Last updated: February 19. 2013 7:24PM - 490 Views

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WAVERLY - Making changes to your diet ultimately involves looking at what you currently eat, according to Janet Dunn-Davenport, healthy cooking instructor and life coach. For example, when making a salad, have you considered substituting field greens, escarole, spinach or arugula for iceberg lettuce which is without much nutritional value? Eating more greens rich in Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, is only part of Dunn-Davenport's overall strategy to include healthier wholesome choices in our diets.

I can have control over my health by simply watching what I'm eating and reducing some things…Be a scientist and explore. I hope to inspire people to eat better, to live better and have more joy in our life, she said. One way to achieve is by adding more whole grains and greens in your life. said Dunn-Davenport, who has been teaching healthy cooking, primarily vegetarian cooking for 10 years. She ascribes to the creed, Food is our medicine.

The Waverly Community House invites anyone who would like to learn new and different ways to take care of yourself through the process of making your own great meals, to attend a demo holiday Tao cooking class Nov. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Comm's commercial kitchen. Instructors Janet Dunn-Davenport and Joanna Bach will teach participants to prepare healthy simple festive foods using easy, delicious and healthy recipes without all the pressure and calories. A series of six-session classes will begin in January and more information will be available at the demo class.

Eating healthy has been nearly a lifelong mission for Dunn-Davenport, whose affinity for the culinary arts is part of her lineage that dates back to her great grandmother, who had a logging camp in the Adirondacks and later owned a hotel in New York.

Cooking is part of who I am, she said. The overall theme in her cooking classes is to teach how to cook your own food – efficiently – using healthy food choices. It doesn't have to be expensive or take a lot of time. It can be extremely healthy and fun. …I really enjoy cooking. I want to help to inspire people to get back to that (cooking)…

Dunn-Davenport became a yoga teacher in the 1970s and said she was really interested in cooking her own food. She has reaped the benefits and convenience of her own organic garden and raised her children teaching them to cook when they were very young because I wanted them to learn how to make their own food, she said.

So I knew the importance of that…so I believe in how much healthier it is to prepare your own food… She has taken many cooking classes including in New York at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and has traveled to and taken cooking classes in Thailand, and French cooking classes in Vermont.

I happen to love Thai food. It's very simple, very healthy…coconut milk, coconut oil, organic, lemongrass, and cilantro…I love preparing soups from Thailand…It's so bright and delicious. And it's all really fast.

In the cooking classes, she and Bach will cook cuisine from around the world including Thailand, Turkey, Italy, India and Syria. The classes will cover cooking seasonal vegetarian food using herbs and whole grains to make soups, stews, salads and for juicing and smoothies.

Dunn-Davenport said, Once we get done, we'll sit and we'll commune – eat our food. It will be a whole healthy meal.

The cost per class is $50 or $270 for the series of six classes, to be held in January.

To learn more about Dunn-Davenport, visit her web site, taoofdelicioushealth.com, or for more information regarding the classes, contact Janet at 242.7232 or Joanna at 445.0124.

The Waverly Community House is located at 1115 North Abington Road, Waverly.

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