Tuesday, July 10, 2012

From “Comida Chatarra” to “Comida Sana”: A Health and Fitness Talk at OYE

What drink would you choose?

Last Saturday, OYE scholars delved into a topic that often goes unspoken: health and fitness. Guest speakers Vanessa Faraj, from KM2 Solutions, and Jose Ochoa Pagoaga, former president of the local municipal gym in El Progreso, challenged OYE scholars to recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

The seminar began with Vanessa (above) giving a general overview of what healthy eating entails: consuming fruits regularly, avoiding sugar drinks, etc. To engage the students, Vanessa asked two scholars to choose their favorite snack, and then talked about which one is the healthier choice.

OYE kids share what they eat for breakfast.
Complementing Vanessa’s focus on healthy eating, Jose encouraged OYE scholars to be as active as possible, and noted the importance of regular exercise. Likewise, he talked about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle at a young age. Jose, who has lost 70 pounds in one year, is a true example of what leading a healthy lifestyle can do.

While many people may think that Coke gives more energy than water, and that an oatmeal cookie is much healthier than a chocolate one, our OYE scholars have now dispelled those myths. Muchas gracias a Vanessa and Jose for their time and knowledge on this topic; they’ve led our OYE scholars another step closer to developing themselves as an entire (and healthy) person! 

Jose Ochoa offers health advice.
Other useful health tips:
  • Baleadas...a staple Honduran food...are 60% fat! Definitely not a healthy choice.
  • Opt for grilled chicken rather than fried chicken to get a healthy protein.
  • Avoid buying packaged cereals for breakfasts. Instead, so with a healthier, sugar-free option like oatmeal. Prepare with water instead of milk and add fruits (bananas, berries) and nuts.
  • Don't believe packages when they say "All Natural" or "Sugar Free"...they might still be unhealthy.
  • Look at the ingredients before buying. If you can't pronounce one of the ingredients of a certain food...that means you are eating chemicals. Don't eat it!
  • Eating breakfast in the morning is proven to be important. Don't skip! Instead of fasting, eat healthy.
  • Eat more fibers for healthy carbs and to promote digestion (celery, apples, spinach, cabbage, etc.)
  • White meats (chicken and fish) are much better for the body than red meats
  • Avoid packaged foods, sodas, and juice soft drinks...they are full of sugar.
  • If one of the first three ingredients of a product is sugar...AVOID IT!
Many thanks to Jose and Vanessa for their time and knowledge!


Shawon said...

Even as a volunteer, I learned a great deal from this workshop! The facts are extremely helpful. Thanks so much for coming, Vanessa and Jose! :)

Vanessa Faraj said...

Thanks, Shawon! :) It was really great meeting all of you, and I'm really honored to have been given the opportunity to be part of such awesome activity. Thank you for letting me share my passion with all of the kids, and all of you. Absolutely loved it. :)

Anonymous said...

Im sorry I missed this seminar, I could've used this advice myself! Great job Vanessa and thanks OYE for recognizing the enormous need to teach healthy eating habits. The Honduran diet has been changing over the years for worse, I see people drinking bigger amounts of sodas and eating more junk or fast foods than usual. Not to mention the lack of vegetables and fruits in their daily consumption.

Michael Solis said...

Amazing initiative and event. I thought the ideas that you had for specific meals (oatmeal instead of baleadas, grilled chicken instead of fried, salads instead of churros!!) were excellent. We're looking forward to what Vanessa has to say on her next blog.

jose ochoa said...

Incredible experience, incredible organization.-- Thank you for having me and allowing me to be a grain of sand as part of your incredible cause.