Tag Archives: food

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 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.

Kids Eat Right Month – Eat Right


Portrait of a young couple and a child with their arms outstretched

When it comes to eating right, parents have a hard job in convincing their children that this is the right thing to do.  Kids base food on tasting good and do not want to think that the food they choose is not good for them.  What can a parent do about this ?


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! We have all heard about this but getting a child or teen to eat breakfast can be a big challenge.

Encourage eating breakfast daily at home or school and make it easy. Grab-and-go meals like a waffle with peanut butter, a boiled egg and fruit or homemade oatmeal bars make eating breakfast a breeze.  Warm up with a hearty bowl of oatmeal on a cool morning or hydrate with sweet chunks of fresh fruit and yogurt when it’s warm outside. With so many options on the table, you’re sure to find something that works — peanut butter on whole grain toast, fruit, eggs, yogurt or last night’s leftovers.  Create a breakfast with staying power using protein and carbohydrate combos like fruit and yogurt, whole-grain cereal with milk.

Though it may take time, helping your child and/or teen eat a nutritious breakfast today will build healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.

Boy Lunch Line

I want a cookie not a fruit for snack!  Have you heard this statement before from your child?  I think we all have.  Getting your child to eat healthy whole foods as snacks instead of the sweets may cause a tug of war with your child.  Here are some tips you can use with your child:

Offer nutrient-dense foods  for snacks that are otherwise lacking in the diet and will improve your child’s nutrient intake.  Make sure that the snack containing protein and fiber, so that the snacks are filling, sustaining and add to the quality of the diet. Offer meals and snacks at predictable times and let the family know when the kitchen is closed at other times.  This will prevent grazing with food.

Try some of these combinations as snacks.

  • Nuts, dried fruit, whole-grain pretzels and low-sugar dry cereal
  • Reduced-fat cheese and pear slices
  • Reduced sodium deli-sliced turkey breast wrapped around apple slices
  • Low-fat yogurt, fruit and nuts
  • Nuts and raisins
  • Celery sticks filled with almond butter and sprinkled with dried cranberries and chopped pistachios
  • Baked tortilla chips dipped in salsa
  • Whole-wheat tortilla with reduced-sodium turkey breast and reduced-fat cheese heated in the microwave

Start getting your child to become a smart snacker!  Get your child and teen to start eating right and live healthy!  For more information, check out the Kids Eat Right website:  www.eatright.org\kids . Next week is to start getting your child to become active with moving!!



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

Nutrition Fads and Foibles


Alot of people I know has been telling me that they want to lose weight but it seems that they have been moving towards the quick weight loss schemes out there.  Every day new products and diets appear most of them promising either increase energy, relief from a newly invented “illness” or quick weight loss.  Authors of nutrition books are celebrated on TV talk shows, while products are “systems” are offered at inflated prices.  Some recent food fads and fobiles include include megadoses of vitamins, the theory that sugars causes hyperactivity, food allergy theories and special “magic” substances that promote energy and weight loss.

Exaggerating a Valid Claim

Sometimes a valid nutritional idea becomes a fad and is overdone.  When oat bran was found to play a role in limiting cholesterol, manufacturers rushed in with extravagant claims for  their oat-bran products, many of which contained levels of at and sugar inconsistent with total nutritional value.

How To Decide

To separate the valuable from the fraudulent or just plain worthless, ask a few questions:

  • Is the product or treatment being promoted by someone who has something to gain from it, such as the sales of books, special foods or supplements that can’t be supplied by anyone else?
  • Are nutritional claims backed up by research in reputable medical journals, or are they supported by a trained nutritionist or a registered dietitian?
  • Does the treatment or “special diet” require eating a large amount of certain nutrients or restricting the diet to only certain foods?

Too Good To Be True?

There is no easy way to boost your energy and well-being or to lose weight.  Food fads that seem too good to be true probably are.  Food fads that seem too good to be true probably are.  A basic rule of goo nutrition is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all the food groups, avoiding high-fat and sugary foods.  Before swallowing the claims-or the products-of talk-show guests, ask yourself the questions above.  Nutrition fads may have some elements of truth but can rarely support a safe, effective and complete weight-loss or nutrition program.

What are you going to do this New Year?


Happy New Year Everyone!!  Every year, millions of people decide that they are going to start their new set of new year resolutions but only to give up on them by less than a month later.  Why does this happen?  There are many reasons why but what I am finding is that resolutions  are only a temporary fix but not a solution to the problem.  This year, I am focusing not on new year resolutions but instead looking for new year solutions!  That is why I am launching the Living Healthy Movement where I am looking at solutions to the problems that we all have with health, nutrition and lifestyle.  Look out for my free webinar from the Living Healthy Movement coming up on February 20th, 2014 at 2:00pm EST where we are going to focus on eating healthy.

So how are you going to start the new year off right?  Well, maybe this below give you a idea to make a positive new start for 2014.  (This acronym quote is from my fellow buddy RD – Carol Braizer.  Love You Girl!!)

Nutritious Food:  Regular meals, High fiber- fruits, vegetables, whole      grains, Moderate sodium intake and Minimal animal foods.

Exercise:  Weight control, More energy, Less depression, Improved digestion and regularity, Healthy Skin, Improved blood sugar and Blood pressure.

WaterTransport energy to cells and muscles and Removes impurities from body.

Sunlight:  Lift spirits and Vitamin D

Temperature Living:  Keep mind clear

Air:  Fresh air invigorating

Rest:  “Change of occupation”, Hobbies, Vacation and Meditation

Trust in GODPeace of mind.

So what are you going to do this new year?  Let me know.  Want to join the Living Healthy Movement!  Click here.

Eat in Houston Texas!


As I have previously talk about that I was in Houston, Texas for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conference and I had the chance to catch up with new and old friends.  Of course during all of those gatherings we had a chance to chow down and taste some interesting and some good foods.  First I had the chance to eat at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Houston.  I have never been to any Four Seasons Hotel but all I ever heard about this hotel was luxury and top notch service.  In the Four Seasons Hotel is the Quattro restaurant where the have the best Sunday Brunch in town.


The Four Seasons Hotel restaurant – Quattro  means four in Italian – represents the four “faces” of the restaurant: breakfast, lunch, dinner and a lively antipasto bar.  Boy it was so taste of the food was extremely delicious.  I had the  Seared Sustainable Verlasso salmon, truffle mashed potatoes, Houston “Sutton Sweet” tomato relish, caper salmoriglio which was excellent!  Our waiter was incredible and so entertaining and funny!  So whenever you are in Houston, Texas and you want some great delicious food then go to the Four Season Hotel.


The next day I had a chance to visit the Epicurean Express Supermarket in Downtown Houston.  This store sells gourmet grocery food items at discount prices.  I love the selections of food items that they had and I wish they had one here in Atlanta.  Here are some pictures below of this wonderful supermarket:


I also had a chance to eat at Massa’s Seafood Grill which i was extremely happy to eat there.  I ate an appetizer which was Crab Cakes – Topped with Lemon Butter Sauce and Tomato Relish  and while one of my friend had the Chicken Caesar salad.  I love the flavor and taste of the crab cakes and the crab was real crab meat!  I will definitely come back to this restaurant again!


I then went to a Tapas restaurant with some friends in the evening time and this was the first time I have ever been to one.  I have not been a great fan of Tapas Restaurants because of the meals being made with alots of beef and beef products.  I am a semi-vegetarian and I was not use to eating the food selection that was there at the restaurant.  My friends love the food but unfortunately i could not get into eating it.  I do love the sharing the food concept but the food at this restaurant was not my cup of tea.  Here are some of the pictures of the food at the Tapas Restaurant below:




So it is great to try something new and be open to it.  This week try to eat something that you have never eaten before.  I will definitely continue to do this especially when I go away.  For more food ideas particularly for the holiday season check out by friend Renee Simpson blog called http://www.soulfoodtherapy.com/ .

Touring the Atlanta Community Food Bank


I was truly excited that I had the chance of touring the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  The Atlanta Community Food Bank has been founded in 1979 and it has procures over 45 million pounds of food and groceries each year and distributes it to more than 600 nonprofit partner agencies serving families and individuals in 29 metro Atlanta and north Georgia counties.  Here is some background information about the Atlanta Community Food Bank below:

Atlanta Community Food Bank utilizes more than 1,000 volunteers a month, over 100 staff members, a large fleet of trucks and a 129,000 square-foot facility to procure and distribute food and grocery items received from hundreds of donors. Our donors include manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, brokers, restaurants, food drives, gardens and individuals. The product is easily accessed by our partner agencies. They place their orders online and arrange for pick up or delivery. Once the food arrives at the agency, it is provided to families and individuals in need.

The mission of the Atlanta Community Food Bank is to fight hunger by engaging, educating and empowering our community. While our core work is food distribution, our efforts extend far beyond that. Our mission is lived out every day through seven projects that help engage, educate and empower both people in need and those who want to help. From supporting community gardens to assisting people in finding economic security, ACFB covers a wide range of opportunities for people to learn and get involved. Our seven projects are Atlanta Prosperity Campaign, Atlanta’s Table, Community Gardens, Hunger 101, Hunger Walk/Run, Kids In Need and Product Rescue Center.

ACFB’s Community Gardens project offers assistance to more than 100 new and existing gardens across metro Atlanta. Volunteers and neighbors come together to grow fresh, healthy food to nourish communities and neighborhoods.

The benefits of Community Gardening are boundless. It stimulates social interaction, beautifies neighborhoods and produces nutritious foods while reducing food budgets. Each garden is a joint effort where friends and neighbors not only share responsibilities, but often the rewards of their harvest as well!

Our tour guide of the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) was Linda Wood and she explained that the new building that the ACFB is in a green living building.  What I saw while begin there that everything was recycled including the outdated donated foods.   There is a machine that ACFB uses called the Digestor which uses special enzymes that break down the food like your own stomach but turns the food into recycle water for the whole building.  Now that is truly green living!!

ACFB also has a very much so up dated with technology that the food client recipients are able to purchase the food online and schedule a time for picking up their food.  Instead of waiting 2 hours they now wait for 15-20 minutes.  Starting in January 2014, ACFB will start a food ranking system in their warehouse where a color coded system will be used to help distribute healthy foods options to all the churches and centers that are involved in the ACFB program.  Currently, ACFB has no nutritional analysis system to let these organizations know which foods are healthy.  ACFB has hired a Registered Dietitian Consultant to assist with making this nutritional analysis system.

An interesting note that for the ACFB clients demands is not so much with food but the highest demand ticket item is Laundry Soap and Diapers!!  So if you want to donate food to the ACFB make sure you add in also these 2 high ticket items to your donation.

Alot of people think that the homeless population is the largest group who come to the ACFB to seek for assistance when it is actually the children who make up about 40% and working families who make up about 36%.  Below are some further statistics from the ACFB:

Over the past three years, the number of Georgia households receiving food stamps has increased by 62%. (Georgia DHR, 2012.)

More than one in every four Georgia children – 28.8% of our children – now live in food insecure households. This is up from 28.3% last year

Nearly 1.8 million Georgians (19.1%) are living in poverty according to the latest US Census Bureau American Community Survey.

In Georgia, the two largest groups that needs assistance is Children – 40% and the Working Poor.

I have really learned alot from this tour at the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  I encourage people to get involve with your community especially with the ACFB.  For more information about ACFB – http://www.acfb.org/

Click here for more photos at the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Next week, I will discuss about the Atlanta Farmer’s Market.