As a high school student, Freddi Pakier's favorite breakfast item was a candy bar. However, as the school days dragged on, her sugar highs inevitably gave way to lethargy and mood swings. She didn't realize the correlation until she was in her 20s, which caused her to completely change her diet—a change that she credits with giving her an abundance of energy and a more positive outlook.
Freddi now shares her story and tips as a health coach at Meals that Heal, introducing students to holistic techniques and the tactics of nutritional science so that they can craft healthful dishes on their own. Her recipes also mesh well with weight-loss plans, helping clients to shed pounds without counting calories or removing their solid gold shoes.
Students can choose from a variety of class options that highlight diverse topics such as travel meals, vegetarian nutrition, detoxifying internals, preventing disease, and strengthening bones. All sessions are safe for those avoiding gluten.
Artist Rae Holton sees energy. The owner of Fire & Mud Studios and lifelong arts and nature enthusiast harnesses her inimitable sight of what she calls "the vein-like serpentine flow of atoms" to create offbeat works of art in a variety of mediums. Raised among artists and craftspeople, Holton has dabbled in jewelry making, photography, cooking, and ceramics, and cultivated a love for teaching after stints as a children's ski instructor and after-school program educator. Helming her pottery-focused studio, Holton helps others unleash their inner artists through classes and workshops as students learn the history of ceramics or how to remove the head off a classical sculpture with a hedge trimmer.
In bar classrooms outfitted with real equipment and experienced instructors, the students at Professional Bartenders School learn to mix, pour, and serve their way into the barkeeping industry. Courses ranging from six hours to two weeks instill pupils with the tenets of professional drinksmanship, such as free pouring, drink recipes, and customer service. Students fill glasses with spurts from soda guns, simulated liquor from real bottles, and garnishes carved from organic plastic lemons as they learn drink recipes and mixing techniques. Upon certification, newly minted bartenders receive lifetime job-placement help, with access to a database of hospitality employers.
The creators of Paint Nite started their on-location art parties as a creative alternative to a night out with friends. Inspiring people to drink creatively at bars in more than 80 worldwide cities, their events have been touted by New York Magazine as the Best Friend Date and profiled by The Daily Beast. During each two-hour session, participants create a 16x20? reproduction of the night's chosen artwork while sipping a beer, mixed drink, or glass of wine purchased from the bar. Paint Nite provides all other materials, including paint, brushes, canvases, easels, and aprons. Local artists guide participants through each step of the painting process from mixing colors to brush stroke and encouraging creative expression in a supportive, positive atmosphere.
"I consider sacred the bond of trust that develops over time with our athletes, forged by sound direction, collaboration, and real, lasting results," says Erik Preston, owner and head trainer at CrossFit San Elijo. The ex-Marine recruited a team of instructors who work to forge a sense of community among its members through rigorous shared effort of their group workouts. Instructors teach athletes foundational movements during an initial class before embarking on daily workouts where they’ll hoist kettlebells, master gymnast’s rings, and walk with 45-pound weights. Every exercise is rigorously monitored, as instructors insist on proper form while students execute core exercises of squat, press, and lift. Along with emphasizing sound mechanics, instructors help copilot participants toward healthier eating habits and recovery techniques.
US Music Lessons founder Vince Hanvey has more than three decades of experience as a professional musician, honing his guitar-playing acumen in styles as diverse as rock, jazz, and country. He and his staff of skilled instructors help students pursue their musical dreams, creating personalized lesson plans that cater to individual goals. Students can show off their developing guitar, bass, drums, piano, and vocal skills at performances and jam sessions hosted at the studio throughout the year.