Women’s History Month continues with event focused on healthy living

As part of Cosumnes River College’s continued celebration of Women’s History Month, nutrition Professor Timaree Hagenburger hosted an event focused on family and food alongside several students on March 13.

The event, titled “Gatekeepers and Family Health Leaders,” was a sharing session that focused on “how several students and faculty members have moved their families to a healthy eating plan, preserved food traditions that we grew up with and dramatically changed our families’ health futures,” according to a flyer for Women’s History Month events.

“People can transition family to a healthier way of life and still and enjoy food even more,” Hagenburger said.

During the session, Hagenburger and nutrition major Robin Wong, 53, showed a group of 16 students how to make a healthier salad dressing.

They made three types of dressings, including one made of artichokes, one with mustard and a citrus based one. Hagenburger said all the recipes can be found on her site called The Nutrition Professor.

Joann Helmich, 60, a nursing major, said her family is affected by diabetes and that the salad and changing the way she eats really helped her.

“I’m not always hungry. My salads are now known as momma’s mega salad,” Helmich said.

The second half of the session consisted of guest speakers talking about their family backgrounds and how they changed their eating habits. They also spoke about the dangers of some foods such as milk and other dairy products.

“Eating plant-based foods is better for your health and better for the environment,” Wong said.

The choices we make can impact our health and the environment, like eating more red meat can decrease the number of cows, Wong said.

As the session winded down students were encouraged to ask questions about their own nutritional habits and for tips on how to stay healthy. Hagenburger’s dressing recipe was passed around for the students to photograph it if they wanted to. .

Hagenburger asked those in attendance what they learned from the session, and encouraged them to apply it to their own diets as well as to share it with their family.

“Adding vegetables to smoothies, eat more beans and rice. If you have the ingredients, you have everything you need to stay healthy,” Hagenburger said. “The idea is to plan ahead and make a plan for your lunches for the week.”

Wong recommended the film “Forks Over Knives” for students who wish to change their eating habits to healthy ones. The movie can be found on Netflix.

Another recommendation by Hagenburger was the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, which gives tips, recipes and benefits for a vegan diet. The program can be found on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Women website and includes tips for those that eat Indian, Japanese and Mexican cuisine.

“Health is very fragile. You may be healthy, but you can’t stay healthy forever,” Helmich said. “What you eat today will definitely affect your health tomorrow.”