Healthy eating is essential for everyone, but when you are living with a chronic illness, diet can play an even bigger role. Food nourishes not only our body, but our mind and soul. We can all relate to the challenges of eating healthy when we are having a rough day. Finding ways to make healthy meals easier is a challenge. With only so much energy to spread around on any given day we sometimes have to choose one thing over another. Sometimes that means a meal that is easy to make but may not be nutritionally sound. Finding strategies to make things convenient is a must!
For our January Educational Forum we invited Greta Hardin to share her expertise in the kitchen. Not only did we get to share some delicious and nutritious food – we also came away with some helpful tools to make cooking healthy meals easier. Greta showed us easy ways on how we can get more veggies into our diet with less work. This was such an amazing afternoon that we want to be sure that everyone has this information!
Greta started off the forum by showing us some helpful tools and methods for keeping safe in the kitchen.
Transferring hot cookware from the oven can be dangerous when you are struggling to keep your balance. A wheeled kitchen cart can help with transporting foods from the stove to the counter or table. IKEA has a great selection with prices starting at $25.
- Sit at a table to do meal prep like cutting and chopping.
Take advantage of the good days and cut up some extra veggies – then they are ready to go on the challenging days. Most veggies are freezer friendly, some may need to be blanched prior to freezing.
Have a cooking party! Ask some friends to help with meals you can prepare in advance – then freeze them. Plus this is a great opportunity to socialize!
- Most importantly – use your common sense when in the kitchen and remember “Safety First”!
During the cooking portion of the forum, Greta introduced us to a variety of oils, vinegars and spices. It is amazing the variety of ways we can make our food taste great and still keep it low sodium. Lemon, lime, garlic and ginger have always been my go to ingredients, but now I can expand my culinary horizons with more exotic flavors like delicata squash seed oil! The cooking demonstration focused on roasting various vegetables that can all be found at most local farmer’s markets.
Greta has a wonderful cookbook that came out in August 2013. It can be purchased on Amazon.
A whole new world of vegetables has opened up and I am excited to start cooking again! Bon appetite!