Talking to Heather Borders about fun and easy ways to eat healthier
1. Tell us about Kailo Nutrition.
Kailo, pronounced kye-lo, means health, whole, and uninjured.
Through Kailo Nutrition, I will offer plant-based nutrition education and practical culinary instruction for a variety of community groups and corporate clients.
2. What sort of educational programs will you offer?
Before starting Kailo Nutrition, I taught Food for Life classes for the last two years. While I will continue to offer the Food for Life classes, I have designed classes specifically for Kailo Nutrition that include: Hands On Cooking, Grocery Store Tours, and a Label Reading Workshop.
3. Tell us about Food For Life.
Food for Life is an award-winning cooking and nutrition program designed by the physicians, nurses, and registered dietitians at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
The Food For Life classes are focused on cancer, diabetes, weight management, employee wellness, kids and the lifesaving effects of healthful eating. There are over 100 Food For Life instructors across the United States, each providing information about how certain foods and nutrients work to promote health, along with cooking demonstrations of simple and nutritious recipes that can be recreated easily at home.
I currently teach Food For Life classes through FSCJ and UNF. This year, I plan to launch a Workplace Wellness class where I will teach onsite at corporate offices, typically during the lunch hour. If anyone would like their company to offer a Food For Life Workplace Wellness class, please have a company representative attend the FREE information session at UNF from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 10. They can reserve their spot by calling (904) 620-4200.
4. Is Food For Life just for vegetarians or vegans?
No! Food For Life classes are for anyone who wants to understand the connection between diet and health, explore and learn more about plant-based foods, and learn how to discern healthy food from those just marketed to be healthy.
Most everyone who attends the Food for Life classes are omnivores, interested in learning how to easily and affordably incorporate more plant-based foods into their day-to-day diets. Many attendees are also interested in preventing or controlling diabetes, decreasing risk of cancer, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and losing weight.
For most people, a great place to start is with the Kickstart Your Health class. There's a class starting this April through UNF’s Continuing Education department, Learn Jacksonville.
5. What’s involved with Kickstart Your Health?
It's a series of 5 classes, held each Wednesday in April, staring April 1. Classes are held at the University of North Florida from 6:30 PM- 8:30 PM (map).
Each class typically has about 10 attendees, although classes can accommodate up to 20 students. The course content includes nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, tasting of three meals, recipes, and resources on how to add more plant-based meals to your diet.
The class provides guidance and support to attendees as they eat as many plant-based meals as they can over 21 days. The class is intended to show the dramatic results that can happen when significant dietary changes are made. Typically, there are a few people that shoot for eating as many plant-based meals as they can for 21 days.
6. What level of cooking skill is required for the class?
Zip, nada, nuthin! Kickstart Your Health classes include cooking demonstrations only, where I cook and clean, attendees just enjoy the deliciously healthy food!
The classes will prepare you to make easy, quick, plant-based meals at home. The recipes provided are incredibly easy and no advanced culinary skills are required!
7. How can people register?
Registration can be done online, here, or by calling the UNF Continuing Education Department at (904) 620-4200. The class costs $99 and there's a $50 fee for supplies.
8. Can you tell us more about the courses you created through Kailo Nutrition? What's the Hands On Cooking Class?
Over the last two years, many attendees to my demonstration-only cooking classes have requested a hands-on, plant-based cooking class. I have designed a new class where attendees are partnered off in teams of 3-4 and each team prepares a breakfast, smoothie, side/sauce, entrée and dessert. Attendees bring an appetite and some Tupperware - there is a ton of food!
9. What's the Grocery Store Tour all about?
Even when people want to eat healthy, it can be overwhelming to discern healthy foods from food that is just marketed to be healthy. Knowing how to shop for food and navigate the grocery store is instrumental if you are trying to add more plant-based meals into your life. This class is given as a tour through a local grocery store and will cover things such as how to read a Nutrition Facts Label and understanding typical ingredients. The tour will also highlight specific produce and discuss how to prepare quick plant-based meals.
10. What's the Label Reading Workshop?
It's a workshop where people bring their food labels in and we walk through a Nutrition Facts label, uncover the loopholes food manufacturers use to mislead consumers, explain the basics of organic and conventional produce, and discuss how to prepare quick plant-based meals.
The workshop will teach people how to spot a whole grain and a processed, refined grain, recognize common sugars and additives in food products, and discern between organic and conventional produce.
11. How do people find out more about the classes available?
The best way is through the Kailo Nutrition website and our associated social media sites, which currently include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. People can also call me (904.588.2770) or send me an email (email@example.com) for more information.
12. Can you tell us about your background?
My husband and I transitioned to a plant-based diet in August 2011. Our journey began with my husband’s ever-increasing cholesterol levels. His total cholesterol had always been well over 200 during our twenties and we were frustrated when extreme exercise did not help in a significant way. By our thirties, his total cholesterol was 311 and his triglycerides were 305. He wasn’t overweight and was very physically active, so needless to say we were stumped. Adamantly opposed to medicine, we searched for other ways to lower his cholesterol.
After some research, I learned that plant foods don’t contain any cholesterol, yet all animal foods have some amount of cholesterol. Furthermore, there is a substantial amount of clinical studies and data to support the health benefits of following a whole food, plant based diet. I never realized the significant role that food plays for our health. However, after six weeks on a plant-based diet, my husband lost 15 pounds, decreased his total cholesterol from 311 to 232, and his triglycerides went from 305 to 103. His cholesterol continues to drop and after nearly 2 years my total cholesterol also improved from 233 to 165! We are a work in progress; however, I am forever changed by what I’ve personally experienced.
I stumbled across The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, as I was looking for nutrition resources and ways to make an easy transition to a plant-based lifestyle. I became a Food For Life Instructor because I want to help people improve their quality of life and believe a plant-based diet will have the most impact on a person’s health. I’m also very excited about cooking and meeting people with similar interests.
I hold a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering degree from Auburn University (2000), a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and an MBA degree from Rice University (2007). I completed the Certificate of Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell in October 2012 and completed a Professional Certificate in Plant-based cooking from Rouxbe in August 2014. I'm currently studying to be a registered dietitian and expect to graduate in the Spring of 2015.