22 Food Influencers To Watch in 2020

Food Business

Next month we will officially announce the Healthy Meal Prep Summit, and there is a lot to look forward to. For now, we’re giving you a sneak preview with these 22 Food Influencers to Watch. Each of these talented voices has an important story to share about her or his experience. During the summit, we’ll learn more about each of them and gain some valuable takeaways, but here’s a taste of what you can anticipate from this all-star line-up at the Summit:

22 Food Influencers to Watch

1. Jen Hansard


jan hansard: plant based food influencer


Jen is the co-founder and creator of Simple Green Smoothies. She empowers women to improve their health by incorporating more smoothies into their diets. She’s written the book on smoothies–two in fact–Simple Green Smoothies and Simple Green Meals and Jen will share her secrets to nutrient-packed, family-friendly recipes during her session at the Summit.

2. McKel Kooienga, RD

McKel Kooienga nutrition stripped influencer

McKel, a Registered Dietician and founder of Nutrition Stripped believes in mindful eating and living to create long-term healthy habits. McKel’s session will reveal How to Use the Foundational Five to Create Easy and Nutritious Meals.

3. Dr. Neal Barnard, MD, FACC

Dr. Neal Barnard, MD in office

Dr. Barnard is the President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, as well as an Adjunct Professor Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine the author of over 90 scientific papers and 20 books. He has spent his career leading research studies into how what we eat affects our health, including body weight and chronic disease likelihood. He pioneered groundbreaking research that revealed Type 2 diabetes to be potentially reversible for many patients. Dr. Barnard advocates for diet as a form of preventative medicine, and you can follow along on his Twitter @DrNealBarnard.

Dr. Barnard will lead the session Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food, Hormones, and Health.

4. Sam Turnbull

sam turnbull vegan food influencer and blogger

Sam is a Canada-based vibrant vegan recipe blogger, cookbook author, and YouTube star. Sam will discuss how she transitioned from growing up in a family of butchers, and hunters who raised chickens to “becoming the best damn vegan she could be”. Today, she shares high-quality, quick and easy recipes on her YouTube channel and blog It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.

Sam will tell us all about how to get started as a beginner to plant-based eating in her session Easy Vegan Cooking.


5. Te’Lario Watkins II

Te'Lario Watkins II

Watkins founded Tiger Mushroom Farms at the age of 7 years old. Today he’s an author, speaker, and founder of the nonprofit The Garden Club Project. He’s a major advocate for eating more mushrooms and reaping the health benefits. He’ll share his story and tips for using his favorite fungi in the session Just Add Mushrooms!

6. Chef AJ


chef aj vegan chef and influencer


Chef AJ is the best-selling author of Unprocessed and The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss. She’s followed a vegan diet for over 40 years, and will share her strategy for long-lasting weight loss, including discussion fo battling food addiction and paying attention to calorie density in your diet in her session The Recipe for Weight Loss.

7. Maria Roberts


maria tosoni: plant based food influencer to watch

Maria is the force behind Spinach For Breakfast, a resource for wellness-focused moms to gain culinary and inspiration and healthy living tips. As a speech pathologist and feeding therapist for 10 years, she understands the difficulties parents face, and has valuable insight into how families can thrive with the right food. She’ll share her tips and easy recipes for busy families to build healthy, sustainable habits during her session at the Summit Healthy Mealtime Habits.

8. Christina Pirello

Christina Pirello

Christina is an Emmy award-winning chef, bestselling cookbook author, and culinary instructor with a Masters Degree in Food Science and Nutrition passionate about sharing how food impacts our day-to-day wellness. She teaches her students how to maximize health and improve immune functioning by incorporating natural foods into your diet. She’ll provide her top tips to eat more whole foods in a delicious way during her Summit session called Back to the Cutting Board. Read more about Christina at ChristinaCooks.com.

9. Andrea Young


andrea young food influencer 2020

Andrea is a Natural Cooking Cooking School graduate and founder of Sweet Vegan, which makes organic, plant-based chocolates in flavors that range from Fig & Ginger to Midnight Passion. Andrea will talk about how she launched a successful food business from her Indiana kitchen and the love that goes into her decadent treats during her session titled Sweet Vegan Bliss Bites.

10. Shiru Macharia

Shiru Macharia

Shiru is a certified culinary nutrition expert, health and lifestyle coach, and food relationship expert who unearthed a love for food after shedding 35 kilos and transforming her lifestyle. Shiru leads by example when it comes to improving your mindset, your relationship with your body and with food, and she will share her insights into how to make your own lifestyle transformation as part of the summit.

Shiru works with busy and new moms to help manage the stress of serving healthy meals. Her company is My Planted Kitchen and she is the author of My Planted Kitchen Cookbook. Shiru’s clean eating recipes  are not totally plant-based but we love her creativity when it comes to the plant-based recipes she shares. She’ll provide her top tips in the session Overcoming the ‘What’s For Dinner?’ Overwhelm.

11. Andrea Beaman

andrea beaman

A former contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef and a regular on food television still, Andrea Beaman is an author, natural food chef and educator. During her session, Andrea will share the Benefits and Uses of Medicinal Ingredients and Herbs. Find out more about Andrea on andreabeaman.com.

12. Sandor Katz

Sandor Katz Wild Fermentation

Sandor Katz, a self-proclaimed fermentation revivalist, became hooked on fermentation with his first homemade batch of sauerkraut, earning him the nickname “Sandorkraut”. As an AIDS survivor, he considers fermented foods an important part of his health and well-being. His 2003 book, Wild Fermentation, was lauded by Newsweek as the “fermentation bible”, and his 2012 book, The Art of Fermentation, received a James Beard award and was a finalist at the International Association of Culinary Professionals. In 2014, Katz received the Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Follow the legendary Sandor on Instagram @sandorkraut.

13. Lexi Harrison & Beth Sinclair

Lexi and Beth are a mother-daughter team behind the plant-based influencer account and food blog Crowded Kitchen. You won’t want to miss Lexi’s session topic of “Making Meal Prep a Breeze, Even with Multiple Dietary Requirements.” Find out more about how this dynamic team brings their family together over meals at crowdedkitchen.com. Get ready to have your mouth watering over their drool-worthy food photos!

14. Hanna Sillitoe


hanna sillitoe plant based food influencer


Hanna Sillitoe is the best-selling author of Radiant–Recipes to Heal the Skin from Within and the founder of a cruelty-free botanical skincare range designed to heal from within. Hanna received offers from all five investors on BBC 2’s Dragon’s Den (the British version of American Shark Tank) in 2019, and her new book Skin Healing Expert is scheduled for publication in August 2020. Hanna’s session Anti-Inflammatory Gut Healing for Skin will explore the connection between gut health and skin health, and how you can heal your skin from within. Psoriasis sufferers listen up!

15. Melissa Costello


Melissa Costello plant-based food influencer

Melissa is a Transformational Eating Coach, author, and holistic nutritionist to celebrity trainer Tony Horton. With a mindful approach with real food, Melissa empowers people to stop the yo-yo dieting, lose weight in a sustainable, healthy way, and keep it off. She’ll cover how our moods can affect what we eat, and how to listen to our emotions during her Summit session called The Food-Mood Connection. Check out more about what Melissa is up to over at karmachow.com.

16. Esmeralda De Souza-Obwaka

Esmeralda is a talented entrepreneur with a creative mind, a strategic approach to solving business challenges, a knack for identifying opportunities, and a natural flair for creating memorable experiences. She has been described as a risk taker, a compassionate leader and a talent multiplier, all of which have led to her success in establishing and growing one of the most respected food companies in Kenya, Spetz Catering. While Esmeralda serves up a variety of cuisines and not exclusively plant-based, her plant-based recipes are to-die-for! Follow Esmeraldas fun instastories @the_foodpreneur.

17. Marisa Sweeney, RDN


marisa sweeney

Marisa owns Be Well Integrative Health Services, founded the New Jersey VegFest: The Garden State’s Official Vegan Food Festival as well as The Vegan Local, an online market for vegan small businesses. Marisa is also the President-Elect of the NJAND and is a true mover and shaker in the national vegan community. You will not want to miss all the tips she shares in her session!

18. Talya Lutzker

Talya Lutzker plant based influencer


Talya Lutzker is a Certified Ayurvedic practitioner and the founder of Ayurveda Every Day With Talya – an Ayurvedic living, self-care, and nourishment hub. She created Ayurveda Every Day to help health seekers like you heal your body, skyrocket your energy, recover from trauma, and understand yourself through the empowering framework of Ayurveda – India’s holistic health-care system and yoga’s sister science. Talya is a celebrated author, professional chef, yoga teacher, and advocate for your AWESOMENESS. She’s the creator of The RAD Cleanse, Ayurveda Starter School and her FREE Detox and Nourish Your Body With Ayurveda Bootcamp. When Talya’s not sharing Ayurveda with the world, you’ll find her cooking, riding her bike to yoga, and petting every dog in sight. Check out all the great stuff Talya is up to over at Talyaskitchen.com.

19. Chef Chris Georgett

Chef Chris Georgett Basil Bandwagon

Chef Chris Georgett is the Head Chef at Basil Bandwagon Natural Market for the past 5 years. Chef Chris was previously the Chef/Owner of Christopher’s Personal Chef Service for 19 years in the Chicago Area where he created customized meal plans based on clients needs (macrobiotic, vegetarian, vegan, protein based diets, medical restrictions, etc.). Chef Chris was also a personalized catering Chef/Manager in the corporate and executive dining scene for 14 years. He is an esteemed graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Just wait until you hear all of the great advice he shares in his session!

20. Kate Murphy

Kate Murphy Living Pretty Naturally

Kate Murphy is a serial entrepreneur, the wellness influencer behind Living Pretty Naturally, a yoga teacher, a facilitator of Women’s Circles & Ceremonies, reiki and breath work practitioner, sound healer and space holder. Oslo is her home-base, and Vancouver, Canada is where she hails from. She teaches retreats around the world and has a passion for working with spirit and the divine feminine. Over on Living Pretty Naturally Kate shares inspiration for not only natural beauty but also food and nutrition. Banana pancakes and kraut for glowing skin? Oh yeah. Find out more in Kate’s informative session next month!

21. Dawn Gallagher

dawn gallagher

Dawn Gallagher is a former supermodel, Youtube expert, humanitarian, social media expert and micro-influencer with a large and engaging audience. As an influencer, Dawn is authentic and transparent with her audience and makes it simple and empowering to make the shift to healthier food choices. Dawn has created some incredible DIY beauty recipes using whole food ingredients. In her session Dawn will show you how to make a great nail strengthener using apple cider vinegar! Dawn is the author of Naturally Beautiful: Earth’s Secrets and Recipes for Skin, Body and Spirit and Nature’s Beauty Secrets: Recipes for Beauty Treatments from the World’s Best Spas.

22. Lara Heimann

Lara Heimann LYT Yoga

Lara Heimann is the founder of Movement by Lara. An international yoga leader, she has combined her background in physical therapy with her love of yoga to create the LYT Method. Many know her as “Yoga Mama” for the endless love, gratitude, and guidance that she has for all of her students and teachers. She developed the LYT Method to address the deficiencies and imbalances of our modern lives and limited movement patterns. Besides being a yoga and fitness influencer, Lara is also a natural foods vegan chef and graduate of the Natural Kitchen Cooking School. In her session Lara will share her secrets to being fit and fab through healthy plant-based meal prep. Lara has recently been featured on the Today Show. Find out more about Lara over on lytyoga.com.

These top 22 Food Influencers are the ones to watch in 2020, and there’s no better place to hear all of their insights than at the Healthy Meal Prep Summit. More details coming soon!





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