Students, faculty learn elements of healthy eating at ‘culinary boot camp’


Maddie Leopardo/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State dietetic interns Courtney Smith and Christina Boehme give a presentation on healthy eating during the first part of the Culinary Boot Camp on Feb. 27. The second part of the Culinary Boot Camp will take place next Mon. March 6, at MacKay Hall. 

Jenna Hrdlicka

Eating healthy while navigating a busy student or work schedule can seem daunting at times, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. 

In order to make this easier, ISU Dining and the Culinary Science Club teamed up to offer students and faculty a two-part workshop focused on intuitive eating, successful budgeting and effective meal planning and preparation. 

The class kicked off Monday evening with an interactive workshop led by Christina Boehme and Courtney Smith, dietetic interns at Iowa State, and will end March 6 with a hands-on cooking class led by ISU Dining chefs. 

By discussing topics such as intuitive eating and meal planning, Boehme and Smith hoped to equip participants with skills that can be adapted and applied to their everyday lives. 

“A lot of [students] who aren’t taking FSHN classes may not have cooking or meal planning skills, so we’re hoping that we can introduce skills to students to help prepare them for after college, or for after they move out of residence halls,” Boehme said. 

Taylor Larosee, sophomore in pre-dietetics, attended the workshop to strengthen these skills and better prepare herself for the transition from having her meals prepared for her to shopping and cooking on her own next year. 

“[I’m in a sorority right now], so learning how to grocery shop and meal prep on [my own] versus having someone do it for [me is important],” she said. 

In order to effectively plan and budget for meals, Boehme and Smith gave various tips, which included signing up for store email lists and taking advantage of reward programs, avoiding shopping while hungry — which studies have shown increases the likelihood of purchasing foods that contain higher calories — making a list and sticking to it and purchasing fresh produce while it’s in season. 

They recommend planning out meals at least a week in advance, using tools such as meal-prep calendars to help organize, browsing through store advertisements to plan meals around items on sale and practicing intuitive-eating principles to ensure the meals will be enjoyable. 

Some of the principles of intuitive eating that the workshop highlighted included “honoring your hunger and respect your fullness,” “reject the diet mentality,” “honor your feelings without using food” and “honor your health.”

“Lots of students, I feel like they have ideas from social media that focus on diets, but we’re trying to teach the concept of intuitive eating to get [individuals] to listen to themselves and see what they want to eat, and not just thinking food is good or bad,” Smith said. 

The workshop will continue at 5 p.m. March 6 in the food labs in Mackay Hall. 

Chefs from ISU Dining will teach participants various kitchen skills, including how to use kitchen equipment such as knives and food thermometers, and will lead the group through the preparation of three meals.

The meals will feature a variety of healthy recipes including beef and broccoli with Jasmine rice and fried bananas over ice cream. 

The hands-on class will end with a group meal that will focus on putting mindful eating techniques into practice, Lisa Nolting, dietitian at the Campus Dining Services, said.  

Individuals interested in attending can contact Nolting at [email protected]