Fitness Friday: lunchtime wellness seminar

On Thursday, I attended a lunchtime wellness seminar offered by the employee assistance program at work. A wellness coach and a dietician from the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute presented on “Physical Activity and the Basics of Nutrition.”

While I did learn that nutrition labels will be changing in 2018, most of the information shared was not new. And that’s okay. It was good to be reminded of nutrition basics and the importance of increasing activity. Plus, they served a delicious lunch of salad, quinoa, and yummy watermelon slices.

There were two takeaway quotes for me. The first was “You are what you eat eats.” This was very much in keeping with what I learned by reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver earlier this year. The second quote I liked was “Eating fat doesn’t make you fat.” The one presenter said this when reviewing sources of healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts.

As she talked about the dangers of no-fat and low-fat options marketed as healthy, I pictured those “Stop the Insanity” infomercials from the 1990s. I can still see Susan Powter shouting about how many (plain) baked potatoes one could eat since they were low-fat. Of course, the pendulum swung the other way by the end of the decade with the emphasis on low-carb diets and then there were books touting the joys of indulging in butter, meat, and cheese galore.

Yesterday’s presenters reminded attendees that the key to being healthy is eating food with minimal processing:  whole grains instead of packaged foods made with enriched flour. Smoothies you make yourself instead of the bottled ones with the fiber stripped away. Fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables with no or little salt added. As we munched on watermelon while walking back to our offices, my coworkers agreed that this was a tasty reminder.


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