Focusing on your food

Focusing on your food

Elizabeth Burmeister, 17th Medical Group health promotion coordinator, provides information on nutritional choices at the base commissary on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas on August 3, 2017. As the health promotion coordinator, Burmeister educates the base on proper diet and programs to help individuals live a healthier lifestyle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Zachary Chapman/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Elizabeth Burmeister, 17th Medical Group health promotion coordinator, explains a few programs and services offered through the 17th MDG and monthly newsletters at the base commissary on August 3, 2017.

With what seems to be a revolving door of nutritious information from coffee is bad, to coffee is good; carbohydrates are bad, to carbs are good; alcohol is bad, a drink a night is good for the heart, it’s hard to keep everything straight.

One option is the BOD POD, which is a machine that is used to gather fat and fat-free mass information along with an individual’s resting metabolic rate.

“BOD POD measures body composition via air displacement,” said Burmeister. “It will tell you what your body fat percentage is and fat free masses. The BOD POD will also tell you what your resting metabolic rate is. This will give you a general idea of how many calories your body needs specific to you in order to help you gain weight, lose weight or maintain weight.”

The BOD POD provides information that helps direct individuals into what nutrition they need. For Airmen living on base, either the Cressman Dining Facility or the Western Winds Dining Facility also provides a color coordinated system to help identify the healthier choices of foods.

“The DFACs have the ‘Go for Green’ campaign,” said Burmeister. “Choosing the green options most frequently, those will be the most nutritious options. Yellow, those you want to choose in moderation, and the reds you want to stay away from the most.”

If the DFAC isn’t an option, there are still healthy options available at the commissary.

“You can choose from the produce section for healthy foods, or you can get some of the Perfect Fit Meals,” said Burmeister. “The Perfect Fit Meals are meals that are prepared by registered dietitians and they are low calorie, high protein and moderate carbs. You can stack them in your refrigerator, and when you are ready just microwave them for two minutes.”

The convenience of these meals make them ideal for students or busy individuals.

“The Perfect Fit Meals have been a hit with the students,” said John Gongora, base commissary store manager.

Goodfellow’s commissary is not the only commissary looking towards a healthier lifestyles.

“All commissaries are introducing nutrition guides to a lot of our products,” said Gongora. “These guides make it easier for individuals to identify which foods fit into their diets. This commissary is sixth out of the other 240 commissaries when it comes to sales of these meals.”

Switching over to a healthy diet is not the same as starting a new diet to try and shed some weight quickly.

“For a successful change you want small changes over time,” said Burmeister. “You aren’t going to see dramatic changes overnight, but you will be able to sustain them for longer periods of time. That is what becomes behavior change and a lifestyle change. Being fit to fight should be a goal for all Airmen, and living a healthy lifestyle is one part of it. The 17th MDG is here for all members of Goodfellow and is willing to educate and support those interested in making a lasting change for the better in their life.”

For more information contact Elizabeth Burmeister at elizabeth.burmeister@us.af.mil or 325-654-1566.