Why is exercise important?

Healthy living is choice in this 21st century. Several time our senior friends ask why do they have pain or stiffness. Although it is the process of aging, it also depends on on daily living style and eating habits. Seniors who exercise gain physical, mental and emotional benefits that they would not get by sitting still. Whether it is gardening, walking or cleaning, regular exercise improves seniors’ well-being. Fitness is not something we should retire from because we reach a certain age. Endurance, muscle strength and flexibility matter throughout our lives. There are many testimonies that seniors who stay active:

  • Have more energy and endurance
  • Improve flexibility and balance, which lowers the risk of fall
  • Prevent heart disease, diabetes and other serious health problems
  • Decrease back and joint pain
  • Better circulation
  • Reduce their chances for depression
  • Remain independent longer because they maintain strength and mobility
  • Gains positive attitude
  • Improve sleeping habit.
  • Helps to socialize and meet new people.                                                                                                                                    exerMotivate yourself to try all different kinds of exercises and movement.  Aerobic, flexibility exercises, strength training and relaxation techniques are the general exercise we encourage to try. Combining these four components helps seniors maximize health benefits and keep their routine interesting. Exercise Slowly and safely!                                                                                                                     

Cooking for One. Cooking for Happiness.

Finding recipes and meal ideas for one person can seem like a chore, even if you know how to cook and have a full kitchen at your disposal. It can seem to be simpler to just put a frozen dinner in the microwave but regularly eating convenience food can take a toll on your physical and mental health. The act of cooking for yourself can be very empowering. Taking charge of your diet and taking the time to care for yourself can improve your mood and self-esteem.

Preparing your own healthy meals can reduce your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. If you are trying to control your blood pressure or diabetes, it is much easier to ensure you are getting the right foods when you prepare the meals yourself. When your body feels healthier, you feel happier-inside and out. Eating well at home can make you happier!

Cooking for One recipe idea: Steam in parchment paper for a VERY simple one-person meal.

Cooking “en papillote” is a fancy term for a simple technique that involves cooking a meal in parchment paper. Pre-heat oven to 350º. Place a fish filet, skinless boneless chicken breast or firm tofu on top of thinly sliced veggies on a large piece of parchment paper. Add spices/seasoning and a dash of olive oil. Fold food into a tight package. Place on a baking sheet. After about 20 minutes you have a healthy, steamed meal for one with virtually no clean up!

Exercise Classes

Join us at one of our ongoing exercise classes sponsored by Como Park/Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program.

Falcon Heights Senior 

Day: Every Tuesday and Thursday
Time: 9:30-10:30a.m.
Address: 1530 Larpenteur Ave. W, Falcon Heights, MN 55113

Arbor Pointe Apartments

Day: Every Tuesday and Thursday
Time: 11:00-Noon
Address: 635 Maryland Ave. W; St. Paul, MN 55117

Introduction to the Physical Wellness Instructor.


I am Jeena Gurung, Senior Wellness and Volunteer Coordinator of this program. If one were to ask my friends and coworkers to describe me they would say I am a very pleasant, diverse, active and intelligent woman. I think one of my most distinguishing characteristics is the diversity of experiences I have had. I am a student with flair. I am a woman with heart and an interest in helping the elderly people. 230923_1718801285965_6724466_nI also have a passion for traveling and understanding different cultures of the world. All these elements have given me a very broad outlook, with varying degrees of knowledge in a range of topics. I strongly believe that although some are not related directly, all these qualities influence my work.

I have been fortunate to have acquired a variety of experience in both volunteer and paid positions in programs providing services to the elderly, working one-on-one with seniors, working in a nursing home environment, fitness instructor, wellness coordinator, training volunteers and placing volunteers in many capacities. I love what I do that makes a difference for me everyday.

One of the things I enjoy about my job is to lead exercise classes with mostly people in their 80s or 90s. The classes are held at two nice senior independent buildings located at Como Park and Falcon Heights. I have been doing this for three years now and I have enjoyed each and every class because I see and feel the positive energy from the seniors in the classes. It is an awesome feeling to feel valued and challenged at the same time. One of the things I hear from the regular participant is that they love the variety.

I welcome everyone who is living at Como Park and Falcon Heights who are 65 years old and more to join my classes that are convenient for you. I encourage everyone of us to keep moving and do what you can to live a happy and healthy life.

Thank you.

Ongoing classes sponsored by Como Park/Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program.

Every Tuesday and Thursday                         Every Tuesday and Thursday
Time: 9:30-10:30a.m.                                     Time: 11:00-Noon
Falcon Heights Senior                                     Arbor Pointe Apartment
1530 Larpenteur Ave. W                                 635 Maryland Ave. W

Falcon Heights, MN 55113                             St. Paul, MN 55117

Como Days!

Join us for Como Days, July 10-12th as we celebrate our beloved neighborhood and all those who call it home. It will be a fun filled weekend in the Como Neighborhood with music, art, and even a Como 5K and family walk around Como Lake.  We will update you as plans are confirmed.  Save the date!

Cooking for One. Cooking for YOU!

bacon and eggBacon and Eggs. They are the perfect pair.

And they’re perfect for breakfast, lunch AND dinner.

Breakfast idea: Pancakes for One (recipe below) with egg your way and bacon

Lunch idea: Chef Salad with hard boiled egg and bacon bits

Dinner idea: Spaghetti Carbonara for One (recipe below)

These kitchen staples can provide economical, easy, fast and satisfying meals.

Can your smell the bacon already? Let’s get cooking!

Cooking for One Storage tip: Thicker cuts of bacon freeze easily. After opening the package, cut all the slices in half, put them into 3 or 4 slice-thick portions. Lay the portions side-by-side in freezer bags. When you need a serving of bacon, take out one stack and defrost.

Breakfast Idea Recipe

Pancakes for One, Eggs Your Way and Crispy Bacon

To get that local diner flavor, cook your bacon first in a heavy bottomed pan. Leave a tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan to fry your pancakes and egg.

Pancakes for One

1/2 cup of pancake mix (like Bisquik)

1/3 cup water

Combine pancake mix and water. Batter will be lumpy.

Pour ¼ cup of batter into hot pan to form one small pancake. Pour 2 or 3 more pancakes into pan. Do not over crowd the pan. Flip pancakes when holes start to appear in batter and the edges are brown. Put on a plate and cook an egg your favorite way in the pan next.


Dinner Idea Recipe

Spaghetti Carbonara for One                                                                            

 spaghetti carbonara

 Spaghetti Carbonara For One

2 oz (small handful) dry spaghetti pasta

1 garlic clove, minced

1 strip bacon

1 egg, slightly beaten

Parmesan cheese, about a ¼ cup grated

Cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet or heavy skillet. Remove and drain on paper towel before crumbling.

Add the minced garlic to the bacon grease and cook until fragrant (about thirty seconds).  Remove from heat.

Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water. Drain and immediately place back in the pot with the bacon, bacon grease and garlic. Place pot back on the stove over low heat, add the beaten egg and whisk continuously for three minutes, or until the egg cooks and thickens, creating a silky sauce over the noodles. Be careful not to stop whisking or the egg will scramble! Don’t worry about the egg being raw-it will be cooked.

Top with a generous serving of grated fresh Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Welcome to Cooking for One

Cooking for One. Cooking for You!                             

I am Jennifer, Como Park resident and Homemaker for the Block Nurse program. Sharing food with neighbors started within hours of moving to the neighborhood. It was a hot July day and my new neighbors across the street brought over fruit salad and brownies. I knew I would love this neighborhood!

Over the years, talking about food and sharing food with neighbors has meant sharing when there is too much in the garden harvest; “borrowing” when there aren’t enough eggs in fridge to finish making those cookies; eating a casserole made for tired new parents; sending a nourishing meal to a grieving neighbor; the Block Party where cookies flow with the good conversations. Much of the time, preparing food and eating is a communal endeavor but as I have met more neighbors through the Block Nurse Program, I hear common questions about cooking for one. Cooking for You!

Cooking for one happens at different times in our lives: The 24-year old living on her own for the first time; the teenager home during the summer needing meals and snacks while his parents are at work; the married couple with different work schedules; the single parent whose kids are at their other parent’s house; the senior after their spouse has passed away or needed assisted living.

My future blogs will share recipes, tips and stories from around the neighborhood (and beyond) centered on cooking for one. The most important “one”, after all, is You!

Annual Fundraiser: Meatloaf Dinner

Don’t Miss our Delicious Annual Meatloaf Dinner!
Saturday, October 11 — 4:30- 7:00 p.m.

Join us for a community dinner and fundraising event for your local Block Nurse Program that directly serves over 150 seniors each month.

Enjoying the delicious Meatloaf Dinner
Everyone is welcome!

Meatloaf Dinner:
Date: Friday, October 11, 2014
Time: 4:30pm to 7:00pm
Cost: $9.00 for adults and $5.00 for children 11 and under.
Where: 1376 Hoyt Ave W, St. Paul, MN  55108 (Como Park Lutheran Church)

By purchasing a meal ticket you will receive a raffle ticket to win fun prizes!

Silent Auction:
Wonderful local items and your purchase is tax deductible.

Event is handicap accessible and transportation is available,
just call us at 651-642-1127.

National Grandparents Day

How will you celebrate Grandparents Day?

National Grandparents Day, the first Sunday after Labor Day, is the perfect time to connect with Grandma and Grandpa whether they are close to home or far away.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter created National Grandparents Day as a day for our nation to pause and reflect on the influence our grandparents have had on our lives.

So this year, honor your grandparents with a hug and a kiss, a family dinner or a special phone call.


5 Great Ways to Celebrate

Give them a ring or set up a video chat date

  • It’s always nice to hear the familiar voice of a loved one, especially on a day when they know they’ll be receiving extra attention.  Pick up the phone and sing them the National Grandparents Day Song or show them your special Grandparents Day dance over Skype or Google+ to express how much you appreciate them.

Take them on an adventure for the day

  • One famous grandparent, former President George H. W. Bush, celebrated his 85th birthday by skydiving from 10,500 feet above the coast of Maine.  If your grandparents aren’t into jumping out of planes, you can spend a day at the zoo or have dinner at their favorite restaurant.  Whether it’s a trip out of town or a flight to a tropical island, you’re bound to create unforgettable moments together.
Have a mini family gathering
  • Sometimes, the simplicity of having family around is all they need.  Gather the grandkids to help cook dinner for the night, or flip through old photos or watch videos of Grandma’s first swim meet and Grandpa’s high school graduation.
Join in on their hobbies
  • You’re much more likely to see grandparents working out than sitting in rocking chairs these days-today’s grandparents tend to be much more active than prior generations.  This year, try introducing them to a dancing class or just ask them to show you a few gardening tips.  Spending time doing something active is a surefire way to have a great Grandparent’s Day.
Prepare their specialty
  • Think about that joy you get when your grandparents cook those empanadas you’re always craving or when they bake their famous lemon squares.  This time, save them a trip to the kitchen by trying your hand at one of their secret recipes.  While you’re at it, stop by the grocery store and stock up on supplies for them.  Of course, your attempts may not live up to the origianal chefs, but they’ll appreciate the effort. 

    *****Thank You to the American Red Cross for this information



Shared Article, Minnesota’s Duty to Seniors & Caregivers

We found this to be eye opening hopefully you do to.  This article does a great job of helping you understand why our program is so helpful and necessary to our communities.



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