Graphic Designer , Graphic Design
Kara is charismatic, engaging and extremely knowledgeable about how to achieve optimum nutrition with a whole foods, plant-based approach. Read full testimonial…
Jenn (CJ’s friend)
Kara was a great nutritional coach and teacher. She was engaging, thought provoking and met people where they were on their journey to a plant based diet – without judgement – and would gently coax them toward better choices. It is a delicate balance, and she does it with grace and ease. I would recommend any of these classes to people who are struggling with weight, health, and prevention of disease and cancer. Kara makes you want to do better, to make better choices, and to choose them for the right reasons.
– Jenn, Participant in Kara’s cooking classes
I began taking the Food for Life classes at the headquarters of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) a year ago. Although I intended to participate only in the Diabetes Initiative class, I have taken all the classes that PCRM has offered, and I’ve signed up for the Diabetes class again. Simply put, these classes have been a life changer for me.
Although I became a vegetarian in 1993 and a vegan in 2002, I have learned in these classes that not eating meat, dairy, or eggs does not translate into eating properly. While I was not a junk-food vegan, since I don’t care for cookies (and Oreos are vegan!) or chips, the classes have taught me that I had been eating too many processed foods, such as the frozen Boca, Gardein, and Beyond Meat meals, as well as soy or coconut ice creams, and non-dairy cheeses. I understand now that being a vegan does not mean that I was on a plant-based diet. Because of information that I was given following my diabetes diagnosis in 2011, I was too focused on carbs and not at all focused on fats.
Even though I was knowledgeable before the classes about fiber and the problems caused by added sugar, it never occurred to me as a diabetic to be reading the food labels for fat. Now it is second nature to me. Instead of snacking on non-dairy cheese or nuts, I eat fruit or veggies with low-fat hummus. (I certainly did not know that there was a difference in the fat content among hummus brands.) I am eating less and, without trying to lose weight, the pounds are coming off. Since early February, when I began in earnest to eliminate fat from my diet and increase my fiber, I have lost eight pounds. But more importantly, I feel great!
Not only are the Food for Life classes thought-provoking, but they are so enjoyable to attend. Kara Blank-Gonzalez, who is the cooking instructor, is amazingly supportive and enthusiastic; she never criticizes if we students make a misstep; instead, she celebrates any progress we make. There is also a very nice camaraderie among the students, and, to top it off, the meals are delicious. I have a new-found appreciation for home-cooked plant-based meals; no more processed vegan foods for me! I recommend these classes to anyone who has diabetes or cancer, or who just wants to feel better. And, unbelievably, there is no cost. All you have to do is come to class!
– Steve Farbman, Participant in Kara’s cooking classes
I have been attending Food for Life Classes led by Kara Blank-Gonzalez at the Barnard Medical Center for the past eight months. The weekly classes, on the benefits of transition to a plant-based, Vegan diet consist of lectures, discussions, actual cooking demonstrations and food sampling, are held in a pleasant collegial setting. Since taking the classes, I have successfully transitioned to a complete plant-based Vegan diet for myself. Since adopting the plant-based diet I have noted significant improvements in my digestive system, energy level and general health and quality of life. My classmates and I feel that the success of the class is due in large measure to the inspired leadership of our instructor, Kara Blank-Gonzalez. I intend to continue attending these classes and I heartily recommend the to others who seek to improve their lives through healthy diet.
– Alexander D. McRae, Participant in Kara’s cooking classes
I saw in the paper there was a food class at PCRM, so always being interested in food, I went. I had no idea what was coming by attending. A new way of eating, lectures, recipes, and food to eat! The classes were taught by Kara. Kara is an outstanding teacher. She is kind, knowledgeable, and truly cares about her students. I have attended classes now on and off for a year, and have been able to make some significant changes in my eating due to Kara’s instruction and guidance. I am continuing to attend, because of Kara and the encouragement, and knowledge I have gained through PCRM.
– Randi, Participant in Kara’s cooking classes
Participant in “Kickstart Your Health” Cooking Class "Kickstart Your Health" Cooking Class Participant
Thanks Kara! I really enjoyed the (Kickstart) class. It was a powerful tool to share info with family. And I learned a lot of new things. I enjoyed the comraderie of the class and the “no stress” approach. Kara’s personality was very upbeat and encouraging. It was also very helpful to learn practical tips from her in how she manages preparing and eating as a vegan.
Software Architect Software Architect
When I started attending the Food 4 Life classes with Kara, I wasn’t sure that this was going to work for me. After all, my family and I are huge meat lovers. But with a wealth of knowledge, great recipes (that Kara had prepared for each class), and research showing how a plant based diet can improve my well being, I was convinced and ready to change. I still eat meat once a week but I have definitely changed my habits and rely more on a plant based diet. The lessons and recipes I learned in Kara’s class are now a foundation of my cooking repertoire.
Employee Wellness Class Participant Celebrity Relations Coordinator
When we hired Kara to come into our place of business and help us make more educated diet changes, we were sure that people wouldn’t be receptive or willing. Read full testimonial…
Employee Wellness Class Participant IT Implementation Lead
After attending a Food for Life class taught by Kara, you’re perspective on foods and health will totally be changed. I highly recommend taking one of her classes. Read full testimonial…
Kara is charismatic, engaging and extremely knowledgeable about how to achieve optimum nutrition with a whole food, plant-based approach. LMI ran a class for 30 participants and everyone rated Kara as a top-notch instructor. Many class participants have made major lifestyle changes and have healthy results to show for their adherence to the whole food, plant-based approach taught by PCRM. Kara is a very personable and highly effective teacher of PCRM’s approach.
Martha, Coaching Client
I would recommend Kara to anyone interested in a nutrition coach. My top three goals upon starting the 6-month program were weight loss, improvement in blood pressure and help in transitioning into a mostly vegan diet. Kara was able to help me work toward these goals by giving me encouragement, helping me to see the positive side, helping me to know and understand primary foods and how it can affect how and what I eat, new recipes, ideas for food prep, ideas on how to involve my family in the food prep. Read full testimonial…
Jessica, Coaching Client
I would recommend Kara to anyone who wants to explore and/or transition to a plant based way of eating. My top three goals upon starting the program were become aware/mindful of what I eat on a daily basis, exercise at least 3 times per week, and cook two vegan dishes per week. Kara was able to help me work toward these goals by: helping me “think outside of the box” by giving me new ideas for exercise, handouts for different topics and coping skills; acknowledged and encouraged, and praised the steps and strides I made along my journey of healthful eating and fitness. Read full testimonial…
Celebrity Relations Specialist Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations Specialist, LMI Government Consulting
When we hired Kara to come into our place of business and help us make more educated diet changes, we were sure that people wouldn’t be receptive or willing. However, with Kara’s engaging and positive attitude, as well as, her impressive expertise in adopting a plant-based lifestyle, she quickly got people excited about adopting a healthier lifestyle. It was a huge challenge, but Kara did an amazing job. I highly recommend her to help anyone overcome dietary or lifestyle changes!
After attending two classes at PCRM: Cancer Project Series & 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, my eyes were opened. They were opened to the fact that we live in a world where the foods we consume are filled with chemicals which are creating disease and slowly killing us. Thankfully, PCRM offers you all of the tools and resources to turn your life around. I was lucky to have Kara as my instructor for both classes. She is extremely knowledgeable, compassionate and has a great teaching style. Throughout these classes, I learned that despite the major changes I had made in becoming vegan, I had not done so in the healthiest manner. You could say I was a junk food vegan during my initial transition, then moved more toward whole foods. Unfortunately, I had not seen the losses I was wanting until I went to PCRM as Kara and Dr. Barnard made me aware of the excess amount of fat, sugar and salt that I was still consuming. I am excited to continue with the lessons I have learned and hope to help others in the future. I realize this is a journey and am thankful I had the opportunity to become a member of the PCRM family as they teach you invaluable lifetime lessons. I appreciate all they have done to make our community and world a better place and I look forward to the future.
– CJ, Participant in Kara’s cooking classes