I am not proud to admit this, but recently, I had a very unsatisfied customer. From the time she walked in from the time she left, I could tell she was going to be difficult.
Maybe she’d had an off day and was taking it out on me, or maybe she expected me to just give her some printed handouts of what to eat and what not to, but it made me think- what do my clients expect of me?
For starters, she showed up early and I hadn’t arrived yet. Normally, I am there before my clients, but traffic was heavy and she arrived 10 minutes before me. Was I late? Nope. But she sure made me feel like I was. Note to self- arrive earlier than early.
I asked a lot of questions (a lot). I send a long, detailed client profile form that clients fill out before meeting me. This includes medical history (if applicable), eating style, supplement use, shopping habits, reactions to stress and a 3-day diet history. In her case, the diet history was left off, so I asked a lot about eating habits and food preferences. I do this to find out where you may need help with your diet. It’s a 2-way street. I ask questions, and I expect answers in return (detailed if possible)!
I provide articles and handouts based on your interests and health goals. Sometimes I obtain this information before we meet, but many times, our hour together is where I glean the most information. It’s helpful to tell me why you’re there and what I can help most with (shopping, recipes, meal planning or information). I may also give you coupons if I have them to try new foods.
After the visit, I put together diet materials suited to your situation or health goals. If weight loss is desired, I’ll give you a 1-day sample blue print of serving sizes and foods to eat, based on what you normally like to eat. It would be foolish for me to give you exact foods to eat on certain days as I know most people don’t eat this way and circumstances change from day to day. Ideally, dietitians want to give you the tools to make your own food choices and provide meal and snack ideas instead of planning your whole meal schedule. I also provide recipes and tip sheets to help with ideas.
Finally, after your visit, I write a progress note for your doctor or other care provider to let them know about what we covered. Visits are often due to physician referral, so I keep them posted of your health goals and progress. This also gives me an opportunity to market for more referrals.
I wish I could say I was working in Findlay Kitchen because I’m starting a small cupcake or empanada business, but alas, I am not. I was there a few weeks ago because I volunteered to help with a program called “Cooking for the Family”.
The program is sponsored by St. Francis Seraph Ministries and Findlay Kitchen and provided by FarmChef. The premise of the program is for families to learn to cook affordable, nutritious meals in a 2 hr, 5-week series. You cannot beat the price of $10.00 for a 2-hour cooking class with hands on experience and food samples. The families also take home a goody bag with a cast iron skillet, chef’s knife and cookbook after completion of the program.
It was so much fun to be in this large, commercial kitchen. It is bright and bustling with entrepreneurs and lay people like me that just enjoy food. This is how the night goes: I show up, wash my hands and put on a hair net and apron. The chef instructs us to chop some veggies, get out mixing bowls, wooden spoons and ingredients. We set up stations based on how many families are participating.
The families come in at 5:30 or so. They wash their hands and get ready to cook. Our chef LaKeisha Cook teaches them how to chop vegetables or cook quinoa, while a few volunteers oversee their progress. How ironic that her last name is Cook! When bowls and utensils start piling up, we grab a grey cart and load it for the dish room.
The dish room houses the fastest cleaning dishwasher I have ever seen. There are a few stationary tubs for washing and sanitizing pots, but everything else goes through the dish machine. Your load of dishes is done in 1-2 minutes tops. The dish room is where you may run into some of the small business owners that are creating ravioli or specialty cakes. Each business is in a “pod” (small room) working on their craft, or in a larger, more open space in the facility cooking. I love the energy in this kitchen!
After we’ve prepared our recipes, we put all the tables together and everyone sits down to eat. Bowls of sauteed vegetables and steaming quinoa are passed among strangers that have worked elbow to elbow all night making jokes and talking about food. It’s a lovely experience.
Cooking for the family has a few other locations that are always in need for volunteers. Bush Rec Center in Walnut Hills also holds a class as well as Community Matters in Lower Price Hill.
If you’re interested in attending the class, volunteering or donating to the project, here are a few links:
Spread the word: http://bit.ly/2nNAGBI
Fund for another person: http://www.sfsministries.org/donate/
Happy Mother’s Day!
My mom raised 5 kids. FIVE. I can’t even fathom this. But my mom never skimped on meals. She spoiled us with home cooked meals daily. I am blessed to have 2 awesome daughters that may be mothers one day themselves. In honor of Mother’s day, I’d like to give you a few pieces of food advice my mom passed on to me.
- You are not starving. Yes, you may be hungry, but there are people in the world that are literally starving.
- Don’t waste food. Take only what you can eat and leave the rest on the table, at the buffet or in the frig.
- Check the eggs before you buy them. Open the carton and take a peak. No one wants broken eggs.
- Make your own sauce. It’s not that hard or time consuming. All you need is tomato sauce, paste, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and a little confidence.
- Be creative with leftovers. Leftover chicken becomes soup, tacos, chicken with pesto, chicken salad or chicken pot pie.
- Beans stretch everything. Not enough meat in your soup or chili? Add beans.
- Freeze soup, sauce, rice or chili so you don’t have to eat them over and over. Freeze in glass, not plastic. It’s better to reheat in glass.
- You have a coupon for something you’ll never eat. Don’t waste your money. Pass the coupon on.
- Buy seasonal produce– it’s cheaper and tastes better.
- Taste everything before you salt it. It may not even need salt!
What did you mom teach you? Please share!
I haven’t met one client that hasn’t been on a “diet’ at one time in their life. Adkins, Paleo, Weight Watchers, Whole 30, Jenny Craig, you name it. I mean, they’re coming to see me to put them on a diet. In reality, what should be worked on, is their attitude towards food. It’s human nature to label foods good and bad- even health professionals do this. What about working on how you feel about yourself, your health and what makes sense for you? I find that many clients fall prey to the endless cycle of diet, cheat, repent, repeat.
I ran across this article today and while it’s focused on a bride-to-be’s experience on a low carb diet, the quote hit home, “Dieting is “an abusive relationship that we all need to end once and for all.” Eating should not be punishment. To me, this is no way to live. Getting healthy is a journey, not a race. Change takes time. What is the hurry? Here’s a great perspective:
I’m afraid to admit it, but I screwed up bigly the other day. Being an optimist, I thought, “I’ve got plenty of time to get from A to Z”, and took a phone call before getting packed up to do a food demo for Fox news. What modern, multi-tasking woman can’t handle having her phone on speaker while she puts on makeup? ME.
I got to the station Fri morning “all set” to make chicken salad. I had my canned chicken, mayo, cole slaw dressing, clear glass bowls, spoons, platter, grapes, pita bread and frisbee for National Picnic Day. What’d I forget? Chopped celery and onions. KINDA IMPORTANT. DOH!
Thankfully, there was a “previously featured” cucumber salad nearby. I rinsed it and quickly minced it into “celery”. Thankfully, I had white hearts of Romaine from the lettuce I’d brought, which got chopped into “onions”. I quickly placed them in glass prep bowls as if they were the real deal.
The anchor of the show usually tastes the food during segments, but this time, he was in on the secret. In reality, the chicken salad was pretty good despite the lack of two vital ingredients! The tiny cuts of cucumber gave it color and crunch and I didn’t miss the onions. Still- let it be a lesson to me that I should not be multi-tasking so often. The irony is that the friend I spoke with before my demo is food stylist Mary Seguin. http://www.maryseguinfoodstylist.com/
How’s that for karma?
Here’s the real recipe:
Simple Chicken Salad:
28 oz. canned chicken or 2 lbs cooked, cubed chicken
1/4 cup cole slaw dressing
1/4 cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
Place the chicken in a large bowl. Add the cole slaw dressing and mayo and mix well. Add chopped onions and celery and blend.
Makes ~8 servings of salad.
Nothing beats a church pot luck! We joined a new church about 3 years ago and are clearly in our element. My husband is on the bread guild, which bakes bread for Sunday services. I am part of “Main Dish” and the “goodie guild” to provide meals and treats to the church community and for those less fortunate.
Every Holy week, we look forward to “Maundy Thursday”, or the Thursday prior to Easter. Maundy means Holy and is derived from the word “command”. A theme of the service is the commandment, “love one another as I have loved you”. It is always a great reminder that no matter our differences and insults we may have endured by each other, love prevails.
My church clearly loves me. The Maundy dinner is more like a happy hour on steroids, minus the alcohol. Plates of olives, cheese, delightful salads, fruit, hummus, bread and other savories are served. We gather for faith, fellowship and food prior to a powerful service with deep rituals and thoughtful reflection. It may be my favorite holy day in church.
No calorie counting allowed. And that’s just fine by me.