tABLE’s Building Blocks of Health

Neighbors Rachel Saks and Ora Warmflash (left and right) are two friends with minds for food. They are the pair behind tABLE health, a local company aiming to build healthy lifestyles with fresh, local food and nutritional cooking.

The two ladies have teamed up with Lark to host several classes, including “Nurturing New Moms” (taking place tomorrow) and “School Lunch Makeovers” (taking place October 10), instruction aimed at moms who hope to be smart about themselves and their children’s nutritional health. You can see tABLE health’s calendar of events to pick out a class at Lark.

Ora sat down to answer a handful of questions about herself, the service she provides and the advice she can give to parents about food.

Introduce yourself to the neighborhood. Who are you and how did you come to live here?
I moved to Brooklyn pretty much straight out of college. My first place was a tiny studio in Prospect Heights, and I have been moving south every couple of years since — with stops in Park Slope and Windsor Terrace. I landed in the neighborhood with my husband, David and my daughter, Ayelet, about a year ago, and this is definitely where we want to stay!

What is tABLE health?
My business partner, Rachel Saks, and I founded tABLE health on the premise that fresh, local ingredients are the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle. We offer environmentally sustainable, nutritionally focused cooking classes and individual and group consulting.

The inspiration for tABLE health came out of our own personal experiences. I am a new mother who gained 70 pounds during my pregnancy! When I was struggling to get back in shape postpartum and looking for guidance, I was surprised by the lack of nutritional counseling options that met my particular goals.

I wanted help achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, and, like many Brooklyn, I am committed to eating local, fresh, sustainable food. Most services seemed to achieve the desired fat/fiber/protein/carb balance using artificial ingredients — nonfat cream cheese, artificial sweeteners etc. On the other hand, I have tons of cookbooks and recipes that feature fresh, seasonal ingredients, but they do not take my particular nutritional goals into account. Enter my best friend and nutritional mentor Rachel Saks. Rachel has loved to cook ever since she was old enough to stand on a chair at the counter and wield a plastic knife. She has an M.S. in Education and is Nutritionist/Registered Dietitian. And, she shares my commitment to eating local, fresh food. Thus, tABLE health was born!

What are your goals for the company?
Our long-term goal is to have a space of our own from which to offer cooking classes, demos and other types of sessions. Our space will be sort of like a food centric community center. Our short term goal is to form partnerships with neighorhood establishments that will be beneficial to the community and will help us get to know our neighbors.

We believe that we provide a much needed service to families who want to eat local, fresh produce and whole grains but need a little hand holding when it comes to actually selecting and preparing those foods in an easy and delicious way. Our parternship with Lark is a great way for us to get our name out and make ourselves accessible to those who want to work with us. We are a long way off from opening our own space, but for now we are really excited to call Lark — and other places that we we feel a kinship with — our home.

Describe the classes you’ll be holding in the neighborhood at Lark. What sort of person should come to each class?
Right now we have two classes on the calender at Lark. The first is this Wednesday, September 19 from 2:30-3:30pm and it is a class for new moms who are looking to get back in shape. The class will include recipes and cooking demonstrations for postpartum nutrition needs, and techniques for realistically and permanently losing baby weight. Moms are welcome to bring their babies along with them!

Our next class with be on Wednesday, October 10 from 8-9pm. We figure that by this time of year parents are already feeling the stress of having to pack lunches for their kids day in and day out, so in this session we will be sharing our secrets to successful school and daycare lunches — from organizational tips to healthy, kid-friendly recipes.

We are hoping to offer two classes a month at Lark — one “bring your baby” afternoon class and one after hours class for just parents. The topics will vary month-to-month.

Is there one piece of advice you can give to parents in the neighborhood?
I think the best piece of advice I can give to parents is not to freak out about food. It is great to have high standards for what we feed our kids, but things don’t always go exactly as planned and that is OK too. In my house I feed my daughter organic produce and whole grains but I also know that the occasional highly processed chicken nugget on a special night out is not going to harm her!

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