Eating Positively is our programme of interactive nutrition and cookery classes. With one afternoon lesson per week over the 5 week course, one of our dietitians teaches people how to better manage their diets and use nutrition to help lead a healthier lifestyle. The chef leads the hands-on cookery section of the class to give people the skills and confidence to put their new-found nutrition knowledge into practise at home.
Who are they for?
The classes are free to attend, and available to anyone living with HIV in London. Carers or partners of people living with HIV in London may also attend free of charge.
The classes are suitable for everyone – from complete beginners to experienced cooks who would like to learn some new recipes, and of course how to put the nutrition theory into practise!
How do I access them?
To access the classes you must be referred by one of our registered referrers; most HIV clinics have at least one person registered to refer you, as do several charitable organisations such as Positively UK, Positive East, the Terence Higgins Trust and Body and Soul, amongst others.
What do they cover?
Each of the five classes covers a slightly different theme. They are specifically designed to help people living with HIV develop an understanding of nutrition and food skills in order to:
- Increase people’s confidence in the kitchen
- Better manage their own health
- Reduce their risk of developing further health complications
- Improve their overall quality of life.
The classes are also a great opportunity to meet other people living with HIV and share experiences.
Each class is led by our friendly chef and specialist dietitians, and the topics covered are;
- Introduction to nutrition and HIV
- How to shop and eat well on a budget
- Managing symptoms and side-effects
- How to keep your heart healthy
- Reducing your risk of diabetes
When can I start?
After your referral has been accepted and you have had your phone assessment with the dietitian you can begin at the next available introductory class. Each person must start with the Introduction to nutrition and HIV class, and we do encourage people to come to the classes in order and finish the course within the 5 weeks. If a class is missed for any reason it can be done as part of the next course, as long as the person has already done the Introduction. Everyone who completes the 5 classes within 10 weeks will win a hamper of toiletries and household products worth £40 and a hand blender to take home as well!
"I found them extremely useful and educational, and great fun. A big thank you to the nutritionist who laid to rest many food myths. A big thank you too to Luis (the chef) for his brilliant delivery. His knowledge of food and how to combine ingredients is phenomenal."
“Just back from the cookery class ... It was great. The Food chain team were very good at teaching these skills...I might even stop using my oven for magazines storage … The information sheets about the important nutritional elements for a healthy diet are brilliant...I have pinned them on my memo board in my kitchen. Many thanks."
Private Eating Positively classes for HIV support groups
We are still bringing an Introduction to Nutrition class to HIV support groups all over London, so that the service is accessible to the widest possible range of people. This comprises an informal group discussion about nutrition and a cookery demonstration of some simple, healthy and delicious recipes.
If you run an HIV support group and would be interested in organising an Eating Positively class, please contact Sophie by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Your venue does not need to have its own kitchen, as we can bring portable cookery equipment with us.
Private Class Feedback
“Just to say a BIG, and important, THANK YOU to all the team, for really bringing to life diet and nutrition, through the Eating Positively programme … little gems of advice are unearthed every time. Keep up the good the good work."
Alistair, London Gay Men’s Group
“On behalf of the French speaking group, I would like to say a huge thank you to your organisation and especially to Catherine, Luis and the volunteer. Well done guys, that was fabulous and very informative. … Service users have greatly enjoyed the session and I’m sure the group would appreciate it if you could come back for a follow-up session"
Henriette Shulungu, Development Worker for African Communities in Redbridge, Positive East
"The group was really engaged from start to finish. Aoife's introduction about Nutrition and HIV really got the group thinking and talking about the importance of good nutrition. Your demo for the quinoa salad and the salsa were perfect - the group could ask questions as you went through it which I think is really important in a setting like that. It was really interesting looking around the room and finding out how familiar a kitchen setting is to everyone - there was a real mix in this group and it was great to see both the volunteers and participants working so well together and helping each other out. Everyone enjoyed the food immensely and there was a sense of pride as everyone finished making the quesadillas and sat down to eat together what they'd prepared and cooked."
Alice Williams, Adult Services Manager, Living Well
These classes are kindly supported by the Big Lottery Fund: