As part of the Whole Health Action Management (W.H.A.M.) plan that peers develop to manage their illness and achieve total wellness, better nutritional practices are encouraged. At Perry Wellness Center, popular ways to achieve a healthier diet include juicing and smoothies. These are two delicious methods to achieve maximum nutritional value in meals or snacks. Peers and staff alike enjoy making concoctions with fresh fruits and vegetables, many of which come from the raised garden beds on campus.
W.H.A.M. training now includes verbal instructions and demonstrations in making these healthy drinks. Preparation is simple:
- For smoothies, first pour a liquid base of water, fruit juice, coconut oil, or milk into the blender. For juices, the base is not needed, as the natural juices from the fruits or vegetables will provide sufficient liquid.
- Next, place any green, leafy vegetables, such as kale or spinach into the blender.
- Add fresh or frozen vegetables, such as carrots or avocadoes, or fresh or frozen fruits, such as apples, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, mango, or grapes. For a thicker, colder drink, add a few ice cubes if you don’t use frozen fruits or vegetables.
- Blend until smooth and serve cold.
During the learning process, peers become more aware of their personal likes and dislikes when mixing flavors for juices and smoothies. Individual servings are not large, due to the roughage in these drinks and the potential conflict with prescribed cardiac medications.
Elizabeth Moss, a staff facilitator of the project, appreciates the benefits, as she explains: “This juicing is so good for us. I have been juicing for several months and feel and see the difference in my complexion and feelings.” She also recognizes the significance of healthy nutrition in achieving total wellness. “If we feel better and look better, we are mentally better able to meet the day.”
In the above photo, Kaylon Holt, left, joins Connie Rutherford and Tameka Brown in the preparation of some healthy juice drinks.