For the last several months I have been donating my time to the Venice Family Clinic, the largest free clinic in the country. It’s has been an extremely educational and enjoyable experience. I’ve met so many wonderful people while having the privilege of counseling them. This month I taught a four-week nutrition education series. I was given the opportunity to design and create my own curriculum. This afternoon I taught my last class. I am hoping that the clinic will run the four-week nutrition education series again as it was very well received. Aside from the pleasure I experienced by sharing my knowledge on nutrition topics, I also happen to have had attendees who were very curious and eager to learn. My four-week classes ran for two hours and never once did I witness a lack of enthusiasm or complacency for any of the attendees. Everyone asked thoughtful questions and listened carefully to everything I had to say. What a magnificent group of people! Most of the attendees were Hispanic and most were women. They were as old as 80 and as young as 20. Many shared the same health concerns as well as misconceptions, but their desire to learn never wavered.
As a population, Hispanic people eat a diet heavy in fat. Being that my classes emphasize low-fat foods, many had a hard time incorporating this concept into their cooking. As a nutritionist, it is not my job to try to have someone give-up a diet they’ve been accustomed to eating since childhood . But it is my job to educate them on the ill effects of a high-fat diet. They understood my point and appreciated what I had to say.
The more I reflect back on my experience with the Venice Family Clinic, the more I realize what an invaluable time it has become and continues to be. I hope to be a part of this very much-needed and appreciated organization for a long time.