Timaree Hagenburger, The Foodie Bar Way


timareeTimaree Hagenburger is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Public Health. She is a nutrition professor at Cosumnes River College and a professional speaker working in her community and with corporate wellness clients, including her role on the Worldwide Wellness Team for Apple. Timaree is a monthly columnist for the Lodi News Sentinel and guest contributor for the Stockton Record. Her innovative and engaging cookbook, The Foodie Bar Way: One meal. Lots of options. Everyone’s happy. is available as an Ebook and a full-color, 303 page, printed book at www.FoodieBars.com Timaree is a certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine and marathon runner. She has a regular segment on California Bountiful TV, which airs on 31 stations throughout California and nationwide on satellite stations. She has also created a chartered student club called Thrive On Plants (TOP) at her college. TOP’s mission: To support greater wellness through whole food plant-based choices, joyful movement, lifelong learning and mindful practices, and to fulfill our potential while celebrating life.



Caryn Hartglass: So, here we go. We’re moving now into part two. It’s part two of It’s All About Food, and first I want to remind you again to sign up for the Food Revolution Summit if you haven’t done so already, and if you’ve been to ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com, the links that weren’t working are now working. Thank goodness. Now on to Timaree Hagenburger, who is a registered dietician with a master’s degree in Public Health and a nutrition professor at Cosumnes River College and a professional speaker working in her community with corporate wellness clients, including her role on the worldwide wellness team for Apple. Awesome! Timaree’s got a new book out called The Foodie Bar Way, and we’re going to be talking a bit about that. Welcome, Timaree!

Timaree Hagenburger: Hello. Yes, I’m calling from Cosumnes River College.

Caryn Hartglass: Cosumnes. Where is that?

Timaree Hagenburger: Sacramento, California.

Caryn Hartglass: Okay, I should know about that. Cosumnes, Cosumnes. How are you doing?

Timaree Hagenburger: I’m doing fantastic. It’s my birthday. I know your birthday is Friday. April, the wonderful month.

Caryn Hartglass: Can I sing “Happy Birthday” to you?

Timaree Hagenburger: Oh, my goodness. I would be honored. Yes.

Caryn Hartglass: Okay, and I want everybody to join in because this is my special Happy Birthday song. Let’s see. My voice isn’t warmed up, but we’ll see what happens. I’ll do it fast. Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, Timaree! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday! Whoo!

Timaree Hagenburger: Thank you so much! That’s wonderful. Yes.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, I like birthdays.

Timaree Hagenburger: I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, I had a really fun birthday, and I’m hoping you’re having a fun birthday, too.

Timaree Hagenburger: I am. This is a highlight for me. I’m so excited to talk with you. I’ve been a listener and podcast follower of yours for years and years. I was so excited to be able to meet you at Berkeley’s Earth Day a couple of years ago, so this is kind of just full circle.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, it’s exciting when we’re passionate about something, and you meet and connect with others who are passionate and somehow that passion grows exponentially, and now you’re doing all kinds of wonderful things.

Timaree Hagenburger: I know. I feel so fortunate, so lucky. This adventure with my book has been a really interesting step because I’ve been teaching, at the college level, nutrition for – I’m going on year 17 – and this is sharing with people my work in a different way, and it’s just fantastic. My students would often say, “Well, I just wish you could come home with me! If I could live at your house, then I would eat the way that you eat. I would get all the nutrients that you get.” But I said, “Well, you can’t come home with me.” But now, I can send a little bit of me home with them, and so that’s been really exciting because the feedback has been so positive. It just warms my heart, and I tell my students, “Keep sending me emails! Keep letting me know what you’re making!” Even last night, I got a picture of one of the recipes, the scrambled tacos, from a student. Her dad had come to a presentation on campus. She brought her dad. I always encourage students to bring family members. He came along, and it was fantastic, and then I got this email: “My dad and I loved it! This was wonderful!” Just warms my heart.

Caryn Hartglass: I totally understand. Now let’s back up a little bit. You’ve been teaching nutrition for 17 years.

Timaree Hagenburger: Yes.

Caryn Hartglass: And have you been eating the plant-based-foodie-bar way all those 17 years?

Timaree Hagenburger: No. I actually was omnivore. Interesting enough, we had a foodie bar for our wedding 16 years ago. We didn’t necessarily think of it as a foodie bar, but we did a pasta bar because we had been to so many weddings and we’re so disappointed with the food that we wanted everybody to have their own customized pasta. And so we had all of the ingredients set out, and we had several sauces and several of the pastas, and then the chefs just put the combinations together as people requested, and everybody walked away from the table with a perfect bowl of pasta for them. That went over so well that we had kept doing that at home, but about – I think I’m going on year 6 now of whole-food, plant-based completely 100%. As soon as I made that transition, then I couldn’t teach anything else. I ethically – there’s no way that I can provide recommendations for my students or anyone else in the world that I don’t feel, with all of my heart, is the best for them. So it’s obviously up to them whether they take my advice, but at least, on my end of it, then I need to be true to what I know, and so that was a transition because, as you can imagine, the textbooks are not – Vegetarianism is a tiny little piece of the protein chapter with big words usually of caution. At least historically, that’s been hit. So I present the information that the textbook has and then I give them, “Now, that’s one side, and then let’s give you the whole picture.” So I provide all of the information that I have access to, about the plant-based piece of it and behind-the-scenes research. Dr. Greger’s videos play a huge role in my classes because they’re short, but they’re all researched so it works phenomenally. They don’t want to just hear from me that dairy does X, Y, or Z to people, so I provide that and I give them challenges, including the 21-day Kickstart, PCRM. I started doing that several years ago, and I didn’t expect much of a response. I didn’t want to set it out there with these gigantic expectations, where you get all of these tons of extra credit. I actually made it pretty small. I did 15 points of extra credit for a thousand points over the semester, so it had to be people who really wanted to do it. And, interestingly enough, the first year that I did it, over two months, I expected to have maybe 15 or 20 students, and I had 130.

Caryn Hartglass: Wow, good for you! Yay!

Timaree Hagenburger: It was just fantastic. It was, and so what it spurred in me was actually several different things. One, I started a chartered club on campus called TOP, which is Thrive On Plants, and I wanted a place for my students to feel comfortable being completely 100% plant-based or plant-curious or somewhere in the middle. Our little mission is to help us fulfill our potential by making plant-based, whole-food choices, participating in joyful movement, mindful practices, and lifelong learning. We have been growing, and we started with a logo and those types of things, and then this year we did something that was just amazing. We just finished up with two weeks of Your Fork, Our Planet. I dream up these things between running down the street and flossing my teeth and helping my kids with homework. We showed Cowspiracy several times on campus, and then I had Dr. Oppenlander do a Skype on question-and-answer, and then we had Lani Muelrath do a presentation of 5 Steps to a Sustainable Plate. On the Wednesday of the second week, we took over our quad area, and our TOP club set out ten tables that taught students how to be more self-sustainable. We had everything from what to do with a rice cooker besides cook rice, how to use a crockpot while you’re sleeping or working, how to save water with your fork, how to make dressings and sauces with your blender – all those types of different things for students – how to save money at the grocery store, and everything was 100% plant-based. All the recipes we gave out. I was so proud of them. It was just phenomenal. My students that had walked around, I asked them, “Did you learn anything?”, and they said, “Oh, my goodness! We learned so much! This was incredible!” So we’re going to start doing that every semester and have that TOP tips on the quad to have students connect with their power to really take back their health.

Caryn Hartglass: What I like about that – Very often, especially on Earth Day, when we’re talking about climate change and the environment and the things that people can do, we always hear the same recycled, useless – Well, not useless, but not the most powerful information, like choosing energy-efficient lightbulbs and making sure you turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or when you’re putting creams in your hair in the shower or something. These things are okay, but they’re not going to have the impact as eating plant foods versus animal foods on our water supply.

Timaree Hagenburger: Right, and people are just unaware. They just don’t have that understanding. And then to bring the piece together where, okay, now what can you do and how can you become more self-sustainable? Because I do see that as a theme with my students, where they get the environment piece and they appreciate that maybe even more so than some of the other generations through different times in the world, but they also really want to be able to take care of themselves. So to be able to do that and to find those answers within themselves is fantastic. It was interesting because I was listening to your interview with Deborah, and she was talking about dealing with health issues later in life. I worked in the hospital as a dietician when I first started working, and that’s why I left the hospital because my impact was so muted because it was after the patient already had 7.3 diseases. I’m talking to them about the renal diet because their kidneys have just failed. I thought, ‘No, I have to be able to make an impact earlier,’ and so when I started teaching, I just – I mean, I still get goosebumps when I’m talking to you about that because that gives me so much joy to be able to get to students at this point in their life when – and a lot of people may think, ‘Well, they think they’re invincible. I mean, they’re 18 years old’, and some of them do – but you know what I found is they’re really concerned about their parents, and if it’s not themself, then they’re coming to me going, “Okay, we were in the emergency room last night because my dad’s blood pressure spiked, and he was in the hypertensive crisis”, and then they’ll say, “But he’s kind of old”. I’m like, “Okay, how old are you talking?” “Well, he’s, like, 48.” I’m looking at them, saying, “Oh, sweetheart, no. This is way too young to have these issues.” So I find them motivated, frustrated with the resistance that they’re getting from their parents, interestingly enough, when they bring the information home. But then we just talked about the idea where I said, “You should have to show them. You show them with your actions. You don’t try to tell your parents what to do and what they’re doing is wrong. You show them how good you feel. You’re making these changes, and then they may come around.” I have a student who did this quote, and I use it. I’ll never forget it: “Do it for yourself, show enjoyment, and be willing to share.” And it can start with them instead of just trying to get home and convince everybody in the household that this is what everybody should be doing.

Caryn Hartglass: I love what you’re doing, and those students are so lucky to have you. All classes in nutrition should be the way you described it. And in hospitals – Were you still an omnivore when you were a dietician in the hospital?

Timaree Hagenburger: I was. Absolutely, yeah, that was a long time ago.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, that’s one of the things that frustrates me. I spent some time at a hospital, and I’ve visited other people who are in hospitals. In New York, it’s getting a little better, but I felt like I knew so much more than the dieticians that were in the hospital when it came to nutrition. The other thing that just makes my brain want to explode is the food that they serve cancer patients: cancer-causing foods to cancer patients. They give heart-disease-causing, arterial-sclerosis-growing foods to coronary heart disease patients. What they’re doing is they’re creating return customers

Timaree Hagenburger: And it’s just a huge disconnect. It’s just lack of understanding and willingness to be open to new information and information that’s contrary to what we’ve been learning. I tell my students – because they all come to me thinking that what they’ve been raised is just their reality – I tell them, “I wasn’t born into this. I learned this after I had already been through all my schooling and I had already been teaching. But it’s kind of like people used to think that the world was flat, and we now know it’s round. There are still people that meet, the Flat Earth Society. They still have meetings. I just don’t go.” So that’s okay. We just need to be open to not always having the answers that we’ve always had and go with the information that makes sense to us and makes sense to our bodies. My students, one thing that nobody can argue with is that they’ve never felt better. We’re talking about someone who isn’t 75 years old with 12 diseases. We’re talking about an 18-year-old who says, “I’ve never, ever felt better than when I switched over to eating 100% plant-based.” And so there’s no arguing with that at all, which just makes me smile because that is kind of crazy. I have to share this with you. Yesterday in class, I have a student who said, because our 21-day Kickstart ended on the 21st, I had one of my students, he said, “Okay” – and he has a Hispanic background, traditional family – he said, “So, after the 21-day Kickstart” – and he said this in front of the whole class – he said, “I was done, so I’ve been craving meat. I went to Texas Roadhouse” – which is this crazy chain here in Sacramento, it’s all over – he said, “and I ordered ribs, and I couldn’t eat them.” I said, “What do you mean? What happened?” He said, “Well, they came, and I looked at them on my plate, and I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want them.” I said, “What did you do?” He said, “Well, I just asked for a to-go container, and I took it home.” And I think he said he gave it to his dog. Then I came in with, “There is vegan dog food, but that’s a whole other discussion!” And I said, “So what you’re telling me here, I can’t give this to people, if I could give this to people, you don’t understand how excited that makes me. Not only could you have it” – because I tell my students, “I want to move you from ‘I can’t have it’ to ‘I don’t want it.’” Whatever it is, whether it’s soda, whatever it is.

Caryn Hartglass: It’s not deprivation!

Timaree Hagenburger: Exactly. So he said, “Oh, no.” I said, “Because you could have had it.” He said, “Not only could I have had it, I bought it. I spent money on it. It was sitting in front of me, and it was not cheap. It was front of me, and I said, ‘Nope, I’m done. I’m done with it.’” And I thought, ‘This is why I came to work today.’ It’s just like, oh, my gosh! That is golden for me because it’s not, “Oh, my teacher said I shouldn’t be eating this.” That is not how it works. It needs to be from them, and so those kinds of responses are really, really important to me. Interestingly enough, I had mentioned to you, yesterday in class when I asked my students why that being healthy was important to them – that was one of the things, I have them do journaling and things like that – and more often than not when a gentleman in class, and they’re all young, raised his hand to share in front of the whole class, it was, “I want to be there for my kids”, and I always ask, “Do you want to have kids?” “No, not yet, but when I do.” And I thought, ‘Nice! Thank you for stepping up and thinking about the future.’ That gives me so much hope. I am hopeful beyond any doubt because I see the power with these students and the potential that they can have on their own family’s health, and then that ripple effect that goes into the world.

Caryn Hartglass: What a great story! Now, you have a book called The Foodie Bar Way. Let’s dig into it!

Timaree Hagenburger: Yes, I love this! This is so fun. So my students typically come to me without any experience cooking. Not only do they not have experience, but they tell me they have no money – they spend their money on fast food and cell phones – and then they also tell me that they just don’t have confidence because their parents didn’t cook, so I spent all of my time in class talking about cooking, and I always say, “It doesn’t matter how many micrograms of folate you find in asparagus if the way you cook it is stringy and nasty, nobody’s going to eat it.” So we talk about making soup then. Do not serve vegetables that have not been treated well to people. But I always want to give them ideas, so I had a student, actually who, a couple semesters ago, said, “That’s it!” she said. “You need to just write your book!” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “Okay. I go to your website, I print out all your recipes, then someone comes over, they eat your food, and they take all the recipes. I printed these out three times. I’m done. Just write your book!” So in between, again, brushing my teeth, flossing my teeth and running down the street and grading papers, I wrote The Foodie Bar Way. It is a collection of bars. My friends and students always ask me, “How do you do it? You don’t miss a beat.” Since we’ve switched over and transitioned over to 100% plant-based, I have not had any missteps backwards, and I try to do everything possible to make things from scratch. But I’m also really busy, so I the way that I do it is I set up bars at home – I have two kids, I have a 9- and a 12-year-old – and I make the components typically over the weekend or during the week, depending on what’s going on. Then when everybody gets home, they customize whatever they want. So if it’s a baked potato bar or if it’s a pizza bar or a pasta bar, we have all of the different ingredients ready to go and everybody can customize. Because you make something one day and olives are great, and then the next day the kids don’t want olives. I do not want to throw any food away, so it drives me crazy. So if we keep this kind of separate, then it makes it easy. The way that I, with my students in mind, the way that I decided to do it was each bar has a basic bar and then a raising-the-bar section. So with my students in mind or just when it’s really busy, you just need the basics. It could be something as simple as a roasted baked potato where you eat the skin and you have a can of chili beans that, of course, has no animal products and then some greens and have an avocado on top – just something very basic. Or raising the bar, where you would make my seasoned black beans or you would put my 2-minute collard greens on top or my garlic mushrooms and so that way you can, if you have time or you want to start experimenting, you can upgrade some of those ingredients and maybe even play with something like a purple sweet potato. We have those at our fantastic farmers markets. So that is the idea. And then after each bar there is an example of how we do the bar at home because I still have students and people who want a specific recipe. So it turned out to be 94 recipes and 32 bars, and the response has been fantastic because it really kind of just meets you where you are, whether you want to spend some extra time or whether you just need to be quick. It works really well for kids, too, because you can bring them along as a little team member helping you prepare some of the different components, and then they get the autonomy of choosing their favorites from what’s offered.

Caryn Hartglass: I just had a very silly thought, and I’m going to apologize before I say it. Because you said you have 94 recipes and 32 bars, and it sounded like a song to me, like you were singing the 94 recipe titles in 32 bars of music. Maybe you should do that.

Timaree Hagenburger: Maybe I should. No, I never thought that it would be that many recipes, but when I started putting those bars together, I thought, ‘Well, this would be good and I want my power of pesto, and I want this one, and I want that one.’ So it just ended up being huge, and my husband took all the pictures – my husband and our friend, a photography professor here at the School of Catherine Mayo. So between the three of us, we took all the pictures. My students also say, “I need a picture for every recipe”, so we have them. So it’s fun. It’s 300 pages! I never thought in my wildest dreams that it would be that big, so I’m very proud of it.

Caryn Hartglass: Well done!

Timaree Hagenburger: Thank you.

Caryn Hartglass: Well, well done! Now, okay, if you’re not getting this, listeners, dear listeners, this woman is a very happy, energetic, bubbly individual and passionate about what she does and is bringing the light and the love to plant-based eating. And it all comes out in her book. It’s a very happy, just-have-fun, when-you’re-eating kind of book. Right?

Timaree Hagenburger: Yes, and it’s something that I want people to not feel intimidated if you don’t have an ingredient. That’s what the bars are set up for. Just use something else in the list! Very approachable, and it keeps things exciting and not boring because you can keep changing things up. And so the subtitle is – It’s The Foodie Bar Way: One meal. Lots of options. Everyone’s happy. And I really feel like there’s so much discussion now about being divided over what to eat if “I don’t like this!” and if someone’s gluten-free or if someone doesn’t do dairy or these types of things, that this is really a way to bring people back to the table and to share one meal together even though everybody’s plate may look a little different. That we’re all sharing the same meal. I don’t think that that can be overestimated, the value of that, because that is something that we’ve lost to a certain extent in our society, is that connectedness around food and around being connected at mealtimes and taking the time to be mindful instead of just being distracted with media or what-have-you. So it’s been great. I had a student who wrote a review in our little local newspaper and said that in her house, she – this is a quote from her – “Living in a household where we are polar opposites when it comes to healthy eating, I found the book to be extremely useful in stifling complaints from either side.” So that’s huge. That’s what I want.

Caryn Hartglass: That is huge. Timaree, I can’t believe we’re at the end of the program, and it’s really been great speaking with you. I was – how do I say this? – I’m just more excited listening to you talk than when I was flipping through the book, which I already love, so thank you very much for joining me and for doing all the wonderful work that you’re doing. It’s just incredible.

Timaree Hagenburger: Thank you! Thank you and, one last thing, we are starting a plant-based nutrition and sustainable agriculture certificate program at our college. I am just thrilled! We got that through curriculum, which is huge.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, very good! I am applauding you here, and everyone else should. You are amazing! Thank you for being on the planet.

Timaree Hagenburger: Thank you!

Caryn Hartglass: And happy birthday! Let’s celebrate you, Timaree!

Timaree Hagenburger: Thank you, thank you!

Caryn Hartglass: Okay. Thank you again for joining me. We just have a minute left, and I wanted to mention if you go to ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com, that’s where I live. I have a couple of brand-new recipes. One of them is so easy, and I’ve just been nuts over it. We juiced fresh ginger, and we made a cup of ginger juice. It’s really hot, really spicy. Diluted it 4 to 1 and froze this mixture into cubes. I am putting these ginger ice cubes in everything and loving it, so it was really worth the time to do that. Visit ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com and find out about that, and that’s it! All you have to do now is have a delicious week! Thanks for tuning in love with me. I’m Caryn Hartglass, and you’ve been listening to It’s All About Food! Bye-bye!

Transcribed by Jessica Roman 10/30/2016

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