"I will be your resource for all things food during FITSquad." 💗Leigh
I have always loved to cook (and eat!). In college, my passion for food led me to study cooking while doing a semester abroad in Florence. When I returned, I did a month long stage in a restaurant in Naples, FL where I learned almost everything I know about cooking, but also that I did not want to be a chef in a restaurant. Instead, I started a business shortly after college making handmade pasta and selling it in Farmer’s Markets. Over the next 9 years that business grew to include selling wholesale to small and large specialty stores including Whole Foods, a retail shop and take away restaurant in Boston Public Market and a handful of national awards. While you might not associate pasta with health and nutrition, one of the underlying goals of the business was an emphasis on healthy pasta-- adding whole grains, incorporating lots of vegetables, and using locally sourced ingredients. Developing the recipes for my business made me realize there is a simple formula you can follow to make creating a meal simple and always delicious. In our seminars for FitSquad, I’ll take you through these formulas to help you break down cooking a meal into an enjoyable process that will result in delicious foods that fuel your body and (for lack of a less cheesy word), soul.
Apart from the 2 seminars, I want to be your resource for all things food during FitSquad. I will be providing a quick tip that Gina will include in her daily emails that will vary from ingredients spotlights to recipe suggestions, interesting articles and reading suggestions to quick snack ideas. I’m also happy to answer any questions you have, help with cooking idea slumps and basically anything food related! So please feel free to use me as a reference and send your questions my way (and send your food pics too!).
(ps. You can follow me on instagram at @Foster.Feed. It’s a food-only handle where my sister (also a former chef, nutrition coach and yoga instructor) share what we’ve been cooking)
Seminar #1 Sept. 22nd 8pm via zoom 💻 Food as (delicious) fuel
Many health seminars go right into rules and small details about how much you can eat, when, and of what. I find it hard to be told what to do if I’m not 100% on board with what’s being asked. For example, you need to eat this many calories of that food and a specific time. Well what if I don’t have what I need and can’t run to the store? Should I just throw in the towel? What if I’m not even hungry? Or I’m starving and a kale salad isn’t going to cut it? Instead of giving specifics, I want to talk about healthy food choices in a broad sense so you can always make healthy choices that work for you. First and foremost that means eating real food. Food that you make. We will certainly cover ways to make kitchen time limited for busy schedules, but I want to stress the importance of eating real food that is as close to its natural state as possible. We will go over a general formula of how to make (or assemble) a healthy meal that serves not only the necessity of food as fuel, but also satisfies and makes you feel good! Coming from the position of a chef with a passion for nutrition rather than a nutritionist who cooks, taste is key. I want you to make food that is delicious and makes you enjoy cooking and eating. In this seminar we will break down the components of what goes into a meal not only by fiber, healthy fat and protein, but how to make that dish satisfying like adding fresh herbs, toasted nuts and acidity through citrus, vinegars or briny olives, capers or feta cheese. It’s when you add layers of flavor, whether it be through cooking technique or ingredients, and texture (creamy, crunchy, etc.) that you go from a one note meal that will fill you up, to a flavorful meal that will truly satiate.
Seminar #2 Sept. 29 8 PM via zoom 💻 Breaking Down Recipes
If you know me, you know I hate recipes. It might seem strange, then, that I own dozens of cookbooks and subscribe to countless cooking blogs and magazines. So here’s why… while I hate following recipes, I love using them as a guide. In fact for every dish that I make, I probably combined one article that I read recently, an ingredient that looked fresh and was on sale, and an idea that I had in my head. And for me, thats what its all about. I don’t want you to look up a recipe and then dread having to go to the store because you don’t have one or two ingredients that the recipe calls for you. In this seminar, I want to talk about using recipes as guides and how tailor them to what you have on hand, how much time you have, what dietary restrictions or preferences you may have and what your goals are from the whole experience. Some things in recipes you really can’t mess with like making sure a chicken is cooked through and how much baking powder or soda to put in baked goods, but I think you’ll find that the vast majority of recipes are able to be manipulated to suit your needs.
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