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 We hope that everyone has had a great start to their 2010 year. It seems time is flying by. We’re excited about this approaching month of March as due to unforeseen planning obstacles, we had to delay some of our project implementation plans. However, we’re happy to report all these obstacles were addressed and we’re ready to proceed. This month’s newsletter will address the following:

·        Recap of TACIL’s activities

·        Tips for healthy eating

·        Recipe of the Month

·        Scam Alert Tips

·        Thank-you to our collaborators


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1.    Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods. You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and no single food supplies them all. Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products; fruits; vegetables; dairy products; and meat, poultry, fish and other protein foods. How much you should eat depends on your calorie needs. Use the Food Guide Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels as handy references.

2.    Enjoy plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Surveys show most Americans don't eat enough of these foods. Do you eat 6-11 servings from the bread, rice, cereal and pasta group, 3 of which should be whole grains? Do you eat 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables? If you don't enjoy some of these at first, give them another chance. Look through cookbooks for tasty ways to prepare unfamiliar foods.

3.    Maintain a healthy weight. The weight that's right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and heredity. Excess body fat increases your chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and other illnesses. But being too thin can increase your risk for osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities and other health problems. If you're constantly losing and regaining weight, a registered dietitian can help you develop sensible eating habits for successful weight management. Regular exercise is also important to maintaining a healthy weight.

4.    Eat moderate portions. If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it's easier to eat the foods you want and stay healthy. Did you know the recommended serving of cooked meat is 3 ounces, similar in size to a deck of playing cards? A medium piece of fruit is 1 serving and a cup of pasta equals 2 servings. A pint of ice cream contains 4 servings. Refer to the Food Guide Pyramid for information on recommended serving sizes.

5.    Eat regular meals. Skipping meals can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in overeating. When you're very hungry, it's also tempting to forget about good nutrition. Snacking between meals can help curb hunger, but don't eat so much that your snack becomes an entire meal.

6.    Reduce, don't eliminate certain foods. Most people eat for pleasure as well as nutrition. If your favorite foods are high in fat, salt or sugar, the key is moderating how much of these foods you eat and how often you eat them.
Identify major sources of these ingredients in your diet and make changes, if necessary. Adults who eat high-fat meats or whole-milk dairy products at every meal are probably eating too much fat. Use the Nutrition Facts panel on the food label to help balance your choices.
Choosing skim or low-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat such as flank steak and beef round can reduce fat intake significantly.
If you love fried chicken, however, you don't have to give it up. Just eat it less often. When dining out, share it with a friend, ask for a take-home bag or a smaller portion.

7.    Balance your food choices over time. Not every food has to be "perfect." When eating a food high in fat, salt or sugar, select other foods that are low in these ingredients. If you miss out on any food group one day, make up for it the next. Your food choices over several days should fit together into a healthy pattern.

8.    Know your diet pitfalls. To improve your eating habits, you first have to know what's wrong with them. Write down everything you eat for three days. Then check your list according to the rest of these tips. Do you add a lot of butter, creamy sauces or salad dressings? Rather than eliminating these foods, just cut back your portions. Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables? If not, you may be missing out on vital nutrients.

9.    Make changes gradually. Just as there are no "superfoods" or easy answers to a healthy diet, don't expect to totally revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much, too fast can get in the way of success. Begin to remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes that can add up to positive, lifelong eating habits. For instance, if you don't like the taste of skim milk, try low-fat. Eventually you may find you like skim, too.

10.     Remember, foods are not good or bad. Select foods based on your total eating patterns, not whether any individual food is "good" or "bad." Don't feel guilty if you love foods such as apple pie, potato chips, candy bars or ice cream. Eat them in moderation, and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.



TheAbility Center wants to take the time to thank the following individuals and (or) organizations for the great contributions they have made to the Center helping to fulfill our mission:

·        Aging and Long Term Services: Traumatic Brain Injury Program

·        Blas Rel

·        Brain Injury Association of New Mexico

·        Carl C. Anderson Sr. & Marie Jo Anderson Foundation

·        Casa De Oro Care Center

·        Chris Van Horn

·        Christina Little of the United Way of Southwestern New Mexico

·        Deming Luna County Commission on Aging

·        Disability Rights New Mexico

·        Hidalgo County Senior Center

·        Independent Living Resource Center of Albuquerque

·        Munson Center

·        Our Dedicated Board of Directors

·        Our Dedicated Staff

·        Rehabilitation Services Administration

·        San Juan Center for Independence

·        Sandra Williams

·        Social Security Administration

·        The Catron County Health Council

·        The McCune Charitable Foundation

·        The New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Area 3 Office

·        The New Mexico Governor’s Commission on Disability

Most importantly, our Consumers for having faith in us and coming back to us for assistance to live a high quality of life in their communities free of exploitation and institutionalization.








·        Our Independent Living Program continues doing well. Our Food Bank has expanded thank you to the grant award we received in December. Our equipment bank continues to provide invaluable service for individuals in need of mobility equipment and medical supplies. Our sign language classes will begin next month after experiencing a small setback. Our mobile computer lab and Consumer computer lab are running—marketing is currently underway for computer training for our Consumers. We continue our fund-development activities to expand the number of services we can provide her at TACIL.

·        Our Social Security Program continues experiencing success providing money-management services to eligible Consumers as well as teaching these same Consumers basic budgeting skills.

·        Our TBI Program continues providing quality Life Skills Coaching in collaboration with Sun Country Case Management.



For those readers who have a sweet tooth, here’s a great recipe to satisfy those cravings. It’s also a great cheat food for those dieting.



  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole grain pastry flour*
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth. Add the yogurt, oil and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the chocolate-butter mixture and whisk until blended. Add the flour mixture and mix until just moistened.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and sprinkle with nuts if using. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 24 squares.

Serving size: 1 square

* whole grain pastry flour (also called whole wheat pastry flour) is found in many major supermarkets and in most health food stores. If you cannot find it you may substitute 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup all purpose flour in this recipe.

Per Serving without walnuts:

Calories 150; Total Fat 8 g; (Sat Fat 3 g, Mono Fat 2 g, Poly Fat .8 g) ; Protein 3 g; Carb 18 g; Fiber 1 g; Cholesterol 40 mg; Sodium 55 mg

Per Serving with walnuts:

Calories 170; Total Fat 10 g; (Sat Fat 3 g, Mono Fat 2.3 g, Poly Fat 2.6 g) ; Protein 3 g; Carb 19 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 40 mg; Sodium 55 mg.


1. Sign Up for Direct Deposit at Your Bank

There's no end to the creativity of scam artists, and seniors and people with low incomes are often the targets of scams. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from senior scams. To avoid mail theft, avoid having checks mailed to your home.

If you receive any checks on a regular basis—like social security, disability, or stock dividends—have those checks deposited directly into your bank account.

2. Reduce Telemarketer Calls to Avoid Senior Scams

It can be hard to say no to a telemarketer, and that can mean financial disaster if you become a victim of a senior scam.

To avoid this situation, you can reduce the number of telemarketer calls you receive by registering with the federal government's "Do Not Call Registry."  You can register your land line phone or cell phone with the "Do Not Call Registry" online or by calling 1-888-382-1222.

3. Ignore Direct Mail Advertising to Avoid Senior Scams

Seniors are often the target of direct mail, which usually offers something for free or almost free but signs you up for further financial obligations. If you receive a notice saying you won a contest or a cruise, read the fine print carefully for hidden costs to make sure it's not a senior scam. And if you decide to consider the offer, ask someone you trust for a second opinion before you sign up.

4. Seniors: Look Out for Medicare Drug Discount Card Scams

Medicare drug discount cards are offered by a number of companies, and they can save you money. Unfortunately they are also popular with scam artists.

The best way to enroll for a Medicare-approved discount card--and avoid a senior scam--is by contacting Medicare directly for a list of approved companies. You can do this online or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Medicare drug discount cards cannot be sold by phone or through door-to-door sales. In addition, you should not need to provide proof of income, because Medicare can access your records from the IRS. If you are asked to provide proof of income, including bank accounts, you may be dealing with a fraudulent company.

5. Assign a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney gives a trusted person of your choice the power to make key financial or life decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Unfortunately, many people are taken advantage of by perpetrators of senior scams when they become ill or injured and cannot make good decisions for themselves. Having someone who is legally empowered to make choices for you can save you from improper management of your finances, and it’s important to make execute your power of attorney before you become too ill to make this important decision.

6. Avoid Disclosing Personal or Financial Information to Avoid Senior Scams

Many senior scam perpetrators make calls or send email on behalf of a financial institution. For example, they may say there's a problem with your bank or credit card account and ask you to verify the account numbers. If you get one of these calls, ask for a name and phone number you can call back, and make that call to be sure you are dealing with a legitimate company. If you cannot verify that the request is legitimate, do not provide the information.


715 E. Idaho Ave Ste 3E Las Cruces NM USA
Phone: 575-526-5016  |  Fax: 575-526-1202