Tag Archives: eating

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 – www.livinghealthyonline.org

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 – www.livinghealthy1.org 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


Kids Eat Right Month – Cook Healthy

kids crossing street

Today, is the first official day of school for all of the children here in the Atlanta, Georgia area.  A lot of the schools are now making changes with the school lunch and breakfast program to a healthier ones but what about the meals that children are eating at home?  Are they healthy and nutritious? There is a way that parents can give their child a healthy meal ?

Hungry Boy at the Table

The first thing parents should do is to plan healthy meals for the week.  If you do not plan your meals than you may end up eating foods that you really should not eat.  How do you plan your meals?  First you should find out what your family likes to eat and see if you can stretch out those meals for a week or months time.  Use a calendar and document what meals would be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  If you are the tech-savvy kind of person then, there are plenty of computer meal planning software to assist you.  I like the free ones such as – www.choosemyplate.gov (USDA) and www.healthyeating.org (Dairy Council of California) . Preparation is the key in order to create a fast healthy meal.   After you have decided on what meals that you would like to prepare then review the items that is needed to prepare the meals.  You may want to ask yourself –  Is this dish for this meal healthy?  How can I make changes to this dish in order to make it a healthy meal?  What do we have in the pantry?  Is the foods that I have are in season? Do you have foods from all healthy food groups (milk,
fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats, fish, beans and fats ( the healthy ones)) as part of you meals for the day? Once you have answered these questions then create a food shopping list.



When you have decided what dish you would like to prepare it is important to see what substitutions you can make in order to create a healthy dish.

  • Instead of frying, why not have broil, grill, boil, sautéed, steamed or baked
  • Instead of white flour products, why not have whole grains such as buckwheat, flaxseed or oatmeal.
  • Instead of whole milk, why not have almond, coconut or rice milk that is calcium and Vitamin D Fortified.
  • Instead of Crisco, why not have olive oil, avocados, or flaxseed oil.
  • Instead of cookies, why not have fresh in season fruits, raw cut up veggies, yogurt with low-fat granola or whole grain pretzels
  • Instead of sodas, why not have water with cut up fruit for flavor and low-fat milk

Make sure you add non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, squash, zucchini to name a few) to your lunch and dinner meals in order for your family to get the fiber, vitamins and minerals that they need.  Use fresh whole fruits as snacks and/or with meals.  Do not over cook your food.  If you do this you will lose a lot of the important nutrient that you will need from the foods you eat.  Make sure you add your whole grains foods with your meals. Remember that  smaller children to eat smaller portions. Do not give your child the same portion size of food that you eat.  For further information about portion control check the website – www.choosemyplate.gov.  Also, get other family members involved with the cooking and preparation of meals.  Make this is a great teaching tool for your children!

Another thing that parents can do is start to get the family to eat at the table instead of in front of the television.  Here are some further suggestions below:

  • Set a regular family mealtime. Pick a time together.
  • Enjoy more table time, less cooking time. Make quick, simple meals (even a sandwich, fruit and milk) to give more table time together.
  • Turn off the TV. Turn on the phone answering machine. Focus mealtime on family talk.
  • Keep table talk positive. Everyone gets to talk and to listen. Sitting around a table, not side-by-side at a the counter, helps.  (Information quoted from the website: kidseatright.org)

All of these great ideas can assist you with cooking healthy meals for you family.  If you want so quick and healthy recipes, please check out Kids Eat Right website:  www.eatright.org/kids

Remember that in order to start Living Healthy  you will need to start cooking healthy meals.  So start planning your healthy meals for the week today!!  Next week I will discuss about how to Eat Right!

Family Eating An Al Fresco Meal




National Nutrition Month 2014 – Enjoy the Taste of Eat Right with Health Concerns in Mind

On this last day of National Nutrition Month, I am going to discuss the health concerns of certain disease that diet can assist in playing a positive role to better health.  If you have a chronic condition, a carefully planned diet can make a difference. With certain diseases, what you eat may reduce symptoms. In other cases, diet can improve health. For example, eating a heart-healthy diet can help lower high blood pressure; this reduces the risk of both heart attack and stroke. Even if someone does not have high blood pressure, eating a heart-healthy diet may reduce the risk of heart disease in the future.

Click the link below of a video below to learn about how eating healthfully can prevent and manage many chronic diseases. An eating plan that keeps health concerns in mind will also incorporate your personal nutrient needs, food preferences, lifestyle and level of physical activity.

Eat Right with Health Concerns in Mind

For more information about National Nutrition Month go on to the website: http://www.eatright.org/nnm/#.UxEz-sRDuko

Whatever your lifestyle, a registered dietitian can help develop a personalized eating plan that fits your unique nutritional needs and tastes. Click here to see a Registered Dietitian from HEPSA Living Healthy.

Thank you so much for reading this blog for National Nutrition Month.  Please continue to send your comments and concern to HEPSA Living Healthy on any nutritional issues!!

From Denine Rogers, RD, LD of HEPSA Living Healthy – www.livinghealthy1.org

National Nutrition Month 2014 – Explore Your Taste of Eating Right with Diverse Foods

This week the celebrations of National Nutrition Month continues we are exploring our taste with Diverse Foods and learning the importance of these foods.  Let us learn about some of the cultural practices of diverse foods.

American Indian –  Traditional Navajos had a plant-based diet and ate meat only occasionally (eg. ceremony) .  Currently, the Northern Plain Indians have limited vegetables roots to a meat and potatoes diet instead.  

African American – consumes fewer fruits and vegetables and have less dietary fiber, calcium and potassium but on the other hand, they consume excessive amounts of fatty meats, salt and cholesterol on what is called Soul Food.

Asian Indian and Pakistani –  Traditional dishes include grains and legumes cooked with vegetables, milk products combined with vegetables or fruits and grains combined with meat, poultry, or seafood.  Beware the use in cooking with Ghee (clarified butter).

Caribbean Hispanic – staple dish is rice and beans and other starch vegetables.  Portions maybe large and fatty meats may also be used during cooking.  

Chinese American –  traditional Chinese diet is 70% complex carbohydrates, 15% from protein which is mostly plant base and 15% from fat.  Dairy products are not common and Chinese American restaurants frequently use chicken fat to braise vegetables and for added flavor. 

Mexican American –  traditional Mexican diets are typically limited in added fat while high in fruits, vegetables and fiber,  However, current Mexican American diets are often high in fat and inadequate in fruits and vegetables. 

To learn more click the video link below where you can learn about how healthy and tasty menu items from all ethnicities can be included in a healthful eating plan  based on your specific needs and tastes. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you understand how your favorite ethnic foods can fit into a healthful eating plan.

Eat Right with Foods from All Ethnic Traditions

To learn further about on Cultural Food Practice check this link here.

For more information about National Nutrition Month go on to the website: http://www.eatright.org/nnm/#.UxEz-sRDuko

Whatever your lifestyle, a registered dietitian can help develop a personalized eating plan that fits your unique nutritional needs and tastes. Click here to see a Registered Dietitian from HEPSA Living Healthy.

See you next week when we will discuss many more ways to enjoy the taste of eating right!!

From Denine Rogers, RD, LD of HEPSA Living Healthy – www.livinghealthy1.org

Hoilday Healthy Ideas of Eating!

fruit cakeStill celebrating the holidays and getting ready for the new year? Eating too much unhealthy foods?  Well, before you the start of the new year, this is the  right time to change your eating habits.  I had a chance to do a writing contribution for the online news report called thegrio.com.  The wonderful Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN is a contributor of the  MSNBCs’ theGrio.com.  She had a chance to write an article on healthy holiday eating and she ask me to contribute my thoughts about different foods that are healthy to eat for the holidays.  I had a wonderful time in contributing with this article and please click this link below to read this excellent information article.  Thank you so much Constance Brown-Riggs for letting me contribute with you on your article.  What changes are you going to make for 2014 to start eating healthy?  Let me know by responding back to my comment section!


Have a wonderful bless 2014 year!!!

new year 2014

Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day! – Part 2

Hands on a globe

This week is the last week for National Nutrition Month and today we are going to focus on Food Taboos from the book – Multicultural Manners – “New Rules to Etiquette for a Changing Society” by Norine Dresser.

Food Taboos

While some people know that eating pork is taboo for religious purpose of Jews and Moslems but few are aware of the condemnation against shellfish and fish without scales or fins to the Jewish and Muslim communities. It is important to learn what foods are taboo to any religious and culturally diverse groups.  Even if someone accidentally eats a taboo food, the repercussions are potent.

Many religions and ethnic groups have special dietary laws that outlaw the eating of foods on certain days.  Such as:

  • The Roman Catholic Church prohibits eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
  • In the Jewish faith – no leavened breads and no use of leavening agents during the eight days of the festival of Passover. Also according to Orthodox rules, there must be a six-hour space between eating meat and dairy products.
  • Hindus don’t eat beef and Seventh Day Adventists don’t eat meat.
  • Navajos don’t eat fish and some Puerto Ricans will not eat pineapple in combination with other foods
  • Muslims, Hindus, Mormons and some Protestant sects do not drink alcoholic beverages.

There are many common food and drink taboos but it is important to respect each others cultural beliefs  and customs.  Everyone eat right in their own way every day.  So celebrate this final week of National Nutrition Month in your own healthy eating way every day!

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Have you ever visit a nursing home lately?  Have you notice that there are more senior citizens are being diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease?  In a Gallup poll commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Association found that 1 in 10 Americans said they had a family member with Alzheimer’s and 1 in 3 knew someone with the disease . There is an estimated 4.5 million Americans that are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, which has more than doubled since 1980.  It is expected to grow as many as to 16 million by the middle of the 2050.  American’s are expected to spend $ 91 billion with more than 50% of these costs devoted to caregiver alone for Alzheimer’s disease.  With these statistics we should be very concern of the proper care that these residents are receiving and especially for the caregivers.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive neurological disease characterized by the loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activities of daily living, lasting at least six months and not present from birth. Alzheimer’s gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments and communication. As it advances, the person may experience changes in personality and behavior, such as anxiety, suspiciousness or agitation, as well as delusions or hallucinations.   Alzheimer’s usually occurs in older age of over 65 and is marked by a decline in cognitive function.  Unfortunately, the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown but there is current research that has established that possible risk factors for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes and high cholesterol may play a role in the development of this disease.  Elevated plasma total homocysteine may also be risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease.

Caring for a family member, friend or patient with Alzheimer’s is very difficult especially providing nutritious meals and snacks.  Frequently Alzheimer patients cannot express or identify that they are hungry or full.  They also have a problem of getting the right amount of fluids or foods with certain vitamins and minerals.  Alzheimer’s patients tend to have poor nutritional status resulting from weight loss or gain, poor-fitting dentures, problems swallowing, changes in eating behavior, overeating, medication, loss of appetite and dehydration.  This disease can accentuate and accelerate theses changes resulting nutritional problems.

 Why would anyone want to concern himself or herself of nutrition with having Alzheimer’s disease?

Even though there is not special diet required for people with Alzheimer’s disease – unless they have another condition, such as diabetes, that requires a particular diet—eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is extremely beneficial.  With the proper diet, our bodies work more efficiently, we have more energy, and medications will work properly.    As the Alzheimer’s disease goes thru different stages it causes changes in the nutritional needs and eating becomes more of a problem.

Early Stage – There is a problem of impaired memory and judgment that can interfere with the ability to shop for and purchase food.

Middle Stage – The Alzheimer patient has difficulty of performing familiar tasks such as cooking a meal and forgetting that he or she made the meal.  There is also difficulty of smelling and tasting food that were previously familiar favorites.

Late Stage – There are physical capabilities like chewing and swallowing that may become affected.  During this stage there is a need to check for conditions that may affect eating like a sore or dry mouth, tooth decay and eyesight problems.  Alzheimer disease patients may not recognize familiar foods and some will simply refuse to eat.

Why would Alzheimer’s disease individuals have difficulty with eating?

There are a number of factors:

  •  Physical difficulties
  • Disease
  • Agitation/Distraction
  • Eating style
  • Environment
  • Food Quality

There are methods to have an Alzheimer individual able to eat by correcting their chewing and swallowing problems.  It is important to blend the food or alternate with small bites of food with a drink.  Substituting fruit juice, gelatin, foods cooked with water, sherbet, fruit or soup can help with swallowing.  Serve soft foods such as mashed potatoes rather than fried potatoes or applesauce instead of an apple.  Offer bite-size pieces of cooked meat, turkey or chicken salads instead of sliced meat.  Serve thicker liquids such as shakes, nectar and thick juices.  Encourage the person to sit up straight with his/her head slightly forward.  If the person’s head tilts backwards, move it to a forward position.  It is important to learn the Heimlich maneuver in order to help the person if chocking occurs.

How can you reduce the nutritional risk of a person who has Alzheimer’s disease? 

It is important for you to make the meals smaller and serve them more often during the day.  Allow the person to eat at his/her own pace and offer a variety of foods to provide better nutrition balance.  During mealtime, eliminate background distractions such as television, radio or telephone. Distractions can cause intake of food problems during mealtime. Feed the person at regular times such as breakfast at 9:00 am not 9:00 pm. Also fill in the gaps between regular meals with healthy snacks but do not offer junk foods!  It is important to work with the person’s food preferences.   Encourage independence eating by offering finger foods and record what is eaten at meals and snacks.  This can prevent malnutrition.   Keep an ongoing record of the care recipient’s weight and any other eating pattern changes.  To prevent dehydration, give the person plenty to drink especially water. To prevent obesity problems, restrict portions sizes when it is appropriate.  Limit or eliminate highly salted foods or sweets if the patient has chronic health problems such as diabetes or hypertension.  Require the person to have a physical activity plan such as aerobic exercises of walking.  Some persons with Alzheimer’s may pocket the food while eating in their cheeks.  If this does happen then gently move the chin or by lightly stroking their throat this will stimulate the person to chew and swallow.  If there is a swallowing problem then put the food into a food processor of blender before serving it. It is good to use rough-textured foods such as toast or sandwiches made on toasted bread to stimulate the person’s tongue.  This will also encourage chewing and swallowing.

Alzheimer disease patients

But are there ways to reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer’s?  Even though there is no cure that has been some things that may help you in preventing from getting Alzheimer’s.  Eat as little animal fat as possible and eat more fish such as Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  Salmon, Tuna and mackerel are enriched with omega-3 fatty acids.  A diet rich with fish will improve mental ability function.  Taking folic acids may reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s disease by decreasing the amounts of plasma total homocysteine. Foods that are enriched cereal-grain products; fruits and vegetables that have folic acid can prevent the overproduction of homocysteine.

Which can possibly cause Alzheimer’s disease?

It is important for the brain for not to lose it but use it by doing ongoing mental and physical exercise keep the brain healthy.  Regular physical activity increases blood flow to the brain and provides the nutrients necessary to render its tissues resistant to Alzheimer’s.  Eating foods that are rich in Vitamin E such as and increase fiber intake can reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer’s.  Persons with Alzheimer disease are often depressed or anxious and may suffer from sleeplessness or poor general health.  Having adequate sleep, continuing mental activity and stress management can prevent these problems from happening.  Reducing alcohol intake, drinking continuous water and other fluids through out the day can prevent dehydration.

Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, much research is being done to find one.  Educating yourself as much as possible on Alzheimer disease and becoming knowledgeable in the latest research of drugs that can possibly slow the progression of the disease.

For more information on nutrition check out the HEPSA Living Healthy website:  www.livinghealthy1.org

Denine Rogers RD, LD

2012 Food Day Celebration

This passed October 24th , 2012 was Food Day which is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.   I was able to teach  a family healthy mealtime eating class for a local Food Pantry for Food Day which was truly a enjoyable event.

Food Day, was created by Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), is powered by a diverse coalition of food movement leaders, organizations, and people from all walks of life.  This event takes place annually on October 24  and it’s purpose to address issues as varied as health and nutrition, hunger, agricultural policy, animal welfare, and farm worker justice. The CSPI ultimate goal of Food Day is to strengthen and unify the food movement in order to improve our nation’s food policies. Over Thousands of Americans came together for over 3,200 events this year alone.

In honor of food day there is a wonderful and very educational online movie documentary called ” The Future of Food ” which expires on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 so check out this site very quickly this weekend.    Here is the link for it:  http://vimeo.com/52123154    Also here is  information about the online movie documentary below:

 The Future of Food has been a key tool in the American and international anti-GMO grassroots activist movements and played widely in the environmental and activist circuits since its release in 2004. The film is widely acknowledged for its role in educating voters and the subsequent success of passing Measure H in Mendocino County, California, one of the first local initiatives in the country to ban the planting of GMO crops. Indicative of its popularity, the Future of Food showed to a sold out audience of 1,500 at the Castro Theater in San Francisco in 2004, a benefit for Slow Food, where it was introduced by Alice Waters.

Also for those who live in Georgia and can get access of Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB/PBS) there is a excellent reality television show series called “The Weigh We Were” .  If you do not have access to Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB/PBS), you can access the show online on the website which is: http://theweighwewere.com/category/tv-show  and the first show will be posted on Tuesday October 30th at 9:35PM Eastern.  Here is further information about this wonderful show.

This show offers a refreshing and successful approach for highlighting ‘real world’ weight loss strategies.  Coupling an upbeat, positive narrative, and more than 30 weight loss success stories from an wide spectrum of Georgia residents (who lost a combined 3,472 pounds – on their own) the program successfully explores multiple, and realistic approaches to weight loss – surprisingly simple approaches, which are both accessible and repeatable by the average viewer.
So this weekend learn more about nutrition and wellness by checking out these websites and next year plan to participate Food Day!
Let me know your comments and opinions about The Future of Food  movie and “The Weigh We Were”  television show!  Enjoy!!

US Children are intaking too much sodium

Being a dietitian I have consulted numerous children with their families about the child’s dietary intake.  I did noticed that the children were eating alot of processed foods which in turn have alot of sodium.  When the study came out from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center of Disease Control about the children in the U.S. eat almost as much salt as adults and the study also found a clear link between sodium intake and higher blood pressure.  For more information about the study click here.

So how much sodium should a child have per day?  A child should have less than 2300 mg of sodium per day which is equivalent to one teaspoon of salt.  Most physicians agree that a diet high in sodium contributes to high blood pressure, which, in turn, is a known risk factor for heart disease, America’s number one cause of death.  But how can parents cut down their child’s sodium intake?  The most important thing is to start reading the food labels and understand what is in the food you are eating and preparing.  In order to learn how you can change your child’s eating habits is to speak to a Registered Dietitian.  Living Healthy provides customized nutritional consulting service at www.livinghealthy1.org .  Start making changes today to improve your child’s eating habits for a life time.

Community Service Day

It is so important to get involved with your community so when my job decided to ask their employees to participate in Community Service Day I decided to jump at the opportunity to do this.  I was able to conduct a nutrition educational program for the parents at the Carrie Steele Pitts Home.

Carrie Steele Pitts Home is Atlanta, Georgia historic home for children in need. For over a century, they have provided a nurturing environment for abused, abandoned and neglected children who are unable to stay with their parents. This place is a safe haven for children where they provide 24- hour supervision caring staff members that supports and loves for up to 100 children in need.

The Carrie Steele-Pitts Home provides a Life Learning Center which is a multipurpose facility where the children participate in academic enrichment, athletic activities and spiritual growth.  How did this enriching organization come about?  Here is a historical quote from the Carrie Steele – Pitts Home:

Carrie Steele – Pitts Home was founded by Mrs. Carrie Steele, who was working as a maid at the Union Railroad Station in downtown Atlanta when she discovered that abandoned babied and children were being left at the station. She began to care for these children, placing them in an empty boxcar during the day and taking them home with her at night. In 1888, Mrs. Steele chartered the organization, eventually selling her home and generating additional funds from the community to build the first facility called the “Carrie Steele Orphan Home.”  In our organization’s long history, only four individuals have held the position of Executive Director. Soon after Mrs. Steele’s death in 1908, Mrs. Clara Maxwell Pitts became director and she served in this role for over 40 years. During this time, the Home became a United Way agency, moved to a larger facility on Roy Street in southwest Atlanta, and changed our name to the Carrie Steele – Pitts Home to honor Mrs. Pitts’ contributions to the Home.  In 1950, Mrs. Pitts’ daughter, Mrs. Mae Maxwell Yates took over the directorship, and she was responsible for moving CSPH to our current location at 667 Fairburn Road. Just before her retirement, Mrs. Pitts hired Ollivette Allison, a former CSPH resident, to serve as the Home’s first social worker and later the Director of Case Worker Services. Since 1976, Ms. Allison has been the Executive Director, providing inspired leadership with a strong commitment to new generations of children in the Atlanta community. The incredible continuity of leadership has allowed us to stay true to the mission and ideals of our founder.

I was truly honored to spend a day volunteering with this prestigious organization.  I was able to, along with my co-workers, teach the parents in the nearby neighborhood on healthy eating for breakfast.  What we found when teach the parents and some of the staff at Carrie Steele- Pitts Home (CSPH) was that CSPH do provide healthy nutritious breakfast meals for the children and the community.  An interesting thing that we found out from the parents that skipping breakfast was very common.  There were a lot of excuses that were stated by the parents such as not enough time, it takes too long to make etc.   We were able to address these issues and gave solutions on how to prepare a healthy breakfast every morning.

Every day should be a Community Service Day where everyone should make a tremendous effort in helping their community and themselves.

Click here to see pictures in pinterest.

For further information on how you can help the children of the Carrie Steele – Pitts Home, please contact:

Dr. Evelyn Lavizzo, Executive Director

or   Denise Kimbro, Office Manager

667 Fairburn Rd., N.W.

Atlanta, Georgia 30331

Phone#:   404-691-5187

Website:  http://www.csph.org/index.htm