Interview with Aloma Cassell

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AODA Barbados & Dominica Country Representative

By Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, CSSD, LMHC, FAND, Country Representatives Chair

It’s not every day that I have the opportunity to speak with a “flying” nutritionist! Yes our very own Country representative has been an expert cabin crew member for 2 Caribbean airlines. Then one day, she had an epiphany. She wanted to change her lifestyle—diet, exercise and overall health and voila! A dietitian was born.

Meet Aloma Cassell

A citizen of the world, currently living in Barbados for the past 9 years, this native Dominican born, mom to 12-year-old Armaree, 4th year distance learning student at Kansas State University and full time flight attendant has one busy life! These days, she moves faster and lighter after her own transforming journey from 180 to 135 pounds by learning better eating habits and food choices and incorporating exercise in her life. Inspired to share the nutrition gospel to her fiancé, her community the public and press, Aloma is working on finishing her degree and taking in all she can learn from her fellow AODA CRs and members, her program and experts in our profession.

Country Health Issues Impacted by Nutrition

Plagued and working towards reducing communicable diseases such as HIV, TB and also child mortality, Dominica is the mecca 2nd only to New Zealand for the largest boiling lake. The Sulphur is recognized as a natural treatment for skin diseases. People come from all over the world for eco tours of this 365 river region.

A more developed, sophisticated and westernized island, Barbados is affected by chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes where the biggest threat is their love for meats and fast foods, high fat food choices and the lack of information available to guide islanders towards better eating habits,

Free is not an option to residents as everyone needs to purchase their own health insurance and care is dependent on the level of coverage affordable. Barbados does have universal health care.

What are trends have you have seen in Barbados nutritional care.

Back to the basics—fresh food from the seas and land—as fishing, farming vegetables, fruits, ground provisions (tubers, etc.) is a “growing” trend as islanders are doing a better job at reducing meats, fast foods, and quick choices.

What inspired you to become involved with AODA?

As a member of other academy groups such as VN DPG (Vegetarian Nutrition), HEN DPG (Hunger & environmental nutrition) , NE DPG (Nutrition entrepreneurs), FCP DPG (Food & Culinary professionals), Aloma had a school assignment that led her to AODA & wanted to take the next step towards academy leadership within a group that represented global concerns and opportunities.

A devoted volunteer for the zero hunger initiative in St. Vincent, we are fortunate to have Aloma volunteer her time to AODA as our Barbados / Dominica CR.  She is excited to share what she knows about nutritionally working with tropical issues impacting her birthplace Dominica and current home in Barbados with fellow members, the public and press.

 

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Follow Aloma as she shares her “Island” approach to healthy eating and exercise instagram@AlomaCassell and facebook aloma cassell

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