Healthy Town challenge focusing on improved eating habits

The Irish Times and Pfizer Healthy Town programme kicked off with health checks for local councillors provided by the Irish Heart Foundation. Pictured after receiving his health check last Monday is Mayor of Athlone, Tom Farrell, with Emer McNulty from The Irish Heart Foundation. Photo: molloyphotography

The Irish Times and Pfizer Healthy Town programme kicked off with health checks for local councillors provided by the Irish Heart Foundation. Pictured after receiving his health check last Monday is Mayor of Athlone, Tom Farrell, with Emer McNulty from The Irish Heart Foundation. Photo: molloyphotography

The second week of the Irish Times and Pfizer Healthy Town programme, ‘Eat Well, Live Well,’ launches on Monday September 14.

On Tuesday, September 15, food writer and TV chef Catherine Fulvio and the Irish Heart Foundation will host a free public nutrition event in Athlone. Fulvio will host a cookery demonstration and Janis Morrissey, dietitian with the Irish Heart Foundation, will give a talk on nutrition and how you can make positive changes to your diet.

They will share plenty of tips and techniques for cooking healthy and nutritious food. Recipes being prepared on the night include: chargrilled summer courgettes and aubergines on a bed of leaves with orange and radish salad, drizzled with a lemon thyme dressing; chicken and spinach lasagne made with healthier choices than traditional lasagne; fish parcels with oven-baked sesame sweet potato chips, a healthier option than the traditional fish and chips; and berry parfaits to demonstrate how easy it is to make a healthy dessert.

If you are unsure where to start with healthy eating, the following tips will put you on the right track: shake the salt habit - 80 per cent of the salt we eat is hidden in processed foods; choose fresh meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables over processed foods whenever possible; to eat a balanced diet you need to combine foods from each of the main food groups in the right amounts so your body gets all the nutrients it needs while maintaining a healthy weight; keep portion sizes healthy by eating from a smaller plate or filling a third of your dinner plate with vegetables or salad; get into the habit of always serving water.

There is a full schedule of free events during Week Two to inspire people to take on the Healthy Town challenge and improve their health and wellbeing, including the launch of the Mary Jennings Running Club on Monday, September 14, in the Regional Sports Centre. Prepare for Hell and Back training at the Regional Sports Centre on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 5pm.

Free ‘spin with us’ classes take place on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 7.30am in the Synergy Health and Leisure Club, Radisson Blu Hotel. A free 5km parkrun at Athlone Institute of Technology commences on Saturday at 9am.

A dedicated microsite for Healthy Town can be viewed at www.irishtimes.com/healthytown The site will be regularly updated with details of local events and activities taking place in Athlone. To register for any of the free public talks, email [email protected] or phone (01 ) 6690165.

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