Owner of innerglow yoga and Cape Cod Yoga School, Michelle Itzkowitz has been practicing yoga and studying nutrition for over 30 years, “It really started after I became a vegetarian,” explains Itzkowitz. “I dove into educating myself in many areas in wellness, including over 2,000 hours of formal yoga teacher training, the professional chef’s training program at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and earned a graduate degree in health education.” Her drive is to learn as much as she can using traditional practices and a modern approach to wellness to guide her students in her yoga classes, teacher trainings and cooking classes.
Through her studies, Michelle found “Ayurveda” the study of life. “It’s the lifestyle of yogis and underneath the umbrella of Ayurveda is nutrition.” She continues, “Ayurveda helps us to live a life of wellness, as opposed to living a life of fixing things that aren’t well and when we follow what is prescribed for us by our own Dosha (our body type based on two of the five elements of nature), according to Ayurvedic science, we will live a life of wellness.”
As a vegetarian/plant-based expert, Itzkowitz began teaching plant based, seasonally appropriate and “Dosha” specific cooking classes around this science, “My classes are all either demo or hands on,” she explains. “I generally prefer hands on because I like to work with people and really guide them, I find it is a better learning experience for my students.” Her plant-based dishes also allow for the addition of meat or other types of animal proteins, making all her recipes inclusive.
Cooking what is seasonally available, Itzkowitz finds her inspiration for her dishes at the market and all around her, “I’m always thinking about food,” she laughs. “I tend to find inspiration for my recipes just about anywhere, focusing on produce that is available locally.”
Through her classes she hopes to spread the message that being a vegetarian isn’t boring or scary. “I think a lot of people struggle with what to make,” she explains. “My hope is to change the mindset of what it is like to be a plant-based or vegetarian person, helping others explore healthier ingredients and easy recipes with the end goal of wellness.”
Michelle Itzkowitz will be teaching this fall at Falmouth Community School, Highfield Hall & Gardens and the Cultural Center in Yarmouth, and also offers private sessions and consultations. To learn more & to find upcoming classes visit michelleitzkowitz.com.