Mariah Brown didn’t grow up in a family of healthy eaters.
“We were a big pizza, takeout, microwaving family,” said the 21-year-old native of Waverly, near Binghamton.
Believe it or not, things changed when Brown got to SUNY Buffalo State. Her track coaches during freshman year and her health and wellness professors helped her retool her diet and fitness goals.
A school internship allowed her to share those lessons and create a community garden at the Response to Love Center while she was still at Buffalo State. She graduated in May, then landed a job as health promotion specialist with the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo. Community centers and other organizations that would like Brown to help share those lessons with those they serve – free – can email Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 851-4052.
Meanwhile, she is current running the last two weeks of a wellness series in the Delavan Grider Community Center, 877 E. Delavan Ave.
The series continues at 12:30 p.m. Thursday with a talk on food allergies. The series concludes at the same time a week from Thursday on a topic those gathered this week will decide upon. All are welcome.
Q: What are the most important things you learned at Buff State about proper nutrition?
Variety is key. You want to try to get as many fruits and vegetables as possible. That carbs are not a bad thing in moderation.
Q: What are the staples of your diet, besides bell peppers?
Some people call me a rabbit because I eat a lot of veggies. People always laugh because I almost always have a whole bell pepper for lunch. I love my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread. They’re very easy. Cheese strands are a go-to. Breakfast is usually a bagel with cream cheese or cereal with almond milk. Dinners are often a salad or something from the other job, JP Bullfeathers. I work there as a server most nights during the week.
Q: How do you eat healthy there?
You’ve got to do a little improvising with the menu but I eat a lot of veggies, salads, quesadillas. I do snack. If it’s not a bell pepper, it’s a few sweet peppers or almonds or a fruit cup, maybe an apple, a cheese stick.
Q: And there’s a fitness component to your nutrition?
Absolutely. I’m usually at the gym three to four times a week. I love the elliptical and I usually have some sort of stretching and strength component, as well. I belong to the Buff State gym. They just remodeled it.