icole saw her son developing the same poor eating habits she had. “I was afraid we were both going to end up as big as a house,” she said.
With encouragement from her fiancé and her doctor, she enrolled in the first ‘Cooking Matters’ class offered at Providence Milwaukie Hospital’s Community Teaching Kitchen.
Nicole becomes very anxious in public settings but she knew it was important to her health and her son’s to take it. She is proud that she didn’t miss a single class. She even went on the trip to the grocery store to learn how to navigate all the choices to find the healthiest options.
Over the course of six weeks, participants learn how to prepare recipes that are part of a healthy lifestyle. Classes focus on simple, cost-effective recipes with appropriate portion sizes.
“I have more confidence in the kitchen.”
Alicia is undergoing continued treatment for stage III breast cancer. She also has high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Her doctor recommended she take the course.
Alicia was excited to take the class since her wife and son were also learning how to cook and this would be something that they would have in common.
“The baked chicken with cornflakes is awesome. It’s a family favorite now,” said Alicia. Her son, who is autistic and is very particular about his food, loves it. He’s trying more foods now, too, she said. She even found him eating plain, dry cornflakes one day for a snack, something he’d never done before.
“When we made brownies with black beans in them I thought they would be gross,” said Nicole. “Then I ate them and they were so freaking good! It was awesome!”
The other thing both women agree on is the effect taking the class has had on their confidence. “I have more confidence in the kitchen,” said Alicia. “And, I learned that healthy eating doesn’t cost more or take more time than going out for fast food.”
Nicole reports being happier and spending more time outside with her son and fiancé. “It’s been good for us. My son has lost three pounds.”
To the donors who supported the creation of the community kitchen Nicole says, “Thank you for changing my look at life with my son and our way of eating. You helped me with my insecurities and made me a better person to raise my child.”