Toss the Resolutions and Begin Permanent New You Solutions!


The Living Healthy Movement

Welcome to the new HEPSA Living Healthy Online Blog!  We are starting this New Year off right with a new look, new blog and new mission!  HEPSA Living Healthy wants to help you change your life for the better by joining the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement!  So sign up for this new blog today by clicking –

I am Denine Rogers, a registered licensed dietitian nutritionist and holistic practitioner who have a passion to change people’s lives for the better.  I have decided to start the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement because of the constant problems and complaints that I have received from my clients about making New Year’s Resolutions not New Year Solutions.  Too often we do not keep our resolutions and by the time the end of the year comes we feel like we have failed through the whole year. A resolution is a temporary hopeful fix but a solution is a permanent change!  The HEPSA Living Healthy Movement is on a mission to get you to discover what is holding you back from losing weight, stopping smoking, continuing an exercise plan, changing your relationships with food, etc. Check out joining the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement by signing up at the HEPSA Living Healthy Newsletter – where we are making solutions for 2015, not resolutions!

This year 2015 the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement are providing ways to change your life for the better by learning about 12 different topics.  The monthly topics will be:

  1. Eating healthy with whole food nutrition
  2. Cooking healthy meals and snacks
  3. Herbal Medicine and Botanicals
  4. Exercising
  5. Meditation, Tia chi, Yoga and Qi Gong
  6. Aromatherapy
  7. Mind, Body and Spiritual Relationships
  8. Gardening
  9. Integrative Nutrition and Medicine
  10. Complementary Alternative Medicine
  11. Vitamins and Supplements
  12. Homeopathy

So for this whole year, the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement is focusing on making positive changes with your life.  I am asking you to join, the HEPSA Living Healthy Movement by clicking here today.

Thank you so much and start Living Healthy today!


HEPSA Living Healthy

HEPSA Living Healthy

Spending my holidays at the Florida Aquarium

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I hope everyone has been enjoying their holidays because I certainly did!  I had a chance to spend some time with my family in Tampa, Florida and I had a chance to stop by to the Florida Aquarium!  I learned so much about the nutrition, health and well beings of the animals.  This Aquarium has recently went through renovations and there were so many interactive exhibits that was available to the public.

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Some of the interactive touching exhibits that I have went to was the Stingray Feeding tour.  The stingray is a flat fish that lives in the seas around the world and they prefer the temperate, shallow waters. They aren’t an active fish, spending their time mostly hiding in the sand. With their flat bodies, they don’t resemble a fish, which they certainly are, and their bodies are supported by cartilage rather than bones. They are basically nocturnal animals and this is why our knowledge of their feeding habits is quite limited. In captivity, they usually eat more things than in their normal habitat due to the fact that they can eat whatever they are fed.  They are carnivorous animals, more precisely predators, feeding on smaller fish and other sea creature that they catch at the bottom of the sea. Their diet consists of mollusks, clams, shrimps, snails and other species of fish. They don’t have a hard time catching their victim and due to their sandy color, they can hardly be detected. They can trap their prey with scarcely a problem, as they just wait for it to swim by. They don’t have strong eyesight and they must rely on their sense of smell when detecting their prey. 1

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I then went to the interactive touching exhibit of the Horseshoe Crab Lagoon.  I had a chance to touch these crabs.  Some of the facts about the Horseshoe Crabs are that these crabs are part of the Arthropods which are make up around 80% of the world’s animals, so it’s a highly successful class.  These creatures live in the ocean or in the sand and are often very beneficial to the environment.2 Horseshoe crabs are extremely important to the biomedical industry because their unique, copper-based blue blood contains a substance called Limulus amebocyte lysate. The substance, which coagulates in the presence of small amounts of bacterial toxins, is used to test for sterility of medical equipment and virtually all intravenous drugs. Research on the compound eyes of horseshoe crabs has led to a better understanding of human vision. The marine life fishery collects live horseshoe crabs for resale as aquarium, research, or educational specimens, and the American eel and whelk fisheries use horseshoe crabs extensively as bait along many parts of the Atlantic coast. 4

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The last interactive touching exhibit was the No Bones Zone were my husband had a chance to touch the beautiful star fishes and sea urchins.  The starfish is a pretty sea creature, with its swirly-shaped arms dipping out at all angles from the fish. The usual number of arms is 5 or 6, but there are different species of the starfish.  The foods that the starfish, a predator, eats are bivalves such as clams, oysters and mussels. They also eat any slow-moving fish. Others eat material that has decomposed from plants or animals. It seems that anything within reach is gathered for mealtime.3

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The final favorite place that I stop by was the Penguin Promenade where the trainers let the penguins walk around the audience on a red carpet.  These African Penguins was so cute and but they love to go to bathroom ever couple of minutes. Penguins are not afraid of humans and they do not communicate through sound but though body language. Penguins are amazing creatures for having the ability to adapt to their living environment and climate changes.  The African Penguins diet consist of  krill, cuttlefish, sardines, pilchards, anchovies, small crustaceans and squid. The African Penguins also adds pilchards and anchovies to their diet.5

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I truly enjoy the Florida Aquarium and I will make sure to come back again!  If you would like to see some more pictures of the animals that I saw you can click here !

 Happy New Year Everyone!!

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1, 2, 3, 5 –

4 – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission –


FNCE 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia


It is that time again with FNCE 2014 (Food Nutrition Conference and Expo) from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Since this year it is in Atlanta, Georgia, I knew that I needed to come to this incredible conference!  Being a Secretary of NOBIDAN (National Organization of Blacks in Dietetics and Nutrition) – website- which is part of the Member Interest Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND.  I had the chance to participated in alot of events that were associated with NOBIDAN.  This year was a historical year because the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has appointed their first African American President-Elect!  Dr. Evelyn Crayton, Ed, RD, LD, FAND who is also a NOBIDAN member was elected this past February 2014 and will start her term on June 1st, 2015.  I had a chance to speak with her and it was such a honor to meet with her!


This year FNCE there were so many things going on and the speakers were excellent!  One of the speakers that I had enjoyed was Adam Keek who is a Olympic Rower and he explains about using the art of rowing with high performance.  One of the things that he explained about is his disciplines of leadership is to stay focused.  It is not easy to stay focus on a goal let alone training for the Olympics.  He explained how he was able to focus by using the Breakthrough Theory.  For the first 4-5 years you maybe in limbo but with effort time you realize that you need a break through and pretty soon what was hard to do becomes familiar.


Another thing that Adam discussed about is Eat Well = Be Well.  When you eat well then this will result in your body, mind and spirit in becoming a healthy.  Like the old saying goes “You are what you eat!”


The last thing that was important to me from what Adam said on the Disciplines for Leadership is finding a mentor.  That is so important to find someone who has


I really appreciate Mr. Adam Keek speech particularly him closing out this incredible and exciting conference!  His message came at the right time!


Next year FNCE is going to be at Nashville, TN and I can not wait what is going to happen there!  Hope to see you there!


Come to the Table – Promedica Presents – Hunger Is A Health Issue – Part 2


This week at the Come to the Table Promedica Workshop at the Jimmy Carter Center in Atlanta, GA, I had a chance to listen to the panel discussion on what is working and what we need to work on  in the fight against hunger.

Harriet Giles, PHD, Managing Director from Auburn Hunger Solutions Institute and Director of External Relations, College of Human Sciences Auburn University – discuss about the Alabama model delivery trucks for the Summer Children’s Program which provides healthy meals for children during the summer months when school is closed.

Susan Respess – Auburn Hunger Solutions Institute and Vice President of Government Relations of Children’s of Alabama – talked about medical compliance relationship with kids access to food in order to take their medications.

Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling, PHD, MPA – Senior Adviser, Hunger Impact of AARP Foundation – discussed that the revised version of the My Plate has been very effective in the fight against hunger.  Ms. Lewin-Zwerdling did said what is not effective is that alot of the  50+ years older adult population are having a lack of money,  poor locations and availability to healthy foods.  This population group are usually tremendous effected by the food deserts in their communities.

Duke Storen, Senior Director, Research, Advocacy and Partner Development of Share Our Strength explained that 1 in 5 children have fallen into the category of food insecurity.  What is working to fight hunger is the school breakfast program, WIC, food skill education programs from individual grants and SNAP for low income children. What is not working is less participation in SNAP program.  What could work better is the benefits and funding levels of the SNAP program needs to increase particularly for the out of school time such as after school programs, weekends and summertime.  Mr. Duke Storen explained that there is more poverty is in the suburbs than in the inner cities.  Mr. Duke Storen gave us a Five Points Plan that will assist with eliminating hunger.

5 Points Plan

  1. Screening
  2. Direct Services – Ex. WIC
  3. Leadership
  4. Metric Driven Based Program
  5. Funding
  6. Advocacy

Debbie Britt – Board Member of the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) and Executive Director Community & Public Relations, Piedmont Fayette Hospital explained what is working is the collaboration with the communities with transportation issues to healthier supermarkets, helping the community with changing their lifestyle and having physical exercise programs at Senior Centers such as Zumba and providing Meals on Wheels programs.  Ms. Britt did explained what is not working is that hospital not understanding the importance of learning about nutrition and that Medicaid does not pay for nutritional services.

At the end of the workshop, Mike Beier from President and CEO, ContXt, gave us a  Engaging the Community to End Hunger:  Meeting in  a Box  Dialogue game where you can have a engaging group discussion about ways that the community can end hunger.  I can not wait to use this with my clients and community leaders. This one day workshop was a excellent event and hopefully we will have more voices who are willing to fight against hunger  and make it a health issue!

Come to the Table – Promedica Presents – Hunger Is A Health Issue – Part 1


I had the excellent opportunity to come to the incredible 2nd annual Regional Summit Workshop on Hunger that was presented by Promedia and the Alliance for Hunger.  This workshop was held at the beautiful grounds of the Jimmy Carter Center in Atlanta, GA.  The workshop started off with Barbara Petee who is the Chief Advocacy and Government Relations Officer of Promedia.  She discussed about how obesity ties in with hunger and that hunger is a public health and moral issue.  She stated that the only way to find a solution to end hunger is to address it.


Next came Lee Hammerling, MD works with Promedia as the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Physician Executive of Promedia.   Dr. Hammerling discussed about Promedia which is a community based, mission driven, non-for-profit business that is employee strategically focused and fiscally sound.  Promedia’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve.   Dr. Hammerling also discussed about public healthcare where the annual cost of hunger to every U.S. citizen is on pace to b e a rough amount of $42,400 per citizen over a course of a lifetime.  The overall cost of hunger to our nation’s amount to be at least $167,5 Billion.  Promedia believes that the healthcare system should take a leadership role – clinically, socially and economically. Dr. Hammerling spoke about how remission key risk factors and social determinants can impact a person’s health. Lack of transportation + lack of food = remission to hospital.


Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service(FNS), U.S. Department of Agriculture spoke about the FNS Consumer Service mission to end hunger and improve nutrition in America.  She also explained about food insecurities that in about 360,000 households that 1 to more children simply do not get enough to eat.  This is the Healthy people 2020 ten year focus on economic cost, hunger cost and health disparities. Programs that have been fighting hunger for children are the  SNAP(Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) which has been in existence for 50 years and WIC (Women, Infant and Children) which has been in existence for 40 years.  SNAP consist of the Commodity Food Assistance program,  Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and Health Incentives.  There is also the FINI (Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program) which supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase such as Farmer’s Markets and mobile markets.

Next week, I will discuss about the Panel Discussion on what is working and what is not working with the fight for eliminating hunger.

Come to the Table – Promedica and the Alliance to End Hunger

The Jimmy Carter Center in the Atlanta, Georgia

The Jimmy Carter Center in the Atlanta, Georgia


During this holidays season, there will be one out of every six people in the United States or more than 50 million people, including nearly 17 million children and 4 million seniors – faces hunger. Hunger is not just a problem in struggling Third World countries.  I was invited to come to the The Jimmy Carter Center in Atlanta, GA  to the Come to the Table – Promedica and the Alliance to End Hunger seminar and I was in shock with everything that I have heard.

There are 10 states with residents who are especially burdened with food insecurity and do not know where they will get their next meal.  The states are Ohio, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Nevada and California.  Americans facing hunger have limited budgets and are routinely forced to make difficulty choices with their limited resources.   One of the choices with the most devastating consequences is whether to buy food or the medicine and medical care needed to survive. Underweight babies are also at a higher risk of hunger as they age, further compounding the difficulties they face. Without access to good nutrition, particularly in their first three years of life, these children lack the solid foundation for physical and mental health, educational achievement, and economic productivity.  Adults experiencing food insecurity are at greater risk of developing type II diabetes and more likely to experience mental and behavioral healthy problems, including higher levels of depression and anxiety.

So what can we do about ending hunger?  Well, this seminar is going to answer this question and will show us how we can get involved in to make hunger a health issue that all our healthcare leaders can address to our Congress and other government departments and agencies.  Next week I will talk about the presentations that were discussed during the seminar.




Having a Fun Time at the Georgia Aquarium – Part 2

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The first exhibit we visited was the Ocean Voyager.  This part of the aquarium is home to 4 whales and 4 manta rays which I had the pleasure to witness.  It recently added a fourth manta ray to the Ocean Voyager exhibit and they are the only rays in the U.S. aquarium. There were a thousands of other fish in the 6.3 million gallon exhibit and it is the most magical aquarium habitat in the world.

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We had the pleasure to walk through an acrylic tunnel and we felt like a SCUBA diver in an endless blue sea, mesmerized by thousands of fish swimming overhead. Ocean Voyager, built by The Home Depot, is home to the gentle giants of the sea, including whale sharks and four manta rays.

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Beluga Whales

My husband and I started to walk in the Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest exhibit and had the chance to see the beautiful  beluga whales.  They were so cute and always smiling.  When they swim in the water it gave me a calming effect over my body.  Here are some facts about the Beluga whales:

  • The beluga whale is a warm blooded mammal that breathes through the blowhole on the top of its head, not through its mouth.
  • The word “beluga” is derived from the Russian word for “white”.
  • This whale can reach 15 feet long and weigh approximately 2,500 pounds. Blubber, a thick layer of fat, helps the animal stay warm and accounts for more than 40% of a beluga’s weight.
  • Normally, the beluga is a slow swimmer, averaging speeds of 2 to 6 miles per hour. However, it can achieve bursts of speeds in excess of 17 miles per hour. The beluga also has the ability to swim backwards.
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African Penguins

I also had a chance to stand into the Acrylic tunnels and pop-up windows which allowed me to come face to face with the African penguins  This exhibit features more than 25 nesting areas integrated into naturalistic rockwork and comes equipped with a state-of-the-art lighting system that mimics the natural light cycle from twilight to moonlight. These penguins reminded me to the wild African Penguins in Cape Town, South Africa that I had a chance to visit in 2006.  It was beautiful to see these animals even though they were trying to go to sleep.

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African Penguins

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Japanese Spider Crab

Also in the Cold Water Quest exhibit there were the Japanese spider crabs which is part of Deep Sea Dwellers.  Their habitat represents life 1,000 feet (305 m) deep: dark, barren and cold area.  Japanese spider crab gets its name from its resemblance to a spider. It has a rounded body covered with stubby projections and long slim legs.  The species has been known to grow up to 12 feet (3.7 m) across.  Its body will grow to about 15 inches (37 cm) wide and the animal can weigh up to 44 lbs. (20 kg).

Fish-Eating Anemone

Fish-Eating Anemone

Another thing in the Cold Water Quest exhibit  is the Rocky Shore Tidal Pool were we had the chance to dip our hand and touching the Fish-Eating Anemone.  In this exhibit you really get an idea of how cold the Pacific Northwest can be – the temperature here is kept at approximately 55o F (12.8o C).  While touching this creature I notice that my fingers got stuck on its white tentacles.  It felt so weird but the guide told me that this is where they feeds on small fishes not humans.

Fish-Eating Anemone

Fish-Eating Anemone

The last thing in the Cold Water exhibit we had a chance to see the cute Southern Sea Otters.  Southern sea otter is not a social animal as are other otter species and has been known to live alone.  We notice that this sea otter was the only one that wanted his pictures taken even though he was sleepy.  It is believed that a sea otter will wrap itself with kelp before sleeping at the surface to keep itself from drifting away.

Southern Sea Otter

Southern Sea Otter

The last place we visited is the Southern Company River Scout exhibit which showcases a wide diversity of animals found in the rivers of four continents – Africa, South America, Asia and North America.  The rivers are essential to life for animals, people and cultures throughout the world.   We saw the Sting-Rays which are Cartilaginous Fish.

 The skeletons of these animals (Class Chondrichthyes) are composed of cartilage instead of bone. Their bodies are covered with dermal denticles, providing a smooth appearance. Depending on species, they will have 5-7 gills for breathing. Many must continuously swim to breathe.

Sting Rays

Sting Rays

Also in River Scout exhibit we saw the Jelly Fish and the Sea Star Fish which are Invertebrates.

Jelly Fish

Jelly Fish

Invertebrates are animals that do not have a spine or vertebral column. They do not have skeletons or bone. Overall, they are incredibly diverse: approximately 97% of all animal species are invertebrates. For this reason, they must be classified into more than 30 phyla – from sponges to arthropods.

Jelly Fish

Jelly Fish

Sea Start Fish

Sea Star Fish

So if you are in Atlanta, Georgia, make sure you stop by and have a date at the Georgia Aquarium!  You will love it and want to come back again!

Having a Fun Night at the Georgia Aquarium.

I have a special date with my hubby!  Where are we going you may ask?  Well to the Georgia Aquarium of course.  I always love to see the marvelous sea creatures that this very special Aquarium has.  Every time I go to the Aquarium I learn something new.

My Husband was invited to go to the Georgia Aquarium for a law-enforcement conference and I decided to come along.  Wolfgang Puck was the head chef at this event and I knew that I had to taste his delicious food.  When I got there the food was coming out fast and the crowds of people were running to the food stations to eat the food.  I did try some of the shrimp and grits which were fabulous and some of the desserts.  It was feast or famine with this wild crowd of law enforcement officials.

After partaking the food, I told my husband lets walk around the Aquarium exhibits so we can burn some calories.  The first exhibit we visited was the Ocean Voyager.

Food Day 2014


October 24th, 2014 is a very special day.  You are probably asking why is this day so important?  It is Food Day which is a day to inspire Americans to change their diets and an push to improve our food policies.  This year’s Food Day will have a special focus on food access and justice for food and farm workers.

This annual event involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists, united by a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it.

The typical American diet is contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Those problems cost Americans more than $150 billion per year. Plus, a meat-heavy diet takes a terrible toll on the environment.

Eating Real can save your own health and put our food system on a more humane, sustainable path. With America’s resources, there’s no excuse for hunger, low wages for food and farm workers, or inhumane conditions for farm animals.  – quote from

So how can you get involved?  Use this positive movement around Food Day by introducing healthier foods into your diet. Ask your employer to start announcing an office wellness policy or participate in a community supported agriculture program. Or, introduce cooking lessons in your school or start planting a vegetable garden.

I am going to join the Food Day social media pages to spread the word about the importance of start a new food movement!  Let me know what you would like to do in your community on this Food Day!  Check out the Food Day 2014 website for further information –

The 35th Year Appreciation Celebration of the Georgia Master Gardener – Part 2


After eating that delicious lunch,  I was ready to walk off the pounds during the afternoon tour.  It was getting hotter outside that our tour guide decided for our group to seek refuge in the USDA Seed Storage Building.  When we got there we were greeted by Dr. Melanie Harrison-Dunn a Geneticist of the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit.  Dr. Harrison-Dunn explained about her current research priorities are focused on the acquisition of native warm season grass germplasm; germsplasm characterization including genotyping, nutritional analysis, and salt tolerance; and ornamental grass breeding.  Also, in the USDA Seed Storage Building there were more than 90,000 plant samples are part for the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit (PGRCU).  These diverse collections represent over 250 genera and 1,500 species from almost every country.


The next part of the tour was meeting with Dr. Clint Waltz on the Turfgrass shade research.  Dr. Waltz  is actively researching on evaluating various turfgrass species to the environmental stresses of the Southeastern United States.  These evaluations allow sod producers, golf course superintendents, athletics field managers, other turf professionals and houseowners to make informed decisions about the adaptability of these cultivars.  The plots were developed for low maintenance, low water usage and pesticide input.


The last part of the tour hearing a quick discussion on ornamental plant breeding process by Dr. Carol Robacker.  Dr. Robacker is the Associate Professor and REI Coordinator of Horticulture.   Dr. Robacker is doing two research projects on breed landscape plants that are adapted to the heat and drought stress of the urban conditions and develop cultivars of native plants.  She also show us her projects include breeding for azalea lace bug resistance in native azalea, and developing improved cultivars of little bluestem, spigelia, abelia, vitex and pearl bush.


I truly had a great day at the University of Georgia – Griffin Campus and had learn so much  about the research agriculture.  I am so glad that this wonderful place only less than 2 hours away and I will make sure to visit it in the future.

Want to see pictures at the University of Georgia on Griffin Campus!  Click here!