Joe Skura

Joe Skura

We all know nutrition is important, and, as athletes, coaches or health-conscious individuals, we know we should get the proper nutrients and eat a well-balanced diet.

Of course, among the busyness of our lives – running from school to practice to work to home and barely sleeping – we often stray away from the essential necessities at bringing us energy and keeping us going. That well-balanced diet is substituting for poor choices in drive-thru lanes, and our favorite bag of chips.

Recently, I was blessed to take part in a course taught by Tammy Garrett, of Cresson, on nutrition. Garrett is a nutrition education adviser with Penn State Extension-Cambria County.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I thought about my overall eating habits, including the cleaning of fruits, vegetables, counters and utensils, etc. Garrett is truly amazing at her job, and did an outstanding job of teaching and motivating me to change some habits.

First, Garrett was able to bring basic nutrition information from government guidelines to life for her students. 

She is a kind, fun, energetic woman who went out of her way to relate to everyone she was working to teach. She served as more of a guide with those in her nutrition course, as she related with all of us and made it clear she is also in our shoes and is no perfect eater.

Telling her own tales of eating habits before she “knew better,” Garrett provided us with key information, recipes, strategies and tips on how to make healthy eating easier. 

She provided an easy, healthy treat during each session, and a plethora of resources to help ensure our families are eating better.

Whether she was creating some arguments from people who didn’t think it was necessary to wash off a banana before eating, or sharing her own personal story of food poisoning, Garrett took all in stride to make her instruction and curriculum rock, just like any experienced professional educator would do. She was magnificent, and her delivery was a huge part of the reason why this particular course was so effective for me.

So, this week’s PSA from me, thanks to Garrett: Take some time to think about your health. 

Maybe just try to eat some more greens, spend more time exercising, or try that whole-wheat pasta. You might be pleasantly surprised.

As Garrett mentioned, we don’t know how long we are here, but we want to live while we are here – I fully agree. If it means trying to cut back on the salt and vinegar potato chips and eating more snap peas, I can handle that. The hardest part has been cutting back on my Galliker’s diet iced tea. I’m trying to switch to fresh-brewed tea, but I’m not totally there yet.

I will get there. I challenge you to join me. Find that one thing you need to add into your life to be healthier, and that one thing you need to say goodbye to. We will do it together.

Thank you, Tammy, for inspiring me and so many others to be healthier. You are a true professional with a niché for doing what you do. You are changing lives in so many ways. 

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