Nutrition program to be offered at Troy library

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 11, 2018

Shutterstock image

TROY — Feed your brain and your body, celebrate the power of reading, and learn the benefits of a plant-based diet at the Troy Public Library. 

Kelly Michiya, a certified nutrition specialist candidate, will present the “Healthy Cooking for Beginners” program 6-7:30 p.m. Sept. 17. 

“People are getting more critical about the kinds of food they eat and where it comes from,” said Olivia Olson, the teen librarian for the Troy Public Library. “The program is geared to all ages and tastes.” 

Michiya will cover practical strategies for making health-promoting meals using whole, plant-based foods. Participants will learn about restocking the pantry and the fridge/freezer, meal preparation, and batch cooking.  

Michiya holds a master’s degree in nutrition from Maryland University of Integrative Health. She has finished 1,000 hours of supervised practice experience and plans to take the licensing exam. 

She said the things that people are most surprised to learn are “probably that they already eat plant-based foods. People eat grains, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), vegetables and fruits, not necessarily in the whole food forms that I recommend, but people know what they are. Another thing is that it is very easy to find/cook/eat plant-based foods,” Michiya said via email. 

She said people are also surprised to learn that frozen foods can be part of a healthy diet. “Frozen foods are convenient and affordable.” 

While it takes more time initially, Michiya said batch cooking — and batch prepping, like cutting vegetables in advance — “is an absolute lifesaver for busy individuals, and it could make or break whether someone can fully adopt a whole food, plant-based lifestyle,” she said. “You may have to spend a few hours or more on a weekend to shop in bulk and cook in bulk, but this way, you can basically prepare meals for the whole week.” 

“There are numerous benefits that go beyond physical health, but most people associate a whole food, plant-based diet with health,” she noted. “It is the only diet that has been scientifically shown to not only treat but also in some cases reverse chronic diseases, including heart disease, the No. 1 killer. I do not see a plant-based diet as a therapy, though. It is a healthy way of life that allows you to see the world in a new light. It can transform your life on so many levels.” 

Michiya suggests these tips to get children on board with plant-based choices: “Children eat what adults eat, so the adults need to learn healthy cooking. Children are open to learning new things, but if adults don’t cook healthy meals at home or if healthy eating is not taught at school, how can they learn? What I often hear from parents is that children like to take part in meal prepping. They like eating the things they helped to make. Taking children to a farmers market or a grocery store and having them pick a vegetable or two, especially something they have never tried before, would also be fun.”

For more information or to register, visit troypl.org or call (248) 524-3534. 

The Troy Public Library is located at 510 W. Big Beaver Road.