A critical aspect of staying healthy for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) is eating well. Many people find it challenging to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein all the time. However, not getting enough of these foods can cause nutrient deficiencies, muscle loss and weight loss which can all negatively affect the immune system. Through nutrition education, our team has created a dynamic program which includes individual nutrition counseling sessions and group nutrition education classes.
We provide individual nutrition counseling sessions that are goal oriented and based upon one’s unique needs. If you experience side effects like stomach/digestive problems, unwanted weight loss or weight gain, decreased energy levels or other chronic illnesses like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hepatitis or kidney disease, a registered dietitian can help manage your condition through specific nutritional recommendations proven to help your issues. Even if you are simply improving your nutritional intake overall or are interested in foods to enhance an exercise plan, seeing a registered dietitian is invaluable. During the nutrition counseling visit we provide a Body Mass Assessment where the nutritionist will determine the percentage of muscle and fat mass in a client’s body using a body composition test called Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). Based on this assessment, a nutritionist will provide individualized recommendations.
We also offer nutrition education classes every month which cover a wide array of HIV/AIDS related topics such as Food and Water Safety, HIV and Exercise, Women’s Health and HIV/AIDS and Eating Healthy on a Budget. A highlight of the program is Chef Carlin, who comes once a month to demonstrate how to make healthy recipes using affordable ingredients. We even publish the Nutrition Quarterly Newsletter with timely nutrition information and seasonal recipes.
We are dedicated to providing nutrition services to the HIV-positive community because we feel we can give you the tools and motivation to take better care of yourself overall and enhance your quality of life.
In 2016, we served over 80,000 hot meals to HIV-positive men and women. We serve a diverse group of people in a warm, friendly atmosphere where you can nourish your body and soul through nutritious meals and social interaction. We provide lunch Monday through Thursday and dinner on Friday evening. We offer a choice of a meat, vegetarian or fish entrée, whole grain bread, salad, soup, cooked vegetables, a starch and fresh fruit. We strive to create a healthy environment for our clients by following food and water safety guidelines for HIV-positive individuals. Our chef works closely with our registered dietitians to ensure that the food served supports the health of people with HIV/AIDS. The registered dietitians also hold nutrition education events in the dining room during lunch and dinner to inspire clients to utilize the Nutrition Education Program. We empower our participants with nutritional knowledge by serving them healthy food with the hope that they will make the healthier food choices when eating outside the agency.
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