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Kickstart Your Health

41.8839927, -87.6197056


Chicago, IL 60601
United States

Class Dates

Power of Your Plate
Thursday, January 5, 2023 04:00PM to 05:30PM

Low Fat Kickstart
Thursday, January 12, 2023 04:00PM to 05:30PM

Super Charging your Metabolism
Thursday, January 19, 2023 04:00PM to 05:30PM

Breaking the Food Seduction
Thursday, January 26, 2023 04:00PM to 05:30PM

Keys for Natural Appetite Control
Thursday, February 2, 2023 04:00PM to 05:30PM

This class is about making a qualitative shift in the food we eat, NOT the quantitative. We don't restrict but choose the right food.

About this event

This curriculum is based on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine successful 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program. Depending on one’s perspective, the Kickstart is about losing weight, maintaining a healthy weight, or simply embracing an overall healthful diet. Much of the basis of the Kickstart is about making a qualitative shift in the way we eat as opposed to a quantitative shift. For some people, it’s the first time the idea of not restricting amounts of foods but rather choosing the right foods has been the guiding principle for losing weight and staying healthy. The revelation is bolstered with clinical benefits such as lower cholesterol, better diabetes control, and lower blood pressure, as well as improvements in energy and mood.

This course is a series and will run 5 consecutive Wednesdays from 4:00pm to 5:30pm CST starting on January 5th. Weekly topics are as follows:

January 5, 2023 - Power of Your Plate

January 12, 2023 - Low Fat Kickstart

January 19, 2023 - Super Charging your Metabolism

January 26, 2022 - Breaking the Food Seduction

February 2, 2022 - Keys for Natural Appetite Control

During this class you'll experience a supportive environment with fellow students, receive dozens of strategies and recipes that will assist in losing weight and improving your health. It is strongly recommended you identify an accountability partner such as a friend or significant other to go through the program with you .

Life-time coaching from the instructor is included in your ticket price to support your weight loss goals!


About your Instructor - Mark Cerkvenik

Eating the standard American diet, Mark Cerkvenik did not become deathly ill or morbidly obese. He just became overweight and unhealthy. He attained the weight of 232 pounds, about fifty pounds over his ideal weight. His serum cholesterol was in the 280 range. His blood pressure was 140/90. None of these numbers put him in catastrophic territory, in which he was necessarily facing imminent collapse of his health. But all of these health metrics were bad enough that it wouldn’t have been shocking if he had suffered a heart attack or other life-changing or life-threatening event. Mark was simply another average unhealthy middle-aged American, taking blood pressure medication while resisting pressure from his doctor to take cholesterol medication as well.

Mark worked in healthcare and was in charge of organizational development for a major medical center working to improve patient and staff satisfaction. It often occurred to him that the organization that he was working to improve had a supply side problem: heart patients and cancer patients were often dissatisfied with their care simply because the system was stressed by their overabundance. Too many sick patients create a beleaguered, overworked staff. Why was such an unnaturally high percentage of the population developing so many diseases? Why was his own health so poor?

He thought he was eating a pretty good diet. He didn’t eat red meat. He was a pescatarian who ate a little bit of dairy. His diet seemed demonstrably better than many of those around him. And yet, like so many others, he was carrying around too much weight, and he knew the statistics well enough to realize he was entering the danger zone for cardiovascular disease. After a death in the family and after witnessing the health crises of close friends, he resolved to do what he had gradually, over time, learned that he needed to do: he went on a 100% whole food, plant-based diet.

Mark gradually got down to his ideal weight, lowered his cholesterol from 280 to 180, and got to a healthy blood pressure that’s now usually around 115/70. Nothing was dramatic, nothing was overnight, but the trajectory was healthful and steady throughout.

Today, Mark teaches whole food, plant-based cooking, runs an employee wellness program, does health coaching, and partners with a vegan travel company cooking delicious no-oil whole-food plant based meals for travelers. You can learn more about Mark at or his check-out his vegan trips at

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Your instructor: Mark Cerkvenik

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