Nourishment, or Nutrition, is the 'N' in our Level Four R.A.N.C.H. acronym. There are a few important things we have to do to keep ourselves healthy, and eating right is one. This involves working in the kitchen and learning about the foods we eat. 

When a person eats the right foods, they have more focus, more energy, and they don't get sick as easily. It's important for we residents to learn how to eat right since we are becoming more independent. My Dad always tells me, “You only have one body, take care of it! You will thank yourself later.” Neglecting this need makes it harder to stay fit, harder to focus on a job, and harder to enjoy life. 

Before you can start cooking in the kitchen, you have to take a nutrition test based on your level work. Failing the test means work detail, so you better study hard! Once you pass the test and begin nutrition work, you work in the kitchen for five days cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Whenever there is a new person in nutrition, they bring new ideas and flavors in the food they prepare. We hear people in the dining area say, “Wow! These eggs are really good, who made them?” And we get interesting ideas every once in awhile. “I wonder who put fruit in the jello.” Over all, it's a good experience for everyone.

 Zack G. just finished his nutrition and told me, “You learn to cook. You can cook for your family and your girlfriend.” One thing you learn in nutrition is to be patient! You can't turn up the heat a little just to cook something faster, or you will end up burning the food and regretting it. You have to wait for it to cook, and follow directions. If you mess up, guess what? You're eating your mistakes. It's also a good chance to spend time with our cook, Mrs Becky. Mrs Becky loves the help and always has kind words to say about the boys who get to help her.

 I am a very picky eater, and I don't always want to eat what is good for me. Before I came here I gained a lot of weight and became very unhealthy: I was about 280 pounds. I ate only junk food, so my food choices were very limited. They were serving the same portions to everyone and I still wasn't eating the whole menu. 

So I had to start trying more foods. This, along with working out daily, really changed my health. Now I weigh a little more than 170 pounds, and I eat a variety of foods. Every week I look forward to trying something new. I get to try strange new flavors I have never had.