Christina Pirello, MFN, is one of America’s preeminent authorities on natural and whole foods with a radiant personality that only serves to make her message more powerful. At age 26, she was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. By the time her illness was identified, the cancer had already advanced to an acute stage. Her doctors gave her little reason to have hope for the effectiveness of conventional medical therapies and told her she had only months to live. Then a co-worker introduced her to Robert Pirello, a whole foods advocate who helped her adapt her lifestyle and diet based on whole, unprocessed food. With love, dedication and death-defying discipline, Christina overcame the odds, and in the process developed an expertise in cooking with whole foods. After just two months of eating beans, grains and vegetables, her doctors noticed a significant improvement in her condition. In fourteen months, her cancer was gone.
From that time, she was utterly convinced of the close relationship between diet and health. She knew her life’s calling was to help others discover the importance of this relationship in their own lives. To that end, she studied and became an expert in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, acupuncture and earned a Masters Degree in Nutrition. Today, almost 26 years later, Christina is a glowing example and inspiration on the power that our food choices have on our overall health and well-being and has been teaching whole foods cooking classes, conducting lifestyle seminars and lecturing all over the United States.
Christina is the Emmy Award-winning host of the television series Christina Cooks!, which airs weekly on over 200 national public television stations nationwide. She has written five cookbooks, the bestselling Cooking the Whole Foods Way, plus Your Way to the Life You Want, Glow, A Prescription for Radiant Health and Beauty and Christina Cooks: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Whole Foods, But Were Afraid to Ask. Her latest book, This Crazy Vegan Life was published in January, 2009 and she is currently at work on her sixth book.
In 2008, Christina founded The Christina Pirello Health Education Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to changing America’s relationship with food, with community outreach, media programs and several in-school programs designed to teach our kids to make healthier choices before it’s too late. She works closely with the city of Philadelphia on various school and farm market programs under the umbrella of The Initiative.
Christina holds a faculty position at Drexel University, where she lectures as a professor of culinary arts. She also serves on the board of The Farm Market Trust, The Green Council of Philadelphia, The Green City Youth Council of Philadelphia, The Chefs for Humanity Chef’s Council and is a member of IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. Christina earned both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Miami, and was awarded a Masters Degree in Nutrition from Philadelphia’s Drexel University in 2003.