September 26, 2016

You're Invited: White Cane Day 2016

The Western Blind Rehabilitation Center would like to invite you to participate in their 12th annual White Cane Awareness Walk on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 in Los Altos, CA.  Please join us to spread awareness of the White Cane Law and celebrate the strength, accomplishments, and advocacy of persons with Vision Loss. 
Photo: The WBRC O&M Department and Interns pose with white canes
The Event will start at 10:30 AM with a meet and greet at Community Plaza (corner of State and Main Streets in Los Altos), a White Cane Walk around downtown Los Altos at 11 AM, and a White Cane Awareness Day Proclamation at the conclusion of the walk. 
Image: White Cane Day Walk in Los Altos, loop starting at State and Main to 1st
Please learn more details and RSVP* at the following website:

We hope to see you there!

*RSVPs are encouraged but not required to participate in this event

August 24, 2016

August Construction Update

The Western Blind Rehabilitation Center (WBRC) continues to watch the construction progress of B-500, the highly anticipated new home of the Polytrauma and Blind Rehabilitation services on the Palo Alto VAPAHCS Campus.  Some of the building's features will include private bedrooms and bathrooms for inpatients, 3-shared courtyards, a greenhouse, golf-putting green, bocce ball court, and half basketball court. 
Photo: B-500 as seen from front walkway area.
At 174,000 square feet, this new facility will be the largest consolidated rehabilitation center in the VA nationwide.  It will include 24 beds for the polytrauma program, 32 beds for the blind rehabilitation program, and 12 beds for the polytrauma transitional rehabilitation program.  Currently construction crews are nearing completion of both the interior and exterior of the building, with much of the landscaping installed.
Photo: Front Entrance of B-500 with landscaping and lighting.

The center will also have an outpatient physical therapy and occupational therapy clinic, and outpatient physical medicine and rehabilitation clinic, and clinical programs for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans.  Construction is anticipated to be 100% complete shortly, with the building becoming operational sometime next year.

CLICK HERE to view additional construction pictures

CLICK HERE for construction updates

CLICK HERE to read the project's news release

August 4, 2016

Healthy Teaching Kitchen Visits WBRC

Photo: Stock photograph of Zucchini displayed in a burlap bag

WBRC's Matter of Balance group was honored this week when the VAPAHCS 'Healthy Teaching Kitchen' provided a private cooking demonstration to the group at the center.  The Healthy Teaching Kitchen is a program run through the Palo Alto VA by the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Coordinator and provides live healthy cooking demonstration events to promote healthy nutrition.

During the demonstration WBRC Matter of Balance students observed the preparation and cooking of two healthy Zucchini recipes.  They asked questions and tasted samples of the completed recipes.  The Healthy Teaching Kitchen staff also educated participates about some helpful kitchen gadgets, a vegetable spiralizer and a grate and slice set, that promote safe preparation of the needed ingredients.

Photo: A sample of a Vegetable Spiralizer

The vegetable spiralizer comes in many styles, and turns firm vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, etc. into vegetable noodles which can be used instead of pasta in many recipes.  CLICK HERE to learn more

Photo: A sample of the grate and slice set

The grate and slice set is composed of a non-slip container with 4 'lids' or cutting surfaces with a coarse grater, a medium grater, a straight slicer, and a julienne slicer.  A hand guard prevents injury.  CLICK HERE to learn more.

Please see below for the two Zucchini Recipes demonstrated by the Healthy Teaching Kitchen:

Zucchini Mint Salad
Servings per Recipe: 6-8


4 small or 3 medium zucchinis

3 to 4 sprigs of mint

1 lemon

About 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

*Optional 1 container of plain Greek yogurt

Clean zucchinis and pat them dry. Trim and slice thinly and evenly as possible.  Layer zucchini slices onto a serving platter.

Take mint leaves off their stems and stack in a layer.  Roll leaves lengthwise into a cigarette shape and cut into thin ribbons. Set aside.

Use a zester to zest the lemon over the zucchini.  Once you have most of the zest off the lemon, cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the zucchini.

Drizzle zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Top the entire salad with the mint.

Nutritional Information
*Nutrition information does not include Greek Yogurt

Calories : 63

Carbohydrates: 7

Fat: 3

Protein: 3

Sodium: 106 mg

Sugar: 4

Zucchini Pasta Primavera

Servings per Recipe: 4


4 large zucchini

1 cup cherry tomatoes

¼ cup basil

1 cup spinach

2 cloves of garlic

¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded

¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 ½ TBSP Olive Oil

Using a shredder or a vegetable noodle maker cut up the zucchini into long noodle like strands and set aside, then slice cherry tomatoes in half, set to the side.  Now gather basil and spinach and coarsely chop and set to the side. Finally chop or crush garlic and leave on the cutting board.

Next heat olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat, once warm add garlic and tomatoes until fragrant.  Next add the zucchini noodles and toss items together for 2-3 minutes.  Once noodles are tender, remove from heat and place in a serving bowl. Toss with spinach, basil, and cheeses and then serve. 

Nutrition Information
Calories: 149

Carbohydrates: 13

Fat: 8g

Protein: 9g

Sodium: 158mg

Sugar: 6

Tips for Eating More Fruits and Vegetables

#1: Choose a day of the week to have only vegetables like a Meatless Monday, choose beans, edamame, or other legumes for the protein.
#2: Vegetables are pretty versatile, they really can be cooked in many ways, try grilling next.
#3: Add more vegetables and fruits to dishes to fill them up and make the dish look large without increasing the calories. You can also be sneaky by adding vegetables to dishes like burgers and pastas
#4: Add protein and flavor with items such as plain, non-fat yogurt to fruits and vegetables.