Xanthan What?

There are functions of management that are needed in to design and implement a program, whether it be nutrition or otherwise. These four functions are

  1. Planning
  2. Organizing
  3. Leading
  4. Controlling

These four components complement each other, and if done properly, can create a program that brings about change and success. A few years ago, I worked at the smallest, yet most complete and wonderful natural grocery store one could ever imagine: The Dancing Rainbow. The store has been open for over twenty-five years, and even though I have no idea how the owner manages to pack it all in, you can find every product related to health in that store that you could ever think up!

After working at the store for about a year, the gluten-free “craze” seemed to hit our town. We couldn’t keep gluten-free products on the shelves, and people were requesting special orders of everything from gluten-free licorice to gluten-free ketchup. As the products flew out of the store, however, we started noticing that generally health-conscious individuals were turning to higher processed foods in order to avoid gluten.

To help these customers return to their old dietary habits that included eating real foods, the employees of the store put together a gluten-free workshop for our customers. The workshop focused on teaching the individuals how to cook using gluten-free products, and how to easily make staples such as bread that used replacements such as rice flour and xanthan gum in place of wheat flours.

I helped in the planning and organizing portions of the workshop. Leading up to the workshop, recipes had to be gathered, products picked to sample, and research done on the reasons that people were turning to gluten-free foods. The owner and another employee then took over the leading and controlling aspect of the workshop due to time restraints with school on my part. The workshop taught individuals how they could continue living their real food lifestyle, even when being forced to follow a gluten-free diet due to health concerns.

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