Project name:

Cooking classes at the Royal Free NHS London Hospital

Project description:


Healthy Eating campaigner Farrah Rainfly is leading a three-week hands-on Food for Life cookery course in May for staff of the Royal Free London Hospital as part of a new NHS England Health and Wellbeing Vanguard programme for staff within the facilities team.

The two-hour long weekly cookery classes, which take place at the end of the working day, during May, focus on how to eat a healthy diet to promote optimal health, weight management and to reduce the risk of chronic disease including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer. NHS staff will work in small groups using basic cooking equipment to create healthy dishes that promote good health with assistance from Farrah and her team.

The recipes are all low fat, low-GI, high fibre and plant-based. As a result, they contain no animal products and participants are taught new cooking techniques that will help them to reduce the amount of fat in their diet. Recipes taught on the course include Braised Kale, Green Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal, Chickpea Salad with an Orange Miso Dressing and Quick Red Kidney Bean Chilli.

Farrah noted, “We show people how to take complex scientific nutrition information and translate it into simple, delicious and affordable meals. We all know that we need to eat more veggies and fruits, but most of us don’t know how to prepare them in an interesting and healthful way, and this is what we are teaching people effortlessly to cut calorie content from fats; all easy to make, saving time and money.”

The practical nature of the training means it is accessible to all and supports staff in developing relationships with a vast array of colleagues through shared interests. This initiative is part of a wider program of health and wellbeing for staff. The Royal Free London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was recently accredited with a Healthy Workplace Charter Achievement Award demonstrating its commitment to this agenda.

Healthy Eating tutor Farrah Rainfly trained as a Foods for Life instructor in Washington DC at the headquarters of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), headed up by Dr Neal Barnard, an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. Farrah’s interest in healthy eating grew out of her own very personal experience: “I became a Food for Life instructor to help others after reversing my prediabetes, neuropathy, fatigue, lethargy, acne and going from a UK size 20 to a size 10. I did this by adopting the Physicians Committee’s guidelines for a predominantly low-fat, low-GI and plant-based diet.”

The programme will positively support and educate staff in achieving a healthier lifestyle as well as having an impact on the wider community. We hope staff will then share these skills with family, friends and their own community groups allowing a much larger group to benefit from the training. We have had a great response to the classes. Anyone wishing to find out more about the Foods for Life programme can sign up for a free 21-day Kickstart course at Or to book Farrah and her team to deliver a cookery programme visit

This was also featured on the Royal Free NHS Hospital website:

For press queries please contact:
Samantha Calvert
SC Marketing Communications
+44 (0)1782 505430 / +44 (0)1782 505430

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