Coming Together for a Common Cause: Healthy Food and Drink


Special to StoryLine:  Josephine Waddleton, President Trepassey 50 + Friendship Club/Peer Support Volunteer

What do members of knitting clubs, bereavement committees, fire departments and tai chi groups on the Southern Shore all have in common?  On October 3, 2013, they all participated in a Choosing Healthy Foods and Beverages workshop organized by wellness employees of Eastern Health in partnership with the Wellnesss Coalitation Avalon East.

If you are like most people, healthy eating comes to mind now and again.  But, if you are like me, it doesn’t really resonate until you think about the associated benefits from experts in the field.  The information we received at the workshop about making healthy choices  were  just what we needed!

Heather Powell welcomes the group to the workshop

Heather Powell welcomes the group to the workshop

Eastern Health employees Heather Powell,  promotion wellness consultant, Margie Coombes and Tracy English, regional nutritionists,  provided a real eye opener for us.  We knew that we had to be more aware of the food we eat and their impact on our health. Specifically, they educated us on the importance of:

  • Choosing foods from Canada’s Food Guide.
  • Reading labels when purchasing groceries.
  • Selecting juices that are 100 per cent juice.
  • Buying whole grain products.
  • Looking for fruits packed in water, not syrup.
  • Buying lower fat cheese in blocks to cut or grate ourselves.

In addition to the tips above, Eastern Health consultants shared recipes and even offered a hands-on cooking demonstration.

Vegetarian chili, brown rice and chicken stir-fry served to participants of the Choosing Healthy Foods and Beverages workshop

Vegetarian chili, brown rice and chicken stir-fry served to participants of the Choosing Healthy Foods and Beverages workshop.

So, at a certain point during the workshop, our attention was drawn to the aroma coming from the kitchen where Margie and Heather were cooking a meal prepared with healthy food.  Well, needless to say, we needed a break.  We just had to go and sample the food!

One participant, Laura Hewitt, had the added bonus of winning a great Dietitians of Canada cookbook. But, we were all grateful to get healthy food recipes and guidelines on how to offer healthy choices at our community programs, meetings and events.

Participants discuss  how they can incorporate healthy snacks and beverages in their activities

Participants discuss how they can incorporate healthy snacks and beverages in their activities

On behalf of the 21 participants from the following groups, I’d like to thank Eastern Health employees Heather, Margie and Tracy on delivering this wonderful workshop.  Job well done on both the presentation and the food!  I would encourage other organizations to hold a similar event in your community.

Workshop participants from: •	Lion’s Club  •	Quilting Club  •	Peer Support Group  •	Bereavement Committee  •	Dart Club  •	Trepassey Weekend Committee  •	Knitting Club  •	Tai Chi Group  •	Trepassey 50 + Friendship Club/Peer Support Volunteer •	Fire Department  •	Town CouncilAt our next event of the Trepassey 50  plus Friendship Group, we will most certainly serve food from Canada’s Food Guide, keeping in mind all of the tips we learned from our participation in Choosing Healthy Food and Beverages Workshop.

After eating a delicious and nutritious meal of chicken stir-fry, brown rice and vegetarian chili, cooked on the spot, we were offered a tasty, and again, healthy dessert of yogurt parfaits and mini banana muffins.  It was a good experience – tasting the richness of the food without the added salt. And, it was good eating –  along with a chat and a laugh.

This story was written by Josephine Waddleton, President Trepassey 50 + Friendship Club/Peer Support Volunteer.

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