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By Muskaan Walia
If you are new here, allow me to introduce you to the one and only Tammy Cunnington. A long-time supporter of Fast and Female, REAL (Relatable, Empowered, Active Leader) Role Model, Canadian Paralympian, and now an avid cook. I had the pleasure of “meeting” Tammy through a Zoom call today and got to gain a little insight regarding her passion for the kitchen and how she combines nutrition and taste to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
Have you always enjoyed cooking?
Yes, I have always had a passion for cooking. I especially like to experiment with meals I try at a restaurant that my husband and I both like. Then I come home and add my own twist to it to make it more nutritious. I love doing this because it prevents us from eating out too much because I’ll make our cravings at home. However, I would say my liking for cooking grew once the pandemic hit because it helped keep me sane at home. It was a great way to pass the time and ensured we weren’t eating out all the time.
What do you usually make at home?
Just about everything! I prefer to make my own breads and grow my own herbs (as we were speaking Tammy adjusted the oven that her bread was baking in.) I have an AeroGarden that I grow my basil in and use that for pesto and I prefer baking bread at home because I know there aren’t any preservatives inside it. Bread at the store usually spoils after a week, that’s because they add additional chemicals to keep it fresh longer, I don’t do that so mines will only be good for 2 days. I feel better knowing that what I’m eating isn’t full of preservatives. I have even experimented with Indian and Jamaican curries! Currently I am working on Mexican.
Do you focus more on nutrition or taste when you cook?
I combine both! I make my food more nutritious by not adding salt, sugars, and fats but will use lots of spices instead (at this point Tammy opened her spice drawer to show me rows upon rows of spices and told me this wasn’t even all of it!)
How do I encourage others to eat healthily?
Encourage others to eat healthier by modelling. I do this by being consistent in eating healthy so no one can say they saw me eating otherwise and use that as an excuse for themselves or against me. I would also encourage others to cook their cravings at home.
Best dish you make?
People love my cheddar broccoli soup.
The worst dish you have made?
I made this seafood lasagna once that did not taste good. Currently I am working on macaroons. Those are tough!
Any advice for the girls of Fast and Female?
Girls have to find their own way when it comes to nutrition. Shut out what social media and society say to you. You have to figure out how to do it in a way that feels good for you and that’s going to look different for every girl. Most importantly find balance in your life, you can still have foods you like.
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It truly was a pleasure to sit and converse with Tammy. She had so much kindness and wisdom regarding nutrition to share. Something else that she stated that really sat with me was “In order to have the best quality of my life, I need to eat like this.” Her words meant that in order to do all the activities she loves best, to look her best and feel the best, she has to eat like this. It’s not just about eating healthy to fulfill your fruits and vegetable intake of the day, it’s about doing it for yourself so you can live the best version of your life!
And you deserve that.
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