Category Archives: Live Well Restaurant

UPMC Hospitals Celebrate National Nutrition Month All Year with Wellness Initiatives!

For many Pittsburgers, the beginning of March signals one thing: the end of winter. In March, the first signs of spring pop up throughout our communities. Springtime is the perfect time to focus on your health and wellness. Cabin fever and warmer weather make a persuasive argument for getting outside to take a walk or ride a bike. Another way to focus on health this month is by celebrating National Nutrition Month. Each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics uses National Nutrition Month to remind people of the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy habits. Maintaining a healthy diet combats the risk of chronic diseases, like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke.

One of the largest employers in Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) celebrates National Nutrition Month year-round through their wellness initiatives. Live Well Allegheny Restaurants, which includes the Cafeteria at Magee-Womens Hospital, the Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Mercy, and the Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Presbyterian, are taking health and wellness to the next level. For the three restaurants, joining Live Well Allegheny was a jumping off point for a myriad of wellness initiatives that work towards improving health of employees and hospital visitors.

The health and wellness initiatives at the Cafeteria at Magee-Womens Hospital are not only focused on providing more nutritious options to employees and visitors, but are also using nutrition as a tool for fighting cancer and other chronic diseases. Chefs and dieticians have joined forces to provide employees and visitors with nutrition education that is proven to prevent and treat chronic diseases. One example is the hospital’s oncology cooking demonstrations. Once a month, chefs and dieticians emphasize the benefits of plant-based diet on preventing and treating cancer. The oncology cooking demos provide nutrition education, skills-based information, and taste-testing of plant-based meals. In addition to receiving nutrition education and resources, employees and visitors are also educated on the cooking skills that are necessary for at-home meal preparation, making the demos accessible for all people.

The hospital also emphasizes national health observances by promoting disease-fighting nutrition aimed at specific chronic illnesses. For instance, in February, the Cafeteria at Magee-Womens Hospital celebrated American Heart Month to raise awareness about prevention of heart disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular diseases. The heart health theme was emphasized during a coffee and dark chocolate pairing on February 14th that educated employees and visitors on the benefits of dark chocolate in maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle.

The Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Mercy is also taking steps towards improving health and wellness in our communities. At UPMC Mercy, the Food and Nutrition Department works to improve the health of employees and visitors with healthy food options, health coaches, and cooking demonstrations. The chefs provide nutritious foods with dining smart items, a nutritious entrée paired with vegetables and a starch, as well as a new salad bar. Additionally, health coaches are available outside of the cafeteria for employees and visitors to consult about a variety of wellness topics, such as nutrition education, stress management, and physical activity.

The Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Mercy also hosts cooking demonstrations to provide employees and visitors with nutrition and skills-based education. Like the Cafeteria at Magee-Womens Hospital, the Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Mercy emphasized American Heart Month during their February cooking demonstration. Held at the UPMC Greentree Outpatient Cardiac Center on February 12th, the chefs and dietician emphasized the importance of incorporating whole grains in your diet to maintain heart health during the demonstration. The dietician broke down myths about carbohydrates, and provided helpful insight into healthy grains versus unhealthy grains for the employees and visitors. Chefs demonstrated ways to incorporate whole grains for breakfast and lunch with recipes for overnight oats and salads teaching attendees how to make delicious meals with healthy grains. Demo attendees were also encouraged to make their own overnight oats to take home for breakfast the next day.

Last, but not least, the Food and Nutrition Department at UPMC Presbyterian ensures that the cafeteria is the wellness hub for the hospital by providing nutritious options including vegetarian and vegan fare, health and wellness information, and wellness programming. A priority of the department, employees and visitors can take advantage of an extensive salad bar that was recently renovated, offering a variety of fresh produce. The cafeteria has also increased vegetarian and vegan options by 30 percent, and offers at least one veg-friendly soup every day. The cafeteria’s wellness wall is a one-stop-shop for employees and visitors to get resources about health-related activities at the hospital, such as the employee weight race.

The department also offers wellness programming for employees and visitors to receive resources for preparing health meals at home. Wellness Wednesday is an interactive health presentation that involves nutrition education and cooking demonstrations once per month. A chef and dietician provide the audience with tips and tricks to incorporating healthy foods into their diets in accessible ways. The Wellness Wednesday on February 14th celebrated American Heart Month by featuring healthier desserts, heart healthy recipes, and health screenings with recipes for tofu chocolate mousse and chocolate “nana” ice cream. The recipes demonstrated ways to transform traditionally unhealthy foods into healthier options with minor ingredient substitutions. Attendees and passersby had the opportunity to sample the recipes, and get recipe cards to make the foods at home. The Food and Nutrition Department also partnered with the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute to provide a variety of health screenings, including blood pressure screenings, for employees and visitors. In addition to focusing on human health, UPMC Presbyterian has also focused on the health of the environment by going Styrofoam-free. Switching to recyclable containers has allowed the cafeteria to reduce waste and its ecological footprint.

Riverview School District and Pittsburgh Juice Company Earn Live Well Allegheny Status

February 27, 2018

PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Health Department announced that another school district – Riverview School District, and restaurant, Pittsburgh Juice Company, have joined the Live Well Allegheny campaign. Now participating are 50 communities, 42 restaurants, 14 workplaces and 14 school districts that are making health a priority in Allegheny County.

 

“I am very pleased to report that the Riverview School District and the Pittsburgh Juice Company have joined the Live Well effort,” said ACHD Director Dr. Karen Hacker. “Our newest Live Well Allegheny members will be providing opportunities to increase physical activity and to improve nutrition and healthy cooking practices, all of which are key elements that will help improve the health of our residents.”

Live Well Allegheny School District

The Riverview School District has committed to students’ health and wellness through initiatives that promote proper nutrition and physical activity as part of the learning experience. Initiatives for elementary school students include: morning movement and stretching activities, daily recess, mindfulness activities, and fitness Fridays, implemented by each school building’s Wellness Committee. For junior and senior high school students, Riverview Schools held its inaugural Turkey Trot, a successful, fun, half-day school event that offered three diverse healthy activities. The Riverview Junior and Senior High School Health and Physical Education Department have also concentrated on offering diverse fitness opportunities for students every day, providing cardio equipment, circuit training, and a music and dance class that students can utilize.

Live Well Allegheny Restaurant

The Pittsburgh Juice Company has committed to providing healthier food options to its customers through continued sustainable practices. Customers have access to vegetarian dishes, whole grain alternatives and healthier beverage options. The restaurant uses plant based oils, and has eliminated the use of trans fats from their kitchen. In addition, the Pittsburgh Juice Company has a secure area for patrons to store their bicycles, if they need a rest in between rides.

Live Well Allegheny was launched in January 2014 by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald as a comprehensive and innovative strategy on wellness that embraces a broad concept of living well to include physical health, mental wellness, personal and community safety, prevention and preparedness, and much more. The effort is being led by the Allegheny County Board of Health and Dr. Hacker.

Participants in the Live Well Allegheny campaign work with the Health Department’s staff. While monetary resources are not part of the initiative, participating workplaces can receive materials, information and collateral items to promote the campaign and their individual efforts to live well.

Several New Live Well Allegheny Designations

August 17, 2017

PITTSBURGH –  The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) announced today that one municipality, one school district, two workplaces and four restaurants have been designated as part of the Live Well Allegheny campaign during the past month. This brings the total to 49 communities, 13 school districts, 13 workplaces and 41 restaurants that are making health a priority in Allegheny County.

“In order to reach our goal of making Allegheny County the healthiest county for all residents it takes all of us doing our part to make healthy choices where we live, learn, work and eat,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director. “I am so pleased to be able that these organizations are joining with us in our efforts, and thank them for each contributing to Live Well Allegheny.”

Live Well Allegheny Community

Mount Oliver Borough is committed to sharing information on wellness campaign events with the broader community to encourage the voluntary participation of residents, encourage multi-modal transportation of residents by providing facilities or policies that encourage walking and bike riding with a specific focus on making good connections to municipal parks and promoting and their farmer’s market.

Live Well Allegheny School District

The Elizabeth Forward School District’s commitment began with a community garden that is farmed by elementary students at Greenock Elementary School and a summer enrichment class called, “Little Sprouts.” The class teaches children about growing and cultivating a garden as well as how to prepare the food that they grow. They also participate in “Cooking Matters” classes with parents sponsored by 412 Food Rescue, conduct several food drives and have a “Food Cupboard” at the school that provide food items for the neediest families. Additionally, the district provides healthy lunches and snacks for students. In the future, the district plans to conduct community surveys and to expand gardens to other schools in the district.

Live Well Allegheny Workplace

PITT OHIO has a robust workplace wellness program that includes offering healthy food and snacks for purchase in its cafeteria and in vending machines, and makes those same options available during company meetings and events. Employees have access to comprehensive health insurance including dental and eye care and preventative care without copays. The business has also established a tobacco-free workplace policy which includes cessation services, and is creating and sponsoring employee athletic teams and activities. To underscore PITT OHIO’s focus on health and wellness, a health and wellness coordinator has been in place since October 2015. In addition to providing resources, the workplace also provides annual Health Risk Assessments, a before-work stretching program, weight-loss competitions, group challenges and walking events.

TCV Community Services offers its employees healthy food options in vending machines, a private area for breastfeeding employees, well-lit and safe stairwells, and access to water fountains dispensers and coolers on site. Moving forward, the workplace will be considering consider a tobacco and smoke-free work campus. The organization is also exploring the integration of health and wellness policies into its organizational structure through the adoption of a healthy food policy, a policy to support breastfeeding employees, the use of financial incentives to encourage participation in health improvement activities, potential health-club discounts for employees, and will provide or ensure that employees have access to comprehensive health insurance including dental and eye care in addition to preventive care without co-pays. Employees have access to health education information and are encouraged to participate in screenings including those for body mass index, obesity, and blood pressure.

Live Well Allegheny Restaurant

The leadership of each of these restaurants has committed to providing healthy options for customers, information on which can be found on the Live Well Allegheny Restaurants page.

Participants in the Live Well Allegheny campaign work with Health Department’s staff. While monetary resources are not part of the initiative, participating workplaces can receive materials, information and collateral items to promote the campaign and their individual efforts to live well.

Live Well Allegheny was launched in January 2014 by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald as a comprehensive, innovative strategy on wellness that embraces a broad concept of living well to include physical health, mental wellness, personal and community safety, prevention and preparedness, and much more. The effort is being led by the Board of Health and Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker.

Newest Live Well Allegheny Restaurants Announced

February 14, 2017

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced that four more restaurants have received the Live Well Allegheny Restaurant designation. They are:

Spirit Restaurant, 242 51st Street, Pittsburgh 15201
Apollo Café, 429 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh 15219
Tender Bar + Kitchen, 4300 Butler Street, Pittsburgh 15201
Shab’s Grill, 339 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh 15222

Each of the restaurants has indicated the intent to work with the county to accomplish the goals of the Live Well Allegheny campaign, and has outlined the steps the facility intends to take. At a minimum, the leadership at each establishment has committed to eliminated trans-fat oils, being smoke-free, and not selling tobacco products. Each has also committed to four additional action steps that are responsible business practices, and will provide healthy options for patrons. Finally, each has also received various designations as part of the Sustainable Restaurant Program. To learn what each restaurant is doing to “live well,” visit the Live Well Restaurants page.

“We are glad to welcome these restaurants into the Live Well Allegheny family. They are providing great healthy options for the residents of our county” said Director Dr. Karen Hacker.

Fuel & Fuddle and Square Cafe are Newest Live Well Allegheny Restaurants!

December 8, 2016

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) today announced that two restaurants, both in the City of Pittsburgh, are the latest restaurants to receive the Live Well Allegheny designation.

The two new Live Well Allegheny Restaurants are:

  • Fuel and Fuddle, 212 Oakland Avenue, Pittsburgh (Oakland neighborhood)
  • Square Café, 1137 South Braddock Avenue, Pittsburgh (Regent Square neighborhood)

Both restaurants have also received designations as part of the Sustainable Pittsburgh Program, as well as having indicated the intent to work with the county to accomplish the goals of the campaign. Specifically, Fuel and Fuddle and Square Café have committed to offer and promote menu items that are low in calories, vegetarian/ vegan fare, healthy side dishes including fruits and vegetables and healthier beverage options.

Both restaurants offer brown rice and other whole grains as an alternative to white rice and white bread and will use plant-based oils for cooking and baking, provide healthier beverage options. The children’s menu they provide will adhere to the Kids Live Well criteria as established by the National Restaurant Association. Square Café has also committed to offer half portions, provide low calorie salad dressings and offer low fat or skim milk. Both restaurants provide a location to store bicycles at or near their location.

“We are happy to add additional healthy dining options to Live Well Allegheny”. said Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker. “More restaurants are coming on board offering customers healthier options and we hope that the public will take advantage of them.”

Learn more about Live Well Allegheny Restaurants.

Big Burrito Restaurant Group Facilities Designated as Live Well Restaurants

big Burrito Restaurant Group gains Live Well Restaurant status

Dr. Karen Hacker with big Burrito Restaurant Group Corporate Chef Bill Fuller

PITTSBURGH – This week, Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), presented Corporate Chef Bill Fuller with the Live Well Allegheny Restaurant designation for all of the restaurants in the big Burrito Restaurant Group that are located in Allegheny County. The announcement was made at Eleven on Wednesday morning.

“The big Burrito Restaurant Group provides a variety of healthy food options in its restaurants for all Allegheny County residents” said Dr. Hacker. “I am so pleased to see the commitment to Live Well Allegheny across the entire company. The group provide a great model for how to provide healthy options for multiple tastes in a variety of eating establishments.”

The new Live Well Restaurants are:

  • Casbah, 229 S Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh (Shadyside)
  • Eleven, 1150 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh (Strip District)
  • Kaya, 2000 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh (Strip District)
  • Mad Mex, 4100 William Penn Highway, Monroeville
  • Mad Mex, 7905 McKnight Road, Ross
  • Mad Mex, 200 S Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh (Shadyside)
  • Mad Mex, 2 Robinson Plaza, Park Manor Drive, Robinson
  • Mad Mex, Scott Towne Center, 2101 Greentree Road, Scott
  • Mad Mex, 370 Atwood Street, Pittsburgh (Oakland)
  • Soba, 5847 Ellsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh (Shadyside)
  • Umi, 5847 Ellsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh (Shadyside)

Each of the establishments has indicated the intent to work with the county to accomplish the goals of the campaign. Additionally, each has outlined steps to be taken by the facility to help meet those goals. At a minimum, the leadership at each establishment has committed to eliminating trans-fat oils, being smoke free and not selling tobacco products.

“As professionals we make our living by feeding people. It thrills us to supplement our mission of pleasing our guest’s senses with nurturing their total health and welfare.  We look forward to participating in the increased positive living of our communities and working in partnership with the ACHD,” said Bill Fuller, Corporate Chef, big Burrito Restaurant Group.

Each of the eleven restaurants is also committed to providing calorie counts and other nutritional information on menus or making the information otherwise readily available to customers; offering vegetarian/vegan fare; providing healthy side dishes including fruit and vegetables that can be ordered in lieu of higher fat/sugar/salt options; using plant based oils for cooking and baking; providing low calorie salad dressings; and offering low fat milk as an alternate to cream for hot beverages. Soba, Umi, Casbah, Kaya and Mad Mex Shadyside also provide a location to store bicycles at or near the restaurant.

The big Burrito Restaurant Group was also recently recognized as a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant by Sustainable Pittsburgh.

Live Well Allegheny was launched in January 2014 as a comprehensive, innovative strategy on wellness that embraces a broad concept of living well to include physical health, mental wellness, personal and community safety, prevention and preparedness, and much more. The effort is being led by the Board of Health and Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker.