Katie Mae: cooking instructor

Katie Mae is a nutritionist and culinary instructor at TrueNorth Health. She’s been teaching weekly cooking classes at TrueNorth since 2011, and it’s still one of the highlights of her week. Katie is also available for nutrition consults, and can prepare TrueNorth-friendly recipes for patients to enjoy on their travels once departing the center. Katie holds a master's degree in nutrition from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. During her last year of school, she became a personal chef for a former patient and doctor from TrueNorth Health. This was her first experience cooking without any added sugar, oil and salt. The dramatic effects had her hooked. One year later, Katie moved to Santa Rosa, CA to work directly with TrueNorth Health and Dr. McDougall’s Health and Medical Center. She feels privileged to work in such an inspiring community and that she can help make a difference in people’s lives and the food system at large. She also spent 3 years teaching nutrition at Sonoma State University. Katie is the author of the Plantz eCookbook Series, and the creator of Plantz For All – The Online Culinary Boot Camp. This is a whole food, vegan cooking course free of gluten, sugar, oil and salt. Katie's ultimate passion is supporting people in becoming their best self. To do this she shares how easy a plant-based diet can be, and how to make it simply delicious. Find Katie Mae at PlantBasedKatie.com and PlantzForAll.com.

Cathy Fisher: cooking instructor

Cathy Fisher has been teaching weekly cooking classes at TrueNorth Health Center since 2010, and is the author of the blog Straight Up Food, featuring recipes and articles on eating a 100% plant-based diet free of added salt, oil, and sugar. Cathy's first cookbook was published in October 2016, entitled Straight Up Food, and is available on this website here.

She also teaches cooking classes at the McDougall Program, and is a contributor and editor for Health Science, the member magazine for the National Health Association. Cathy’s recipes have been featured in the books: The Campbell Plan by Thomas Campbell, M.D., co-author of The China Study; Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau; and Nutrition CHAMPS by Jill Nussinow, M.S., R.D., and The Plant-Based Life by Micaela Cook Karlsen. Cathy’s recipes and articles appear on the websites ForksOverKnives.com, Engine2Diet.com, DrMcDougall.com, and the National Health Association.

Cathy earned degrees in psychology and early childhood education, and later, when transitioning to a career in plant-based nutrition, completed a ten-month nutrition program. All of her culinary training is self-taught. Cathy began eating a plant-based diet in 1999 (in an effort to relieve her frequent and painful stomach aches due to dairy foods) when a friend recommended one of Dr. John McDougall's books.

Cathy is committed to positively affecting the health and welfare of humans, animals, and the environment through her recipes, writing, and teaching. When not working, she loves to take photos, dance, hike, read, travel, and hang out with her cat (or any cat or animal), and has learned to love public speaking since becoming a member of Toastmasters International in February 2011.

Ramses Bravo: executive chef & cooking instructor

Ramses Bravo is the executive chef at TrueNorth, and notes, “I came from a regular chef’s world where butter, cream, red meat and pizza flowed daily and freely, so this was not the obvious choice for me to make.” He got in touch with Dr. Goldhamer a few times to discuss the job. He knew it would be vegan food from the start, and although he had no previous training in this type of cuisine, this wasn’t a deal-breaker. However, said Ramses, Dr. Goldhamer was clever enough to slowly and very casually mention here and there that he couldn’t use sugar or oil. It wasn’t until their last meeting that he again casually mentioned that he couldn’t use salt either. “I was so close to turning down the job when he said that, however I am so very glad that I didn’t because it was a life-changer.” Ramses quickly dropped 30 pounds without even trying and he joyfully recalls having a lot more energy and desire to play with his daughter Lulu. When asked what he loves most about working at TrueNorth, he said, “That I have been able to embrace my role as a cooking teacher. I teach adults across the country about healthy food, and I also teach children at my daughter’s school on learning how to cook.” Chef Bravo’s hobbies include photography, writing (his third book, The Love Kitchen, to be published December 2014), human behavior (it helps to have Dr. Lisle on staff), knitting, football, and making jewelry (many TrueNorth patients own a pair or more of Chef Bravo’s unique earing designs).

Heidi Crockett

Heidi Crockett MSW, CHC, CSE, CST is a relational neuroscience expert, a certified health coach and AASECT-certified in sex therapy and sexuality education. She has post-graduate training in sexual health from the University of Michigan and is the author of two books: Caregiver Stress: Neurobiology to the Rescue and The Neuroscience of Dating. Her coaching and lectures focus on improving vitality at any age and supporting clients through diet and lifestyle changes.