Becoming a “Well-Fed Friar”

HNP Communications In the Headlines

NEW YORK — Friars and their friary chefs, representing more than half of Holy Name Province’s houses, participated in a recent workshop, “Well-Fed Friar: Maintaining Taste and Health,” on good nutrition and healthy eating sponsored by the Province at its headquarters here.

Twenty-nine cooks and friars attended the June 27 event, representing the large friaries and the majority of the Province’s friars, to learn about healthy weight and good nutrition. Topics included how to make better food choices, which fruits and vegetables have the most vitamins and fiber, and how to revise favorite menus to be more healthful. Men’s health issues were also discussed, according to Daniel Nelson, OFM, co-chairman of Holy Name’s Wellness Committee.

Speaker Nadine Young, a registered dietitian and diabetes health educator from Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge, Va., shared statistics about high blood pressure and cholesterol and how to incorporate exercise into one’s life.

“We learned that we are no different from the majority of men in our country and culture, and, therefore, we are dealing with issues of weight to the same degree as everyone else,” said J. Patrick (Jim) Kelly, OFM, co-chair of the Wellness Committee.

Siena College chef Mark McCarthy agreed. “Since the health of the friars is first and foremost in my mind as I make decisions about the daily menu, the workshop was very useful and was a great opportunity to meet others who have the same goals.”

wellness-bThe program was put together by Young, and Maureen Deutermann, a member of HNP’s Wellness Committee, who also works at Potomac Hospital.  “The workshop was wonderful and very hands-on,” said Jim, who added that Young prepared “a delicious low-calorie salad and dessert for all to sample.”

Workshop attendees were given an apron showing the logo of the Wellness Committee.

The idea for the workshop came from the Wellness Committee, after the Province surveyed friars about their health several years ago. “The Provincial felt the topic was very important and his encouragement motivated the committee to plan a workshop,” said Jim. Until now, health information from the Wellness Committee has been mainly distributed in written form, through the Province’s newsletter.

Both friars and chefs found the presentations to be informative and entertaining, said Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM. “I believe our chefs and cooks went home with several new ideas on how to prepare healthy dishes.”

The Wellness Committee filmed the workshop in order to provide DVDs to Province members. Filming was done by a video production consultant to Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y.

More workshops are being planned by the Wellness Committee, comprising five members in addition to the two chairs. Francis McHugh, OFM, and Matthew Pravetz, OFM, publicized the event and worked with Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, in setting up the workshop, in San Damiano Hall.

Shown in the photo “behind” the photo above is Jerome Massimino, OFM, guardian of St. Francis Friary in Midtown Manhattan.