It's no small feat to pull a delicious meal together for a group of people and create harmony at the table. We're endlessly grateful to these facilitators for the time and energy they devote to supporting and healing others:
Allie O'Brien graduated from the Berkeley Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts in October of 2012 with a Natural Chef Certificate. She also holds a B.A. in English Literature from Douglass College at Rutgers in New Brunswick. In 2013, Allie began to perform cooking demonstrations, short talks, and classes at Suppers meetings and workshops to help members learn to cook better. Allie and Dorothy have a weekly blog, The Purple Apron, where they showcase stories from real Suppers members and prepare a Suppers-friendly dish for members to try at home. Additionally, Allie is the President of The Garden State Community Kitchen, a non-profit organization which provides hands-on farm-to-table education and support for children and families in New Jersey.
Amy Frankel joined Suppers by the suggestion of her doctor after mentioning she needed support eliminating refined sugar and sticking to a healthier diet. After she began attending meetings regularly, Amy learned new kitchen skills and recipes, and discovered a preference for whole foods. Since finding Suppers over three years ago, Amy finds pleasure in sharing the program with others. Having raised three finicky eaters, she will gladly accommodate people with allergies or special dietary needs. Outside of Suppers, Amy enjoys reading, exercising, painting, traveling and a part-time job in retail. She has an Associates Degree in Merchandising and a Bachelors Degree in Textile Science, and worked in the garment industry in New York City before staying home to raise a family.
Anne Trieber came to Suppers in 2015 on the recommendation of her Rheumatologist. She was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and was seeking an alternative remedy for her pain. On her doctor’s advice, Anne has eliminated grains and most white carbs from her diet and worked on repairing her gut. Anne was born in Israel and grew up in New York. She loves to cook and has embraced the Suppers philosophy of clean mindful eating and personal experiments. Anne has found tremendous and loving support from the Suppers family. She has not only found relief from her pain, but has lost 32 lbs. as an added bonus. Anne has trained as a facilitator and looks forward to sharing her kitchen with like-minded people.
Audelle Bodie is a member, facilitator and Board Member -- and supports Suppers because "through the support, non-judgment, and inspiration of these meetings and members, I am healing. I've lost over 30 pounds. I've reduced my need for insulin to treat Type 2 diabetes by more than 2/3. Through experiments, I feel more comfortable in my food choices and want to do whatever I can to spread the Suppers message."
Barbara Simpson Vadnais was trained as a vegetarian chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. From childhood, she has loved everything to do with food, and her family’s fine dining restaurant was always a part of her life. With age, she has realized there is much truth in the adage “you are what you eat,” and she has retooled her cooking techniques and philosophy to prepare health supportive meals for herself and family. She has studied macrobiotic cooking with Denny and Susan Waxman at the Strengthening Health Institute in Philadelphia. Barbara has a masters degree in environmental engineering and is the general manager of Muirhead Foods in Trenton.
Bebe Attar was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2013. She was also overweight, over-stressed and over-anxious, so her doctor lovingly recommended she try Suppers. Although she had always eaten whole foods, Bebe's health improved exponentially when she learned through Suppers how and why to eat for her particular health problems. Her much improved diet of anti-inflammatory foods has allowed her to live nearly pain- and symptom-free from rheumatoid arthritis and has completely squashed her hyperthyroidism. So far, she has lost nearly 30 pounds, lowered her cholesterol, and greatly improved her overall health in myriad numbers of other ways! As Bebe puts it, "I love the food I'm eating and simply do not crave any of the trigger foods gone from my diet. I'm proud of what I've accomplished and am motivated to share my knowledge with others."
Carol was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 10 years ago. Managing blood sugars left her physically exhausted and emotionally depressed. Carol experimented to find what foods work best for her, helped her balance her blood sugars, and have more energy. However, she found it difficult to eat this way in a world surrounded by pizza, bakeries and bagel shops. Suppers came to her rescue by providing the regular support and education that is so vital to living with a chronic disease like diabetes. Carol was so passionate about the program that she went through training to facilitate and host Suppers meetings for others who want to discover what healthy eating styles work best for them.
Dor Mullen is the Founder of The Suppers Programs. The Suppers program design reflects her combining of counseling models learned in a Masters in Counseling program at The College of New Jersey, her background in garden-based education, her passion for preparing delicious food, and her respect for the wisdom and longevity of the 12-step process. Prior to Suppers, Dorothy was the president of the board of the Foundation for the Advancement of Innovative Medicine in New York and a holistic health care practitioner in Princeton. Dor facilitates numerous regular meetings.
Eavan Daley is a trained chef, having studied at Johnson and Wales University and Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health. She is also a devoted member of Alcoholics Anonymous who - through her willingness to break her own anonymity - has become a public spokesperson standing up for the role of nutrition and community cooking in making sobriety more comfortable for people in recovery. Eavan brought Suppers for Sobriety with her when she moved to Boca Raton, Florida.
Erin first experienced Suppers while working at the American Diabetes Association. She was inspired by The Suppers Programs’ mission and knew she wanted to be more involved if not on a professional level definitely on a personal level. Busy work life limited her level of interaction but after Erin had her first child she reconnected to The Suppers Programs. Her daughter struggled with digestive issues around 10 months, really as she transitioned to solid foods. After much persistent trial and error to find the root of the problem rather than treat with recommended conventional medications – she discovered the issue – her daughter simply has a dairy and gluten sensitivity. Her digestive issues stay at bay as long as she eats whole foods while avoiding gluten, dairy and processed foods for the most part. If Erin had not been exposed to Suppers she may not have thought to take this approach. Erin is very passionate about eating whole foods and creating delicious dishes for all ages and dietary preferences. Hosting Suppers is a perfect opportunity to fulfill that passion. Living a life full of vitality is very important – getting and offering the support from Suppers helps keep all the necessary steps in the forefront!
Fiona Capstick grew up in the north of England in a farming community where food and cooking were a major part of her life. She completed her education as a registered nurse through the University of the West of England and continued her career as a diabetes nurse consultant in Sydney, Australia. She studied at Duke Integrative Medicine and works independently as an integrative health coach, with clients in the US and internationally. After relocating to the US with her husband and two sons, she discovered The Suppers Programs. “I immediately connected with the benefits Suppers was providing people with diabetes and many other health concerns. After going through treatment for cancer, exploring different ways of supporting my health was never more important to me -- and the knowledge I continue to gather through Suppers is invaluable.”
Heidi’s daughter was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis about 3 years ago. As the disease progressed and her health deteriorated, they met with a nutritionist who recommended a gluten free and dairy free diet. After discovering other food allergies and focusing on rebuilding her gut health using functional medicine and organic foods, her daughter gradually became symptom free. Although her daughter is vegan by choice, Heidi is not, so she runs an eclectic, flexible kitchen. She has a passion for helping others rebuild their health and and loves cooking with both new and old friends.
Irma Jennings went from the board room on Wall Street to the cutting board in her kitchen after returning to school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her diagnosis of osteopenia created her company, Food for Healthy Bones, through which she advises clients that choosing calcium-rich foods is the first step in their bone-building journey. Read Irma's story here, and watch her video about mindful eating here. Irma has a delicious bohemian artist son who brings a smile to her bones. She lives in New Hope, PA.
Jim Weber enjoys cooking and eating food! Having eaten Paleo and Whole30 for some time before finding Suppers, he was drawn to the program's "how you feel is data" approach. A firm believer in the power of diet and exercise, Jim has beaten cancer and digestive problems without prescriptions. Besides cooking, Jim enjoys yoga and winemaking. Jim hosts a monthly Suppers dinner meeting with his wife, Pat Deeney.
Joe Klinkhoff got involved with Suppers at the suggestion of a doctor friend who was familiar with the program and had attended the training as well. Joe has been cooking since he's been old enough to stand at a stove and help, and more recently has taught foodie-type classes in a fairly regular but relaxed social manner. Joe has 30 years in food service and LOVES food! Each Suppers meeting has been an adventure, and through them -- and their signature, Suppers-style experiments -- Joe has lost weight and has been feeling better and healthier all the time.
Karen Rose Tank is a Certified Health and Nutrition Coach who empowers people living with diabetes and other blood sugar issues to take control of their health and proactively manage their blood sugars. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1996, her coaching comes from a place of compassion and empathy for those living with chronic disease. In addition to Suppers, Karen leads a Princeton branch of another non-profit support group for women with diabetes, Diabetes Sisters.
Kristin Cantwell joined Suppers at the suggestion of her doctor to learn nutritional harm reduction techniques and eating whole foods to address issues with inflammation and metabolic syndrome. After attending meetings and adopting the Suppers philosophy, Kristin has been able to manage her high blood pressure and pre-diabetes through diet and exercise. Kristin continues to research healthy eating styles and conducts experiments to manage her weight and support vibrancy, emotional health, and happiness. Outside of Suppers, Kristin enjoys exercising, meditation/mindfulness practices, spending time with her family, knitting and volunteering. She has a Bachelors Degree Economics and has worked in social services and development.
Marcia Willsie received her professional chef certification through the Seattle Culinary Academy before moving to Princeton. She learned about The Suppers Programs while teaching classes at her cooking school Ezekiel's Table in town, and she started attending Suppers to get a stronger health focus to her own cooking. She loves hosting the facilitators at her place where she can share some professional cooking techniques, and facilitators can talk about their own teaching challenges.
Margaret Kinnevy helps nurture well-being in her practice of Chinese medicine. Her knowledge of history and ethnobotany have led to a deep respect for our forgotten health traditions. After cooking for decades with whole foods, she was delighted to find a complete program to help others find more ease in reversing disorders. She finds much joy in the kitchen adventures and caring camaraderie of a Suppers meeting.
Maureen has been an enthusiastic Suppers member since 2013 when she added healthful, low-carb eating to her arsenal of tools for coping with fibromyalgia and reversing pre-diabetes. She is committed to discovering creative ways to prepare nutritious and pleasurable meals.
Mireille Delman grew up in France where the social and pleasurable aspect of food is very important. After some personal health challenges, she started paying attention to a lifestyle more conducive to healing. Living on a mini-farm enables her to do that. Mireille is also the co-founder and a board member of the West Windsor Community Farmers' Market, a Holistic Health Counselor and a Yoga Therapy practitioner. She supports Suppers because it "is a unique program, not bound to any commercial agenda, that gives people the much-needed education, tools and direct experience about how to be well and live in greater balance."
Pat Palmer grew up in a family that raised and preserved its own food and cooked at home. After working in food services during college, she avoided cooking for years, until turning to macrobiotics to help recover from an illness. She has studied macrobiotics with Denny and Susan Waxman at the Strengthening Health Institute in Philadelphia, as well as via extensive reading, and wants to connect with more people interested in a healthy diet and lifestyle. She has masters degrees in computer science and public sector management and does programming and system administration for the Phycology Section of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
Sharon Downey is a CASA volunteer, working with foster children in Mercer County. She enjoys helping out with a Suppers lunch meeting at Dor's and having fun with her camera as a member of the Princeton Photography Club.
Vicki Sarnoff: The impact of autoimmune diseases came into the forefront of her life when her late husband was diagnosed with a catastrophic autoimmune disease, a blood clotting disorder, that caused multiple strokes and ultimately left him with no treatment options. After his passing, she too was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases and began her quest to determine the root cause and how she could heal herself using food and lifestyle changes. Vicki was a "junk food vegetarian" (which is not uncommon for vegetarians) and changed her life after attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®. She learned how to support her immune system to lessen the impact of these diseases, and feels it's satisfying to share this learning journey with others. Vicki is also the Nutrition Educator for Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, a not-for-profit organization serving the population of Bucks and Hunterton Counties.