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Meet Gloria Bakst of Chef Gloria B in North Shore and Swampscott

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gloria Bakst.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Gloria. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been doing healthy cooking for the past 40 years. It has been a slow evolution of being educated and applying it to my recipes. I started by taking private Macrobiotic cooking classes, which then developed into starting a small catering business.

As a trained personal chef and nutritionist, over the past several decades I’ve cooked and counseled and supported individuals seeking to improve their health, reach their ideal weight, manage special diets or health conditions, and recover from disease or surgery.

My menus have ranged from macrobiotic to heart healthy, Zone, and Paleo. I focus on flavor and freshness. My current company, Chef Gloria B, continues to offer my personal chef services, including healthy meal preparation customized to client’s’ needs and taste preferences. I also teach cooking classes in my client’s home and will do grocery tours.

From 1997-2004, while working for ZonePerfect Nutrition (owned by Abbott Labs)I advised more than 100 people daily on the Zone diet and lifestyle. My weekly “Cooking With Gloria” column on the Zone Perfect website was followed by a quarter million people. I have created hundreds of recipes for health, a few recipes have appeared in the Weight Watcher’s Grilling Cookbook, Weight Watchers Meals in Minutes Cookbook, the Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook and The Healing the Heart Cookbook. Hundreds of my recipes and my approach to a balanced lifestyle have been published by McGraw Hill in my book, ZonePerfect Cooking Made Easy (September 2006).

Recently (last 10 years), I have learned how to cook for patients with cancer. I have worked with many patients who have liver, brain, throat, lymphoma, breast and other cancers.

I feel like this has been my life’s mission. I personally gave up sugar when I was 23 and became lactose intolerant at 37. I really feel as though each step of my journey was about healthy delicious cooking. It’s kept changing as life has taken its course.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I love being challenged with clients who have a very restrictive diet. It keeps my creativity flowing and I create new recipes. The biggest struggle was getting started and getting known. I spent at least 4 days or evenings a week going to different networking events. Now, I get emails from all over the country asking me if I know anyone in their area who could help them cook for a loved one with cancer.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am most proud that I can offer a service that helps people when they have a medical condition that meets their dietary needs and helps them heal.

I don’t know anyone else in Massachusetts who specializes in this type of cooking.

What were you like growing up?
My mother was a wonderful cook, she always used fresh vegetables and fresh chicken, fish, meat. The only way I could have a conversation with her was sitting in the kitchen while she cooked. I think that by osmosis I learned how to cook from watching her!

I always enjoyed exercise (although non-competitive sports). I biked, walked, swam, played tennis and danced. I currently love dance and do it 5 days a week.

I was minored in Art and was very absorbed in art projects for the first 2 1/2 decades of my life. Then and now food and health are my passions. I majored in Elementary Education and have a Master’s degree in counseling. I taught after graduation, elementary 6th grade, and art (1st- 8th) college until I had children.

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