Thoughts, ramblings, and #BTS by the L&T Editorial Staff.

Chef Portrait: Adina Niemerow

Adina Niemerow, holistic chef, health coach, and author, has been a personal chef for notable Fortune 500 CEO’s, musicians, actors, and models such as Ben Stiller, Steve Jobs, and Donna Karan. Niemerow has worked at top restaurants and wellness spas such as The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, and The French Laundry in Northern California. Her book, Super Cleanse, explores the cleansing of the body and mind by looking at food as medicine and a source of energy.

What role did food play while growing up?
My mother was born in Israel and my grandparents were European so we always had fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and high quality fish and meats around the house. Also, family dinners and holidays were major feasts so, basically, food ruled my world.

How did you get started as a holistic chef?
It found me! I was working in a community kitchen on a work/study program at the Heartwood Institute 20 years ago, studying Asian Traditions in Modern Nutrition with the now renown Paul Pitchford, author of Healing with Whole Foods. I fell in love with the knowledge that eating differently has a direct effect on how you look and feel. I completely turned my health around and became an ardent believer in the power of food as medicine.

What does it mean to cleanse and why should we do it?
My definition of a cleanse — an intentional period of time that you give up all the foods that undermine your health. A cleanse gives you an opportunity to realign with your internal guidance system and gets your body back into balance. It is a reminder and a wake up call to think about what you choose to eat. My cleanses are not just juice!

Where do you find inspiration for your recipes?
They are a mix of all the different places that have influenced me—from my family dinners growing up, to my time at The French Laundry, to my time immersed in the raw foods world with Juliano (raw guru), my Culinary school—The Natural Gourmet Institute, and my time at working at The Tree of Life Rejuvenation center in Arizona (a raw food retreat).

What’s next?
Community dinners, classes and workshops in my new Mission district kitchen. Wellness coaching, new book projects, and a new delicious cleanse program that elevates your body.

To learn more about Adina Niemerow, visit her website at Photography credit: Edward Saenz.

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