The Difference Food Makes

In the tiny village called “Say Baz” in Southern Kyrgyzstan, Nurgul is struggling every day to keep her blood pressure normal. She recently found out that her husband has diabetes. She has to wonder if it has anything to do with her cooking since 90% of the meals she makes involve frying, carbs, and red meat. But that’s the only way she was ever taught. Her grandchildren all have perpetual runny noses. When they fuss because they don’t feel good, she gives them sweets to quiet them down. She always eats one chocolate herself, to calm her nerves. That should help with the blood pressure, right?

Nurgul’s friend Azima stops by one day for tea. “You should come to the Nutritious Food seminar I’ve been attending,” invites Azima. “I’ve learned so much about how different foods affect our health. And each week I learn a new recipe. I used to add sheep fat to all my dishes, but since the lesson on healthy fat verses unhealthy fat, I started using olive oil instead and adding chickpeas for texture.”

Azima’s friend Inura adds, “I used to use a lot of salt in my food, but after the lesson on how salt affects blood pressure I am trying different methods to use less. I put herbs or other spices instead of salt. I add salt when the food is almost cooked instead of at the beginning. Then if I taste it and it seems like too little, instead of adding more I ask my daughter to taste it. She usually thinks it’s ok, so I’m learning to eat dishes without so much salt.” 

CDI’s Nutritious Food seminar is helping women learn facts about nutrition that allow them to make healthy decisions as they feed their families. Every lesson includes a hands on baking/cooking time that gives practical recipe ideas for healthy meal or dessert alternatives such as pizza, chili, fresh salad, and apple and carrot cake made with honey. All participants love getting to taste the results!