When your dad is a doctor and your mom is a nurse, an early diagnosis suggests you may follow their path into the medical profession. That’s the case for Heidi Domke, a registered nurse with a handful of degrees and a passion for healthy living. Domke said her earliest childhood recollections are of her mother, Carol, conducting cooking classes with an emphasis on healthy eating and working with her father, Herb, conducting “5 Day Plan to Stop Smoking” programs.
Domke founded Victoria Healthy People three years ago, a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization, with the goal of offering community health education programs at a variety of locations for free, or at a low cost.
“We’ve grown significantly in the past five months and are expanding our programs so we’re inviting the community to be part of our public health education funding,” she explained. “We’re extending an invitation to the community to join us for a banquet-style Thanksgiving plant-based feast.”
The meal will feature hors d’oeuvres, an appetizer, salad, main course and desserts. A cream red lentil and kale soup, maple-baked yams with pecans and smoked paprika, herbed lentil loaf with savoury mushroom and vegetable gravy, and coconut Chia pudding are a sampling of some of the items offered.
Proceeds from the dinner, which cost $55 per person, will go toward funding healthy living programs for inmates at William Head Institution and other programs at other locations.
There are family packages available as well. The event takes place at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Victoria on Oct. 8 from 4 to 6 p.m. Pre-registration is required, as space is limited.
Victoria Healthy People is also conducting workshops on how to combat diabetes through a healthy living regimen.
The 10-hour course includes four Sunday sessions on Oct. 21 and 28, and Nov. 4 and 11.”The World Health Organization has declared diabetes a pandemic, Domke noted. “You can achieve dramatic health improvement, freedom from medications and even reversal of disease by adhering to a healthy lifestyle.”
The sessions take place at WZ Latin Party Fitness in Langford. Diabetes Undone features presentations by renowned author and speaker Brenda Davis, former president of the American Dietetic Association, vegetarian division, and Dr. Wes Youngberg, who has worked with the population in Guam to build a program to reduce diabetes.
The $100 cost includes a cookbook, workbook and DVD. “WZ Latin Party Fitness owner Celine Hall has generously donated the space so we can keep costs to a minimum for the course and materials. We’re always looking for opportunities to find space for free so we can offer programs as inexpensively as possible.”
To register for the Gala Dinner or the Diabetes Undone course or to contact Domke about available space, go to victoriahealthypeople.org/events.