Chris Koney column: Discussing health and nutrition with the celebrity chef


Little did anyone know the first quarter of 2020 would have witnessed a global pandemic to bring the world onto its knees with several medical systems around the world overstretched and overwhelmed, leaving medical researchers in the chase for a vaccine.

There is little doubt that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives, from virtual classrooms to telecommuting and early restaurant closing times to partial or outright quarantines in some instances.

Observing public health measures and reducing exposure to the virus are required to slow the spread of this disease. No one knows how long these virus safety measures will need to stay in place, but it presents a perfect time to protect and improve our health while practicing social distancing.

Healthy eating is especially important for keeping your immune system in top condition and for that reason, I reached out to Juliet Glover Chartey, widely known as the Celebrity Chef to discuss healthy eating in this time of COVID–19.

Speaking on healthy living, the Celebrity Chef said “to think nutrition, the healthiest meals include whole grains, vegetables and fruits. It is important to be served in the greatest amounts and meat portions should be smaller. In addition to saving money, it will help to keep dietary saturated fat in check.”

In these unusual times, the Celebrity Chef recommended that people make a shopping list and use it in order to be less likely to forget relevant items to buy or buy impulse items.

“Stock up on nutrition-packed foods that will stay fresh for a week or longer including breads, grains, fruits, vegetables, water and other fluids. Go easy on the frozen dinners as most are high in sodium, fat, and calories. Also, limit purchases of tempting foods like chips, sodas, cookies and ice cream, they are high in empty calories and run up your grocery bill.”

In addition to regular exercising, the Celebrity Chef also suggested some spices that could help to keep an immune system healthy. She listed Turmeric, a flowering plant which has astonishing health benefits.

“It is also known as Indian saffron or a golden flavorsome spice and of the curcuma longa of the ginger family, the roots of which are used in cooking. It is a natural pain reliever, immune booster and has anti-inflammatory benefits. You could sprinkle turmeric powder on vegetables like cauliflower before roasting, simmer the spice into soup or add it to the water you use to cook rice or lentils.”

Eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet. Juliet’s favorite is fried eggs-Ouefs forte made from a fresh high quality egg, using a high quality butter or oil such as sunflower oil and using controlled low heat. “Allow 1 or 2 eggs per portion with half teaspoon of turmeric powder, mask the eggs and sprinkle with grated garlic and fry gently until lightly set. Then you can serve on a plate or flat dish,” she added.

According to the Celebrity Chef, Cayenne pepper and Garlic are other spices that serve as immune boosters. “Cayenne pepper is a natural herb of the night shade family used in spicy foods around the world. It is best used in small amount while cooking to guarantee this concentrated spice doesn’t overtake a dish,” she highlighted.

She added that “Garlic comes from an edible plant with a bulb, stem and leaves. Each segment of a garlic bulb is called clove. Apart from being an antioxidant, garlic is mainly known to have several health benefits; chief amongst them is helping to lower cholesterol level.”

In wrapping up our conversation, she described ginger as one of the healthiest and most delicious popular spices. “Ginger is a flowering plant that originated from China. It is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also helps to fight infections and can be used fresh, dried, powdered or as oil. In fact, it is one of the very common ingredient in recipes,” she emphasized.

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