iOS app Android app

Christina Pirello
GET UPDATES FROM Christina Pirello
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.

Entries by Christina Pirello

Defending Dr. Oz

(2) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 5:58 PM

Dr. Mehmet Oz came to America's attention on Oprah with his shocking methods of showing us exactly what might be going on in our bodies in sometimes graphic ways. With Oprah's support, Dr. Oz vaulted into our hearts as the doctor we could turn to for a reasonable, although sometimes...

Read Post

How to Feed a Vegan on Thanksgiving

(9) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 9:59 AM

Holidays and special occasions allow us to gather with family and friends, surround ourselves with those we love to celebrate our traditions, our heritage and life.

These special times give us a much-needed respite from our hectic daily lives and routines, creating a space for us to relax and...

Read Post

Why It's So Hard to Get Healthy... and So Easy to Be Fooled

(2) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 8:52 AM

Are you tired of being hoodwinked, misled and preyed on by misinformation, omission and deception?

I know I am.

We read scary statistics about the decline of American health. We watch TV shows that help people to turn their lives around and lose weight only to discover that unrealistic and...

Read Post

Does It Have to Be Hard to Be Healthy?

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 3:20 PM

I was reading an article in Elle magazine the other day, and I came across an article that pitted two experts on obesity against each other in their opinions as to why this epidemic is so challenging to alter. The dispute between these particular experts was not so much about...

Read Post

Vermont Passes a GMO-Label Law. How Did They Do It?

(3) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 4:30 PM

My husband is a New Englander from the Boston area, and over the years we have been together, I have learned a few things about this breed of American: When they want to get something done, they get it done.

California and Washington state couldn't get it done. Connecticut has...

Read Post

Who Has Time for That?

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 2:05 PM

Watching a cooking show the other day, I saw an ad for Marie Callender pot pies talking about how the crust is made from scratch and the ingredients simmered with love and care. And then the ad said "who has time for that? Marie Callender, that's who." Seriously? Are we...

Read Post

New and Improved Hot Pockets? Buyer, Be Aware

(3) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 11:34 AM

Wellness is at the top of everyone's mind. We want better quality at a good value. Most of us are not cooking from scratch anymore. So when Hot Pockets tries to reinvent itself as a fresh and wholesome brand, I pay attention. This reinvention strategy is akin to Taco Bell's...

Read Post

If You Could Change Just One Thing

(2) Comments | Posted April 12, 2013 | 10:55 AM

The world is a mess -- war, strife, threat of war and nuclear destruction. We struggle with global warming, pollution, species becoming extinct. We live under the threat of our food supply being compromised by the biotech industry. The economy struggles.

It's daunting and unrealistic to think we can change...

Read Post

Are 'Superfoods' Really That Super?

(2) Comments | Posted March 13, 2013 | 6:26 PM

The headlines scream from every magazine cover: "Number One Superfood Everyone Should Eat." Superfoods have taken over our collective consciousness as the second coming of food, the saving grace of our health.


We are told by various experts that certain foods are powerful enough to have dramatic effects on...

Read Post

The Cook's Brain

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 4:10 PM

As the holiday season approaches, it seems we all want to channel our inner "Martha" and cook up a storm... which I love, since cooking is my life. So I offer some food for thought on being healthy through the season of partying.

Change begins with our choices: how we...

Read Post

Kellogg's New Pitch: From Seed to Spoon. Really?

(10) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 3:12 PM

With the vote on Prop 37 looming next week, it was no surprise to see a new ad campaign by Kellogg's telling us that their Corn Flakes are made from four simple ingredients and come to you "from seed to spoon."

Maybe, but there's more to the story... and to...

Read Post

Being Vegan Enough

(20) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 6:56 PM

Veganism will never, in my view, be a widely-accepted lifestyle choice. Not because it isn't a gorgeous way to live (because it is...), not because it is a deprived and grim way to eat (because it isn't...), and not because it's too weird or left of center (okay, I'll give...

Read Post

Vegetable Abundance

(3) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 3:31 PM

The day I met Julia Child was amazing and I was just a little star-struck. Here she stood, the icon of all that is cooking, shaking my hand, smiling and asking about my specialty.

"So all you eat are vegetables?" she asked, genuinely interested and perplexed. At first, all I...

Read Post

What to Eat Instead of Meat: 10 Veg Recipes to Satisfy Your 'Meat Tooth'

(15) Comments | Posted May 14, 2012 | 9:21 AM

We all know that saturated fat, the kind we find in most meats, is linked to many of the "lifestyle diseases" that plague us in our modern world, resulting in illness that is crushing our health care system and breaking the back of our society.

And now with "pink slime,"...

Read Post

Ten Classic Recipes Made Healthier

(1) Comments | Posted April 11, 2012 | 12:30 PM

One of the things I hear most often about vegan cooking is that this "new food" is unfamiliar and family members are reluctant to try it because they worry that the food just won't taste good. After all, the reputation of healthy food is that, while good for you, you...

Read Post

Country Music and ConAgra -- Ending Childhood Hunger?

(1) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 5:37 PM

Watching television this past Sunday felt like being a bit schizophrenic.

Early in the evening, we watched nutrition genius and pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig talk about the devastating effects of sugar on our health, including the newest information that links sugar consumption with increased risk of cancer.


Read Post

Teaching Our Kids About Food

(6) Comments | Posted February 23, 2012 | 4:01 PM

In the movie, To Sir with Love, Sidney Poitier comes to the conclusion that education, as it was being applied in his situation... just wasn't working.

He took matters into his own hands and decided to teach his students the basic facts of life, with lessons they would need...

Read Post

Is Paula Deen a Victim Like the Rest of Us?

(6) Comments | Posted January 31, 2012 | 4:30 PM

The news that Paula Deen, the queen of the Southern-fried kitchen announcing that she has Type 2 diabetes got me to thinking.

She has built her empire on deep-fried, buttery, sugar-laden foods that look like fun, but rob us of health. But who is really to blame for her penchant...

Read Post

Discovering the Christmas Spirit

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2011 | 11:51 AM

I grew up in a wild and crazy Italian and Irish family who seemed to compete for who could yell the loudest or be the most dramatic. We were all about family, food and celebrating. Never was this more evident than during the Christmas season. My mother began baking dozens...

Read Post

A Vegan Thanksgiving: 12 Recipes That Could Change Your Holiday

(46) Comments | Posted November 18, 2011 | 11:15 AM

At the time of year seemingly dedicated to stuffing something... ourselves, a turkey, a pie crust, we will all be gathering around tables laden with foods of the season... and agonizing over what to feed the vegetarian coming to dinner.

This feast could easily help to create new holiday traditions...

Read Post