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Eggleston cuts risk, not flavor
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Joyce Eggleston normally likes to cook fresh foods in simple ways — tossed salad, fresh fruit, baked instead of fried salmon or chicken. When her grandson comes to visit, though, it’s time for her to bake cakes. (Bulletin photos by Holly Kozelsky)
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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

By HOLLY KOZELSKY - Bulletin Accent Editor

When Joyce is expecting a family visit, one thing is sure to be on the table: chocolate cake.

She just knows her 4-year-old grandson will come in the door saying, “‘MawMaw, I want chocolate cake,’” she laughed.

Of course, she added, when he says chocolate cake, he really means he wants the frosting, which he eats right away and then is ready for more.

Christopher is the son of Joyce’s daughter, LaTonya Hairston, a pharmacist in Richmond. Mother and daughter often share tips for healthy eating and exercise, Joyce said.

LaTonya and her husband, David, also just had a daughter, Liera, 6 months old.

Another food the Hairstons love, especially David, is Joyce’s potato casserole, she said. Salmon cakes make a tasty main dish which the potato casserole complements nicely.

Joyce used to fry salmon cakes, but now she bakes them, she said. She puts a bit of grease on a cookie sheet. Halfway through cooking — which takes about 10 or 15 minutes — she flips the cakes over to the other side. That gets both sides browned as if they had been fried in a pan.

“Chicken is really good and crispy in the oven,” too, Joyce said. “I don’t think I even know how to fry chicken on the stove any more,” she chuckled.

She also eats more vegetables and fruit than she used to. They are good for reducing cancer risks, she said.

Her favorite vegetable is cabbage. She shreds it and puts it in a pan with a little water, just enough to steam. She adds a dab of butter and some garlic powder and crushed red pepper and sautees until done.

Joyce is a copious bakernbut doesn’t care for cakes herself. Instead, she bakes them on request for other people For dinners at church, she’ll bring Five Flavored Pound Cake and lemon pound cake.

There is one exception to her avoidance of cakes, though: holidays, when “I’ll try all kinds of cakes.”

When she was raising her daughter, she often made meat loaf or spaghetti for dinner. Now, it’s more likely she’ll have a simple meal of a tossed salad.

Joyce is the access coordinator for the Ladies First program through the Coalition for Health and Wellness. Ladies First helps women get checked for breast cancer.

Working with the Coalition “has opened my eyes as far as” staying healthy, she said. “You do whatever you have to do as far as trying to stay healthy for yourself.”

Part of her job includes teaching women how to lower their risk factors of cancer. More exercise and a healthy diet can help lower those risk factors.

So far this year, Ladies First has helped more than 200 women get mammograms at little or no cost to them. That service is thanks to support in the community.

The Pink Party on Oct. 11 at Piedmont Arts is a fundraiser for Ladies First.

Joyce said she is “really getting excited” about the Pink Party. Local cooks will prepare and serve heavy hors d’oeuvres, and there will be music, a champagne fountain and a cash bar. They are encouraged to wear creative pink cocktail attire.

“Working with the program has helped me be more concerned with how I cook,” she said.

She walks two or three miles a day before she goes to work. If anything comes up to prevent that, she makes sure at least to walk a mile during her lunch break. She won first place in a walking program last year at her church, Morning Star Holy Church.


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