, Salem, MA


January 22, 2014

The business of healthy eating

Inside the kitchen with cookbook author Nina Simonds


Everybody knows they should eat healthy foods, Simonds said, but many people are unable to take that knowledge and apply it directly to their everyday meal schedule.

“I sort of feel like I’m the missing link,” she said.

Simonds has been teaching for decades in a variety of venues, including corporate conferences and cooking schools, and says one of the best parts of teaching is the social aspect. She tries to keep her classes informal and entertaining, as well as educational.

“I love to encourage people to ask questions. That’s how you learn.”

The key to keeping people’s attention when it comes to healthy eating is making sure things don’t get too difficult — and keeping the food flavorful, she said.

“You can talk about healthy food until you’re blue in the face,” she said, “but if it isn’t delicious and fast and accessible, then forget it — people aren’t going to do it.”

The individual coaching sessions Simonds offers focus on developing better eating habits and overall health. Participants begin with a personal assessment, then progress through a program that focuses on ways to change their food choices and habits. She even takes participants on a virtual tour of a grocery store via a PowerPoint presentation, explaining the abundance of good choices available to the modern shopper — even among prepared foods.

“At Market Basket, it’s amazing what you can do,” she said. “It’s fantastic what you can buy.”

Among her upcoming offerings are a “Chinese Dumpling Workshop” in January, “Easy and Creative Ideas for Winter Vegetable Dishes” in February, and “Meal-in-One Warm Salads” in March.

Neil H. Dempsey can be reached at

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