After a 2-month hiatus I am writing again! It was a long break — I know — but it has been such a great opportunity for me to do research, host a few workshops, and continue to help save lives.
During my time away from my blog, I hosted two nutrition workshops. The first was at my alma mater, Cornell University where Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in collaboration with Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. hosted a workshop entitled “Exercising Your Own Choices.” This interactive health and nutrition workshop provided women with the tools needed to regain control of their bodies through a yoga session facilitated by Minnie Jardine and nutrition portion facilitated by yours truly.
During the nutrition portion, I shared my personal struggle towards better health. The fact that my story is not at all unique is what has such a strong impact on people, specifically women. I was able to connect with the women and educate them about healthy eating habits they can acquire during their college years and beyond. I encouraged them to take control of their health now, in order to enjoy a long life. The program ended with a myth debunking activity and each women walked away with a goody bag filled with nutrition facts, beauty products, and healthy snacks.
The program was very well put together. Dim lights, candles, blankets, throw pillows, and yoga mats set the mood for relaxation. In addition, there was a tasty spread of fresh fruits, cheese, and crackers. The ambience was perfect and so was the program, but this was only the beginning…
I later spoke in front of a more diverse and slightly older group of women at the National Convention of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. at DePauw University where I hosted a workshop entitled “Healthy Eating 101.” During the workshop I touched upon the fundamental components of healthy living and eating. It was a sort of mini-lecture yet it was personal, interactive, and fun — I hope — at the same time. My favorite part was the activity portion during which the women practiced reading and interpreting Nutrition Facts labels of healthy and unhealthy products. They dissected the labels and reported the good, the bad, and the ugly as well as whether or not they would recommend the product to someone and why. It was great to listen to these women — most of which had never looked at a label in their lives — analyze these products and candidly speak about the pros/cons. It was surprising to many of them when products they thought were healthy turned out not to be very healthy at all.
The workshop was quite successful as it enabled the women to realize how simple and critical it is to make the right food choices. In fact, I received an email from one of the women that participated in the workshop which truly made my heart smile.
I just wanted to share a personal shopping experience today. This past weekend, I sat in on Sasha’s workshop at convention. (awesome job girlie!) So today, after a moment of weakness and a crappy McD’s lunch, I decided to go to the supermarket and buy some healthy food/snacks and make that step to healthy eating…again.
Only this time, when I got there, I decided to actually read the labels. I am not sure WHY I never read them before. I mean, I read the labels for the ingredients in my hair products and clothes, but not my food. After that little epiphany, I picked up my usual whole wheat bread thinking, eh, it’s whole wheat bread. The ingredients won’t be that exciting. WRONG! The bread I usually get (Wonder brand) has high fructose corn syrup as the fourth or fifth ingredient. So here I was, thinking I was eating healthy wholesome food all this time, only to not be. I ended up buying the Arnold’s brand which didn’t have that crap in it and seemed like a better choice. Same thing happened when I read the ingredients to my fave cereal (Special K Vanilla Almond)…wrong again.
So this may seem trivial, but I just wanted to send a HUGE thank you to Sasha for teaching me a new way to shop. I’m 30, so I should know better, but really I didn’t. I also have PCOS and know that I HAVE to lose the belly fat or I risk developing diabetes type II, but it has been such a struggle all my life as well that I think I subconsciously had started to give up. So, I just wanted to share because it is about so much more than a hobby Sasha…you’re literally helping people save their lives.
Having been able to positively affect at least one woman in that workshop really motivates me to continue my quest to save lives. I do what I do because I want to help people. I want everyone to have the opportunity to make the best choices in order to live the best life. It is truly reassuring to know that my words do touch people and that I actually do motivate people because it makes me feel one step closer to impacting the world.
I hope to plan and facilitate more workshops throughout the year in hopes of empowering more than just one person. But in the meantime, I’m back! 🙂