If you are what you eat, than the (TMHD) wants to make sure you make the right choices with its “Cut Out the Fat” program.
This four-week interactive program incorporates all the tools you’ll need to help improve your knowledge of nutrition, exercise, and healthy eating.
“There are so many mixed messages out there about how to eat healthy,” said Sue Jacozzi, the district's health educator. “It can be overwhelming trying to figure it all out. This program helps participants with nutrition basics like how to read food labels and how to cook both healthy and safely.
The program kicks off with a heath assessment and a blood pressure screening, weight and height measurements, and a calculation of body mass index. “While the course is not customized for each participant, the assessments help us to make it more personal by offering nutrition facts and basics they can use,” said Jacozzi.
Local registered dietician Mari Jackson, provides the nutrition component of the program. Jackson’s background includes medical nutrition therapy and nutritional counseling and certified in Adult Weight Management.
At a recent meeting of the group Jackson suggested that they consider including quinoa, an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor when cooked to their diet in lieu of rice. Throughout the two-hour program she offered many simple, useful tips.
Generally there are only 15 or so participants (each must be 21 or over) in each of the free “Cut Out the Fat” sessions offered by the TMHD. It helps to keep discussions lively and allow for them to share ideas and ask questions during the two hours of programming.
Everyone who attends the class receives a binder that includes an outline of each session, tips and resources as well as two booklets, one for heart healthy eating and the other on eating and exercising.
Another session focuses on exercise. “There are basic exercises that almost everyone can do and they don’t require a gym membership,” said Jacozzi. “We offer everything from chair exercises to stretches to trail maps for both Trumbull and Monroe to take some great hikes.”
Helping participants to set short and long term goals for exercise, incorporating a cardio-vascular element to their routine and understanding the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight is all part of the curriculum.
Certified chef and food sanitarian, Ed Malik presents the cooking portion. Malik, RS, is a registered food sanitarian and graduate from the Culinary Institute of America. Hel prepares a healthy dinner and offers cooking tips and suggestions for making favorite recipes more nutritious.
Malik will also offer instruction on kitchen safety including how to sharpen knives and even the proper way to cut up an onion.
“We know nutrition and obesity are important topics to the community,” said Jacozzi. “We hope in the future to receive more grants to offer this important information to teens and even children.”
For more information on “Cut Out the Fat” and other TMHD events visit their website at www.tmhd.org.