I recently learned that Keys to Abundant Life not only gets the students and participants healthier, but we also get our very own culinary chefs healthier, too. Our culinary instructor at MS 598, Chef Wanda Rena Roig, affectionately known as Chef Rena, shared that since she has been teaching the healthy cooking classes with Keys, her health has improved. Chef Rena started working with us in April 2011. She had been taking medications for high blood pressure and diabetes daily. She recently confided that she has been off her medication for the last six months because she has changed her eating habits. Her blood pressure is normal. Her diabetes is under control. And, she has lost some weight. Chef Rena has even gone so far as to change the foods that she makes at her own establishment, Bon Appetit Xpress, located in Richmond Hills, NY: she no longer makes fried chicken. Instead, she makes baked chicken, which her customers have accepted and now enjoy. She stated that she has been learning so much more about health and nutrition since creating the lesson plans. She researches fun facts on the various foods in the lessons; she finds herself on the computer for hours reading more and more in-depth information on health and nutrition.
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