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Black Bean Burger Rooted NutritionRoasted Veg and coconut oil I guess you could say that the moment you try on your usual dress size on in the shop and realise that you’ve cut yourself because you’ve caught part of your love handle in the zip, it might be a good time to lay back on the donuts. Well this is the predicament I found myself in last week when I couldn’t get the dress past my hip! Turns out I can no longer eat whatever I want and not worry about putting on weight but rather all those muffins and late night snacks have started catching up with me and I’m noticing it’s taking a lot longer to lose the weight than put it on. I suppose a lot of this is down to the fact that since being here I haven’t really been following a particular routine with meals or in fact preparing meals properly at all. I’ll wake up, have my standard whole grain porridge with milk and honey and then rather than packing a lunch or making dinner I find I’m picking up a wrap or some sushi or a muffin for lunch, then snacking on something else throughout the day and then picking up something light for dinner and then snacking throughout the night. I am not making substantial meals to keep me going throughout the day but relying on bits here and there and not clocking the amount of sugar I am taking into my body each day. I’ve also noticed if I opt for a cold meal for dinner, something like sushi or a wrap I’m immediately craving something sweet or something else to fill the gap that a good warm curry or even rice dish with meat and vegetables would achieve. I thought that when I came to Vancouver I would have more control over my diet and eat really healthily but in fact I’ve found I’m overeating and also snacking more than I usually do. Therefore when I heard about Rooted Nutrition and their cooking classes it really couldn’t have come at a better time. Andrea PotterRooted Nutrition’s mission is to create a secure and nourished community by empowering you to make healthy choices so that you can live your life to its fullest potential. Founded by Andrea Potter a registred holistic nutritionist, Rooted Nutrition offers a varied cooking class list as well as recipes and information on how to live sustainably. Now back with her healthy cooking classes, through this Andrea aims to help people by offering practical and delicious recipes, nutrition education and hands on tasting experience. Offering nine classes throughout the series, last weekend my friend Anna and I headed down to the beautiful new kitchen in Kitsilano to take part in the easy meals, fuss free class. Beginning promptly at 11a.m, the beautifully lit room was filled with 24 people, eight to a table, each with a good size space to work from. On a flipboard at the front there was a written run down of what to expect from the day which Andrea talked us through. She was a fantastic teacher who was completely at ease in the kitchen and talked about antedotes and other stories whilst informing us about nutritional value, good tips for meal planning, her experience of cooking for big families and how it is much easier than it looks! Each indivudal was given an extremely helpful handbook which contained recipes and a meal planner which we went through during the three hours. Black Bean Burger IngredientsThe selection of meals to prepare were varied and extremely delicious. They were also great because you can make them in bulk and they can last throughout the week. Highlights were definitely the Roasted Squash and Apple Soup and the Roasted Yam and Sour Cherry Quinoa with Candid Nuts which Andrea showed us how to make and then plated us up so we could sample the dishes.Roasted Yam and Sour Cherry Quinoa There werre many tips picked up throughout the class such as learning about the best oils to use in cooking and which ones have better health factors, camelina oil being one of them. It was a learning experience about food and eating as well as demonstrations. Roasted Veg Rooted Nutrition For the main cooking part we worked in groups of four to make black bean burgers which took less than 15 minutes to do with each person helping out. Using ingredients such as paprika, sundred tomatoes, quinoa, zucchini and spelt flour the burgers were full of nutritional content and you could choose to have it in a sprouted bun or a gluten free wrap. We also chopped up and cooked roasted vegetables to go with the burger which we cooked using coconut oil. I do prefer cooking classes to let you do more cooking than what we did in the class but it was still very beneficial and an enjoyable class. What was also handy is that in the handbook Andrea gives other suggestions for what you can use your cooked product in such as for the black bean burger you can use it in a burrito, add it to tomato sauce to create a bolognese type pasta sauce or simply crumble it into a wrap. Black Bean BurgerRoasted Vegetables with coconut oil Black Bean Burger_Rooted NutritionBean Burgers Rooted NutritionNot only did we learn about creating easy fuss free meals from this class but Andrea spoke about her other classes and I  learnt about Kombucha which i had never herd of before! Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. It is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. It looks like a big mushroom in a jar and something you would find in a science lab but it is also lovely to drink and has great health benefits. Rooted Nutrition run a class in learning more about this as well as a Raw Sugar class (this one I’m looking forward to) and plenty more which you can read about here. Several of the women we spoke to had booked themselves onto all the clases which proves how popular they are. But it was not all women, there was one gentleman in the class too so men do not think these classes are simply for women! It was a really lovely way to spend a Saturday morning and I’m looking forward to taking part in the Raw Sweetness class on Wednesday 20th May as a volunteer (another great thing about the school is that it allows you to volunteer to gain an extra hands on experience!) It also worked out perfectly that the class available to volunteer at is Raw Sweetness as we will be learning how to create healthy sweet treats. Perhaps I’ll pick up some healthy tips from the class and who knows by the end of May I’ll be able to fit into my jeans again!