Through a variety of activities, the Regional Conciliation and Mediation Branch (RCMB)-CAR celebrated Nutrition Month in July with the theme National Nutrition Council’s (NNC) annual theme, “New normal na nutrisyon, sama-samang gawan ng solusyon!.”  The said theme also adheres to the NCMB’s Health and Wellness Program. The campaign encouraged everyone to eat more nutritious foods and maintain a well-balanced diet. Furthermore, it aimed to educate employees on the value of making healthier food choices and engaging in physical activity.

The cooking demonstration performed by Supervising LEO Maggie B. Balagtey, AO III Limuel M. Garcia, and ADAS III Kenjie D. Walang on July 29, 2022, was the highlight of our activity. The team prepared the “Shellfish with Kalamunggay and Miki” dish.  The ingredients for this recipe are shellfish, squash, sweet potatoes, malunggay leaves, and miki bihon.

The food served by the team was appreciated and enjoyed by everyone. Director Estioco said, “Cooking nutritious food is really good, given that some of our employees were identified to be overweight during the weighing for the Biggest Loser Competition. We all must maintain healthy diets and habits to prevent diet-related illnesses and health issues.”

 “Fruits and vegetables should always be included in our meals. Through the cooking demonstration, we may learn how to make the newly discovered foods made by each group at home as a way to encourage our family to live a healthier lifestyle,” Ms. Balagtey added. Some staff commented ”Sana buwan buwan may cooking demo. Iba talaga ang lutong bahay, masarap  at higit sa lahat  masustansya.”

The Branch also joined the Group Learning Session entitled “Online Lecture on Nutrition for a Healthy Life,” organized by the NCMB-Central Office.  Two subject matter experts from the Adventist Medical Center Manila were invited to discuss the topic. The first speaker was Dr. Ian Kenneth C. Bermeo, who talked about “Balancing a diet that’s out of balance,” and the second speaker was Ms. Eden Elisan, a vegetarian and marathoner, who delivered a lecture on “Eat right, enjoy life.”

Through this educational session, all employees received accurate knowledge and understanding of the nutritional value of foods, enabling them to decide on the right meals for a balanced diet. It also motivated the group to adopt healthy eating and practices to promote and protect their health.

Director Estioco also stated her concurrence with Dr. Bermejo’s statement that the foods we consume can have an impact on how well our bodies can prevent, fight, and recover from diseases and other health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Hence, maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activities are essential for strengthening the immune system, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Administrative Officer IV (AO IV) Ivy Rillera announced that nutrition month will be observed by the Branch all year long rather than only in July.  “The approved Health and Wellness Program includes cooking demonstrations throughout the remaining months of the year to better encourage the RCMB-CAR employees to practice healthy eating habits,” she said.

“As part of the Nutrition Month activities, and in addition to the cooking demonstration and online lecture, is integrating regular exercise into our workweek,” AO IV Rillera added.  She also mentioned that the branch Health and Wellness Program, include among others stretching sessions lasting 10 to 20 minutes is scheduled for Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Mr. Garcia leads Tai Chi, a kind of moving meditation that consists of a series of gentle exercises and stretching, every Tuesday while she leads Zumba workouts on Wednesdays.

Ivy Rillera