“As much as we love for people to work out, 85% of wellness begins in the kitchen,” Stephanie McElhone, director of community development for the YMCA said.

McElhone was addressing the participants of Monday’s Food Talk, Better U Class, offered free by University of Georgia’s Extension office and hosted by the YMCA.

The class focuses on meal planning, portion education, simple recipes and healthy decisions. There are currently still openings, with the class being held every Monday until Nov. 11.

“We are bringing awareness to what we eat and drink,” instructor Patti Hall said. “We make over 200 food decisions a day.”

Not all of the decisions are conscious, she told the group. Some are made by the cup, plate or bowl the consumer uses. For example, bigger bowls, cups and plates usually mean larger portions Hall said.

Hall and her counterpart Karen Martin walked the Monday class through how to gauge how big serving sizes actually are. For meats, a deck of cards can be used, said Hall, and a tennis ball is roughly the size of the amount of fruit is in a serving.

“I’ve got to think about how the affect on my body,” Hall said. “The only way to know how much you consume is to measure it for a little while.”

Participants went through exercises like guessing the volume in different containers and tracked their food from the past 24-hours. Hall and Martin charged the participants of the class to track their meals for a week so they can share their results next week. Participants also got a recipe for pueblo chili.

For more information about the Food Talk, Better U Class email smcelhone@ymcarome.org. The 11 a.m. weekly class is free and open to the public however there is a limited number of seats.

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