Cooking & relationships at Flavorful Fridays

Health Initiative’s Flavorful Fridays, held virtually through Instagram Live, are part of a weekly Well-Being Series. Students cans learn about health topics while watching a cooking demo. // Photo courtesy of

On Friday, Feb. 12, as a part of their Well-Being Weekly series, GT Health Initiatives held a one-hour workshop, “Flavorful Fridays.” The theme of the week’s program was healthy relationships.

During the workshop, dietician Amber Johnson and health educator Deontez Wimbley discussed having a healthy diet and maintaining healthy relationships as Wimbley demonstrated a few heart-healthy recipes.

Although, in the past, the Health Initiatives’ dieticians used to hold this event in-person in the Student Center healthy space, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop was held online over Instagram Live.

As Wimbley went through the recipes for oven-baked salmon, cucumber salad and baked potatoes, Johnson chimed in and provided information about the nutritional values of the different ingredients and the benefits that consuming them could yield.

“I think we commonly know [salmon] as a lean healthy form of protein, but what some folks might not know is that it’s also a really great source of Omega-3 fatty acids,” Johnson said, “and those not only help support your mental health, but they also keep inflammation low [and] keep your heart feeling healthy.”

One of the goals that Johnson and Wimbley expressed they had was to de-stigmatize fats and carbs.

“Fats are not a bad thing, we need them. Fats are responsible for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins … [and] from a taste perspective, fat makes things taste good,” said Johnson. “Eat your fats. That’s our takeaway.”

Wimbley then turned the conversation towards a different topic, his three P’s for cooking and healthy relationships.

“One: any good relationship, even any good cook, requires practice,” Wimbley said. “So it’s the continued repetition of trying something new, making a mistake, admitting the mistake, recognizing what went wrong and trying again, and really having that flow within our relationships as well as within our cooking that can really help us advance towards a more healthy … life.”

Johnson expressed the importance of not being too hard on oneself.

She mentions framing failures as learning opportunities rather than simply deciding to never attempt the task associated with the failure again.

“Every recipe has a different process and every relationship has a different process,” Wimbley said.

Wembley was referring to the second of his three P’s, which stood for the process.

“What you want to do is you want to learn the process that makes it the most successful recipe and the most successful relationship,” Wimbley said. “There’s all different types of processes, but you want to find the process that works best for you.”

Wembley concluded his advice with his final P which stands
for patience.

“The process really leads us into half the conversation about patience… Just being willing to go at the best pace for the best outcome. You really don’t want to rush the recipe,” Wimbley said.

Wimbley and the VOICE team can be reached either through email at [email protected] or through the website

The team of two registered dieticians on staff, including Johnson herself, can be reached through email at [email protected].

Students can also visit the website

“Thank you for being here and showing us how to create a delicious meal and teaching us all about what healthy relationships can look like,” Johnson said. “Knowing that it doesn’t start at perfect, and that they all take work, continuously, is a good message to hear.”

Additional programs in the Well-Being series include Mindful Mondays, TEDxTalk Tuesdays, Well-Being Wednesdays and VOICE Message Thursdays.