My Sixteenth Street Story | Isabel

Now that I’ve started learning…I don’t want to stop

You really don’t know what you don’t know. When it comes to your health, I’ve realized learning and having all the information you need to be healthy is so important. That’s why the Adult Nutrition and Cooking Education classes through Healthy Choices at Sixteenth Street made such a difference in my life. I thought I was doing most things right, and it turns out I had a lot to learn and was capable of a lot more than I thought.

I found out about the classes through a health fair and decided to try it out. I live quite far away and can never find classes offered in Spanish near me, so this was an opportunity I wanted to take advantage of. The classes were great. Our teacher, Delia, was great. The other women in my class were wonderful people. It was a fantastic experience all around.

We learned so many things about nutrition, food and cooking. The things that stuck with me most were portions and variety. I used to eat a large plate of rice, beans and lentils for dinner. I didn’t think about adding other types of foods, such as fruits or vegetables. I just ate what I knew. Now I portion out what I eat, and I’ve added all sorts of other healthy foods to my meals. Instead of rice, beans and lentils, I have beans and a vegetable with a piece of fruit. Or I have rice and vegetables.

They also showed us how to read labels and chose better options when we are shopping. I never knew how to read labels or what they meant. I was so surprised at the labels and what I was eating! Now I can’t shop without reading them and noticing sugar, carbohydrates and fats. I know I’m buying the healthiest options now. Tt feels great to have that control. And I’ll admit, the taste was different at first. Everything felt a bit odd. But you get used to it and after a while, foods with a lot of fat, or sugar, or that aren’t whole grains, don’t even taste good anymore.

I lost a lot of weight because of this class and what I’ve learned. I also felt a motivation and energy that I haven’t felt in years. I love to walk outside. I walk every day. But I never thought I could do more than that. I thought I was old, and walking was about all I could do. But Delia encouraged me and motivated me to do more. She gave me the confidence to try. Now I am not only walking, but I’m running! Running gave me more strength. I pushed myself more and it really jump started my weight loss. Now I have more energy to do more things and know I am capable of a lot.

I loved these classes – the recipes, the motivation, the friendships, everything. I would take another series if I could. Now that I’ve started learning, I don’t want to stop. It has been a fantastic change and I would recommend it to anyone that can take it. All you have to do is start, you will be surprised by what you don’t know and how good it feels to learn.

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