Chef cook Private Clinic MENTALVA
Eating a healthy diet keeps mind and body in harmony
Garden-fresh salads, vegetables picked from the field, berries from the shrubs and apples from the nearby orchard, meat from the mountain farmer, just like eggs, fish from the Albula Valley, the Surselva or from the Misox. Many clients stay with us for one to three months. For our kitchen team, this means: for three months, we never cook the same dish, neither at lunch nor in the evening. Our meals should be varied and prepared in such a way that it is fun to sit down at the table and eat.
Science in the kitchen, healthy food on the plate
Science has known it for a long time, as have good chefs: those who eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly keep their body and mind fit. But even for those who are physically and/or mentally unwell, it helps them to get back on their feet faster. We also use the scientific findings in our kitchen because we want our patients to be well. With us, at the MENTALVA, we cook in such a way that it tastes good and does good. Most patients appreciate the fact that we use local and regional fresh and, thus, seasonal products to spoil them in a culinary way. Our kitchen team adheres to the food pyramid as a basis. Fruits, vegetables, whole grain products where possible, vegetable fats, fish, meat, eggs, tofu and smaller portions of dairy products are important elements. Of course, we always take into account allergies and other intolerances. Since I am the responsible cook here – I have been working at the private clinic Mentalva since 2015 – it is very important to me that our patients feel at home with us, especially in culinary terms.
What is actually healthy?
Everyone interprets this a little different. It is certain, though, that products should be fresh and gently prepared. We pamper the patients daily, in addition to breakfast, with four-course lunch and dinner. That sounds quite lush. But we cook small portions. We also avoid convenience food and, thus, harmful additives. We prepare everything ourselves – from sauces to the ice cream. The guest can always choose from three offers: the Gastro Tip, a Vegi- and a Vital-Menu. If someone wants to eat purely vegan, then that's no problem either.
The right nutrients
Together with a nutrition coach, we look at what is good for the patient. It is important to know what nutrients and vitamins the body needs. Under certain circumstances, a blood test with the attending physician shows which nutrients are missing. We advise our patients and also explain to them how they can feed themselves at home so that they stay fit. Some are not aware of the fact that one simply burns fewer calories in an office job than during strict physical activity. Drugs also affect body weight. Therefore, we include these in the dietary recommendation.
There is no question that our diet determines how we feel. If we eat and drink «wrong», i.e. consuming too much junk food and too many sweet drinks, the body lacks energy. Performance declines, diseases show up. The importance of a healthy intestine, unfortunately, is still often underestimated. Versatile food with fresh produce (fibre) is the best way to get and stay healthy. The psyche also suffers from incorrect eating habits. We see that again and again. That's why it's so important to us to cook fresh and healthy for our guests. Of course, the purchase of organic products is always a question of cost. But people who recognize the connection between nutrition, body and mind know that it is still «cheaper» in the long term to spend a little more money on good products instead of healing illnesses.
The health of the MENTALVA guests is important to us
At our private clinic MENTALVA, we see very clearly that good nutrition can make a big difference. Many patients no longer have much desire for sweets or other high-calorie «empty» food during their stay with us. The fact that no alcohol is available during the stay with us helps with the recovery. Some want sweet drinks. Of course, we do not prohibit those; we don’t recommend them, though. Especially for us kitchen managers, the health of our guests is very important. We are happy to advise our patients if they wish and support them in all questions concerning their diet because we know that a healthy body has a healthy mind.