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July 18, 2015: Greenmarkets
Today we focused on Nutrition, with particular attention to the importance of fresh foods in our diet. We discussed the importance of balancing the amount of calories, or energy like gas in a car, with nutrients, or vitamins and minerals that allow that fuel to be used in the right way to help us fight infections, grow and develop. Fresh food typically gives you that healthy balance without extra calories. Processed food, while okay in moderation, does not usually provide you with this balance as they have little nutrients and extra calories. This excess of calories that are added or concentrated in processed foods typically comes in the form of sugar. Surprisingly, orange juice has almost as much sugar as Coca Cola! Just like Coke, it is best to drink juice in moderation (or dilute it with water) and instead opt for the fruit itself, which has that balance of nutrients without extra calories.
So how do we determine if a food has excess calories? It is helpful to look at the nutrition label. If you read words like “fructose,” “glucose,” “sucrose,” “corn syrup,” and “high-fructose corn syrup” on the label, then the food has extra calories that you do not need. So if we’re trying to avoid processed foods with added sugars, where can we find fresh foods with that healthy balance of nutrients and calories? Greenmarkets are a perfect spot because they sell locally grown, fresh food, which is exactly where we went today! And the best part is that fresh foods do no have to be expensive: for those who receive food stamp/SNAP/EBT benefits, there is a Health Bucks program, which gives you $2 extra for every $5 you spend!
After our lesson at Poor Richard’s Playground, we began walking towards our community garden pitstop, the Children’s Aid Society Garden. Community gardens are another great way to eat fresh foods and also get involved in the community! There, we stopped to rest in the shade, eat our fresh foods including bananas and apples, and admire and occasionally nibble on all the fresh foods the garden had in store! The garden was in full bloom with summer squash, eggplant, all different types of tomatoes, and very tart apples that some of us picked right off the tree and ate! We then headed to the Lenox Market on Lenox Ave. between 117th and 118th St. When we arrived at the market, Sister Deysi, Claire, and Carmen distributed out the health bucks so the families could get some tasty fresh fruits and vegetables! After which, we reconvened to walk through the historic part of Harlem and ultimately to our last stop the Marcus Garvey Park.
We had a wonderful, bright and sunny day for our Greenmarkets Walk with our biggest turnout yet! Thank you all for coming out, taking the time to learn how to make you and your family healthier, and enjoying the day with us!
Date: July 18, 2015
Time: about 2.5 hours
Co-leaders: Jude Appiah, Georgia Bancheri, Claire Castellano, Stella Chong, Cappy Collins, Katie Litman, Aimee Mankodi, Deysi Martinez, Emma Murphy, Katelynn Pan
Special thanks to Yulanda Barratt and Andres Mares Muro with the NYC DOE’s Pre-K for All program.
“Walking, under 2.0 mph, very slow,” 155lbs = 140 kcal/hr