What is a Healthy Eating Adventure?
An Adventure is a community-based 28-day program that can kick-start you on a lifetime of healthier eating with a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle. Programs are held three times a year at various locations in Franklin County, PA; participants also come from beyond the county and sometimes participate from a distance with family and friends. The goal of the Adventures is not only to create individual health but, also, to “cultivate” local plant-based communities. Since 2010 Healthy Eating Adventures has shown that it is easier to take on healthy eating habits when you are surrounded by a supportive community and by persons who are also starting this healthy lifestyle. Even if you’re not on an Adventure with us, the website has key articles on the home page to help you understand the science as well as the ease of plant based eating. The blogs have lots of delicious recipes that also teach you to create your own!
What happens at an Adventure?
We start with our kick-off evening, with a wonderful whole foods plant-based meal and a presentation by Elizabeth George MD, family physician and HEA Program Director, on why this program is needed and how it works. You’ll learn that numerous population studies and research articles point to a whole foods plant based lifestyle as the one that supports the healthiest, longest lives. And she will review the evidence for whole foods plant based eating as a way to reverse the current adverse health trends in communities across the country. You’ll see the dramatic results experienced by patients with heart conditions, diabetes and other chronic diseases by following these eating guidelines. You will hear from people who describe how in 28 days they learned dietary practices that are making a meaningful contribution to a lifetime of wellness.
What will I learn from the Adventure?
Participants are partnered with a coach and a small team, provided with materials that will guide you on this program, and follow labs and parameters that will help you chart the improvements you make over the program. You’ll learn about shopping tips, label reading guidelines, information on what to eat at restaurants and how to order, as well as cooking and food preparation and seasoning for flavorful meals, AND you’ll have the support to practice what you learn. With your coach and team you’ll immerse yourself in whole foods plant based cooking, and attend weekly ‘share and learn’ potlucks with other teams, coaches and “graduates of Healthy Eating Adventures.
Tell me about these Potlucks.
After the “kitchen makeover” evening, there are four weeks of group potluck meals that let you practice what you’re learning. Your first potluck will be the “ah-ha” moment when you see and taste the vast variety of amazing foods participants are making. Taste the wonderful flavors, build community with others, ask questions and share experiences as you continue on your adventure. And, perhaps most important, the potlucks help you put aside all those “reasons” that get in your way of eating healthily. Potlucks include “hands on” demonstrations of chopping techniques, label reading, creating wraps and more. On the final week, celebrate your accomplishment with a graduation meal and reflect on your experiences along the way. Talk about what motivates you and how to sustain the lifestyle you’ve begun. Please follow these whole foods/plant-based guidelines for ALL potluck foods:
No animal products
Oil free (no added fats or oils)
Whole grains only
No refined sugars
Remember the four food groups: vegetables, fruits, beans/legumes, and whole grains.
If in doubt, ask your coach.
Save a tree – bring your own flatware, plates, and cups (also bring containers to take home delicious leftovers!!). Water will be provided.
How do I maintain a plant-based lifestyle?
To keep the lifestyle you have to share it with others. Adventure “graduates” are encouraged to attend, volunteer to help and even coach at future Healthy Eating Adventures, and bring family and friends. The more we expand this community and surround ourselves with healthy eaters and restaurants with plant based options, the easier it is to maintain a plant based lifestyle. We have a summer and holiday “Alumni” potlucks. Also, communities that sponsor adventures can hold potluck dinners and “meet ups” at restaurants who understand whole foods plant based eating, so that adventurers can continue to enjoy the support and the variety we have come to love at potluck dinners. You can follow our newsletter and receive Easily HEAlthy recipes and cooking tips. And of course your coach and other “graduates” are always available for support.