National Nutrition Month - 2013

National Nutrition Month® 2013 focused on the theme, Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.

Healthy Aging DPG featured reports from members who held activities during March 2013.  Learn more about these activities below.

Eat Right from Your Garden - Your Way, Every Day (Joanie Rogucki, RDN)

I offered this workshop in conjunction with my local food bank in Green Valley, AZ, which also offers a free gardener-education workshop. Green Valley’s population is mostly retired folks, some of whom are winter visitors.
I created my workshop, “Eat Right from Your Garden—Your Way, Every Day.” During the two-hour workshop, I demonstrated how to infuse olive oil with rosemary, an herb that grows well in this climate and is easy for people to obtain and grow. My lesson plan covered a wide range of topics, including food safety, sanitation in the kitchen, proper cutting surfaces. I also provided recipes that include rosemary-infused olive oil as an ingredient, and we as a group discussed them. The outcome empowered the participants to use herbs in cooking. As the class size was small (six people participated in this workshop), I was able to cover additional information and answer questions that were not specifically about growing and using rosemary. Fortunately, the coordinator of the gardening workshop was present, and she was able to speak about growing rosemary and also discuss other varieties of rosemary.
Everyone walked away with an understanding of how cool rosemary is, and a knowledge of its incredible properties. Along with the infused oil, participants prepared in the classroom, they also received information on local resources for produce, farmers’ markets, and even the Market on the Move (a roving market around the metro Phoenix and Tucson area where people can pay $10 for up to 60 pounds of fresh produce).
One of the workshop’s highlights for me was when a mother and daughter took the food safety quiz and aced it.  The same young lady was also very thorough—and creative—in her preparation of the oil infusion: When I told the participants to bruise or scrape the rosemary to improve its infusion into the oil, she used her lid to the jar for this process. Very clever! I enjoyed this classroom setting and the opportunity to share.

Seminar for Older Adults:  The Anti-Inflammatory Way of Eating (Nancy Teeter, RDN)

In order to kick off and promote National Nutrition Month®, I offered a free seminar in our active-adult community of nearly 9,500 people near Tucson, AZ. Based on research and population studies, many health professionals are convinced that chronic inflammation is the root cause of multiple illnesses, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, many cancers, and some forms of mental decline.  For this reason, I chose to create my seminar, “The Anti-Inflammatory Way of Eating,” so I could talk about the influence of diet and lifestyle on chronic inflammation. 

My hour-long presentation included information on how specific foods influence the inflammatory process, and why the anti-inflammatory way of eating may be the best strategy for containing inflammation and reducing long-term disease risks.

On February 1, 2013, I authored an article that was published in a community newspaper, promoting my free seminar, which would be held on March 4. On February 5, I received two emails from people telling me that they had showed up for the seminar on February 4 (instead of March 4) and wondered where I was. This was my first indication that the seminar would be very well attended. 

To encourage eating healthfully, and to promote my private practice, I typically offer three or four free seminars each year. Usually, 20 to 30 people attend. When I reserved the meeting room for, “The Anti-Inflammatory Way of Eating,” I requested 50 chairs. People began to arrive 30 minutes before the stated start time, and in 20 minutes all the chairs were taken. The room attendant set up an additional 50 chairs, which still left a few people standing for the hour-long presentation. The audience was very engaged. After concluding the presentation, I opened the floor to questions and spent another 20 minutes answering questions about the diet as well as questions about current nutrition topics.

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