Yvette Quantz, Ochsner Health System’s Eat Fit Acadiana Operations and Marketing Dietitian, joined Discover Lafayette to talk about her lifelong commitment to helping others live in a state of health. Her philosophy is pretty simple: when people feel well on the inside, they can live and work well in their community.
Eat Fit is a statewide, nonprofit initiative of Ochsner designed to help the community live their healthiest, strongest lives possible that started with Molly Kimball, a registered dietitian with Ochsner Fitness Center, who set out to take the guesswork out of dining out healthfully, to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
In 2013, Kimball and her team collaborated with some of the most iconic restaurants in the New Orleans region to create Ochsner Eat Fit, a program that encourages chefs to offer nutritious, delicious meals for those who want to eat clean, watch their weight, and manage diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol. In a land of “decadent food,” there is a great need to provide diners with information that allows them to eat delicious food with a better idea of what they are actually consuming.
With the support of funding in 2018 by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Eat Fit has expanded throughout Louisiana and Yvette Quantz serves as a proud member of the Acadiana team. Eat Fit is now operating in New Orleans, Northshore, Baton Rouge, Acadiana, Monroe, and Shreveport. Over 500 Eat Fit partners exist statewide and the numbers are growing.
The team of Eat Fit collaborates as a free service with local chefs and community leaders to increase awareness and improve access to healthy food options in Acadiana that meet the Eat Fit nutritional criteria. Eat Fit doesn’t promote “diets” per se with strict management of calories but instead encourages people to make choices that are essential for a healthy life. So don’t look for guidance on the latest fad diets; the nutritionists are more focused on how to assist restaurants in bringing food to the table that are healthy for you, without overloading patrons with foods that are high in sodium, animal fats, or added sugars. Rather than following a restrictive regimen, Eat Fit encourages a way to fuel your body with delicious foods that are prepared in a way to sustain good health.
The Eat Fit App provides resources for local, locally-owned restaurants based upon zip code that offer healthy choices, as well as recipes, events in the community, and downloadable grocery guides to help you as you shop.
At the start of LENT, Eat Fit launched an Alcohol-Free for 40 challenge that is inspiring people across the region to give up libations for 40 or so days and see firsthand the amazing health benefits they will experience.
Getting outside of our own food needs, we can also be more mindful when we make choices on what to donate to local food pantries. Rather than feeling good about donating from the back of your pantry while cleaning out expired canned goods, why not be a good steward of your resources and contribute healthy foods to your neighbors most in need. You can download the Eat Fit Food Pantry Donation List for guidance on healthy and cost-effective items that are most appreciated and supply the highest nutritional value.
Yvette Quantz is a graduate of LSU with a major in kinesiology and she is a certified dietician with a background in sports nutrition. She has over twenty years of experience in the health and wellness industry. She is also an experienced advocate on behalf of the healthcare industry who publishes blogs and assists other healthcare industry professionals in sharing their messages.
Discover Lafayette thanks Yvette Quantz, Eat Fit Acadiana, and Ochsner General Health System, for their commitment to helping Louisiana residents live their best and healthiest lives! Yvette may be reached at EatFitAcadiana@gmail.com.