For those of you who have been to a YACC event before, you know that building a menu that will please 30 people or more is not always an easy task. I would even say it is nearly impossible. In the past, we had to make the best of what was offered at the venue and we did not always have all the latitude we wished we had. The conference has grown over the years and now we have to feed over 65 people while taking allergies, food intolerance, and special needs into consideration.
Building a healthy menu is also challenging when you have a fixed menu to work with. This year, we are changing things a little and bringing them to a whole other level. With the help of conference speaker Chef Jay Hocelek and the catering company at the Comfort Inn, we built a menu that will be the healthiest we’ve had so far. Jay has knowledge that we do not have and the caterer has been really flexible.
Working with Jay made me realize that the definition of what is healthy is wide and not necessarily the same for all. We have been taught to eat products from the four groups all our life. Quantities of fruits and vegetables may vary, but in general, that is what we know is healthy. But in 2010, with all the transformations food goes through, is this still accurate? Should we eat fish, red meat, whole wheat, bread, and dairy as much as we do? We hear more and more we should eat organic as much as possible. If it’s not possible or affordable to us, what does that mean? These are only a few of the questions I’ve had since I started to work with Jay on the conference menu. Many more will come, I know!
I am looking forward to learning more about the alternatives we have to eat healthy and still feel satisfied and energized!
Concretely, this means the 2010 Survivor Conference won’t include, fries, fish and chips, gravy, tons of bread, pies and unnecessary sugars. With the help of Jay, we will explore what healthy menu can really mean and how we can make the best out of what is available. We know healthy living is a priority to the survivors and supporters withing YACC’s family and we wanted to try and be as coherent as possible in our approach this year. It makes no sense to have presentations on healthy choices and go to lunch eating a big portion of creamy pasta and a piece of chocolate cake (as much as we can enjoy those at times). We heard your request and are committed in trying to change this for the better.
Following the conference, I am hoping to post more information and articles on health, nutrition, and exercise at the request from all survivors we are connected with and a challenge for all of us.
Until than, take some time to think about how you eat, what you eat, and why you eat it.