Battling COVID Cooking Fatigue
What to do when you just can’t make another meal.
*an excerpt from Edible Reno Tahoe - written by Natasha Bourlin
"If you have health issues that are dietarily restrictive or require special preparation, Chef Brandy Hackbarth, owner of Dining by Design, may be your savior.
Hackbarth worked in the medical industry as a paramedic and cardiac health care nurse. She helped bring better foods into local schools and developed the culinary program for Reno’s High Desert Montessori School. When her father got cancer, she began cooking for him.
Using her medical background and nutritional knowledge, she began switching ingredients in recipes to healthier alternatives — such as using riced cauliflower versus rice, or buttermilk and soy over dairy — and her passion for cooking was ignited as she reveled in the creativity she was allowed.
Today, in people’s homes, she prepares healthy, organic, balanced meals tailored to individual medical and nutritional needs, leaving clients with frozen or refrigerated dishes to immediately eat or reheat later. She explains that she personally handles every aspect — from recipe planning and shopping to cooking, packaging, and cleanup — and offers healthy, food-based assistance to those with medical concerns.
After completing an assessment interview with a client, Hackbarth creates a nutritional profile along with weekly menus and grocery lists. Often, she takes clients shopping to teach them how to search for foods fitting their specific dietary requirements.
Thanks to Hackbarth, elderly couples can stay at home and avoid COVID risk. Other clients have had ailments alleviated through her cooking.
“I have Type 2 diabetes and I am on medication. Prior to Brandy’s services, I was on a roller coaster of weight management and choosing good food to eat. The organic meals Brandy cooks for me are appropriately chosen for my particular health needs and culinary preferences,” says Anne Stilwill, a Dining by Design client. “My health has greatly improved, which includes lowered blood sugars and improved weight management, even during COVID. It is now so much easier to stay in control of my food intake.” "
Best, Brandy Owner - Dining by Design
Fitness and Nutrition Chef
Health and Wellness Coach