Center For a Healthy Lifestyle

Our mission is to encourage children and adults to make good decisions for their own health and the well being of the planet.

Instructor Bios * *

Phillis Carey

PHILLIS CAREY has been teaching cooking classes throughout Southern California for more than thirty years.  Her classes cover a wide range of topics, from basic techniques to holiday feasts, from quick ways with chicken to vegetarian cooking, international and regional cuisines.  Her focus is on easy-yet-elegant menus for entertaining, with a gourmet accent and a minimum of fuss.  Her students remark that she is easy to follow and her recipes are “home-cook” friendly.  Phillis’ classes teach techniques that will adapt to other recipes rather than just new recipes.  Her goal is to encourage her students to have fun in the kitchen, trying new recipes once they understand the basics.  Phillis teaches five to seven classes a week in gourmet shops with class sizes ranging from 10 to 50.

Phillis is the author of four cookbooks with two currently in print: FAST AND FABULOUS CHICKEN BREASTS, and her newest, FAST AND FABULOUS ENTERTAINING MENUS.  She is currently working on a third in the Fast and Fabulous series, FAST AND FABULOUS CASUAL AND ELEGANT ENTREES.

As a freelance food writer, Phillis’ articles have appeared in COOK’S ILLUSTRATED and COOKING PLEASURES magazines, including such titles as “How to Cook Brussels Sprouts”, “The Way to Cook Carrots”, “Creamed Soups with No Cream”, “Savory Soups and Stews”, “Light Main Dishes” and  “Cooking in Season—Belgian Endive”.  She has also written several cover stories for the food section of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Phillis is a professional member of Les Dames d’Escoffier’s San Diego Chapter.

Phillis graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Literature and did graduate work in Education at Claremont Graduate School.  A native of California, she now resides in north San Diego County.  You can contact her through her website, or by phone at (760) 942-1756.


Amanda Curry

Amanda was born and raised in Meadville, PA, a small town where kids were able to ride their bikes to school, set up lemonade stands and talk to strangers.  Her childhood was a happy blending of starting detective agencies, writing neighborhood newspapers, hosting science fairs and learning how to cook blueberry muffins.  Amanda enjoyed the outdoors and bought a video camera when she was twelve so she could start making short movies, with her first one entitled “My Backyard”.

She flourished in the community theatre, playing every role she could. At 17 Amanda was quoted in her hometown newspaper as stating her dream job was “to work on Sesame Street.” Amanda is a 1998 graduate of the College of Communications at Penn State.  Amanda has worked in marketing, marketing research, public relations and in advertising on Madison Avenue on brands such as Kodak, M&M’s and Kraft. Is it there where the thought hit her “Why doesn’t anyone make healthy food fun?”And in 2007 she started out with a few good friends to make a kids cooking show. The concept has now grown to include speaking engagements, cooking classes, an upcoming cookbook as well as her totally awesome job as Director of The Center for a Healthy Lifestyle.

A vegetarian since age 11, Amanda learned how to cook healthy meals the old fashioned way: she was hungry, so she made food to eat. Amanda loves cooking for health, for herself, for her friends and family, and even for her dog. But the thing she loves most is cooking with kids and seeing them try foods they never had before, and loving it!

Amanda believes strongly that being healthy is the key to a great childhood and life, and making healthy food fun is something that adults need to do a better job promoting. It’s Amanda’s goal to make the Good Food Factory the cornerstone for making healthy food fun, and teaching kids how to cook. Amanda currently lives in Oceanside, CA where kids still bike to school and have lemonade stands. amanda@thegoodfoodfactory 858-880-8917



Andi MacLeod

Andi spent her childhood in Wisconsin either up trees or under bushes, chasing bugs, opening seedpods and drawing flowers. Her obsession turned into the study of biology and art in col- lege, and later she taught both subjects. To this day, she still climbs trees and chases bugs.

Moving to Solana Beach 25 years ago was a big change from Wisconsin. But it had trees too, and natural places where her own children could wander. They gardened as a family, and cooked the result, when they could get it to the kitchen without eating it first.

Her boys are grown now, but Andi is still in the garden, making discoveries. As a Master Com- poster and the Garden Education Coordinator at the Center for a Healthy Lifestyle. Andi likes thinking of novel ways to pass along math, science and fun in the garden. The garden itself does a lot of teaching as well. At the Center for a Healthy Lifestyle, children plant carrots, eat tomatoes warm off the vine, pet the chickens and find time to just be. After spending time in the bean tepee or harvesting broccoli together, children—and adults—who are afraid of bugs or who never eat vegetables find themselves branching out in surprising new ways—just like the garden around them.

For more information about garden programs or to find out about teaching opportunities, contact Andi at, (858) 254-1625.


Peggy Korody RD, CLT


Peggy holds a B Sc, in Applied Arts and Sciences, Foods and Nutrition degree from San Diego State University with a dietetic internship through Utah State University.  Peggy is a Registered Dietitian and a member of the American Dietetic Association as well as a Certified LEAP (Lifestyle Eating And Performance) therapist.


Peggy also has clinical experience in both outpatient and hospital settings and has worked with a variety of patients at a local hospital. She is a featured columnist in the Rancho Santa Fe Review writing a “Nutrition and You” column on a monthly basis.  She has also written her first cookbook, Little Hands in the Kitchen a cookbook to get children into the kitchen (available November 2011).


In her private practice, RD4Healthâ Nutrition Counseling, LLC, in Rancho Santa Fe, California Peggy provides individual and group counseling using current scientific nutrition information.  Areas of expertise include weight management and chronic diseases, concentrating on family, women, and childhood nutrition, to create overall optimal health.


Peggy has a passion for healthy cooking and in 2003 started a local Gourmet Cooking club.  She has designed menus, planned, and prepared the food for local events, such as a Cinco de Mayo dinner for 80 guests.  She also has considerable experience in recipe analysis and recipe conversion.  Teaching cooking classes to adults and children expands her love of cooking.


Peggy currently lives in Rancho Santa Fe, California with her husband, two sons, and two black labs.  She enjoys providing a healthy lifestyle for her family, which includes healthy foods and meals.  She is often seen in her neighborhood walking with her black labs.


Contact Peggy at or visit her website at





Sara Vance

“Food is thy medicine and medicine is thy food.” – Hippocrates.

A Clinical Nutritionist, and owner of Rebalance Life, Sara Vance believes that healthy home cooked meals are an integral part of good health.  Sara’s cooking classes teach kids about healthy cooking and contain fun nutrition lessons.  Kids who cook are more likely to try new foods!

A regular contributor on local San Diego area television stations, Sara Vance was recently recognized as a Lunchbox Hero by The Lunchbox Organization in Boulder, CO for her work educating kids about nutrition.  Sara knows first hand that making healthy choices is not always easy.  A picky eater as a kid, Sara’s diet consisted of too many sweetened & processed foods, and not enough fresh whole vegetables and fruits.  This led to digestion problems, weight gain, and teasing. Sara’s desire to educate about nutrition comes from the heart. Sara makes cooking and nutrition fun and memorable, and teaches kids to be “intuitive eaters” – helping them to connect to the foods that make their bodies feel and function better.


  • Clinical Nutritionist
  • Kids Yoga Instructor
  • ACE Certified Group Exercise Instructor
  • San Diego Girl Scouts Community Partner

Sara is available for private cooking/nutrition classes and yoga classes at the Center for a Healthy Lifestyle.  Sara also offers School Assemblies, nutrition lectures/ counseling/classes.  All kids that attend Sara’s cooking classes get a pack of 5 a Day Silly Bandz, and all Girl Scouts earn a Healthy Choices fun patch.

Helping people live healthier lives is the core of Rebalance Life.  Contact to schedule your private cooking or yoga class today.




4 Responses to “Instructor Bios”

  1. I would like to know if you RENT out your kitchen facility to other cooking teachers like myself.? I would bring my own students as well.

  2. Shelley Fessinger Says:

    This is so exciting!! What a great vision you have …I look forward to enrolling my three teen girls in some of your cooking classes!!! And the cottage is adorable!! 🙂

    • Thanks, Shelley! We think it’s pretty awesome, too! And please enroll your daughters! We have two classes that would be great for them: Food Revolution with Chef Mathew or College Prep with Amy Pamensky! Both feature awesome chefs and great healthy teen recipes!

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