I had this amazing and unique honor to cook at a Weight Loss Retreat for a few weeks. Before I was hired, they warned me about “intense” situations. I told them I would be fine. I had just spent time cooking for drug-addicted teenagers. I could cook for adults, no problem. Man was I wrong!! I was accused of hiding food, trying to kill them of starvation, and using only part of the food budget and pocketing the rest of the money.
The worst complaint came from an ex-athlete. One day, he came up to me and asked, “Well, what am I eating today?” I was confused as I didn’t know what he meant. The rules of this retreat were no food substitutions unless the clients had allergies. This particular moment I was serving a healthy breakfast. He cursed me out and tried to get me fired. It seemed like, in his experience, he always got what he wanted because of his fame. I didn’t care. My job was to cook healthy and nutritious food for all of them regardless of their fame. He tried to go on a hungry strike (but would always end up eating) and get some of the others to revolt against me as well. I kept standing my ground and continued to cook healthy meals. Then, one day as I cleaning up, he came up to me and asked “What was that rice stuff?” I looked at him surprised that he was talking to me. I told him it was quinoa, a grain that was great to use as a main dish or side dish. He said it was “bomb” (meaning delicious) and wanted to cook it for his family and friends once he got home. I smiled. Success!
It can be scary getting on the path of healthy eating. There is always a thought of “what if I fail?” The key is to start somewhere. Not everyone can afford to go on Weight Loss Retreats but one can try swapping out one unhealthy item with something healthy one meal at a time, like this recipe.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups broth (I had veggie on hand)
- 2 cups spinach
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a medium sized pot add quinoa and broth.
- Bring to boil and cover pot. Put heat to low and allow to simmer until all water is absorbed, 15-20 minutes.
- Take off heat and quickly stir in spinach. The heat of the quinoa will steam the spinach. Add your salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Back in my private chef days, I would come in extra early on Monday mornings and prep all my grains for the week. I would make several pots and then allow them to cool on a cookie sheet. Then, throughout the week, I could quickly reheat it to serve with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Sometimes I would even toss them on a salad or put in a lettuce wrap.
Be sure to comment below and let me know some of your favorite healthy swaps.
Peace and Blessings 😊