Our Story

The McDougall Program is a leading medical program that heals chronic illness through professional medical care, world-class education, and ongoing support for people transitioning to a starch-based lifestyle.

John McDougall, MD, is a physician, speaker, and best-selling author who teaches the importance of a whole food, starch-based diet in order to halt, reverse and heal chronic disease. 

Dr. McDougall is co-founder of the McDougall Program alongside his wife, Mary McDougall – the original whole-food plant-based vegan and creator of thousands of low fat, oil-free, vegan recipes. 

Fast Facts


John McDougall, MD is the author of 13 national best-sellers including one of the top vegan books on Amazon, The Starch Solution, and a clinical instructor for four medical schools in the United States

Dr. McDougall is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine

Dr. John and Mary McDougall are co-founders of Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods which offers convenient food products such as soups, ramen and more

The McDougall Program has helped thousands of people get off unnecessary medications; reverse and heal serious health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure; reduce their risk for cancer, arthritis and heart disease; learn why they’re sick and how to get well. This program has been healing people from all over the world for over 35 years and is led by Heather McDougall, CEO and her team of world-class experts such as the program’s medical director, Anthony Lim, MD, JD; psychologist Doug Lisle, PhD; nutrition expert Jeff Novick, MS, RDN; personal trainer Jack Dixon, NSCA, CPT; and more

The McDougall Program centers on a diet of 90% starchy plant foods such as potatoes, beans, corn, rice and includes whole grains and whole-grain products (such as pasta, tortillas, and whole-grain bread), and 10% of a wide assortment of vegetables and fruit

Dr. McDougall, Why Do You Act That Way?

I was born a passionate person — with a larger-than-life type-A personality. I have lived with this high enthusiasm, for better or worse, every single day. My most memorable childhood lesson was about the importance of honesty. My parents would say, “Johnny, no matter what you did wrong (and I was into a lot of mischief), or what else is going on in your life, as long as you tell the truth everything will work out.”

My medical education began in October of 1965, at age 18, when I suffered a massive stroke that left me completely paralyzed on the left side of my body for 2 weeks, and I remain noticeably physically weakened 44 years later. This was my first real contact with the businesses of medicine, and without this opportunity I would have never become a physician. I was raised in a lower middle class family in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. My parents worshipped medical doctors as if they were exceptional beings possessing near God-like qualities. I was an ordinary person, at best; therefore, I never even dreamed of aspiring to such heights — that is, before my fateful hospitalization.

My exalted view of doctors changed during my 2-week stay at Grace Hospital. As “a medical curiosity” — suffering a stroke at such a young age — I attracted some of Detroit’s finest medical specialists.  After examining me, I asked each new doctor: “What caused my stroke?” “What are you going to do for me?” “How are you going to make me better?” “When can I go home?” The typical response was nonverbal; shaking their heads from side to side, they walked out of my room. I figured I could do that. After 2 weeks of the “best care” modern medicine had to offer, I left the hospital AMA (against medical advice) and returned to my undergraduate college studies at Michigan State University. Soon my learning was on a track straight to medical school. Looking back at my diet, I can give credit to eggs, double cheese pizzas, and hot dogs for my brain damage, and my good fortune.

After three years of undergraduate work I entered the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Medical school was fun and easy for me. During my senior year I met Mary, a surgical nurse, while helping with a hip operation. After a short courtship we married and planned our escape to Hawaii. In 1972, I started my internship at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu on Oahu. We fell in love with those exotic islands, and then destiny took us to the Big Island of Hawaii the next year to work and live. As one of four medical doctors at the Hamakua Sugar Plantation, I had responsibility for 5000 people — laborers and their families. I did everything medical for them from delivering their babies to signing their death certificates. This responsibility forced me to become the best doctor I could be; after all, I was “it”; the nearest specialist was 42 miles south in the small town of Hilo.

Lessons about Medical Practice

Under my care my patients with chronic problems seemed to never get well. I used to play a game with many of these fine people (unbeknownst to them): “Who has the most patience?” They would come to my office with a complaint for which I would prescribe a pill. On the way out of my office I would say, “If this pill doesn’t work, come back and I will try another one.” Upon their return the scenario would be repeated. Soon they would tire of the experience and stop coming, but I never ran out of pills. Consistent failures led to me to the conclusion that the fault was mine: “I was a bad doctor.” Had I not learned my medical school lessons?  Maybe I had spent too much time at the beach during my Hawaiian internship?

Before starting
The McDougall Program, I never ran out of pills.

In an effort to remedy my apparent lack of medical competence, after three years as a sugar plantation doctor, I moved back to Oahu, with Mary and my two young children, and entered the University of Hawaii Medical Residency Program. Now I would learn effective ways to help my patients. Unfortunately, more than two years of intense training under the guidance of some of the best professors in the world left me still seeking the secrets to health and healing. These special doctors obtained no better results with their prescriptions than I had — the patients stayed ill. In 1978, I passed the American Board of Internal Medicine, certifying my competence in orthodox medical knowledge. Even though I was now a board certified Internist, I had to look back to my days on the sugar plantation for the solutions I was seeking.

Basic Nutrition from My Plantation Patients

From my patients at the Hamakua Sugar Plantation, between 1973 and 1976, I had learned the cause of over 80% of the diseases afflicting people in North America and the rest of the Western world. My elderly patients had immigrated to Hawaii from China, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines, where rice was food. They brought their culture with them. Their children, tempted by Western foods, slowly changed. The third generation, had essentially given up rice and vegetables for meat, dairy, and junk. For all three generations, their health reflected their diet. The first generation immigrants were trim, active, and medication-free into their 90s. They had no diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or cancers of the breast, prostate, or colon.  Their children became a little fatter and sicker, and most of their grandchildren had lost all of their immunity to obesity and common diseases — in every way of appearance and health, they were full-fledged Americans.

My observations contradicted two basic beliefs I had held since childhood. The first was that as we age, we naturally become fatter and sicker. The second was that a well-balanced diet was best. Before my own eyes I saw fully functioning elders thriving on grains and fruits and vegetables. With the inclusion of the two other basic food groups — meat and dairy — the progeny failed.

The most impressive example of the potential for extraordinary health provided by a starch (rice) based diet came from some special Filipinos—specifically, family units consisting of an elderly man, a very young wife, and their children. After saving for years and then retiring, single men traveled to the Philippines in search of a young bride. In my office every day I witnessed what can best be described as “natural Viagra.” Men in their 70s and 80s were starting new families and demonstrating physical functions many American men only fantasize about after their 50s. These Filipino septuagenarians also expected to see their young children grow into adults, and they did. This virility and optimism was from their simple diets.

My Hawaii Library Experience

My plantation days left me with a clear understanding of the power of a healthy diet to prevent disease, but the full potential of diet-therapy only became apparent after my research began at the Hawaii Medical Library in 1976. Reading through the scientific journals I learned that many other doctors before me had made the same discoveries as I had: Diets of common starches, such as rice and potatoes, resulted in robust health, and meat and dairy destroyed people’s physical condition. Then an even more important breakthrough was revealed to me. These pioneer scientists reported that once people stopped eating the foods that made them sick, they recovered. They described weight loss, relief of chest pains, headaches, and arthritis. Kidney and heart failure, diabetes, and many more troubles were reversed. Volumes of research written over the previous 50 years in these library journal pages showed me how my patients could be cured with one big simple solution: a starch-based diet.

Challenging the System — Asbestos in the Rice

My first experience with fighting big business came after newspaper headlines in 1978 warned the citizens of Hawaii about cancer risks from asbestos exposure — a common occurrence for shipyard workers and for children because of schools built with these materials. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Honolulu Advertiser asking: why worry about these minor sources of exposure when our citizens are eating hundreds of millions of tons of asbestos-coated rice annually? After milling brown rice to white, the kernel is exposed and easily spoils. To prevent this spoilage the rice was coated with talc powder. Talc is an amorphous form of magnesium silicate. Asbestos is the same material in a fibrous form. You cannot mine talc without the asbestos. After a yearlong fight with the rice companies, I won and talc was removed from the rice sold in Hawaii, California, and Puerto Rico, and replaced with a coating of glucose. No personal repercussions followed for me.

Challenging the System — Informed Consent for Breast Cancer

In 1980, I was approached by a citizen-group in Honolulu, which was trying to get an informed consent law passed, requiring doctors to tell women their surgical options when faced with breast cancer.  Massachusetts and California had already passed similar laws. The reason such laws were needed is that doctors were not telling women that surgery did not improve survival; because the disease has already spread to the rest of a woman’s body in most cases, long before the discovery of the tumor in her breast (even with a mammogram). Simply put: a lumpectomy or a mastectomy made no difference in her day of death — the choice was to live with or without her breast. I thought a woman should know the facts in case she might want to choose less mutilating surgery.

The fight took two years in the state legislature. My final face-off in front of the Hawaii lawmakers was with members of the Hawaii Cancer Society and the University of Hawaii Medical School. They lost and the nations third informed consent law for breast cancer was passed. (There are now 18 states with similar laws.) The personal repercussion for me was that I could no longer buy malpractice insurance. At that time physicians controlled the only two doctors’ liability insurance companies in the state. Losing my malpractice insurance meant I lost my hospital privileges. I practiced “bare” (without insurance) for the next two years. Until this writing I have not told this final chapter of the story — I never wanted others to know that my colleagues retaliated against me for making them tell women the truth about breast cancer.

My St. Helena Hospital Experience

In 1986, I was invited by the administration of the Seventh Day Adventist St. Helena Hospital in Napa Valley, California to run the McDougall Program as their lifestyle residential program. This was a good match because their founding religion believes in a vegetarian diet and a healthy lifestyle. (I am not an Adventist.) This hospital was also considered one of the best heart surgery centers in the country. Even then it seemed odd to me to invite a doctor who is against most heart surgeries to work at a hospital that makes 80% of its income from heart disease.

Now that I was working at a respected hospital, I figured, I might be able to get medical insurance to pay for patients to attend my program. I approached several well-known companies. I argued that our program could treat heart patients at a fraction of the cost of bypass surgery ($4,000 vs. $100,000). No matter how hard I tried to convince them, the sale was impossible. A representative from one large insurer told me that they were not interested in my approach because it required the cooperation of the patient, and all the bypass surgeon had to do to relieve chest pain was to get the patient to willingly lie down on the table.  They apparently had little faith in patients’ judgment and willpower. I countered, “But, some patients will change their diet and they deserve this alternative.” After some contesting I finally got the real answer, “McDougall you just don’t get it.  As an insurance company we take a piece of the pie and the bigger the pie the more we get.”

Dr. McDougall, we know your diet works.

Working at a heart surgery center I had many chances to talk to surgeons and cardiologists — some of them actually became my friends. I told these heart doctors on several occasions that I would send all of my patients to them for a second opinion if they would return the favor. I got no takers. My kindest feedback came from the radiologists. They would tell me, “McDougall, we know your diet works. We see the repeat angiograms of their heart arteries showing reversal.” During my sixteen years at St. Helena Hospital, I sent many patients to other doctors for a second opinion and treatments, but I did not receive a single referral from a local doctor in return.  How unique, that the population served by this hospital seemed to have no need for instruction on healthier eating (from me or anyone else). On many occasions I did, however, care for the physicians at St. Helena Hospital, their spouses, and their children.

My Departure from St. Helena Hospital in 2002

I have fond memories of those years working at the hospital. Thousands of people were helped with the aid of the talented and caring professional staff working for St. Helena Hospital. But, the program never seemed to grow in numbers in this setting. Maybe people saw a contradiction of health (my program) and medical treatment (the hospital). Even though I was a national figure appearing at that time on most of the top TV and radio shows nationwide with my bestselling books, our census was far lower than it should have been.

In 2002 an opportunity arose to enlarge the McDougall Program and to help many more people. Dr. Roy Swank, the inventor for the dietary treatment of multiple sclerosis, offered me the opportunity to open my live-in program to treat his patients with MS. This was a win-win opportunity for everyone and I expected an enthusiastic welcome from the hospital administration. After lengthy discussions they told me that they did not want to be associated with MS patients, as if this would be a stigma. The real reason may have been that treating MS patients for any hospital would be very low-profit. I explained that we are: a hospital and our primary purpose is to treat the sick, a special hospital because of the religious foundation, and even more exceptional because of the Adventists’ belief in diet therapy. I concluded no better match could have been made. They were steadfast. My contract renewal was due for signature in five days. I turned it in with “VOID” written over the front page. I was told later that they had thought I would never leave them because without the organization they provided the McDougall Program could not exist.

Other McDougall Programs

But, I had run the McDougall Program many times without them. Between 1999 and 2001 I ran my program in Minneapolis, Minnesota for Blue Cross Blue Shield — the medical insurance company. During this three-year period, with three different groups of their employees, I was able to show the same remarkable health benefits we were getting at St. Helena Hospital: weight loss, reduction in cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugars; relief of indigestion, constipation, arthritis, etc. This time I was also able to document a 44% reduction in healthcare costs for each of the three groups based on the insurance company’s own claims data. I had had a similar experience in Lakeland, Florida caring for some of the employees of Publix Supermarkets.  Both of these remote programs were run out of local hotels. I can set up a 10-day McDougall Program in any city in the US within 72 hours. I still can’t understand why anyone would think the McDougall Program would depend upon anything other than sensible people looking to regain their lost health and appearance.

The Santa Rosa Clinic and Our Future

In May of 2002 we began our first McDougall Program at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California. Our yearly census quadrupled in no time. The food now tastes as if Mary made it at home.  Like many things in life, we have asked ourselves why we waited so long to take over complete control of our program. Our non-profit foundation has raised money and has begun a study with Oregon Health & Science University on the dietary treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. The web site, www.drmcdougall.com, is receiving 7 to 8 million hits a month. The McDougall, MD TV show is playing in 95% of households worldwide. Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods are in nearly 4000 stores. Our free newsletter is going out to 30,000 people monthly. We make new friends every month at our sessions: 10-day medical live-in programs, 5-day programs, Advanced Study Weekends, Celebrity Chef Weekends, and Adventure Trips. Seems like we’re on a productive track.

I have just co-authored AB 1478, a bill asking for even more informed consent for the people of the state of California. One part of this bill requires doctors to tell patients that heart surgery does not save lives in most cases and that diet is a real answer. The second part requires doctors to tell patients that common medications for type-2 diabetes increase their risk of dying and that diet will help them greatly. The bill is in committee now. I wonder if there will be any negative repercussions for me from my colleagues when AB 1478 is passed into law? I can’t change, my parents taught me to tell the truth, always, and my life is guided by my passions. Medical care is changing for the better because millions of informed people are demanding improved health, rather than more treatments. I am optimistic and so should you be. To believe this is unfixable is unthinkable.

Meet the Team

John McDougall, MD

John McDougall, MD

John McDougall’s national recognition as a nutrition expert earned him a position in the Great Nutrition Debate 2000 presented by the USDA. He is a board-certified internist, author of 13 national best-selling books and co-founder of the McDougall Program. He has dedicated over 50 years of his life caring for people with diet and lifestyle medicine.

John McDougall, MD

Mary McDougall

Mary McDougall

Mary is a retired nurse, homemaker, co-founder of the McDougall Program and co-author of 13 national best-selling books. Over the past 50 years, Mary has worked with Dr. John McDougall caring for people using diet therapy to restore health and has created over 3,000 health-supporting recipes. Mary is best known as the inventor of low-fat, vegan cooking, and loves sharing the practical methods of turning the kitchen into a health-builder for the whole family. Prior to 1977, when Mary began her work in the kitchen, low-fat recipes contained skimmed milk, white meat, and other unhealthy ingredients and vegan recipes were loaded with vegetable oils. Now there are dozens of websites and cookbooks that focus on the McDougall health-supporting way of eating.

Mary McDougall

Heather McDougall, CEO

Heather McDougall, CEO

Heather is an experienced medical program director, group facilitator and whole-food, starch-based home chef. Driven by empowering people with the knowledge to transform their health, Heather takes pride in providing a leading medical program that has been reversing chronic illness for over 35 years through a whole-food, low-fat, starch-based diet. As the CEO of the McDougall Program, Heather’s goals include serving her patients, supporting her world-class team and sharing free information on the company website to encourage disease prevention for everyone.

Heather McDougall, CEO

Anthony Lim, MD, JD, Medical Director

Anthony Lim, MD, JD, Medical Director

As Medical Director, Dr. Lim oversees the medical care of participants in the McDougall Program. Dr. Lim is a board-certified family physician and enjoys working closely with patients to help them adopt healthier habits that can significantly improve their overall health. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Human Biology, and subsequently obtained a law degree from Harvard Law and a medical degree from Boston University. He completed his residency at Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency and has a busy career combining patient care, teaching, and community advocacy focused on whole food, plant-based nutrition. He has a special interest in the role of diet and lifestyle medicine in both preventing and treating chronic illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune conditions, and heart disease. Dr. Lim lives in Santa Rosa, CA with his wife, Jean, and their two children, Joshua and Julia, who bring them endless joy and laughter. His outside interests include playing out in nature (mountain biking, hiking, backpacking), learning guitar and continually growing in his faith. For private consultations with Dr. Lim, please click here.

Anthony Lim, MD, JD, Medical Director

Jeff Novick, MS, RDN

Jeff Novick, MS, RDN

Jeff Novick is a uniquely qualified dietitian, nutritionist and health educator. For more than 30 years, he has worked with many leading researchers, doctors and medical programs and has helped thousands of people lose weight, reverse disease and build health. As a speaker, Jeff educates and empowers his audiences by distilling complex data into simple principles. His entertaining presentations are woven with humor, warmth and a genuine connection with the audience. His commonsense approach helps break through the confusion surrounding conflicting health messages. Jeff received his graduate degree in nutrition from Indiana State University, where he created and taught the Nutrition Education Initiative, a nutrition-based preventive medicine curriculum for medical doctors, residents and medical students. In recognition of this groundbreaking project, Indiana’s governor awarded him the Indiana State Public Health Excellence in Health Science Award.  For his outstanding achievements and significant contributions in his field, Indiana State University honored Jeff with their Graduate-of-the-Last-Decade Award. Jeff is available for private consults for McDougall Alumni.

Jeff Novick, MS, RDN

Douglas Lisle, PhD, Psychologist

Douglas Lisle, PhD, Psychologist

Dr. Lisle completed his degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Virginia and was then appointed Lecturer in Psychology at Stanford University. He is the founder of Esteem Dynamics, an innovative practical method for supporting his clients’ efforts toward greater self-esteem and personal well-being.

Douglas Lisle, PhD, Psychologist

Carol Van Elderen, Office Manager

Carol Van Elderen, Office Manager

As our Office Manager, Carol oversees and manages all reservations for McDougall programs, including managing databases, filling orders, answering questions and supporting our patients. Having extensive knowledge of all McDougall programs, Carol’s friendly and helpful demeanor always makes registration an easy process whether that’s online, through email or via phone. Carol lives with her husband and near her two grown children in Michigan. Carol is Mary McDougall’s sister, and, like Mary, loves cooking and trying out new starch-based recipes.

Carol Van Elderen, Office Manager

Tiffany Hobson, Operations Manager

Tiffany Hobson, Operations Manager

Tiffany is the Operations Manager for all McDougall Programs, Tour Director for “McDougall Adventures,” and the Administrator of several McDougall courses in addition to assisting Heather with day-to-day business operations. Tiffany has a BA in Rhetoric from University of California, Berkeley, and is nationally certified as a Pharmacy Technician. She had the honor to assist Dr. McDougall when he saw patients before his retirement and continues overseeing patient care with Dr. Lim.

Tiffany Hobson, Operations Manager

Kori Burningham, Program Coordinator

Kori Burningham, Program Coordinator

Kori is the Program Coordinator for Dr. McDougall’s Health & Medical Center supporting staff and operations. She started learning about nutrition to restore health and well-being from her father. Kori feels fortunate to have found a company whose work resonates with her core values. In her free time, you can find Kori enjoying the outdoors, traveling and camping with her fiancé.

Kori Burningham, Program Coordinator

Stacy Cross, Support Specialist

Stacy Cross, Support Specialist

Stacy is a Support Specialist for the 12-Day McDougall Program. She is a registered nurse, worked at the American Cancer Society National Cancer Information Center and feeds the homeless in her local community by preparing healthy, starch-centered meals. Stacy is passionate about seeing lives changed through the power of a healthy diet. She loves dancing, photography and traveling with her husband and four boys.

Stacy Cross, Support Specialist

Jack Dixon, NSCA, CPT

Jack Dixon, NSCA, CPT

Jack has been a full-time personal trainer for 30 years. He has been certified by the American Council on Exercise as a personal trainer and as a Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant, as a personal trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and as a Post-Rehab Conditioning Specialist by the American Academy of Fitness Professionals. His experience has had him work with all segments of the population, while conservatively completing over 30,000 one-on-one training sessions. Jack is also a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist and Ergonomist at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa, California. Jack started his collaboration with the McDougall team as the personal trainer for John and Mary McDougall.

Jack Dixon, NSCA, CPT

Christopher Carnrick, Chef & Author

Christopher Carnrick, Chef & Author

Christopher Carnrick is an author, chef, owner of Pirate Palms – a plant-centered Bed & Breakfast located in Naples, Florida – and a Certified Starch Solution Counselor/Trainer with Dr. John McDougall. He has been a regular TV personality for a variety of cooking shows airing on CBS, NBC and FOX networks.

Christopher educates others by sharing his story about how he came to terms with his weight and let go of medication in just 10 days by following a simple methodology and utilizing the principles set by Dr. John McDougall and Jeff Novick. Christopher is an inspiring and engaging presenter for the 12-Day McDougall Program and proves that a starch-rich diet can help to reduce weight and prevent a variety of illnesses.

Christopher Carnrick, Chef & Author

Emma Roche, Food & Recipe Photographer

Emma Roche, Food & Recipe Photographer

Emma is a budget-and-health conscious cook, founder of PlantPlate, and author of the “Whole Food Plant-Based on $5 a Day” eBook series. Since starting her website in 2013, Emma has been working on recipes and articles to help show others that healthy eating can be both flavorful and affordable. She is certified in plant-based nutrition through the Center for Nutrition Studies. In addition to creating and photographing recipes, Emma enjoys traveling and educating others about the many benefits of a starch-centered diet.

Emma Roche, Food & Recipe Photographer

Deanna Wilcox, Digital Content Manager

Deanna Wilcox, Digital Content Manager

Deanna is a strategic and creative digital content manager who has an eye for quality and detail. She manages web content and the email marketing program and is driven to create content that is informative and practical. Deanna is passionate about helping people restore their health.

Deanna Wilcox, Digital Content Manager

JJ Bassette, Lead Web Developer

JJ Bassette, Lead Web Developer

JJ Bassette is a freelance Web Developer and growth-oriented Software Engineer who manages the technical side of the McDougalls’ online presence, and built the site you are now on.  A WordPress, Shopify, and responsive design specialist with React experience, JJ helps organizations of all sizes (including Acorns, Porto’s Bakery, and others) create high-performing web experiences to engage users and drive conversion.  He can be reached for consultation at jj@alumni.usc.edu.

JJ Bassette, Lead Web Developer

Jamie Ryder, Marketing Advisor

Jamie Ryder, Marketing Advisor

A driven marketing professional with an accomplished background in the design and development of comprehensive strategic marketing programs and brand initiatives to build awareness and drive incremental business growth. Jamie has been reaping the rewards of a whole-food, starch-based lifestyle and loves supporting this important movement for the health of her family, friends, and our collective home, planet Earth.

Jamie Ryder, Marketing Advisor

Chef AJ, Visiting Chef

Chef AJ, Visiting Chef

Chef AJ has been devoted to a plant-exclusive diet for over 43 years. She is the host of the television series Healthy Living with CHEF AJ which airs on Foody TV. A chef, culinary instructor, and professional speaker, she is the author of the popular book Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight, which chronicles her journey from an obese junk-food vegan faced with a diagnosis of pre-cancerous polyps, to learning how to create foods that nourish and heal the body. Chef AJ was the Executive Pastry Chef at Santé Restaurant in Los Angeles where she was famous for her sugar, oil, salt, and gluten-free desserts which use the fruit, the whole fruit, and nothing but the whole fruit. In 2018 she was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame.

Chef AJ, Visiting Chef

Cathy Fisher, Visiting Chef

Cathy Fisher, Visiting Chef

Cathy Fisher is the creator of StraightUpFood, a blog that offers recipes and information on how to eat a health-promoting, plant-based (vegan) diet. Cathy’s education and experience are grounded in her work with the McDougall Program and TrueNorth Health Center, where she regularly teaches cooking classes to in-patient clients. Cathy graduated with her BA in Psychology, going on to earn a credential in Early Childhood Education and a certification in Nutrition Education. Cathy enjoys presenting to groups and giving people the practical skills they need to successfully shift to a healthier diet. Cathy published her first cookbook in October 2016, entitled Straight Up Food.

Cathy Fisher, Visiting Chef

Jill Nussinow, Visiting Chef

Jill Nussinow, Visiting Chef

Jill is a cooking teacher, Registered Dietitian, cookbook author, freelance writer and speaker with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Jill has been sharing her knowledge of nutrition and love of cooking with groups for almost 30 years, entertaining and educating them in the process.  She has found that teaching people to cook has a profound impact on people’s lives and their health. She has written four cookbooks, including The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment and The New Fast Food, and is featured in 3 DVDs. Jill’s recipes focus on healthful, seasonal and organically grown foods. Over the past 25+ years, Jill has introduced thousands of people to the joys of eating fresh food.

Jill Nussinow, Visiting Chef

Katie Mae, Visiting Chef

Katie Mae, Visiting Chef

Katie is the creator of The Culinary Gym, designed to inspire and empower people to transform their health and lives through fresh, delicious plant foods. Katie teaches how to turn plant foods into amazing meals.

Katie Mae, Visiting Chef