By Denver Beaulieu-Hains
Fort George G. Meade, Md. – Sailors assigned to U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. TENTH Fleet focused on self-care and holistic nutrition during a cooking class in Kuhn Hall at Fort Meade, the Education and Resilience Center, 1 November.
Available on request, Meal in a Cup aims to help service members living on barracks with healthy meal options and meals prepared using just a cup, a microwave and a few utensils. During the demonstration and food preparation, the Sailors prepared two 2-minute healthy meals that cost less than $2.00 each. The course is open to all service members, military family members, and Department of Defense (DoD) ID card holders and provides recipes and hands-on experience.
“This course is about setting the foundation for a good whole-food diet,” said Dr. Shari Youngblood, a professor at the University of Maryland who is also board certified in personalized nutrition. A self-proclaimed “army bro,” she volunteered to teach the course at Fort Meade to help service members.
The demonstration kitchen in Kuhn Hall was designed by the Fort Meade Alliance, an advocacy group to promote lifelong culinary and nutrition skills.
“There is a lot of confusion around nutrition. We all have cultural and powerful emotional associations with food,” Youngblood said. “Food is the most powerful way to heal [or avoiding] health condition.”
“Food facilitates mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health,” she said.
One must be healthy to perform well, and eating habits can be learned, there is a natural connection between health and fitness, she said.
As cyber professionals, sailors’ duties may require flexible hours and long days. Securing DoD networks is a job that requires dedication 24/7/365 days a year. The force is flexible, resilient and responsive to facilitate the intelligence, logistics and combat support functions of the fleet and combatant commanders. Fleet Cyber Command is a tenant command at Fort George G. Meade that employs more than 64,000 personnel, many with specialties in intelligence, information and cyber operations.
One of the sailors who participated said it was important to learn how to cook healthy food while running and he appreciated the opportunity to participate.
“Growing up, I didn’t really learn to cook,” he said. “I want to be able to cook my own food, three meals a day.”
Sailors learned how to make coffee mug quiche, quick protein-packed oatmeal, and received other recipes to share with the department.
Similarly, the other sailor who participated said that buying fast food is expensive and not ideal for personnel living in the barracks. She recalled the Junior Soldier’s ingenuity when it came to preparing food, but said the demonstration kitchen and course offered a new insight.
“We want our service members and members of the installation community to know that the demonstration kitchen is available for use,” said Chad Jones, public affairs officer. “The Center for Education and Sustainability promotes well-being and can serve as another outlet for continuing education, personal growth and development.”
“Hopefully the Mariners spread the word,” Jones said. “The class and Demonstration Kitchen are open to the community. Our hope is that this is a safe place for all personnel, units and families.
Any community members interested in the meal program can contact Noelle Austin-Jones, director of the Fort Meade Armed Forces Wellness Center at 301-677-2006.