Promoting Health—by the Book

From soup to nuts—literally! KP San Rafael’s cookbook is filled with employee and physician recipes that can help people stay healthy.

By Lynn Mundell and Karen Langdon, Senior Communications Specialist, Marin-Sonoma Public Affairs

You might say that Kaiser Permanente San Rafael’s Dionne Detraz, RD, and her colleagues in Employee Wellness had just the recipe for health.

KP San Rafael’s Dionne Detraz, RD, and her colleagues went through every recipe submitted to ensure compliance with KP’s Healthy Picks Guidelines.

KP San Rafael’s Dionne Detraz, RD, and her colleagues went through every recipe submitted to ensure compliance with KP’s Healthy Picks Guidelines.

KP San Rafael’s Dionne Detraz, RD, and her colleagues went through every recipe submitted to ensure compliance with KP’s Healthy Picks Guidelines. Last March, the San Rafael Live Well Be Well crew, including Laura Fraser and Moj Makki, launched a recipe contest to tie in with National Nutrition Month. San Rafael employees and physicians were invited to submit their healthy recipes to be considered for a special online cookbook.

The theme for the book was simple: building a culture of health.

“We know we have a lot of good cooks in San Rafael who are practicing healthy lifestyles, so we wanted the recipes to come from them,” explained Detraz of her approach to publicizing the joys of healthy eating.

In just a month, she and her colleagues received dozens of recipes that qualified (and a few that did not, because they didn’t meet the guidelines).

Then began the hard work—or as hard as reading delicious ingredients and mouthwatering food combinations can be.

The Employee Wellness team did a nutritional analysis on every recipe to ensure that each met KP’s Healthy Picks Guidelines, including:

  • no more than 10 percent of calories per serving as saturated fat
  • no more than 35 percent of total weight from sugar or no more than 15 grams of sugar per item
  • no more than 500 mg of sodium per entrée
  • healthy whole foods used: nonfat or 1 percent dairy products, fresh fruits and/or vegetables, lean protein sources, and whole grains
  • total calories not to exceed 200 per snack or 600 per meal

After months of assessment, the 61-page “Healthy and Delicious Employee Cookbook” was recently posted online for all to enjoy—for free.

The published San Rafael cooks each received a Live Well Be Well prize and, of course, fame and glory around the medical center, where employees and physicians are praising recipes ranging from Jennifer Emery’s kid-friendly “Skinny Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting” to Maria Flores’s recipe for “Tomatillo Salsa.”

“The cookbook is just one of the many ways we are working to create a culture of health at the San Rafael Medical Center,” said Detraz. “With so many inspiring and delicious recipes to choose from, it makes it that much easier for employees to bring healthy food to work.”

We can all lift our glasses of gazpacho soup—page 43!—to that.

To see the employee cookbook, click here.