NAHN’s Muevete (Move) USA™ Project Makes an Impact Nationwide

NAHN’s Muevete (Move) USA™ Project Makes an Impact Nationwide

There’s a movement that’s spreading across the nation, and it’s called “Muevete USA.” It’s a project that brings together nurses and nursing student volunteers, low-income Hispanic children, and community organizations to learn about the importance of healthy eating. 

Muevete (Move) USA, a program designed and executed by the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) community, is possible thanks to a $150,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation. It draws inspiration from First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Muevete USA seeks to equip nurses with the skills and passion to short-circuit the pervasive cycle of childhood and adolescent obesity in the Hispanic community.

Since its implementation in 2011, the five-lesson educational program—teaching the basics of healthy eating, through preparing healthy snacks and exercise activities—has gathered momentum nationwide, having doubled in both participation and enthusiasm in 2013.

“The 2013 NAHN Muevete USA obesity prevention program was exceptional,” says Project Director Angie Millan, RN, MSN, NP, CNS, FAAN. “First, we doubled the number of instructors trained and the number of children who participated. Secondly, the program was implemented in 20 NAHN chapters throughout the United States, an increase of five chapters from the previous year.

“The most popular part of the program continues to be the five lessons, where the children get to interact with the instructors and participate in hands-on activities,” Millan added.

In 2012, the program expanded its reach to not only children, but also to their parents, custodians, and relatives, and saw increased community partnerships, which emphasized the grassroots focus of the project.

In Chicago, nursing student volunteers taught children a specialized dance routine to the beat of Latin music at the Boys & Girls Club in the Little Village neighborhood. In Phoenix, children gathered at the Friendly House where they learned techniques in self-defense and got their hearts pumping in relay races and obstacle courses. In Washington, DC, children and their families learned callisthenic and aerobic exercises at the Latin American Youth Center & Little Stars Camp.

The NAHN chapters developed YouTube videos as part of the project. Visit to watch the videos.

“We are delighted to once again partner with NAHN and this important health lifestyle training program,” says Frank Ros, Vice President, Hispanic Strategies for Coca-Cola North America. “This program is another step towards helping to create healthy, sustainable communities.”

“We are so proud of our student members, as well as the experienced NAHN nurses who came together with children and their families in low-income Hispanic communities to make this project a huge success,” remarked NAHN President Jose Alejandro, PhD, RN-BC, MBA, CCM, FACHE.  “NAHN wants to thank The Coca-Cola Foundation for making this project possible.”

From New York City to Rio Grande Valley to Los Angeles, NAHN chapters, Hispanic nurses and nursing students, along with children and their families, continue to move to the beat of a healthier life.

A New Spin on Brown-Bagging Your Lunches

A New Spin on Brown-Bagging Your Lunches

One simple way to save money is to brown bag your lunches every day. This is a favorite tip among financial advisors. Brown bagging may not be anything new, but if you want to save up to $1,800 per year, you may want to consider it. $1,800, really? Eating out adds up. Think about it: If you spend about $7 each day on lunch, that adds up over the course of a year. Even if you have a modest $5 lunch each day, that’s $1,300 annually.

If the thought of having to prep a boring bologna sandwich in the morning before work doesn’t sound appealing or appetizing, keep reading. Here’s a simple trick to help you only think about your lunch menu once a week.

Choose a day of the week to stop by the grocery store and stock up on yummy sandwich supplies – bread, good cheese, deli meat, veggies, sandwich spreads or whatever else you love on your sandwich. The idea here is to make your sandwich more than PB&J (although there’s nothing wrong with that). Be sure to add some “sides” to your menu including things like fruit (apples and grapes are good and will last the whole week), low-calorie chips, hard-boiled eggs, celery or baby carrots and humus. If you enjoy fruit juice or ice tea, pick that up too or make a large homemade batch. Now you have all of supplies you need for a week’s worth of tasty and nutritious lunches. Your supply may even last longer than a week – depending on the item. For instance, a package of cheese may have enough slices for two weeks. 

Stock up on your lunch supplies at wholesale stores like Costco or discount grocery stores like ALDI.

Store all of your supplies at work utilizing your desk, locker or a safe drawer for your bread and the office refrigerator for your cheese, meat, veggies, etc. Be sure to label your items so that it’s clear that they are yours. Now each day at work you have enough supplies to make a quick and healthy lunch. 

This method could easily cut your lunch budget in half. Feel free to spice things up each week by switching from sandwiches to salads. You could try different varities of lettuce, toppings and dressings. You can also try different deli meats and cheeses and/or a new sandwich spread (e.g. cranberry aioli). Another way to add variety is to bring leftovers from dinner — just to give yourself a change. 

Image Credit: Grant Cochrane/freedigitalphotosnet

Denene Brox is a Kansas City-based freelance writer. 

Health Disparities Spotlighted in April

Health Disparities Spotlighted in April

As health professionals, nurses are well aware of health disparities in communities of color. Some patients will live shorter life spans simply because of their race, ethnicity, education or income.

Raising awareness about health inequities is a constant effort, but this critical issue is highlighted in April, which is National Minority Health Month. This year’s theme: Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity” emphasizes the critical role of prevention in reducing health disparities.

The combined cost of health inequities and premature deaths were estimated to be $1.24 trillion between 2003 and 2006, according to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

From AIDS/HIV to cancer to obesity to tuberculosis, racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to be affected in disproportionate numbers. Health disparities among African Americans and Latinos in 2009 cost private insurers an additional $5.1 billion.

Consider these statistics:

▪Of 197,090 diagnoses of HIV-infection from 2008-2011, Blacks were 47% of the total.

▪African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are more than three times as likely to receive the same diagnosis.

▪Latinos are twice as likely to die from liver cancer.

▪African American women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.

▪About five out of 10 Latinos and four out of 10 blacks aged 50 or older never had a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy compared to three out of 10 older whites.

▪Black women have more than double the rate of extreme obesity [16.4%] as white and Latino women [7.4% and 7.6%].

Preventive services, such as diabetes screening and pap smears, are game-changing. So is a honest discussion about healthy eating, fresh-food deserts and lack of exercise. People can do better when they know better.  

Nurses are the most trusted professionals. Educate patients as well as loved ones to help reduce preventable disease, disability and death.

Robin Farmer is a freelance journalist with a focus on health, education and business. Visit her at

Solutions to Stop Nurse Weight Gain

Solutions to Stop Nurse Weight Gain

Weight gain doesn’t have to be a given for nurses, though it sometimes seems that way. There are so many challenges to eating healthy: working 12-hour shifts (especially nights); eating at oddball hours; not always getting a lunch break; often leaving work feeling starved, etc. 

Losing weight is one of the most popular new year’s resolutions, yet according to many experts less than 10% of us actually achieve our goals. So then, how can nurses rev up their resolutions?

First of all, it’s crucial to identify the reasons why you may have difficulty meeting the challenge of change. (That was yesterday’s task.) Then it’s easier to problem-solve those issues in advance so that you’re not facing down obstacles on the fly. After all, problem-solving is one of the things that nurses do best!

Strategies may be focused on the attitudinal, behavioral, or situational — or all of the above. For example: If you gobble up a box of doughnuts whenever you swing by the bakery, you might try repeating a motto such as “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.” That will remind you that the temporary pleasure of a glazed crumpet isn’t worth the damage to your physique. That’s an attitude adjustment.

Or, you might make a deal with yourself to only buy only one doughnut at a time — in order to limit the damage you inflict to your sensible eating plan. That’s a behavioral fix.

Or, maybe you’ll train yourself to take another route home so you aren’t tempted by the scent of fresh, hot doughnuts. That’s a situational solution. Try a variety of approaches and see which one sticks.

What approaches have you tried in your efforts to eat healthy? What solutions stuck? Let us know!

Jebra Turner is a freelance health writer in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at

Gazpacho: Stop stroke with delicous cold soup

Gazpacho: Stop stroke with delicous cold soup

Inspired by National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) and a week of 90 degree temps, I whipped up my favorite no-cook supper, Gazpacho. Why not give this sophisticated summer soup a whirl? It’s a simple recipe that never fails to wow.
Not only is this classic soup delicious, but recent research from Barcelona suggests that gazpacho consumption may help protect against BP and hypertension. The study of almost 4,000 Spaniards concludes:

“Gazpacho consumption was inversely associated with systolic and diastolic BP and prevalence of hypertension in a cross-sectional Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk.”

What accounts for the beneficial effects — 27 percent less hypertension, for instance, with only one cup a week of gazpacho? Likely it’s due to synergy between the bioactive compounds in the tomatoes, olive oil, and other vegetables, the study found.

Rustic Gazpacho (a chunky version of Spain’s most popular soup)

Total prep. time: 20 minutes, plus time to chill
Servings: 2 cups

  • 2 large juicy ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB red-wine vinegar

Using a blender or food processor, pack the tomatoes in first, then the other ingredients, and puree until chunky. Season with salt and pepper and chill (or refrigerate overnight). Serve as-is, or garnish with hot sauce, more olive oil, pesto, croutons, crab or shrimp.

Variations are endless. Sub in chunks of red or yellow bell peppers, onions, scallions or sprigs of parsley or cilantro. Just maintain similar proportions between tomatoes and other ingredients.

How does cold tomato soup sound to you? Let us know what’s cooking in your kitchen.

Jebra Turner is a health reporter and former H.R. director for an ergonomics-focused firm, where she oversaw workplace health and safety training programs for staff and clients. She lives in Portland, Oregon, and you can visit her online at