As February draws to a close, I am probably not alone in my eagerness to kiss the winter weather and winter pounds goodbye. I keep promising myself I won’t fall prey to fatty food cravings that kick in once temperatures drop, but I find myself giving in, and then hating myself the next day. Why is it so difficult to stay healthy while eating warm, satisfying foods?
Luckily, there is hope. Kathy Gunst is a pro at finding creative, and simple, ways for us to cook hearty food with a healthy twist!
Living in southern Maine for over thirty years, Gunst knows a thing or two about harsh winters, and the cravings that come along with them. She credits discovering healthier options for traditional recipes to both her organic garden and her focus on locally grown, fresh foods. Although health-conscious living was always valued, in 2011, it became vital.
Gunst describes her diagnosis with non-Hodgkin lymphoma as her biggest nightmare.
“I have a very hard time with change, and this meant my whole life was about to completely change. But [at that moment] rather than getting hysterical, I became calm.” Gunst’s reaction pushed her to adopt a new perspective. Rather than fight, she decided to remain quiet, give in and be brave throughout treatment.
She took control over her difficult reality and cooked her way through cancer to maintain normalcy. Gunst considers never losing her appetite during chemo as a blessing because it motivated her to keep uncovering new ways to incorporate super foods, like cabbage, into her diet.
Unconsciously, cooking became an integral source of meaning and strength. “It grew so important to me through sickness and health to maintain a sense of self.”
Thankfully, Gunst is now cancer-free and she continues to value a healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on vegetables and salads. Her recipes never get boring as she finds inspiration for new dishes all the time, even while she dreams!
Her passion and true love of food is so apparent in the way her voice lights up when she talks about the memories associated with her recipes. Her favorite healthy casserole recipe from her recently published article in Yankee Magazine is also her best memory. She made Zucchini Lasagna a lot when her kids were growing up, and although it is nutritious, simple and gluten-free, it is also associated with so many great, heartwarming memories!
Gunst’s endless desire to innovate and figure out how to make meals that are satisfying and still good for you is great, but her main goal is to inspire others to think “I can do that” when it comes to cooking. She hopes to encourage us to create memories that come with time spent together in the kitchen or at the table with loved ones.
The ability for food to bring us closer is also at the foundation of her upcoming book, Soup Swap that provides entertaining stories of monthly get-togethers with her friends to help beat ‘winter soup boredom’. With 60 recipes of soups/stews, sides, and soup-toppings, there will really be no more excuses to blame my ‘winter cravings’ for making poor meal choices and feeling sluggish.
Thanks, Kathy! 😉
Gal grew up in the world of theatre and dance. She loves using that creativity to find what moves us and awakens our inner passions. Through sharing inspirational voices on bold.global and Bold Blend, Gal hopes to help ignite the belief that when we celebrate each other, it is possible to break boundaries and live a bold life!