It’s official! I finished my six month online plant-based cooking course with Rouxbe. The ending was some what bitter sweet for me. When I started this course last August, I really didn’t know exactly what to expect. I’ve been plant-based for over 20 years so what more could I possibly learn throughout this course?
Well, as I came to realize (about mid-way through the course), is that this program was very much geared towards ME becoming a professional CHEF! Ya I know, the course title alone (Plant-Based Professional Certification Course) should have been a major clue but I was curious and of course I can’t forget that generous offer by Joe Girard, the CEO of Rouxbe too. Read about that here.
I would be lying if I said I did not struggle some during my certification. For me, the hardest and biggest obstacle of all was time. Finding the time. Making the time. Having the time. It was difficult and I was often challenged quite a bit by either throwing things together at the last minute or not really focusing well on my assignments.
I admit that I did not do quite a few of the practice dishes that I was supposed to do before each unit exam. It was not that I was challenged by the course content so much, it was 100% the lack of quality time for me to devote fully to the course. That doesn’t mean I didn’t love it and that I didn’t learn anything. I definitely picked up quite a few tips and tricks along the way. I also came to realize that presentation is huge when presenting a meal (just maybe not so much at home).
With all that said and done, I would recommend this course to anyone. It doesn’t have to just be for the chef in that restaurant who is curious about expanding their menu more with plant-based meals (although I truly hope restaurants and chefs consider this program for that reason alone). No, this program could benefit stay-at-home moms who do want to learn how to cook plant-based meals for their family, or for someone who is retired and wants to better their health or who just may like to cook or perhaps someone who has a part-time job and is just not entirely sure where their life is headed.
I truly think Rouxbe’s program could benefit someone who is very curious about plant-based living and who does not know where to even start. The support and content within the program is great and they will help and guide you. Those who work in hospitals or nursing homes, should be required to take this course just to expand and broaden their knowledge and to SEE how food does impact your overall health and well being.
So, I am happy that I signed up for the program. I am proud that I finished. I am proof that you can never know too much about one thing. 20 years of eating plants and I am proud to say that I have a certificate from Rouxbe and a certificate from T. Collin Campell’s eCornell plant-based nutrition program.
I am very passionate about plant-based living (just ask anyone who knows me). I do not shove my knowledge in your face and I never judge what is on your plate, but if you ask me for advice, I will give it to you 100%. My passion for nutrition and beliefs fall in line with those of T. Collin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Rip Esselstyn and the Engine2 group. I am a strong believer that food is fuel and that food can heal.
Which is why when my mother-in-law and father-in-law came down with some medical issues recently, I jumped at the chance to make them a few meals for the week to help them get by. It was super easy too because one of my presents to myself upon completing the Rouxbe course was an Instant Pot.
Yes, I just learned how to make these elaborate meals and garnishes through Rouxbe and what do I do? I buy a pressure cooker/steamer/crockpot where I basically can make one pot meals super fast. The Instant Pot ROCKS. I have to say. It has transformed my life.
In less than 30 minutes (usually) I have been making all kinds of beans from scratch, not from a can. I have been using all kinds of new veggies and throwing the scraps into a baggy so that I can make my own veggie broth (in 5 minutes I might add). I have made broth before but the process was always so time consuming. Not anymore. I love my Instant Pot (or instapot as I call it).
It is fabulous and I really enjoy making these meals for people to consume. So with my new certification, I may not become a chef in a restaurant but I have become the plant-based doctor of our family so to speak. Although I am still working on getting my girls to eat new things. Baby steps.
So now that Rouxbe is over and my instapot is creating more time for me, what exactly am I doing with all this “free” time? All kinds of things! In my first full week done with Rouxbe, I enjoyed some quality time with my family.
And of course I continued to cook some amazing meals (our fridge is looking a little crazy at the moment).
Life has been good. I know it won’t be long before I get some kind itch to try something new or take on another adventure but for now, I am content to just enjoy my family, continue to experiment with plant-based dishes and of course run. Speaking of running, my training has been going really well. I feel strong when I am out there on the trails each weekend. Weekdays I may drag but once I step foot on the dusty trail, I explode with energy and excitement. I am looking forward to my 50k in February.
And of course coming home to these two beauties and not having to complete an assignment or take a test is just icing on the (plant-based) cake.