Low Bacteria Diet and Cancer

Breast Cancer and Nutrition

Breast cancer has and always will play a huge role in my life. My grandmother and aunt both had breast cancer and my own mother had a close call with the disease as well. This being said, I knew that I wanted to help people with cancer, some way and somehow. Last year, when speaking to my aunt about nutrition diets that coincided with breast cancer, I decided to pick her brain. Since my aunt is a Registered Nurse from New Jersey, I knew that her conversation wasn’t only coming from a helpful aunt but, also coming from a breast cancer survivor. So, she re-introduced me to the “Low Bacteria Diet” that many cancer patients going through treatment, adhere to.

What is a “Low Bacteria Diet”?

A low bacteria diet includes eating healthy foods with low amounts of bacteria, or germs. These germs are normally found on the hands of a person preparing foods, or in the food itself. When patients follow this diet, they need to choose foods with little amounts of bacteria. Foods also need to be prepared and cooked in ways to keep the amount of bacteria low. The goal of a low bacteria diet is to keep the patient from getting infections. These bacteria in food or beverages can cause infections in their body. Healthcare providers suggest the low bacteria diet if their patient has a problem with their immune system. Since the immune system protects your body from infections and most cancer treatments decrease the immunity of patients undergoing them, abiding by this diet can prevent illness and even death.

Here are some guidelines for a “Low Bacteria Diet”:

–        Keep hot foods at hot temps (above 140 degrees F)

–        Keep cold foods at cold temps (below 40 degrees F)

–        Throw away shelf unstable food that’s been sitting out for more than 2 hours

–        Pay attention to dates listed on food packages like: “Sell BY” and “Use By”

–        Refrigerate leftovers ASAP

–        Avoid salad bars

–        Avoid any fruits/veggies that have been cut at the grocery store

–        Avoid raw fruits/veggies

–        Avoid delis and buffets

–        Ask for food to be prepared fresh

–        Ask for single serve condiment packages

–        Avoid these dairy products:

  • Unpasteurized products
  • Homemade eggnog or ice cream
  • All Caesar dressings
  • Brie, camembert, feta, sliced deli cheese, Queso, blue cheese, gorgonzola, aged cheese, Stilton

–        Avoid these meat & meat substitutes:

  • Raw or undercooked:
    • Beef & poultry
    • Pork, ham, & sausage
    • Fish & shellfish
    • Tofu
    • Eggs and egg substitutes
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood
  • Pickled fish
  • Tempeh products
  • Deli meats that are not reheated

–        Avoid these fruits and nuts:

  • Unwashed raw fruits
  • Raw fruit that cannot be washed well, like raspberries
  • Unpasteurized fruit juice, like apple cider
  • Uncooked raw nuts
  • Roasted nuts in the shell
  • Raw peanut butter that is stored in the refrigerator

–        Void these vegetables:

  • Unwashed raw veggies
  • Raw veggies that are hard to wash:
    • Broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, green onions, pre-cut bagged lettuce, spinach
  • All raw sprouts:
    • Alfalfa, radish, mung bean
  • Salads from the deli, salad bars, or restaurants
  • Fresh salsa that is sold in the refrigerator case

–        Avoid these grains:

  • Raw grain products
  • Contact with raw yeast
  • Do not mix or knead any bread dough product that contains raw yeast

–        Avoid these misc.:

  • Anything containing raw or undercooked eggs
  • Salad dressings with:
    • Blue cheese
    • Raw eggs (Caesar dressing)
  • Homemade mayo
  • Unpasteurized beer- homemade
  • Fountain soda pop
  • All miso products
  • Raw or non-heat treated honey



WV ’63 Heirloom Tomato

What is the West Virginia ’63 Heirloom Tomato?

So, next year the state of West Virginia will be 150 years old! In celebration of WV’s 100th birthday in 1963, the Agriculture Experiment Station released the Centennial Tomato (also known as the West Virginia ’63 tomato). The tomato was popular across the state and is still grown in many home gardens. The WV ‘63 tomato was bred at WVU by Dr. Mannon Gallegly who is an emeritus professor of plant pathology. Dr. Gallegly recently told us that it took 13 years for him and his associates to create this rare and special tomato breed. He started his WV ’63 tomato journey in 1950 and finally finished in 1963, then was published for his work in 1964. The tomato was cross-bred with several other tomatoes before it was created and discovered. The reason that this WV tomato is so very special is because is maintains a “blight resistance”. Blight is the natural reaction that tomatoes have from fungus. Visually, it looks as though the tomato has physical flaws on the surface. Our WV ’63 tomato has a resistance to this reaction therefore, doesn’t have physical imperfections. So, you could say it’s perfectly made in the state of West Virginia!!

Dean Robison, of Davis College, heard the story of the WV ‘63 tomato. He has asked if we could do something next year, 2013, in recognition of what happened 50 years ago and which could also bring recognition to WVU and what Davis College does for the state. Our main goal is to not only highlight this heirloom tomato of WV’s but, also incorporate Davis College into the promotion of it because we were the first college at WVU.

So, we want to promote “our” tomato not only across our entire campus but, also state-wide. So, as part of a campus-sponsored event we thought of an idea to incorporate different parts of Davis College into the brainstorming process. My advisor, Megan Govindan MPH, MS, RD, LD, asked Dr. Debbie Christel Ph.D., ABD, who is new to WVU from Oregon State University, to collaborate on a “WV ’63 Heirloom Tomato” T-shirt idea. Dr. Cristel is a faculty member with Textile Apparel and Merchandise in the Davis College and is experienced in the area of athletic apparel and exercise motivation. She is also familiar with the founder and company of “Sustain-U”, a sustainable t-shirt company in Morgantown.  Ironically, tonight is also the Davis College picnic, where the “T-shirt challenge” can be introduced as well. So, Dr. Christel Ph.D., ABD thought it would be a great idea to promote the t-shirt competition with a template that she created (attached) and set up drawing materials at the Apparel Design student club booth. Then, the students and faculty can vote on the best designed logo and use that design for the merchandise.

Template for our “WV ’63 Tomato T-shirt Challenge”

Other ideas that are currently in the works or could be in the works in the near future are:

  • Ketchup packets
    • Made from ’63 Heirloom tomatoes
    • Davis College logo on packets
    • Design of packet from Davis College
    • Food Science component
  • Davis College Heirloom salsa sales
    • Hot/medium/mild
    • Branded same way as ketchup packets
    • Food culture component
  • Heirloom Deer Marinades
    • Deer season is approaching quickly- would sell fast!
    • WVU Woodsmen team could help promote?
    • Alpha Gamma Rho could help advertise?
    • Sigma Alpha could help sales?
  • ’63 tomato t-shirts
    • Textile Apparel and Merchandise- Dr. Christel
  • ’63 seed packs sent to alumni
    • Seed packets with attached recipe booklet will be sent to alumni all over the world
      • This give alumni the feeling that WVU and Davis College is with them wherever they go
  • ’63 Heirloom chili cook-off
    • Different colleges across the campus can compete for “The Best ’63 Chili” bragging rights
    • Sales can be raised for a non-profit organization
  • Heirloom pasta sauce
    • This idea has me especially excited. I was thinking that a pasta sauce could be made from ’63 Heirloom tomatoes and sold during the holiday season. Or we can even have a recipe for ’63 pasta sauce for alumni to have over the holiday season. My family, personally, uses pasta sauces specifically during the holiday months so, this could even be a Christmas present ideas for families that have sent their children to WVU.
    • The Italian American Organization (IAO) could potentially promote, advertise, and help Davis College sell the products. This would mean cross-college team work towards the WV ’63 Heirloom tomato!!
  • Fried Heirloom tomato sale
    • On all 3 campuses during the birthday celebration.
  • Heirloom sandwich sale
    • Davis College could sell WV ’63 Heirloom tomato sandwiches at WVU football game tailgates or basketball games and a portion of the sales could go towards the Ronald McDonald House.
    • This idea will have a higher service learning component as well as promoting how awesome Davis College is!
    • It can be called the “Heinz Davis College ’63 Tomato Sandwich” – major sponsorship could have a huge impact on the university and college nationwide…

I can honestly say, as a Pennsylvania-born girl and West Virginia resident, I am beyond excited to start working on this project. It is seriously bringing the whole Davis College together to work on such a special agriculture heirloom to the state. Its things like this that makes me proud to say that I’m 2 very special and important things…… A Mountaineer and a Davis College graduate student.





’63 tomatoes straight from the field!

Dr. Gallegly seed saving some ’63 tomato seeds for us in the HNF department 🙂

More seed saving over in the South Ag Science building Plant Pathology lab with Dr. Gallegly

The 13 year process it took to make the ’63 tomato. This picture includes all of the cross-bred hurdles it took to create “our” tomato!

More ’63 tomatoes that Dr. Gallegly gave us for inspiration… and dinner of course! haha

The ’63 tomato published article

Morgantown Farmers Market

Morgantown Farmers Market

The Morgantown Farmers Market is a diverse collection of more than 30 vendors that gathers every Saturday from May to October 8:30am-12pm on the corner of Fayette Street and Chestnut Street in downtown Morgantown. The farmers market that I helped with on Wednesday, and will be assisting with for the remainder of the semester, is a much smaller venue. It’s featured outside of the WVU Mountainlair and only features a few vendors and is open from 11am-1:30/2pm. This gives the student body a little taste of what the famers market is like and also gives the students a chance to purchase fresh local foods between classes as a snack or on their way home to make lunch.

I helped with Lee Farms, which is located in the Fairmont area. This particular farm was selling corn, peppers (sweet and hot), tomatoes, potatoes (red and white), apples (Sir Prize, McIntosh, and Gala), and Concord grapes at their tent. I also had some help from Alexandra Smith, an undergraduate/student intern in the HNF program.

Now, to explain a little bit about these different vendors…. As a part of the Morgantown Famers Market Association, they allow different non-profit organizations to set up at the market each week. This doesn’t include the farmers market held on Wednesdays because there is a limited amount of space outside of the Mountainlair. On those Saturdays that the regularly scheduled farmers market is held, they even have live music being played!  All the vendors really make it a family-affair. They bring their children and family pets and ideally try to make the experience as personal as possible for all the customers.

Here are a few products currently in season at the Morgantown Farmers Market (Aug-Oct):

  • Apples
  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Green beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Peppers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cantaloupes
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Okra
  • Eggplant
  • Pumpkin
  • Honey
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Peaches

I, personally, think it’s a great idea to have a few vendors outside during midday on the downtown campus so students can see what West Virginia has to offer with local foods. It’s especially important because the majority of those students that do stop by the farmers market and ask about the foods are from out of state. When I first came to West Virginia and stumbled upon the farmers market, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I didn’t understand why every city or town didn’t have these around. The only thing was that it was only held on Saturday mornings from 8:30am-12pm. And honestly, I sleep-in on Saturday mornings. I admit it. So, when I heard that they were going to start having the farmers markets on every campus (Evansdale, Health Sciences, and Downtown), during the day, I was really excited about it. Even my friends get excited when I come home with farmers market food. It’s our way of eating local and promoting small local businesses in the process of eating really great fresh food.

“Boots & Roots” at The Shack Neighborhood House

Recently I started creating a new nutrition education curriculum for The Shack Neighborhood House called “Boots & Roots”. This program will be running for the target population of K-5 starting in early September. Now, what is “Boots & Roots”?

I was told to think of a nutrition education piece for K-5 that could be held on a weekly basis throughout the semester. So, what did I want to include? I wanted to include a nutrition education component- of course but, I also wanted to think of something interactive for this wide age range AND I wanted to incorporate another aspect of Davis College. So, why not introduce the children to the Farm-to-Table theme. I believe that this is a really important nutrition education model to follow because it’s the end of the summer and soon, gardens are going to start dying and the weather is going to get colder. So, in this curriculum, I wanted to showcase to the children that YOU can MAKE your OWN garden and even keep it inside during those colder months. This way, you can keep your kitchen ingredients and dinner meals more and more fresh!

So I thought of this as a 9 week lesson plan. The lesson will last from 3:30-4:30pm and will have 2 parts to it. The first part will be the education piece. And the second part will be the interactive activity section, based off of what we learned. Each week we will go over the theme of the week. So the curriculum goes as followed:

Week 1: BackGROUND

Activity 1: “Build Your Farm”- children will be creating their own planter. I have 5 different options of planters to choose from. They have the option of making a planter out of a 2-liter bottle, “pizza planter”, shoebox planter, old shoe planter, and an egg carton planter

Week 2: BackGROUND

Activity 2: “Paint Your Planter”- this will simply be the opportunity to give the children a chance to decorate their planters with ribbon, markers, crayons, stickers (hopefully Davis College stickers), and other accessories.

Week 3: In The Garden

Activity 3: “Fertilize Your Farm”- this activity will consist of instructing the children about fertilizing your plant soil. We will go over what fertilizer does to your seeds, how it helps make foods grow, and how it can affect what we eat.

Week 4: On The Farm

Activity 4: “Select Your Seed”-this activity will be the interesting part of the curriculum. We will have a number of different seeds for the students to choose from and instructions on each planting seed. They will have the freedom to choose whatever seeds they want but, they will have to maintain them and will be educated on it as well.

Week 5: In The Fields

Activity 5: “Growth Chart”- the next few weeks for activities will be solely based on their growth chart. We will have the students keep a record or log, on their planter’s growth. We ask the students to draw pictures of what they want their planter to look like and what it looks like now. How can we get the present drawing to look like their ideal drawing of their planter?

Week 6: Fruits

Activity 6: “Growth Chart”

Week 7: Veggies

Activity 7: “Growth Chart”

Week 8: Grains

Activity 8: “Growth Chart”

Week 9: Bringing It All Together

Activity 9: “Comparing Farms”- the last activity will be the most interactive between the students. We ask the students to walk around and look at their classmates “farms”. What is different about their “farms”, compared to yours? What kinds of foods were grown? Did they grow more or less compared to your own “farm”? This way, the children can get a wider range of planter gardens and hopefully strive to continue their own “farm” at home with the help of their parents!

Poverty Simulation

The Poverty Simulation experience was held today by the School of Nursing at WVU. The facilitator, Susan Pinto, contacted the WVU Extension Office to organize some Human Nutrition and Foods volunteers to join the experience. Now, what the Poverty Simulation is… It is an activity that serves as a vital part of the School of Nursing’s Senior Community Nursing Student Orientation. During the activity, nursing students were introduced to what it might be like to walk in the shoes of a family struggling to keep it together on a very limited budget. Rileigh Johnson, Alexandra Smith, and I were the volunteers representing the Human Nutrition and Foods department. Being a volunteer, we were to act in one of the roles as a service worker. My job was a Community Action Agency Staff member. I was simulating, not playing, a role of a CAA that was responsible for referring people to the appropriate agencies and issuing out food vouchers, utility vouchers, cash, and Early Head Start vouchers.

As new volunteers, all 3 of us were to report to WVU’s Rec Center in the Multipurpose Room A at 9am. This was to give us time to get oriented by Susan Pinto and to really get a feel for what we were getting ourselves into today. The simulation lasted approximately from 10am-12:50pm. During 9am-10am, gave Susan time to explain everything to the nursing students, explain the rules, and explain why they were doing the activity.

The simulation was broken down into 15 minute intervals. Each interval was to represent 1 week. There were 4 intervals so; all together the simulation was to represent a month in the life of a low-income family.  There were approximately 70-75 students that attended the simulation. They were given information about their family’s financial troubles and were told about each agency that was in the room. I was surprised that my agency didn’t receive that many more participants than it did. I only saw about 4-5 families. At the end of the simulation, each agency was responsible to tell all of the participants their own interpretation about the experience. I told the class, that I was surprised that not as many people asked for cash. I gave away all of my utility vouchers, and almost all of my emergency food vouchers but, only 1 family asked for cash from the CAA. I noticed people’s faces in somewhat shock from this. I realized that the reason the participants didn’t come to me, is because they figured they knew where to go and what to ask for. But the realization is that they didn’t. They didn’t know exactly where to go for certain things because the agency that cared for children had the same experience that my agency had.

I think this is a GREAT opportunity and experience. Especially for students who have never experienced financial struggles before. Even Susan said in the beginning, this is really good for those students that have always lived off of mommy and daddy’s credit card. I think this should be a mandated campus-wide experience for everyone from every aspect of life to do.



Graduate Student Orientation (GSO)

On Thursday August 16th, 2012, I attended New Graduate Student Orientation. Since I just started graduate classes over the summer, this seemed like a necessary meeting to attend from myself and my advisor. The orientation started with “Registration” from 8:30-9am in the Ag. Science Building room 2001. At this time, we were encouraged to get coffee, bagels, donuts, etc. that were provided by the Animal and Nutritional Sciences (ANS) Division.  As we were getting coffee and bagels, each graduate student received a packet with information on certifications we need within 30 days of classes, a really cool Davis College pen, a grad student key chain, and other information provided.

Dr. Wilson began the introduction of the orientation. He gave a short bio about himself and what exactly was expected of us in a nutshell. This was the icebreaker, in my opinion, of the orientation. Next, Dr. Dailey gave all of us his witty and sarcastic but, definitely honest, interpretation of what is expected from us as graduate students. I believe his exact words were, “As a graduate student, you will spend 21 hours a day at your desk, 3 hours sleeping, and eat lunch at your desk.” Everyone started to laugh, because honestly, that was a true statement.  Dr. Dailey spoke for about 45-55 minutes. He gave a PowerPoint presentation, which he sarcastically has some technical difficulties with. But, overall, the message I got from his presentation is that… The next 1-2 years you spend on this research, work, and dedication will pay off. But, there has to be a sacrifice and it is essentially worth it. Dr. Dailey really put into perspective about the pride and dedication you need to be a successful graduate student.

After our break, Dr. Kenney spoke about how graduate programs are really a two-way street. He explained how even though we might work really really hard for our advisor and faculty members; it’s for our benefits as well. Everything we do here as a graduate student is to further OUR education. Dr. Kenney’s presentation was really motivating. It reminded us that “EXPERT means: X= valuable in algebra and PERT= a small steady drop from a faucet”. I believe he quoted that from Dr. Mary Head. Either way, both presenters were motivating and inspiring in their own ways. Dr. Kenney, in my opinion, took the more inspiring and motivating route, while Dr. Dailey took the more sarcastic, funny, and humor route.

Then, towards the later part of the afternoon, we were introduced to the support staff of the ANS Division. That included: Gretchen Riggs, Bonnie Wood, Lindsay Triplett, and Kim Mouser.  These are the ladies that will essentially collect forms, take care of the money, and make sure all loose ends are met. These women really keep the department moving.

Overall, it was a good experience. I got to put faces to names and vice versa. I was able to interact a little bit with the graduate students and get to know why they’re here and they got to know why I’m here as well. Plus, the free pizza, key chain, and pen didn’t hurt either!! 🙂

Healthy Phone Apps: Portable Nutrition On-The-Go!

Nutrition Apps for Your Phone

Today, it seems as though everyone and anyone is taking advantage of the ease and convenience of having your favorite application (“app”) on your phone.  Apps can come in handy when doing just about anything. You can find directions to your favorite restaurant or calculate how many steps you’ve taken walking to work. I have found that the number of nutrition-related apps is really starting to rise in the past few years. It’s becoming easier and easier for people to take advantage of technology, while taking advantage of their health as well.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has released the most utilized and effective FREE apps for your phone based on categories:

1.)    Diabetes App Reviews

2.)    Gluten-free App Reviews

3.)    Weight Management App Reviews

Let’s start with the Diabetes Apps:

  • Bant
  • Blood Sugar Tracker: 5 star review

–          This app allows the user to easily log blood sugar levels, set target blood glucose ranges, and view history and simple graphs to quickly identify numbers that are out of range.

  • Carb Master Free
  • Diabetes Buddy Life
  • Diabetes Companion
  • Diabetes Log
  • GluCoMo
  • Glucose Buddy
  • Vree for Diabetes: 5 star review

–          This app includes diabetes education resources to better understand T2DM and requirements to manage it, blood glucose tracking, nutrition tracking, activity tracking, medication tracking, progress charts and blood pressure tracking.

  • WaveSense Diabetes Manager

Next, Gluten-free Apps:

  • AllergyEatsMobile
  • CeliacFeed
  • Eating Out G-Free
  • Find Me Gluten Free
  • Food Additives 2: Free
  • FoodWiz
  • Gluten Free Daily: 4 ½ star review

–          An online guide built to provide education and resources about following a gluten-free diet.

  • Gluten Free Restaurant Cards from CeliacTravel.com
  • Gluten Freed-Gluten Free Dining for Health and Celiac

Last, Weight Management Apps:

  • Calorie Counter
  • Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitness Pal: 4 ½ star review

–          This app includes a combination of physical activity and nutrition on a daily and weekly basis.

–          It is a community-oriented site designed to help you lose weight and track your fitness goals.

  • Calorie Counter by MyNetDiary
  • Calorie Counter: Diets & Activities
  • Calorie Tracker by Livestrong.com
  • Daily Burn
  • Lose It!
  • Sparkpeople Food and Fitness Tracker
  • Weight Watchers Mobile


Preston County Football Team

Preston County Football Team Menu Planning and Standardization

As a part of community outreach for WVU, I have been working on standardizing a menu plan for the Preston County football team booster club. This menu plan has 12 possible recipe choices listed in it and it is ideally going to be used to feed the Preston County football team dinners before games on Friday nights. The team has 10 games in their 2012 season so; I provided 12 possible recipe choices to give the booster club some choices to choose from.

When choosing the recipes for the football team, I kept in mind quantity and nutrition. Having been a high school athlete myself, I tried to choose recipes that would fill up a growing fast metabolism of a football player, while not weighing them down and providing nutritious components as well. When looking for recipes on SNAP-Ed’s website, http://snap.nal.usda.gov/, I wanted to also look for recipes that were easy to make for the booster club of Preston County and would provide large amounts. I also included a grocery list in the packet as well. I included a grocery list for the original recipe, 25 servings, and 50 servings. For each recipe I provided a Recipe Cost and a Serving Cost for 3 different amounts of recipes: the original recipe, 25 servings, and 50 servings. The recipes I chose were:

  • Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
  • Chicken Ratatouille
  • White Chili
  • Party-Time Pasta
  • Arroz Con Pollo Chicken and Rice
  • Sensational Six-Layer Dinner
  • Sloppy Garden Joes
  • Stuffed Green Peppers
  • Summer Vegetable Spaghetti
  • One Pan Potatoes and Chicken
  • Caribbean Casserole
  • Enchilada Bake

I realized while developing this information packet that, not only is this a great idea for high schools to start doing but, also so much more convenient for the families and parents of these athletes. I know that when I was in high school as an athlete that my parents weren’t always off of work by the time I needed to eat dinner before games on Friday nights. So, by the booster club providing this Friday night dinner for the student-athletes, it not only provides a meal for the boys on the team, relieves the parents of the players for dinner, but most importantly provides a sense of team unity by eating together before an important football game every Friday night.


I am Moving I am Learning Day 2

I am Moving I am Learning (IMIL) Day 2

Day 2 of our IMIL training began with Dr. Robison and Dr. Wilson from WVU Davis College speaking to the workshop about their excitement and involvement with the Choosy Kids, Choose to Change, and IMIL initiatives. This was really nice because the nutrition department is from Davis College so, it was pleasant to see familiar faces at the beginning of the day.

Our first workshop went right into “Assessing the Motor Skills of Young Children”. This workshop addressed motor skill competence. This is considered one of the most powerful underlying mechanisms influencing engagement and persistence in physical activity. This workshop really covered basics ideas that adults really don’t recognize, because we’re so used to just automatically doing them. It described the difference between maturation and development in children. Maturation is the product of growth, NOT easily modified, and predictable. Development includes maturation, easily modifiable, depends on learning experiences, and environmental circumstances. We also went over the difference product measures and process measures. A product measure is the performance outcomes like how many, how high, and how far. A process measure is the changes in techniques like what did it look like, and which body parts. Then we sang a song called the “I’m The Boss!”. The lyrics of this song went as followed:

“I’m the boss of my body,

I tell it what to do

I’m in charge like Choosy,

And here’s how I move

‘Cause I’m the boss… yeah

I’m the boss… yeah

Now chill!!”

Brandon and Courtney really made these songs and dances come alive in their own ways. This was probably one of my favorite songs of the whole training.

The second workshop was called “My Heart Says Thanks”. This workshop covered the IMIL goal of MVPA (moderate, vigorous physical activity).  We went over the definition of moderate activity, which is making your heart beat a little faster. While vigorous activity is making your heart beat really fast. We were introduced to the “Choosy Freeze” song and the “Build a Bridge” song as well. These activities that incorporated songs and dances, could really come in handy when working with children in classroom settings. They were fun, they had lyrics to them, and didn’t seem monotonous at all. Again, by the end of the training I knew most of the songs and we even learned a song in Spanish. It was honestly, a lot of fun 🙂

I am Moving I am Learning Day 1

I am Moving I am Learning (IMIL) Day 1

IMIL is a national award-winning program that originated right here in West Virginia. Originally designed for Head Start, IMIL takes a proactive approach towards addressing childhood obesity by increasing the quantity of physical activity, improving the quality of movement activities, and promoting healthy food and drink choices every day.

IMIL included strategies for obesity prevention initiative and materials from the new Choosy Kids Healthy Habit System. This creative approach to healthy habits will provide you with tools that complement current curricula and daily routines. The materials, along with the Health-Hero Choosy, helped us try and meet the goals of the Choose to Change Project.

The workshop provided us with bright green bags, along with DVDs, handouts, stickers, and a Choosy Kids bracelet.

Day 1 of our training on IMIL we started the day out with introductions and the Choose to Change Project information. Next we had a lecture about physical activity and nutrition. This PowerPoint presentation provided us with information behind the obesity epidemic statistics, early childhood health promotion initiatives, and the role of IMIL. The whole idea behind the initiative is to promote MVPA. MVPA stands for moderate, vigorous, physical activity. The program wants the leaders and educators of today to join together and encourage this physical activity, healthy nutrition, and good dental care ideas into young children in the classrooms.

The rest of the day consisted of two workshops. One workshop, “Crave My F.A.V. and Brush My Smile”, was before lunch. It consisted of nutrition practices for children and adults, identifying new strategies and activities for improving food choices in the classroom, and identifying new oral health practices for children and their families. The “F.A.V.” stood for fruits and vegetables. I thought that this was a really good idea. They had associated songs and dances that went with almost everything we learned about each day. The workshop after lunch was called “Body Language”. This addressed the motor skills of children starting from their brain all the way down to their control of balance.

I personally, didn’t know exactly what IMIL was before this workshop. So, at the beginning of the workshop, I was a little caught off guard by all of the singing and dancing. I’m not going lie, I felt a little uncomfortable at first. But by the end of the day I knew half of the songs and was dancing with Brandon and Courtney, which were the leaders of the physical activity components. It honestly, turned into a lot of fun. I felt much more comfortable by the end of Day 1, than I did by the beginning of Day 1. Seeing Brandon and Courtney act silly and not care what they looked like in front of everyone, made me relax and enjoy the experience.