Profile of Hope: Project SHARE participant Melanie Smith shares how cooking from scratch and eating fresh produce has turned her life around (part 2 of 3)

Editor June 3rd

Washington Heights 58 year old resident, Melanie Smith participated in Project SHARE, a research program to lower high blood pressure in at the Harlem Health Promotion Center, offered for free to individuals in Harlem and Upper Manhattan. Since her discovery of having high blood pressure and participating in the SHARE program for only 6 months, she has lost 12 pounds and lowered her blood pressure.  Here, Melanie talks about ways she has changed how she chooses what to eat and how she has started to cook more often at home.

Q: Did you learn anything new from working with Alberta Morgan, your Project SHARE Community Health Worker?

A: I learned to read labels when I shop. I learned to be very conscious of everything that I eat. Even as far as my husband’s diet goes, because of the healthier way I prepare things now, he’s also benefitting from it.


Q: Are you now cooking with less salt?

A: Everything that I make now is from scratch. I’m not eating any more frozen dinners because they’re really high in sodium. Just reading labels has helped me to learn so much about what is not healthy for me to eat. I am not using canned foods either, just fresh ingredients. It’s a little more expensive, but it works out much better.  If I do need something quick, I’ll use a frozen vegetable where the sodium content is low. I’ve increased my fruit intake as well. I’m just eating better overall and I feel better.

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