STAR CITY, W.Va. – West Virginia University’s School of Medicine held its first “Culinary Day” at the Edith B. Barill Riverfront Park in its “Walk with a Future Doc” series on Jan. 21 beginning at 10 a.m.

The event kicked off with assistant professor and certified culinary medicine specialist, Melody Phillips, discussing this week’s topic, “what makes healthy foods healthy?” Going into the new year, some people try to make healthy eating as part of their resolution. Phillips went into detail on describing what these healthy foods mean, and how effective they are in our everyday lifestyles.

Participants enjoying the “healthy snack station” after their walk. (Courtesy: Walk With a Future Doc)

After the discussion, everyone in attendance split up into two groups, each walking a different direction on the trail. After about 50 minutes of walking, everyone returned back to the boat ramp gazebo where the medical students had prepared some healthy snacks for everyone to enjoy.

Taylor Rice, a second year medical student at WVU and member of the leadership team for the organization, made her very own favorite, muffins. She used wheat flour instead of white, oats instead of a lot of sugar, and some unsweetened applesauce.

This event is held twice a month, usually on the first and third Saturday of each month. Rice mentioned that everyone is welcome to join them locally or virtually. She added that people from multiple counties participate, and even family members out-of-state log on to participate as well. It is also free and open to anyone.

When it comes to the importance of having this event for the community, Rice said, “as health care professionals we’re telling our patients, you know, ‘eat healthier, exercise more,’ but we’re not necessarily giving them the tools to do that. So, events like today are days where community members can come and ask questions, be face to face with physicians.” Rice added that these events are not only ways for community members to get their questions answered, but it is a way of bringing the community in together to connect in their lifestyle change.

If you are interested in joining the next walk, you can find the “Walk with a Future Doc” organization at the Edith B. Barrill Riverfront Park, down by the gazebo, on Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. You can stay up to date with future walk topics and updates on the organization’s Facebook page.