Jervis.
This evening the topic was “Mediterranean Diet for the Holidays,” a power point presentation and cooking demonstration by representatives of Morrison Healthcare at Bon Secours Community Hospital under the direction of Clinical Nutrition Manager Elaine Ridley, RD, CDN.
Dietician Tanya Lopez, MS, RD, CDN first put her guests at ease by saying that although she was a dietician, she had begun her career as a cook, and wanted them to know that the Mediterranean Diet was not about dieting. “This is about a lifestyle,” she said. “It’s good for you and it tastes good.”
During her power-point presentation Lopez explained that this lifestyle approach to healthy eating was filled with delicious foods including fruit, vegetables, fish, beans, nuts and whole grains as well as other ingredients shown to promote good health like olive oil and wine in moderation along with daily physical activity.
She added that the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are numerous including longevity, defense against chronic diseases, fighting cancers, protection from diabetes, depression and Alzheimer’s disease among many other ailments.
Sous Chef Allison Wharton then put those words into practice by offering a cooking demonstration for a holiday celebration table that included colorful vegetable platters and a selection of dips and spreads made from healthy ingredients such as black beans, eggplant and roasted red peppers. She also demonstrated unique ways to decorate that table using common household items. All of the guests were served a pumpkin mousse dessert at their tables and then invited to come to the presentation table and sample the other dishes.
The Ladies Night Out Program, which the hospital has hosted for over a decade, usually charges a registration fee of $15 and all of the proceeds are donated directly back to the community. In a departure from that custom during this holiday season, the fee was waived and guests were encouraged to “pay it forward” by contributing to a favorite charity of their choice.
“Our hospital is proud to offer these important dinner seminars as a service to the community,” said Mary Decker, community liaison for Bon Secours Community Hospital. “We thank Morrison Healthcare for this informative and entertaining presentation. And we also thank our volunteers and the ladies who attend for their continued support of these programs.”