My food and health advocacy background:
Leah Lizarondo Shannon is the Chief Veghacker, recipe creator and curator at The Brazen Kitchen, where she writes about food and food policy. She is also the founder of FullWell, an Integrative Nutrition Counseling and Food Education practice. She received her training in Health Counseling from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and has trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute, both in New York City. She received her Certification in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University and she works with the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine as a volunteer Food for Life Instructor, teaching cooking classes for cancer and diabetes prevention and survival. She is currently completing her Yoga Alliance Yoga Teacher Certification at Yoga Matrika.
Leah received her Masters Degree in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University graduating with Highest Distinction and is an advocate for urban farming, healthy food accessibility, food safety policy and sustainability.
She serves as one of the Trustees at the national Awesome Foundation: Food, serving with leaders and creative innovators in food and at Awesome Foundation: Pittsburgh. Leah is a member of the Association for the Study of Food & Society .
Leah and her recipes have been featured in print and online publications including Edible Allegheny, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PopCity Pittsburgh, Our Region’s Business, KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live, NPR and on Oprah.com. She writes a weekly food column for Pittsburgh Magazine Online. Media coverage can be found here.
- I aspire to be an urban farmer. We moved here from NYC to be near Wild Red’s Farm — the last zoned farm in the City of Pittsburgh. It is owned and collectively run by the Shannon family. We wrote all the houses adjacent to the farm asking if they want to sell and one did. We bought it. The farm is our backyard. Working at the farm (not nearly enough) has given me awareness and MUCH respect for the work that farmers do. It has brought me closer to the land and consequently more appreciation for the food I eat everyday.
- I love food, tech and policy and any permutations and combinations of the three. At Carnegie Mellon, my favorite subjects dealt with Urban Policy, Technology; Economic Development and Artificial Intelligence — I was the only non-computer scientist in the class peppering discussions on NLP and heuristics with behavioral economics. Herb Simon is my hero.
- I’m a feminista. I worked as a Director at Catalyst, a New York-based nonprofit and the premier resource for research and information on women and business. Most recently, I was the CEO of Dress for Success Pittsburgh, whose mission is to support low-income women returning to the workforce. I am also the Managing Editor of BizChicks, a volunteer-run online magazine for professional women.
- I’m passionate about doctors who believe in nutrition who tell you to try eating more plants first before you resort to popping pills.