Convinced that bacon was a vital and undiscovered food group, I was happily exploring the variety of ways to habitually indulge in this culinary delight. Overweight, occasionally exercising and attempting my version of a balanced diet of unprocessed quality foods, I believed I was on a reasonably healthy path … until I realized that good intentions and good outcomes are vastly different things.
Inspired by the groundbreaking Healthy Nevada Project launched in September 2016, I signed up to spit in the name of science with hopes of entertaining myself and unlocking a few doors into my ancestry.
Not only did my results offer entertainment and knowledge, but a true gift of good health that simply arrived in my inbox one evening.
Amazing things happen every day in our Nevada backyard and the people in our region are driven to inspire positive change. From the first moment I was introduced to the Healthy Nevada Project, I knew it was a stunning collaboration between our local world-class scientists, doctors and health researchers. Reaping the benefits of this project and the free DNA testing, I came to understand my past and potential future.
With a level of Christmas morning excitement, I took in a deep breath and opened up the results emailed to me after completing my test a few weeks earlier. After laughing out loud at my Iberian roots with thoughts of how I could torture my “100 percent Greek” father with this news, I learned that my DNA is perfectly aligned to be predisposed to weigh more than average.
The Wellness Report alerted me to my link between saturated fat and weight. The report offered food for thought and some very helpful suggestions, such cutting back on red meat and foods containing saturated fats. After getting my email, I was able to check my BMI online and discovered I was considered medically obese. I thought of myself as chubby, not obese! What an eye opener that moment was. I own a mirror, but clearly, I was in denial. I had considered people who purchased two airline seats obese. How could this be me?
I scheduled an appointment and then met with my doctor to discuss my weight, current health and where I would like to be one year from now. Together we decided on consistent exercise and a heart-healthy, low saturated fat diet. Thankfully, I’m a foodie at heart, so cooking delicious vegetables and fish while baking with fresh in-season ingredients is just the kind of challenge my kitchen welcomes.
Fast forward six months and the pounds are dropping quietly and easily, my sleep is better and most of all, I am on the path to sustained good health. Of course, the family jokes of my Iberian heritage rage on and bacon remains a love, but now as a glorious small-sized crumble over marinated and grilled asparagus.
Caroline Moassessi is a Healthy Nevada Project community ambassador. She was one of the first 23 people to participate in the first cohort of 10,000 Nevadans. She is the founder of the international food allergy and asthma blogsite, Gratefulfoodie, and a parent of two food allergic/asthmatic teenagers. She lives in Reno, Nev. and uses her hospitality passion and degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Golden Gate University in a very different method these days.