By Austin Gatcomb, Staff Reporter 

Nurse Manager at the UMF Health Center Lisa Lisius (Photo courtesy of UMF Website)

Nurse Manager at the UMF Health Center Lisa Lisius (Photo courtesy of UMF Website)

On January 28, the Health Advocates, a group that promotes and spreads health information around campus, hosted an event entitled Culinary Education For the Busy Student. The purpose of this event was to educate students, primarily those who live off campus, on how to prepare and cook meals.

“The target audience was maybe students who were cooking for themselves for the first time,” said Lisa Lisius, a nurse manager at the Health Center and health educator on campus. The event consisted of seven stations: smoothies, no bake energy bites, honey nut protein bites, popcorn toppings, 5 minute hummus, chicken fried rice, and Ramen noodles.

Using only $100 to purchase the food, the Health Advocates were able to provide more than enough food for the students who attended the event, which totaled close to 60.

“We’re showing what $100 can do” said Stephanie Schulman, a member of the Health Advocates leading the 5 minute hummus station. To many students in attendance, the $100 budget came as a pleasant surprise

Gunnar Heckler, one of the student who participated in the event noted, with a look of pure shock, that he was “incredibly surprised” that the food totaled only $100 dollars. Heckler stated that the event was important to him because he likes healthy food, is an athlete, and will be living off campus next year.

“One of the reasons we did this is because we did a house survey last year and students wanted to know how to cook healthy food,” said Lisius. In addition to the survey, the opening of Lockwood Hall also prompted the Health Advocates to sponsor the event. The Health Center will “definitely see doing more nutrition programs in the future,” Lisius said.

“[It would be] cool to incorporate something like this into a freshman seminar,” said Andrea Benya, a student who currently lives off campus and attended the event. Benya learned to cook on her own, but believes that if she had been able to attend a seminar similar to the event, it would have made learning to cook much easier and also “given a lot of good ideas.”

Mana Abdi, a volunteer at the popcorn station, believes that an event of this nature could not occur regularly. “Because it takes so much preparation,” said Abdi, “we have to be realistic, so maybe three times throughout the year.” Preparations include sourcing the food, finding volunteers, training the volunteers on how to cook the food, and ensuring assistance for setting up and breaking down the event.

“I want to give Ashley Montgomery credit for this as well,” Lisius said. Montgomery was responsible for training the volunteers as to how to cook the food they were preparing for the event. Lisius explained the reason for this was to have “peers teaching their peers.”

For more information regarding healthy eating, nutritional concerns, or healthy weight management, students are encouraged to contact dietitian and nutrition consultant, Bryn Doiron,  MS, RDN, LD, in the Health Center at 778-7200.