Center for Continuing Studies - Innovative Leadership for Lifelong Learning

Center for Continuing Studies - Innovative Leadership for Lifelong Learning - St. Cloud State University

Coronary Health Improvement Project

Coronary Health Improvement Program Heart

Healthy by Choice Not by Chance

CHIP Testimonials

Before CHIP my life was heavy – heavy with junk food, fast food restaurants and drive-thrus.  I would be so tired in the afternoon at work, that I was convinced I needed a nap – instead I would eat candy.  I was overweight, had Irritable Bowel Syndrome, my cholesterol was very high and I was borderline diabetic.  I was unhappy about how I looked and had little energy.  Most days felt a bit gray.

My new lifestyle is energizing!  I am learning to cook again with food as grown and finding that it is fun!  I do not feel deprived.  I feel liberated from a downward spiral.  Over the 8 week session I lost 20 pounds.  My cholesterol dropped 65 points, and my glucose 23 points.  I have a way to go – but this journey is one of the most exciting and uplifting I’ve ever been on.

~Judi G. , CHIP 3



I just completed my 2008 annual physical, with my overall cholesterol level at 145 mg/DL, triglycerides at 96 mg/DL, LDL cholesterol at 90 mg/DL, blood pressure at 110/80, and weighing in at a trim 161 pounds for my 6’0” height.  Ask your own physician if these are not the numbers of someone in very good health.  Then please mention these are the numbers of a 61 year-old man in a sedentary occupation who takes absolutely no medication and exercises only moderately.  I’m not just lucky, though.  My  numbers used to be much worse before the eight weeks I spent in CHIP in the spring of 2007.  CHIP has given me tremendous satisfaction with my state of health, much greater energy than I had 20 years ago, and most importantly, a great outlook on life.  I not only would recommend it, but insist on it for anyone who for once and for all wants to do something positive to improve and maintain their good health for a lifetime.

~David Thomsen, Instructor, CHIP 1



Feeling sluggish, tired?  Maybe this class would be for you!  I tried the last session of the Chip program, I knew I had to do something about my cholesterol level.  In the first 8 weeks, I lost a good amount of weight and dropped my cholesterol level significantly.   Learn a lot about ways to prepare food, try new recipes and feel great, while making new friends.  I felt as though I had learned a secret, which you can too!

~Karla S., CHIP 3



CHIP provided the information and research that allowed me to be more in control of my own better health. As the result of food I eat and lifestyle choices I make, I have more energy, feel better, have lost weight, and have significantly lowered my total cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose level and pulse rate. 

In the past, I struggled with eating plans that left me feeling deprived of food quantities, with cravings for sweets and salty items.  Within the first week of following the CHIP food plan, the cravings were greatly diminished and I easily ate sufficient food to leave me feeling very satisfied.

There are just a few simple guidelines to follow.  I encourage you to take the step to be more in control of your health by participating in the CHIP.  It has changed my life!

~Jerry Bouchie, Field Experience Supervisor, Department of Teacher Development



The CHIP program is amazing!  As someone who loves whole grain cereals, breads and hearty meals, the CHIP program has opened an entire new world of healthy food for me to enjoy without counting calories.  Food I have denied myself for years is now on my daily menu.  I can hardly believe it.  Not only did the CHIP program lower my cholesterol by 33 points in eight weeks and start me on the weight loss journey, it also taught me how to feed my body with a myriad of nutritious, delicious food - and I am never hungry!!  I have more energy to get through my busy days and I sleep better at night.  I have learned so many ways to avoid developing diabetes and heart disease (which runs in my family) as well as ways to improve my quality of life.  As someone who works in a health care industry, I see every day the affects of poor diet and lifestyle.  CHIP is a light house in a storm.  It is affordable, enjoyable, life changing and I would recommend it for anyone.

~Suzie Spain, Cambridge



With the knowledge I received at the CHIP classes, I now make better choices on what to eat and, in the process, have lost 17 lbs.  The twice-weekly meetings give attendees the opportunity to learn together, sample a variety of easy-to-make foods, and to share favorite recipes/tips on how to improve our health.  It’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made!

~ Pat Thielman


62-point drop in cholesterol, 73-point drop in triglycerides, 19 pound weight loss. These are just some of my stats, after just 8 weeks on the CHIP lifestyle. Below is my story.

One year ago I sat where many of you are today. I read the CHIP email, was intrigued and then promptly deleted it. When the 2nd announcement came and the information session was over my lunch break, I thought why not check this CHIP thing out.

I attended the information session and several days later attended again with my husband. After all, my husband’s family has a history of diabetes and heart disease. Like most people our age we had a few health issues, but felt this was part of the “natural aging process”.

After my 1st CHIP health screen, I was appalled. My health condition was worse than my husband’s. My total cholesterol level was 252 and my triglycerides were elevated as well. I won’t even go there with the weight issues.

After 2 weeks on CHIP, 3 people in 1 day commented on how healthy I looked. I had lost a few pounds but certainly not enough to be noticeable. At the next CHIP session, I looked around and noticed that same healthy glow among other participants.

After 8 weeks my 2nd health screening showed a 25% drop in cholesterol and my triglycerides were down by almost 1/2. Not to mention the 19 pound weight loss.

Today my husband and I have a combined weight loss of over 100 pounds. We live happier, healthier and more productive lives. We no longer struggle with zapped energy levels. We love the CHIP lifestyle, because quite possibly it has saved us from the “natural aging process”. Attend an information session, and see what this program has to offer to you!

~Judy Dingmann, CHIP 2



I went to the doctor last spring to find out my cholesterol level had raised enough to go on medicine, 217 points. I already took many pills for my RA, elevated Blood Pressure, and hypothyroid. I refused to add anymore medication to the large amount I took already. I changed jobs about 3 years ago, so went from an active floor staff nurse at the St. Cloud Hospital, to an office job. So needless to say, weight and lack of energy was a way of life for me.

Last summer I read an article about the CHIP program, it stated better life style eating, lowering cholesterol, lowering BP and increasing energy with weight loss as the outcomes. I thought this is what I needed to get my life under control. I can say I thought I knew a lot about nutrition, disease process and the right way to live. Boy was I wrong. The information I learned, the new way of eating healthy, the recipes to get started, and exercise was just what I needed and a great place to start.

When the class was in the last week, we had our blood drawn, and I am happy to say my cholesterol went from 217 to 172 in the 8 weeks of class. I also lost 29 pounds and continue to lose weight. My blood pressure has come down and my RA pain is almost gone.  Since the program, I continue to eat healthy, and believe me that was a challenge for me as I was definitely a quick meal junkie. I also developed an exercise plan and get up early to exercise before work, like 4 AM.

If you decide to accept this challenge, you will find energy you never knew you had. This is truly a remarkable program and so interesting with lots of knowledge from reach based analysis. It is a good program with positive results. 

Have a life changing experience.
~CarolAnn Zika (CAZ)