There is a relationship between the foods we eat and preventing non-communicable diseases. A healthy diet plays a major role in the prevention of several non-communicable diseases. In this exclusive interview with Chef Helen, the CEO of FoodStop Kitchen, we explore her cooking background and some of her tips on eating healthy
Hello Helen, Please tell us more about yourself.
I am Helen Akudo Okorienta, a Kinesiologist and an Educator by profession.
I'm also the founder and Chief Chef of FoodStop Kitchen.
How long have you been in the culinary industry?
I've been in the culinary industry for 3 years now, so I said to myself why not commercialize it, so I did.
What spiked your love for cooking?
My mum was a great cook. I fell in love with cooking not just by watching her cook but also the art in cooking.
What do you enjoy about being a chef?
The joy of eating whatever I want, the passion I have for creating various delicacies, the beautiful sight of a well dressed meal, I could go on and on. I'd stick to "Everything!
What role do you think food can play in preventing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and many more?
Food plays a great role in improving our health and well being generally. It's not just about eating food but eating good meals in the right proportion. Eating good meals has to do with eating food rich in the different classes of nutrients.
If you want to eat rice, enrich it with carrots, cabbages, green peas etc. It makes it much more nutritious
Lest I forget to mention “to dey eat for night no good, that one dey follow spoil person body o”.
What's your favorite healthy meal?
For breakfast, I specially enjoy having potatoes.
For lunch, my favorite is Afang soup (it's an Akwa Ibom soup) and eba.
Dinner mostly goes with the flow. But then my plantain always comes in handy with sauce.
What will you say about African cuisines, how can you keep it healthy and also tasty?
Permit me to say, African cuisines are one of the tastiest cuisines that requires less processed flavours if you really are a good cook. We have our veggies and fruits to compliment the starchy items, and the ingredients are mostly fresh and not canned or processed.
Where are you from?
I am from Imo state, the Eastern part of Nigeria.
What are the major cuisines from your place?
We have the famous Ofe Owerri (Owerri soup), Isi Ewu (Goat head) and Nkwobi (Cow foot with spiced Palm oil).
What charge do you have for people living with non communicable diseases.
I will advice them to visit a dietician or nutritionist to help map out a meal plan. They should eat more of fruits and vegetables and cut down on sugars and fatty foods.
Tell us more about the services FoodStop Kitchen renders and its location.
FoodStop Kitchen renders catering and diet mapping services.
We are mostly on home delivery and pick up services for now, our restaurant will be open very soon by the special grace of God.
We are located behind State primary school, Alakahia, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Any other comments
Don't forget, “Eating healthy is eating right and keeping fit is prolonged life”.
Aghedo Osazemen is a graduate of Human kinetics and Health Education, a Digital Marketer/Social media Manager with key interests in sports, health education and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and developing projects around the goals.
She enjoys volunteering for SDGs related projects, writing, travelling and photography.
You can reach Osazemen on Facebook @AghedoOsazee and Instagram @thevolunteeraddict