Old Fort resident and Bounty & Soul client Tracy Rhodes, 57, says the diet and wellness lessons she’s learned at the nonprofit’s weekly markets have transformed her health — and that of every member of her family.
Tell me a little about your self-care story.
I’ve been coming to Bounty & Soul on Tuesdays for about a year and a half. I decided to just jump in and do all the things they offer. I do the wellness class and the yoga class and the cooking demo, plus getting fruits and vegetables from the market. I feel better than I’ve felt in my whole life. I’ve lost 27 pounds, and my energy level is amazing.
What sorts of things have you tried to improve your health before coming to Bounty & Soul?
I’ve always tried to take pretty good care of myself, but this has changed my whole life and my family’s life. You hear about all these diets; I’ve tried everything. They work up your hopes, tell you to buy this and buy that. But now I’ve totally changed my eating habits. I’ve learned what to eat and what not to eat, and what to eat together. For example, turmeric and black pepper. If you want the benefits from turmeric, you have to eat it together with black pepper. And mushrooms: You can put them out in the sun, and they absorb the vitamin D. Then you don’t need the supplements. Just so many things.
You mentioned that what you’ve learned has changed your family’s life, too.
My husband has been taking part for the past nine months. He was almost diabetic, but now he’s fine. He’s lost 47 pounds, and his blood pressure has gone down a lot. And my grandkids, it’s helped them, too. I have a shelf in my refrigerator where I put cut up peppers, carrots, grapes, strawberries — whatever they are giving out that week. I tell the grandkids they can eat as much from that shelf as they want anytime they want. They feel so much better. I’ve got one of the grandkids here volunteering with me at Bounty & Soul today; she’s 8.