My name is Karen Breyer. I am a Registered Nurse (RN) with a Masters in Public Health (MPH). I received these degrees from Loma Linda University. I am also certified as a Health Education Specialist (CHES), Health and Wellness Coach (Wellcoaches) and Health Fitness Specialist (American College of Sports Medicine).
Before I was a nurse, I worked over 10 years in restaurants. Cooking has always been a big part of my life and working in restaurants really helped me to improve my cooking skills.
After working for a while in restaurant management, I decided I wanted a different career path and went back to school. I later received my B.S. in nursing and became a registered nurse. I worked many years in the hospital with sick people.
My career took another change in direction when working in a center for health promotion where the focus was on wellness and prevention. This opened a new world for me as I witnessed many patients making positive changes in their lifestyle and benefiting with improved health. Healthy eating is one of those changes that make a huge difference in preventing and reversing many chronic diseases. This was exciting and inspired me to go back to school to get my Masters in Public Health. My school curriculum focus was on prevention and health education.
I now have an enhanced focus on health and wellness. A special focus on healthy eating has renewed and refocused my interest in cooking. I am always on the look-out for healthy recipes that taste delicious. When I succeed at trying a new healthy recipe that tastes good I feel like I just won a prize. If it is easy, it is a double bonus and if it has chocolate I think I won the grand prize!
If you are wondering how I came about creating Cooking Lessons for Dad, it was from a combination of my interests, skills and life circumstances. My dad really inspired this course when he asked me to teach him to cook after my mom had a stroke. She was the cook in our house and he never learned (with the exception of his expert grilling skills!).
When I was visiting my parents soon after my mom’s stroke I noticed that my dad was eating a lot of fast food and processed foods. I asked him about this and he said he didn’t really know what else to eat. From my healthcare experience I knew that this negative change in his eating habits could lead him down the path of poor health if it continued. I asked him if he wanted me to teach him to cook a few healthy meals while I was there and he said yes. After I taught him to cook a few easy recipes he got very excited and said he wanted to continue to learn to cook more. He suggested I continue his cooking lessons live by Skype as we live very far apart. He felt he needed to visually see step-by-step instructions to help him master the recipes. Of course I was happy to continue teaching my dad to cook. As I was thinking about how to do this, I imagined that there are probably many others who also have no cooking experience but would like to learn. At that point my journey began to create this course and here it is! Cooking Lessons for Dad has been created especially for my dad and anyone else who wants to learn to cook. I hope you will join us in this cooking adventure!