Later this month, the Inuvik Community Greenhouse will introduce a 12-week-long healthy eating and lifestyle program to help community members get into the habit of making healthier choices.
Greenhouse manager Marion Macé said the “FoodFit” program is for anyone who is interested in learning more about healthy cooking, and for those who want to adopt better eating habits and integrate more physical activity into their daily lives.
“The main part is having fun and eating something that is good. You don’t want to just to cook something because you think it’s healthy,” she said. “It’s really more about adopting habits that you know you’ll keep. A good diet is something that you want to keep for the long term.”
One cooking session will be held every week, with participants learning how to prepare dishes such as black bean burgers, rice and beans with tomatoes and spices, a whole grain plate consisting of various grains such as brown rice and quinoa, black bean brownies and more.
“It’s to introduce things into your daily habit. We really want to get out of this ‘healthy but bad tasting’ meal with no salt or spices,” she said. “Our meals are tasty and we do it as healthy as we can. We just want people to feel like it tastes good and they feel good when they’re eating and cooking.”
Lessons will be facilitated by volunteers and Macé, who said that she’s currently looking to partner with local organizations that will allow her to use their kitchens to host the classes.
“People come in, we introduce the topic, put it in action and cook it,” she said. “Then we go for a walk or some sort of fun physical activity, just to get people moving. Then we eat all together.”
Eating healthy, however, does not just mean eating vegetarian meals, Macé said.
“Meat is welcome, but less of course,” she said. “You don’t have to only eat vegetables if you want to be healthy. We don’t want to reach perfection, but to just feel good in your body and have more energy.”
The program, she continued, is free of charge but is only being offered to adults. Children, however, are invited to come by afterwards to get a taste of their parents cooking.
“It’s for adults to cook together and not have to worry about things at home,” she said.
She added that she wants to make healthy cooking more accessible, and hopes that participants realize that they don’t need to be experienced chefs to prepare healthy dishes.
“It’s an exchange of discussion. There’s no strict way of doing things. It’s more about introducing what we know,” she said.