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Christina Cooks from the Heart, for Your Health

(Photo courtesy of

In the early 1980s, doctors said leukemia would kill her. Twenty six years, four books, two Web sites and a cooking show later, Christina Pirello is healthier than ever.               

A culinary instructor at Drexel University who won an Emmy for her PBS series “Christina Cooks,” Pirello claims her macrobiotic/vegan diet helped cure her cancer and save her life. She’s thrilled to show us her secret recipes. 

But this spunky redhead dishes out more than cooking instructions; she shares anecdotes about friends and family, nutrition tidbits and practical life advice to inspire viewers; she teaches people to make healthy choices despite their busy, often chaotic lifestyles. 

And she proves that wholesome foods don’t have to taste like Styrofoam. Pirello revamps traditional American, Asian and Italian comfort foods, swapping fattening ingredients for figure-friendly ones that taste just as good–if not better–than the originals. She replaces, for example, butter with olive or grapeseed oil and refined sugar with brown rice syrup or agave nectar. She finds a way to make each dish look seductive, colorful and fun. And, in lieu of a wine expert, Pirello lets her musician-friend Jon Michaels pair an original tune with each meal. This show is sure to make you smile…not to mention, raise your serotonin level.

On her Web site, Pirello writes:

“I feel so strongly that if America is to truly find its way back to robust health and quality of life, we need to find our way back to the kitchen and gather at the table for meals. Dinner has to stop being a burden; the interruption of tv viewing or video game playing and become the time of day when we gather together and share nourishment and love. It needs to become the time of day when we connect and find our hearts in each other.”
She said a mouthful.

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