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About Lisa

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Lisa Matsunaga

Registered Dietitian

Cooking Instructor

Thank you for visiting my site! Friends and family know me as the one who makes really good salads. Or the really flexible one (I'm an ex-ballerina). Or the palest person to ever live in Hawaii.  You can often find me elbow deep in a pile of kale at the market, searching for that perfect bunch. 


I grew up in Los Angeles, CA speaking English to my 2nd-generation Japanese-American father and Japanese to my 1st-generation Japanese mother.  While 100% Japanese by blood, I grew up with a unique mix of Japanese and American cultures.  For example, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal was my favorite breakfast as a child, but road trips weren't complete without a cooler packed with my mother's hand-formed onigiri, or rice balls. Natto, a slimy fermented soybean dish, was a divisive topic: my mother and I both loved eating it, but my LA-bred father could barely stand the smell (We compromised by putting the natto at the far end of the dinner table.)

My passion for food was inherited from my mother, who is an exceptional cook and party host. I was also influenced by my surroundings in LA - the diverse cultures, bountiful farmers markets, and health conscious cuisine. I feel lucky to have grown up with fantastic food both at home and in my hometown. 

My interest in food really took off when I started traveling and discovering new flavors around the world.  Whether I'm in India, Ghana, or Brazil, my favorite thing to do is to take food tours and cooking classes.  I think it gives a unique perspective on how the locals live. 


As a lover of food and wellness, I pursued a career as a Registered Dietitian and have since counseled clients on how to eat to manage conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.  I love to teach people how to shop, cook, and eat healthfully. 

Since 2013, I have called Hawaii my home with my husband and dog.  Everyday, I'm inspired by the beauty of the islands, the fresh ingredients from the land and sea, and the melting pot of multicultural cuisines. 

At Wellness Kitchen, my hope is that you will have fun, learn something new, and enjoy making dishes that make both your tastebuds and your body happy!  

Click here to book a class

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