Kate Hines Velasquez has a terrific occupation if I do say so myself- Health Supportive Culinary Arts (aka, a person that cooks healthy food). We live in a society that has an overwhelming amount of fast food to offer you that is not necessarily great for you. But things are changing. I met Katie at the book signing event with the amazing Max Tucci, and she was glowing. And when I asked her what she did, it all made sense. What you eat significantly impacts how you look and feel. So as WBM has promised, we will continue to provide you with more information for a healthier lifestyle; we wanted to introduce you to Katie, our chef, whose ‘Cookin’ In Brooklyn.’
What brought you to this line of work – Like so many women, I struggled to lose weight after the births of my two daughters. I found conflicting advice everywhere I looked, and the noise was maddening. I just wanted someone to tell me what to do to get the weight off and keep it off, so I looked to experts in the field of health. I worked with a functional nutritionist, studied functional medicine, and ultimately left my career in corporate interior design to pursue my passion for Health Supportive Culinary Arts. Culinary school and my internship afterward in fine dining helped me hone my skills and become an expert at putting healthy meals on the table quickly. Food is medicine, and my recipes are a reflection of that. My goal has always been to teach other busy people how to get in and out of the kitchen quickly while nourishing their bodies with the best possible ingredients.
Why did you choose this way to express yourself and your artistry?
Food is my love language. It’s my vehicle to connect with others. It allows me to express to people how much they mean to me. Nourishing the bodies of those closest to me is what the joy of life is all about.
What are some tips you can offer couples when it comes to healthy eating?
1) Always make dinnertime a priority – It’s so easy to get hung up on a deadline, given the busy nature of everyone’s lives. Remember to put work aside and make time for meals with your family.
2) Cook at home – You know your family better than anyone. When you have the time to dine at home, make simple, nourishing meals that you can enjoy together. I’ve put a lot of fancy dinners on the table for my husband, but his favorite was and always will be a simple roasted chicken with a fresh salad on the side. Master a few simple dishes you know your partner loves and try to cook at home for them at least once a week.
3) Fresh is best – Eat food from the earth and gets to your plate with as few processes in between as possible. Shop local and buy organic when it makes sense. Incorporate as many plants as possible into your meals and source good quality proteins from farmers you trust.
4) Eat like your life depends on it – I don’t know who coined the term, ‘you are what you eat,’ but there’s so much truth to it! The quality of food that goes into our bodies has a knockdown effect on everything we express, like our mood, cognitive health, radiance, and even level of fitness. So much of it ties back to the time and energy we put into our meals.
5) Think sustainably – Avoid food waste at all costs. Didn’t finish your dinner at that fancy restaurant last night? Pack it up and take it home for lunch tomorrow. Was there a boatload of leftover canapés and cheese boards after the cocktail party you hosted? Pack it up and take it to a local food bank. For so many reasons, don’t throw food away.
What are some great tips for the art of entertainment when creating a menu – Think about your guests first. What kind of food do they like? Are they adventurous eaters? Curate the menu based on what you think will bring a smile to your guest’s faces. Plan a menu based on what you know is achievable in the available time. And try to prep ahead, so your fabulous event appears as if it came together effortlessly. Last but not least, accept help! As hosts, we try and curate every detail when we entertain but read the room and let your guests assist your efforts if they want to lend a hand.
Again, another significant bit of advice that will only make cooking a little more fun with some of our favorite people.`