Listen to listen to an interview with me on the podcast Females in Fine Fettle: from wiped out to well-thy.
At the age of 21, I sliced, diced, whisked and juiced my way around the world on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, learning how diet can promote health and prevent disease. From a holistic healthcare center in England, to an ashram in India, to a raw foods retreat in Portugal, I discovered I was most myself in the heart of the establishment - the kitchen. It was there that I found kinship through preparing and sharing beautiful fresh food.
Since then, I graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts, assisted chef/author Didi Emmons’ with her cookbook Entertaining for a Veggie Planet, interned at the James Beard House, taught farm-to-table cooking classes, kitchen hopped again in Italy, Greece and France, cooked in restaurants, received a master's degree in social work and became enchanted with cooking unexpectedly divine fare outdoors on rock climbing trips. As healthy cooking coach at Whole Foods Market, I taught customers and co-workers how to cook from scratch and earned my nickname “Lentil Lauren”. Twice I attended Eat Retreat, a creative retreat for leaders in the food community. I participated in Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Health Immersion, where I studied food addiction and the Nutritarian lifestyle, and I was a 2017 Artist in Residence at Caldera. I continue to teach cooking to private clients and graduate students at the National University of Natural Medicine, develop recipes and content for businesses including Barre3, and am the Chef Instructor at Kwan Yin Healing Arts.
Through one-on-one and group cooking instruction, chef services, recipes and meal plans, I support individuals with all food preferences in reaching their cooking and dietary goals. Amidst the conflicting definitions of what constitutes a nutritious diet, I stay out of the food fight, emphasize seasonal whole foods, and demonstrate that you don't have to sacrifice flavor or fun to eat well. I combine my culinary training, experience and background in social work to develop just the right culinary engagement for my clients. I bridge the gap between the health care provider and the healthful plate, translating the nutritional counseling my clients receive into tasty tangible results.
Additionally, as an inaugural faculty member in the Master of Science in Nutrition program at the National University of Natural Medicine, I develop and teach culinary classes to future nutritionists and naturopathic physicians.