Lesson 2: BioHack Metabolism Copy

BioHack Metabolism

Biohacking is a term used to describe the integration of applied physiology, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle modification in order to manipulate one’s epigenetics to enhance quality of life, health and/or athletic performance. One easy approach to biohacking your metabolism is by following five simple principles based on the acronym S P E E D.


In a 2007 research review, Knutson et al. found that chronic partial sleep loss could increase the risk of obesity and diabetes via dysregulation of glucose metabolism (i.e., insulin resistance) and altered neuroendocrine control of appetite. The result was excessive food intake and decreased energy expenditure. The average adult needs between 7.5 and 8 hours of restorative sleep per night. This can vary based on health and additional needs for recovery, such as during periods of intense exercise.

Sleep Loss & Energy Expenditure

Energy expenditure plays an important role in the control of body weight and adiposity. The total amount of daily energy expenditure (TEE) can be divided into three components: Resting metabolic rate (RMR) – The energy expenditure of an individual resting in bed in the morning after sleep in the fasting state. RMR accounts for about 60% of TEE. Thermic effect of food (TEF) – The energy expenditure associated with the digestion, absorption, metabolism, and storage of food. TEF accounts for approximately 10% of TEE. Activity-related energy expenditure (AEE) – The energy expended in exercise as well as activities such as sitting, standing, walking and other occupational, volitional and spontaneous activities, collectively referred to as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Some biohackers advocate using cold-induced thermogenesis as a form of NEAT by taking cold showers or wearing less clothing during daily activities or to bed. A small reduction in ambient temperature, within the range of climate-controlled buildings, is sufficient to increase brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity, which correlates with the cold-induced thermogenesis (CIT) response. The enhancement of cold-induced BAT stimulation may represent a novel environmental strategy in obesity treatment.

Individuals with sleep problems and/or excessive daytime sleepiness report a significant reduction in their levels of physical activity and NEAT, which could reduce AEE. Sleep loss can also affect energy expenditure via its impact on the levels of leptin (a master hormone secreted by adipose tissue that controls hunger and feelings of satiety) and ghrelin (a neuropeptide that stimulates appetite). Leptin can increase energy expenditure, possibly via increased thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue, while ghrelin can decrease locomotor activity such as NEAT.


Stress adaptation requires a coordinated series of responses mediated through the hypothalamus-pituitary-axis (HPA) and sympathetic nervous system, which act to maintain homeostasis and protect against chronic diseases. Chronic hyperactivation of the HPA axis, which can occur with low calorie dieting, has been linked to visceral fat deposition, insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, altered lipid profiles, and coronary artery disease. Chronic stress can also lead to increased food intake, as well as relapses and overeating after weight loss has been achieved by hypocaloric dieting.


There are hundreds of synthetic chemicals currently used for industrial and agricultural applications that are leading to widespread environmental contamination. These include pesticides/herbicides, plasticizers, antimicrobials, and flame retardants. These endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can disrupt hormonal balance and result in developmental and reproductive abnormalities. In addition, some studies link EDC exposure to obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. The Environmental Working Group has a list of the “dirty dozen” endocrine disruptors and an app that identifies these toxic ingredients in cosmetics and other personal-care items. Limiting exposure to EDCs can be done by avoiding chemical laden products and choosing organic when it comes to produce that is highly sprayed and animals that are fed conventional feed.


Muscle and Metabolism

The most effective tool for increasing or maintaining lean body mass (LBM) is resistance training. Resistance training has been shown to limit the loss of LBM during weight loss regimens. Maintaining or increasing LBM is essential for a healthy metabolism. It also reduces the tendency to regain weight and is important for maintaining adequate body function with aging. Resistance exercise has the potential to improve metabolic disorders and reduce the need for medications associated with being overweight (e.g., diabetes and blood pressure). It can also reduce abdominal adiposity and cardiovascular disease risk factors.


In the recovery period after exercise, there is an increase in oxygen uptake known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). The magnitude of EPOC depends on both the duration and intensity of exercise as well as the type (i.e., aerobic or resistance). There is a curvilinear relationship between the magnitude of EPOC and the intensity of the exercise, whereas the relationship between exercise duration and EPOC magnitude appears to be more linear. Training status and sex may also potentially influence the EPOC magnitude. Some of the mechanisms underlying EPOC include replenishment of oxygen stores, adenosine triphosphate/creatine phosphate resynthesis, lactate removal, and increased body temperature, circulation and ventilation. An increased rate of triglyceride/fatty acid cycling and a shift from carbohydrate to fat as substrate source are of importance for the prolonged EPOC component after exhaustive aerobic exercise. A high-intensity, Tabata-style workout is a great way to biohack your metabolism. This approach consists of eight rounds of 20 seconds of intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Excluding warming up and cooling down, a session can be completed in just 4 minutes.


There are a number of ways to biohack your diet to increase your metabolism. Some of these include:

Don’t cut too many calories

When you eat less than you need for basic biological functions (about 1,200 calories), your body adjusts by slowing down your metabolism. In addition, it can elevate cortisol levels, which leads to catabolism of lean body mass and cravings for fat and sugary foods. Low calorie diets also run the risk of micronutrient deficiencies over time.

Take a Matcha 

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can rev up your metabolism. The antioxidant catechin in green tea also provides a boost. Dulloo et al. (1989) found that a single-dose oral administration of 100mg caffeine increased the resting metabolic rate of both lean and obese human volunteers by 3-4% and improved diet-induced thermogenesis. 5 grams of Matcha can provide 68mg of caffeine.

Epic Matcha’s unique combination of nutrients works on several levels to help you lose weight, be healthier, and feel better every day.

1. Matcha Increases Your Metabolism
Your metabolism isn’t set in stone. Many factors can cause your metabolic rate to fluctuate, including aging, muscle mass, hormones, and diet. One group of nutrients that has been proven to increase metabolism are polyphenol catechins, a unique component of a weight loss superfood know as antioxidants that are found in abundance in matcha.

2. Matcha Blocks Fat Cells
Catechins also works with caffeine to inhibit fat cells from forming in your body in the first place. The nutrients in matcha block the ability of your body to break down fats, which then pass through the body instead of becoming part of it. Fat is eliminated instead of being stored.

3. Matcha Protects You Against Free Radicals
Antioxidants are an important part of a healthy diet because they protect your body from damage by free radicals. Free radicals are toxins that cause disease, aging, chronic conditions – and weight gain. Matcha’s high dose of antioxidants helps your body to resist the effects of the toxins. In fact, matcha contains more antioxidants per serving than almost any other food on the planet.

4. Matcha Gives You More Energy
Matcha contains l-theanine, an amino acid that helps your body to process caffeine differently. Matcha provides a more sustained energy boost that lasts 4-6 hours, without any of the crashing or jitters associated with coffee. When you feel more energetic, you’ll be motivated to get active and exercise. You’ll also enjoy the activity more, which makes you more likely to do it again in the future.

5. Matcha Reduces Your Stress
Drinking matcha stimulates the production of alpha waves in your brain, which is a sign of mental relaxation. Studies have proven that L-theanine reduces stress and anxiety by inhibiting cortical neuron excitation. Stress leads to inflammation, which makes you susceptible to weight gain. Matcha’s relaxation-promoting compounds keep you mentally balanced, and less likely to reach for the candy jar.

Don’t forget the fiber

Plant-based diets that are inherently high in fiber can increase fat burning. Colorful vegetables and fruits also have numerous phytonutrients, which can reduce inflammation, resulting in better health and the prevention of many diseases.


A German study found that drinking 500ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30%. The study concluded that drinking 2 liters of water per day would augment energy expenditure and that the thermogenic effect of water should be considered in weight loss programs. I would suggest turning this water into a supercharged drink such as our three treasures tea.

Eat organic foods only 

Researchers report that dieters who consume foods with the most organochlorines (chemicals from pesticides which are stored in fat cells) experience a greater than normal dip in metabolism because the toxins interfere with the energy-burning process. Other research hints that pesticides can trigger weight gain. Choose organic in place of highly sprayed foods whenever possible.

Get adequate protein

There are a number of potential beneficial outcomes associated with protein ingestion, some of these include: Increased satiety – Protein generally increases satiety to a greater extent than carbohydrate or fat and may facilitate a reduction in energy consumption. Increased thermogenesis – Higher-protein diets are associated with increased thermogenesis, which also influences satiety and augments energy expenditure. Maintenance or accretion of fat-free mass – In some individuals, a moderately higher protein diet may provide a stimulatory effect on muscle protein anabolism, favoring the retention of lean muscle mass, while improving metabolism. Protein intake of 1.4 – 2.0 g/kg/day for physically active individuals is safe, and may improve adaptations to exercise training.

Eat some bugs.

Scientists took gut microbes from 4 sets of human twins in which one was lean and the other obese, and then introduced the microbes of each twin into different groups of mice and observed weight and metabolic changes in the mouse groups when fed the same diet. Mice populated with microbes from a lean twin stayed slim, whereas those given microbes from an obese twin quickly gained weight. The “lean” and “obese” microbes had different measurable effects on the body’s metabolism. A diet high in fruits and vegetables helps to create a favorable gut biome. Make sure to include prebiotics like sauerkraut and Kim chi.


Metabolism is the continuous vital process of breaking down organic matter and forming new substances within the tissues of the body. The word is derived from the Greek word metabolemeaning “change.” Indeed, the body is in a constant state of change. The breakdown process is called catabolism whereas anabolism is the process by which living organisms synthesize new molecules. Metabolic reactions are affected by several reaction-accelerating body enzymes (biocatalysts). In addition, metabolism is regulated by hormones, various growth factors, vitamins, minerals, and the autonomic nervous system. Various chemical reactions form so-called metabolic pathways. Energy metabolism in particular is relevant to exercise. Metabolic pathways are crucial for the maintenance of homeostasis (the equilibrium of the body). The long-term imbalance of metabolic pathways may lead to various metabolic disorders. Genetic hereditary enzyme dysfunctions may also cause innate metabolic disorders (for example, a mutation in the MTHFR gene may cause an increased level of homocysteine and therefore an increased risk of cerebrovascular disorders). Examples of metabolism include the breaking down of carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy (the citric acid cycle), the removal of superfluous ammonia through urine (the urea cycle) and the breakdown and transfer of various chemicals. The metabolic pathway that was first discovered was glycolysis in which glucose is broken down into pyruvate supplying energy (ATP and NADH) to cells.


The aerobic (requiring oxygen) metabolic process is also called cellular respiration. The processes involved in the aerobic energy system (cellular respiration) are glycolysis, pyruvate oxidation, the citric acid cycle and the electron transport chain. In practice, various cascades use glucose and oxygen to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that acts as an energy source. Byproducts of these processes include carbon dioxide and water.


The first metabolic phase, glycolysis, takes place in the cytoplasm. When glycolysis occurs under aerobic conditions, a glucose molecule is broken down into pyruvate, simultaneously producing two ATP molecules and two NADH molecules. Glycolysis also takes place under anaerobic conditions; however, the end result in this case is lactate, or lactic acid (see section “Anaerobic energy system”).


The citric acid cycle, or Krebs cycle (named after the Nobel prize winner Hans Adolf Krebs who discovered it), takes place in cell mitochondria.74 The primary metabolic compound of the citric acid cycle is acetic acid (acetyl coenzyme A) produced from fatty acids, carbohydrates and proteins. The various reactions of the citric acid cycle (see image) form hydrogen ions and electrons which are then transferred to the inner mitochondrial membrane for oxidative phosphorylation (binding energy to ATP molecules
through oxidation) and the electron transport chain. The reaction releases NADH and small amounts of ATP and carbon dioxide.

The citric acid cycle involves ten steps, each of them affected by B vitamins and certain minerals such as magnesium and iron as well as the liver’s main antioxidant, glutathione. The reactions are inhibited by heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic and aluminum.

Most of the energy generated during the citric acid cycle is captured by the energy-rich NADH molecules. For each acetyl coenzyme A molecule, three NADH molecules are generated and then used for energy in the reaction that follows (oxidative phosphorylation). The regulation of the citric acid cycle is determined by the availability of various amino acids as well as feedback inhibition (for example, if too much NADH is produced, several enzymes of the citric acid cycle are inhibited, slowing down reactions).

Oxaloacetate acts as a compound used to fulfill a sudden need to produce energy (for instance, in the brain or muscles). Taking an oxaloacetate supplement may therefore be useful, and it may even boost the regeneration of mitochondria in the brain, reduce silent inflammation in the body and increase the number of nerve cells. To put it simply, the body incorporates ingenious systems that convert consumed food into electrons which are used as energy for various needs.


Oxidative phosphorylation consists of two parts: the electron transport chain and ATP synthase. Oxidative phosphorylation produces most of the energy generated in aerobic conditions (ATP). It is a continuation of the citric acid cycle. In the electron transport chain, hydrogen ions (H+) are released into the mitochondrial intermembrane space. Through ATP synthase, the hydrogen ions released from the intermembrane space move back into the mitochondrion. Using the energy released in the process, ATP synthase converts the ADP used for energy into ATP again. Ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10) acts as a contributor to the electron transport chain. It has been used for decades as a dietary supplement. Low cellular ubiquinone levels may be a predisposing factor for various illnesses due to insufficient aerobic energy production in the cells. In addition, the use of cholesterol medication (statins) has been found to be a contributive factor to ubiquinone deficiency.


Fatty acids broken down in the digestive system are used for energy in the mitochondria. In this reaction (called beta-oxidation), the fatty acids are activated by being bound to coenzyme A. The result is acetyl coenzyme A (see above) which is used for energy production in the citric acid cycle. The oxidation of long-chain fatty acids requires carnitine acyl transferases in which the fatty acids are transported from the cytoplasm into the mitochondrion. Such transfer of short- and medium-chain fatty acids into mitochondria is unnecessary as they move there by diffusion.


The term “anaerobic” refers to reactions that happen without oxygen present. The anaerobic energy system is needed in circumstances in which oxygen is not immediately available in the quantities required, for example during high-intensity sports activity. In the anaerobic energy system, ATP is produced by breaking down glucose polymers (glycogens) stored in muscles and the liver as well as by utilizing the free ATP molecules immediately available in the muscle cells.


During anaerobic glycolysis, glucose is broken down into pyruvate which is then converted into lactic acid (lactate) during the lactic acid fermentation process. The lactic acid fermentation takes place when oxygen is not available for energy production.


The creatine phosphate system is one of the main energy sources for muscles. It is estimated that approximately 95 % of the body’s creatine is located in the skeletal muscles. Creatine phosphate (phosphocreatine) is synthesized in the liver from creatine and phosphate (from ATP; see above). Red meat is a source of creatine, and it can also be synthesized from amino acids (arginine and glysine). Creatine is used as a dietary supplement (creatine monohydrate) as it significantly increases force generation in the skeletal muscles. Creatine is formed and recycled in the creatine phosphate shuttle (see image). The shuttle transports high-energy ATP molecule phosphate groups from mitochondria to myofibrils (muscle fibers), forming phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate) through creatine kinase. It is used by the muscles for fast energy production. Unused creatine is transported by the same shuttle into mitochondria where it is synthesized into creatine phosphate. Used phosphocreatine forms creatinine which exits the body in urine via the kidneys.

When determining the filtering capability of the kidneys, it is useful to measure the blood creatinine level. The higher a person’s muscle mass, the higher the volume of creatinine secreted. Because of this, the muscle creatine level and blood creatinine level of men are usually higher than those of women.


The body utilizes two different types of energy storage. Energy-dense molecules such as glycogen (sugar) and triglycerides (fat) are stored in the liver, muscles and adipose tissue (fat; triglycerides only). Another important type of energy storage is comprised of the electrochemical ions located between cell membranes. Due to its complex nature, the latter is not covered here.


Glycogen is a large-size molecule formed of several (up to 30,000) glucose molecules. Glycogen is stored in the liver (10 % of the weight), muscle cells (2 % of the weight) and, to a lesser extent, red blood cells. In addition to glucose, glycogen binds triple the amount of water. Because of this, a person’s body weight may fluctuate by several kilograms within a 24-hour period depending on the fill level of the glycogen reserves. The glycogen storage in the liver acts as an energy reserve for the entire body’s energy production needs, and those of the central nervous system in particular. The glycogen storage in the muscles is only used for the energy production of muscle cells. The amount of glycogen present is determined by physical exercise, the basal metabolic rate and eating habits.

The glycogen reserves are especially important for the regulation of blood sugar between meals and during intensive exercise. Glucose may also be used for energy under anaerobic conditions. Conversely, fatty acids are broken down into energy only under aerobic conditions. The brain needs a steady level of glucose although it is able to utilize, for example, the ketone bodies produced by the liver during fasting. A metabolically active glycogen breakdown product is glucose 6-phosphate in which the glucose molecule binds with one phosphate group. It may be used for energy in a muscle under either aerobic or anaerobic conditions, utilized via the liver as glucose elsewhere in the body or converted into ribose and NADPH for use in various tissues (for example in the adrenal gland, red blood cells, mammary glands and the fat cells in the liver).


Adipose tissue (fat) is the body’s main long-term energy storage system. In addition to fat cells (adipocytes), it consists of connective tissue cells and vascular endothelial cells. Fat cells contain a lipid droplet consisting of triglycerides and glycerol. Adipose tissue is located under the skin (subcutaneous adipose tissue), in bone marrow, between muscles, around internal organs (visceral fat) and in the breast tissue. Visceral fat is particularly detrimental to health as it increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and various inflammatory diseases. Adipose tissue is also a hormonally active (endocrine) organ. Adipose tissue produces for example, leptin, adiponectin and resistin that regulate the energy metabolism and body weight. Adipose tissue is ever changing, storing or breaking down free fatty acids for use by the body. The process of breaking down adipose tissue into energy is called lipolysis. In lipolysis, triglycerides of the adipose tissue are oxidized by lipase and triglyceride lipase into free fatty acids and glycerol. Fatty acids are used for energy in the muscles, liver and heart; glycerol is mainly used in the liver.

Conversely, insulin inhibits lipolysis. If the body’s stored insulin levels are consistently elevated, the fatty acids circulating in the blood are stored in the adipose tissue. This is called lipogenesis. In particular, the secretion of insulin is stimulated by high blood sugar levels and a carbohydrate-rich diet. An abundant protein intake also increases insulin secretion.


Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouses of the cell. They help turn the energy we take from food into energy that the cell can use. But, there is more to mitochondria than energy production. Present in nearly all types of human cell, mitochondria are vital to our survival. They generate the majority of our adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cell. Mitochondria are also involved in other tasks, such as signaling between cells and cell death, otherwise known as apoptosis.


The structure of mitochondria

Mitochondria are small, often between 0.75 and 3 micrometers and are not visible under the microscope unless they are stained. Unlike other organelles (miniature organs within the cell), they have two membranes, an outer one and an inner one. Each membrane has different functions. Mitochondria are split into different compartments or regions, each of which carries out distinct roles.

Some of the major regions include the:

Outer membrane: Small molecules can pass freely through the outer membrane. This outer portion includes proteins called porins, which form channels that allow proteins to cross. The outer membrane also hosts a number of enzymes with a wide variety of functions.

Intermembrane space: This is the area between the inner and outer membranes.

Inner membrane: This membrane holds proteins that have several roles. Because there are no porins in the inner membrane, it is impermeable to most molecules. Molecules can only cross the inner membrane in special membrane transporters. The inner membrane is where most ATP is created.

Cristae: These are the folds of the inner membrane. They increase the surface area of the membrane, therefore increasing the space available for chemical reactions.

Matrix: This is the space within the inner membrane. Containing hundreds of enzymes, it is important in the production of ATP. Mitochondrial DNA is housed here (see below).

Different cell types have different numbers of mitochondria. For instance, mature red blood cells have none at all, whereas liver cells can have more than 2,000. Cells with a high demand for energy tend to have greater numbers of mitochondria. Around 40 percent of the cytoplasm in heart muscle cells is taken up by mitochondria. Although mitochondria are often drawn as oval-shaped organelles, they are constantly dividing (fission) and bonding together (fusion). So, in reality, these organelles are linked together in ever-changing networks. Also, in sperm cells, the mitochondria are spiraled in the midpiece and provide energy for tail motion.

Mitochondrial DNA

Although most of our DNA is kept in the nucleus of each cell, mitochondria have their own set of DNA. Interestingly, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is more similar to bacterial DNA. The mtDNA holds the instructions for a number of proteins and other cellular support equipment across 37 genes. The human genome stored in the nuclei of our cells contains around 3.3 billion base pairs, whereas mtDNA consists of less than 17,000. During reproduction, half of a child’s DNA comes from their father and half from their mother. However, the child always receives their mtDNA from their mother. Because of this, mtDNA has proven very useful for tracing genetic lines. For instance, mtDNA analyses have concluded that humans may have originated in Africa relatively recently, around 200,000 years ago, descended from a common ancestor, known as mitochondrial Eve.

What do mitochondria do?

Mitochondria are important in a number of processes. Although the best-known role of mitochondria is energy production, they carry out other important tasks as well. In fact, only about 3 percent of the genes needed to make a mitochondrion go into its energy production equipment. The vast majority are involved in other jobs that are specific to the cell type where they are found. Below, we cover a few of the roles of the mitochondria:

Producing energy

ATP, a complex organic chemical found in all forms of life, is often referred to as the molecular unit of currency because it powers metabolic processes. Most ATP is produced in mitochondria through a series of reactions, known as the citric acid cycle or the Krebs cycle. Energy production mostly takes place on the folds or cristae of the inner membrane. Mitochondria convert chemical energy from the food we eat into an energy form that the cell can use. This process is called oxidative phosphorylation. The Krebs cycle produces a chemical called NADH. NADH is used by enzymes embedded in the cristae to produce ATP. In molecules of ATP, energy is stored in the form of chemical bonds. When these chemical bonds are broken, the energy can be used.

Cell death

Cell death, also called apoptosis, is an essential part of life. As cells become old or broken, they are cleared away and destroyed. Mitochondria help decide which cells are destroyed. Mitochondria release cytochrome C, which activates caspase, one of the chief enzymes involved in destroying cells during apoptosis. Because certain diseases, such as cancer, involve a breakdown in normal apoptosis, mitochondria are thought to play a role in the disease.

Storing calcium

Calcium is vital for a number of cellular processes. For instance, releasing calcium back into a cell can initiate the release of a neurotransmitter from a nerve cell or hormones from endocrine cells. Calcium is also necessary for muscle function, fertilization, and blood clotting, among other things. Because calcium is so critical, the cell regulates it tightly. Mitochondria play a part in this by quickly absorbing calcium ions and holding them until they are needed. Other roles for calcium in the cell include regulating cellular metabolism, steroid synthesis, and hormone signaling.

Heat production

When we are cold, we shiver to keep warm. But the body can also generate heat in other ways, one of which is by using a tissue called brown fat. During a process called proton leak, mitochondria can generate heat. This is known as non-shivering thermogenesis. Brown fat is found at its highest levels in babies, when we are more susceptible to cold, and slowly levels reduce as we age.

Mitochondrial disease

If mitochondria do not function correctly, it can cause a range of medical problems. The DNA within mitochondria is more susceptible to damage than the rest of the genome. This is because free radicals, which can cause damage to DNA, are produced during ATP synthesis. Also, mitochondria lack the same protective mechanisms found in the nucleus of the cell. However, the majority of mitochondrial diseases are due to mutations in nuclear DNA that affect products that end up in the mitochondria. These mutations can either be inherited or spontaneous. When mitochondria stop functioning, the cell they are in is starved of energy. So, depending on the type of cell, symptoms can vary widely. As a general rule, cells that need the largest amounts of energy, such as heart muscle cells and nerves, are affected the most by faulty mitochondria. The following passage comes from the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation:

“Because mitochondria perform so many different functions in different tissues, there are literally hundreds of different mitochondrial diseases. […] Because of the complex interplay between the hundreds of genes and cells that must cooperate to keep our metabolic machinery running smoothly, it is a hallmark of mitochondrial diseases that identical mtDNA mutations may not produce identical diseases.”

Diseases that generate different symptoms but are due to the same mutation are referred to as genocopies. Conversely, diseases that have the same symptoms but are caused by mutations in different genes are called phenocopies. An example of a phenocopy is Leigh syndrome, which can be caused by several different mutations. Although symptoms of a mitochondrial disease vary greatly, they might include: loss of muscle coordination and weakness, problems with vision or hearing
learning disabilities, heart, liver, or kidney disease, gastrointestinal problems, neurological problems, including dementia, Other conditions that are thought to involve some level of mitochondrial dysfunction, include: Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia
chronic fatigue syndrome, Huntington’s disease, diabetes & autism.

Cellular Respiration: Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, Electron Transport Chain

Atp Production & Kreps Cycle Summary:

The Krebs cycle uses the two molecules of pyruvic acid formed in glycolysis and yields high-energy molecules of NADH and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FADH2), as well as some ATP. The Krebs cycle occurs in the mitochondrion of a cell.

The citric acid cycle (CAC) – also known as the TCA cycle (tricarboxylic acid cycleor the Krebs cycle– is a series of chemical reactions used by all aerobic organisms to release stored energy through the oxidation of acetyl-CoA derived from carbohydratesfats, and proteins, into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and carbon dioxide. In addition, the cycle provides precursors of certain amino acids, as well as the reducing agent NADH, that are used in numerous other reactions. Its central importance to many biochemical pathways suggests that it was one of the earliest established components of cellular metabolism and may have originated abiogenically.[3][4] Even though it is branded as a ‘cycle’, it is not necessary for metabolites to follow only one specific route; at least three segments of the citric acid cycle have been recognized.

The name of this metabolic pathway is derived from the citric acid (a type of tricarboxylic acid, often called citrate, as the ionized form predominates at biological pH) that is consumed and then regenerated by this sequence of reactions to complete the cycle. The cycle consumes acetate (in the form of acetyl-CoA) and water, reduces NAD+ to NADH, and produces carbon dioxide as a waste byproduct. The NADH generated by the citric acid cycle is fed into the oxidative phosphorylation (electron transport) pathway. The net result of these two closely linked pathways is the oxidation of nutrients to produce usable chemical energy in the form of ATP.

In eukaryotic cells, the citric acid cycle occurs in the matrix of the mitochondrion. In prokaryotic cells, such as bacteria, which lack mitochondria, the citric acid cycle reaction sequence is performed in the cytosol with the proton gradient for ATP production being across the cell’s surface (plasma membrane) rather than the inner membrane of the mitochondrion. The overall yield of energy-containing compounds from the TCA cycle is three NADH, one FADH2, and one GTP.

Although cancer has historically been viewed as a disorder of proliferation, recent evidence has suggested that it should also be considered a metabolic disease. Growing tumors rewire their metabolic programs to meet and even exceed the bioenergetic and biosynthetic demands of continuous cell growth. The metabolic profile observed in cancer cells often includes increased consumption of glucose and glutamine, increased glycolysis, changes in the use of metabolic enzyme isoforms, and increased secretion of lactate. Oncogenes and tumor suppressors have been discovered to have roles in cancer-associated changes in metabolism as well. The metabolic profile of tumor cells has been suggested to reflect the rapid proliferative rate. Cancer-associated metabolic changes may also reveal the importance of protection against reactive oxygen species or a role for secreted lactate in the tumor microenvironment.

Discoveries of Otto Warburg

Otto Warburg’s pioneering work in the 1920s established that tumor cells exhibit altered metabolism. Warburg discovered an important distinction between the relative use of different modes of energy production in normal cells and tumors. In normal tissues, most of the pyruvate formed from glycolysis enters the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and is oxidized via oxidative phosphorylation. In tumors, in contrast, the pyruvate is largely converted to lactic acid and energy is produced anaerobically. This finding seemed counterintuitive. Surely, a rapidly proliferating cancer cell would prefer the 36 ATPs that can be claimed by complete oxidation of a glucose molecule to the two ATPs available through glycolysis. Furthermore, this shift in metabolism in which pyruvate is converted to lactate and secreted, rather than being oxidized, occurred in tumors even when there was sufficient oxygen to support mitochondrial function. The conversion of most pyruvate to lactate through fermentation, even when oxygen is present, is called aerobic glycolysis or the Warburg effect.

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Location & Fee:

In Dublin Ireland:

Plant Based Academy Dublin Ireland is located on second floor at The GreenDoor Organic Market in Bluebell Business Park Dublin 12. We have a large custom built kitchen, classroom and clinic here for all our plant based classes, courses and consultations. Our Professional Certificate course here is delivered over 12 weeks. Students join class on Saturdays from 12 to 3pm each Saturday for 12 weeks. Students will also be expected to commit to around 10 hours outside of the class each week for assignments which is working towards the exam on Module 9. The fee for the Professional Certificate course is 3500 Euro. This can be paid via our structured payment plan. There is no content from any other plant based course level 1, 2 or 3 around the world that is not included in our Professional Certificate Course. Now Enrolling for January 25 2020, May 23 2020 & September 26 2020. Class sizes are small and early booking is reccommended.

In Ubud Bali:

Plant Based Academy Ubud Bali is located last Alchemy Academy Ubud. We offer a large custom built kitchen classroom in a beautiful jungle setting. Our Professional Certificate course here is delivered over 7 intensive days. The fee for the Professional Certificate course is 2500 Euro. This must be paid in full when booking your space. There is no content from any other plant based course level 1, 2 or 3 around the world that is not included in our Professional Certificate Course. Now Enrolling for January 25 2020 & February 20 2020. Class sizes are small and early booking is reccommended.

About The Director:

Darren Maguire is the founder and culinary director of Plant Based Academy. Darren is a professional classical orientated chef with almost 25 years of professional chef experience including running two of his own fine dining restaurants in Dublin City. Darren now has over 14 years experience as a strict raw vegan health foodist and has travelled the world obsessively researching plant based health. Darren also runs a busy psychotherapy practice with a focus on functional health, lifestyle medicine, trauma recovery and conscious sexuality. Darren has infused this rich experience into the development of the course and module content.

Book your Place Now & Become a Certified Raw Food Chef, Lifestyle Medicine Coach & Plant Based Nutrition Coach with the Most Advanced, Professional and Comprehensive Plant Based Training Available. Once you begin the onsite course you will also get immediate access to this fantastic online course. Each module contains in-depth summary & discussion notes, recipes, reading material, homework assignments and resources particular to each topic. If you sign up for the Online Course you will get immediate access. Read some of our Testimonials below:


The Professional Certificate Course Curriculum Modules:

Module 1 – Plant Based Nutritional Science: Plant Based Health Myths, Pitfalls & Essentials. Long Term Sustainable Raw Veganism.

Module 2 – The Art of Advanced Fermentation & The Science of Gut Microbiota, Probiotics, Prebiotics, Synbiotics & Psychobiotics.

Module 3 – Culinary Medicine & Medicinal Liquid Nutrition. Smoothies, Seed Milks, Salads, Sprouts & Cold Pressed Elixirs.

Module 4 – Taoist Herbalism & Medicinal Mushrooms. Tonics, Teas, Tinctures & Extractions. The Science of Adaptogenics & Herbal Nootropics.

Module 5 – The Art and Science of  the World’s Healthiest Raw Chocolate & Healthy Light Refined Vegetable Desserts. Healthy Sugar Alternatives, Nut Free Cakes & Medicinal Cookies.

Module 6 – Low Temperature Cooking & Food Dehydration. Warm porridge, Soups, Crackers, Breads, Crisps, Cookies, pizza & Wraps. The Science of High & Low Temperature Cooking.

Module 7 – Molecular Gastronomy & Fine Dining Raw Foods: Classic French Culinary Preparation Techniques and Knife Skills. Plant Based Jelly, Tartare, Carpaccio, Ceviche & Spherification. Nutrient Optimisation Techniques.

Module 8 – Raw Gourmet Meal Demonstration. Costing, Planning,Writing & Executing a Menu. Menu Presentation. Refined Culinary Medicine at Michelin Star Level.

Module 9 – Practical & Written Exam. 5 Course Fine Dining Refined & Medicinal Plant Based Menu Presentation. Setting up a Plant Based Business, Menu Costings & Profit & Loss.

Module 10 – Plant Based Skin Care & Cosmetics which are Raw Vegan Organic & Edible. Medicinal Face Care Protocal & Nuturing the Moist Envelope of the Soul with Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB).

Module 11 – Lifestyle Medicine Part I. BioHacking & Functional Health. How to achieve optimum Health, Happiness & Longevity with Passion, vitality and Incredible Relationships.

Module 12 – Lifestyle Medicine Part II. Raw Food on The Go & How to Travel and Thrive on Plant Based Health Foods. Lifestyle Biohacks & Travel BioHacks.

Modules Explained:

Module 1 – Plant Based Health & Essentials & Plant Based Nutritional Science – The Facts & Myths 

Raw Food Essentials is an Introduction to raw cuisine, which provides a thorough orientation to our program and philosophy and a thorough discussion about the effects of raw food, the raw food lifestyle, the enzyme theory, the conflicting science surrounding the raw food diet and potential pitfalls of raw vegan diet. On this module the students will learn the basics of raw food, what is raw and what is not raw food. Students will learn some of the basic but essential recipes for creating gourmet raw cuisine such as sweeteners, thickeners and emulsifiers. Students will learn about eating the rainbow, exploring the different colors of fruits and vegetables and learning how to maximize absorption of essential nutrients, minerals and phytochemicals from raw foods. This module also emphasizes acquainting the students with basic kitchen equipment, proper handling and use of ingredients from soaking to slow cooking, and standard food safety guidelines. Some of the highlights of this module will be learning about healthy sweeteners, as the world is addicted to sugar and those in health movements becoming addicted to using toxic sweeteners such as agave syrup, Finding the right low glycemic healthy tasty sweeteners can be a challenging endeavor but worth while journey giving the negative impact sugar as on our health.

Module 2 – The Art of Advanced Fermentation & The Science of Gut Microbiota & Probiotics 

The Art of Advanced Fermentation is one of our most popular courses. It is a repertoire of many many years of fermenting research and experimentation. On this module students will learn very basic lacto fermentation such as Kimchi, sauerkraut and pickling fruits and vegetables to wild fermentations such as Tepeche from Mexico and Smreka from Bosnia to advanced fermentation techniques such as second stage medicinal mushroom and Gynostemma Kombucha, Blue cheese without cashew nuts and blueberry yogurt. Students will learn how to work with raw cultures such as water kefir grains and Kombucha. This Module provides a thorough lesson on the art, history and science of fermentation and gut micro biome, how to use probiotics, which probiotics to use and basic equipment needed for fermentation. Making guilt free extremely healthy vegan cheese that tastes so good without using high fat toxic nuts like cashew is a real highlight of this course.

Module 3 – Liquid Nutrition. Smoothies, Seed Milks, Slow Cooked Soups & Cold Pressed Juices 

On this Module, we cover Smoothies, Milks, and Soups & Juices through a frame of nutritional science and maximum optimal nutrient absorption. We set out to challenge the current dominant concept of smoothies, which are generally not very healthy, and we take a real close look a juice, a Green Juice is not just a juice that is green. This module gives a master class on making stocks and world-class soups including slow cooked soups, cold soups and warms soups full of flavor and extremely healthy. This is also a master class of the best nut milks you ever tasted using turmeric, Spirulina, coconut, Goji berries, cacao and much more. This Module provides a thorough lesson on how to make the best soups, smoothies, juices and milks possible but also all equipment needed to make this happen including an overview on juicers and blenders.

Module 4 – The Kitchen Pharmacy. Medicinal Herbs & Medicinal Mushrooms. Tonics, Teas, Tinctures & Extractions 

Module 4 focuses on herbal preparations, extraction methods and tincture making using medicinal herbs and mushrooms from a number of herbal systems including Chinese, western and Ayurveda traditions. Students learn which extraction method should be used for in order to extract the most medicine from barks, mushrooms, roots, leaves and flowers. You will discover cold extractions, warm infusions, decoctions and a number of different techniques to use to extract medicine from herbs. This is a fantastic introduction into herbalism including advanced theory, technique and recipes. The beginning of an exciting journey with plant medicine from St. Johns wart to kava to turkey tail mushroom.

Module 5 – The Art of Raw Gourmet Chocolate & Healthy Light Refined Desserts 

The Art of Raw Chocolate module for obvious reasons is a very exciting and enjoyable class, as everybody loves chocolate. In this module we go into the science of chocolate, the biochemistry, is it plant medicine or neurotoxin, how to temper chocolate, how to make perfect truffles and professional chocolate bars & how to create decadent raw desserts.We do not use coconut sugar, agave, cashew nuts or any other toxic or refined sugar in our desserts which make our chocolate and cakes zero sugar, extremely light and healthy and medicinal. Students will learn about using plant based thickeners, emulsifies to replace eggs to make light desserts, agar agar and date paste. This is a master class in the art, history and science of raw chocolate and healthy guilt free sugar free raw desserts.

Module 6 – Raw Food Dehydration. Crackers, Breads, Crisps, Cookies & Wraps.

Raw Food Dehydration module is a master class in Crackers, Wraps, Breads, Crisps, Donuts, Cookies, Pancakes and other health savory snacks. Students will discover how to create soft raw leavened breads, which are extremely pleasing and healthy. How to manipulate recipes to create wraps, crisps and crackers with intense flavors unlike commercial raw dehydrated products. There will also be class discussion around the science of food dehydration and the arguments for and against dehydrated foods.

Module 7 – Molecular Gastronomy. Raw Preparation Skills & Sprouting 

Molecular gastronomy, this is where science really meets culinary. This class focuses on raw vegetable preparation skills, professional chef techniques, Sauces, Salads  & Sprouting. For the keen food scientist you will learn how to use a number of techniques such as spherification, smoking, gelification, foaming, slow cooking, Spiralizing, marinating, quick pickling in order to manipulate ingredients in such a way to create art on a plate, to enhance flavor, and to break down the cell wall to make the ingredient more palatable and more nutritious. The highlights of the class is learning to make amazing sauces, incredible salads and preparing fruits and vegetables in so many different ways to create amazing raw vegan healthy dishes.

Module 8 – Raw Gourmet Meal Demonstration. Costing, Planning,Writing & Executing a Menu.

Module 8 focuses on recipe and product costing, all culminating in the menu creation and presentation in Module 9. On this Module the professional chef and course facilitator will present a sample 5 course raw meal that you will taste and ask questions about. Students will learn about producing and costing marketable raw vegan goods, the basics of ingredient costing, converting units, how to factor waste and small amounts of ingredients into the price of a product, and how to determine a final selling price and achieve optimal gross profit margin.

Module 9 – Practical & Written Exam. 5 Course Gourmet Plant Based Menu Presentation – 

Module 9 is the Practical Exam. Students will create and present a typed or hand written professional 5-course menu along with the dishes contained on the menu in a simple refined, professionally and well-presented fashion. The menu will include sale prices and cost of sales. This is the ultimate test for any chef and aspiring chef or raw food vendor. This module is where all information and learning from previous weeks comes together. Students will be critiqued on their presentation.

Module 10 – Plant Based Skin Care & Cosmetics which are Raw Vegan Organic & Edible 

Module 10 is all about the foods that feed the largest organ of the body, which is the skin. Students will learn how to create amazing raw vegan organic edible cosmetics including toothpaste, Moisturiser, hand soap, mouthwash, shower gel, shampoo, face cream, face masks, perfume, toners and massage creams. This module brings awareness to everyday chemical exposure and its impact on health including elimination of healthy bacteria and compromising the immune system. In Ayurveda it is said don’t put anything on your body that you can not eat, we take this very literal and show to create everyday skin care, cosmetic and home care products that are not only safe, organic and non toxic but also edible.

Module 11 – Lifestyle Medicine & Functional Health 

On This module students will learn about the bigger picture, health outside of diet that we call Lifestyle Medicine. Students will learn and discuss therapies and treatments for stress reduction, immune health, lymphatic health and state of well being including psychotherapy,conscious parenting, tantra, dance, colon hydrotherapy, massage, yoga, sauna, meditation and rebounding. We will also explore a number of clever devices such as grounding products, zappers and Scenar device used for optimum health and disease prevention. On this Module we will also taker a closer look and review of the nutritional science that has been referenced throughout the course. Students will gain access to elaborate; comprehensive and world-class functional health treatment plans for people suffering with chronic illness and gastrointestinal disorders.

Module 12 – Raw Food on The Go & How to Travel and Thrive on Plant Based Health Foods 

Module 12 is the final class of this advanced course. During this module, students will learn techniques to stay healthy and thrive whilst traveling including how to achieve optimum hydration and health during flights without compromising with toxic water and plane food. Our course facilitator has travelled all over the world researching raw food places and practices and has much information and tips to share with you about staying healthy whilst traveling including legal simple process to overcome liquid restrictions on flights. Students will also learn a number of on the go recipes that can be fantastic for traveling.

Some of our Testimonials;

I loved doing this course. I did it out of personal curiosity without having a major grand plan but I was blown away by how much there is to learn and know and keep on learning in relation to food as medicine and medicine as food. It’s an ever-expanding path and the possibilities are endless. I had Greg teaching initially – he was excellent, passionate and enthusiastic and walks the walk and then Darren joined us. Darren is a very unique individual who has so much of his own research and skills that he brings to this subject in such an all-encompassing way addressing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual through plants. This was such an eye-opener to me, to really start to grasp the synergy between us as a species on this planet and the plants the planet offers us to support us and keep us alive… if only we understood and embraced that. This course took me into a black hole and out into multi-verses in relation to medicinal plants and Darren taught me that anything goes… all flavours, all colours, all the tastes you want with no right or wrong. It’s like being given all the colours of the rainbow and told you can paint whatever you want… you can be any kind of artist you want to be. This all played out in the presentation of menus that my class produced at the end of the course… each display represented each unique individual. No approach was the same or even similar! I can’t recommend this course enough…even if you just want to know how to care for your own body and those you love… to have all these skills and Darren’s approach in one course was an invaluable resource. Our family kitchen has changed as a result and has become more of a laboratory (in the best possible way) and less a kitchen-kitchen. More fun. More possibilities and everything goes. You can’t go wrong when it comes to plants really. They have all the intelligence and they know how to work together, compound stacking on compound. Wonderful! P.S. I also happened to lose 18lbs of excess weight over the few months I was doing the course… inadvertently! What’s not to like?!

Breda Walsh

I gained so much more from this course than I ever could have anticipated when I signed up. Darren is not only a clear expert in his field, but a wonderful, humble and entirely present teacher. No questions or opinions went unheard or unaddressed. Each module, fascinating in it’s own right, was thoroughly explained and practised. I had a preconception about the modules I would like most and least after reading the course summary but this was challenged in real-life when I found the learning on nearly every topic truly engaging. My expectations were very much exceeded and I would highly recommend this course to anyone considering it.

Daniella Moyles 

I can’t begin to express how grateful and fortunate I am to have Darren teach us in Bali this January. I have been searching for a plant based culinary school for a while. And though I came across a few, I knew they weren’t the right ones. When I found PBA’s syllabus I just knew it was the one! And my instincts were right. It was a transformative and mind blowing 2 weeks experience where we got to learn so much more that’s beyond what a plant based diet entails. The foundations of Lifestyle Medicine is incredibly fascinating and inspiring. Darren is a treasure trove of wisdom and knowledge who truly shares from the heart. I sure will miss the daily medicinal teas and fermented drinks we have in class together and tasting the delectable foods he prepares for us, all made with love. Thank you Darren for all that you do, the encouragement and support you provide us.

Stephanie Hoo

Coming on to this course I was not entirely sure what to expect. However this has probably been one of the best & wisest decisions I have taken in the past few years. Darren’s knowledge about raw foods, lifestyle medicine and general awareness about this entire subject is immense and extremely impressive. Even though he is a strong advocate for following the Raw Food Lifestyle, not once did he try to force his thoughts or compel us to implement these. Rather the way he taught and took us through the entire process allowed for a holistic learning. Our class was small and intimate which allowed for great interaction and education. There’s tons of information throughout the course and definitely provides valuable lifestyle approaches that can be implemented in our daily lives.
Overall I was extremely pleased and definitely something I’d recommend for anyone willing to bring about changes to their lifestyle and wanting to better themselves.  Thank you Darren for the amazing 2 weeks in Bali!

Prachet Sancheti

Darren provides a course that is fun and enjoyable. That good nutritious food can taste amazing becomes abundantly clear as the weeks unfold. This course is life changing. That you can take control of your health and that of your family easily is a message that we cannot ignore amid modern challenges. As a nutritional therapist with considerable raw food knowledge I experienced new learning and deepened conviction toward this healthy way of living. Thanks Darren.

Margaret Loughran – Nutritional Therapist 

One of the best decision in my life was to invest into the Raw Vegan Mastery this summer. There are so many things I had no idea about veganism before the course – however I assumed I get along with online resources and recipes. No way! Darren has a tremendous knowledge about raw food. Lecture by lecture another world opened up while we listened at him. If someone is serious about switching to a plant based diet, this unique course is a must! Each class is crucial if you want to keep up the variety of your vegan diet. Now I have a completely different setup in the kitchen, new equipment, the way I prepare my food and where I supply my organic groceries. I could not be healthier and happier ? Thank you Darren!

Nicolette Cs.

When I got pregnant for first time in 2013 I started taking diet more serious, I wanted to give my baby and myself the best nutrition possible to ensure we have a nice, healthy pregnancy and we I did. When my little girl started to eat her first bits of food I discovered that she loved lots of the things I have been eating during pregnancy so I start searching for more info on raw food for kids. She is 20 months now and I have seen her grow healthy, strong and smart. When she was 10 months I got pregnant again and it was around this time that saw the Raw Mastery Course. I decided to do it because I wanted to learn more about things that I haven’t yet explored, such as raw chocolate, fermentation and dehydration but also because I wanted to get quicker at the raw kitchen and have more ideas, with two babys now I didn’t have that extra time to search on the internet or books . I needed practical recipies and the whys of some of the things in the raw world.. The course was much more than I expected…. I loved it and it gave me the confidence to keep feeding my family knowing that I am giving them the best. I learned how to make yogurts, chocolates and lots of new things that my little girl loves. Thanks Darren to share all this wonderful information.

Natalia Gonzalez – Vegan Mum

I am so happy that I got the opportunity to do this course, I found it very life enhancing and made me look at diet and nutrition in a whole different light. Everything about it was so professional and the food that was prepared was always of the highest quality and most nutrient packed.

Patricia Reddington

I really enjoyed the broad range of topics, from learning how to prepare fermented yoghurt and cheese, kefir and kambucha, herbal teas to delicious pies and desserts etc. I also enjoyed the non food elements of the course, eg. lifestyle etc. The class notes were superb and the contacts gained are invaluable as Darren was very generous with his information, time and follow up. A really great course to inject taste into food and life.

Pat Flanagan – Hippocrates Health Educator

This was a very comprehensive course covering so many aspects of a raw food lifestyle not just the food exclusively. The knowledge and research that Darren shares is very honest and it is delivered in a compassionate atmosphere that put me at ease.I have learned so much that I’m beginning to incorporate into my life . The food we tasted was a treat to look forward to every week. It was great to know that raw vegan food is not only healthy but delicious. Made lovely friends to with my fellow learners which was s bonus . Highly recommended all round.

Angela Healy

The Raw Mastery course I took part in last year was just amazing! I’m really grateful I had a possibility to take part in this, thanks to your support regarding fees. I would not be able to even dream about this if not your kindness! This course really changed my life, it was so different than any other thing I experienced in my life. I did not realized this straight away, but the change happened slowly, week by week, month by month, with small tiny changes in my diet, my lifestyle and my attitude. When I started the course it was really difficult moment in my life, with many things happening, lots of fear and decisions to make and terrible depression that I had difficulties to deal with. Every single day was a struggle for me and every single day was filled with thinking what’s the point of being on this planet. There is still a lot to improve but thanks to you, I’m on a right path. Our Monday meetings was something I was looking forward to, I wasn’t too open on the course, but deep inside I appreciated every single moment, every advice that Darren gave us, every meal he prepared and the energy that was present there. Darren is a great person, he had so much patience, compassion and love for us. For the first time I felt nobody is judging me or my choices. His knowledge and skills are amazing and I’ve learn a lot! I feel grateful that he shared all this with us. And all herbs, spices, fermented foods and other ingredients in his kitchen, breathtaking! It was a pleasure to be there, to taste, to talk, to listen, to laugh, to smell… The course content was just perfect, on every single level, with the resources that opened my eyes on new possibilities. As English is not my first language I’m not able to express my gratitude good enough and I don’t have all the words to say how much I enjoyed the course but hopefully you’ll understand what I wanted to say ? I wish you the best and hope that one day I’ll take part in other courses organised by the Institute. THANK YOU.


This course is a ‘must do’ if you care about yourself! The information covered is enlightening even if you don’t plan to adopt a raw diet. Darren researches and lives everything he teaches & he knows the most effective ways to live a healthier life. If you do one course this year, do this because what could be more important than your health!

Dr. Celine Mullins

Plant based academy-culinary food course is genuinely the creme de la creme of plant based cooking courses that are out there The modules are so informative, varied, interactive, creative and fun The learning has opened my mind so much ! It was such an exciting experience The space where we learned was intimate and had everything necessary to smell, taste and experience first hand Darren has such a kind approach to those new or even just curious about the vegan lifestyle I’ve met some wonderful people- we really bonded, encouraged each other and swapped lots of other info. Related to holistic well being I have a full time job and travelled from kerry to attend the classes but I always left Dublin feeling inspired and motivated – totally worth the investment Darren keeps things simple but interesting and is always very encouraging I have a much better understanding of the food-mind-body connection and can’t wait to keep growing and learning from experimenting in the kitchen Many thanks to Darren and my class mates for Sharing such a beautiful experience together

Rosie McGrath

Best choice I could have made. I thought I had some knowledge yet it appeared that there is so much more.. Medicinal mushrooms, fermentation.. I was amazed every class. Always the highlight of the week and especially with the small cohort that soon became a family! Will miss the regular classes, atmosphere, interesting learnings and Darren as passionate, knowledgeable, compassionate teacher.

Yvette Pelgrom

Took interested in the course after talking to someone who had done it last year. Was a bit doubtfull and the fact I would have to travel from Galway made it even more complicated but all these doubts disappeared after my first class! I am vegan and really love healthy but the course had elevated the food thinking and lifestyle to a new dimension! Worth every minute.Darren is brilliant and his love and passion for healthy life will encourage anybody!

Sandi Zavidić – Vegan Mum & Vegan Cheese Purveyor 

I gained a great understanding of raw food through attending Darren’s classes. He is a wealth of information and practices what he preaches.

Holly White – Tv Personality, Blogger and Author of Veganish 

Enrolling for this course was one of the best decisions I ever made. The classes were very in dept and thorough. Darren the course tutor is very accommodating and more than helpful and patient. I met some amazing people on the course also. Completing the course has giving me the confidence to go on and open my own business in the industry.
I can’t recommend the course enough.

Declan Darcy – Founder of The Hemp Kitchen 

This 12 week course was a fantastic way to really understand a plant based diet and to start introducing into your life . I would highly recommend it .

Sonia Micallef

I attended the Raw Food Mastery Workshop with Darren from Jan to Apr 2018. It was a life-changing experience and I met wonderful people in the class. Darren has an incredible Soul and is very knowledgeable. I really liked the fact that he has taken a true holistic approach to plant-based food. Very passionate about the subject, he has done a lot of research and knows how to share the information with his students. I am taking home so much in terms of tips and enlightenment. Darren was also always available to his students when we had questions. I can only highly recommend the course – you will not be disappointed. Namaste!

Helene Ljubanic – Long Term Vegan

I miss spending my Saturdays learning with Darren, I loved the course!!!

Géssica Paiva

Fantastic course! Teacher took time to consider questions from students and it never felt rushed. Covers in detail plant based food and health in scientific detail whilst teaching natural cosmetics, food preparation, fermentation, herbalism and presentation skills. A thorough and intensive immersion in raw food and holistic nutrition. Thank you Plant based Academy for opening up a new world of health to me.

Ethna Mc Dermott – Long Term Vegan & Founder of Vegan Cafe 

This course was one of the most interesting I have ever done. Before starting, I knew very little about the raw-vegan deit but learned so much so fast and in such detail. Each day on the course was so unique and interesting and full of incredibley detailed information. Darren has so much knowlege on the topic and couldn’t possibly have been a better teacher. It was also very cool to meet people with similar interests and learn and grow together!

Mairead Boland

I would highly recommend this course. I got way more out of doing this course than I could ever have imagined when I started it. It is eye opening and life changing information that you will feel compelled to share and live by yourself. A great addition for me as a chef and future nutrition and lifestyle coach.

Amanda Rosse

I cannot recommend this course enough!!! It’s amazing!! I learnt sooo much. Darren is a great teacher. Each class is so interesting and you learn so so much. I have to praise him for his patience.  I knew absolutely nothing as far as cooking goes, but Darren was always so kind and patient and really supportive to me throughout this course or should I say, raw journey. I loved every minute of it so much I’m actually considering doing it again!!

Elaine Fay