Healthy eating improves quality of life

RAF MILDENHALL, England -- As physical fitness becomes an increasingly important to the Air Force, becoming educated about good dietary habits is a large part of the good health equation.

With deployments, long work hours and the generally fast pace of modern life, the base Health and Wellness Center seeks to educate Team Mildenhall about healthy eating habits and how to integrate them into a busy lifestyle with a class on nutrition.

"Plan, plan, plan - the folks at the health and wellness center can assist you," said Tech. Sgt. Delain Hayes, noncommissioned officer in charge of wellness programs. "Portion control is paramount when you are busy and cutting out high-calorie beverages like soda or energy drinks."

In addition to portion control, Sergeant Hayes emphasized moderation in all aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

"Add balance to your daily eating by introducing fresh fruits and vegetables," he said. "Increase your water intake to 8-10 cups a day or 10-12 cups on workout days. Exercise is also a necessity."

Making changes to your diet can be difficult after bad habits have already formed.

"Many adults find making these changes difficult because they've had poor eating and exercise habits for so long," said Maj. Cathy Snowball, HAWC flight commander.

"You must do a self analysis on your current eating habits," Sergeant Hayes said. "From that research you can develop newer, healthier habits like what items you choose from the snack bar."

Those who have taken the class said the information they received about food choices, portion control, supplementation and healthy lifestyle changes was invaluable.

"I got quite a bit out of the class, especially from the part about portions and the difference between good calories and empty calories," said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hodo, 100th Maintenance Operations Squadron. "I think for me it will really help to remove sweets and count my calories a bit better."

"The class was a wake-up call for me," said Tech. Sgt. Jaclyn Owens, 352nd Operations Support Squadron. "I've never really looked at the nutrition facts on the back of the box, and it's time for me to balance my busy schedule with a bit more time to take care of myself."

Healthy eating is a huge part of a healthy lifestyle and though old habits are hard to break, the Health and Wellness center can get anyone interested off to the right start.

For more information or to register for the class contact the HAWC at 238-7161