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Meet Carol Takakura of My Sage Gourmet in Ventura County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carol Takakura.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Carol. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As the oldest of 5 children, I learned early on how to be both a cook and a nurturer. In a big family, there is always cooking to be done and my Mom was more than willing to hand off that “task” to me, especially after it was discovered that I happened to excel at it. I loved showing off my cooking skills and received lots of encouragement from my family even when I experimented and made mistakes!

In addition to a passion for cooking, as a child I also appreciated the value of physical activity. We moved around a lot and I quickly figured out that the easiest way to fit in was through sports. I fell in love with softball and continued to play well into my 30s until a series of traumatic events suddenly left me incapacitated: unable to lift my left arm, experiencing terrible neck pain, severe migraines and inflammation in every joint in my body. The diagnosis: Fibromyalgia.

At the time, Fibromyalgia was a relatively new condition for which, pre-Google, there were few resources available. The doctor who treated me provided no information, no hope for recovery and sent me home with a bag full of prescriptions that left me unable to stomach any food or water. When I called his office to report my adverse reaction to the medication, he refused to listen and I was ordered to continue the same course of action. It was a wakeup call, and that’s when I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands.

I threw the pills away and began to research everything I could on the subject of Fibromyalgia. The more I learned, the more I began to understand the importance of healthier life choices. Not only did I change the way I ate, I began practicing yoga for both stress release and muscle conditioning and I learned to let go of people and situations that didn’t serve me.

At that point, food became not only a means of nourishment but a way of nurturing and respecting my body as well. I then began teaching cooking classes and became a yoga instructor so I could share with others what my journey had taught me.

Eventually, I decided to expand my business to include Holistic Health Coaching. In 2012, I received my certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition whose teachings reinforced my own belief that proper nutrition combined with physical activity, movement of any kind, is the best recipe for good health.

As a Health Coach, the one thing I quickly came to realize is that many people don’t cook for themselves and have never experienced freshly harvested food. They’re used to eating prepackaged food wrapped in plastic, foil or cardboard and many of those foods are masked with sauces, dressings or cheese to make up for the lack of freshness. Not to mention, they’re high in sodium, fat and artificial preservatives.

I believe that when we view food as a gift from the earth, appreciating where it comes from, who is responsible for growing it, and how food varies from season to season, it all comes together. I have worked with hundreds of adults and children whose lives have been altered by their introduction to fresh food sources. The hands-on experience of food gardening or shopping at the local farmers market and purchasing produce direct from the farmers who grow it inspires a whole new relationship with the food we eat.

I love having a garden and it gives me a great sense of accomplishment. From the planting and caring of it, to reaping the harvest, I am happiest when I am up to my elbows in the bounty of homegrown goodness.

Not only does my garden feed family and friends, it’s also a primary resource for my business. We use it for my cooking classes, and it provides the fresh ingredients necessary to make my herb salt line. Everything I need is right there at my fingertips! It also enables me to trace the origins of every single ingredient in my herb salts, from the heirloom and organic crops that seeded them to the organic soil in which they were grown.

Beyond that, it’s rewarding to know that a little bit of me is going into my clients and into family kitchens all over the country. Wow, how cool is that?

So, here I am, little ole’ me, finding a way to share my love for good health, fresh homegrown goodness and cooking with those I care for. I am one lucky girl.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Physical and emotional struggles that came out of my battle with a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Also being a single mom of two young boys and having a rapidly growing a business at the same time.

Please tell us about My Sage Gourmet.
As a Food and Fitness expert, I help folks find real world solutions to getting and staying healthy for the long term. As a healthy lifestyle blogger, I am approached by companies and health experts who want me to share their products and programs. Many times, these are incredibly useful for the everyday person like me who have families, careers and passions they keep them bustling all the time. My passion for living a healthy life as long as I can, keeps me learning, teaching and stepping outside my box-I am loving life and sharing my passion for it!

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have started sooner! There is still so much for me to do, to learn. Integrative health and longevity is a fascinating field to be in and I do wish I had jumped in sooner- it is definitely my calling.

Pricing:

  • Kitchen Coaching/ $85.00 per hour/ (2-hour min. For 1st visit)
  • Cooking Classes/$85.00 per person/$165.00 per couple

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
James Takakura of JTT Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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