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Coming Soon: The Healthy Community Cookbook

Prime Time for Women started with an “aha moment.” As I was researching “healthy aging,” I found an article that said, “Positive social connections play a greater role in determining physical and mental health, emotional wellbeing and longevity than diet and exercise combined.” Wowza…that gave me something to think about! It was crystal clear: to age healthfully, I (and everyone else) would need to do it with others! I remember thinking, “I want to age healthfully, and challenge ageist stereotypes. I want to live joyfully with a sense of excitement for the future. I’m NOT done yet…I have places to go, a community to serve, people to meet, books to read, thing to learn, passions to pursue…and I want to do these things with others!” And so, Prime Time for Women was born.

Through collaborative partnerships and innovative programs that foster positive social connections, lifelong learning and healthy lifestyles, Prime Time for Women is committed to promoting healthy aging and improving individual and community health. Walking to Wellness, “Where Health Happens & Connections Matter”, is one such program that is having a significant impact. What started out the first week of May in 2022 as a 5-month weekly walking program has exceeded everyone’s expectations. More than two years later, Walking to Wellness (W2W) members who began the program walking with strangers now exercise every week with supportive, caring and trusted friends. For more than two years, W2W members have gathered weekly to listen to and learn from community leaders and each other, to walk and talk with friends, to share joys and struggles and to improve their health!

There are too many success stories to list: from weight loss, to normal A1C levels, to improved mood, better sleep and a greater sense of happiness and life satisfaction. But for me, the greatest successes are the connections that expand beyond the indoor track where we walk. The birthdays we celebrate, the lunches we share, the cards that are sent when someone is sick or has lost a loved one, the trips, shows and other adventures that members take together and the sense that by sharing who we are, we become who others need.

These positive social relationships not only improve health, they also strongly influence dietary behaviors. Research tells us that a person is more likely to choose a healthier food option when dining with a friend who is eating a healthy meal and more likely to try a healthy recipe recommended by a trusted friend than by a healthcare provider. Prime Time for women’s tagline is: “Be Seen. Be Heard. Inspire.” This is not just a catchy marketing phrase…this is our mission!  And it is precisely why, with support from the Washington County Health Department, PTFW is creating

The Healthy Community Cookbook. Trust me…this will be no ordinary cookbook! In addition to the more than 70 delicious and nutritious recipes within, it will also contain a headshot of and brief message from each contributor. Prime Time for Women’s Healthy Community Cookbook provides Walking to Wellness members a chance to be seen and heard and of course, share their favorite recipes! The cookbook, thanks to our dedicated volunteers, is about to be sent to the printers! You will be able to get your copy soon at Walking to Wellness. I hope you enjoy the delicious and nutritious recipes within and share the ones you like with your friends and family. Together, we will build a stronger, healthier, happier community…one connection and one recipe at a time!

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