On Tuesday, October 29, the Astoria Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Sylmar invited its community of physicians and service providers to attend an open house event focused on New Roads to Healing and featuring health experts in the fields of nutrition, longevity, brain health, stress and heart disease. The open house was hosted by Astoria president and cookbook author Grace O, and held to celebrate the anniversary and to promote the important role of nutrition in healing and maintaining good health.
Over 140 guests attended the event, and as part of the festivities, the Astoria and FoodTrients staffs prepared a lunch of age-defying dishes. To feed the doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and other guests, healthy and delicious FoodTrients like Grace O’s Seafood with Wild Rice and Salmon Poached in Pickling Spices with a Pecan-Sundried Tomato Tapenade were served. She had a spread of exotic fruits and healthy desserts that included her new Rice and Corn Pudding made with coconut milk and wild rice, and Banana Citrus Bread.
Astoria also invited an impressive list of doctors, researchers and nutritionists to speak to the crowd about the role of food and supplements in healing the human body. They included:
Dr. Kennedy joked, “All of us have stress and most of us have hearts.” He explained that because of our stress we self-medicate with alcohol, tobacco, and comfort foods when instead we should be exercising, practicing yoga, and relaxing through deep breathing and visualization techniques. He’s developed a 7-step stress-reduction tool for his patients and he wrote a book called The 15-Minute Heart Cure.
Dr. Filidei gave the audience tips on preventing brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s through physical exercise, brain exercises, low-dose aspirin, and supplements like CoQ10, B12, folic acid, vitamin D, and coconut oil. He mentioned how big a role hormones play in brain health and mood. And he said, “The foods you eat talk to your genes.” He agreed with speaker David Getoff’s advice about eating wild fish, free-range poultry, and lots of nuts and seeds. “Protein is like medicine,” he said. “Fat is not the enemy.”
“The huge health benefits of switching to better foods and the knowledge of which foods belong in this category are unknown by most M.D.s and R.D.s in the United States,” he said. “The foods we eat can change our DNA.” So which foods are those? Vegetables without starch, no refined sugars or white flours, and protein from animals raised properly (free-ranging chickens, grass-pastured cattle, and wild fish). He’s a fan of heirloom barley, colorful quinoa, raw nuts, and coconut milk. He advises avoiding soy, fructose in any form (high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, molasses, agave syrup), and artificial sweeteners like Equal and Splenda. Instead he prefers stevia, yacon syrup, ethritol, and xylitol.
Two of Dr. Young’s patients gave their testimonies. Deborah spoke about being healed from cancer how she lost over 100 pounds by following his protocol. Veteran Jonathan explained his struggles with mental health issues after coming home from Iraq and how Dr. Young’s methods helped wean him off of psychotropic medications. Dr. Young revealed that “Former President Clinton is following this protocol.”
All of the medical and nutritional experts agreed that a good diet is essential for overall health and well being. They were impressed that the Astoria event featured healthy and delicious food that was homemade in Grace O’s kitchen. The recipes came from her current cookbook, The Age GRACEfully Cookbook, and from the recipes she is currently developing for her new cookbook which will be released in Fall, 2014.
Among the special guests attending the anniversary celebration were Philippine Deputy Counsel General Daniel Espiritu, who presented Grace O with an award for her service to the Filipino community through her work at Astoria, and Emil Fish, Astoria’s founder.
In addition to the open house, on Wednesday, October 30, 70 employees who have worked at the Astoria facility for 5 to 35 years received certificates of appreciation for their years of service.
Astoria is a 218-bed skilled nursing facility serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, and conveniently located within close proximity to major medical centers. In a home-like environment, Astoria maintains the highest level of ethical standards, clinical expertise and professional services. The facility also strives to meet the needs of long-term patients requiring 24-hour monitoring and assistance, and short-term patients requiring rehabilitation or post-surgical recovery.