EFNEP Success Stories 2016 – Santa Cruz
The following stories are examples of how the EFNEP program is impacting participant lives in Santa Cruz County.
I can’t fully express just how grateful I am with this program and the staff, Diana and Margarita, for all you’ve done and continue to do for my family and me. It is not only my life you’ve changed, but that of my children. I have learned so many things about protein, grains, vegetables, fruits, fat, sugar and sodium. Every class gave me guidance on how to change a bad habit that I used to have, for example the recommended portion sizes that I need to eat. I started to see results on my personal life, emotionally and physically I am now in a better place than I was 6 months ago. I lost 10 pounds, and I have been doing the exercises that they taught me with the elastic band. I can honestly say this program changed the way I think about what I eat - to make it a true lifestyle change rather than the hundreds of diets that I have tried in the past to lose weight.
Outcomes: She changed her diet, and started to exercise which resulted in her losing weight right away. The long term benefits were her changing her mind set from “dieting” to “healthy lifestyle choices”. This has resulted in lifestyle change for her and her family both physically and emotionally.
Affect on others: This has affected her entire family. She now not only makes healthy choices for herself but also her children. When she exercises she is setting a good example for her children why exercise is important and that it is enjoyable. This is a great thing for her children to learn at a young age so they will continue it as they grow older.
A 37 year-old, married mom has two children (11 and 9 years old). During the eight lessons of Eating Smart and Being Active to the present, this mom had the following outcomes:
- Learned to prepare healthy foods
- Learned to read nutrition labels
- Used the right proportions of food according to MyPlate; Learned to balance food
- Learned about what is empty sugar and added sugar
- Learned about carbohydrates
- Learned about fat and its classifications
Outcomes: Over the course of the lessons this mom was able to change her eating habits so that she is making healthier choices as it relates to food. She is now more aware of the unhealthy foods she was previously eating and is now choosing 1% milk instead of whole milk and drinks less soda and other sugar sweetened beverages.
Affect on others: Participants from our program love the Eating Smart, Being Active curriculum so much that they tell their family and friends about the program and how much it has helped them. The result is that we have a built-in referral system for our program. This then encourages others to either change their lifestyle or to sign-up for our program. Other health servicing organizations also are reaching out to us to teach classes for their staff or participants. In the grand scheme of things we are changing our community one class at a time.