Meet the Teacher: Belinda Spinney of Nutrition in Culinary Practice

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Meet the Teacher: Belinda Spinney of Nutrition in Culinary Practice

Belinda Spinney leads students through hands-on cooking sessions to put nutritional theory into culinary practice on our Nutrition in Culinary Practice accredited course. We caught up with Belinda to discuss her focus on nutrition as a cookery educator, and how having this knowledge and lifestyle approach has impacted her and the students she teaches.

Find out more and sign up for Nutrition in Culinary Practice here.

What led you to focus on nutrition as a culinary educator?

As a chef and teacher, it has always been important to me to understand, not only where my food comes from, but also how it affects my wellbeing and those I cook for. With a wash of endless diet fads, food allergies and intolerances to get our heads around, teaching students how to dispel the myths and focus on the facts has always been important to me.

Many people feel that a focus on nutrition in your diet can make eating less of a pleasure. What do you think?

Leiths approach is not about taking things away or depriving yourself of the foods you love. In the recipes that we teach and share on our Nutrition in Culinary Practice course, we replace ingredients that aren’t benefiting the body, with alternatives that are better for you. Flavour is paramount and luckily there are a significant variety of ingredients which can be replaced with alternatives which are not only higher in nutritional value, but also add flavour to your dish.

Learning about the ‘Rule of Palm’ which helps you to decide on portion size was a eureka moment for me and for most of the students. Learning the basic principle of knowing how much food to put on your plate can be a real gamechanger. Understanding how much fruit and vegetables you actually need, how to balance this with protein and healthy grains, and how this translates to good gut health, balancing the metabolism and overall wellness, can unlock the journey towards increased general wellbeing in our day to day lives.

Carbs and sugars are often given a bad rep. How can we balance these but still reap the enjoyment of comfort foods?

Swapping out ‘simple carbs’ such as white flour, white pasta, white potatoes for more ‘complex carbs’ such as wholemeal flours, grains and sweet potatoes is a good starting point.

Replacing refined sugars in our diets and exploring alternatives, such as sweetening with maple syrup, coconut sugar or even using a mashed banana, enables us to enjoy the pleasure of a pudding, which is something we all need as a part of our week!

Belinda Spinney

Author: Belinda Spinney


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