Optimal Health Cooking Classes

Wednesdays, May 2-July 25, 2018; 6:30 pm-8:30pm

More than a Cooking class! This program will empower you with the skills and knowledge to make healthy sustainable lifestyle changes

  • Delicious oil-free plant-based food
  • Fitness assessments
  • Stress management techniques
  • And much more.....


Morehouse School of Medicine
720 Westview Drive
Atlanta, GA 30310 (Building F, Room G-14)
Get more information and class schedule: www.naturegardenfoods.com




Free! Please sign in at the Public Safety Office near the Lee Street parking lot when you arrive.


  • $12/class for non-students
  • $10/class for students 

Register Now



Class Schedule

5/2/18:  Week 1:  Whole-Food Plant-Based diet

Class Introductions and Food Belief Awareness Exercise

10- minute presentation: Basics of plant-based diet

Food Preparation Skill – Knives and vegetable chopping skills – Blake Daniels

Food Demonstration: Raw vegetables salads

                                     Cinco de Mayo – Taco Salad and Mexican dessert

Homework: Watch: Why we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows.

                      What’s in your pantry?


5/9/18: Week 2: How will you get protein? Why not eggs?

30-minute presentation:  Dietitian Kay Umeakunne

Food Preparation Skills: Measuring food and portion control

Food Demonstration: Cooked salads – Sweet potato and White Potato Salads

Homework: Watch: Forks over knives or What the Health or other Health Documentary

                      Which foods provide protein?


5/16/18: Week 3:  How to get omega-3s?  Why not fish or fish oil?

30-minute presentation:  Omega 3 fatty acids and fish – Dr. Rooke

Food Preparation Tips: Choosing pots and pans

Food demonstration:  Cooked salads with grains and or beans

Homework: Watch Nutritionfacts.org video on omega 3s

                       Which foods provide omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids?


5/23/18: Week 4: How to get vitamins A – K including vitamin B12 and vitamin D

30-minute presentation:  Getting vitamins A to K – Dietitian Kay Umeakunne

Food preparation Tips: Food Safety in the Kitchen

Food demonstration: Making bean burgers - Black beans burgers 

Home work: Watch Nutritionfacts.org videos on getting vitamins

                       Are you taking a B12 supplement?


5/30/18: Week 5: Getting minerals without meat, milk or supplements  

30-minute Presentation:  Dietitian Kay Umeakunne

Food Preparation Skills:  Making Plant-based cheese and non-dairy nut milks

Food demonstrations: Oil-Free Nacho Cheese and salad

Homework: Watch Nutritionfacts.org videos on calcium and iron supplements

                      Are you getting enough calcium and potassium?


6/6/18: Week 6:  Antioxidants and phytonutrients -Fruits and Vegetables

30-minute presentation: Dietitian Kay Umeakunne

Food Preparation Skills:  Making fruit Preserves with summer fruits

Food demonstration:  Stir “fry” vegetable dish and fruit dessert

Homework: Eat out at a restaurant and ask for plant-based, oil-free meal

                     Prepare to discuss your experiences with the class

6/13/18: Week 7: Eating Out and entertaining on a Plant-based diet

30-minute presentation: Eating Out - Dietitian Kay Umeakunne

Food Preparation Skills:  Using herbs and spices, making food taste good

Food Demonstration:  Mushroom Bean stew on whole grains

Home work: Prepare a plant-based, no-oil dish to share next Wednesday evening


6/20/18: Week 8: - “Midterm” Pot Luck Dinner – Bring a whole-food plant-based oil-free dish to class along with the recipe.     

Your turn to tell us about your plant-based diet experiences

Fitness: Exercise physiologist, Dr. Jammie Hopkins (wear comfortable clothes)

Homework: Start/step-up physical activity – it could be just stretching

                     Are you getting refreshing sleep?


6/27/18: Week 9:   Sleep Management

30-minute presentation: Sleep Specialist, Dr. Kyra Clark

Food Preparation Skills:  Grilling without oil

Food demonstration: Plant-based July 4th party meal ideas

Homework:  Evaluate your life stressors, are you managing stress effectively?


7/4/18 – Holiday - No class


7/11/18: Week 10:  Stress Management Techniques 

30-minute presentation: Psychologist, Dr. Brian McGregor  

Food Preparation Skills:  Baking without butter, eggs or oils

Food demonstration:  Roasted vegetables, grains and salad

Homework: Evaluate your relationships, any improvements needed?


7/18/18 Week 11:  Healthy Communication Skills that build relationships

30-minute presentation: Psychologist, Dr. Kisha Holden

Food Preparation Skills:  Making seitan

Food demonstration:  Transition foods - Seitan, mock chicken salad

Homework: Prepare a plant-based oil-free dish for the last class next week


7/25/18 Week 12: Pot Luck Dinner

How to Sustain a healthy Plant-Based lifestyle 

Your turn to tell us about your plant-based diet experiences

Homework:  Enjoy Your Break

                       Next class starts on Wednesday 9/5/18


Optional Activities

Supermarket/health food shop tour

Restaurant dinner field trip

Urban farm tour