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I don’t need breakfast – just a coffee!

Having only a coffee for breakfast used to be the norm for Uili, but learning to eat proper meals is quickly paying off for the Auckland social worker.

Learning to eat proper meals is paying off for Uili. Find out what made him change his old habits.

For Uilinitone Vaoesea (aka Uili), breakfast used to be coffee – nothing else. Lunch was usually some kind of takeaway meal and healthy eating was not something he gave much thought to.  

But that all changed recently, when Uili and his colleague Manuele Lui completed the Certificate of Proficiency in Pacific Nutrition (CPPN) course, run by the Heart Foundation’s Pacific Heartbeat team.

Uili is a Social Worker who works out of a school in Mangere, Auckland. He enrolled in the CPN course because he knew he needed to lead by example. 

“If I can’t look after myself, how could I look after somebody else or support somebody else? With the role I am playing in this community it is really important to know what I am talking about. That’s something I want to offer… to give as much as I can not only to the children in the schools, but their families.”

Within just two weeks of starting the course, Uili lost four kilograms. It started with trying new things for breakfast, such as porridge and a banana, followed by some fruit for morning tea and a healthier lunch. His fitness has also improved thanks to a daily walk.

These are big changes for Uili.

“Before I took this course I would hardly have any breakfast or lunch and wait until I got home and then I’d have two plates of food, then bed.”

Pacific Heartbeat’s hands-on CPN course shows that healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive or tasteless.

We teach people how to prepare three healthy meals to feed a family of six for a day, on a budget of just $25.

“People think you can’t feed your family of six with $25? Trust me, I did it on the course. I see it and I experienced it. I recommend it,” Uili says.

“If you don’t trust what I say, get into the course and find out for yourself.”  

Uili is now looking at the possibility of teaching parents about menu planning and cooking healthier meals. This all ties in great with his school’s ‘Garden to Table’, which has seen the school plant its own vegetable gardens and fruit trees. Students then get to harvest the fruit and veggies, before using them to cook healthy meals.

Uili has also started up a touch football group for his church and given out ‘Kids in the kitchen’ cookbooks from the Heart Foundation. He’s a man on a mission! 

Learn more about our Pacific nutrition courses and how you can register for one today - click on the button below

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