“Millions of people suffer from illness each year,” said Shane Nicole Quitania, health ministries director at the Haven company. “Many of these diseases are a result of their lifestyle. Fortunately, there is a way to reverse or cure these diseases. There is a choice to better living.”
With this in mind, the Better Living Center (BLC), a ministry of the Haven congregation in Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., was created. The BLC was conceptualized by Terence Tay, who envisioned a place for the community to learn and make lifestyle changes by adapting Hans Diehl's research and principles in lifestyle medicine.
The YOU-TURN Wellness Program (originally CHIP, or Complete Health Improvement Program) is a community-based program designed to arrest and reverse society’s most common chronic diseases and has been conducted at the BLC since 2022. For six to eight weeks, participants are taught to take charge of their eating habits and other lifestyle choices, and many see lasting results of weight loss, lowered cholesterol, reversed diabetes, and even medication changes.
The program begins with a blood draw, followed by an evaluation of their health. Working closely with Diehl and the rest of the group, participants learn new principles and concepts that meet their personal needs for success.
Participants were individually monitored as well as motivated with the support of other attendees who were on the same journey to wellness. Attendees also learned how to prepare healthy foods through the enjoyment of three cooking demonstrations.
“Diet has a significant effect on our life, and changing it is a matter of life and death,” said Quitania, who is also the project director for the YOU-TURN program. “Whether it was through increasing exercise or eating more whole grains, each person reaped the benefits of a different life. Through the BLC, they approached a new outlook of health for themselves.”
“The reversal of chronic diseases has been the highlight of my experience,” said participant Phyllis McNeal, who experienced a reversal for congestive heart failure and kidney failure, as well as improved vision and hearing—and more. “I was at 25 medications at the beginning of the program, and now I am down to one medication. Because of this program, I was able to meet medical professionals who are now serving as my primary doctors.”
Further, the program highlighted the connection between spiritual and physical health. Diehl and Tay gave worship talks sharing that living healthy lives is God’s purpose and that natural, plant-grown food is by His intelligent design. It is their goal to encourage participants to choose life better.
Visit https://scc.adventist.org/blc to take a peek into the program.