About Our Instructors:

Michele Auriemma

Michele Auriemma

Michele (“mee-keh-leh” “mee-kay-lay”) or “Michael”  is an Italian man who has travelled the world, is keen on food & wine, has learned from many different cultures, and now has settled in California. He holds a Master’s degree in Chemistry, is a Certified Life Coach and has graduated in the Culinary Arts. An enthusiastic, skilled Italian cook, he is an expert in the Mediterranean Diet, a proven healthy, tasty and above all enjoyable lifestyle. He is committed to achieving the “Zero food waste” goal. He believes that what we eat, drink, and do are the keys for us to live a better and longer life, and this happens by learning how to choose the best ingredients, about the cooking process, and growing our knowledge and awareness. As he likes to say:  “hands-on-cooking is one of the best therapy”...then putting this saying into practice with authentic, simple, delicious recipes. 

Faye Baker

Faye Baker

Faye Baker is a certified instructor (Sifu) in Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong, and Longevity Breathing. In addition to Tai Chi and Qigong, Baker has over 40 years training in other movement arts: Yoga, TaeKwonDo, Aikido, Judo, Kung Fu, Acupressure. She specializes in helping people learn functional methods to bring more comfort and ease into their daily lives.

Ann-Terese Barket, Ph.D.

Lifelong visionary and wonderer. Background in Psychology & Human Development, Child Development, Counseling and East West Psychology.

Gemi Bertran-Lant

Gemi head shot

Gemi is founder and CEO of Nourish the Brain Institute and the creator of Dynamic Nutrition Specialist certification program. A certified Health Coach, she supports a growing community of English and Spanish speaking clients in California. Gemi became a passionate advocate of dynamic nutrition after her own life-changing experience. A single mother of two at the time, she was working and studying full time, while taking care of her cancer-stricken dying father. As a result of long lasting stress and exhaustion, her body shut down. It was at this time when she decided to study the effects of nutrition on the brain and to listen to her body's needs.

Gemi graduated as Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, she learned innovative coaching methods, practical lifestyle management techniques, and over 100 dietary theories ranging from Ayurveda, gluten-free, and Paleo, to raw, vegan, macrobiotics, and more. She trained with the world's top health and wellness experts such as Andrew Weil, Mark Hyman and David Wolf. She worked as a business director for a behavioral health facility in the Central.

She earned her MBA at ESADE. Gemi worked around the world, mastering the wisdom of different cultures and backgrounds, creating her own blueprint specifically designed for women that wish to retake their own power and get on track to solid and healthy lifestyle habits and routines. Her continuous education and experience have equipped her with extensive, cutting-edge knowledge in holistic approach to mind-brain nutrition and therapies, health coaching, and prevention. Drawing on her expertise, she works with clients to help them make lifestyle changes and choose health-promoting ways that produce real and lasting results.

Dana Cummings
AmpSurf

Dana Cummings

Cummings grew up on a farm in rural Maine, He served 6 years in the Marine Corps including service in operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In late 2002 Cummings lost his lower left leg in a car wreck, After recovering from his injuries, Cummings founded The AmpSurf Learn to Surf program with two other amputees and his prosthetist. Cummings developed the AmpSurf Certified Adaptive Surf Instructor Program (ACASIP) over the next several years, to ensure those working with people with disabilities and wounded warriors had the skills and knowledge to safely share adaptive surf therapy. Cummings has been recognized for his work with the disabled community and veterans, being named a California Veteran of the year, Patriot of the year, and a CNN Hero. Cummings firmly believes that regardless of ability or disability, all should focus on what they can do.

Elisabeth DeSwart
Funfoodfeed.com
Elisabeth head shot

Elisabeth DeSwart is a Nutrition instructor, Cuesta Culinary Arts lead, Nutrition Club advisor, and registered dietitian (RD). She enjoys teaching at Cuesta College, College for Kids, California Men’s Colony (CMC), California Conservation Corps (CCC), Cal Poly, and in the community. DeSwart helped create, launch and teach the Cuesta College Culinary Arts program at the California Men’s Colony (CMC), the Los Padres California Conservation Corps (CCC) and Prado Homeless Services Center.     

DeSwart provides nutrition counseling for clients in her private practice. As a registered dietitian, she has worked in hospitals providing nutrition education, facilitating committees, managing food service, and creating therapeutic patient menus and staff wellness menus. DeSwart was awarded a Master of Science degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University, and completed a dietetic internship at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. 

DeSwart has participated in child nutrition research conducted by US Berkeley.  She teaches culinary nutrition courses for summer programs, such as Cuesta College for Kids, and Camp Radish in Santa Monica, California. Before becoming a registered dietitian, DeSwart was a chef for children and adults, specializing in therapeutic longevity diets.

View website FunFoodFeed.com for quarterly healthful articles & recipes.

Dee DiGioia

Dee DiGioia

Dee DiGioia (di JOY uh) is a Certified Mindfulness & Life Skills Coach and founded "Mindful Kindful YOUniversity" to address the social and emotional challenges youth (and adults) face in school and in life, which interfere with learning (work), relationships, and mental well-being.  DiGioia feels mindfulness and emotional intelligence is the missing piece/peace in education and our communities and envisions mindfulness education programs flourishing across each of our communities and in our schools, with every community member having access to learning and practicing the essential life skills proven to potentiate well-being, happiness, and success throughout all stages of life. 

Tricia Gunberg

www.TriciasEnergyGarden.com

Struggles with weight, depression and illness propelled Tricia to study body-mind connections and Numerology. This led her to study all things metaphysical and to the discovery of her own intuitive abilites and her work as an empath.

Sarah Hawkins
Course Care

Sarah Hawkins

Sarah Hawkins has been an instructor for the American Red Cross since 2002.  She teaches Lifeguarding, Water Safety, First Aid/CPR/AED, Emergency Medical Response, and Wilderness and Remote First Aid.  She is the owner of Course Care, LLC, which provides safety training for SLO County and beyond.

Dr. Anne Kennard

Dr. Anne Kennard

Dr. Anne Kennard, DO, FACOG, is Board-Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fellowship-trained in Integrative Medicine, and mother of a toddler. She is passionate about food and plants as Medicine, focusing on health in the body, mind, and spirit.

Art Kuhns 

Breaking Day Hypnotherapy

Art is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. He holds additional certifications in PTSd, Smoking Cessation, and Spiritual Counseling. With his unique blend of expertise, He has developed and uses his own Reiki Infused Hypnotherapy to enable clients to connect intuitively and heal holistically.

Linda Long

Private group lesson Mah Jongg Instructor and Mah Jongg Tournament Director for the past three years, including beginner, strategy and Siamese classes and American Mah Jongg and American Siamese Tournaments.

Queenie Longley

I have been a personal trainer for 30 years and a teacher of fitness for 36 years. I have owned my own gyms and co-owned an indoor cycling company which manufactured bikes for sales world wide. I have extensive knowledge in nutrition and have been a student of metaphysics for 30 years. I have had wellness columns in the Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara News papers. I have worked with celebrities and members of the British Royal family within my years of training.

Valentina Petrova

Valentina Petrova Consulting

Valentina Petrova

I have a Master's in Integral Psychology and a Bachelor's in Sustainable Economic Development. I certified as a strategic interventionist and life coach through the Robbins-Madanes 100 hours training program. I am a facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Project. Since 2004, I've published close to a hundred articles on psychology, spirituality, and well-being in various publications, including the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice (July 2015). Currently I have a monthly column, "Life Intelligence," in Morro Bay Life.

Lili Sinclaire
www.LiliASinclaire.com
Lili Sinclaire

Lili has three books published. She’s studied Communication for twenty years. She has worked as a phone counselor for the Parent Connection and for Stand Strong. She’s presented workshops and facilitated support groups.

Leslie St. John
Prose & Poses

Leslie St. John

Leslie St. John is a self-expression muse, helping people get "unstuck." Using the modalities of yoga, qoya, and writing, she helps people unshackle creativity, feel their bodies as allies, and cultivate more self-intimacy. She is creator of Prose and Poses, a practice of yoga and writing to open creative channels, and offers workshops and retreats along the Central Coast, including her favorite wine country oasis, Sagrada Wellness. She received her MFA from Purdue University, where she served as poetry editor for the Sycamore Review. She is the author of Beauty Like a Rope, a chapbook by Word Palace Press. Her poetry and articles have appeared in Teach.Yoga, Apersus Quartery, Cimarron Review, Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Indiana Review, Oxford American, Pinch, Rebelle Society, and Verse Daily. A 500hr RYT, she has studied with Tias Little, Noah Maze, and Rocky Heron. She teaches Writing, Romanticism, and Poetry at Cal Poly, where she facilitated the publication of Unveiling Self: A Collection of Student Memoirs. You can find her writing at a café, hunting vintage shops, or hiking with her dog in San Luis Obispo.

John Tamiazzo

Johntamiazzo.com

20 years psychology, health, and wellness instructor Santa Barbara city college community education and 15 years counseling instructor for UCSB’s counseling certification program. John is the former Executive Director of Jodi House Brain Injury Center in Santa Barbara. He is Author of 2 books: Returning to the Land of Oz: Finding hope, love, and courage on your Yellow Brick Road; Love & be Loved: 8 Steps to Creating Intimacy and Finding the Love You Want.

Natalie Teichman

Natalie Teichman

Natalie is a yoga and meditation teacher who is excited to share the power of meditation through sound with you. She is the co-founder of Let's Get Tuned, a sound healing movement she created with her partner, Jon Nowaczyk. Natalie will share the knowledge and experience she has accumulated with over 1,000 hours of yoga and meditation training in addition to an M.Ed with a concentration in Mindfulness. Having learned about and experienced various types of meditation techniques, Natalie has found that meditation with sound creates a quick and easy way to access deep meditative states. She is overjoyed to share this modality with you in order to help you release stress and boost happiness. You can find Natalie teaching Kundalini yoga in Morro Bay and giving Sound Baths around SLO County.
Misty Wycoff A 40 plus year career in psychology that includes critical care, in-patient, outpatient and private practice and teaching at the college level. Also know in the Western states for various workshops; including, mask making, firing the creative flame, women's issues, writing for personal growth, and training for Substance Abuse counselors and other professionals. A fourteen year resident of the county, she works part time and works as public speaker and a docent at the Elephant Seal rookery in San Simeon.