Date: 2/13/2014

Annual Symposium serves up heart smart recipes & education

Amateur chefs who cook from the heart can find out more about cooking for their own heart health at this year’s free Community Healthcare System Cardiovascular Research symposium. Featured speakers Dietitian Terri Sakelaris, Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse Sarah Colias and Executive Chef Joe Trama will present Heart Smart Cooking, 6 to 8 pm, Weds, March 5, 2014 at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road in Munster.

A registered dietitian and diabetes educator, Terri Sakelaris has been on staff of Community Hospital and Community Hospital Fitness Pointe® for more than 17 years. She is responsible for teaching diabetes management classes; sessions on weight management, heart healthy eating and renal diet therapy. Sakelaris also facilitates classes at the Cancer Resource Centre in Munster and for Community Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation department, located at Fitness Pointe® in Munster.

She will share her extensive knowledge on how eating the right foods can make you heart healthy and help you live a healthier life. “You may be surprised by the top foods that make your heart happy,” Sakelaris said.

On staff in the Cardiac Rehabilitation department of Community Hospital for the past 23 years, Sarah Colias, R.N. will discuss how diet and exercise play a role in prevention as well as management of heart disease. As a member of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, she has addressed numerous area heart groups about risk and prevention. She also has served for the past 15 years as hospital liaison to the Munster chapter of Mended Hearts, a national organization. Specially trained volunteers with their own heart disease story offer support, education, information and advocacy to cardiac patients in the hospital.

Certified Executive Chef Joseph J. Trama is known around the region for his many accomplishments in the world of fine cuisine. For the past 25 years, Trama has stamped his unique signature and finishing touch on the culinary fare served at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster.

In 2010 he was named Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chefs of Northwest Indiana. More recently, he has been a participant in the annual Celebrity Chefs fund raiser for Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana. Readers of both the Times and Post-Tribune have repeatedly voted the Center’s Sunday Brunch #1 in their annual poll. Trama also shares his knowledge by serving as adjunct professor of Culinary Arts at Ivy Tech Community College.

He will be lending his expertise to the symposium by providing a cooking demonstration featuring heart smart ingredients and techniques.

The Heart Health symposium, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research program of Community Healthcare System, is free of charge. Light refreshments will be served. Registration is necessary and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis at 219-836-3477 or 1-866-836-3477.