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Clementine Miami Pinecrest Dietitian Alyssa Mitola, MS, RD, LD/N shares about a special tradition held each year at Pinecrest in this week’s blog post! The yearly Mango Jam Jamboree is an event for staff and clients that includes gathering the mangos, preparing the dish, and sharing the food together. Read on to learn about this special Clementine Pinecrest tradition…

It is that time of year again! The 3rd Annual Clementine Pinecrest Mango Jam Jamboree. Every year, when the mangos begin to ripen, staff and clients at Clementine Pinecrest gather round to make clementine mango jam in our PJs, while jamming to some of our favorite tunes. This tradition started when we first discovered the numerous mango trees growing in our very backyard. Throughout the summer months we always incorporate a variety of mango dishes into our local fare menu-there is nothing more local than the backyard. However, the highlight of mango season is always the Jamboree.

The Mango Jam Jamboree has become notorious among staff and clients alike. Stories of Mango Jams past are shared among clients and the staff always wants to work on the day of the jam. Of course, we can never predict when the jam will be because, like all things in nature, they ripen on their own time. One year the jam happened in May, another it wasn’t until July. You can’t put a time limit on a developing fruit— a lesson we always share with our clients, as well. Waiting for the fruit to ripen is always a reminder to practice flexibility and patience.

The Clementine Mango Jam Jamboree is filled with many lessons. It is not just a fun event for staff and clients, it is an opportunity for corrective experiences with food. Traditions are very important in families and so often traditions include food. An eating disorder often infiltrates family traditions, sometimes tarnishing the memories, or even leading some families to change traditions. Creating new traditions or healing old ones is a very important step in healing your family’s relationship with food.

The Clementine Mango Jam Jamboree is one tradition, we have here, but I always encourage our families to create positive traditions when the clients return home. Whether it is baking cookies, developing a family recipe, or cooking each week, traditions provide consistency and foster a relationship with food beyond nutrition facts. It doesn’t matter what stage of recovery you are in, there is always an opportunity to have corrective experiences with food. There is nothing I love more than watching the clients enjoy the mango jam on a fresh croissant or laughing in the kitchen as they mash the jam. Clients are always shocked how easy it is to make. For that one moment, the clients aren’t counting calories, they are creating memories.

As a registered dietitian, it is important for me to foster these opportunities throughout recovery. During the Jam, I walk clients through the experience of gathering mangos, preparing the dish, and sharing the food together. Our clients walk away with a greater appreciation for the food on their plates-a mindfulness practice we call gratitude. In Hindu culture mangos are viewed as a symbol of life. Our hope is for each client to walk out our doors and begin her recovered life. Each year, our Clementine Mango Jam reminds me of that very goal. For that hour, we celebrate the lives of all those fighting for recovery.

Clementine Mango Jam

1 – 2 mangos
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed clementines or oranges

Place all ingredients in a small pot over high heat. Stir until the mixture thickens and begins to gel. Spread on your a croissants, english muffin, or your favorite type of toast.


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