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Setting a good lunchtime example

Published 11:02pm Thursday, May 9, 2013

To the editor:

Congratulations to the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, City of Suffolk and the Suffolk Hilton Garden Inn and Convention Center for providing a healthy meal at the State of the City luncheon.

When Mayor Linda Johnson mentioned that the meal was inspired by Healthy People/Healthy Suffolk, that announcement immediately got my attention.

It was refreshing to experience a salad with light strawberry dressing, oven-fried chicken with low-fat mushroom gravy and steamed carrots and broccoli. Brown rice was offered instead of potatoes. Single serving-sized desserts were served on the veranda. The entire meal had appropriate serving sizes and tasted great.

My experience at other community events has been luncheons laden with heavy creamy or cheesy sauces, deep-fried meats, vegetables saturated with butter and hidden calories, potatoes with added butter and milk and a sugary dessert that most people leave behind.

I hope meals like this are the start of a trend for congregational meals offered in the future at fundraisers, recognition events and faith-based gatherings. I hope the practice of eating healthy will move into our workplaces, where meeting meals can tip the scale to healthy options and save money by skipping the extra calories.

I’d like to thank community leaders for leading by example and showing us how healthy food can be delicious while making the healthy choice the easy choice and observing proper portion control. We are on our way to a healthier Suffolk one meal at a time.

Gina Pitrone

Executive Director

Obici Healthcare Foundation

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