A Heaping of Healthy for 19007
by Cate Murway
This year just go to HEALTH!
Eating a healthier diet is a resolution people often make for the New Year.
The Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library hosted Christine M. Williams, RD, LDN for her very informative “Healthy Meals on a Budget” presentation last Saturday. Her free nutrition class presented guidelines for general healthy eating, along with particularly helpful tips for planning, purchasing, and preparing those meals on a budget. The seating was limited and the room was full.
Who doesn’t want to stretch their food dollars…. and NOT their waistline?
Christine’s father is Eugene J. Williams, the Executive Director of The Grundy Foundation on 680 Radcliffe Street. Gene and his wife, Margaret “Marge”, retired from neurology research work at Children’s Hospital are apparently well vested in keeping historic Bristol on the Delaware on a healthy track. Christine has a younger brother, Gene, Jr.
Her schooling has included Villa Maria Academy and St. Joseph University, Bachelor of Science [BS], where she majored in interdisciplinary Health Services. She continues with her current work/ study securing her Masters in Nutrition Education at Immaculata University. Immaculata has a long tradition of preparing professional leaders in the field of nutrition and health promotion.
She also served as Nutrition Monitor while she observed Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools, child care centers, and after-school programs that are part of the federally-funded Summer Meals Program and The National Breakfast and School Lunch Program.
Christine has obviously been diligently doing her homework for this part of her Master’s Thesis/ Research Study.
Pre-tests and post-tests were distributed, assisting Christine in her study.
She started with commenting on “today’s world where 1/3 of adults are obese and 17% of children are obese.”
The nutrition information promoting overall health and well-being was communicated creatively and thoroughly to the audience, while she utilized her accrued knowledge and implemented her resourceful planning and meal preparation skills for making the most of meals without breaking the bank!
When on a budget, it can seem nearly impossible to stock up on healthy foods. But, fear not. The attentive audience learned smart, money-saving techniques to keep their wallet and their belly full, illustrating that even on a budget, it's still possible to put a healthy [and delicious] meal on the table.
“Is anyone familiar with “My Plate”, the new alternative to the food pyramid?"
“Nutrition fact labels are important.” Ingredient lists on the label is particularly helpful to individuals with food sensitivities. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming no more than 10 percent of daily calories from added sugars.
Moderate portions of chicken, pork, beef and seafood were all on the menus, but should occupy only ¼ of the plate. Each suggested meal included vegetables and fruits, commanding ½ of the plate, while simple carbohydrates and any whole-grain rice, pasta or bread is entitled to the remaining 25%.
But where’s dessert, a participant questioned?
“In moderation, sir!” she laughingly responded.
Christine is a self-professed “chocoholic. It’s my favorite food!”
But, she explained that dark chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants and it can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.
A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:
•11 grams of fiber.
•67% of the RDA for Iron.
•58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
•89% of the RDA for Copper.
•98% of the RDA for Manganese.
•It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
The audience loved her presentation even more!
Christine shared that “she loves working with kids”. She currently works at “CHOP”, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in the Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Center. In this intensive day/ outpatient program, she and the interdisciplinary team of specialists offer children a comprehensive approach to treating their feeding or swallowing problems. She, as the Nutritionist/Registered Dietitian, basically teaches them how to eat properly, presenting wise choices in a fun and appealing way.
Congrats, the foods you love just may be the very best healthy choices.
“The high and low of daily values is important. Low is 5 percent or less. Aim low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. High is 20 percent or more. Aim high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.”
Beans, peas and seeds are packed with protein and fiber and are a delicious and health-minded addition to any homemade burrito, soup, or salad. Eggs are “eggs”actly a perfect food as demonstrated on one of Christine’s slides in her presentation. Nuts supply a dose of healthy fats and can reduce the risk of heart disease. Tofu is a delicious staple, high in protein and low in fat. Oatmeal is high in fiber, low in fat, and may even help lower cholesterol. Salmon and tuna are omega-3-packed seafood. Fat free or low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese and fresh fruit can be a breakfast treat that is filled with protein and calcium.
Whole-grain brown rice and whole-grain pasta have a more exciting flavor and texture and these versions are full of fiber.
Christine suggested shopping for fruits in season, since grapes, watermelon, bananas, kiwi, melons, apples, pears and oranges supple much needed vitamins.
“Kale is not the only good vegetable choice.” The rapt listeners all learned that carrots, avocados, squash, onions, tomatoes, beet, spinach and broccoli all do one’s body a favor with their surprisingly nutritious punch, including a hefty dose of antioxidants.
“All meals taste better with herbs and spices and help keep them low in fat,” Christine advised.
And water? Head to the nearest faucet: One’s body depends on it. Water keeps one hydrated, flushes out toxins, and helps keep one full between meals.
Christine reminded everyone to focus on variety, amount, and nutrition, choosing foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
“Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles.”
Think of each change as a personal “win” on your path to living healthier.
The guests remained for a “question and answer “session …..and snacks, healthy snacks!
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