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‘We believe in letting food be our medicine’

Food is the cause of Bermuda’s health problems, according to Beverley Howell of the Complete Health Improvement Programme (CHIP), but it could also be the cure.

Mrs Howell, a veteran nurse, said that the CHIP programme, developed by Dr Hans Diehl, uses educational DVDs, regular exercise and cooking demonstrations to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, stabilise blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart disease.

“We are at epidemic proportions with diabetes in this country,” she said. “One in four people in this country have diabetes.

“I have heard them say somewhere around 75 percent of the amputations in Bermuda are caused by diabetes being unmanaged. I think it might be even higher than that.

“It’s the good life that is killing us. We are instant gratification people, and it’s killing us.”

She said she learned about programme while working at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, and after seeing the results, felt the programme could have a major impact in on the Island.

“The results are astounding,” Mrs Howell said. I’m always exhilarated whenever I do this programme. This is not rocket science, but as simple as it is, it is equally hard. We believe in letting food be our medicine.”

In her experience teaching the CHIP programme, she found that on average participants lose 7lbs and see their cholesterol drop by ten to 20 percent — but she has had clients lose more than 20lbs and halve their cholesterol level.

Terry Gibbons said that he has taken the course on two occasions. While he lost 9lbs on his first attempt at the project, he was able to lose 18lbs on the second.

“I had some health issues that I had been having for quite some time and they were getting worse as I was getting older,” Mr Gibbons said. “I think I was on the way to becoming diabetic or having a stroke.

“I got thoroughly educated. Reprogrammed as to the food I should eat. After this programme, if you are serious, you have a serious change of mind.

“You can stray a little bit here and there, but the foundation is still there so you go back to it. And believe it or not, the food is really delicious.”

He said that along with dramatically improved health, he has regained some of the youthful energy that he had lost.

“Sometimes my wife has to drag me to bed because I have too much energy,” he said.

Milton Johnson meanwhile said he had known Ms Howell through his work, and was eager to see what the programme could do for him.

“I was totally committed,” he said. “I didn’t realise I was in such bad shape. My blood cholesterol was at 260.

“At the end of the programme, that went down to 161. That was an eye opener. It woke me up. And I was losing weight on top of that.

“This year I ended up doing the Middle to End walk, which I have never done before. It was a real success because I made it the whole way and I was really feeling good at the end of the walk.”

Jonelle Christopher said that she and her husband went through the programme together to improve their health.

“I joined the programme because I generally wasn’t feeling very well,” she said. “I felt heavy and every time I would do a walk or walk up steps, I would be huffing and puffing.

“Both of us, while I can’t say we had serious health issues, I can say we were not where we were supposed to be. We would sit down to the huge meals, the meat the starch. The vegetables were a side thought. It wasn’t something we would plan around.

“After this programme, we have changed drastically. Dramatically. Now our meals are centred around what is the healthiest option. I feel great now. Lot’s of energy, energy that I certainly didn’t have before.”

The CHIP programme costs $599 per 30-day session. For more information, contact Ms Howell at 279-2241 or e-mail btchip@hotmail.com.

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Published January 05, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 04, 2013 at 10:36 pm)

‘We believe in letting food be our medicine’

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