Personal Best: Giving thanks for the abundance

Pat Black takes a look at the joys of living in the Okanagan, and gives an update on Schubert Centre housing project

Happy Thanksgiving, and God knows that we who live in the Okanagan have a lot to be thankful for. We have just had weeks and weeks of sun-filled days with cool nights, perfect for sleeping, a fantastic harvest of our apple and vegetable crop, the verdant hills and mountains rising above us and our magnificent lakes sparkling in the sunshine. Indeed people were still swimming in Kalamalka Lake last week as I drove by.  What’s not to be thankful for?

Schubert Centre is well along in completing their plans to build condos next to their site at 3505-30th Ave. and will call the project Catherine Gardens. This first phase of development will provide 56 living units with one or two bedrooms and will probably go on sale at the end of the month and can be customized as you wish, For more information contact Jack Gareb at Schubert Centre, 250-549-4201.

BC Transit is doing yet another review of our system that will look at a 25-year future transit plan although a review of the North Okanagan Transit System was just completed in December 2011.  Unfortunately this review did not include a look at our Custom System although presentations were made on this sector at BC Transit’s request. The Custom System refers to special needs transportation such as HandyDart and the Taxi Saver Program, a vital service for those with disabilities and mobility issues. A lot of work has been done to maintain these programs and a lot more needs to be done if we are to keep these programs going. Therefore it is very important to be part of the BC Transit Review if you have, or see, a need to keep our Custom System in place. The City of Vernon’s Accessibility Committee has been identified as a key stakeholder in this Custom System planning process and will be seeking input from individuals and groups to forward to the BC Transit’s Future Plan. If you have any suggestions or opinions contact one of the committee members listed on City of Vernon’s website or let me know.

Just discovered a very helpful health website called Medline Plus that is a service of the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health. The site presents interactive health tutorials from the Patient Education Institute. Users can learn about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for a variety of diseases and conditions. Also, learn about surgeries, prevention and wellness. Each tutorial includes animated graphics, audio and easy-to-read language.

Tufts University in their Health & Nutrition Letter of August 2012 has come up with this list of the latest healthy ideas in health research.

1. Combining body and brain activity protects your memory

2. Raisins might be a surprising health food  (study found raisins sharply reduced blood pressure and are high in potassium, known to lower blood pressure — keep in mind, though, that about 60 raisins contain 85 calories.

3. Measuring waistline and hips helps gauge your heart risk.

4. No surprise here — joggers live longer and have a great sense of well-being compared to non-joggers.

5. Fiber might also be good for your heart, especially in women, in protecting against heart disease.

6. Switching from white to brown rice could reduce your diabetes risk.

7. Skipping sugar-sweetened beverages may help prevent heart attacks.

8. Eating like a Mediterranean (emphasis on fish, olive oil, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts) can produce a better health-related quality of life.

9. Low-fat dairy is linked to fewer strokes.

10. Get moving to ward off Alzheimer’s — any physical activity may lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

If you have any comments or suggestions call me at 250- 542-7928 or e-mail

Pat Black writes about issues of concern to seniors in the North Okanagan, appearing every other Sunday.