Meet Jo Quiocho

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Jo completed her masters degree in Food Studies from New York University, exploring the potential of urban agriculture on New York City’s vacant public spaces.

As an educator, she emphasizes healthy ecosystems as a foundation for healthy communities. In addition to nutrition workshops with Pure Food Kids, she also leads cooking classes with Allergic to Salad and environmental education through the Queens Botanical Garden.

Meet Catherine Hu

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Catherine is a student at Teachers College, Columbia University, getting her Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Education. She is originally from California, and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology at UCLA. As an aspiring Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, she is interested in employing food as an educational tool to foster proactive attitudes towards health improvement. She has taught and mentored children from all age groups, and is excited to share her passion for food and nutrition as a Pure Food Kids Workshop Instructor. 

When Catherine is not teaching or reading about all-things-food related, she can be found running, practicing yoga, and exploring new places to eat.

Meet Sarita Valji

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Sarita earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Pharmacy from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where she practiced in both community and hospital settings.   

There, she saw first-hand how lifestyle choices impact health. Sarita's knowledge in nutrition comes from self-study courses, personal triathlon/fitness training experience, and a passion to cook healthy and delicious food. This knowledge continues to grow and evolve as she reads, learns, practices, and finds new ways to empower her two teenagers to cook and eat healthy.

Sarita has volunteered in local schools for more than a decade, and in early she 2017 created and taught a healthy cooking class elective at her son’s middle school. In her spare time, Sarita loves to socialize with friends and family over good food, stay fit, enjoy Seattle’s great culture, travel, and indulge in her newest goal — learning to play the piano. 

Meet Laurie Hugdahl

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Laurie is thrilled to be part of the Pure Food Kids team where she can bring together her love of teaching and passion for cooking healthy food. As a mom of four fabulous kids who has taught in public, private, and home school settings in the U.S, and internationally, Laurie brings a wide range of experience to her workshop instructor role.

When she is not teaching for Pure Food Kids or working in her favorite role as mom, she spends her time teaching people how to live healthier lifestyles, writing for her natural living blog, trying out plant-based recipes, working on her next cookbook, practicing yoga, tending to her veggie garden, or walking dogs. She also likes to nap.

Meet Margaret Chaykin

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Margaret first became aware of the connection between nutrition and health outcomes when working as a dialysis technician. Since then, she has made it her life goal to ensure that all persons regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status, orientation, or religion receive the education and resources they need to make informed decisions in relation to their nutrition and, ultimately, health. 

Margaret earned a bachelor's degree in nutrition from Bastyr University and completed the didactic program in dietetics making her an RD eligible nutritionist. She is currently pursuing her masters degree in public health with community focus at Bastyr University. When Margaret is not teaching new food detectives, she offers individual nutritional counseling and is busy as a full-time single mom to her daughters, ages 3 and 5.  

Margaret is a SoCal native. She has lived in California, Alaska, and Hawai’i, but calls Seattle home. She has two cats, Meatball & Luna, that complete her family. In addition to teaching, Margaret enjoys spending time in and on the water, marveling at the Giant Pacific Octopus, and planning her next travel destination.

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