Sanam Sahni, For The Miami Student

Grassroots Nutrition LLC came to Oxford with a mission: to educate the community on how to stay healthy and happy.

Grassroots Nutrition LLC was founded by Holly Larson, a registered dietitian who promotes healthy lifestyles among Miami University students and Oxford residents.

“My goal is to make people be healthy and to look good and feel good and to give them the tools they need to actually do that,” Larson said.

Along with counseling sessions, Larson offers cooking lessons and grocery store tours. The cooking lessons take place in her office, suite one at 5176 Morning Sun Rd.

“I have small groups come to my office,” Larson said. “I have all of the ingredients purchased already from the store.”

These classes are different from regular cooking classes, according to Larson. Participants do not simply watch someone cook, they sit together, learn together and have a full meal.

“I have vintage aprons for people to wear and I put on some fun music and then we completely cook the meal from start to finish together,” Larson said.

Larson gives participants tips relating serving portions. After the session, Larson said she emails the recipe to all of the participants.

Tours of the grocery range from simple things, such as identifying a ripe avocado, to reading nutrition labels properly, according to Larson.

However, she tries to focus on how to buy healthfully and affordably.

“There are some great foods that are affordable even for college students and I can help people find those,” Larson said.

Larson said she understands every college student has different needs and knows counseling a student who is training for a sport or a marathon is different from one who is trying to lose weight.

All three aspects of her business, cooking lessons, tours and counseling are priced separately, but she is willing to adjust based on a person’s needs.

“I would be happy to work with someone if they are interested in doing more than one thing,” Larson said.

Larson said she also offers students simple tips, one being to eat a good breakfast everyday.

“I try to help people understand that it doesn’t have to be complicated or hard to be healthy and successful,” Larson said.

She recommends an easy earl-morning meal such as hard-boiled eggs and a banana.

“I encourage people to pack healthy snacks like a small bag of almonds or an apple,” Larson said.

According to Larson, these snacks keep one going if it has been long since they had a proper meal.

Miami senior and nutrition major Katie Arlinghaus is currently interning with Grassroots Nutrition. She recently switched career paths and decided to become a dietitian.

According to Arlinghaus, Larson also gives suggestions about what to do before someone gets sick.

“She does a lot of like preventative things and she’s promoting a healthy lifestyle,” Arlinghaus said.

As a college student herself, Arlinghaus understands the challenges people face when it comes to consuming healthy foods and maintaining a proper diet.

“I think it’s really easy to get a lot of quick and convenient foods that are heavily processed which is not the most healthy option,” Arlinghaus said.

Athough Miami provides many healthy options on campus, students still need to know what they are eating, Arlinghaus said.

“There’s a lack of education I guess and Holly can fill that gap,” Arlinghaus said.

Sophomore James Rooney said the service provided by Larson is something he might be interested in.

“When I’m on campus, I try to eat extra healthy,” Rooney said.

Larson’s blog is easily accessible, and she regularly posts recipe ideas and shopping tips.

“I’m just trying to empower people with all the tools that they need to be successful,” Larson said.