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Healthy Sisters are important!

This story, originally published in The Dallas Morning News, is reprinted as part of a collaborative partnership between The Dallas Morning News and Texas Metro News. The partnership seeks to boost coverage of Dallas’ communities of color,
particularly in southern Dallas.

Nutrition is Major Focus During Sisterhood Month

By Dr. Andrea Hilburn

March is Sisterhood Month for members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., but this message is for ALL of my Sisters, Deltas or not.

Dr. Andrea Hilburn
Dr. Andrea Hilburn

We often think of assets as our 401(k)s, houses, jewelry, and other material things. But did you know that your greatest asset is your health? And it’s an asset that you can do something about.

You can’t control the stock market and its impact on your 401(k), but there are so many things you can do to take control of your health. The first is to eat healthy.

Eat healthy by educating yourself on nutrition.


Start by looking at nutrition labels. A good rule of thumb when looking at fat and sodium is that anything close to 5% is low, and anything close to 20 percent is high. Also, look at your plate (and don’t use a huge plate!) – half of your plate should be non-starchy vegetables and fruit, a quarter of the plate lean protein, and a quarter starch.

You can go to the website\myplate-plan and actually get a food plan that is personalized to you, based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level.

You can eat healthy and still enjoy the foods you like by making swaps such as stuffing your omelet with veggies instead of bacon to cut fat and add vitamins; topping pancakes with yogurt and nuts instead of syrup to add protein.

Add flavor without fat or salt by using herb blends, lemon juice, pepper, or flavored vinegar on vegetables.

The second way you can take control of your health is to Get Active. Being physically active on a regular basis is one of the best ways to keep your heart, lungs, and whole body healthy.

Exercise is Key
Exercise is Key Credit: Urban faith

You can achieve the 30 minutes-a-day physical activity recommendation by breaking it up into two or three segments. Find something you like, and stick with it.

Take control of your health by engaging in self-care. This might be a day at a spa for some women (who can afford that???), but self-care also means doing something as simple as taking out time to de-stress every day. Black women face acute and chronic stress that takes a toll on our physical and mental health.

Choose my Plate

The Black Women’s Health Imperative defines self-care as committing to caring for yourself and creating balance in your life but recognizes that this is not easy for us as Black women because we can have the Super-woman syndrome.

Learn to say “No.” A “No” today can be a “Yes” to a better, healthier tomorrow. Take care of yourself!

As actress and healthy eating guru, Tabitha Brown would say, “that’s your business!”


Andrea Hilburn is the President of the Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Andrea Hilburn is the President of the Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

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