Healthy Eating/Healthy Living with Brenda Langton: A Preview

This fall, Brenda Langton, owner of Cafe Brenda and Spoonriver, will be leading a must-attend workshop series in partnership through the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality & Healing. The Healthy Eating, Healthy Living course, now in it's third year, offers a full view on the simplicity in learning how to nourish your body with tasty food. This is done in a three-part series covering breakfast through dinner including those much needed mid-day snacks. All classes take place in a real kitchen as a hands-on engagement. This week, I had the opportunity to speak with Brenda about the course, in advance of attending. Luckily, I get to share a great insider pre-view of what can be expected from the course and a little insight from the highly acclaimed restaurateur, herself.

We all have goals to eat more healthfully and with more variety. Most of us love to learn new recipes and then actually cook the recipes that we set aside each week. Healthy Eating, Healthy Living is set up to help you move you forward on your healthy eating path (or to start anew) and to give you the tools and confidence to make it happen. No matter where your current location on the journey to greater food knowledge, this is a course for anyone interested in taking care of their bodies and minds. Food is meant to be enjoyed and made with love. There is nothing worse after a long day at the office or running kids from here-to-there than stressing yourself out about a dinner plan...or mainly a lack thereof. In my chat with Brenda, she discussed cooking as being not so unlike a dance. She noted that baking is a science, in cooking, you can have flexibility. Learn a few steps, learn to feel the flow and then trust your instincts to let your own rhythm be your guide. I couldn't agree more. Cooking is not about perfection, it's about exploration.

The intention of the course is to help the participants understand good, quality whole food in a simple and enjoyable way. Empowerment in simplicity - like learning to eat all the colors of the rainbow, understanding plant-based diets and the value of whole grains. Although the course is fast paced with a ton of information distribution, Brenda offers much support. "I'm not intimidating but I am opinionated" she told me. Her teaching style really puts the responsibility on the student and the reward is great from this hands-on/hands-off approach. She teaches her students how to relate to their food and to "watch, taste and learn" so that the lessons stick once they return home.

Our country is in a state of crisis when it comes to health. The issues range across the board from farm policy to heart disease and much more. Learning how to boost  our own immune systems and get real nutrient value out of what we consume is essential to our lives. When we take care of our bodies by eating whole foods we feel better and are better equipped in all aspects of life. Brenda truly views these educational sessions as well as her restaurants as a lifestyle, not just business. "A lifestyle I believe in", she exclaimed. One that I, too, believe in. Now that my biases and passions for food are on the table, I encourage you to take a peek into your own diet, health concerns, nutritional goals, refrigerator and pantry.

Fall is a fantastic time for change and nesting. Our coming winter months are quickly approaching  and our homes are becoming our center, our warm and cozy port. It's time to turn our kitchens into the heart of our homes, as Brenda says. Fall is also the perfect season to turn inward and take time to grow our knowledge of healthy and delicious foods. In turn, we end up sharing these treasures of knowledge and food with our family and friends through holiday pot-lucks, impromptu post-work gatherings and our everyday dinners. I am so excited to invigorate the season through this course, I hope you can join me for this journey!

A special thanks to Brenda and the Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota.

For course information, click here to visit our events page.


Rachel Huntzicker is a writer, practitioner of yoga and clean foodie with an evolving desire to learn more about sustainable whole living and the food-to-mood connection. From her evolving and ever present desire to learn, she came to conclusion that growing her own quarter acre organic garden was a must. Follow her journey on her blog, the Woodland Garden.