BIG CYPRESS — Seminole Pathways III, sponsored by Big Cypress Health Department, began in the fall of 2011 with biweekly cooking classes taught by Big Cypress nutritionists. The classes focused on modifying favorite recipes to make them healthier by lowering fat and sugar content and raising fiber content.
The spring program began with the 10-Day Heart Health Challenge. During the 10 days, participants were asked to meet challenges like trying fruits they had never eaten before, working with local trainers to try new exercises, talking to health educators about quitting smoking and going to the clinic to set up heart checkups.
During this time, a pedometer contest was also started, and participants came into the office for weigh-ins and pedometers. Each week, participants tried to accumulate the most steps. A weekly Pathways III walk was held at various locations around the reservation. Each walk ended with a healthy lunch and a discussion with the BC nutritionist and health educator about topics like stress management, HIV, cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes.
Edna McDuffie and Almira Billie won the pedometer contest, while Jennifer Chadwick, Sheila Aquilar and Edna McDuffie won the most participation awards.
Keep an eye out for other fun and motivating health programs coming up from the Big Cypress Health Department.