“We think of genes in terms of inheriting our hair and eye color, but our genes have switches,” explained Lisa Myaing at the LivingWell Cooking Workshop, Wednesday afternoon at camp meeting. “These switches, flipped on or off, determine how our body is formed.” Myaing went on to explain that the way we live can actually change those settings.
“We inherit a lot more than our genes, we also inherit lifestyle,” she said. “If we can differentiate between the two, we can begin to improve our health, because our diets can make a big difference in the way our body works. The word vegan means different things to different people. I can be vegan and live off French fries and soda, but that’s not necessarily good for me. That’s why we focus on whole food, plant-based recipes.”
During the first of three meetings, the more than 50 attendees learned how to create three simple meals, including Indian spinach and chickpea komra and an old-fashioned meatloaf. These workshops challenges the misconception that eating healthy means forfeiting taste.
About two years ago, the LivingWell program, powered by the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP), a popular lifestyle education program, was implemented in the ABC. “So many of our customers are looking for a pill or a quick fix to their health problems,” said Myaing. “We felt one of the best services we could provide was to actually show them the steps to a healthier lifestyle.” Through the program, the ABC has built relationships with hundreds of people within the community. These relationships have even encouraged some to start attending Bible studies.
LivingWell is a 12- week program, similar to CHIP, but with a few extra components. The first six weeks begin with an in-depth introduction, including a blood draw and cooking workshops, with the last six weeks encouraging maintenance of personal changes and developing new habits. Blood is also drawn at the end of the program, allowing participants to see and understand how their diet directly affects their health. More classes are expected to launch at the ABC this Fall, covering topics like finance and depression recovery. If you are interested in helping with this ministry, the ABC is seeking committed volunteers to help. For information, please email Myaing at firstname.lastname@example.org. For anyone who has been a part of LivingWell and has a personal testimony to share, please email us at email@example.com.