Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 12.10.32 PMPrevention Magazine
Dream Destinations by Susan Crandall
The Conscious Gourmet

Natural cooking guru Diane Carlson’s Conscious Gourmet offers inspiring retreats with the accent on healthy, delicious food. While learning culinary techniques, you also explore the physical, mental and emotional impact of food. Ingredients are organic; no wheat, dairy, or refined sugar is used; and the cuisine is mostly vegetarian.

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Cooking Light Magazine
Health-Minded Cuisine by Pam Grout
Conscious Gourmet Cooking Retreats

Diane Carlson was a busy meeting planner with a predilection for take out food when she enrolled in a two-week cooking class at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. “Learning to balance my food choices changed my life at every level: physical, emotional, and spiritual,” Carlson says. The change was so profound that she devoted herself to spreading the word, later becoming an instructor and director at the Institute, and then opening The Conscious Gourmet in 2004. Her mindful cooking retreats, held in such places as Aspen, Colorado; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Sedona, Arizona, teach guests how to prepare seasonal local, mostly organic foods with healthful cooking techniques. Guest instructors have included such as Peter Berley, former Cooking Light columnist and author of The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen.

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Gourmet Magazine
The Zen of Total Body Maintenance by Lilian Chau
Santa Fe, New Mexico

This trip changed my life. Imagine being fully sated and never feeling deprived while still eating “healthy”. Imagine having endless energy and (most shocking for me) staying off the snacks all day long. At The Conscious Gourmet Culinary Retreats, mornings began with a gentle yoga session at Sunrise Springs Resort Spa, a spiritual and healing retreat just outside of town, then moved to the kitchen, where instructor-founder Diane Carlson, a former director and – of the Natural Gourmet Institute, in New York City, schooled us in such things as making almond milk for dairy-free desserts and introducing ingredients like expeller-pressed oils and Japanese starches into our diet. We prepared all kinds of dishes-mostly vegetarian (including a delicious creamy corn soup with roasted red pepper sauce), even vegan- and ended every session with a leisurely shared meal. Not every recipe worked for me (particularly the non-gluten ones), but Diane taught us how to experience food, not just taste it.

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Home Living Connecticut
Culinary Getaways by Joanna Mexhlinski

After the holiday rush dies down, how do you keep the winter blues from kicking in?… If you prefer something close to home, why not check out The Conscious Gourmet? Chef/Instructor Diane Carlson offers classes in her Greenwich home, as well as culinary retreats in destinations like New York, New Mexico, Florida and Arizona. Not only do participants learn how to cook in the style of their choice, but they learn how to do so healthfully.

Carlson’s goal is to make people aware of their food choices, and to learn how those choices impact their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. “It’s really about the connection between the food we eat and who we are,” she says. “We’re just not taught to connect the dots.”

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Gourmet Getaways – 50 Top Spots to Cook and Learn
by Joe David

In 2009, The Conscious Gourmet was featured in this fabulous book about Gourmet Getaways written by Joe David. You can read more about the book and purchase it on

Immersion Travel USA The Best and Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living and Learning Excursions
by Sheryl Kayne

This must read travel book features tons of vacation and travel locations around the United States that offer visitors an unique and fulfilling experience. You can read more about the book and purchase it on