Good for you food on the menu

Clean and Healthy Eating Group adds even more healthful, whole-food choices

Created date

May 23rd, 2019
The founders of Maris Grove’s Clean and Healthy Eating Group (clockwise, from upper right) Dr. Marie Russell, Joel Roisman, Mary Jeannette, and Dining Director Joseph Guidetti.

The founders of Maris Grove’s Clean and Healthy Eating Group (clockwise, from upper right) Dr. Marie Russell, Joel Roisman, Mary Jeannette, and Dining Director Joseph Guidetti.

Ask any Maris Grove neighbor what they like most about the community, and you’ll often hear, “the delicious food.” With six restaurants to choose from, residents love the freedom to enjoy tasty meals with friends, without having to cook. 

For those with health concerns, eating out multiple times a week can mean less control over how their food is prepared. That’s why several Maris Grove neighbors created the Clean and Healthy Eating Group (CHEG). Working closely with Dining Director Joseph Guidetti and Executive Chef Justin Pagano, all Maris Grove restaurants are offering new, taste-tempting menu items that give diners even more healthy choices.

“Dining is a social experience,” says Guidetti. “These menu additions let everyone enjoy great food with great friends, regardless of any health issues.”

CHEG was started by three neighbors with different reasons for wanting to eat healthier meals: Marie Russell, M.D., a retired physician concerned about the impact of diet on health; Joel Roisman, who wants to control his cholesterol without taking statins; and Mary Jeannette, who has type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, which require a gluten-free diet.

According to Marie, “CHEG is not a diet. We don’t want to take desserts off the menu or tell anyone what to eat. Our goal is to make available more ‘whole foods,’ meaning those that are un- or minimally processed. Those foods have fewer unhealthy additives like salt, saturated fats, and sugar, and they can play a role in a healthier lifestyle.”

‘Finding the balance’

Guidetti acknowledges that healthier eating reflects a national trend. “People want nutrition information and flexibility,” he says. “Our new menus group dishes so diners can easily find what they need. We can put sauces on the side and add a protein—steak, chicken, fish, or tofu—to vegetarian dishes.”

Adds Joel, “The food is restaurant quality. You can have soup to nuts at every meal, but you also can have lighter options and fresh fruit. It’s about finding the balance that works for you.”

The group meets monthly and now has 90 members, some of whom do not have health concerns—they just feel good about eating well. “Maris Grove helps us live our best lives—the gym, pool, classes, clubs, activities, and now, even more menu choices,” Mary says. “It’s fantastic that so many neighbors want to participate.”

Guidetti and his team continue to work closely with the group. “Dining Services has a fantastic partnership with CHEG,” he says. “We value their medical knowledge and personal input. It’s our pleasure to make their vision for healthful, whole-food choices a reality.”

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