HEALTHY APPROACH: Nutritional educator Jema Lee says understanding how to eat and live healthier will mean a happier life for over 50s.
HEALTHY APPROACH: Nutritional educator Jema Lee says understanding how to eat and live healthier will mean a happier life for over 50s.

Nutritional advice for over-50s is food for thought

LISTEN to your body - that's the advice from nutritional educator Jema Lee.

Jema has started a series of Over 50 and Thriving courses as part of Gold Coast City Council's Active and Healthy program.

About 35 people attended her first class last month on gut health. Similar turnouts at her October workshop on The Fuss about Sugar and November's Understanding Weight Management, will ensure the series is offered monthly monthly while a nutritional program could also be introduced.

Jema has for more than two years provided free monthly classes for all ages at Essence of Living in Mermaid Beach and it was participants of these classes who asked her to do something more specifically for the older age group.

"I really believe in having a healthy community, which is why I run these classes," Jema said.

"We've got a big population here on the Gold Coast in that over-50s age bracket and they are missing out on a lot of new information."

Jema understands older people are often reluctant to look beyond traditional medicine but she does not profess to diagnose, heal or treat conditions.

Instead she helps people decipher the messages their bodies are giving them through anything from continually breaking nails, to skin breakouts, lack of energy to poor sleep.

"I provide support and guidance to help people understand the role of food and nutrition and how it affects their body," she said.

Jema said many believe their diet is good but warned that it is easy to fall into bad habits such as missing breakfast, especially for those who live on their own or have moved away from family.

"There's also just a lot more information about nutrition than there was 30-40 years ago, particularly understanding things like good versus bad sugars," she said.

"And weight management is a very big thing with this age group. It's important to realise it's not always about the food or the exercise, it's about getting the balance right."

There are multiple factors involved in weight gain or loss, including health, lifestyle, body type, medication, fitness, heredity and metabolism. Understanding why you are a certain weight is the first step.

"It's about finding a healthy way of living that suits each person individually," Jema said.

"We discuss the best way to eat foods to serve you and your body ... to make you feel better and take that knowledge into the future."

To find out more about Jema's over-50s workshops at Broadbeach and Elanora libraries, call the libraries, visit the council's Active and Healthy page, or contact Jema on 0413783820 or or visit

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