This week we ran 2 practical "how to" sessions for the participants to get them prepared before the program starts this coming Saturday. We started off by asking the participants to introduce themselves to the person sitting next to them and discuss their main reasons for joining F4L and what they're most looking forward to. This helps build relationships throughout the team, creating a supportive network.
After the introductions and a brief discussion, we showed the participants some videos from NutritionFacts.org and discussed the work Dr Greger and his team does.
"Why You Should Care About Nutrition":
"Taking Personal Responsibility For Your Health":
After these videos, our team leader did a presentation on 'The Power of Plant Based Nutrition'. It was a fabulous talk which discussed what a plant based diet is, the improvements it can have on your physical and mental health and wellbeing, the harmful effects of animal products and oil in the diet and how consuming these can dramatically increase your chances of developing major chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease or any other cardiovascular released disease, and briefly touched on the ethical and environmental aspects of dietary choices. It was a fantastic talk and when listening to Peter talk about this subject, you can see how passionate he is about this lifestyle and I think a lot of participants could see that!
To help the participants prepare for the coming weeks, we handed out some useful resources. Over the past couple of months I've been working on a WFPB recipe book to give to the participants. We handed that out as well as some other documents including a meal preparation guide, fresh produce list, pantry staples list, a copy of Dr Gregers 'Daily Dozen', a chart of energy density and a list of documentaries, websites, books etc that we recommend the participants checking out. Great feedback was given upon handing out these resources as many participants were feeling a little lost as to what to cook and shop for, but are now feeling more confident.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend this session as I had an exam at the same time, but I heard that the session went great! The session began with a Q&A chat and was followed by a cooking demonstration of how to cook/sauté without oil as many participants find this part rather difficult as it is second nature to add a drizzle of oil to a pan before sautéing some onions or garlic! One of the other volunteers did a presentation of "How to Convert Your Favourite Recipes to WFPB". I've seen Hannah present this talk before and it is great. She talks about how to replace eggs in baking, swapping out minced meat for brown lentils in bolognese sauce and many other helpful tips! I'm shattered I missed out on seeing her present this again.
Offers were made to participants if they would like to join us on a supermarket tour or have us come to their place for a 'kitchen audit' to make the process a little easier for them. Because as we know, if it's in the house, you're likely to eat it! And we don't want that sort of temptation hanging over the participants throughout the next 3 weeks. Participants taking Hypertension or Diabetes medications were also instructed to book weekly visits with GP throughout the duration of the program. The body can experience changes quite quickly and the last thing we want is participants taking medications when not needed.
That wraps up the "how to" sessions. Participants start eating WFPB this Saturday and I wish them the best of luck and hope they enjoy the program. I'm looking forward to next weeks lunch time meetings where we can check in, see how they're going, answer any questions they may have and offer some advice. As well as lots of other exciting things we've got planned for the participants!
Come back next week to read more!