What is your background? Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Austin, TX and moved to Dallas, TX to continue my college education while competing my horse. After graduation I moved into the online marketing field working with numerous companies to increase their online presence. When my husband was approached with an opportunity to advance with his company and transfer to Colorado Springs we jumped on the opportunity! I found this the perfect opportunity to pursue my passion for cooking, health and living a vegan lifestyle.
When did you become interested in cooking and nutrition?
Well I suppose I first became interested in cooking and nutrition my sophomore year of college. However it was for all the wrong reasons. I became interested so I would look good, it was all about vanity at that point. So I would workout and eat diet “food” like portioned calorie snack packs and pre-made shakes. I had no idea that these foods were full of ingredients that are toxic for the body. I found myself counting calories and over exercising, not leading a very healthy lifestyle at all. This trend continued for about 5 years. When my husband and I went to a local vegan restaurant in town Spiral Diner where I decided to read about factory farming. I was at home in the kitchen reading this and broke down into uncontrollable tears. Right then and there I decided to start my path to a vegan life. I was vegetarian for three months before the full transition into veganism. I felt like I had to start all over with my cooking because I was so used to using pre-packaged and already prepared foods in my life. I found some very helpful blog websites that taught me how to thrive on a vegan diet; ohsheglows.com and kblog.lunchboxbunch.com. These blogs emphasize on cooking with whole plant foods and all of the new dishes you can learn to create. Before becoming vegan I had never had a butternut squash, now I cant imagine my life without one.
What is the mission of the Forks N Spoons cooking school?
My mission with Forks N’ Spoons is to teach people to learn how to cook vegan meals in a healthy and simplistic way. I want to take the mystery and misconceptions out of vegan food. Cooking vegan is simple, inexpensive, nourishing and scrumptious. The more people I can teach to cook healthy tasty vegan food the more likely they are to stick with this lifestyle and thrive! Can you tell us a bit about IIN? I graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition with my Holistic Health Coaching certification in July 2013 and am also certified with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. I chose to attend IIN because of their holistic view on health and wellness. You learn hundreds of different dietary theories helping you understand why people are so confused when it comes to their diet and how as a health coach can help. They also provide you with business tools to get your coaching business started. I coached for about a year before I realized that my true calling was in cooking and teaching vegan cooking.
How has the school been working so far?
I taught my first class in November 2013 which was all about a vegan holiday spread. Since then I have taught a variety of other classes from a vegan detox to gluten free vegan cooking. Forks N’ Spoons has been featured in the Gazette and on the radio show Table Talk with Teresa Farney. I am currently writing a book titled The Essential Vegan: The No Non-Sense Guide to Vegan Lifestyle for Better Health and Happiness. Where I teach people who are interested in becoming vegan how to prepare for a vegan lifestyle in a healthy way to better their chances of sticking with this life changing lifestyle.
What are your plans for the future?
Like I mentioned I am writing a book which is due to release late spring/early summer 2014. In the immediate future I am working with Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary to teach a food cooking demonstration May 17th, 100% of proceeds go to the sanctuary. I set my sights on having my own cooking show, teaching people all about vegan food and how easily it is to prepare.
What would you like to share with people in the community?
I have an absolute love and passion for cooking and teaching other people to cook healthy vegan food. All skill levels are welcome at my class, you don’t even have to be vegan, just open minded and willing to learn! My classes are very fun, interactive, hands-on and you get to eat everything you make in the end. Come join the fun and find out how simple and delicious vegan cooking can be!
You can find Christina here, and I think you should 😉 :