Library kicks off ‘Healthy Choices for Every Body’

Published 1:20 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Monday, April 4 kicked off the Healthy Choices for Every Body program at the Middlesboro-Bell County Library.

Christy Blevins from the Bell County Cooperative Extension Office will be teaching those in attendance about different was they can make a difference in their nutrition. This program consists of seven lessons that will be once a month with two classes in August.

The first lesson is called ‘MyPlate’ that will teach portion control and how to eat from each food group. Blevins said that with every lesson she brings the recipe and samples.

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“I usually buy the ingredients for the recipe so whatever lesson we do, I pick out the recipe and bring the ingredients and the participants are actually supposed to be able to prepare the recipe and sample it that way they are more apt to prepare it at home,” she said.

Blevins brought in the portion plate for participants to take home and work towards portioning out their food groups.

Blevins has been doing this program for the past seven years and has gained a following.

“I do have some that follow me around. I actually use a lady as a success story. With the MyPlate lesson, you can figure out how many calories you need and she done that. She stuck strictly by that and eating from all food groups and lost over 40 pounds,” she said.

Blevins said she doesn’t call this program a diet; it’s a lifestyle change.

“Usually when you go off a diet, you gain that weight back because you go back to eating your junk foods, but if you do a lifestyle change and keep your exercise in your daily routine, you can keep off your weight,” Blevins said.

She also encourages others to tell their story to help participants to keep with it so they, too, can see results. She said that in the past, the program would have more than 20 people participate.

Assistant Director, Adult Programming and Interlibrary Loan Librarian Pam Blank said, “We always try to have it the same Monday that I do my book club because then people are coming here anyway, and then they go have lunch then come back for her program.”

Those who complete the full program will receive a certificate to show their completion. The program is targeted for those with low income and involved with SNAP benefits.

Blevins works with Drug Core and said those in the drug core program or rehab facilities can take this certificate to help with getting a job.

“It shows that they have completed something and that they are trying and can help them get that job,” she said.

Anyone 18 years and older can participate in the program. Blevins is also doing a door prize for those who attend six classes.

Anyone who would like to attend can contact Blank at 606-248-4812 or Blevins at the extension office at 606-337-2376.