I love fall, from the beautiful weather to the change in routines, with schedules a little more ordered and the kids back in school. But with back to school also comes the annual school lunch challenge. Parents and kids have a choice: buy lunch in school or pack a homemade lunch.

Lately I’ve been thinking about Island hearts. With the opportunity to write this, my first Gazette article and the launch of what I hope will become a regular column about nutrition, I’d like to focus on our community of hearts.

What can we as individuals do nutritionally to protect and strengthen them? There are dozens of foods known to help fight heart disease, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. What follows are a few of my favorites, with some tips on how to include them in your diet.

Thanks to a collaboration between Vineyard Nutrition and Island Grown Schools, Island families have seen their resources for healthy eating multiply in the past few months. With funding from a Mass in Motion grant, registered nutritionists Prudence Athearn Levy and Josh Levy co-wrote Vineyard Family Cooking, a booklet featuring recipes that are easy to prepare, tasty and healthy. The grant also covers the cost of a family cooking class series, taught by Mr. Levy and featuring recipes from the booklet, that began last month.


New Nutrition

Josh and Prudence Levy of Edgartown are the new owners of Vineyard Nutrition. After 24 years, Denise Guest has sold her practice to focus on her Be My Guest Granola product line development.

The Levys recently moved back to the Island to raise their two young boys close to family. “It has always been our dream to own a private nutrition counseling practice together. Buying Vineyard Nutrition has brought us back to family and community and the kind of life we were yearning for,” Mr. Levy said.