Nutrition Education



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    If you are interested the Food for Life classes, please contact Marie Irwin at irwinma@collierschools.com.   

    Food for Life Nutrition and Cooking Classes

    The goal of the Food for Life Cooking Classes is to teach people to choose, prepare, and eat, nutritionally sound and healthy foods that will help them to attain or maintain a healthy weight as well as prevent and treat certain diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses.

    Food for Life Cooking Classes were developed by a team of physicians, registered dietitians, nurses, and other health professionals at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) as a way to translate the data from the latest research in nutrition and help people put it into practical use.

    The content and recipes shared are based on Dr. Neal Barnard’s evidence-based nutrition research and information published in his informative books: 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart, Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes, and The Cancer Survivor’s Guide. What is so unique about the classes is that participants are taught how to make a qualitative rather than quantitative shift in their eating habits. The program is not about restricting food, rather it is about choosing the right foods to prevent overeating and cravings.

    The program has been shown to provide attendees with such clinical benefits as lowering cholesterol, achieving better control of diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and improving energy and mood.




    If you are interested in the CHIP classes, please contact Tim Katz at tkatz@chealthpartners.com.   

    The Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) is a lifestyle enrichment program designed to reduce disease risk factors through the adoption of better health habits and appropriate lifestyle modifications. The goal is to lower blood cholesterol, hypertension, and blood sugar levels and reduce excess weight. This is done by improving dietary choices, enhancing daily exercise, increasing support systems and decreasing stress, thus aiding in preventing and reversing disease.

    CHIP is based on the fact that 75% or more of our Western diseases are “lifestyle-related,” according to the U.S. Surgeon General[1]. These diseases are connected to our processed diet; lack of exercise; overuse of cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine; increased levels of stress; and the quality of our support systems. These diseases include:

    • Heart Disease
    • Stroke
    • Hypertension
    • Diabetes
    • Overweight
    • Certain adult cancers
    • Diverticular disease
    • Constipation
    • Heartburn
    • Arthritis
    • Impotence
    • Depression/Anxiety
    • Fatigue

    It’s not unusual for people to think of health as simply the absence of disease, but nothing could be further from the truth. True health – Optimal Health – is so much more than this and CHIP is designed to help participants achieve the priceless benefits that come with optimal health.

    The areas of mind, body, heart, and spirit all play vital roles in achieving optimal health, and part of the CHIP philosophy is that true health is like a jigsaw puzzle, with a number of different pieces that come together to create a whole. CHIP participants are guided on how to put this puzzle together in the context of their own health, helping them to reverse or prevent chronic diseases and live a truly happy, healthy life.

    This is where the optimal lifestyle comes in. Rather than just receiving information on diet and activity, CHIP participants are also given tools to help with becoming resilient, managing stress, building and strengthening relationships, finding meaning and purpose, and maintaining positive change. CHIP is not simply a short term intervention, it’s an educational program designed to guide participants through the challenges associated with adopting a new lifestyle, one full of behaviors that bring us toward optimal health.

    The Optimal Lifestyle is about getting the most out of life. It’s about actively working to live the best life available and enjoying all it has to offer.

    Before the educational program begins, a comprehensive health screen is conducted to establish risk factor levels for each participant. Health screen results are provided to each participant early in the program, and participants are encouraged to share their results and work closely with their personal physician regarding their need for medication as they modify their lifestyle. Immediately following the program, the health screen is conducted again, and a detailed report is prepared for each participant that compares their risk factor levels before and after going through the program. Reports and course completion certificates are presented at the end of the program.

    [1] McGinnis, J. M. (1988). "The Surgeon General's report on nutrition and health." R I Med J 71(10): 373.


    CHIP Participant Testmonials from CCPS Employees

    • Because of CHIP: I have lost over 6 lbs, I feel better, my heartburn has improved significantly, I thoroughly enjoy eating the new fresh and delicious recipes, I’ve made some new friends, and I have a new lease on life!!!!!!


    • Because of CHIP: I am physically feeling better allowing me to sleep better and feel more energized. I am hoping that with continuing on this path I may soon be off my diabetic and blood pressure medication. It has also help me inform my children and they too have decided to make a lifestyle change for themselves and their family.


    • Because of CHIP: my allergies have subsided. I haven't had any allergy related issues, nor sinus infections or  sinus headaches. However the most meaningful part of CHIP is the fact that it has given me the essential tools, so that that I can make positive changes in my eating habits, as well as  positive lifestyle changes. CHIP has helped me realize that I need to invest time in myself so that I can make the best healthy choices for my life… prevention is key.


    • Because of CHIP: I feel like I have freedom from food controlling my life,  I am truly tasting foods for the first time and enjoying them. I have the energy and ambition to move more, I am down to a healthier weight/BMI. Also I look forward to every meal instead of stressing over the next poor food decision, I will make as a result of emotions, boredom, etc. I look forward to improving my family’s lifestyle!  I am now addicted (in a good way) to hummus!


    • Sometimes as  mothers we forget to take care of ourselves. CHIP taught me how to cook delicious healthy meals and live a better life. Learning to manage stress has always been a struggle of mine. I learned how to manage my mindset and lower my stress. I have more energy and I am able to do more with my children. I feel incredibly grateful for CHIP,  my instructor and this program changed my life!


    • Because of CHIP: I have a much better understanding of the health benefits of a plant strong lifestyle and am armed with a wealth of recipes and resources. I have made connections with other participants to continue with support beyond the class. This has been a wonderful opportunity, thank you CCPS and CHIP!


    • Because of CHIP: I am sleeping better and no longer have that “bloated” feeling after I eat. Participating in the CHIP program has opened my eyes to a whole new way of eating and living! I am committed to CHIP and plan to continue to work toward making improvements every day…good, better, best! The camaraderie of the CHIP team under Trish’s leadership and support has been one of the most positive and fun experiences of my life! I have my doctor’s appointment tomorrow and I am expecting great results! If you’re considering CHIP and wondering if you can do it…don’t question yourself any more…do it…you won’t regret it!
Recipe of the Week