RISE Center Takes Part in First Annual Kite Festival Hosted by Beaumont Health Coaltion

RISE Center was pleased to take part this past Saturday in the first annual Kite Festival, hosted by the Beaumont Health Coalition


Academy Sports and Outdoors was a generous sponsor, by donating a basketball goal to the event, and making a health-conscious contribution to our local community. We appreciate you Academy!


Our own Executive Director, Jim Brocato, was in attendance to determine the winner of the drawing for the basketball goal at the end of the day. The winner has never owned a basketball goal and looks forward to getting quite a bit of use out of it.

The basketball goal got plenty of use throughout the day – from those who have used one years ago – and those who use one daily.



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The beautiful kites and games that were there were accessible to all. There were kites available for anyone who came and many community partners brought games and treats for the community as well.









RISE is looking forward to what next year brings!



Fernando Says, “Go Lean With Protein!”

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Fernando from Southeast Texas Food Bank joined us at the Center today to talk to us about the ins and outs of protein. (This information is courtesy of Fernando at Southeast Texas Food Bank and ChooseMyPlate.gov Protein is important to have in a nutritious diet, but Americans have access to more than their fair share of it. While protein is necessary, portion control is important. Here are some key things to remember:

The Protein Food Group is no longer called the “Meat and Beans Group”

The name change from “meat and beans group” to “proteins food group” was done as a reminder to get proteins from a variety of sources, such as:

  • Seafood
  • Lean Meats & Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dry Beans & Peas
  • Soy Products
  • Unsalted Nuts & Seeds


How Much Protein Do We Need?

  • We should only get 5 – 6 1/2 ounce equivalents daily.
  • The protein choices that we eat should be lean or low-fat.


What Would Be Protein Equivalents by Ounce?

In general, 1 ounce equivalent from the Protein Foods group is:

  • 1 ounce of meat, poultry, or fish
  • 1/4 c. cooked beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. of peanut butter
  • 1/2 ounce of nuts or seeds


What About Those Portion Sizes?

A portion size of meat is about the size of a deck of cards or 3 ounces.

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1 ounce of nuts or beans =

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What Are The Health Benefits of Protein?

  • Protein functions as “building blocks” in the body.
  • It is one of three nutrients that the body uses for energy (along with carbohydrates and fat).
  • Protein prolongs feelings of fullness.

What Are Other Nutritional Benefits of Protein?

Foods in the Protein Foods Group supply many nutrients including:

  • Protein
  • B Vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium


How to Make Wise Choices Involving Protein?

Start with lean choices:

  • Buy lean cuts of beef and pork
  • Choose extra lean ground meats
  • Buy skinless chicken parts

Keep it lean:

  • Trim visible fat
  • Avoid frying and use alternative cooking methods for meats
  • Drain off fat after cooking
  • Prepare beans and peas without added fats
  • Prepare foods without high fat sauces and gravies


What Impacts Can a High Fat Diet Have on You?


photo courtesy of thatsnotfood.com

Some choices in the Protein Foods Group are high in:

  • saturated fat

High intake of fats makes it difficult to control total calories consumed.

  • cholesterol

Raised levels of “bad” (LDL) blood cholesterol increases risk for coronary heart disease.

You Should Check Food Labels


photo courtesy of ncagr.gov

Read the Nutrition Facts label on processed foods, looking for amounts of:

  • saturated fat
  • trans fat
  • cholesterol
  • sodium


You Should Vary Your Choices…


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photo courtesy of nccatch.org

Adults should eat at least 8 ounces of cooked seafood weekly.

Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) contribute to prevention of heart disease.

Choices with high omega-3’s and lower level of mercury:

  • Salmon
  • Anchovies
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Pacific Oysters
  • Trout
  • Atlantic and Pacific Mackerel

Nuts and Seeds:

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Peanuts and certain tree nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Nuts are high in calories, so they should be eaten in smaller portions.

Use nuts or seeds to replace some of your other protein foods, not added on.

Choose unsalted nuts or seeds.

Beans, Peas, & Soy

  • Excellent sources of plant protein
  • High in fiber
  • Low fat, with no saturated fat
  • Low sodium
  • Choose cooking methods that don’t add fat and sodium

Vegetarian Diet

Getting adequate protein on a vegetarian diet is possible with the right variety and amounts of food.

Protein Sources:

  • Beans & Peas
  • Nuts, nut butters, and seeds
  • Soy products
  • Eggs (ovo-vegetarians)
  • Milk (lacto-vegetarians) – not part of the protein foods group!


What Can I Do to Manage My Protein?

  • For the next two weeks, focus on eating a variety of protein foods.
  • Find ways to replace high-fat protein foods you are already eating with lean options.
  • Start incorporating seafood into your weekly menu with the goal of 8 ounces each week.


How Does Your Garden Grow?

RISE Center recently partnered with a local non-profit, The Giving Field to help provide education to our consumers concerning gardening and sustainability. Yesterday was our first class and I must say, we enjoyed it immensely while learning a great deal!

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In case you aren’t aware of just what The Giving Field is, it is a donation garden with a mission of feeding the hungry fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, as well as, provide education on living a healthier and more sustainable life through the garden.  All of the harvested food goes to the area soup kitchens to feed the hungry.

The garden grows a multitude of items, and the crops change depending on season. There are ground beds, beds in troughs (raised beds), and even a higher bed that is on a type of table.

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Everything  is organic. Rainwater is caught off of the roof/gutters and transferred into a large vat/barrel that has a hose attached for watering.

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Our consumers learned that when Arugula goes to flower, the leaves become bitter. Which, in turn, leaves them not very tasty for salads and sandwiches…or eating. It’s then time to pull the arugula up and replant.


Once we pulled out the old arugula, we then had to loosen the soil with the small hand rakes so that it would be ready to plant something new.

Because the soil doesn’t have time to rest, we added an all organic product called MicroLife. We used the hand rakes to distribute the MicroLife through the soil evenly.

After putting the MicroLife into the soil, we replanted. This time we chose crops that were season hardy. We planted Dill and Parsley today.

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After planting the new crops, we pulled up some radishes that were ready to be harvested. Upon pulling them up, we cut the green tops off and discarded them into a bucket to be used in another way at a later time. We put the radishes in with any arugula that didn’t go to flower from when we pulled the arugula. These would be delivered to the soup kitchens. They were absolutely beautiful. The radishes were a vibrant red, and very tender and crisp.

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We then took those fresh, beautiful radish tops and we fed the chickens with them.


Meet Romeo. He’s the man of the house. 🙂


When we came over, he had to alert “the girls” of our arrival, and let us know that we were his guests. He was a gracious host.

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The Giving Field has volunteer work hours. Volunteer work hours are Monday and Wednesday from 4 – 6 pm and every 2nd Saturday of the month – weather permitting. It is accessible to any and everyone. If you don’t ever find your way out there. You sure are missing out!

Talking Fiber with Fernando

fiberPicture courtesy of US National Library of Medicine

Fernando Mejia, the Nutrition Educator at the Southeast Texas Food Bank instructed our class today on fiber!

He gave us the:

411 on FIBER

What is fiber?

  • Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest.

Where does fiber come from?

  • Fibers are found in all plant foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes.


Soluble Fiber

  • Dissolves in water
  • Mainly found in fruits and legumes

Insoluble Fiber

  • Absorbs water, but does not dissolve
  • Mainly found in whole grains and vegetables


  • Soluble fibers dissolve in water, form gels and are easily digested by bacteria in the lower intestine.
  • Provides a feeling of fullness
  • Slows down the rate food leaves the stomach
  • May have a role in helping heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer
  • Found in legumes and fruits


  • Insoluble fibers absorb water and swell up, resulting in a larger, softer stool that is easier and quicker to pass.
  • Provides a feeling of fullness
  • Helps with intestinal function
  • May help with colon cancer
  • Found in grains and vegetables


  • Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices
  • Replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole grain products.
  • For breakfast, choose cereals that have whole grain as their first ingredient
  • Snack on raw vegetables instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars.
  • Substitute beans or legumes for meat two or three times per week in chili and soups.