New Vitae Wellness and Recovery was pleased to be a Steel Sponsor for the 2019 Harvest Full of Hope on October 22nd, 2019.  The annual conference, hosted by the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, focused on increasing awareness of behavioral health resources and on reducing the stigma that can be associated with treatment.  Individuals who utilize services, providers, family members and friends had the opportunity to learn more about behavioral health, substance use, and other types of treatment trends.

In addition to greeting guests at our information table, two New Vitae staff members delivered a presentation to the audience titled, “Food as Medicine.”  New Vitae Wellness and Recovery’s President and Chief Executive Officer Judith Yanacek, MSW, LCSW, and Community Outreach Liaison William Leiner, MS, RN, PMH-BC,  offered support and education on the connection between food choices and behavioral health.  After reviewing the differences between health and wellness, the presenters reviewed the elements of nutrition, including carbohydrates, protein, and water, and discussed benefits of including fish and vegetables as standards when meal planning.  Yanacek and Leiner emphasized the complex relationship between food and behavioral health, but suggested that healthy food choices can assist to facilitate overall wellness.

The presenters reviewed the value of choosing leafy greens, berries, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, identifying “superfoods” that may facilitate better emotional health.  Yanacek and Leiner suggested selecting high-quality foods packed with vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants to protect the brain from wastes that may damage brain cells.  Following a review of the problems associated with refined sugars, the presentation highlighted the gut as a “second brain,” laying the foundation of the importance of nutritional psychiatry.  The presenters encouraged clean eating (a diet with no processed foods/sugar and with limiting or avoiding dairy products) to reduce inflammation-causing foods.  The presentation concluded with twenty tips to eat well for less and responding to questions from the audience.

Overall, the day was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about behavioral health concerns and assist individuals in making great choices for holistic health.  We wish to thank the organizers and attendees of 2019’s Harvest Full of Hope!

For behavioral health treatment options, contact New Vitae Wellness and Recovery today.