Helping Kids Escape Food Deserts

Many studies have shown that children who live in poverty stricken areas with limited access to fresh and healthy food are more likely to be obese, putting them at risk for preventable diseases. Seeds in the Middle is an organization that has been working closely with schools located in the “food deserts” of Central Brooklyn, in hopes to empower students with the resources to create a healthy lifestyle. They do this through hosting “Chef Nights” where students, or what Seeds in the Middle call “sous chefs” work along side professional Chefs to prepare a nutritious, delicious gourmet meal for the same cost as a fast food combo! The great part about it? The kids then serve the meal to their family and have all of the tools necessary to teach their parents how to make the same meal at home.

When I heard about this program I was inspired. As a Registered Dietitian I often help parents change their style of cooking or ways to purchase food with the hopes that they then act as a positive role model and inspire change for their children. However, the idea of having the children act as the role models is truley admirable and commendable. It’s true that the these kids are our future and the changes need to start with them. We all need to work together to prove that no matter where we live we can eat healthy and live well. Please help Seeds in the Middle raise enough money to allow these children to experience these very informative gifts and dining experience. The money needs to be raised by Monday, May 25th, Memorial Day; any amount would be helpful! Click the link below to see these inspirational children at work and how effective these Chef Nights actually are!

Vitamin D Supplementation & Weight Loss

Earlier this week I was asked to shed some light on a new study about Vitamin D supplementation and weight loss. This was my response: “Think of it like being sick and trying to complete a college paper. Since you’re coughing, sneezing and feeling groggy, the amount of time you spend trying to accomplish the paper will probably take longer than if you we’re to try to complete your paper on a healthy day. Being deficient in a vitamin can have very similar effects. Many people try to lose weight by following a reduced calorie diet but do not see results fast enough causing them to give up or slack off. This study shows that overweight/obese adults who are Vitamin D deficient can benefit by coupling their efforts on a reduced calorie diet with consuming a Vitamin D supplement in order to achieve greater weight loss outcomes regardless of age, sex, or BMI.”

What does this mean? First off, get your blood work checked to see if and what vitamins you are deficient in. Second, if you find that you are deficient then consult with your doctor to get the proper dosing (over dosing can lead to toxicity effects and cause complications). Like most scientific evidence, further research needs to be done to determine a recommended dosage. In the mean time you can prevent or treat vitamin D deficiency by allowing yourself 15 minutes of sun exposure daily and/or eating foods such as fish, mushrooms, and fortified milk throughout the week. Add those foods and sun exposure to a reduced calorie diet and you may find yourself losing weight more efficiently. salmon with mushrooms

Click the link below to read what other experts had to say!

Watch my YouTube video to learn about other vitamin supplements: