CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Jada Johnson always makes a colorful meal.
It's one of the healthy food choices the Mary Baldwin College freshman makes every day, and she's helping others do the same.
"You have dairy, fruits, veggies, carbohydrates, proteins, and make it a rainbow on your plate," said Johnson. "Eating healthy isn't hard. It's not as expensive as many Americans think it is."
While in high school, the Gold Award Girl Scout started volunteering at her church's food pantry -- the New Life Church NetCasters Kitchen.
"That's when I started my Gold Award, and a Gold Award is a year project," said Johnson.
After noticing people's bad eating habits and choices at the pantry, she decided to help by leading monthly cooking demos at her church.
"They [were] picking a lot of the cakes and the cookies and the cupcakes and the high-saturated, high-processed foods," said Johnson. "[Healthy eating] is very simple. It's low-budget. It's easy to do."
Now, Johnson is sharing her tried-and-true recipes and nutritional advice in a book called Food is Medicine: Nutritious and Delicious Recipes from my home shared with you.
"My book is a continuation... is the sustainability of my [Girl Scout Gold Award] project," said Johnson. "I wanted to encourage how to eat healthy, [be]cause I know it has benefits for the long run."
She hopes more people learn that healthy foods are as versatile and delicious as they are nutritious.
"You [have] got to try. You'll never know that you don't like it," said Johnson. "You just [have] to try, maybe, different ways of experimenting with it."
The Food is Medicine: Nutritious and Delicious Recipes from my home shared with you book is available on Amazon and other online retailers. Johnson also plans to publish a healthy-eating book for kids.
Author's Note: The video below is on file from another story that aired on Nov. 4, 2021. It's about a military family that also helps people to make healthier eating/drinking decisions.