We spoke with Marni Wasserman, a plant based culinary nutritionist who’s serving up delicious knowledge. She knows good food and makes everyday healthy eating simple and delicious. We found out what you need to drink to maximize your workout, where to get a delicious escape, and about her new cooking studio that everyone seems to be talking about.
What do you say to people who believe they’ll starve if they eliminate meat, wheat, gluten, soy, and dairy?
When people question whether they will still be satisfied without meat, wheat, gluten, soy and dairy of course the first thing I tell them is to come to one of my cooking classes! There is no better way to experience an extremely satisfying well rounded plant based meal than to make it yourself and experience the depth of a meal without “traditional” staples. I would also love to have a chat with them about their goals and adopting a new nourishing lifestyle.
You’re raising money to open a new green cooking studio in Toronto, and you’re helping every funder get Fully Nourished. Tell us about it.
Yes, I am trying to raise money to build the most ecologically sound and sustainable cooking studio in Toronto. I want to invest in responsible, green building materials and great quality equipment from conscious companies so that our community will have a truly healthy space to visit and feel inspired to learn and cook.
As a thank you to everyone who helps me fund this amazing project, I’m offering my ebooks, cooking classes, and loads of healthy products to show my gratitude. I want every donation to be good for me, good for you, and good for our world. (Help build this healthy space, and take advantage of these awesome perks here!)
Building and opening a new space is a huge project. Why are you making the move?
I have been running classes out of my parents’ kitchen for the last five years. While it has served its purpose, and has provided a strong foundation for my business, I want to be more accessible and able to accommodate every Torontonian who wants to get Fully Nourished! I’m also looking forward to being able to offer a much wider variety of classes (with more frequency) and show people how much you can do with, and enjoy, a plant based diet. I will also be retailing some of my favourite healthy living products and tools, and hosting workshops and events, and, even private parties. I just really want to be able to use this space to show people how everyday eating can be simple and delicious.
Are there only vegetarians and vegans in your classes?
It’s funny; most people feel the need to confess to me before they come to a cooking class that they are not vegetarian or vegan, but if you want to be there, you are going to fit in perfectly. I do not cater my classes to vegetarians and vegan exclusively. For the most part the people who come usually just want to learn how to adopt more plant based recipes into their already existing diet. I do have the occasional student who wants to transform their diet to completely vegetarian, and I can definitely help them achieve that goal.
What are your favourite snacks to take with you on the go?
A homemade muffin, trail mix, smoothie, sliced apples with almond butter, and hummus with crackers. Luckily, I have built up my collection of amazing containers that I use to pack my snacks and travel. Some of them are even small enough to put in my purse.
You love to stay active. How do you keep your energy up?
I love to get my body ready before a workout by drinking some Vega Sport with Coconut Water. During my workouts, I keep it very simple with some water, and maybe a half of an energy bar. And after my workouts, I love to refuel with a smoothie loaded with cacao, goji berries, chia and other superfoods! I have tons of tips and recipes on how to feed your body for working out in my book Purely Fit.
What are your 3 go-to places to eat out in Toronto?
I don’t dine out too often, because the best meals are always made in my kitchen! But there are a few select places that I LOVE to go with family and friends to have a great vegetarian, and sometimes gluten free meal. The first place I frequent is Live Organic Food Bar (they have an amazing Sunday brunch). I love to eat at Pizza Libretto on the Danforth (they have the most amazing spelt pizza crust I have ever tried). Lastly, Tabule is an easy place to visit with friends and family because they have lots of options to please everyone.
Your dream vacation looks like…
My ultimate dream vacation is somewhere tropical, in the rainforest with lots of coconuts, chocolate, mangoes, and avocados available. I also like a balance between relaxing by the ocean combined with inspiring activity. So it would need to be somewhere that I could hike, swim, or fun activities like tree trekking. I love to vacation in Costa Rica because it just seems to have it all. I’m actually hosting my retreat Costa Rica in March 2013. I’m really looking forward to taking a group with me on a delicious bliss escape!