Hacking Healthy Eating Habits

In celebration of Nutrition Month, our employees, staff, and students learned a ton from a talk with professional nutritionists about sustaining a healthy diet.

When a workplace is busy staying on top of emails and deadlines, food is just fuel. Some employees make do with the quickest, tastiest meals they can get — if they remember to take a bite at all.

But at CIIT, we know that diet not only impacts daily productivity, but also long-term health. So during Nutrition Month, on Wednesday, July 12, CIIT’s HR and Clinic teams organized a free talk in our very own library with expert nutritionists and invited companies to share their healthy products.

From left to right: Our nutritionist speakers Dr. Zenaida Fainsan Velasco and Ms. Ma. Eloisa Villaraza.

During the talk, Dr. Zenaida Fainsan Velasco, interim president of the Nutritionist Dieticians Association of the Philippines, and Ms. Ma. Eloisa Villaraza, registered nutritionist dietitian, shared tips for how our faculty, staff, and students can easily incorporate nutritious eating habits into their daily routines.

The speakers hooked their audience with questions about their favorite snacks. As expected,   sugary soda, delicious donuts, and salty fries were common answers. Then the experts showed the results of a short survey of CIITeam members. According to the survey, 45 percent of CIIT employees were a little overweight.

Ms. Villaraza with the help of a game volunteer shows the audience how to take their Body Mass Index (BMI).

The nutritionists, though, weren’t guilting our CIITeam and CIITzens into eating only fruits and vegetables or lessening their portions. In fact, Dr. Velasco said “There’s no good or bad food.” Instead, they advised our employees and students to embrace balanced diets as the  foundation of their eating habits.

The nutritionists recommended maintaining a diet that takes into account balance, moderation, and variety by ensuring that meals contain the recommended amount of carbohydrates, protein, fats, as well as vitamins and minerals. Simply having the right proportions of rice, ulam, and gulay on our plates is already a great first step.

Our speakers even reminded the audience to snack! “Don’t forget to also have your snack, but snack mindfully” counseled Ms. Villaraza. She had several strategies for mindful snacking, including turning off distractions such as phones or TVs during mealtimes and understanding the reason behind a craving to plan healthier treats. For example, if people are prone to stress eating, they can stash goodies like nuts in their bag or pantry so they have a healthy option when the stress-induced munchies hit. 

Dr. Velasco also suggested consciously reducing salt in our diets since too much salt can make it difficult for our bodies to absorb water and eventually, cause our hearts to work harder.  

After the talk, our CIITeam and CIITzens were in for a treat! To give them ideas about healthy food choices, companies such as Fonterra, Kalbe International, GX International, Yakult Philippines, and Gardenia Philippines provided free samples of nutritious products from their lines. 

Our CIITeam explores the different healthy food samples provided by our partner companies.

“It was an eye-opener for me when Dr. Velasco said ‘there is no bad food’.”  Shared Christian Ituriaga, CIIT Instructor in Academics, after the event. “Each kind of food gives us different nutrients for our body to function well. We just need to remember that eating a variety of food is important as long as we keep them balanced.”

With the knowledge shared by our resource speakers and the yummy selection of healthy options prepared by our guest companies, our CIITeam and CIITzens are off to an excellent  start on their journey towards healthy eating habits!

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