YMCA Partners with EMK

Posted 04/08/2016 | By HealthCorps

Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, Boston, MA – Amaka, Rashelys and Dayana


Through Edward M. Kennedy Academy’s partnership with the YMCA, Coordinator Althea Luhm has been able to incorporate successful cooking components into almost every HealthCorps lesson. For example, in a macronutrient lesson Althea’s class made healthy mini-pizzas. For the “Big Deal About Breakfast” lesson, her class made Yogurt Parfaits. Althea Luhm, “The YMCA provides a space where our students can work in the kitchen and practice their culinary skills.”

Inspired by their time in the kitchen students are more inclined to make real changes in their everyday food choices. For example, Althea begins each of her HealthCorps lessons with something call “Health Support.” A simple exercise, Health Support highlights actions each student has taken in the last week to live a healthier life. Actions can include exercise, mental resilience and nutrition.

Sometimes Health Supports are simple such as when EMK student Dayana Alverez said, “I convinced my mother to buy brown rice instead of white rice and it didn’t even taste that bad.” Some of the Health Supports are more involved such as when Amaka Awuzie explained she started using “On Demand Fitness” to exercise every day at home.

One of Althea’s favorites was when Rashelys Castillo shared that she improved her breakfast routine. Instead of a bagel with cream cheese and a latte, she now treats herself to yogurt and a regular coffee. These changes, big or small, highlight the valuable work HealthCorps is doing at EMK.

During Althea Luhm’s time with her students at the Huntington Avenue YMCA kitchen, they made a stir fry! You can also make Rachael Ray’s “Vegetable-Noodle Stir-Fry” in your kitchen, see recipe below.


• 1 pound whole grain spaghetti or linguine pasta
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 2 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
• 1 small red bell pepper, halved and thinly sliced
• 1 small bunch scallions, chopped into 3-inch lengths
• 1/2 cup shredded carrots
• A handful of snow peas, thinly sliced on an angle
• 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
• 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup tamari or other soy sauce
• 3 tablespoons black bean sauce
• Juice of 1 lime
• 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce or sambal olek sauce
• 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
• 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.
2. While the pasta is working, in a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan, over high heat. Add the eggs and scramble until firm. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan, and heat until smoking. Add the bok choy, bell pepper, scallions, carrots and snow peas and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute more.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the tamari, black bean sauce, lime juice, hot sauce, honey and sesame oil.
4. Toss the pasta with the sauce and vegetables. Top with the egg

Source: Rachael Ray Magazine

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