News: HAWC class inspires healthy cooking
Story by Senior Airman Janine Thibault
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - A two-hour cooking class at the Health and Wellness Center Feb. 13 taught aspiring chefs to cook in ways promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Find the Chef in You offered a hands-on cooking experience which showed participants that by following healthy choices, people can live healthier lives.
"One of the goals for the Air Force is that we have more healthy food available," said Susan Runyan, 354th Force Support Squadron HAWC dietician. "Everybody seems to be rushed so we want to help people make dishes that are not complicated so they can make healthier choices."
Through hands-on cooking lessons, the class offered Airmen and their families the tools and instruction needed to make several dishes, including dessert.
Armed with recipes, ingredients and cookware to accomplish a finished meal, individuals made baked chicken parmesan, zucchini sticks, toasted almond rice, fajitas, angel food trifle, and peach and berry crisps for the group.
Opposed to giving attendees strict recipes to follow without deviation, Runyan teaches the classes about ingredient substitution for health and cost benefits.
According to Runyan, lean meats and vegetables help individuals manage their weight, while recipes that use healthier oils, such as olive or canola oil, reduce the risk of diseases including heart disease. Antioxidants help prevent illnesses by strengthening the immune system and higher vegetable intake reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
After the lesson, attendees enjoyed the healthy dishes they had prepared.
Find the Chef in You is a valuable tool for anyone wanting to learn a few pointers about how to prepare food, and the lessons can be brought home to benefit the whole family.
Education is a continual process as new studies and results come out, said Runyan. New information is passed along through a variety of classes and even individual counseling sessions.
Find the Chef in You is held once a quarter with limited seating. February is National Heart month and the HAWC has additional programs and classes planned to spread awareness.
To get information about available classes, call the HAWC at 377-9255.