An Inspirational Experience
Wanda McCollum volunteered to assist with our October 6 focus group on healthy eating and physical activity at Harvest House Apartments for Seniors. In our December blog post Wanda shares her thoughts about serving as a volunteer for the focus group.
The focus group was well organized. I was impressed with the facilitator’s knowledge of the topics discussed. I learned quite a bit during the ice breaker activity where participants were asked to build a healthy plate. There were some misconceptions. Much to my surprise I thought I knew my fruits and vegetables. There are many fruits in the plant kingdom that are mistaken for vegetables. I discovered things like tomatoes, avocados, peppers and pumpkins are actually fruits, not vegetables. What an eyeopener!
I found the participant’s stories fascinating. One gentleman discussed how changing his diet to eating fresh fruits and vegetables, cutting out red meats and sweetened drinks caused a marked improvement in his health. Prior to these changes, he was extremely ill. His health forced him to quit his job. Now with his health improved, he is ready to start looking for work. Other participants discussed how high costs, lack of transportation and quality grocery stores made it difficult for them to eat healthy. The group thought a farmer’s market at their location was a great idea. It would make healthy eating easier and much more convenient.
When the conversation turned to physical activity the room grew quiet. Only one person belonged to a gym. Others said they would join a gym if it was local or free. There was a 71-year-old man who rides his bike everywhere unless the weather is bad. He gets plenty of exercise. The group applauded his vigor.
I enjoyed listening to the focus group and found them to be an inspiration. I do comply with exercise recommendations. But volunteering for the focus group has inspired me to make healthy eating a priority for the new year.
About the Grantee
Generations, Inc., a community development corporation, provides comprehensive, coordinated services to meet the needs of families and individuals, providing full access to necessary services for all ages. Innovations Ministries, a non-profit entity within Generations, promotes a proactive approach to personal development, lifestyle management and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.
Cohort: South 2