A Canyon Ranch vacation may not be in everyone’s future, but the vision of healthy living was meant to reach everybody. Registered dietitian Karla Giboyeaux is helping achieve that goal every day in the Bronx, where she gets in the kitchen and teaches people how to whip up wholesome, affordable food at home – an unbeatable habit that makes life so much better!
It’s all part of the ongoing partnership between the nonprofit Canyon Ranch Institute® (CRI), which brings life-enhancing programs to underserved communities, and Urban Health Plan (UHP), a network of community health centers in the Bronx and Queens, New York. As part of a major expansion project, a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen was added to a UHP clinic in the Bronx, and Karla is at the heart of it.
Karla’s aim is to inspire people to eat healthy every day. This requires her to draw on her full arsenal of talents, which includes a degree in nutrition, training at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts in New York and a rich background of gastronomic tradition.
“I love to cook!” she says. “I come from a family of cooks and bakers.”
Karla realized at a young age that she had a passion for cooking and teaching. She grew up in Puerto Rico – the original home, too, of many UHP patients – where she learned the secrets of Caribbean cuisine directly from her relatives. Today, Karla shares her professional expertise in private consultations with patients, group presentations and, of course, in the popular UHP-CRI Demonstration Kitchen.
To prepare for her role in the demonstration kitchen – which requires kitchen skills combined with teaching talent and lots of personality! – Karla was given a culinary internship at the Ranch in Tucson. There she trained with Corporate Chef Scott Uehlein, Executive Chef Justin Morrow and Demo Chef Shawn Brisby, learning their best techniques and insider tips.
“Until I went to Canyon Ranch, I didn’t understand the challenges of being a demonstration chef,” she says. “The Canyon Ranch chefs were so generous with their knowledge – and their patience.”
Now Karla delights, motivates and guides UHP patients every day, educating them about positive eating habits. Imagine how life-changing that can be for a person accustomed to foods that are fatty, fried, salty, sugary and processed to death! Karla stays closely connected with the Canyon Ranch culinary team and CRI, collaborating on wholesome, low-cost recipes that her community members love, all of it prepared “the Canyon Ranch way” – in the Bronx.
Canyon Ranch Institute® is a nonprofit public charity that makes Canyon Ranch healthy living programs and education available in low-income communities everywhere. To learn more, volunteer, or to add your support, please visit: canyonranchinstitute.org