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September 6, 2011

Educational Series to Teach Healthy Eating Habits

Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University and Lincoln Land Community College’s Community Learning and Culinary Arts programs are partnering to offer a series of non-credit classes focusing on healthy eating.  LLCC Chef Denise Perry will teach the four classes this autumn, covering four different topics.  The classes are open to cancer patients and to the general public.

The Eating for Health! series is part of LLCC’s efforts to educate the community about eating fresh, local foods.  The first class, “Healthy Snacks,” will be held from 6 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14 in Menard Hall at LLCC’s campus in Springfield.  Chef Perry will discuss incorporating granola, nuts, dried fruit and seeds into recipes. 

The “Cruciferous Vegetables” class will teach participants how to add cancer-fighting foods such as kale, broccoli, bok choy and cauliflower into meals.  This class will be held from 6 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12, also in Menard Hall.

Learn about the different varieties of winter squash from 1 - 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 12.

Refined sugars and how to replace them with healthy substitutes in dessert recipes will be discussed from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, January 21, 2012.

The classes are free to those who have been diagnosed with cancer and their guest when registering with Ellen Brotzman-DeSart at 217-545-3837 weekdays.  Cost for the general public is $19 per class; space is limited.  Members of the public may register by calling LLCC Registration Services at 217-786-2292.

“Healthy eating is important during cancer treatment and is also important in cancer prevention,” said Ellen Brotzman-DeSart, education coordinator for Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU.  According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the U. S. National Institutes of Health, an estimated 20 to 30 percent of some of the most common cancers in the United States may be related to being overweight and/or to a lack of physical activity.  Additionally, recent NCI studies indicate that obesity and being overweight may increase the risk of death from many cancers — up to 14 percent of cancer deaths in men and 20 percent of cancer deaths in women.

The mission of the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer care needs through education, research, patient care and community service.  Its website is