I'm Cole (Ms. Yaverbaum in the classroom). I'm in my third year teaching Special Education at an elementary school in Brooklyn, NY and I am crazy about my awesome students and feel so grateful for my loving and supportive school community.
I have not always been excited about healthy eating -- I always joke with my dad about how, as a kid, my diet consisted of coke, sugary cereals, McDonalds, beefaroni (#chefboyardee), hotdogs, and the occasional piece of broccoli (gotta keep it balanced). I didn't think much about nutrition.
My mother has Multiple Sclerosis - a disease of the central nervous system. She's been sick my whole life, but about five years ago, she got interested in natural healing; learning about foods that reduced the day-to-day side effects of MS and how she could use her diet to heal in small, but significant, ways.
I was really intrigued by the idea that what you eat can impact your physical and mental well being, even with a disease so strong as Multiple Sclerosis. I started reading nutrition books and blogs. I started googling the different foods I ate; learning what nutrients they were (or were not) giving me.
Since then, I have changed my diet in significant ways. I can't say I am on a particular diet - I'm just excited about eating foods that give me good energy, are mostly plant based, taste delicious, and most of all are easy to make.
I see the food we eat as an investment in our long-term health, and that is something that I'm ready to invest a lot in.
When I started teaching, I found that I struggled to eat the way I wanted to - mostly because of time and sometimes because of resources. If you're a teacher reading this, then you probably know that finding a free minute during the school day is sometimes impossible, and that even if you have prep periods, they're often taken up by parent meetings, student conferences, grading work, or just taking a minute to breathe/sit down/go to the bathroom. Time during the school day is scarce – I feel you! But we can still eat the things that make our bodies feel good and whole and energized and awake. Actually, we have to if we want to be effective teachers. Well fed teachers = happy teachers = happy students.
I created 'cookbookish for teachers' to bring together educators who are committed to eating healthy even in the crazy hustle and bustle of a school day. It's possible guys, I promise. I know, because I do it. And you can too.
Cookbookish started as an instagram account where I could post photos of the food I made (mostly at school) and was inspired by. It was a place where my "recipes" lived and was mostly used for my own purposes.
So why "ish"? Ish because I am not a recipe developer, not a professional chef, have never worked at a restaurant, coffee shop, or food establishment. Ish because as much as I can appreciate an intricate and ingredient heavy recipe, as a teacher, I just don't have the time. I need easy to make, on the go meals that are still healthy, colorful, tasty, and nutrient dense. Ish because I don't create recipes, just suggestions of simple ingredients that you can mix and match in fun and delicious ways with minimal prep time.
Now, I'm excited to share my creations with other teachers like me, who may, in the craziness that is the school day, find it difficult to get the nutrients they need.
If you're a teacher who a) feels like you have no time during the day b) struggles to retain energy into the afternoon c) wants to eat healthy but isn't sure how to make it work with your busy schedule, then this is for you. Welcome!