The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

June 24, 2014

Hunters designated as Blue Zones Restaurant

OSKALOOSA — Monday, Blue Zones Project Oskaloosa announced Hunters Gifts & Coffee Café, as a Blue Zones Restaurant.

Hunters, located downtown off of High Avenue, achieved designation after completing the necessary items in the Blue Zones Restaurant pledge. The public is invited to join in celebrating their designation at Hunters on Thursday, June 26, at 11:30 a.m.

Hunters fulfilled the pledge by offering freshly cut fruit as the default side with meals, serving meals on 10-inch plates and promoting healthier sandwich selections to its menu, among other things. Hunters also does not have a fryer in the kitchen, and serves patrons a glass of water upon arrival.

The Blue Zones Restaurant pledge contains evidence and theory-based practices to make healthy choices easier while offering tools and tips to improve customers’ health. Many of the simple changes suggested are based on research from Cornell University’s Dr. Brian Wansink, author of the book “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.”

“These simple changes help guests make healthier choices and eat fewer calories, without cutting into the bottom-line,” said the Blue Zones Project Community Initiative Organizer Hannah DeGeest.

Starting in May 2014, Lea Rice, Blue Zones Project Healthy Foods Committee co-chair and registered dietitian at Mahaska Health Partnership, worked closely with Hunters in assessing a current nutritional analysis of their menu. Rice and DeGeest spent time with Shirley Hunter, the owner of Hunters Gifts & Coffee Café, to understand the vision she has for her restaurant and her community.

“Hunters is pleased to be a part of the Blue Zones Project movement. Having read the Dan Buettner book “Thrive” two years ago, we are happy it has inspired communities to get healthy,” Hunter said. “Paying attention to good ingredients, such as natural and organic, has been important to us. We look forward to working with this Project locally. Having good food is what it is all about.”

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