Chef Celine leads a demo on health-promoting food

What’s Good to Eat? with Celine Beitchman

The ICE Chef-Instructor and health food expert shared her insider knowledge while leading a demo this summer.


"What's good to eat?" It turns out the answer to the age-old question is more simple than many people may think.

Celine Beitchman is the Director of Nutrition at the Institute of Culinary Education, where she teaches Health-Supportive Culinary Arts career classes and professional development courses in culinary nutrition and food therapy. She received her B.S. in Film/Cinema/Video Studies in 1997 and graduated with an M.S. in Nutrition & Integrated Health in 2018. She has prior experience as a private chef and in special events, catering, kitchen production, operations and management and has appeared in Bon Appétit, Brit + Co, HuffPost and more as a health food expert. Her special areas of interest include food systems and sustainability, wine and fermentation, food writing and personal and public health.

This summer, Chef Celine gave a demo and discussion about what it means to be health-promoting in today’s world.

Health-Promoting Food

In her demo, Chef Celine invited students at the Institute of Culinary Education to find out how to incorporate wholesome ingredients into their diets, finding the “marriage” between food and health. She emphasized that food can be both:

  • Health-supportive: Helping to create and maintain good health in the present
  • Health-promoting: Helping to continue good health in the future 

Knowing most people have very busy schedules and lives, Chef Celine encourages everyone to find recipes that are affordable and easy to make.  She believes everyone should be able to have a healthy diet despite difficulties that may arise in doing so. In the demo, she highlighted the need for people to find a sustainable diet pattern that fits their personal needs, which may include trial and error. She also said taking notice of one's bodily changes — good and bad — is a great way to start determining what diet is a good fit.

The Mediterranean Diet

In the demo, Chef Celine explained the Mediterranean diet and how the diet's traditional eating patterns promote better health and are scientifically proven to lower risk of various diseases. The Mediterranean diet also includes some of the healthiest dietary habits in the world, being a “plant-forward” diet, which increases the likelihood of healthy aging.

Chef Celine is an advocate for introducing students to a range of healthy dietary patterns and food choices to fit their lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet teaches moderation and celebration of a variety of healthy foods, resulting in a health-promoting way of life.

Whole Grains for Whole Health

Chef Celine made her own version of tabbouleh in her demo, emphasizing the importance of incorporating types of grain into your diet for “whole health.” She discussed the idea of “carb fear,” which is when people intentionally try to eliminate carbs from their diets. She then talked about how whole grains specifically are actually an important part of all diets and said humans should be eating three servings per day — which is easier to than one may think. The size of a fist is about one cup of grains which is about two servings, so it should be easy to reap the nutritional benefits of eating whole grains. Eating a plant-forward diet with the right amount of whole grains is a great way to both follow the Mediterranean diet framework and eat lots of health-promoting foods while doing so.

So, what’s good to eat? The answer is a balanced, health-promoting diet, which may look slightly different for everyone.

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