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Quick and Easy: Eating Healthfully in the Pandemic

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A recent survey found that fewer than six in 10,  U.S. workers reported they are eating healthy on a consistent basis amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Welcome back to another episode of ClearPath– Your Roadmap to Health and Wealth. I’m your host, Al Waller

Now..a recent survey found that fewer than six in 10,  U.S. workers reported they are eating healthy on a consistent basis amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joining us to examine these today are: Mihaela Vincze, the Program Specialist for nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies, & Christina Badaracco, registered dietitian, to discuss their new—and free— Healthier Traditions: Quick and Easy cookbook.

So welcome & Thank you both for being here. Now Mihaela- what can you tell us about the cookbook?  

Mihaela: Thank you for having us, Al! We all know eating healthfully can be hard, especially now during the pandemic. To address this challenge, we developed the Quick & Easy cookbook so people can easily make flavorful, healthy recipes with common pantry ingredients.

Al: Well thats a timely idea and…not a moment too soon. So Christina with you as a registered dietician, I’d really like to hear some of your insights about the recipes.


Amid the pandemic, people are cooking more than they have in recent years, but many don’t know how to cook simple, healthy meals at home. Working with Mihaela and her team, our goal was to take favorite recipes and revise some of the ingredients to make them healthier—without sacrificing flavor. We analyzed their nutritional content, tested them—and shared samples to gather feedback.

Al: Well, I see this new cookbook offers 19 recipes and what’s so incredible is that it covers a variety of meals—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert!     So Christina, what’s your favorite recipe in this cookbook?

Christina: The most surprising and enjoyable to me is the stovetop apple crisp. With lots of fruit, nuts, and oats, fruit crisps are a somewhat healthy dessert that can be made with any seasonal fruit. They typically require an oven—which takes time and heats up the kitchen—but this recipe actually makes the crispy oat topping and cooks the fruit right on the stove. So it’s a lot faster, but the taste and texture are just as good.

Al: Well given the summer heat we’ve all been enduring, any method for saving energy, while lowering room temperature is a bonus, right?

 Now…you mentioned that a lot of people don’t know how to cook. So..who is this cookbook for? I mean do you have to be an expert chef, or is it something that (culinary novices) everyday people can use?  

Christina: These recipes all use easy-to-find, affordable ingredients, so they are accessible to people of all income levels. They include suggestions for vegetarian options and additional toppings and flavors, so there are ways to tweak recipes like burritos, pasta dishes, and rice bowls to please an entire family and enjoy them again and again. These recipes can be great for anyone looking for delicious meals that can be made with just a few pieces of equipment and about 15 minutes!

Al: Hey listen…I’m game! As my betterhalf will be the first to tell you I’m not much of a chef  but I think I “just”might be able to handle this.

So Mihaela…. any final thoughts you’d like to share before we wrap things up?

Mihaela: Now more than ever it’s important that we stay healthy. We hope that you give the Quick and Easy cookbook a try and share the recipes with your friends and family! It is the fifth in the Healthier Traditions cookbook series, all available for free to download on our website at transamericacenterforhealthstudies.org. Also follow us on Twitter @TCHS and like our Facebook page facebook.com/tchstudies.

Al: Sounds like a plan!

And, that’s about all we have time for today!

Special thanks again to Mihaela and Christina for joining us on another episode of ClearPath– Your Roadmap to Health & Wealth.

This is Al Waller on WYPR, your NPR News Station.

 Stay well, Eat healthy & Thanks for listening. 

Al Waller is a long time native of the Baltimore area. He entered the field of Human Resources Management starting as an HR Generalist with PwC (Pricewaterhouse-Coopers). This marked the beginning of a 30 year career that advanced into the management level for locally and globally based corporations. His primary area of expertise has focused on but not limited to: Talent Acquisition /Retention, Employee Relations as well as Training & Development.