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SBA Blog - Hope

Enjoy the Process: Embrace Cooking

May 18, 2021

I know you may be wondering. How can I enjoy the process of eating healthy? Well, believe me, I understand. I actively started changing my eating habits AGAIN about 7 months ago. Did you catch the all-caps “AGAIN”? Yes, I am yelling my friend. However, not out of anger, but from frustration that I keep repeating the same mistakes and having to start over again and again.

Well, this time, I have decided to embrace and enjoy the process of eating healthy. So, how is this possible? I’m glad you asked.

Let’s start with Embracing Cooking

I have always believed that I did not like to cook. However, I’ve realized that I enjoyed cooking, but I didn’t enjoy what I cooked. See, if I cooked fried chicken because I craved it, I would feel so guilty. So, I would just run out and buy it from a fast-food place to remove some of the guilt from myself. This sounds crazy, I know, but this is what I’ve discovered about myself. I now know that I actually enjoy fixing healthy meals for myself and my family. I’ve even learned several new nutritious recipes that my husband, preteen daughter, and teen daughter love.

To change your cooking habits, you have to be prepared. You must revamp your kitchen. You will need to buy and try new seasonings other than salt and sugar. Sugar is sweet but it’s not your Daddy or Baby. Sugar Daddies/ Sugar Babies. Did you get it? Oh well, anyway, your daddy or baby would not sabotage your healthy eating goals like sugar does. You will have to limit your sugar and carbohydrate intake to only what you will use for exercise. The rest will be stored on your derriere, my dear. So, run or it will go to your bun, Hun. I crack myself up. Just maybe no one else. LOL

Ok, so let's see. We will limit salt and sugar and season our food with herbs and spices. We will limit our eating out, so we will know what’s going into our food. Finally, we will be so proud of ourselves as we see the fruits of our healthy eating habits, and our families begin to call us the Nutrition Ninjas of the Kitchen!

I wish you well!

We can do this!

hope.jpgHope J. Pettway-Thomas, MPH

Regional Extension Agent

Hope J. Pettway-Thomas, a native of Mobile, Alabama, is a proud wife and mother of 2 beautiful girls and 3 dogs. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology with a minor in Chemistry from Alabama A&M University. She then completed advanced studies at The George Washington University in Washington, DC where she earned a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health. She now continues towards her goal of providing quality health education. To that end, she is advancing her knowledge by pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Education in Public Health Education.

A strong advocate for quality education and health care for all, she has devoted most of her career as a caregiver, educator, and community health worker. She worked and volunteered in the healthcare field for several years before deciding to become a teacher. She is dually certified in General Science and Health Education. She taught science for 10 years on several levels from middle school to Biology 101 Lab, at a community college.

Now, she has merged her two passions health and education, and is a Human Sciences Regional Extension Agent with the Human Nutrition Diet and Health Department of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). With ACES, she offers community education in the areas of nutrition, health and wellness, and chronic disease prevention.

Page last updated: September 11, 2023