My Kitchen: Healthy starter to a new world of food and friends

Joan enrolled for a cookery course with the Food Partnership after being told she needed to lose weight to ease the pain from an arthritic hip. She lost weight, gained friends and now volunteers at the Community Kitchen.

19717870 - fresh pizza dough with tomato sauce and natural ingredients for cooking on wooden table“There are so many things I liked about the course… I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it all! My shopping list has changed dramatically since going on it. It wasn’t easy, as I’m addicted to chocolate …

“All my life I hated vegetables. When I was young, I was force-fed sprouts. During the course though I started eating a lot more vegetables and now I eat salads twice a day. These are my foods now.

“I now buy real passata and make proper tomato sauce. I’ve started using things like ginger and lime and garlic. I didn’t touch spinach before and now I eat it uncooked, as well as curly kale. And I’ve started buying brown pasta instead of the white one.

“I use the recipes I learned on the course all the time. I do batch cooking for myself, and I also cook a lot for parties and people love the recipes. My favourite ones are the turkey burgers, the stir fries and the tomato pasta sauce.

“For me though, the course was also about meeting people. It was something to do and to look forward to as I live on my own and don’t go out much. I lived most of my life in London and moved to Brighton after my partner, who was the love of my life, died. Because of the course I started going out more. I learned and gained confidence.

“The course helped a lot with my weight, which in turn helped a lot with my hip. I went from 22 stone to 15 and I can move more freely now and am in less pain. It may be because I’ve lost weight and am feeling better, but I’m happier too.

“After the course, I started volunteering with the Community Kitchen. I come about once a month and love it. It makes me happy.”

Please note that names in case studies have been changed. Read more case studies here.

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