Nutrition | Awakenings Rehabilitation

My name is Jonathan Hard I’m the
Executive Chef and Kitchen Manager here at Awakenings My job here is to provide
healthy well-balanced nutritious food to our clientele also to help build their
bodies back up from the damages that have been done through addiction a lot
of people don’t eat properly they really don’t take care of
themselves, people may have diabetes so it’s my job to balance a menu to make
sure that they get proper nutrition also to make sure our kitchen operates under
all standard guidelines cleanliness and basically to make sure our clients are
happy. It’s hard to be in treatment as it is so if I can make someone’s stay a
little bit better through a well-thought-out meal then my job’s done. A lot of people don’t realize how important the kitchen is in a rehabilitation center. It’s vitally important because along with medical
aspects we have to get a person healthy again we have to rehabilitate the body
their mind it’s the whole package so I talk to the clients on a daily basis one client
mentioned to me the other day that everybody talks to the chef so as soon
as they come in to detox I go down and meet people from bringing food into detox
I talk to them about their dietary needs Specialty diets aren’t a problem a lot
of people come in with certain requirements that they need whether it be
vegetarian vegan or religious and spiritual needs not a problem
I’ve seen a lot of different types over the years of my culinary career I
pretty much can cater to anybody’s individual needs I try and do everything
I can to make their stay here as enjoyable as possible. I definitely think
it’s important for people aside from our set menu to have options whenever we
have leftovers and sometimes I prepare a little bit more than is needed for our
consensus so I have extras we have a client cooler
we put leftovers we put snacks we put a wide variety of vegetables yogurts dairy
foods things are easy on stomach so that way people have food 24/7 access you can
always go in and get something to eat whenever they’re hungry outside of the
meal service time along with a client cooler we have a
pretty extensive salad bar I think it’s very important to push people to eat
lots of fruits and vegetables we definitely try and shy away from
pre-packaged foods as much as possible so we really encourage people there’s a
wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts grains, cheeses on the salad bar so we
definitely encourage people to take advantage of that as much as possible. I really enjoy making food for people and seeing them get happy when they have a
dish when when a client congratulates me or thanks me for something that we
made and hearing client success seeing them come in the door when they’re at
their lowest and they come up and they acknowledge us at graduation or they
want to shake our hand it’s worth every minute

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