“Food is fuel. Food is power. Healthy eating is enjoying the foods I love with no guilt.”— Valerie Agyeman
Here at GreenChoice, we’re on a mission to empower people to create a healthy, just, and sustainable world through their daily food choices. Improving our food system and the health of our country depends on the action of many people. With all that is going on in the world, we understand how important it is to spotlight people who are living healthy and sustainable lives and inspiring others to do the same. Know someone living a life of health and sustainability who deserves recognition? Submit them to be featured.
We are excited to introduce you to one of our inspiring Health and Sustainability Role Models, Valerie Agyeman— a Women’s Health Dietitian whose goal is to empower women of color in their journey towards wellness on her Instagram @flourishheights and website, flourishheights.com.
The opinions expressed in this interview are Valerie’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of GreenChoice.
Healthy eating to me is having a healthy relationship with food. Food is fuel. Food is power. Healthy eating is enjoying the foods I love with no guilt. Healthy eating to me is nourishing my body with foods that protect, restore and heal. It’s important to me because it plays a major role on my wellness journey. When I am nourished, I feel more energized and empowered to pour into my Flourish Heights community.
When it comes to health and sustainability I think of it as an all-encompassing way of living. From what you eat, to the products you use and even what you wear. Does it do more harm to you and the environment? It can get a little tricky. I am nowhere near perfect but when it comes to food, I tend to focus on how and what I choose to eat every day. Eating sustainable meals that provide my body with the nutrition I need while also lessening the environmental impact on the planet. Even the smallest of my choices make a big difference. I add more “plants” to my eating routine since it’s good for me and the planet too. I do eat animal foods, I just make more informed choices about where I buy the animal foods I consume.
I created an ongoing digital campaign with a colleague through our organization, Women’s Nutrition Ghana to encourage Ghanaian women to add more wholesome foods to our local meals. It wasn’t supposed to be ongoing initially, but we decided to continue after realizing how many people shared that they needed practical tips and inspiration on how to enjoy more whole foods in addition to what they were already eating. It seems like apart from health, many people are curious about adapting a more sustainable-friendly eating routine.
Staying up to date with the latest information on sustainable living might be one of the most challenging, but much needed. While living a more sustainable lifestyle isn’t just about my food choices, I try and make mindful decisions when it comes to how often I buy clothing, what household and beauty products I use and more. I even try to plan my meals ahead of time to help reduce food waste. It’s definitely a process and I am not all the way there yet, but taking small steps is better than not taking any at all. So, I am enjoying the ride.
I buy local most of the time and purchase seasonal produce. When it comes to purchasing things like seafood, I look for certifications to assure that what I am buying is sustainable. I am a label reading queen, so I take time to read and understand the labels on products so that I can make more informed decisions on what I am purchasing.
I haven’t yet, but so excited to utilize this app when out shopping! One thing that I love is the insights GreenChoice offers on things like nutrient density, processing concerns, food safety, carbon footprint, and water footprint. I think it’s pretty cool that you rate food products for both their health and sustainability impacts. That’s so helpful!
When it comes to a sustainable life that’s great for your health and nutrition you can start by adding more plants to your eating style! You can also eat seasonally and locally when possible, plan meals to reduce food waste, and make informed purchasing decisions are the key to sustainable eating.
You can follow Valerie on Instagram @flourishheights and her website flourishheights.com.
GreenChoice, PBC has evaluated and rated more than 340,000 food & beverage products across hundreds of attributes related to diet, health, and sustainability. Easily find the best products for you, the planet, & your budget. Download the free GreenChoice app for Apple iOS or Android!