CNS Certification of Cooking Coaches

Here at PBNM we are passionate about spreading the word about the health benefits of a whole food plant-based lifestyle. One way we have done so is through our hands-on cooking classes. As a result of the Covid-19 virus we have had to temporarily suspend in person programs and have transitioned to social media platforms to present classes during these challenging times.

Education about the science behind a whole food plant-based lifestyle has always been an important component of our PBNM Coking Coach program. A golden opportunity presented itself to our talented coaches when I learned that they could apply for full scholarships from the Food For Life Foundation to become certified in plant-based nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (CNS). I received my certificate in 2013 from this program and have been singing its praises for years.

I am pleased to announce that three of our Cooking Coaches, Karen Bender, Maureen Hartwig and Cindy Tennesson have been awarded full scholarships from the Food For Life Foundation and are now certified in plant-based nutrition through CNS (Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s Center for Nutrition Studies).

Others in our Cooking Coach program had previously earned their certificates. Here are a few stories (one from a scholarship recipient and another from a PBNM board member about how they plan to utilize this credential as they educate others through cooking classes and lectures:

Karen Bender (PBNM Cooking Coach and scholarship recipient)

I had been keeping my eye on this course since beginning my WFPB journey. Once I heard that there was a chance to receive a scholarship, I decided to try for it. I was encouraged by my doctor and others in the PBNM organization. Pleasantly surprised upon receiving the scholarship, I started on the 6 week- set of 3 courses: Nutrition & Society, Diseases of Affluence, Plant-based in Practice. The certificate does not qualify someone as a medical professional but definitely provides the why and how. The lectures by leaders in the WFPB movement were interesting, science-based, and solidified my passion for this lifestyle. I previously read, listened, or watched many of these health professionals over the past three years so not all the information was new. I learned more about the effect of meat production on the climate, the effect of media and lobbyists on eating habits, and very importantly the effects of the food we eat on overall health to prevent and/or reverse disease. The very last section of the course was how to implement a WFPB diet. Along with all the information I am still “digesting”, this is the practical part that I hope to share with more people as a cooking coach. In the beginning of making a transition to this way of eating, it can be daunting. I didn’t know others at the time I started (until I met friends through PBNM), so I had quite a bit of figuring out to do myself. There are lots of resources available, but having a mentor would be such great support.

Joan Davis (PBNM Cooking Coach Trainer, PBNM Board Member)

As a nurse teaching nutrition classes at community colleges, libraries and at community groups, I’ve found my Plant Based Nutrition Certificate (completed Jan. 2015) to be invaluable in providing me with not only concepts but in-depth understanding of the benefits of whole food plant-based nutrition. While my teaching and nursing background lend credibility to my presentations, it’s the Certificate and the principles I learned from the course that gives me the confidence to develop and present nutrition programs.

I’m grateful to count on the reliable nutrition information I learned during the course, for every program I present. However, this was especially true recently for my newest program focusing on COVID19 and the importance of WFPB nutrition. For developing my program and citing supportive resources, I was delighted to find many timely COVID19 resources offered through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies.


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