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This summer, sixteen rising high school juniors and seniors got a taste (literally) of the basics of Lifestyle Medicine.

Lifestyle Medicine is a growing movement that promotes the utilization of healthy behaviors as a therapeutic intervention to help slow, halt, or even reverse many chronic diseases.  More specifically, it focuses on strategies such as physical activity, weight management, healthy eating, and stress management to battle conditions such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, mental health, and certain cancers.

These prospective students had the opportunity to stay on Furman’s beautiful campus, take courses from the Health Sciences department, enjoy daily exercise sessions, and partake in afternoon field trips.  The students visited Furman from all over the U.S. and left with a new vigor toward living a healthy lifestyle.

Here is a snapshot of some of their activities:

In the classroom, students learned fundamental nutrition theories and practical ways to incorporate healthful foods into their diets.  They raced each other in a Supermarket Scavenger Hunt to test their knowledge and food label savvy.

Students learned how exercise is medicine and can be used to treat or help alleviate many chronic conditions.  Dr. Scott Murr, Furman Health Sciences professor, provided the students with a tour of the Human Performance Labs and let them observe a VO2 max treadmill test to assess aerobic capacity.  Students also witnessed state-of-the-art body composition analysis via Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) and learned about the world renowned Furman Institute for Running and Scientific Training (FIRST).

By the end of our week, the students were ready to cook and prepare some of the healthy foods that we had discussed all week.  We toured the Furman Farm that uses organic and sustainable growing techniques to educate others and provide food for Furman Dining Services and the Furman community.

To wrap up the week, the students worked together to plan, shop for, and cook a healthy meal.  Here is a sampling of some of their dishes:

Whole wheat crepes with fresh berries and whipped cream (featuring whole wheat pastry flour for a delicate texture)

Caprese Salad featuring homegrown tomatoes and basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar

Teriyaki Tofu

Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon

Black Bean and Mango Quinoa with Cilantro and Lime

Baked Banana and Mixed Berry Oatmeal with Almonds

Almond Butter Squares with Dark Chocolate, Nuts, and Seeds

The Furman Summer Scholars program is offered every summer.  For more information, please visit: http://www.furman.edu/admission/EngageFurman/Visit/Pages/summer-scholars.aspx