Kripalu Guest Stories: Claire L.
I had heard great things about Kripalu from my friends. Then, I was let go from my job of eight years when my position was relocated to Kansas. Looking through the Kripalu catalog, I signed up for the Nutrition and Cooking Immersion, seeking not just a change in my diet but also a whole new career.
The faculty, John Bagnulo and Deb Morgan, were really great at explaining the nutritional value of foods and their overall benefits. I learned to prepare foods I never expected to, like sushi and spring rolls. I also learned about different grains, like millet and amaranth. People assume healthy food is all tofu, but there is so much variety. Kripalu served a meal with tempeh, green beans, and sesame oil that I recently cooked for friends and that was the hit of the evening. At the holidays, I made a multi-grain salad and added edamame, cranberries, and nuts, which was another big hit with my friends.
My boyfriend is a cancer survivor and needs assistance swallowing his food. Until my trip to Kripalu, he would have canned soup. Now I cook soup every night either from scratch, like carrot and ginger soup, or by using the leftover vegetables that I have and adding seasonings to them or just adding coconut milk. No more canned soup in our house!
This new cooking style has helped with my cholesterol and my overall health. Staying away from white flour and sugars and cutting out bread has made me feel so much better. I now go to local markets for my vegetables—I try to buy seasonal and what has been grown within a 100-miles radius. I have also gotten a rice cooker, new knives, and a few other utensils that help with preparation.
I am beginning to use what I learned from John and Deb to transition into another career. I have already given a few lectures for various organizations on how to eat healthier and how to balance work and home by cooking more efficiently with healthier options.
At Kripalu, I also took advantage of other activities, such as yoga, YogaDance, and even a drumming circle. I also watched a movie about the Dalai Lama that really inspired me. The people in our program really bonded, and some of us have stayed in contact since then. The overall experience was much more fulfilling than I ever imagined. Everyone should try it!
—Claire L., licensed insurance broker, Brockton, Massachusetts