Be mindful, not militant is my approach to cooking, nutrition and everyday eating: the way I see it we can enjoy the occasional donut, bag of chips or beer and pizza night and still stay on track. A self-proclaimed “qualitarian” of food, and graduate of the world renowned Culinary Institute of America, I teach cooking classes and conduct foodie corporate wellness events and lunch and learns across southern California. When I’m not cooking, I keep busy with sport and racing triathlons is my first love. As a young adult, I dabbled in running, and currently I am a proud member of the Betty Designs Squad; a global group of women who celebrate all sorts of endurance sports. I am a multiple Kona Ironman finisher, and Ironman Age-Group champion five times over.
So what do I eat? What do I teach? Dinner on a Tuesday night might be an easy-peasy five spice-scented roasted salmon with cilantro and lime cauliflower-rice and a little bit of chocolate. A typical start the day meal might be avocado and sprouts all atop sourdough toast; pear and vanilla overnight oats OR last night’s leftovers. I make a mean “kitchen sink” vegetable soup (and am happy to share tips on how to get the flavors to POP) and I’ve converted more than one vegetable hater to vegetable lover with my Everything But the Bagel Roasted Carrots. I teach approaches to cooking and eating for health that feature vibrant, whole-foods that aren’t expensive or difficult to prepare, yet are both delicious and satisfying.
Am I vegan? Am I gluten-free? No, I’m not, but you will find most of my recipes to be so. I limit my use of animal products and frankly no one seems to be missing them.
As both a life-long foodie and a classically trained chef, it might be obvious that food is what drives me. I often wander through grocery stores and farmer’s markets, home brewed dark roast coffee (or kombucha) in hand, checking out new ingredients while smelling the proverbial flowers and dreaming of how to incorporate them all into dinner. I love cruising up and down the coast in search of the perfect taco.
You might be thinking that this competitive athlete and clean eating chef doesn’t understand how real people live. But imagine me back in the late 1990’s: a restaurateur in Vermont, smoking Virginia Slim menthol lights in the back alley of Nectar’s at the end of a long dinner shift. When I hit 35 I made huge changes to my own lifestyle and diet, and I am now dedicated to teaching others how to change their habits, too. I look at what I can control in life and one of those big things, you know, the one we have to do multiple time a day, is what I eat. Through incorporating more foods from plants (this means foods rich in fiber, right?) into creative, tasty recipes, I am keeping myself out of the proverbial doctor’s office.
It is my mission to combine my passion for whole, unprocessed foods with my expertise in the kitchen to develop recipes and deliver classes that inspire people to eat mindfully, and find the confidence in their kitchens to prepare quality meals for themselves and their loved ones. Home cooking is the root of healthy eating! I apply these big ideas when I develop recipes.
When I am not racing endurance sports and cooking, you might spot me out and about in North County, or at Del Mar Dog Beach my dog, Tango.