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Through the Eyes of Art: Take Part in #TheCookoutChallenge With MoPOP!

MoPOP Through the Eyes of Art The Cookout Challenge

The Chosen Few and Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) present the 8th annual Through the Eyes of Art, a Black History Month celebration. The event brings together artists, community leaders, politicians, and tastemakers from across the state of Washington to celebrate the Black experience.

This year’s theme is The Cookout, and throughout the month, we’ll be immersing ourselves in programming that explores amazing soul food cuisine, spotlights Seattle’s Black-owned food establishments, and dives deeper into issues related to health and wellness, food justice and access. Check out our complete schedule of online events!

As part of 2021's virtual programming for Through the Eyes of Art, a Black History Month celebration, we're inviting you to participate in #TheCookoutChallenge on social media!

The challenge is pretty simple: take photos of your healthy meals and snacks and share them on social media using the hashtag #TheCookoutChallenge, or by tagging MoPOP on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. During February, we'll track your progress on this page (scroll down to see all of #TheCookoutChallenge and Through the Eyes of Art posts submitted so far). You can also ask diet-related questions on social media using the hashtag #TheCookoutChallenge and individuals from Diversify Dietetics will be available to help answer!

Of course, when it comes to eating healthy, it never hurts to have a little inspiration. So, throughout February, we'll update this blog entry with a few healthy eating tips sourced directly from industry professionals aimed at helping you get going on #TheCookoutChallenge. Read on!

Gardener pulling vegetables in garden; Through the Eyes of Art: The Cookout Challenge with MoPOP

Week One - February 8-14: Go Flexitarian

by Cordialis Msora-Kasago

Let’s face it, when it comes to what’s on our plates, most of us skimp on the fruits and veggies and load up on meat. People who include more plants in their diets tend to weigh less and have a lower risk for diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer than their meat-eating counterparts.

You do not have to give up meat to enjoy these benefits, simply reducing the amount of meat and animal products you eat and replacing them with a wide variety of plants can give your body the nutrients it needs and improve your health.  

The Challenge: Go Flexitarian 

This week’s challenge is to try the Flexitarian Lifestyle: You guessed it, a healthy-eating pattern that emphasizes being flexible and vegetarian. You get to add the plants while enjoying small portions of meat, chicken, fish, and other animal products.

Flexitarian tips:

  • At least one meal per day, skip the meat and choose some veggie protein such as beans, lentils, tofu, or nuts and seeds
  • Decrease the portion of meat you normally eat and double up on the veggies
  • Try a vegetarian recipe
  • Try a new veggie

Already vegan or vegetarian:

  • Try a new veggie or plant protein source at least 5 days this week

Flexitarian entrée ideas:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with nuts and berries
  • Lunch or Dinner: Vegetable pot pie, veggie burger, large colorful salad topped with your favorite beans, lentils, or marinated tofu
  • Dinner: Veggie stir-fry, bean chili, falafel in pita bread, rice and beans, veggie burger 

About This Week’s #TheCookoutChallenge Creator, Cordialis Msora-Kasago:

Msora-Kasago is a regional nutrition manager for Sodexo, where she provides expert support for registered dietitian nutritionists working in hospitals across the western United States. She also is the founder of a consultancy that improves the health of people of African descent through diet and lifestyle changes. An advocate for heritage foods and healthy cultural practices, Msora-Kasago specializes in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease, family wellness, and nutrition education. She is a professional speaker and a frequent contributor to health publications. Msora-Kasago is a graduate of California State University – Los Angeles and earned a master’s degree from the University of California – Los Angeles.

To learn more about Cordialis Msora-Kasago, visit The African Pot Nutrition

Through the Eyes of Art, a Black History Month celebration

Week Two - February 15-19: Try a Heritage Food

We can't have a Cookout during Black History Month and not celebrate African Heritage food! After all, African heritage foods such as collard greens, black-eyed peas, watermelon, and okra had a strong influence on the origins of soul food. These foods are tasty and rich in health promoting nutrients such as fiber and potassium. Furthermore, including some of these foods in your diet can lower your risk for heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and even some forms of cancer.

So, to help us get back to our roots, this week’s challenge is to enjoy the flavors of the African diaspora. Here are some ways that you can participate:

  • Explore new ways and recipes to use current African heritage favorites.
  • Patronize an African restaurant in your neighborhood.
  • Try a new ingredient (such as teff, fonio, millet, sorghum, couscous, cocoyam/taro, groundnuts, cassava/yuca, etc.) 

Here are a few suggestions to get you started: 

Learn more about MoPOP's Black History Month celebration, Through the Eyes of Art: The Cookout + for contests, the latest news, and behind-the-scenes content, be sure to follow us on YouTubeFacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

If you like what you see, support our work by planning a visit or making a donation to MoPOP today!

Pop Culture, Through the Eyes of Art

About the author

The Museum of Pop Culture’s mission is to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities.