The group of Living in Balance with the Natural World workshop with Elaine Delaronde, who shared her knowledge and experience about various foods. (Natalia Fedosieieva, The Eastern Door)
Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project (KSDPP) organized Living in Balance with the Natural World event Tuesday at the Kahnawake Library, to provide vital information on healthy food and lifestyles.
The goal of the workshop series in 2019 is to offer information on how people can make healthier decisions when it comes to eating, increasing energy levels, and preventing chronic diseases.
Elaine Delaronde talked about the importance of using regional and seasonal foods in cooking, eating and planting, as well as the healing qualities of foods.
Cultivating foods, especially wild foods, is key, and Delaronde demonstrated visuals of seasonal foods and explained what can be cooked.
She was talking about intestinal health, the digestive system and how natural food can affect the body.
Delaronde suggested eating fresh fruits, berries and vegetables in the summer to get more energy.
In fall, people can dry and freeze herbs, mushrooms, fruits and vegetables, as they contain about the same amount of nutrients as the fresh ones, she said.
Delaronde provided some meal ideas, such as roasted goose, acorn squash and beets, roasted moose and herbed potatoes, for fall and winter seasons to keep warm and for inner strength.
“For wintertime I like the roasted root vegetables (carrot, potatoes) and roasting food, dry beans, corn, squashes, cooking with garlic,” she said.
Delaronde also gave some healthy snack ideas that maintain health and wellbeing; such as grapes, bananas, apples, baby carrots, tomato cherry, cheese and more.
Baked apples with nuts and cinnamon, muffins with berries, fruits with cereal and yogurt are ideas for healthy snacks and desserts, she said.
Nourishing drinks provide the body with extra energy and calories as well as to quench thirst, or to settle your stomach, Delaronde said.
Among nourishing fluids might be powerful juices, mint and lemon water, herbal teas, hot or cold.
Delaronde promotes having your own garden.
“Because today we are dealing with genetically-modified foods and chemicals that they spray on foods, so we are trying to get people to grow their own, so they are getting natural foods,” she said.
Judi Jacobs, one of the organizers from KSDPP, said they do these workshops to remind people who we are and what our foods are.
“We have all our ceremonies associated with food, and in the area that we live in, we make note what food is grown in this region and we use it,” she said.
Jacobs thinks it is important to promote gardening and planting for healthy foods, because “going back through the years our families always had gardens.”
She said gardening is also a way of doing something together as a family.
“You have to carry on the garden, and everyone has a job within family; it is something that can be passed onto our children and grandchildren,” she said.
“Family members can talk about the past, the present, and the future. It makes them realize that we need greens growing in the areas; we need the plants, the rain and the snow. We need the seasons to come and go so things will continue,” Jacobs said.