Nashville Community Education

7 Questions About Gut Health with Laura Rodriguez


Laura has taught our Nashville Farmer’s Market, Seasonal Cooking Class for several sessions and now she is here to offer another new class to our students, Cooking for Gut Health. Laura has shared some information with us regarding gut health and ways to heal it.

1.      Tell us more about your class.

This class is going to be a two-hour cooking demo showcasing how to make delicious composed dishes that help promote gut health. I will start with a lecture and then I will show you how to make a gut healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then we will eat together!

2.      Why is Gut Health an important topic?

Current medical research is showing that gut health is synonymous with overall health. Poor gut health is directly connected to several chronic conditions plaguing Americans today: fatigue, anxiety, depression, memory loss, chronic inflammation, digestive issues, etc. If I can help just one person learn how to eat to lessen the effects of a gut related condition, that's important work in my opinion. 

3.      When a person does not have a healthy gut microbiome, what other illnesses can be affected?

According to lead functional medical doctors that specialize in gut health, too little good bacteria in the gut and a buildup of too much bad bacteria can lead to a wide range of illnesses such as candida, SIBO, IBS, leaky gut, heart disease and even cancer. 

4.      In this class you will be teaching about foods that heal the gut, can you share with our audience what foods you recommend people start with?

Fiber rich foods like whole fruits and vegetables are number one for feeding good gut bacteria. I also recommend people increase their intake of probiotic rich foods like good quality yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut. 

5.      What are some tips you will go over in class?

I will share tips on what to eat during cravings for sugar and carbs, give students healthy snack ideas, and of course share tips on how to make cooking from scratch quick and easy.

6.      How does someone know that their issues are gut related?

Read as much as you can. Listen to podcasts. Take the Amy Myers Leaky Gut Quiz. Research your symptoms and present them to your doctor. Be your own advocate. As Dr. Dates Kharrazian said, " Educate yourself. You need to be smarter than any doctor you’ll see. This is about your health, this is about your life, and no one knows you better than you.”  

7.      If someone is wanting to make some chances to their gut health, what are some steps they need to start with?

Come to the class and you'll learn where to start. Basically, you must clean up your diet, reduce your stress level, and repair the lining of the gut.

Register for the class Cooking for Gut Health

Learn Podcasting Basics with Christopher Taylor


I hope you’re ready for our Podcasting Basics course, because I know that I am! Podcasting has grown exponentially over the last 10-15 years and is only getting bigger. Numbers show that 44% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, and I’m almost certain that number has increased since this poll was taken. I believe podcasting is a great way to put your message out to the world, whether you do a formal show, an informal show, a how-to show or a litany of other things. So, I say if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I’ve got something to say,” or “I could teach people about this,” or even “I always wanted to be on the radio,” podcasting is for you! I want everyone that has ever had the itch to podcast or those that don’t even know what a podcast is, to join our Podcasting Basics class starting January 24th at 6:30p.m. at the Cohn School. I hope to see you there! -Christopher Taylor

5 questions with Podcasting Instructor

1. Why do you believe Podcasts have been so popular lately? I believe they’ve gained more popularity because the world is changing and the way we receive information is changing as well.

2. What would you say makes a great podcast show? I believe that having authentic content and your own sound.

3. What is the one thing you have learned over the last year doing your own podcast that has really made a difference in your show? I have learned that you must be willing to change and/or adapt to different audiences but always stay true to yourself.

4. What are some of your favorite podcasts shows? Brilliant Idots Podcast, The Joe Budden Podcast and The Right, with Bomani Jones.

5.  What is one thing you believe every student will walk away understanding after taking Podcasting Basics? I want people to walk away understanding that a podcast is whatever you want it to be and much more. It’s not something that has to be too complicating and to remember that this is supposed to not be WORK but FUN as well.

Fencing at Nashville Community Education by Donovan Grimwood, Fencing instructor


The Princess Bride, Zorro, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars… the idea of wielding a sword has captured imaginations and led to many a backyard duel with sticks. Some people never quite grow out of that. And why should we? As part of the Nashville Community Education program, fencing has been offered for many years so that people can experience the thrill of wielding a sword. But even more so, learn the skills in a safe and inexpensive manner on their way to becoming a fencer.

Yes, I said safe. Because with the proper gear, fencing is one of the safest sports that you or your children can become involved in. And we make sure to provide that gear as part of the class (keeping it relatively inexpensive). There was research done some time ago that showed that fencing was as safe as golf. So… if you are willing to go out on the golf course, how about trying something that may be more exciting? At least fencing is for me. And considering that we’ve had students ranging from age 8 (when we had a youth fencing class) up to 70+ (and they are still a competitive fencer in the area), signing up for the class is your chance to try out something new, different, and exciting. Are you ready to come en garde?

Learning more about fencing and Donovan Grimwood

In addition to the skills necessary to be able to fence (attack, parry, footwork), it also teaches quick thinking and sharpens the mind as much as the body. -Donovan Grimwood

1.      As the instructor what’s your favorite part about fencing and coaching fencing?

I enjoy introducing new people to the sport and helping them develop their skills. It is also great to get to know the fencers over the years as they continue to come back.

2.      How would you describe fencing to someone who has never fenced before?

Fencing is the safe, but exciting sport of swordsmanship. It's a great and unique workout and sport to learn.

3.      What skills will students learn in your fencing class?

In addition to the skills necessary to be able to fence (attack, parry, footwork), it also teaches quick thinking and sharpens the mind as much as the body.

4.      What is one thing you can highlight about the industry that people don’t know about?

The Modern Olympics were founded by a fencer and it has been featured in every Olympics. Currently there are over 25,000 competitive fencers in the U.S. with the sport growing. It is also one of the few martial arts that doesn't have weight classes and is one of the most inclusive of sports. Fencers in most competitions can range from age 13 to 80+, and there are age groups for fencers as young as 7.