Thirty-two participants and staff joined Dr. David Kellogg in the first ever Coronary Heart Improvement Project (CHIP) to be held in Crossville, which began Feb. 18 and will continue until March 13, after which there will be a graduation ceremony.

All the participants are involved in a daily exercise program, with the goal of “traveling” 892 miles to Disney World in Orlando, Florida by the time the project is completed. Don Taylor, a certified nurse anesthetist, who is directing the exercise part of the CHIP programs, has set the goal, and he stated his “real” goal is to not only reach Orlando by the time the CHIP program ends in mid-March, but to also return to Crossville.

Participants do different types of exercise during the day and report it at night. Housewives/mothers and others who may not be able to get outside of the house are given credit for the “miles” walked in the housework and taking care of children, etc. Others receive comparable miles for other types of exercise done, although it may not be out and out walking, per se. The first three days, the participants “traveled” to Chattanooga, via I-40 and I-75, and the enthusiasm is running high.

The excitement is coming from the “feeling better,” as the result of modified meals and exercise. Participants are involved in eating more food, yet losing weight and experiencing more energy in the process. It all depends on the food that is eaten, stated Dr. Kellogg.

Participants listen to an hour lecture by Dr. Hans Diehl on DVD, the originator of the CHIP program, and receive from him the “secrets” that are to be used to obtain what are called the optimal weight and optimal meals, which will develop the changed “lifestyle” that the participants are seeking.

The participants are all attending for various reasons — diabetes, overweight, high cholesterol and triglycerides, heart disease of different stages, former strokes, etc. It is emphasized each evening that they are to keep checking with their physicians in regard to their progress, and to possibly have their medication dosage changed if needed. They are warned to not change any medication dosages without their physicians approval.

CHIP program leaders feel it is imperative for the participants to stay in touch with their physicians, due to the many changes that can take place, when they modify their diet and lifestyle, and some adding for a long time, exercise.

Dr. Diehl states that those who go through the program, following all of the suggestions for diet and exercise, could lower their cholesterol from 15-30 percent. Those with diabetes could lower their insulin intake substantially, and many have even gotten free of taking insulin. Many physicians have been happily surprised by the success for their patients.

Dr. Diehl further informed the participants that the worst diet in the world is the Western-American diet, sometimes called the SAD (Standard American Diet) diet. Years ago in Japan, Indonesia, parts of Africa, Europe and several other countries, heart disease, strokes, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. were not found. However the first case reported was found in Japan in 1913, then in Indonesia in the '20s and it wasn’t until 1934 that the first black man in Africa was found to have heart disease. The reason given was that the he was working for a very wealthy Western family, eating their diet, and thus experienced the result of this diet. According to his widow and the autopsy, the cause of death was established. Seemingly all Westerners in Africa developed health problems, but not the African people as such until the Western diet got established there.

During World War II, the countries where the war was being fought had to give their animals and fowl over the invading forces. In Poland, when the German forces invaded the country, they demanded all of the meat. As the result, with mainly vegetables, grains, fruits, and nuts the Polish people had improved health and the Germans had poorer health.

Dr. Diehl stated that in his home country of Germany, they were healthier during World War II, because right after the war, the people began to go back to the diets that were introduced into their society by the Westerners, and all of the above mentioned health programs started to exist, where before they were unknown.

After doing much research and spending time with other researchers, Dr. Diehl developed the CHIP program and has helped over 40,000 people change their lifestyle, most of whom are living a happy and healthier life style.

Dr. Diehl stated that through research, atherosclerosis is the killer, and that this is caused by the eating of mainly meat and other flesh food. He said, “Anything that swims, walks, crawls or flies and has eyes should not be eaten in the healthy diet, as only flesh foods cause atherosclerosis, which causes the plaque to form in the blood vessels, and cause the heart diseases, strokes and the other mentioned health problems. Vegetables, fruit, grains and nuts cooked in very tasty and healthful ways are the best way to avoid the medical problems we now see in today’s Western culture, as there is no cholesterol in these kinds of food.” Food tasting is part of the nightly CHIP program and recipes are given to help those desiring change, plus a complete recipe book is available.

As one person put it, “You are what you eat!”

For those who have a problem, there have been alternatives suggested to help people who truly want to live longer and better to do so. There will more CHIP programs in the future, and those desiring to participate should watch for future announcements.