Step One - INTAKE
Families are met in their home for an intake. Likes, dislikes, budget, medical issues and cultural and or religious requirements are recorded. Medical records are provided, confidentially, to document progression and improvement from the outset and to ensure that measurable, scientific outcomes are recorded accurately. Each family member in the program, downloads a free pedometer app, their steps per day are also recorded.
Families agree to keep a detailed food diary. If diabetic they agree to blood sugar testing before all meals and at bedtime. If obesity is the issue, they agree to weigh themselves once a week. Hypertension is recorded in conjunction with their primary care physician.
Step Two - DELICIOUSNESS
Using their likes, dislikes, medical challenges and budget, a Tasting Menu is created. The families choose five dishes from the menu that are then prepared, cooked and delivered with recipes. The family are left to taste the food on their own, reporting back in detail on what they enjoyed or didn't like.
Step Three - PERSONAL PROGRAM
An eight week personal program is created identifying nutritional evidence and new culinary techniques, making sure all weeks remain in budget. We have learned that the best approach is to cook a number of dishes in one three hour lesson.
Step Four - LESSONS BEGIN
Each family receives a small "pantry". Exposure to new foods and a broader range of fruit and vegetables go hand in hand with excellent nutrition. The best of "budget cooking" cookbooks do not address the issue of spice. Many families have not had the funs or exposure to try many herbs, spices, oils and vinegars; elements that are essential to preparing deeply flavored, delicious food.
Each week, the families receive a three hour cooking lesson combining budgeting, nutrition, planning and cooking. The program is tweaked according to their food diaries and progress.
Lesson One: Culinary techniques and nutrition explained. One meal is prepared.
Lessons One to Seven: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner x 2 and Snack or Drink is prepared.
At the end of the program, participants have fourteen new dinner meals, seven breakfast, lunch and snack options in their repertoire.
Step Five - THE RULES
1. 8 glasses of water a day.
2. Three different pieces of fruit per day.
3. Nothing advertised on television is allowed to be consumed.
4. If no changes have been made within two weeks for diabetics and four weeks for those participants trying to lose weight, they are given all remaining information and program materials and are encouraged to continue on their own. They are welcome to reapply in the future.
5. After the 8 weeks, the participants who are effectively making lifestyle changes and would like to continue the lessons, are welcome to continue to receive lessons for another four weeks, however, the ingredients for the lessons will be provided by the client. If receiving food stamps, this date would be co-ordinated with the delivery date of benefits.
Menus, recipes and shopping lists are given in advance.