Welcome to this week's edition of the Expert Series!
I am thrilled to introduce you today to Marni Wasserman: Culinary Nutritionist, Health Strategist, and Founder of Delicious Knowledge in Toronto. Marni's food studio is a place of food education, yummy creations, and seriously valuable nutrition information - whether you're exploring home cooking for the first time, looking to expand your knowledge of real food, or looking to address a particular condition with nutrition, Marni's Food Studio and Lifestyle Shop is the place to go. (Worth traveling for, too, if you don't happen to live in the GTA.)
Marni’s mission is to make nutrition and wellness as fun and experiential as possible through hands on cooking classes and workshops. Most importantly she wants to inspire us to get into the kitchen and re-connect with the impact our food choices have on our health. Pretty awesome, right?
In true futuristic style, I "sat down" with Marni to get the scoop on her food adventures...
Could you give me a description of what you do and how you go into it? Why are classes an important piece of the wellness puzzle?
I teach plant based cooking classes to anyone that is willing to learn more in the kitchen and get inspired with more plant based ingredients. I got into it out of a strong passion for food and healthy eating. It is something that has evolved over the years and as I got more immersed in it the more the passion and my knowledge grew.
Classes are important because they get people actually involved with their eyes, ears and of course their tastebuds. It appeals to the senses! When people actually get involved and don't just read about it or hear about it they are more likely to actually stick to it. I have found my hands-on classes to have a profound difference in people's action plans.
What's the most challenging part of cultivating healthy habits? How do you personally work around this/ what are the recommendations you give clients most often?
The most challenging part is finding something that works for you, something that makes sense. If it doesn't, we don't actually stay on track. Also when it comes to healthy eating, it actually has to be simple enough to implement. I encourage people to take baby steps as this will last longer and make more of a difference in the long term. Healthy food also has to taste good! If it doesn't then they will resist it!
For someone just venturing into home cooking (and plant-based eating), how do you recommend getting started? What are some essential things people would need to know or have to do this?
I would suggest to make a meal plan and to get organized in the kitchen. Being able to stock the right ingredients at home is the best way to begin. From there they have all the tools to work with to then build upon to make balanced and healthy meals. I also would suggest getting a food processor and blender as they will come in handy for many plant based recipes!
Fermenting! How do you do it and why is it awesome for us?
Fermented foods are ancient method of food preservation that extend the shelf life of food without any additives. It is also healing to the gut carrying with it many probiotics, enzymes and other nutrients that boost immunity!
This is all covered in your book, yes?
In my book I cover all things plant based and methods to ferment things like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains beans along with fermented beverages. All the recipes are easy enough that anyone can implement them at home and have their own healing foods available anytime! [Check out a copy of Marni's Fermenting for Dummies on Amazon!]
What's in your fridge right now?
Always stocked in my fridge is fresh fruits, green leafy veggies, maybe some cooked quinoa, hummus, coconut water, sprouts, tahini, almond butter to name a few!
What would you consider your manifesto for health, eating, and a balanced life?
We have a choice to make everyday with your food, it is the one thing we have control over. Make it simple, make it delicious and eat more green leafy veggies!
For more information on Marni's incredible work - and directions to the food studio! - check out www.marniwasserman.com.