Upper St. Clair library to offer classes on healthy eating

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The Upper St. Clair Library wants to help residents keep their New Year's resolutions to take better care of themselves.

The library will offer a nutrition and cooking class series, "How Foods Fight Illness" with Janet McKee, a board-certified holistic health counselor and local representative for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Ms. McKee will lead four classes on four Thursdays -- next Thursday and Jan. 17, 24 and 31 -- on how to lead a healthier lifestyle.

"The classes are geared to help people learn how simple and easy it is to eat healthier. Many people think to eat healthy means you have to be deprived or only eat bland foods," Ms. McKee said.

Ms. McKee, of Franklin Park, has been teaching the "food for life" classes, as she calls them, for more than five years. A library staff member who had taken the class at another location referred Ms. McKee to program coordinator Lee Boyle.

"She raved about the class so we thought it would be a wonderful offering for our patrons," Mrs. Boyle said. "We thought with the New Year starting, this would be the perfect time."

Mrs. Boyle said she thought the class would have wide appeal.

"We all need to focus on being healthier," she said.

The classes cost $50 and include instructional materials, recipes and tastings of the food that Ms. McKee will prepare at each class.

"I cook various dishes so they can sample the foods and see how delicious they are," Ms. McKee said. "There are multiple courses. I always make a dessert. I want people to know they can still have wonderful desserts while eating healthier."

Ms. McKee has focused on teaching how to eat to combat illnesses as a member of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching and teaching how to fight disease with food.

"They started by researching cancer and expanded it from there," she said of the group.

Ms. McKee teaches at locations all over the Greater Pittsburgh area and works with a medical doctor in Export.

"I just want people to see how simple and easy it is to change," she said.

The four classes will include: introduction to how some foods fight cancer and diabetes; low-fat, high-fiber foods; dairy and meat alternatives; antioxidants to balance weight naturally.

Classes start at 7 p.m. each week in the library's multipurpose room. Preregistration is required. To register: www.twpusc.org/library or 412-835-5540.


Freelance writer Kathleen Ganster: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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