11/07/2013 02:39 pm ET

Introductions and Icebreakers Aside

Down to Business

Session two of Slim Peace DC was jam packed with nutrition information and had participants dive head first into educational activities. This is where our leaders Susan Berkow and Fara Madi, Jewish and Muslim respectively, showcased their expertise on topics such as nutrition recommendations, daily values and serving sizes.

Healthy? Not So Much

Many eyes bugged and even more jaws dropped as preconceived perceptions of healthy foods were challenged. For example, many women assume that fruit is a great go-to healthy snack; however, not many knew that only 1-2 servings of fruit are recommended per day due to high sugar. Luckily we had experts in the room with suggestions, tips and tools to help gradually transition the group towards these initially surprising diet changes and revelations.

Hamsa Hand

Culture made its way into dialogue as we found that even with our ancestral and religious differences, we have overlaps in cultural symbols -- such as the Hamsa hand. This sign was identified by Jewish, Muslim and Christian participants as a representation of: God's hand, peace and humanity, protection, Fatima's hand, five fingers of sensory praise to God... it goes on! Some thought it was a Jewish symbol, some thought it was an Arab symbol, some had never seen it before and many agreed that it's ancient historical significance represents a bridge of harmony between many faiths and cultures around the world.

Post-meeting support

Participants are sharing recipes, messages of encouragement, articles and information through various social media channels. By having a constant presence, participants gain a mutual sense of support, accountability and motivation as they strive towards their personal and group goals.