This month’s HealthyU Cooking School Class features chef Jennifer Muzzi, a woman with many titles, including registered dietitian, proud Blue Hen, yoga teacher – and breast cancer survivor.

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Muzzi will share with HealthyU participants her experiences incorporating more plant-based foods and antioxidants into her diet after her cancer diagnosis. Recipes will include a super smoothie – a favorite during her chemotherapy treatment – a salmon and vegetable sheet pan dinner and a legume-packed soup. “Upping Your Antioxidant Intake” will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17 in WHL 204. An All-Access Membership is required.

“Research has been showing that foods which contain antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory properties can be beneficial to fight cancer,” said Muzzi, who underwent a mastectomy and four rounds of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with stage 2a lobular breast cancer. “I focused heavily on a plant-based diet with fish, poultry, herbs and spices. I needed extra protein and you don’t always feel hungry for extra meat while going through chemo, so smoothies were where I added it. ”

HealthyU Cooking School classes are demonstration-based classes featuring local dietitians and chefs from the UD area. During the demonstration classes, instructors cook dishes for the group to sample while they listen and watch. They also provide recipes and offers tips to recreate the same dishes at home.

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of Charleston, Muzzi pursued a bachelor’s degree in dietetics at UD, where she also completed a dietetic internship. She is a clinical dietitian at Encompass Health in Middletown and an adjunct instructor in the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition, teaching cooking classes for UD students and staff.

This month marks Muzzi’s one-year anniversary of being declared cancer-free. She credits blogging and journaling about her treatment experience with helping her to deal with the challenges of her diagnosis and let others know they aren’t alone in their struggles with symptoms and emotions.

“That made it much easier for me to deal with chemo and its side effects and to kick cancer’s butt,” Muzzi said.

Employee Health and Wellbeing partners with the College of Health Sciences Food & Nutrition Education Lab to offer nutrition and cooking workshops for faculty and staff. Workshops are led by a registered dietitian and faculty member in the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition. For more information about HealthyU cooking classes, visit here.

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