|DeKalb seniors celebrate healthy living at Lou Walker Center|
|Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:11 | Written by Joshua Smith|
When Sebastian Barnett joined the Lou Walker Senior Center in 1998, he was out of shape, and coming in at 245 pounds. Now, he’s down to 174 pounds and feeling a lot better about himself and life.
The keys to Barnett’s success?
“You really are what you eat. I look for recipes that are the healthy version so I can still enjoy all the foods I love,” said Barnett, who will turn 75 in August. “I still eat favorites like pork chops. Just might bake them instead of frying, though. I also started exercising. You have to stay active. That’s the key.”
Barnett’s story is the kind of healthy lifestyle DeKalb Countyy officials recently celebrated at “Let’s Move DeKalb, Seniors: Picture DeKalb Healthy.” The Lithonia senior facility put on a health fair, which included a healthy soul food cooking demonstration, line dancing to “The Wobble” and other hits, and a live performance from “2UNES and the UEB Band.” Watch a segment of their performance here.
“Our seniors are critical. They are the ambassadors of their families and the community. We are depending on them to go out and spread the word about healthy living,” said S. Elizabeth Ford, director of DeKalb County’s Board of Health. “Many of the seniors here are examples of the benefits of eating healthy.”
Publix “Simple Meals” chef Sharon Watson conducted the healthy soul food demonstration, showing seniors how they can still enjoy soul food favorites such as cornbread, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf and collard greens with modified recipes.
Watson began the demonstration by taking the fat out of collard greens and saying “No ham hocks!”
“The mere mention of soul food brings thoughts of greasy fare like fatback and clogged arteries. You can still enjoy your soul food, but just try recipes like this one for your greens. These kinds of recipes leave out heavy salt and refined sugar, bad fats, and unhealthy cooking techniques, ” said Watson, who often prepares 30-minute meals at the North Druid Hills Publix Store. “You need to say goodbye to cooking cornbread with bacon grease and keep a bottle of PAM or similar cooking spray in the kitchen.”
This was the seventh year that DeKalb has hosted the annual health event for seniors.
“We know it’s critical to keep working with all the seniors in the community. Our seniors raise their grandchildren and the kids will do what they see grandma doing in the kitchen,” said Ford, who co-hosted the event. “We know how important it is to educate our seniors. They have a direct influence on our future.”
|Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 04:59|