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Camino Health Center

Camino Vida teaching kitchen equips patients to prepare healthy meals

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At Camino Health Center, our mission is to equip people to live healthy lives. One of the ways we do this is through our health and wellness program, Camino Vida. One of the unique parts about the Camino Vida program is that it has an educational component as well as an integrated wellness facility. The program itself teaches patients how to live healthy lives while the facility shows patients how to live healthy lives. Part of the integrated wellness facility is a gym where patients exercise daily, but it also has a teaching kitchen where patients learn how to cook or prepare healthy meals.

“Having a teaching kitchen allows us to talk to our patients about what it means to eat healthy and show them cooking techniques they may not be aware of,” Reatna Taylor, Camino Vida’s Nutrition Coordinator said. “A lot of times people don’t know how to eat or have never worked with a nutritionist that can help them tailor what they already eat so it can fit into whatever diagnosis they have.” 

When a patient first visits Camino Vida, Taylor goes over their basic information: height, weight, and other measurements deemed necessary. She and the patient also discuss ways to make changes to their daily meals to help them eat healthier and accomplish any fitness and wellness goals they want to achieve. After compiling all of this information, Taylor walks them through various ways to cook healthy meals that take into account their lifestyle, culture, and language. “Generally, we focus more on preparation. If you’re dealing with too much salt in your diet, I’ll direct them to find salt-free seasonings or more herbs and spices that don’t have salt in them. Fresh garlic, fresh oregano, rosemary, things like that are already flavor-filled but don’t have that high salt content,” Taylor explains. In the near future, either Taylor or a personal chef plans to host demonstrations in the teaching kitchen alongside patients. The goal of these sessions is to equip those in the program to cook these meals from scratch on their own.

Taylor also has a specific method to help patients eat healthier regardless of their diagnosis. “It’s called the MyPlate method. It’s half vegetables and fruit and that’s more of what we’re not eating anyway. Most people don’t eat enough servings of fruits and vegetables so I try to focus there and use that as a first guide,” Taylor says.

Recently, Taylor spent some time in the teaching kitchen and demonstrated how to make one of the meals that she teaches patients to make. To learn this tasty recipe, click on the video below!

In order to participate in the Camino Vida program you must be a Camino Clinic patient, at least 18 years or older, and have a diagnosis of one of the following conditions below: 

  • Type 2 Diabetes 
  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol 
  • High triglycerides 
  • Overweight (BMI of 25 or over) 

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