Free, free, free!
I have 500 copies of "The Basics of Eating Right," an eight-page brochure describing the Food Guide Pyramid, to help you reshape your plate and improve your eating habits.
The pamphlet was developed by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and funded by a grant from Marriott Health Care. It's available free during March, National Nutrition Month.
Just send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelop to Colleen Pierre, R.D. c/o The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.
More free things.
Several years ago, ADA shifted its primary focus from serving its professional members to serving and educating the public.
Consequently, ADA has developed the National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics in Chicago. The Consumer Nutrition Hot Line is its most widely used service. When you call its toll-free number, (800) 366-1655, here's what you can get:
* Answers to specific questions. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday registered dietitians staff the hot line. In the first nine months of operation they answered 60,000 questions about cholesterol, fat,weight control, diabetes and general nutrition for adults.
* Recorded nutrition messages. More than 140,000 callers have heard recorded messages, available 24 hours a day, in both English and Spanish. Messages change monthly, and several different messages are available each month.
* Referral to a registered dietitian. More than 1,800 people wanted to know how to find a dietitian in their area. The hot line offers the names of at least three dietitians to each caller.
* Printed material. Call for free printed material on just about any topic including weight control, sports nutrition, dietary supplements, sodium, cholesterol, diabetes, dining out and eating during pregnancy.
And now, for the "almost free."
Lots of folks want to know what they can eat that is calorie free. Not much. But here are a few things, besides diet cola, that you can eat in almost endless amounts without adding much to your calorie count for the day:
Bouillon (high sodium) or broth without fat, mineral water, club soda, black coffee or tea (high caffeine), cabbage, celery, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, green onion, hot peppers, mushrooms, radishes, zucchini, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, horseradish, mustard, dill or unsweetened pickles (high sodium) and vinegar.
Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant to the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center in Baltimore.