Wednesday, November 25, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Giving Thanks

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."

                                                  --Desmond Tutu

November is when we gather together our families and friends to give thanks for all the good in our lives.  Thanksgiving is more than a special day of tradition and food spent with family and friends.  It is a time when our hearts are filled with compassion and caring.  It is when we realize how much we have, not what we don’t have.

This year we give thanks for our families and for health care workers.  We give thanks for the farmers who grow our food.  We give thanks for the gift of life.   

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Diabetes and COVID-19

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope."

                                                                                     --Robert F. Kennedy 






As part of our health ministry's focus on solutions to childhood obesity, Growing Healthy Kids is creating health literacy workshops for residents in Akron, Ohio.  The motivation comes from the disastrous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on black and brown communities and the need to raise awareness about diabetes as a risk factor for COVID-19.  Under the banner of 2 Workshops, 2 Churches, 1 Purpose, Growing Healthy Kids is partnering with Business Training Capital Resource Inc. and the pastors at Akron Bible Church and Macedonia Baptist Church to reach church and community members with diabetes, especially those living in food deserts. 

Diabetes is preventable. It can be controlled, and for many people, if they do not have an advanced case, it can be reversed.  Now that COVID-19 is a deadly factor in our lives, we must be vigilant in protecting our health and that of our families. 

If you would like to join our efforts to improve diabetes health literacy in this expansive public health initiative, we welcome you.  Together, we can do so much. 

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: How to Buy Bread

 

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from other persons.  Each of us has cause to think deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."

                                                                         --Albert Schweitzer



Most bread sold in stores is pretty worthless.  Nutritionally, speaking. Food packaging is filled with misleading information.  When you see “multi-grain” on a package of bread, it means nothing. When you see “high fructose corn syrup” as one of the ingredients in bread, buy something else.  High fructose corn syrup is an added sugar linked to obesity and diabetes. 

My first book, Healthy Living with Diabetes: One Small Step at a Time, was motivated by my work helping older adults with diabetes gain control through health literacy. To simplify food choices for readers, I developed “The Nancy Rule” for buying bread and pasta.  This is still a great rule, whether you have diabetes or not. “The Nancy Rule” is this:  (1) 4 or more grams of dietary fiber per slice or per serving and (2) the first ingredient includes the word “whole”.

For most people, at least half of the grains we eat should be whole grains.  When you look at the nutrition fact labels of packaged foods, ingredients are listed by order of weight and in decreasing order.  So the first ingredient listed is very important.  If the first ingredient is “wheat”, that is not the same as “whole grain wheat”.  The word “whole” is key.  Whole grain means you are getting the bran, which is the outer part of the grain.  When you process grains to remove the outer coating of the grain (which is where the bran containing good stuff like B vitamins and dietary fiber is) you have a product that is shelf stable for weeks and months instead of days. 

Read food labels and make sure most of the breads that you buy meet “The Nancy Rule”.

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.