Our first Cooking for Health 6-week course runs on Tuesdays, from 6-8pm starting 11 July.
We had a Q&A with the Weekend Fitness Manager, Edgaras Lindinas about the brand new Cooking for Health course that he is running, and chat about the ins and outs of having a healthy diet.
1. Can you tell me about what this course will offer?
This course is designed for people who are looking to develop their skills in healthy cooking and learn simple, quick recipes to match their nutrition plans.
2. What would students expect to take away from Cooking for Health?
During the sessions we will focus on practical tasks, so students get to practice their skills, have fun and enjoy the food.
3. Who would this course be good for?
This course is open to anyone of all levels who are interested in learning new skills.
4. What do you think the main barrier to healthy eating is?
In London, where life is so fast-pace the main barrier is time. On this course one of the main focus is on how to save time and organise yourself in the kitchen, so that you can make great meals without wasting time.
5. Where did you learn to cook professionally?
My mother was a professional Chef, so I learnt all the basics fom her, but I then went on to study Professional cookery at Westminster Kingsway College. I also have 8 years of experience working in a Michelin star kitchen, so I learnt how to cope under pressure and gain key skills during this time.
6. If you had to plan out the perfect healthy day from breakfast to dinner (snacks included) what would that menu look like?
You can plan many healthy options, but for me I believe perfect day meal plan should be as little process as possible, without any unnecessary additives to disclose the natural food flavour. As then your meal will be the most nutritious and beneficial for you.
7. What is your favourite superfood?
I can't just pick one superfood and your nutrition plan has to be well-balanced and contain many different superfoods, and be colourful which is the with my favourite superfoods. I Iove raspberries ,blueberries, grapefruits, eggs, oats and many more!
8. What are your thoughts on ‘cheat days’ – how many should we have per week if we want to maintain a healthy diet?
Cheat days are a good tool to reset yourself and give your body a small treat for 6 days hard work. So one day a week I believe is the best. It works for me and for many other fitness professionals in the industry.
9. What in your opinion is a healthy snack/treat to indulge in?
To start with, I would say that anything above 150kcal will not be a snack anymore.So having a fruit, a few nuts, a health bar or some veggies that are rich in vitamins and minerals is the best snack options.
10. What is the one ingredient that you refuse to cook with? And why?
Salt. We are already getting way too much salt from our regular food as salt is a part nearly of every ingredient in a shop. Most people consume too much salt—on average 9–12 grams per day, or around twice the recommended maximum intake level. Also, salt masks covers all the best food flavours and through this food looses it's natural flavouring.
Edgaras Lindinas – Weekend Fitness Manager - “Supporting people and helping them to find a better state of better mind, body and spirit are my motivation. After being a professional athlete for a decade, I haven’t stopped challenging myself and in 2014, I joined the YMCA volunteer programme, becoming a part of the YMCA Family, continuing my learning, developing new skills and gaining confidence as a fitness professional. After focusing on teaching a variety of classes, I got an opportunity to become the Weekend Fitness Manager and to introduce my own innovations, experience and passion to the Club programmes”.