Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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What’s the best way to shop and eat?

Curious about the virtues and challenges of eating only locally grown foods? Wonder whether a vegetarian diet is smart for you? Want tips on how to shop wisely for healthy, affordable foods? Three upcoming events can help:

  • On Sept. 26 at 7 p.m., Dr. Nimali Fernando — aka Doctor Yum — will lead a free shopping class, where she will take class members around a local grocery store, offering advice on how to shop for healthier foods and prepare good meals on a budget. “Strategies for getting organized, saving money, and reading labels will be reviewed while discussing ways to prepare family-friendly, healthy meals,” says the website of The Doctor Yum Project, a local nonprofit that encourages families to eat well.  Click here to sign up and get details.
  • On Oct. 6, a local vegetarian group will host a panel discussion on the benefits of a plant-based diet. Panelists include Christine Carlson, a leader with The Vegetarian Group; Dr. Christopher Lillis, a local internist and Healthy Living columnist; and Gary Loewenthal, co-founder of Compassion for Animals and the Vegan Bake Sale.  A vegetarian potluck meal will start at 11:30 a.m., with the panel discussion starting at noon, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fredericksburg, 25 Chalice Circle in south Stafford County.
  • On Oct. 8 at 7 p.m., the Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s downtown headquarters will host a discussion of Barbara Kingsolver’s book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” which chronicles a year of eating only locally grown foods. The discussion is part of the library system’s Cultivating Community program. Fredericksburg author and yoga teacher Steve Watkins will lead the discussion.