TREASURE VALLEY — Complete Health Improvement Program or CHIP is 12 weeks long and focuses on a plant based diet incorporating fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds. The goal isn't just about losing weight, its about improving overall health and well-being.
Chip participant, Lena Biondolillo says she lost 15 pounds in the CHIP program last year and has used her life changes to lose 55 total pounds in the year since.
"I was in a place where I thought this was just a part of getting older, just feeling lousy all the time was just the way that it was and it's amazing now if I do eat some junk food, I can definitely feel the difference," said Biondolillo.
Biondolillo says she's been able to work with doctors and get off four different medications thanks to a healthier life.
"Gone from having to see my doctor every three months back to once a year physical stuff," said Biondolillo.
Charmin Aschenbrener, a dietitian for St. Luke's emphasizes the program is not a diet, it's about changing your mindset around food.
"A lot of people think if you're going to eat a plant based diet, you're going to be chewing on rabbit food all the time, you're just going to be eating salads and so we try to show you that this food can taste good," said Aschenbrener.
Aschenbrener says CHIP is also about encouraging exercise, lowering stress, increasing happiness, and helping participants make healthy and meaningful connections. The program focuses on preventative health.
"Food is medicine and so that's why we have learned that all these foods are inflammatory feeding inflammation or reducing inflammation so fruits vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are very healthy, full of nutrition so we are trying to promote a nutrient dense diet and reduce chronic disease," said Aschenbrener.
There is one more chip program this year. For more information, head to this link, Complete Health Improvement Program