Monday, 16 February 2015

Australia's Healthy Weight Week

Today marks the beginning of Australia's Healthy Weight Week (AHWW), which runs from February 16-22, 2015. This initiative of the Dietitian's Association of Australia (DAA) seeks to encourage individuals to make small lifestyle modifications to benefit overall health and achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

The aim of AHWW will differ for everyone, and the focus should be on simple, achievable modifications. Think eating more vegetables, having fruit every day, eating breakfast, or packing your own lunch rather than buying take away. AHWW encourages Australians to make a pledge to commit to such a health-promoting goal. You can make your pledge by visiting the AHWW website and go into the draw to win a fantastic prize pack too!. Make your goal well known to yourself and others (such as family) as this can help keep you motivated and on track. 

AHWW also seeks to encourage the Australian public to prepare and consume more meals at home, rather than relying on take away foods, restaurant meals and convenience meals. Food prepared outside of the home is typically higher in energy (kilojoules or calories), fat, sugar and salt. Such meals are typically lower in vegetables, fruit and wholegrains, and thus offer less nutrients. By cooking more meals at home, you are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Visit the AHWW website and download the AHWW cookbook for some delicious recipe inspiration - it's certainly got my mouth watering! 

Once you have made your pledge and started your journey towards a healthier lifestyle, enlist the support of an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) for evidence-based nutrition advice and to keep you focussed on your goal . You can search for an APD in your area here. Also keep an eye out for AHWW events in your area; these are a great opportunity to access nutrition information and network with other health-focussed individuals.

I myself will be hosting some AHWW events this week through my work, Latrobe Community Health Service (LCHS) in Morwell, Moe and Traralgon. We will be holding food swap-meets to encourage local green-thumbs to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts and share their surplus produce with other like-minded community members. If you live in the Latrobe Valley, I'd love to see you at one of the swap-meets, which will occur as follows:

  • Tuesday 17th February, 11am-12pm, LCHS MORWELL, 81-87 Buckley Street. 
  • Wednesday 18th February, 11am-12pm, LCHS TRARALGON, corner Princes Highway and Seymour Street
  • Wednesday 18th February, 11am-12pm, LCHS MOE, 42-44 Fowler Street. 
We do ask for fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds only, no baked goods, preserves or eggs can be exchanged. No money necessary, just bring your produce along to exchange.

I hope everyone enjoys a healthy and tasty AHWW, make your pledge now and start your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

- Em xx


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