Conquer Your Kitchen With a Little Help From {Healthy} Cooking Camp

  • Follow Me on Pinterest

You’ve heard all the excuses before: from “I’m too busy to cook at home,” to “I end up overeating when I cook for myself,” there’s always a justification for what keeps people from taking control in their own kitchen.

These are exactly the challenges that Integrative Nutrition graduates Quinn Asteak, class of 2010, and Robyn Youkilis, class of 2009, set out to tackle. Both have thriving health coaching practices in New York City and share a passion for whipping up healthy, delicious meals. After meeting at the Fall IINto Action Conference last September, the two got to chatting and decided to team up and create a program to teach people how cooking can make all the difference. Thus was born {Healthy} Cooking Camp, an online, interactive 4-week workshop designed to take the totally confused to total connoisseur in the kitchen.

I recently caught up with the pair to learn more and get the scoop on their exciting new project. Quinn and Robyn are fun, energetic and enthusiastic - check out a preview from the series below! With such a zest for healthy cooking, it’s no surprise that they’ve got big plans for the future.

{Healthy} Cooking Camp launches Wednesday, January 25, 2012. For more information and to register, visit the website.

Special bonus: Members of the IIN community can receive $50 off the regular cost of $199 by entering the code “primaryfood” when registering!

About Quinn

Her practice: Health Coach Quinn

I used to say that I was "born with a stomachache." I was constantly uncomfortable and suffering from other mild symptoms like acne and depression. I also had a life-long battle with weight. At a certain point it dawned on me that food had SOMETHING to do with it. I cut out sugar, dairy and meat and my life changed. Shortly after, I cut out gluten and at that point you couldn't take me anywhere! I felt amazing but eating became a puzzle. I had to learn to cook for myself. That process gave me power and freedom. I went from being a binge eater to having total control. I started to enjoy the process of cooking and loved the way it nourished my body. From there the universe just lead me to Integrative Nutrition.

Since graduating from the Health Coach Training Program I now how the life, career, friends, and confidence that I've always imagined I could have. I continue to coach and am incorporating more healthy cooking into everything I do. I cook with clients and host monthly cooking parties out of my NYC apartment.

As a Health Coach, I love seeing people create new habits and thought patterns. I love seeing them learn to nourish and take care of themselves in a way that was generally only reserved for others.

About Robyn

Her practice: Your Healthiest You 

My obsession with cooking led me to enroll at Integrative Nutrition. I knew I wanted to do something with it, but I justrobyn didn't know what. I normally take forever to make decisions but I received the program brochure, figured out the financing, and enrolled within a week. I even moved back from LA to attend the classes live. Thus began my life of TRULY listening to my instincts.

Since graduating from Integrative Nutrition, I was able to leave my full-time job within the year. I've maintained a steady, full-practice client load ever since. I've introduced my Cooking Club (live cooking classes in my apartment), different programs, and been featured in Pure Wow and Vital Juice.

Honestly, this is THE industry to be in right now. It sounds silly to say that all the cool kids are doing it, but they are! And to be part of something that benefits your body and your family; there’s nothing better.

About their new project

How did the idea to create {Healthy} Cooking Camp evolve?

We were on each other's radar for a while. We liked each other's style and intuitively knew that we'd get along, so we had a mutual friend introduce us and we became instant friends. From there we began running into each other all the time. We literally bumped into each other at the Fall IINto Action conference and began talking about how much we love to cook and wanted to incorporate more of that into our practices. It was summer so we were also talking about camp. Just like that, {Healthy} Cooking Camp was born.

quinn cookingWhat are the main objectives behind {Healthy} Cooking Camp?

We want to show people that cooking can actually make their life easier! It can give you more energy, save you money, and even make you look better. Cooking doesn't have to be super involved to have a huge impact on your life. It's one of the easiest things you can do to nourish your soul. 

What type of clientele does the workshop cater to?

This program is perfect for busy professionals or people who want to cook more and make healthy food but just don't know where to start. We will be covering all the basics of healthy ingredients, how to stock your kitchen, what to shop for, how to keep it alive, and how to save time in the kitchen.

Since the program is completely online, you can do it from anywhere. Although classes are live for four consecutive Wednesday nights, you don't have to be there live to participate. Classes are available for download the next day so people can watch them on their own schedule. We really wanted to take away any typical excuses for not getting into the kitchen!

How did your training at Integrative Nutrition give you the skills to manage a project like this?

We really come at things from a holistic Health Coach perspective. It's about more than food; it's about really nourishing yourself and your family. Our training at IIN taught us that food is everything. That when your breakfast is off, there's a good chance your day is going to be "off" too. If you can spend a little time learning some of the basics, some easy tricks to get you in and out in no time, then you will literally and figuratively be "feeding" yourself and your loved ones. IIN showed us this connection and we see it in our own everyday lives. On the business side, we learned how to plan and prepare a program like this. Things such as how to put together the business plan, who the target market is, the steps to market, etc. It also gave us the confidence to know that we can ultimately deliver, and that our business and nutrition knowledge pool is deep enough for a program of this level.

How much time are you dedicating to the project? It is easy to balance the work with your personal health coaching practices?

It's a labor of love to get this off the ground but it has not interfered with our private health coaching practices at all. In fact, it's only brought more positive energy into the other parts of our businesses.

How do you see the project developing in the future? Will you continue classes after the month is over?

robyn cooking

Absolutely!  We have big plans for this thing. We are doing another Cooking Camp this spring, focused on a different topic. We plan on doing two or three 4-week online Cooking Camps each year and ultimately we'll have a variety of seasonal events including weekend day-long intensives and weekend retreats… because really everyone wants to be at camp!

How will the videos help other Health Coaches who want to teach cooking skills but aren't sure how to incorporate this into their practice or aren't necessarily "expert chefs"?

It's a great fundamentals video. We cover all the basics of cooking for weight loss, eating for energy, eating for an on-the-go lifestyle and making over meals to avoid the monotony –  the top concerns that our clients always have! Also, we both have a lot of long distance clients that we work with other the phone. Since we can't cook with them in person, we wanted to create a program that we could use to teach them all the basics that we get to cover with our local clients. We think this would be a great tool for other coaches with similar situations. Having two trusted IIN trained Health Coaches to incorporate into their practices adds a tremendous amount of value. Since we're spending so much time on this program, they don't have to! It's another tool in their belt and a way to offer even more to their own clients. We see this as a comparable product to all of the handouts or podcasts IIN grads can give out in their practices. 

What has working with a business partner been like compared to working independently? Any memorable moments or bloopers from filming?

This has been a HUGE learning experience. So far, the most fun moment was probably when we turned on the camera for the first time and filmed ourselves making massaged kale salad. We hoped we had chemistry but that totally confirmed it. Working as partners has allowed us to go big in a way that we never did before in our private practices. We each have different strengths and resources and neither of us wants to let the other one down. We feel so grateful to have met and to have had everything come together so beautifully. The partnership truly does sing and we feel very lucky. 

Related Content:

Complimentary nutrition eBook, healthy living tools, & more!

Get your Health Coach Starter Guide now

Provide country code if outside USA

Get IINspired with health and wellness updates and offers from Integrative Nutrition. Privacy Policy

About Bridget Shannon

Bridget Shannon is the Community Editor of the Integrative Nutrition Blog and a current student in the Health Coach Training Program. She loves almond butter (sometimes straight off the spoon!), running in Central Park and trying new recipes in her tiny NYC kitchen. If you'd like to be featured on the blog, she can be reached at blog@integrativenutrition.com.