Where Healthy Meals are Born

Where Healthy Meals are Born

Cooking classes on preparing healthy meals was one of the first programs I ran here at the hospital.

Since beginning those classes, I’ve seen the Netflix original Cooked.  This show is great to watch, and it illustrates how the human connection to cooking naturally facilitates a healthy meal.  In fact we are the only species in the world that cooks our food before eating it, making cooking a part of what it means to be human.  As a defining characteristic of humanity, it stands to reason that cooking has the deep roots in culture and family seen in every country.  But with increasing globalization, even the most traditional cultures are adopting new practices surrounding food.  Namibia is no exception.  Popular choices include: eating out (KFC is a favorite), having pre-cooked food taken home (you can get french fries at every gas station), and buying frozen meals (I do like the vegetarian chicken burgers though).  Across the globe we are opting not to cook to gain time and effort, but are we losing part of our humanity?  Ok that’s a bit dramatic.  But what we know for sure is that these practices aren’t doing our health any favors.

Research has shown that healthy meals are born in the home.

So using the Cooking Matters curriculum, staff members from my hospital prepared healthy meals from scratch with minimal guidance from me.  Every Wednesday in February, we paired a recipe with a health topic, and learned how to prepare strange things like zucchini, beets, celery, and oatmeal raisin cookies.  While these ingredients and recipes are not traditional, the reality is that they are more readily available in towns like Outjo than traditional fruits and vegetables.  If globalization gave us these new healthy foods along with the unhealthy soda and take out, why not learn what to do with them?


Healthy Meals
“Eat the Rainbow”
Healthy Meals
Oatmeal Raisin cookies were a huge hit
Whole grains vs. processed grains experiment. The orange juice simulates the acidity of the stomach, showing that whole grains make you feel more full.
Healthy Meals
Chopping smiles
Healthy Meals
Healthy meals are delicious.
Healthy Meals
Lentils bring skeptical faces
Meet the author / Weens

One Comment

  • Barbara Damon

    Wish you were here to help me cook healthy for one. Maybe this will be my next challenge — to write a cookbook for a single senior living alone. What you are doing is an inspiration.

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