Kathryn Rogers, owner of Maya Moon Collective.

The word vivacious is defined as “happy and lively in a way that is attractive.” Kathryn Rogers of Vivacious Dish is nothing less.

Rogers is a holistic chef with an extensive background in advertising with a focus on health communications.

She has worked in the public health sector for years promoting educational outreach campaigns on topics such as HIV awareness and mental health support for veterans; she currently works with the county health initiative Live Well San Diego.

On the side, Rogers was the motivational life-changer behind Vivacious Dish, a boutique health-inspired business offering personal chef services, pop-up dinners, cooking classes and a recipe-filled website “founded on the principle that only through sustainable social connections and equitable access to whole foods can we achieve optimum health and happiness.”

Rogers grew up in Carson City, Nevada, in what one might call an alternative environment where holistic health practices were the norm. She learned to cook from her mother, and has had an evolving diet for most of her life. While she became vegetarian at the age of 7, she now eats meat, emphasizing the importance of ethically sourcing her animal proteins from local purveyors like Heart & Trotter. Rogers loves that saying “Less meat, clean meat,” stating “I think that if you are going to eat meat, it should be done with a real nod toward the treatment of the animals, the treatment of the people handling the animals and being stewards of the land.”

The ambition to eat and promote healthy dietary alternatives is a personal one for Rogers, who recognized a history of inflammation in her family and suffered from many symptoms of illness associated with food sensitivity. She says her health dramatically improved when she eliminated gluten, grains and refined sugars from her diet and began consuming bone broth.

“Experimentation with different approaches to health and wellness has always been a part of my modality, specifically with the sugar piece.” This personal experience drives Rogers’ passion for teaching people to identify themselves based on a diet that supports their best wellbeing, rather than the restrictions that are often associated with standard American dietary platforms.

Since she puts in such an effort to prepare food for others, she looks for the most nutrient-dense foods and quickest things to make to fuel her body. Meals at home are satisfying and fulfilling with quick preparations like green juice, smoothies with coconut milk and avocado, or a couple pastured eggs for breakfast, greens with dinner leftovers for lunch, with dinner favorites being a simple, well-seasoned steak with baked sweet potato.

She does enjoy her healthy desserts and the most popular classes on the Vivacious Dish calendar introduce participants to healthy desserts using natural sweeteners like raw honey, dates and maple syrup. Rogers has a knack for creating opportunities for people to indulge, but doing it in a way that makes them feel nourished. Lucky for us, Cherry, Vanilla, Chocolate Cauliflower Ice Cream Sandwiches sound nourishing enough to eat all day!

About the Contributor
Maria Hesse
Edible San Diego's executive editor is a personal chef and lifestyle designer, podcaster on Modern Casserole, amateur pug photographer, grant writer for Media Arts Center San Diego, and co-author of The Intentionalist Cooks. Find her on Instagram @mariafromediblesd.