Eating heathy, cooking simply
This weekend, Island chef and caterer Jan Buhrman will join with John Bagnulo, Ph.D., nutritionist and fitness expert from Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, to bring Vineyard residents a crash course on healthier living through better food choices.
"Cooking for Vitality" is a three-day event featuring no-nonsense information, cooking exercises, and satisfying, nutritious group meals. It begins on Friday, April 17 at 5 pm, includes an all-day session on Saturday, and wraps up on Sunday, April 19, at 3 pm.
"We'll teach people how to choose healthy foods and how to cook them simply and easily," Ms. Burhman explains. "I think people are totally overwhelmed and confused by food and diet today. By the time we're finished, participants will have a clear idea about how to improve their health and stamina by making better choices."
Ms. Buhrman brings 22 years of professional cooking to the table. The owner of Kitchen Porch, one of Martha's Vineyard's most successful catering firms, Ms. Buhrman says she has built her reputation by depending on local sources for fresh, wholesome foods.
Mr. Bagnulo, who has a doctorate in food and nutrition sciences and a masters in public health, shares Ms. Buhrman's enthusiasm for eating foods that are closer to their natural state. "We'll explain how you can accomplish dramatic health improvements by eating a plant-based diet complemented by fish and shellfish," he says.
Proper food choices and preparation can reverse a lifetime of bad habits, according to Mr. Bagnulo. "There is substantial evidence that the right foods can provide substantial benefits for people suffering from Type II diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure," he says.
In addition to finding out how to prepare meals based on healthy, local ingredients, participants will learn about vitamins and nutrients, calcium, trans-fat, "super foods," food allergies, and antioxidants. Mr. Bagnulo, a sought-after speaker who has served as an assistant professor at University of Maine and as a nutritionist at Canyon Ranch, will share information on the evolution of the human diet, the implications of modern eating on the human body, and how to make whole foods accessible.
"John is a remarkable, no-nonsense speaker," Ms. Buhrman says. "He translates complex data into fascinating, totally helpful information."
Students will sit down together for a meal each day of the workshop and will take away simple recipes and a weekly meal plan, according to Ms. Buhrman. Beginners are welcome - you don't need to be an experienced cook to attend. "It's our job to make participants feel comfortable," she says. "You'll get lots of nutritional information and tips on preparation. Most important, we'll encourage questions, to be sure everyone understands everything we're doing."