Health & Nutrition Archives - Alternatives For Girls

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Eat Your Vegetables: AFG partners with Eat No Evil to teach girls culinary skills and the benefits to plant based eating

Aug. 1 2017 | Tags: , ,

This month, two young women from AFG’s Shelter worked alongside plant-based health food company Eat No Evil to learn culinary skills and the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. Eat No Evil makes and sells vegan nutrition bars at local health and wellness centers and hospitals. “Eat No Evil bars are good for your body and for the planet. The packaging is biodegradable and the bars are vegan,” shares Rachelle Nash, owner of Eat No Evil.

Jessica and Sharai have only been at AFG for a few weeks, but they are already taking big steps to work towards their goals. Both young women have secured two jobs, in addition to working part time for Eat No Evil. For Jessica, this experience solidified her desire to become a chef. “I’d like to go to school for culinary arts. I want to learn how to make all the fancy foods,” she smiles.

Since creating Eat No Evil Rachelle planned to reach out to local community organizations, like AFG, to employ its’ participants. After meeting AFG Board Member, Pam Rodgers, and being introduced to AFG, she knew it was a perfect fit. “The idea was twofold, to hire girls at AFG to help make the product and then hopefully employ them in other ways down the line,” Rachelle explains.

For two weeks, Jessica and Sharai helped Rachelle make and package 600 bars for a Rhonda Walker Foundation event held on July 30th. The small group had fun listening to music, melting chocolate, and assembling the bars right here at AFG! “I learned how to make the bars and how to melt chocolate,” Sharai reflects. Now that they’ve learned these skills, Sharai and Jessica talked about making the bars for family and friends, “Now I can trick my kids and say, ‘Here, try these brownies!’” she laughs.

As Eat No Evil grows, Rachelle hopes to add an educational component so that she can teach the community the benefits of eating a vegan diet, “I hope to show them the science behind eating plant based meals,” she shares. In addition, she hopes to become a vendor at Whole Foods and Lucky’s Market.

“I’ve had fun working with the team!” Sharai exclaims as she melts the chocolate that tops each bar. As the group works to complete the last of the 600 bars, Jessica reflects on the experience while packaging one of the Chocolate Coconut bars, “To me, it’s been a great experience.”

Girls on the Run Workshop Helps Girls Build Positive Self-Esteem and Train for 5k

Aug. 3 2015 | Tags: , , ,

It’s a beautiful and sunny day in Detroit and out in AFG’s backyard a group of fifteen Rise N’ Shine campers have just finished a running game. The group gathers in a circle to discuss the topic of the day. “What is something you did today to take care of your body?” one Rise N’ Shine youth leader asks the group of nine to eleven year old campers. “Exercise!” one girl exclaims. “Run!” another adds excitedly.

Led by a group of youth leaders, the Girls on the Run workshop is just one of the many activities offered during Rise N’ Shine, AFG’s free six week summer day camp that allows girls between the ages of four and fourteen to learn new things, improve their reading skills, and make friends. The Girls on the Run workshop is being funded by the Skillman Foundation and has been made possible through a close partnership with the YMCA, who provided the curriculum as well as program support.

Girls on the Run is a physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd to 8th grade. The program curriculum teaches life skills through interactive lessons and running games and aims to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident. At the end of the program, the girls are physically and emotionally ready to complete a celebratory 5k running event with their fellow group mates.

And throughout Rise N’ Shine the girls will do just that; prepare to run a 5k race being held on Belle Isle in September. During the workshop, the girls run, stretch, do jumping jacks, sit ups, and in between the movement, they stop to laugh with their friends. They encourage each other by running beside one another and cheering each other on. Each girl fully participates in the exercising and the discussions that happen afterward.

Their excitement for the program also comes through when they speak about it. “The Girls on the Run workshop has been the best! It teaches us how to exercise, how to take care of our body, and what to do if we are mad or sad,” Yaritza, one of the girls in the group explains. Although learning different ways to care for your body is one of the focuses of Girls on the Run, there is also a heavy focus on helping the girls build positive self-esteem. “I’ve learned how to speak positively of myself and how to focus on positive talk,” Taysia, another camper shares.

The hardest part? “Running 7 laps,” Tatiana, another participant, laments. However, even though the other girls agree that the running is hard, it does not stop them from enjoying the positive benefits from the workshop. “But I like it a lot. I like that we are being healthy and making great choices for our bodies,” Taysia adds, with a smile on her face. After the final exercise of the day, the girls hurry inside to eat lunch. It is obvious by the smiles on their faces and their laughter that they are learning how good exercise can make you feel, both physically and mentally.

Eastern Market Farm Stand Program Selects AFG as Host Site

May. 28 2014 | Tags: , ,

Alternatives For Girls is teaming up with Eastern Market’s Farm Stand Program this summer to become one of the 19 different locations throughout Detroit where community members can purchase fresh produce. Starting June 24th and running through September 30th, Eastern Market will bring their Farm Stand Market to AFG every Tuesday from 2:30-5:00pm in front of the AFG building (903 West Grand Boulevard). Equipped with a 10×10 pop up tent and a table, two Eastern Market Farm Stand employees, known as “Fresh Food Fellows”, will sell seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as some specialty products such as honey, jams, organic grains, and healthy snacks.

One of the main goals of the Eastern Market Farm Stand Program is to encourage the community to think about incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their diet and showing them how to use seasonal produce to achieve that goal. The Fresh Food Fellows who staff each Farm Stand embody this mission by offering a wide range of information on the nutritional value of the foods at the stand and culinary uses of local produce.In addition to helping educate the community, the Farm Stand Program also aims to tailor each stand to community members needs by taking requests and bringing a unique variety of produce to each food stand based on what those customers want.

Each Farm Stand, including the one at AFG, will feature some Michigan grown produce and produce that reflects the type of food that can be grown in Michigan. In attempt to get customers to learn how to eat seasonally and see the economic benefits of eating foods in season, stands will not offer things that cannot be grown in Michigan, such as bananas or citrus fruits. Every Eastern Market Farm Stand will accept Bridge Cards, Credit/Debit Cards, Cash, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC Project Fresh Coupons, and Senior Market Coupons.  The Alternatives For Girls Farm Stand is open to the public. For more information on the program and other Eastern Market Farm Stands around Detroit, visit