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Healthy Hues: Cooking Workshop w/Brandi

Today's Workshop at the Smith Center for Healing & the Arts was led by Chef Brandi Redo.

This was Brandi's second time offering the community a special cooking course entitled, "Cooking with Healthy Hues"-- encouraging the use of color in our food choices to bring in variety and multi-sourced nutrients. With (5) participants joining in with Brandi on an adventure in the kitchen with foods that hit just about every color in the Rainbow, the class turned out to be a HIT!

Although one might flinch at the idea of spending 3 hours in the kitchen when it's not the holiday season, Chef Brandi had a fun-filled interactive experience in store for all who came to be a part of the workshop....including myself. *the designated helper, preparer, washer and support*

Brandi was such FUN. The energy about her from the moment she walked thru the door was BRIGHT, Confident, Welcoming and Assured. Stepping into the kitchen with Brandi is like opening up a magical cupboard where forks and spoon dance around, clanging up against cups making music and the sound of herbs and spices sifting like the rise and fall of  shaking Maracas.

She started us out with a hand-game: snapping and clapping as we went around in a circle reciting to know each other's names, the kind of foods we enjoy eating. What a great way to get acquainted and build community. Thank You Brandi.

Our chef wanted to emphasize Mindfulness today--whereas we discover how the simple acts that we do on a daily basis  says a lot about where we are in life, how we think, what sensory imprint we are leaving on our bodies and how this can effect the relationship we have to our food overall. Brandi feels that, "...being a vegan or vegetarian, carnivore or what have you is NOT a type of person that you are but just a way in which you eat your food". She believes that extremities are meant to bring us back to the center of who we really are; being open to trying new things and refusing to be STUCK on one way of thinking is the start to creating a healthy balance nutritional lifestyle.

To open up the possibilities for Mindfulness, we turned the mirrors on ourselves then took a glance at each other in action. Using our imagination, we each reenacted, a gesture, movement or scene of what preparing food looks like. Food Charades. Today, I shared my version of Cracking and Beating an Egg. There we others like:  Reading your nutritional facts, Eating a Romantic dinner....etc. What fun, peeling back our lips from reservations to wide smiles that tapped the corners of our eyes let us know that we're all Happy to be the the Healthy Hues Workshop and looking forward to making something of it.

Everyone was in the kitchen today! Moving about: chopping, stirring, heating, gathering and enjoying ourselves. Together we made three dishes: Rainbow Salad, Creamy Corn Chowder + Sweet Potato w/Quinoa. We refreshed ourselves with Blended Watermelon, Green Tea + Grape Punch.

My partner for today was a Sheryl, a small woman with spunk. She'd traveled quite a bit throughout her work life in sales and found herself to be a savory flavor lover compliments of her East European heritage. We had a mother-daughter duo both who were agile and willing to take on any task with Grace. Finally, another duo who lives in the area and frequents the Smith Center often.

After a few hours of sprucing things up, it was finally time to chow down. The aroma of our freshly cooked food made with nutrient rich flavors, potent seasonings and the LOVE that was stirred in, was insatiable. What's wonderful is that fact that everyone was on their feet moving about with effortlessness. When I observe how capable these Cancer Survivors with all of their vitality, willingness and heart shining out and through them, it inspires me. It seems that we were all reminded that what we've designated as the most important thing to bring our attention to is the very thing that can empowered simply acts of mindfulness, community, love and listening.

The day ended well.
In fact there was enthusiasm all that way out of the door.
...extra food to go around for everyone.

Thank You to Brandi Redo for overwhelming us options, possibilities and the truth about what to expect when you are buying, preparing and eating our foods.

This workshop is just one of the many exceptional things that the Smith Center for Healing + the Arts has to offer the community of Cancer Survivors. If you or your family would like to be a part of a community that offers dynamic support then look into the next event or class you can take part in. Give them a call and see how you can be including in this specialized care center.

Visit the Joan Hisoaka Healing Arts Gallery please do so during regular business hours.
And if you'd like to DONATE is more ways that one then please do so...


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