Smart eaters don't have to choose between good taste and good health

A Message From Heart Healthy Lenoir

BBQ Festival on the Neuse

Eating out is something we look forward to as a time to relax, be waited on, and enjoy something a little special. So what would it be like to come away from a nice restaurant meal, feeling satisfied, well taken care of, AND like you have done something good for your health?  Say goodbye to guilt and that overstuffed feeling, the tighter waistline, and the nagging thought.. “now I’ll have to skip breakfast or work out extra hard in the morning.”

The Heart Healthy Lenoir team is willing to bet that you can have it both ways – feel  happy and satisfied with the food while also feeling like you’ve done your body a favor – impossible??
Lenoir County sits squarely in the buckle of the stroke belt, with higher rates of heart disease and stroke than most parts of the country – that’s the bad news.  The good news is that our understanding of how diet plays into this is changing and healthy diet can include things like BBQ and hush puppies if prepared right.
Goodbye to “diet food” that reminds you of cardboard and leaves you feeling hungrier than when you started.  Hello to colorful fresh vegetables along with tender meats, flavorful breads, and refreshing beverages. So how is all of this going to happen?
It takes a village. We can’t do it on our own. If restaurants don’t serve if, you don’t have the option.  If restaurants serve it and you don’t eat it, they can’t keep it on the menu.  If our collective goal is to unbuckle the grip of the stroke belt and live the good life, we’ve got to do it together.
We’re here to help. The Heart Healthy Lenoir project is a 5 year research project funded by NIH. Our mission is to learn how to work with doctors, public officials, business owners, churches, and other community-based organizations to create an environment where living a healthier life is also living the good life.
We’ll be at the Living the Good Life Expo to share some ideas. We’ll have on hand for taste testing some healthy BBQ and hush puppies.  We’ll share ideas about how you can eat healthier at home or away from home, and still really enjoy it!  We also look forward to talking with restaurant owners about what they can do to tweak their menus to support a community wide effort to support heart health.
In fact we’ll take it a step further.  We’re happy to arrange free consultations with any restaurant owners who would like to consider creative opportunities for menu or serving strategy enhancements that promote healthy eating. In the future we’ll be promoting such efforts through a publicity campaign and possible monetary incentives.
Who are we? We’re a team of faculty and students from UNC-CH and ECU partnering with many individuals and organizations in Lenoir County. Collectively we are trained in, nutrition, exercise science, medicine, pharmacy, local food systems, health promotion, and entrepreneurship. We also have considerable hands on experience with cooking and baking, with back-up consultation available from Chef Andrea Reusing, winner of the James Beard award for Best Chef in the Southeast, and owner of the Lantern Restaurant in Chapel Hill.
Come see us at the Heart Healthy Lenoir booth to start Living the Heart Healthy Good Life!