HoC: Loving my Heart to Health
Monique Alston was a student at Chaffey when she decided to start working on campus. She has been working at Chaffey for 12 years, and started as a student worker in DPS. Alston explains her journey of employment at Chaffey, she became an apprentice, to a short-term worker, to a part time permanent, and now I'm a full-time worker. Last year, she made a transition to working in both counseling and the career center.
“Dedication and commitment to servicing our students and directing them to the right resources” is what Alston says is important to the growth and the success of students.In counseling she enjoys being a part of their success, and that’s “whether they come out of the counselors’ office and announce I am graduating, or I got the job!” This semester she has taken the role of mentor for a Chaffey student as well.
Along with education, Alston has a passion for nutrition, and is working on her own cookbook. This passion blossomed from an attempt to save her own life.
“My doctor told me I was a ticking time bomb. Showing no signs or symptoms,” she writes in a pamphlet on her Facebook page.
Alston said that she decided to focus on her health once she began battling with hypertension, and that started with nutrition.She found a group on Facebook that had recipes to lower blood pressure without having to take medication. After she created Joy of Dashing, which is her own Facebook page..Onthe page she posts her meal preps and healthy dishes, what she likes to call “food medicine”.
Since setting up the Facebook page, she was excited to see the engagement and the responses she was getting, which is why she has her mind on writing the cookbook. Last month she was invited to participate in a cooking demonstration at a family owned restaurant in Ontario, and she host free demonstrates around the community.
Alston strategizes by using $30 as here weekly budget for her diet. This is one way meal prepping and strategizing recipes can be efficient.“I create these ideas of meals, and then I write it down,”Alston mentions. This is how she makes sure she is only buying ingredients she needs from the store. The Dollar store, Food for Less, Cardenas market and Superior market are all places that Alston suggests to college students who fresh produce while on a tight budget.
With the popularity of her meals growing, Alston says she has already begun writing a cookbook and it is in the early stages of production. She has found much joy in spreading her healthy living because it, “saves time, money, and it is adding to my life.” Alston is still here on campus as a counselor and a mentor on campus, you can catch her in the quad eating her meal preps during lunch. This nutritional work has been on the side however it has taken Alston on a journey that she is grateful for.