Meet Your Cooking Coach – Barbara McNeely

Welcome to My Kitchen!

I’ve spent a lot of time in kitchens! I started watching and helping my mom when I was 8 or 9 years old. Mom cooked most of our meals from scratch. No cake mixes or processed foods. By the time I was 10, I was baking cookies and cakes. In fact, one summer, I would get up early some mornings and make donuts for my dad to take to work. Don’t you know I was popular there?

In high school, I was at my sister, Conni’s house most weekends helping her cook for her family. Conni put her whole heart into everything she did, including learning to cook. She was an excellent cook and taught me how to bake bread, among other things. She was also a cook-from-scratch type of cook. Of course, I’m also a cook-from-scratch cook, for the most part.

We lost Conni about 20 years ago, but her spirit lives on, especially in my kitchen.

Farmers Market & CIA

Growing up, I never really learned much about vegetable cooking. For years, I mostly cooked frozen vegetables, which aren’t always that tasty or interesting. That all changed when we found the local farmers market in 2010. At first I would buy vegetables at the market that I was familiar with. Over time, I would talk with the farmers about how they cooked other veggies and I got braver. Eventually experimenting with most any vegetable that I found at the market. For several years, I have been creating my own recipes.

I even attended a week-long boot camp at the CIA. That’s the Culinary Institute of America. They have a campus here in San Antonio. That was an amazing experience. They taught knife skills and various cooking techniques. And we practiced by preparing meals! It was a lot of work and a great learning experience.

New Venture

I’m also a health coach, a path I chose after going through a health crisis which taught me the importance of making healthy food choices. Now, I want to combine the two — health coaching and cooking — to help people learn to cook healthy meals. To plan healthy meals. And to eat healthy meals.

That’s why I’m announcing my new venture:

I want to create a safe environment for people to learn about cooking — for themselves and for their family. To help people to eat healthier by showing them how to plan and prepare healthy meals.

What does that look like?

I have a big picture image of a space where people can come to learn to cook, to watch demos, and to practice new techniques.

To start with, I plan to create videos. Have online classes. Perhaps a cooking app. As well as individual and group coaching. Even some local to me one-on-one cooking sessions.

I also want to create a community. And that’s where you come in. I need your input. If you’re a novice or a seasoned cook (pun intended) who wants to learn more. I want a space that’s safe for the kitchen-phobic.

What is this new venture called?

I haven’t named it quite yet, and am open to suggestions. When it was a cookbook, it was going to be called Veggies 101. But that name implies limits that I am not putting on this venture.

Perhaps I’ll take suggestions.

No Fear

One of my favorite Julia Child quotes is this:

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

I believe that anyone can learn to cook. It starts with that what-the-hell attitude. You don’t have to fear failure in the kitchen.

Will you fail? No, not really. You may make a mistake. But you’ll only fail if you give up. Or worse, don’t even start.

Mistakes will happen. Believe me. I’ve made some doozies. Most of them were not total failures though.

I’ll be telling more about what I’m creating in the next few weeks. I’ll even have a survey soon.

A Little More About Me

I’m a lifelong learner and as part of my training I have:

  • Studied about health and food and various types of diets or ways of eating.
  • Dug into the science of how the body works, because science was my first love.
  • Studied Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Five Element Theory and visual diagnosis — All ancient wisdom that has been helping people for thousands of years.
  • Researched how stress and emotions and past traumas impact our health.
  • Studied with health coaches and others to learn more about cooking.

I’m looking forward to supporting you to become your best and healthiest self!

Let’s meet up online: Facebook or Instagram.

OR, schedule a free call with me so we can get acquainted.