Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Oppenheim.
Christine, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I fell in love with cooking as soon as I was tall enough to reach the stove. In 2009, I decided to finally follow my passion for cooking to Bauman College in Berkeley, CA. My education at Bauman College changed my eating habits for good. Not only did the program teach me the practical and technical skills required by professional chefs, but also focused on the idea of eating for health by teaching the foundations of holistic nutrition. Through the program, I learned not just how to make a meal taste good and look nice but also learned health benefits of the ingredients we were using.
All of this knowledge is incorporated in my own way of eating and in the way I prepare food for clients, as well as teach in my cooking classes.
Has it been a smooth road?
In 2011, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease which became a struggle with my newly formed business. I spent many of my days sick and too weak to leave the house and was determined to get better naturally.
During this time, I became even more focused on nutrition and the importance of food for health. Not wanting to rely on medications to treat my condition, I sought out natural remedies for controlling my illness. This eventually led me to seek certification as a health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to help other busy professionals improve their eating habits and manage stress, fatigue and/or digestive disorders, by making small dietary and lifestyle changes that will yield big results for their over all health and wellness.
Later, I also certified through the Physician’s Committee for Responsible medicine to teach Food for Life classes. Food for Life is a collaborative effort of physicians, researchers and nutritionists who have joined together to educate the public about the benefits of a healthful diet for weight management and disease prevention.
I am happy to say that I have been symptom free for over five years and have a greater appreciation for not taking my health for granted.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Veggie Fixation story. Tell us more about the business.
Veggie Fixation encompasses the idea that vegetables are more than a side dish; they are something you can and should, get fixated on. My clients are vegan or vegetarian, suffer from food allergies or just enjoy an occasional meat-free meal. I pride myself on using high quality, organic ingredients and creating food that is familiar and fun. Meals are centered on whole grains and seasonal fruits and vegetables, with a focus on utilizing alternative ingredients to accommodate restricted diets (i.e. gluten free, soy free, no refined sugar).
To this end, I help people to transition to a plant based or vegan diet through personal chef services, and hands on cooking classes, as well as community and corporate workshops. My favorite workshops to teach are Healthy Eating Basics for adults and a Healthy Kids Cooking Class.
In April 2016, I welcomed my amazing son into this world and have been raising him vegan. After experiencing the stress of new motherhood and how difficult it becomes to take care of yourself while you’re caring for a tiny human, I realized my new passion for helping to ease some of the burden for new parents. I love focusing on meal preparation that is centered around maternal and family wellness.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The world of vegan cooking is constantly changing and evolving. It’s been amazing to see the shift to a more plant based way of eating. I hope that the need for plant-based/vegan chefs and cooking instructors will continue to grow as we learn more about the health and environmental benefits of reducing animal consumption.
- Website: www.veggiefixation.com
- Phone: 424-259-3106
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/veggiefixation
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/chef-christine-santa-monica-3