What our students say

Our professional qualification graduates have created successful businesses, using their cooking, health coaching, teaching and health counselling skills. Here is what a few of them are up to in their new careers.

Silvia Bifaro – plant-based chef and food styler based in London.

“I worked as a designer in Italy and then slipped into holistic nutrition when I moved to the UK where I attended the full programme at the International Macrobiotic School. I write recipes and I style food photos for an Italian blog, as well as my own. My core interests are vegan sugar-free fine patisserie and children’s nutrition. My coming projects are workshops for children and mums, based on my own experience as the mother of two very little people, and my interest in Montessori education.

My journey into macrobiotics has been not only about food. It has been a holistic approach to a new self. Oliver Cowmeadow is the most dedicated person I have ever known and I owe him more than just the immense knowledge I have gained.

In Italy we have an old saying that can probably summarise what I mean: ‘When I was hungry, I was given not only the fish, but I have been given the tools and the knowledge how to fish for myself, so I will never be hungry again’.

The empowerment and self-awareness I gained during these years have made me a new, happier person. It is a life changing programme, and a very nourishing experience. The subjects are various so at the end of the three year course you have gained a proper picture of what a client would need. I cannot recommend it enough!”

To find out more about Silvia and see some of her stunning work, visit salvialimone.com

Melanie Hubbard – yoga Instructor, cooking teacher, and macrobiotic nutritional consultant based in Hertfordshire.

“I believe that when we live in harmony with basic laws we can experience good health and ultimately the ‘freedom’ to live life to our full potential. My in depth study of macrobiotic principles involved many inspiring teachers and enhanced my work as a yoga teacher and has enabled me to work more deeply with others on their healing paths.

The training offered at the International Macrobiotic School is unique in that it integrates emotional healing along with the physical, mental and spiritual levels. It provided a deeply held support structure for me to develop personally in order to take this level of healing out in the world on a professional level. Since qualifying I regularly return to the school for further support and advanced training which is offered from some of the most experienced international teachers. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities the training has given me and I now feel I have the roots to hold and the wings to fly.”

Melanie’s practice, Nourishing Life includes teaching yoga, as well as working as a lifestyle coach and cooking teacher using the skills she developed at the school. She works with groups and individuals to inspire others to cook and enjoy delicious food based on a natural diet, which is deeply nourishing and environmentally sustainable. She also works at retreats in the South of France for people with cancer.

Gilly Webber – proprietor at Hut Therapy (Bed & Wholefood Breakfast).

“The school’s course revolutionised my approach to food. It elevated my understanding of food and cooking and my skill level immeasurably. I have mastered how to create a balanced plate of food using the Five Elements – a plate that is delicious and satisfying to eat, visually attractive, and leaves my guests smiling after they have left the table.

However, this course is definitely not just about food – I made valuable connections at a physical, emotional and spiritual level during my time in Devon, and whilst previously I had led my life in a fragmented way, I was helped to reconnect and live my life in a healthier, more authentic way. The philosophical teachings, specifically the 12 macrobiotic principles, have given me a much broader context with which to live life, to view change as a force for good (rather than fear) and have given me the tools for living a bigger, more fulfilled life.”

Hut Therapy is an unusual B&B serving macrobiotic quality whole food at East Chiltington, a small, rural hamlet at the foot of the South Downs in the South Downs National Park.

Bini Sharman – Macrobiotic natural foods chef, nutritional consultant, and shiatsu therapist.

“Coming from a background as a chef, this training programme helped to expand my repertoire in holistic vegan cooking. I discovered tremendous variety in cooking with whole foods, learning how to use every bean, grain, and protein that exists. I also enjoyed mastering the art of making quality vegan sweets and treats. It has been so exciting for me to work with the Five Transformations and discover how to combine them to create nourishing tasty food. Balancing different ingredients for optimal nutrition, I adjust meals according to the seasons and the local availability of fresh ingredients.

On a more personal level, I was also able to connect more with who I am, discover my talents, find ways to deal with my emotional challenges and grow in confidence. Studying at the International Macrobiotic School helped me to continue on the path I wanted to take and establish myself in my life and profession.”

Currently based in the Netherlands, Bini supports individuals and groups that want to make healthy changes in their lives. She also offers holistic health retreats in France and the Netherlands, providing introductory courses to macrobiotic cooking and theory, and as a retreat chef at Puyssentut centre for people dealing with or recovering from cancer.
Bini has recently developed her own line of Bini’s Balls, bite-sized healthy snacks, which she sells in health food shops in the Netherlands and ships on-demand.

Anna Freedman – author of Pure Baby and founder of London cookery school Wholefood Harmony.

“I gained a rich experience with macrobiotics from the training at the International Macrobiotic School. I immersed myself in the study of macrobiotics and developed skills in cookery, life counselling, natural ways to health for so many conditions, oriental diagnosis and so much more. I found a great affinity with pure food and it’s creation, styling, teaching, menu design, art of making balance and full flavours.

The school enabled me to realise a path with natural food cuisine and expand health for many others, which is hugely fulfilling for me!”

Wholefood Harmony offers personal or online training, as well as offers food and health coaching, public and private cookery courses and catering. For more information, visit wholefoodharmony.com.

Suzy Saunders – runs a holistic retreat centre in the Lake District, which includes wholefood and macrobiotic cookery workshops.

“Since beginning studies and graduating from the International Macrobiotic School I have found my life flowing into its true direction. On graduation it felt like the rest of my life was ready to unfold, I knew who I was and where I wanted to go. Since then it just keeps unfolding from this firm foundation.

I have created my dream of being able to offer a place where people can come and learn how to empower themselves by caring and cooking in a holistic way. I am living my dream.

This creation, Sunny Brow Holistic Retreat, is situated in an idyllic spot in the heart of the South Lake District, surrounded by beautiful English countryside. We offer holistic holidays in our converted barns, a selection of fantastic retreats, and a heart opening space for special ceremonies such as weddings, naming ceremonies and other key life events. The course for me set me firmly on my soul path and I am eternally grateful to all who shared and facilitated this for me.”

More from our current & past students

Explore professional courses

We have a clearly laid out training process from foundation level to professional, accredited diploma level. Have a look at our training overview page here, or contact us for an informal chat.

Holistic Nutrition & Cooking Year

This Holistic Nutrition & Cooking Year course provides high quality training in holistic nutrition, physical and emotional healing and whole foods cooking. It includes the study of Oriental philosophy and medicine, body work, emotional healing and personal development and lots of cooking classes with a completion certificate.

Health Coach Year

The Health Coach Year will deepen your understanding of a holistic macrobiotic approach to life and health, and to learn the skills to offer professional cooking and healing to others. Upon completion of the course you will be an excellent Wholefood Chef, able to cook amazingly delicious and healthy food for clients, groups, retreats and in restaurants.

Macrobiotic Health Consultant

This Macrobiotic Health Consultant Year course is the most in-depth and comprehensive training in macrobiotic healing that we know of, and will give you some amazing skills in helping others heal themselves physically and emotionally, and become more in touch with their true aliveness and purpose in life.

More testimonials

Mell, Looking After Your Health

“From the moment I walked in through the door, I felt safe, held and encouraged in my journey of healing. It has been an overwhelmingly beautiful week of nourishment at a truly deep level. I feel like I am back on my journey of life again.”

April, Looking After Your Health

“I came away feeling nurtured and much more skilled than when I’d arrived. Without sounding too dramatic, it’s probably the best money I’ve spent in a long time!”

Alison, Looking After Your Health

“This course is a truly inspirational five days of learning and personal development. It opens up the exciting world of macrobiotics in a very accessible and practical way.”

Yuko Ozawa Weston, Health Coach & Wholefoods Cook

“The school gave me an opportunity to look inside of my life and being. I wouldn’t have been able to start my emotional work without the school’s support and encouragement. I feel safer and grounded, although I have to go through a lot more, I’m confident that I can do it. The support from all the teachers, course mates, kitchen assistants, teaching assistants were amazing.”

Melanie Hubbard, Macrobiotic Health Consultant and Healing Cook

“An amazing experience. I have felt held on all levels and am excited to share what I have learnt out in the world. The course was my haven and inspiration. Such an important part of the course was shifting emotional blocks and letting the teachings sink deeper.”

Upcoming short courses

Healthy Plant Based Cooking, Series 1 – 5 Classes

June 3, 2024 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm BST

Summer Garden Party

June 9, 2024 @ 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm BST

Looking After Your Health

June 19, 2024 - June 23, 2024

Looking After Your Health

September 18, 2024 - September 22, 2024

Plant Based Cooking

October 26, 2024 - October 27, 2024

Looking After Your Health

November 20, 2024 - November 24, 2024

Our professional courses

Holistic Nutrition & Cooking Year

This Holistic Nutrition & Cooking Year course provides high quality training in holistic nutrition, physical and emotional healing and whole foods cooking. It includes the study of Oriental philosophy and medicine, body work, emotional healing and personal development and lots of cooking classes with a completion certificate.

Health Coach Year

The Health Coach Year will deepen your understanding of a holistic macrobiotic approach to life and health, and to learn the skills to offer professional cooking and healing to others. Upon completion of the course you will be an excellent Wholefood Chef, able to cook amazingly delicious and healthy food for clients, groups, retreats and in restaurants.

Macrobiotic Health Consultant

This Macrobiotic Health Consultant Year course is the most in-depth and comprehensive training in macrobiotic healing that we know of, and will give you some amazing skills in helping others heal themselves physically and emotionally, and become more in touch with their true aliveness and purpose in life.