Ferris State University hosts heart-healthy workshop – The Pioneer

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BIG RAPIDS — Residents of Big Rapids gathered to participate in a workshop on heart-healthy living presented by Corewell Health in collaboration with Ferris State University’s Hospitality Program. 

The event, which took place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, at Ferris State University’s West Commons, Room WCO 108, aimed to empower attendees with practical knowledge and skills to utilize food and exercise as tools for optimal health.

The event was booked over the original capacity, so the attendees were split into two groups. One group would receive education from Corewell Health dietitian Bailey Gager and health coach Travis Stenger. The other group, led by Ferris State University associate professor of hospitality Kathryn Wolfer, cooked healthy recipes in the next room. Then, the groups swapped. At the end of the workshop, each attendee had a chance to sample what was cooked.

Volunteers and attendees alike expressed enthusiasm for the event, highlighting its significance in promoting wellness within the community. 

Volunteer Abby Beyer emphasized the accessibility of healthy cooking.

“It’s a good opportunity for people to learn how to cook healthy things and know that it’s not too difficult. Cooking healthy can seem daunting, but I think it’s a good workshop,” she said.

Nancy Smith echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of practical knowledge in maintaining a balanced diet.

“I love it. It’s fun to do something with a friend. I hope to learn more about what I’m doing with the food I’m making now in the next class session, making the food first and then learning about it,” she said.

A returning attendee, Jane Rozier, expressed her continued satisfaction with the event.

“I came a couple of years ago and still use some delicious recipes. They give us a whole thing of recipes, too. It’s fantastic, and it’s good food, which I’m, you know, trying to lose weight, eating well as I get older,” she said.

The workshop also sparked conversations about adapting recipes to accommodate specific dietary needs. 

Mary Zies shared her experience navigating food allergies, emphasizing the importance of tailored recipes. 

“I’ve been trying to find recipes with my food allergies. A lot of heart-smart ones have my allergies, so I keep trying to work around that,” she said.

Roz Smith praised the workshop’s informative nature, particularly appreciating the insights into deciphering food labels. 

“I thought it was exciting. It was a good reminder of some things and you just forget. But I think the explanation between, like reading the labels, because I think they make reading the labels hard on purpose,” she said.

For more information on Festival of the Arts events, visit: tinyurl.com/FOTAschedule2024.

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