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UCI Campus Recreation
, in conjunction with UCI HR Wellness, presents a series of virtual events to educate and encourage us toward healthier behaviors: Culinary Medicine.

Nutrition is an important part of the circle of wellness, but many lack practical cooking skills that are key to helping implement nutritional recommendations given to them. Based on the UCI Integrative Medicine curriculum, this series will be offered to UCI employees as part of the UCI HR Wellness program presented by UCI Campus Recreation chef and UCI Health Weight Management dietitian.  Each presentation from the dietician will be followed by a chef demonstrating a relevant daily meal plan consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes. 

Events will be limited to the first 100 registered participants.
Fasting and Weight Loss
Friday, 2/19 11:30am - 12:30pm, Chef Jessica

The new trends with weight loss now include fasting. Is fasting healthy, how do you do it correctly? Join us as we discuss fasting and the correct way to approach it if you want to start!

Cooking Demo: Mini Veggie Chickpea Quiche (NO eggs), Herb Crusted Salmon with Spinach and Lentil Pilaf

Kidney Health
Friday, 3/19 11:30am - 12:30pm, Chef Jessica

We often overlook our kidneys when we talk about our health, and yet our kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products, excess water, and other impurities out of the blood. Learning how to nurture and take care of our kidneys with food is a great way to ensure overall health.

Cooking Demo: Berry Breakfast Fruit Bars, Homemade Mushroom Burger with kale slaw
Starting a Meatless Meal Plan
Friday, 4/16 11:30am - 12:30pm, Chef Jessica

Have you ever wanted to start a meatless meal plan but don't know how? Where are you supposed to get information on a balanced, meatless diet? Join Sherry and Chef Jess as they discuss the importance of meatless eating and how to incorporate it into your daily lives.

Cooking Demo: Sheet Pan Tofu Stir Fry, Lentil Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash
Immune Building Nutrition
Friday, 5/21 11:30am - 12:30pm, Chef Jessica

With covid-19 on everyone's radar, we are all looking for ways to boost our immune system and protect ourselves. There are supplements that we can take, but more importantly, the food you eat plays a significant role in your immune strength. During this event, we will discuss the foods that you eat to boost your immune system and why.

Cooking Demo: Homemade Yogurt and Yogurt Dressings, Turmeric Bone Broth
The Relationship between Food and Exercise
Friday, 12/18 10:30am - 11:30am, Chef Jessica & Alex Vasquez

Pre-workouts, post workouts, all of the shakes powders bars, what do you eat before your workout, or just as important, what do you eat AFTER you workout? Join us as we discuss the foods that will help energize your workout and repair your body after!

Cooking Demo: Breakfast: Banana Oat Pancake/ Waffles, Lunch: Lentil Meatballs with on Greens
Dinner: Chicken Vegetable Yakitori Skewers with Kale and Quinoa
Labeling and Creating Good Shopping Habits
Friday, 11/20 10:30am - 11:30am, Chef Jessica & Alex Vasquez

Have you ever wondered what 1 gram of sugar looks like? It’s four teaspoons, and that’s A LOT considering most cereals average about 19 grams of sugar! The numbers and words on a label are sometimes so confusing that all we look at is the big calorie count, but that’s not how we should be shopping. Learn the correct way to read a label and how you can save your health by choosing the right food.

Cooking Demo: Breakfast: Green Berry Cantouple Smoothie, Lunch: Vegetable Fritters with Roasted Veggie Soup
Dinner: Pan-Seared Shrimp with Spiralized Zucchini in Red Curry Broth
Mindful Eating
10/16 10:30am - 11:30am, Chef Jessica & Alex Vasquez

Mindful eating is the intention and awareness of what you are putting in your body. The practice of mindful eating will help you understand how your body reacts to food. Join us as we discuss the importance of mindful eating in a culinary medicine setting as well as some practices that you can start including in your day to day lives.

Cooking Demo: Breakfast: Crisp Oatmeal Cakes with Yogurt and Berries, Lunch: Vegan Tofu "poke" bowl
Dinner: Greek Lemon Chicken Stuffed Tomatoes
The Power of Protein
Friday, 9/18 10:30am - 11:30am, Chef Jessica & Alex Vasquez

Protein is essential in your diet, but many people have the misconception that the best proteins come from meat products. Balancing your diet with the right kind of protein, as well as the correct amount, will help you feel more energized and better overall.

Cooking Demo: Breakfast: Vegan Breakfast Bowl with Tofu and Kale, Lunch: Greek Grilled Chicken and Hummus Wrap
Dinner: Miso Salmon with Edamame Fried “Cauliflower” rice

Presentation/Cooking Video | Recipes
Weight Management & Portion Control
Friday, 8/21 10:30am - 11:30am, Chef Jessica & Alex Vasquez

Do you know what a serving of rice looks like, or how much sugar you can have in a day? Portion control is directly related to weight management, and having the correct portion control tools in your cooking knowledge can help you lose those last few pounds. Learn how to manage your weight with the proper portion control knowledge!

Cooking Demo: Breakfast: Make-Ahead Frozen Breakfast Burrito, Lunch: Mason Jar Taco Salad, Dinner: Lentil Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Presentation/Cooking Video | Recipes

The Anti Inflammatory Diet
Friday, 7/17 10:30am-11:30am, Chef Jessica & RD Katie Rankell

Today everyone is bombarded with stressors in their lives, and for many of us, it can cause inflammatory issues. Incorporating anti-inflammatory eating habits into your diet can significantly reduce the way your body reacts to these stressors and potentially reduce or eliminate your need for drugs.

Cooking Demo: Banana Bread Overnight Oats, Peruvian Black Bean Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato, Turmeric Salmon Rice Bowl with Spiced Vegetables and Beans

Presentation Video | Cooking Demo Video | Recipes

All about Carbs
Friday, 6/19 10:30am-11:30am, Chef Jessica & RD Katie Rankell

Carbs get a bad rap, but they shouldn't all be treated the same, and most importantly, they shouldn't be eliminated from your diet. Quality carbohydrates can be found in a variety of food sources that provide a whole host of beneficial nutrients, including fiber.  Explore the world of carbs, and discover a whole new way of eating and cooking.

Cooking Demo: Oatmeal pancakes with Berry Sauce, Bruschetta Lentil Salad with Homemade Whole Wheat Bread, Chicken Quinoa Tortilla Soup

View Recipes from presentation | Presentation Slides
DASH and Low Sodium Diet
Friday, 5/15 10:30am-11:30am, Chef Jessica & RD Katie Rankell

Sodium is used in more ways than seasoning and so determining how much sodium is in your diet can be a tricky thing.  Find out how to make your food taste better without adding more salt and how to eliminate the excess salt that might be lingering in your diet today.  

Cooking Demo: Spinach and Tomato Baked Egg, Curried Chicken and Mango Salad, Miso Soba Noodle Soup

View Recipes from presentation | Presentation Slides | Presentation Video
All about Fats in Our Diet
Friday, 2/21 12pm-1pm, ARC Kitchen

Fats are hidden everywhere in our diets, but not all fats are created equal.  Learn the good from the bad and how to incorporate the good ones into your diet.

Cooking Demo: Super- seed Breakfast Cookie, Triple Bean Salad with Citrus Dressing, Fish Cakes on Curry Lime Scented Quinoa 

View Recipes from presentation | Presentation Slides | Presentation Video
Introduction to the Mediterranean Diet
Friday, 1/24 12pm-1pm, ARC Kitchen

The Mediterranean diet is considered the gold standard of diets.  In this presentation, we will delve into the reasons why doctors "prescribe" this regimen more than any other eating plan.  

Cooking Demo: Lemon Scented Almond Granola, Falafels with Yogurt Dressing on Greens, One-pot chicken & Farro

View Recipes from the presentation | Presentation Slides (pdf) | Presentation Video