DBCC Jan Yes2Health 1

Living a healthy lifestyle reduces risk of breast cancer, chronic disease

Terry RogersHealth, Delaware Live

DBCC Jan Yes2Health 1

Chef Iraca offers free nutrition classes as part of DBCC’s Yes2Health program

Diagnosis of chronic disease is growing throughout the world and Delaware is no exception. According to Delaware Public Health, hypertension and high blood cholesterol affect more than one-third of the state’s population. Over six percent of Delawareans have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or chronic bronchitis and over seven percent have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Almost 30 percent of adults in the state have been diagnosed with arthritis. Add to those numbers the statistics on cancer, including skin, breast and lung, statistics can be frightening.

Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC) is working to lower those statistics significantly and one program, Yes2Health, promotes healthy lifestyle groups and events that not only help reduce breast cancer risk, but also the risk of other chronic diseases, many of which are related to unhealthy lifestyles, such as poor diet or lack of exercise. DBCC hopes to empower the community to make healthy changes for a happier and healthier new year by joining this month at no-cost!

“Our Yes2Health Program provides interactive classes focused on nutrition, fitness, health and wellness,” Connie Holdridge, Director of Survivorship, said. “One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, make healthy choices and become more active. The Yes2Health Program is designed to help anyone achieve those goals.”

Yes2Health is open to anyone, not just those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. A wide range of programs are available, some offered virtually while others are offered in person. For 2024, Yes2Health will offer new health ed groups which include virtual guided and self-guided groups. The new year groups will meet virtually from 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM as well as 5:00 to 5:30 PM on Tuesdays from January 16 through March 19. There is also a virtual meeting on Thursdays from January 18 through November 21 from 7 to 7:30 PM. A DIY Self-Guided option is also available from January 15 to March 18. Registration is available at https://debreastcancer.org/programs/yes2health/.

“Once you register for any of the programs you will received a Zoom link along with materials for the program,” Holdridge said. “This is a fun way to learn about health and gain a new skill while connecting with others who may just be starting out on their journey to a healthier lifestyle.”

For those interested in learning more about nutrition and how the food you eat can improve health, Yes2Health also offers interactive, online cooking classes. Each session provides details on new cooking skills as participants prepare a new recipe. Classes are led by Chef Dee Iraca, founder of “Eat Well Chef,” a registered dietician, nutritionist, and professional chef. Classes are held January 16, February 6, February 20, March 5, and March 19 from 5:30 to 6:45 in a virtual format.

“Participants will create delicious recipes that not only taste good but are good for them,” Holdridge said. “Recipes include bison chipotle black bean chili, healthy breakfast burritos, pecan crusted chicken tenders and much more. This is a great way to impress your friends and family with restaurant-quality meals, and you don’t even have to tell them they are healthy!”

In addition to the interactive cooking classes, Yes2Health also offers an Active Cooking Series. After registering, participants receive a cookbook to follow. Once a month, on January 24, February 28 and March 37 from 5 to 6:30 PM, they meet virtually to share tips, review the recipes in the cookbook and talk to Chef Iraca about nutrition. One-on-One Nutrition Counseling is also available for breast cancer survivors who need some help with nutrition.

“The One-on-One Nutrition Counseling is for breast cancer survivors who have received a diagnosis in the last five years,” Holdridge said. “A staff member will need to refer them and they must be able to attend Zoom meetings. The program is designed to assist those who may be dealing with nutritional issues during or after treatment. Space is limited to 31 participants and requests can be sent to [email protected].”

DBCC’s mission is to empower the community by raising awareness of breast cancer issues and to increase access to care through outreach, education and support services in order to improve early detection and treatments. Through the Yes2Health program, DBCC hopes to reduce breast cancer diagnoses by helping men and women live a healthier, more active lifestyle. For more information, visit https://debreastcancer.org.

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