'Meatless Monday' Means Loyola Gottlieb Hospital Walks The Talk

Released: 10-Aug-2011 9:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Loyola University Health System
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Newswise — Using fresh ingredients, some purchased from local farms, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital's Dietary staff practices what it preaches as it makes and shares free samples of "Strawberry Fields" salad on Wednesday, August 10, during a community Mid-Week Market. The meat-free recipe is a staple recipe served during the hospital’s ‘Meatless Monday’ practices.

"Food at Gottlieb is fresh, seasonal, nutritious as well as tasty. Strawberry Fields is a very popular salad we serve in our cafeteria regularly on Mondays but also through the week,” said Susan Ofria, registered dietitian and manager at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of Loyola University Health System.

Since April, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital’s cafeteria has served meat-free items on Mondays as part of a Loyola University Health System health improvement campaign.

“’Meatless Mondays’ promotes healthier eating by emphasizing fruits, vegetables and alternative sources of protein that are free from saturated fat,” said Ofria, of the Gottlieb cafeteria program that was kicked-off by cafeteria employees dressed as pigs and cows celebrating their day of freedom. “Vegetarian wraps, hand-tossed salads like Strawberry Fields and our baked potato bar with toppings are popular and tasty, satisfying non-meat entrees.”

Originally created as a campaign to support troops during World War I, the ‘Meatless Monday’ campaign was so popular that some 10 million families, 7,000 hotels and nearly 425,000 food dealers pledged to observe national meatless days. “Meatless Monday’ is now an effective international program to both increase healthful eating practices as well as reduce carbon footprint.

Hundreds of employees and visitors to the Melrose Park campus, as well as hospital patients, rely on the Gottlieb cafeteria for breakfast, lunch and dinner selections and the Dietary staff takes their role as good health stewards seriously.

“Gottlieb patients order their choice of meals from a menu, much like room service ordering in a hotel,” explained Ofria. “Pastas, fajitas, salads and even fish is made to order to be as healthful and appetizing as possible.”

If patients are enjoying nutritious meals they are also generally improving in health, Ofria says. "Chicagoans are ethnically diverse and many have sophisticated palates so Gottlieb's menu includes Italian and Mexican dishes plus trendy entrees and even comfort foods to try and satisfy all appetites."

Gottlieb was the first hospital in the Midwest to offer an on-campus fitness center open to membership by the community, as well as for the benefit of hospital patients and of employees. Gottlieb Center for Fitness encourages employees to exercise at the Gottlieb Center for Fitness by offering deeply discounted memberships, and they maintain a designated walking path on the Melrose Park campus.

Special health-incentive events are offered to employees monthly such as wellness lectures, free screenings and exercise-incentive programs.

“Hospital employees are so busy getting everyone else well that they often neglect their own wellness and we want Gottlieb staff to know that we are here for them,” said Dr. Carlos Reynes, medical director, Inspire Health, Gottlieb’s employee wellness program. “Exercise not only builds muscle and trims fat but helps reduce stress and increases positive feelings of well-being.”

Following is a recipe from the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital kitchens:
Strawberry Fields Salad
from Gottlieb Memorial Hospital
Yield: 6 servings
Dressing
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard Salt and pepper
Salad
8 cups mixed salad greens 6 large strawberries, hulled, sliced
½ cup chopped toasted walnuts ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar and dry mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. In a large bowl, combine salad greens, strawberries, walnuts and red onions.
3. Toss with dressing.
4. Top with blue cheese and serve.
Nutritional Information per serving
Calories: 209 Carbohydrate: 7.1 gm Protein: 4.1 gm Sodium: 176 gm
Fiber: 1.8 gm Cholesterol: 8.4 gm Saturated fat: 3.9 gm Fat: 19 gm


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