April 2014 — Hello my name is Scott and I am a member at Beacon House, and I also work there part time. I recently lost about 80 lbs. when I retired and stopped eating lunch at ‘fast food’ restaurants.

Nutrition is vital to a healthy body and mind, but what we eat must be what our body needs, not necessarily what we want to eat. At Beacon House we encourage our members to practice healthy eating habits by supplying a nutritious lunch every day.

On Wednesday mornings we have Nancy Pantano, a professional chef, come in and teach a low budget, low calorie, low fat, gluten free cooking class.  We prepare our own food by using available ingredients, and preparing raw vegetables, meats, herbs and spices.

We strive to use healthy foodstuffs in all our meals by using low fat meats which includes chicken and turkey and low fat dairy products or yogurt. We recently made chili using ground turkey instead of beef and the result was a delicious healthy meal. Many meals we have are vegetarian such as veggie Quesada’s. Nancy also teaches us proper sanitary procedures such as  rinsing off vegetables, cleaning can tops before opening, recycling waste products, cleaning cookware, and food handling.

The result of healthy eating habits is we are not consuming ’empty calories’ that can be a detriment to our physical and mental wellbeing, and we feel better which increases our mental and emotional stability. The old adage of ‘ a healthy body makes for a healthy mind is true in our situation.

Thank you

MENTAL HEALTH COMMUNITY CENTERS (MHCC). IS A REGISTERED 501c3 WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE #04-3585931 AND WITH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS # CH38125 A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED BY THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS BY CALLING TOLL FREE 800-435-7352, WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING: WWW.800HELPFLA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.”