On this Juneteenth weekend, I attended the Walkathon event hosted by Metro Farms in Chicago, Illinois. The IAND was looking for someone to promote healthy eating within the black community and I thought this was the perfect time to show a healthy alternative to traditional black meals. Growing up, I loved the summer as we would get peaches from family members in Georgia. We would eat these peaches as a snack and my mother would use them for her peach cobbler. We would typically pair it with vanilla ice cream. As this is a delicious treat to have after dinner, it is decadent and has a lot of sugar and empty calories. A few years ago I made these peaches into a parfait with homemade yogurt, granola, and peaches sauteed in blue agave nectar. The taste similar to my mother’s cobbler, and the yogurt replaces the ice cream. Creating healthier alternatives to traditional meals helps me stick to my roots when I’m incorporating healthier options into my diet. The added familiarity doesn’t make it feel like I am on a hardcore diet and have to get rid of things I love for stereotypical “healthy” food. I brought this same mentality to the event when I demonstrated this peach parfait. Rose and I came up with healthy eating tips to distribute throughout the fair with a recipe of the samples I made.
As Juneteenth has become a federal holiday but has always been celebrated in the black community, I am making a mission to do community efforts on this holiday. Health promotion within the African American community is important to me and I think starting small with healthier alternatives in meals can be a brilliant start.