Joanne Gerrard Young is the Co-founder of the The Healing Cuisine, where they share the delicious simplicity of healing with whole organic food.  Through healing retreats, plant-based culinary vacation packages, raw chef certification, cooking classes, raw food diet, juice cleanse detox programs, and private chef services, The Healing Cuising provides easy access to healthy, lactose free, gluten free, live superfoods and macrobiotic gourmet ingredients, prepared in or delivered to holiday homes in the jungle or at the beach in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. 

Joanne first met our Co-Founders Paul and Lisa many moons ago in Whistler, Canada and have been friends ever since. We asked Joanne some questions about her amazing life and retreats...




1.    Who is your clientele generally, and has it changed over the years.


Our client is someone who is looking to eat stress free and or looking to learn how to nourish themselves and their families, without having to worry about some unforeseen ingredient that may cause digestive discomfort; or their just tired of feeling tired and toxic.


We started out with 99.99% word of mouth local business owner clientele who began using and then sharing our services with their guests and clients. We live in a remote area which industry people love to escape to. People from fashion and film, who just want to chill and surf. It not easy to get to and its easy to be anonymous. We've had the grand opportunities of cooking for Gisele Bundchen & Tom Brady, Bruce Springsteen, Brittany Daniel, Dree Hemingway, Julia Stegner, Mel Gibson and have been in touch with Bridget Malcolm among other magnificent people.


 Jo & Gisele

2.    Tell us how you wound up in Costa Rica from Canada, converted to raw foodism, and what you do there with your family in tow.


Oh the Universe! My best girlfriend bought her ticket to Costa Rica and it was half price so she bought me one! We got married there and our 2nd child was born there (Dillon & Grayden) after we all fell in love with the simplicity of going back to basics, so we sold our home in Canada and made the move to Costa. People either thought we were crazy or wanted to join us.

The Family


We arrived at the beach and opened an organic restaurant & juice bar which we ran for one year, the Camaleon, but I called it the "Stresstaurant". The boys were two and five years old so it was all encompassing & not the Pura Vida lifestyle we were intending!


 I wanted to live a more family beach centric lifestyle in the moment and in Costa Rica, this can be done - beautiful fruits and nuts grow on trees everywhere. Superfoods are abundant and life is conducive to healing. Wildlife, flora and fauna are everywhere. It’s very hot so we keep hydrated by drinking a lot of water, coconut water and cold herbal teas with chia seeds. Smoothies, "nice creams" and "la buena paleta" (popsicles)  are a part of our regular in between meal snacking. We’re earthing most of the time, always bare foot in the sand and in the jungle. That keeps us grounded and in harmony with the natural rhythms of the earth.


During the week we keep busy facilitating detox programs, teaching classes, coaching and consulting, while the kids are at school (Futuro Verde Once a week I go in to the school to teach the kitchen staff about vegan alternatives. A great way to change it up from rice and beans for the vegetarian kids! On the weekends we hit the beach, snorkelling, hammocking, surfing, boogie boarding. Sometimes it's a jungle adventure to hike a waterfall or a or a river and skateboarding. Our favourite daily family ritual is going to sunset.


 Instagram images

3.    Where else and what other opportunities does your work take you in the world?


Being a chef is a great profession if you enjoy travel, it can take you anywhere in the world. Besides here and Nosara, Costa Rica, I've worked in NYC, Laguna Beach, Houston, Boston, Toronto, Brazil. I've had the opportunity of preparing food and teaching many wonderful people from all over the world who came here to visit Costa Rica.



4.    Are you open to cooking/speaking etc in Australia if organisers were to contact you?


I would love to come to Australia with my family, as long as there’s surf we’re there!

What is the best way for Aussies who want to attend Costa Rica retreats to keep informed? To sign up at our website to hear from us. We are currently working on our book and a new site that will be launched this Summer.


Instagram images



5.    Can you share your favourite Maca/Goji/Cacao or Chia recipe with us?


My most recent favourite is...



Super Berry Chia Pudding

1/8 cup Chia
1 cup water
3 cups Strawberry
¼ cup Goji berries
1 teaspoon of Maca Powder
1 cm of Vanilla bean scrapped
4 chopped pitted dates
3 tablespoons of Shredded Coconut
2 tablespoons of Hemp Hearts

1. Soak Chia overnight in water.
2. Soak Goji in water for at least 20minutes if they are very hard.
3. Blend Strawberries, dates, Goji berries, maca powder and Vanilla until smooth.
4. Mix Strawberry syrup with soaked Chia in a bowl and top with coconut & hemp hearts.

Power Cacao Chia Pudding

1/8 cup Chia
1 cup water
¼ cup Cacao Powder
4 Bananas
1 cm of Vanilla bean scrapped
1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil
a pinch of Peruvian Pink Salt
1 Tablespoon of Coconut Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cacao Nibs

1. Soak Chia overnight in water.
2. Blend bananas, cacao powder, vanilla, coconut oil, coconut sugar and salt, blend until smooth.
3. Add the Cacao Nibs and pulse two to three times.
3. Hand mix soaked chia and cacao banana pudding.

Connect with Joanne at...

Instagram:   @thehealingcuisine
Facebook:   @thehealingcuisine
Tumber:        thehealingcuisine
Pinterest:      healingcuisine