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The World's Healthiest Foods

"Healthiest Way of Eating" Groups

Guide for Healthy
Get-Togethers

With this Guide I want to help you gather together family and friends and form a "Healthiest Way of Eating" Group. Getting together in a Group is a great way to have fun while learning about the nutrient-rich World's Healthiest Foods and how to prepare them properly. I have coordinated "Healthiest Way of Eating" Groups with my friends and neighbors and have witnessed remarkable results, some of which I share with you below.


How to Start a "Healthiest
Way of Eating" Group

From my experience in forming Groups, I have found that it's important to start with a small Group. Between two and eight people is the best since this will allow enough Group members for interaction but not too many that coordinating the Group involves too much management. If you have a Group larger than eight, you should consider having other group members help you coordinate the event and assist with organizing beverages and food.

When you consider whom to invite to your Group, it is best to connect with people who are interested in the "Healthiest Way of Eating," nutrition, and health. Have any of your friends recently told you that they want to make healthy changes in their life but they're not sure how to do it? Has anyone mentioned to you their desire to learn to cook healthy and try new foods? These people would be great candidates for those who may be interested in the Group. See if their partners, spouses, or other family members want to get involved as well.


The First Four Weeks of the
"Healthiest Way of Eating" Group

When you decide to coordinate a "Healthiest Way of Eating" Group, I would suggest hosting it at your house or apartment each week for the first four weeks. (You will experience great rewards from making the small commitment to meet once a week for the initial four weeks.) Having it at the same location will also give the Group a nice consistency. After the first four weeks, you can get together at different locations each month. You can then even make it a potluck since everyone will already know how to prepare dishes using the "Healthiest Way of Cooking" methods.

I have found that it is also easier, even if just for the first week, to have one person—usually the Host—be responsible for purchasing all of the items on the shopping list. After that, when people get used to the Group process, you can divide up the shopping list, if that works for your Group. As the Host, you will want to make sure that you have all of the kitchen equipment necessary and either print out the handouts/recipes for the Group or arrange for someone else to do that.


Exploring the "Healthiest Way of Eating" Together

Each week the Group will explore a different area of healthy eating through discussions and learning how to prepare nutrient-rich foods using the "Healthiest Way of Cooking" methods. The agenda for each week will include detailed recipes and preparation tips, which will help your Group to easily prepare a great tasting, nutrient-rich meal. The information for each of the four weeks—the recipes and preparation tips, the Healthy Eating Topics of Interest as well as a shopping list—can be found via links at the bottom of this Introduction webpage. This collection of information is they are intended to serve as a Guide for your get-togethers as well as handouts that Group members can take home.

The "Healthiest Way of Eating" Guide is based upon the "Healthiest Way of Eating" Plan (which begins on page 29 in my book, The World's Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating) and follows the following course: Week 1 focuses on antioxidant-rich foods and highlights enjoying more fruits; Week 2 focuses on immune-enhancing foods and highlights enjoying more vegetables; Week 3 focuses on omega-3 rich foods and highlights enjoying more fish and other foods rich in this important nutrient; and Week 4 focuses on heart-healthy foods and enjoying more legumes, nuts, seeds, and other foods that can help support cardiovascular health. During the weeks, you'll learn a lot about these foods; you'll learn more about their health benefits as well as practical tips about how to select, store, prepare, and cook the foods. You'll also learn how to make delicious tasting, nutrient-rich meals in a matter of minutes and have fun cooking with your friends. You can schedule your "Healthiest Way of Eating" get-togethers as either lunch or dinner, depending upon your Group's preference.


Three Facets to the
"Healthiest Way of Eating" Group

There are three main facets to "Healthiest Way of Eating" Group get-togethers: preparing the meal, enjoying the meal, and Healthy Eating Topics of Interest discussion. What I have found to work best is to have a brief orientation after everyone arrives and before the Group begins to cook. At this point, you can review the Healthy Eating focus for the week (located at the beginning of each Week.s Guide) as well as the menu and divide the Group members into teams, assigning recipes to prepare, and what to prepare and how. You can view the DVD, Cooking with George, on the Book Owners' Privileges website.

I'd suggest providing snacks for the Group to enjoy during the orientation as well as while they are cooking. The snacks don't need to be elaborate; for example, an easy-to-prepare, yet healthy, snack would be crudités (raw celery, carrots, olives, fennel, broccoli, endive, and other vegetables) and a dip such as hummus as well as beverages such as Healthy Lifestyle Tea. (The recipe for Healthy Lifestyle Tea can be found in each of the Weeks. Guides.)

Preparing the Meal

Rather than a potluck, the focus of the first four weeks of the "Healthiest Way of Eating" Group is to prepare the meal together. Preparing the meal is the highlight of the Group's activity and by using the "Healthiest Ways of Cooking" methods you will make good food taste great. It's nice to divide the recipes among the Group so that, depending upon how many people are involved, each recipe will be prepared by one or two people. Each week you can switch around who makes what; for example, the people who make the vegetable side dish one week can make the entree the next week, dessert the following week, and the salad the week after that. This gives everyone an opportunity to prepare different parts of the meal. As the Host, the only extra responsibility you'll have is to orient people around your kitchen and provide them with the equipment they need.

To make it easy for your Group to prepare a meal, I have chosen selections from each of the weeks of the book's "Healthiest Way of Eating" Plan to make a complete menu for you and have included the recipes in the Guide handout. As you'll see, each recipe in the downloadable PDF version of the Guide is on its own page and includes a variety of Preparation Tips that will make cooking not only easier and more enjoyable but also a more educational experience.


Enjoying the Meal

What more can I say here than "Enjoy"! Each week you'll prepare a multi-course meal that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. There is nothing like getting together with friends and family and having the pleasure of eating a healthy, delicious meal that each person participated in creating.


Healthy Eating Topics of Interest Discussion

The Healthy Eating Topics of Interest contains information pertinent to the week's topic that will help you and your Group to learn more about nutrient-rich foods. For example, in Week 1 you'll learn about the Glycemic Index while in Week 3 you'll learn the differences between the omega-3s in fish and plant foods such as nuts and seeds. In the recipe's Preparation Tips as well as the Healthy Eating Topics of Interest, I have included references to both page numbers in The World's Healthiest Foods book as well as website addresses to pages in The World's Healthiest Foods website so that you and your Group can access more information on the topics covered.

Depending upon your Group's needs, you can either review the Healthy Eating Topics of Interest during or after the meal. Of course, discussion about nutrient-rich World's Healthiest Foods need not be limited to just this time and will inevitably be woven throughout the get-together. But setting aside time during or after the meal to talk about healthy eating, ask questions, and share ideas is an enjoyable and beneficial activity.

I would suggest having your copy of the book available during your get-togethers and inviting other Group members to bring theirs as well. (For more on how to get books for the Group at a volume discount, see below.) This way, if a question arises about a topic on healthy eating the answers should be readily available. Don't worry about feeling that you need to have all the answers to discussion questions; with the Guide handouts, The World's Healthiest Foods book, ability to email myself and the nutritional consultants at WHFoods.org, and the wisdom and resourcefulness of the Group members, you're sure to find all of the answer to your questions about the "Healthiest Way of Eating."


General Information for the Recipes and Meals


What You Can Expect from the
"Healthiest Way of Eating" Group

If you follow this Guide, your Group will be fun and rewarding. This is something I can personally attest to as everyone in the Groups I have led has really enjoyed themselves, become inspired by their new way of eating, and found how this new way of preparing foods can be easy and enjoyable. After four weeks, people will start feeling better by eating foods that are good for them and get more energized and more positive about the "Healthiest Way of Eating." And for those who want to lose weight, they'll be able to achieve this goal; I have seen people losing 10-20 pounds in just a few weeks by eating more nutrient-rich foods and fewer nutrient-poor foods.

I wish you and your Group the very best as you explore the wonderful world of healthy eating and vibrant health and energy.

Sincerely, George Mateljan

P.S. Let me know how it went. Share your "Healthiest Way of Eating" Group stories and pictures me by sending them to gmf@mauigateway.com.

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Please use these links to access the 4 weeks. of Guide handouts: