Welcome to Zen Pantry holistic health coaching. My name is Shamar, and I want to share my love of food, nutrition and wellness with you and your family. I believe that by making changes to the foods we eat, we can improve our health, vitality and well-being.

There is much research being conducted on the gut-brain connection, both in causing disease and in healing. While more people are now becoming aware of this research, it is certainly not a new idea. Even Hippocrates wrote that all diseases begin in the gut. This truth resonates with me.

Drawing from my background in Integrative Nutrition, Child Nutrition, as well as Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, I want to help people who are interested in making changes to their diet, showing them easy ways they can optimize their health, as well as the health of their kids, through their food choices.

Holistic Approach

As your health coach, I will assist you with clarifying your goals and support you on your journey. A holistic approach treats your body, mind and spirit as a whole, rather than separate parts, taking all of your life into account in order to help you attain the goals you envision for yourself. I will offer guidance and inspiration to help you shift your behavior to healthier habits by making step-by-step changes to your diet and lifestyle.

I will work with you to establish a supportive partnership, in which you will develop a deeper understanding of the foods and lifestyle choices that work best for you, and learn how to implement lasting changes that improve your energy, health, and mood. Instead of focusing on one diet, I will teach you to become self-sufficient by observing your own unique responses to various modifications and choose health-promoting behaviors that work for you. My clients love that they can make simple changes that create such positive results!

I have always had a passion for food and have been creating and adapting recipes since I was a child.

I began cooking at an early age, beginning with breakfast melts. I would layer tuna salad, or whatever leftover meat was on hand, sliced tomatoes and cheese over toast and broil until bubbling and beginning to brown--yum! My seventh grade Home Economics presentation was how to prepare veal stroganoff. My peers groaned and complained that I was making food that their moms made, but I made it to please me, and I enjoyed it.

As I grew up, I found ways to work with food. I managed a small restaurant at my college that taught me how much enjoyment other people got from eating. As an adult, I found my way back to sharing good food experiences with people when I began managing another restaurant.

I believe that cooking a meal for someone is the best way to show them how much they mean to you. I love seeing the happy smiles on the faces of my family while they are enjoying their dinner. The best though, was when my husband clapped after trying one of my new recipes. Oh, how I glowed!

A few years ago I began showing symptoms of an unknown autoimmune disorder. After multiple misdiagnoses and ineffectual (harmful) pharmaceuticals, I began to seek other treatments. During my research into alternative treatment options I came across so much information on the gut-brain connection, both in causing disease and in healing.

While more people are now becoming aware of this research, it is certainly not a new idea. Even Hipocrates wrote that all diseases begin in the gut. This truth resonated with me. I began to look for a doctor who shared this belief and who could help me to heal.

My new holistic Doctor spoke with me extensively about how I needed to remove allergenic foods from my diet–especially gluten. I left my appointment with a small stack of informative nutritional information and a whole lot of Hope. I embraced his dietary guidelines, seeing them as my ticket to good health. I rose to the challenge, and after just a few weeks of gluten-free eating, I was off the medication and symptom-free.

I began to find ways to adapt favorite family recipes and to invent new recipes that are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and delicious. It has been amazing to me that so many meals that are made without gluten, corn, soy, and dairy can taste so good! I don't feel like I've given up my enjoyment of food at all. In fact, I am enjoying food now, more than ever before. I changed my approach to food, stepping back and away from processed foods when possible, and enjoyed tackling the challenge of adapting favorite recipes based on my dietary constraints. As a result, I have achieved remarkable results with my health, results that have exceeded my wildest dreams.

I was excited to discover and experiment with previously unheard of ingredients like almond flour and coconut aminos. I loved watching my picky eater gobble up nutritious coconut flour muffins, and was more than happy to give him one more. I found some great local sources for raw honey, grass-fed beef, and pastured chicken eggs. Other ingredients such as almond flour and coconut flour, I bought in bulk online. I began building my gluten-free pantry.

After witnessing this miraculous healing, and figuring out how easy it can be, I wanted to share this information with other people who were struggling with dietary changes in their lives.

For many people, the realization that they must live without gluten, casein, soy, or grains of all kinds can send them into a state of shock. When faced with the need to depart from mainstream cooking methods and ingredients, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Confusion, dismay, and apprehension at the thought of giving up familiar or favorite foods are common reactions to this type of dramatic culinary change.

Upon witnessing my husband, dear friends, and acquaintances experiencing frustration when faced with similar dietary restraints, I realized that I could help people make a smooth transition into a gluten-free life by teaching them how to shop, menu-plan, and prepare amazing meals without gluten or other allergens.

Every exit is an entry somewhere else... Enter the Zen Pantry.
  • Certified Health Coach
    Institute for Integrative Nutrition
  • Nutrition for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
    University of California,
    San Francisco
  • Child Nutrition &
    Cooking 2.0

    Stanford University