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Feature Article Lifestyle Class Leads to New Habits

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“Everyone needs to know how terrific this class is.”

These are the words of Renee Kinzer, who is happier with her health after she and her husband Jerry took the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) class at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital in 2016.

The Kinzers, of Lebanon, didn’t have any significant health conditions but they wanted to make some healthy changes. Renee heard about the CHIP class, and she and Jerry signed up after attending an informational session.

“I’m not much for diets, but in this class, you can eat just about anything you want in moderation,” Jerry said.

While the class does not promote a specific diet, it encourages a plant-based whole-food diet.

The CHIP curriculum comes from the Lifestyle Medicine Institute. Physicians and dietitians from the hospital teach the class along with Lifestyle Medicine Track students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest.

The class is held twice a week for nine weeks. Each session includes a meal, video, cooking demonstration and a breakout session where the participants discuss in small groups what they’ve learned.

Each participant also receives a workbook and large recipe book. Some of the meals at the class are prepared from the recipe book.

This class was ideal for the Kinzers, as Jerry likes to eat and Renee likes to try different recipes.

“I’m totally willing to be her guinea pig,” Jerry laughed.

They both agree that CHIP has been more than worth it. They have both been able to drop some weight and reduce their cholesterol, and they’ve added several new healthy foods and ingredients to their diet.

“This class is about a lifestyle change you can control,” Renee said. “You’re not starving yourself. You can eat whatever you want, just eat the right proportions and combinations of foods. It’s not a fast diet, but it’s healthy and it’s not that difficult.”

The next CHIP class begins on Monday, Feb. 20 at the hospital. It will run Mondays and Thursdays through April 20. Each class starts at 5:30 p.m.

To register, or for more information, call the hospital’s Diabetes Education team at 541-451-6313.