Giovanna Garcia - Founder, Nutritionist and Chef
I'm a Nutritionist and Certified Natural Chef with a passion for food and holistic living. I strongly believe that whole foods are the base of health, and am on a mission to educate busy individuals like you to obtain and sustain a balanced and healthy lifestyle through whole foods.
I found my love for food and nutrition through my personal health journey and transformation. My relationship with food wasn't always healthy - I struggled with disordered eating patterns, binge drinking, calorie counting, food restriction, and yoyo dieting thinking these restrictive ways were the road to health. One day, I found myself at a loss, depressed, and wanting to take control of my body and mind. I realized that all those food habits were very self-sabotaging and affecting my entire life.
As I continued onto my holistic health studies and culinary adventure, I started seeing the mind-body connection through food. I discovered that there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way of eating for everyone, but there is a way of eating that is unique and favorable for each of us individually. Through allowing myself to eat anything I wanted (no longer restricting) and also noticing how every single food affected me, I was able to point out exactly what my body needs when it needs it, and what foods were causing inflammation and stress. By simply eliminating those foods, I was no longer suffering from bloating, drastic weight fluctuation, and negative thoughts about myself. I added more fresh foods into my daily regimen and had more energy, clearer skin, and more passion to live.
My relationship with food and with myself has changed drastically through being aware of my body and eating intuitively - fresh, wholesome foods. I do not have a restrictive way of eating and love all the foods I eat. I enjoy chocolate daily! This way of relating with food has helped me align with my purpose and opened up unexpected opportunities in life.
Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences – University of Arizona
Natural Chef Certification – Bauman College
jenn dearden, Natural Chef
I didn't have the most loving relationship with food when I was growing up, but one thing was consistent--my family gathered around the table for homemade dinners almost daily. Once I left home for college, I missed the gathering aspect and began to learn to cook for myself and my friends. As I incorporated healthier foods and dishes into my life, I noticed that gradually, the health issues I battled when I was younger began to subside.
In 2012, I completed the 12-week professional course at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Ireland. Located on a hundred-acre organic farm, Ballymaloe taught me the value of cooking with organic, local, and seasonal ingredients. From Ballymaloe, I returned to New York to work in kitchens but found the lifestyle of both New York and professional kitchens to be taxing. In 2014, I moved to the Bay Area with the intentions of having a more outdoors-oriented lifestyle and taking the holistic nutrition course at Bauman College in Berkeley.
Now I am devoted to cooking for health, always keeping in mind the principles of nourishing foods and traditional diets. My cooking is forever inspired by my travels, most especially my trips to India, Italy, and Mexico, as well as by my Iranian partner and his mother's Persian cooking. I am studying to become a Nutritional Consultant at Bauman College, with an expected graduation of September 2017.
Hannah Ronson, Natural Chef and nutrition consultant
A native to New York City I relocated to the Bay about a year ago. My passion for cooking nutritious food started in college, when due to personal health issues I began educating myself about healing foods. Following graduation I realized I wanted to expand my knowledge of cooking and the restaurant industry and started working in the food industry as a cook. I have worked in a diverse array of kitchens. As a line cook I worked in New York City at the fine dining raw/vegan restaurants Pure Food and Wine, and Dirt Candy, well as Pok Pok Phat Thai.
After a few years of professional cooking, and many rewarding experiences, I began to see how the greuling hours and lifestyle of a restaurant cook is unsustainable. I also felt the strong desire to cook more nutritious food, and to make personal connections with the people I am cooking for. I made the decision to move to California and enroll in Bauman College, in Berkeley, where I am currently studying to become a Nutrition Consultant. I am passionate about healthy and organic foods, educating others, and love working around dietary restrictions to design balanced meals. I also have a small grain-free granola business, Cereal Killer Granola. More info can be found here.
Linda Liang, Natural Chef
Linda is a graduate of the Natural Chef program at Bauman College in Berkeley, California. A native of Taiwan, she grew up among the bustling sights and smells of the island nation's "wet" markets and delectable street food. After a decade-plus long career in nonprofit marketing, Linda decided to pursue her goal of bringing fresh, seasonal, and healthful foods into the kitchens of Bay Area families. But she won't turn down the occasional serving of her favorite foods: noodles, dumplings, and ice cream.