Students in Cindy Gershen’s sustainable hospitality class are learning math, science, engineering and nutrition, feeding both their young minds and growing bodies. In a fast food culture with teenagers as the target demographic, it’s remarkable to watch the change in dietary habits –– but not to Gershen whose decades of experience inform her philosophies about food. “When I get them in class, I give them 15 minutes of education, then get them up to cook. Then they eat. Education alone is no good. Food alone is no good. Give them both, they feel better and learn. It’s working.” Instead of downing a muffin, which soars then plunges sugar levels, kids snack on root veggies, zucchini and cherry tomatoes in her classroom. “All of my students eat salads,” says Gershen.
REAL FOOD FIRST
Cindy Gershen (Founder & Vice Chair)
Cindy Gershen is a well-known and respected advocate for healthy living. Cindy opened the Sunrise Cafe & Bakery in 1981, serving comfort food 'like Mom used to make." The cafe quickly outgrew its location and Cindy opened the Sunrise Bistro as a full service sit-down restaurant to compliment the successful cafe. Sunrise is about giving the customer what they want, from healthy and wholesome menu options to smart recipes without added sugar and salt. After having a stroke in 2001, Cindy lost and has kept off over 90 pounds. She is passionate about sharing the lessons of healthy diet and exercise she has learned and condenses that information into simple, practical solutions that people can use everyday. She often speaks and demonstrates cooking with local businesses and organizations to share her tips for healthy eating and its effects on productivity in the workplace and school environment. Cindy spearheaded the Walnut Creek Wellness City Challenge in 2005. Cindy Gershen is married to Dr Lance Gershen and together have 8 children and presently 9 grandchildren and 2 on the way.