Making sure Project Angel Heart meals are tasty and meet clients’ unique dietary needs takes a team effort. One key member of that team is Meghan Perkins, our registered dietitian.
Meghan helps analyze the nutritional value of our menus, working with the chefs to adjust recipes as needed, and educates clients, staff, and the community on how food impacts health. We sat down with Meghan to learn more about her take on food and health:
Q: How did you become interested in food and nutrition?
A: I’ve always loved food and cooking, so I originally studied baking and pastry arts. In one of my classes, I decided to do a presentation on the now-outdated food pyramid. I fell in love with learning about and teaching others how the food we eat impacts our health and well-being.
Q: What inspired you to apply for the job at Project Angel Heart?
A: My background in outpatient counseling helped me see how difficult it is for people with illnesses to maintain or improve their health when they don’t have access to nutritious food. I knew being a part of a solution to that problem would be incredibly rewarding, and it is! I am also passionate about sustainability, and Project Angel Heart’s green practices were a bonus.
Q: If you could bust one nutrition myth, which would it be?
A: That you have to eat “perfectly” all the time to be healthy. I am a strong proponent for the 80-20 rule; choose foods that help you reach your health goals and keep you energized 80 to 90 percent of the time, and allow foods that may not be the most nutritious, but are delicious, 10 to 20 percent of the time.
Q: What food do you most like to eat when you’re not feeling well?
A: Hot tea, a little bit of honey, and toast with butter. Or my Mom’s homemade turkey and egg noodle soup.
Q: What’s your favorite veggie and how do you like to prepare it?
A: Baby carrots! I love them almost any way you can eat them, but especially like them raw– dipped in peanut butter–or sautéed with a little garlic and olive oil.
Q: What did you eat for breakfast today?
A: An English muffin with cinnamon, crunchy, natural peanut butter, and a drizzle of honey. One of my other favorite breakfasts is over-medium eggs with toast or potatoes to dip into the yolks. Yum!