Harbor Hall’s Healthy Kitchen!
Article By: Jan Barlow, RN
Harbor Hall provides healthy food options for residential clients in recovery.
Many of us have watched episodes of HELL’S KITCHEN where Gordon Ramsey oversees a group of chefs battling it out in the kitchen in a high pressure competition. They have nothing on our Harbor Hall Chef Todd Bradley and his Sous Chef Chris Hahn as they take on the challenge of cooking healthy and creative meals every day for our residential clients in recovery in Harbor Halls’ HEALTHY KITCHEN!
Last winter I heard that there was a “Building Healthy Communities” Grant Program focusing on local facilities using commercial kitchens to prepare meals “en masse” daily. I inquired about the grant and Harbor Hall was selected to participate in the program. Together Todd, Chris and I worked with Judi Marlin from the BHC program and we devised a plan. Our focus was on reviewing the existing menu and seeing where we could make changes to reduce sodium and sugar, increase fresh selections of fruits and veggies, promote healthy snacks and offer a variety of protein choices. Along with making some dietary changes, we found that we could use the grant money to purchase durable and quality commercial grade equipment to help us achieve our goals.
After developing our plan, we submitted our proposal and it was well received and approved. At the end of August we received a check for $2,500.00! Todd was able to order many items which will help us reach our goals. We have been so excited to receive and admire our newly acquired purchases.
Some of our purchases include:
- A commercial juicer for processing fresh or frozen fruits for healthy smoothies.
- Fruit and Vegetable Slicers and Wedgers.
- 5 gallon water dispensers with infusers enabling us to add lemons, limes, cucumbers to our water encouraging our clients to increase their water intake.
- Extreme 31/2 HP 64oz. Commercial Blender.
- Carnival King Popcorn Cart. A healthy snacking option with seasoning and flavoring recipes that offer an alternative to butter and salt.
- Misc. Assorted Food Storage Containers.
The importance of healthy eating and substance abuse recovery.
Each day our clients are learning about living in their recovery. As bodies and minds heal and come back into balance, we stress the importance of choosing wisely in all areas of our lives, including healthier food choices. This is an important piece to restoring health and vitality to their lives.
It is fun to watch guys taste hummus for the first time, or try a smoothie that may contain spinach, but disguised alongside a banana or frozen strawberries.
I think I will go fill my water bottle with some lemon infused water, or join the guys with some popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese or dark chocolate and sea salt as we sit and talk about how good life can be when we live in recovery.
Here is to Healthy Kitchens!