We are often asked by those using our early childhood and elementary school-age materials if we have anything for middle school, high school, and adults that is as fun and engaging as the kid’s programming. Most people don’t realize that The OrganWise Guys programming actually started not with kids, but adults. We took a few moments to catch up with Dr. Michelle Lombardo to get the inside story and find out more about what resources could be used with a more mature audience.
OWG: Everyone knows and loves the OWG as a great program for kids, but you actually started by working with a
dults. Tell us a little more about how you got involved in nutrition education?
Michelle: I have always had an interest in eating healthy and getting regular exercise – even as a teen – which influenced my decision to become a Chiropractor. I like to focus on being healthy and feeling great today to hopefully avoid disease in the future. Our adult program began while I was still in practice. I gave wellness lectures once a week to our patients and their families to show them how to incorporate behaviors now for a healthy tomorrow.
OWG: So as you did this lecture, what kind of feedback did you receive?
Michelle: Our class kept growing in size as patients brought in more and more friends and family, so I am guessing they liked (and understood) what they were hearing. Now, don’t get me wrong, in the beginning having a group of 15 was a large crowd!
OWG: It seems that there’s a tendency to make nutrition education overly complex for adults, but your approach is to take advanced concepts and boil them down to the practical things people need to understand about their body and the simple steps they can take to ensure long-term good health. Can you comment on that?
Michelle: There is so much (often conflicting) information about health and nutrition, which is oftentimes written by top professionals in the field who forget that the general public has not had organic chemistry or physiology as part of their education. We believe that once people have a basic, user-friendly understanding of how the body works and WHY they need to make some simple, healthy adjustments in their choices, they will be more likely to make them long-term. It is like when I talk to our IT expert and he goes into the details of what he is doing to fix/enhance my computer. It goes right over my head and doesn’t leave m
e with any usable information. Give me a Computer 101 summary so I can understand what simple steps I need to take to make it work. That is what we do to help people understand the big picture of better health.
OWG: Most people don’t know that the OWG offer a program that can be used for middle school, high school or adults. Tell us a little more about that program.
Michelle: Initially we developed three different speaker’s kits to address each population; adolescents, adult and senior citizen. It soon became quite evident that nutrition educators did not need three different tools for these different groups. How the body operates is the same in all of us AND we focus on the same rules all the way through our materials (from early childhood through senior citizens): LOW-FAT, HIGH-FIBER, LOTS OF WATER, EXERCISE. Since many of the slides were similar in each kit, we felt it was an inefficient use of resources for our partners to purchase three different tools when one would do. So we combined the best from all of these kits into theTake Charge of Your Health Speaker’s Kit. Educators now offer age appropriate lifestyle suggestions to fit the needs of the audience they are addressing. For example, helping students on the run make healthy choices when dining at a fast food restaurant while helping a senior citizen audience learn how to shop and prepare healthier foods for cooking at home.