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With my time as an NFC student coming to a close, I can’t help but feel bittersweet. I feel like I never want to leave but also can’t wait to explore all the amazing opportunities out there. What an incredible journey it’s been in just 15 weeks. Time has absolutely flown by, and it’s amazing how much I have learned and gained from being in this program. It’s crazy to look at my binder of material I have collected over these past few months and not be in shock at the amount of incredible information I have received. Every day was filled with information whether it was a few tips or learning a whole new concept. Right off the bat we dove in headfirst and haven’t stopped since.
I started this program as an average cook, learning from trial and error. Out of necessity due to health conditions, I had to learn how to cook in order to get better. It was quite a journey; going from the SCD diet to low-FODMAP to AIP to Paleo, and now to introducing things back in. The amount of foods I could experiment with was small, but looking back it gave me a great foundation that I can build upon.
We touched on so many topics ranging from sauces, stocks and broths, mise en place, knife skills, making kombucha, Ayurveda, nutrition classes, soaking and sprouting, baking, business classes, designing menus, and all the cooking skills in between. My basic cooking knowledge quickly expanded along with my confidence in the kitchen. We also had experience with personal cheffing, catering, and menu planning. Going into the program I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with my certification, so these experiences helped me tremendously. I also found clarity in the business classes and was able to pin point what I want to focus on as a Natural Food Chef. As someone with an autoimmune condition and Lyme disease, I want to help young women going through similar things. Food drastically improved my symptoms and it’s helped my body become more efficient in the healing process.
My biggest takeaway is taking simple ingredients and preparing them in a way so they retain nutrients and taste delicious simultaneously. Cooking shouldn’t have to feel like a huge undertaking. Healthy food can get a bad wrap for being un-flavorful, time consuming or boring. I can assure you that my palate and navigation around a kitchen has expanded greatly from being in this program. It’s simpler than one may think to make nutritious food taste good. I’ve also enjoyed cooking with others and cultivating friendships.
This program attracts like-minded people, which is what I was looking for. Graduation is this week and I already feel emotions coming on from leaving this place. What a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we had. If you have a passion for nutrition and cooking, I highly recommend this program. It’s a lot of information in a short amount of time, but it gives you an incredible foundation to start your journey as a Natural Food Chef.
Meghan McGee, (soon to be) Natural Food Chef
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