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Julie Howard, Health Promotions director and a Celina, Ohio native, shows the class how to prepare roasted vegetables during Julie’s Supper Club at the High Intensity Interval Training conference room aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Feb. 20. Howard, alongside Julie Burks, Semper Fit dietician and a San Diego native, began a new class using a mobile cooking cart, which allows them to employ a convection oven and single stovetop during instruction.

Photo by Cpl. Melissa Wenger

Dietician gains new tool for trimming bodies

20 Feb 2013 | Cpl. Melissa Wenger

Two experienced health experts joined forces to provide 10 service members and their families with nutritional guidance, healthy cooking recipes and a light dinner at the High Intensity Interval Training Center conference room here Feb. 20. Julie Burks, Semper Fit dietician and a San Diego native, and Julie Howard, Health Promotions Director and a Celina, Ohio native, have started a new class called “Julie’s Supper Club,” thanks to a newly acquired tool.

Their brand new mobile cooking cart contains a convection oven, burning stove and warming tray.

“Before, I’ve only been able to do microwave cooking classes because we’ve had no facility for cooking,” said Burks. “This allows us to do a little more in-depth cooking.”

The cooking cart enables Burks to show the class exactly how to prepare and cook the right foods.

“I think learning to eat correctly is really important to me, especially now that I’m trying to be more fit,” said Edi Huerta, a class participant and a Houston native. “I’m doing all the good stuff; you know running, exercising, but I really need to learn how to eat as well.”

Burks prepared a balanced meal to prove to attendees that they can make something simple and delicious without going hungry.

“We have an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert,” said Burks. “Some of it will be prepared ahead of time, some of it we’ll make right there, and everybody gets to eat it.”

After tasting what Burks prepared, many of the participants were surprised to learn that they didn’t have to sacrifice taste to keep some calories off their plates.

“It had a really great flavor to it, it was light, it was good, and you can tell it wasn’t the quick, greasy food that you tend to lean toward,” said Huerta.

The great taste Huerta refers to is one of Burks’ priorities when it comes to getting people engaged to eat healthy.

“What I really want to do is show people that they can eat healthy food and have it taste good too,” said Burks. “A lot of times, when people come to me for nutrition [advice], they think everything is going to have to taste bad.”

Huerta was so enthusiastic about bringing this valuable information home that she brought someone from home along with her.

“Because I’m doing this, I want [my son] to benefit from it too,” said Huerta.  “When he’s an adult, he can teach this to his family. It has to start somewhere.”

Burks left class members with a free copy of the Semper Fit Cookbook, which contained all of the recipes that were sampled during the class. For more information about the next iteration of Julie’s Supper Club, call (858) 577-7963.

“It doesn’t take much to come in and listen and taste the food,” said Huerta. “You’re taking away something that’s going to make you better.”