Eat Like a Champion
Over the past couple of months I’ve been running some cooking sessions over Zoom, in partnership with Sense Adventures for the blind and visually impaired. The block started with a Q & A session and a chance for people to learn a little more about me. Following the initial session, we have then met every other Thursday over Zoom to cook a healthy and simple one pan meal, recipe set by myself.
Every session I’ve had around 7 people join me, some cooking along, some simply listening and cooking at a later date. We have cooked everything from a smoked salmon barley risotto, a mediterranean fish and sweet potato stew, a chicken tagine, jambalaya, and a beef stir-fry. During each session I have shared some nutritional advice and helpful tips on how to cook when you are visually impaired. There has also been plenty of chat, sharing stories from my training and sport, as well as my cooking adventures.
One of the most rewarding things to come out of these sessions is the fact that people keep coming back. I’ve developed a lovely group of regulars and recieved some amazing feedback. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and as a result am planning to continue the sessions. I love how supportive the group are, everyone getting stuck in and helping each other when they can. It has also been a great opportunity for others to share their experiences of cooking, when it has gone well and when they have made mistakes. I know I have learned a couple of helpful tricks along the way, so I hope others have benefited as well.
Sessions cost £15. The week before we meet, I email the ingredients list. This enables everyone who will be cooking along to have the time to source everything they need. I feel it is important to allow plenty of time for people to collect the ingredients, as some visually impaired people, like myself, will need to plan and buy everything in advance. Then, the day following the sessions I email out the written recipe so that anyone who didn’t cook along can refer back to it, as well as those who did can keep it for future reference. The system seems to work well.
The sessions have brought together many different people spread all across the country. It has been a great way of socialising, especially for those who live on their own. That is one thing Zoom has been brilliant for this past year. It is a great way of socialising with people and bringing enjoyment to cooking. I know from personal experience that cooking is far less enjoyable when your just doing it for yourself. I hope that my sessions bring some enjoyment to blind and visually impaired peoples lives, especially if they are feeling a little isolated at the moment.
I’m going to continue with my Eat Like a Champion sessions once a month. You can sign up through Sense Adventures. I’m also looking in to setting up a WhatsApp group for the regular attendees, to allow everyone to keep in touch between sessions and share recipes and support. There will have to be some flexibility with the sessions in the coming months to fit around my training and racing commitments, but I look forward to making them work. At the moment these sessions are for those with a visual impairment, but if you are fully-sighted and interested in taking part, then please do get in touch. I will happily run extra sessions if there is enough interest.
Thank you for reading and speak soon.