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Healthy Choices Wellness Weekend

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On Friday March 27th until Sunday March 29th, 2015, our Comox Valley Adventist Church hosted a "Healthy Choices Wellness Weekend" with gracious, much respected, and well-seasoned presenter, Dr. Darlene Blaney.  Darlene has been involved with showcasing the "Adventist Health Message" for many years.  
I recall her speaking at a Camp Meeting in Saskatchewan in the '90s when I was a recent convert to the faith, and how impressed I was with her knowledge then.  Since that time she has been involved in the CHIP health and lifestyle outreach , obtained her Ph.D. in Nutrition, and established Total Health School of Nutrition where you can study nutrition by correspondence, learn about the vegetarian lifestyle, and receive counseling about any of a legion of modern diseases that often are not properly diagnosed or reversed by orthodox medicine, but that frequently respond to Dr. Blaney's knowledgeable application of traditional and lifestyle methods.

Dr. Blaney also serves as the Volunteer Co-ordinator Health Ministries for the Alberta Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.  She and her husband, Ron, have four sons (and, as you might expect from such a dynamo, they were/are home-schooled).  Darlene has appeared on cooking shows on 3ABN, produced four popular cookbooks, provided tons of presentations and cooking classes both locally in Alberta, and internationally, and she and Ron are currently setting up an on-line Health Store (there will be a link here as soon as it's ready to roll). 


Darlene's plane arrived at the Comox Airport in the late afternoon on Friday.  She was picked up and taken to her digs for the weekend (Casa Loma Seniors Village, actually-- sounds ominous, but it was a pretty sweet little suite and just behind the Church, too-- easy access, breakfast the next morning in the residents' dining room, even a washer and dryer).  One of our lovely members made a little vegan supper for Darlene.

At 7:00 we met at the Church and listened to part 1 of the "Healthy Choices" presentation: The Importance of Water and Exercise.  This was an informative power point presentation and sparked a LOT of questions and comments from the lively audience.  Attendees came from Up Island (Port Hardy, Campbell River, Sayward) and Down Island (Parksville, Nanaimo) and of course, the Comox Valley.  We went home motivated to start drinking more water.  There was, actually, lots of water-- rain-- all around when we walked Darlene back to her place.  We joked about how we thought we were offering her respite from a cold Alberta winter, but it had actually been 21 degrees Celsius in Calgary when she had left earlier in the day!

The next morning at the Sabbath service Darlene gave a message on "Experiencing Forgiveness".   Forgiveness is an important feature of good emotional, spiritual and mental health.  The Adventist Health Message is for the whole person.

After a nourishing plant-strong lunch we had Healthy Choices part 2 presentation on various health issues that can be prevented and often reversed with proper nutrition and other lifestyle adjustments.  Again, there were a LOT of questions and comments. Darlene impressed us with her ability to anticipate questions so that she often said, "That is coming right up!"  You can listen to more of the Healthy Choices workshop as presented by Dr. Blaney at the Alberta Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Camp Meeting from July 2013.

At around 4pm, a number of us drove to Kai Bay and took a highly oxygenating walk  (it was very windy) and I can attest that I slept like a log that night!

Sunday morning we met at 10:00 am at the Church and took in the very interesting cooking class. Darlene and her "helpers" kept the knowledge engine rolling along.  She provided tips along with the recipes, and while doing things like kneading, stirring, blending.

Darlene making some points about Bread-Making (the importance of using good organic flour these days) while she kneads the recipe for Cranberry-Orange Bread

Dr. Darlene Blaney with Wyona Hertwig, our Church's Cooking School Co-ordinator

By Cynthia Zirkwitz, Communication Secretary, Comox Seventh-day Adventist Church

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