Food for Thought: Getting to Know Mama G

Gina Cousineau

By Gina Cousineau

After more than four years of monthly columns, it is time to reintroduce my readers to “Mama G” and both her passion and expertise for health and longevity.

I was raised by Italians, an immigrant daddy and a first generation momma, both of whom were teenagers during The Depression. The motto around the house was “waste not, want not,” and I would defiantly profess that “I don’t want it, so why not waste it?”

While I might have fought that mentality as an adolescent, it must be in my DNA today, since as adult, I have a strong sense to not waste time, energy or resources. 

My dad had a green thumb and often provided produce that my mom used in our daily meals. I was raised eating the “Mediterranean diet,” and on my road to becoming a nutrition expert, my first education was in culinary arts, so my love of cooking, family and food was instilled at an early age.

That being said, choosing food today is confusing due to the plethora of choices and its availability at our fingertips. 

Imagine that back in the day, one had to actually go to the store to purchase food stuff and then prepare meals at home. Today, we can have any food we desire delivered to our doorstep, any time of day or night. 

Add in all the self-proclaimed, non-educated “health experts” professing what, how and when to eat, along with the demonization of specific foods and food groups splayed all over the internet, and it’s no wonder we are more unhealthy than ever as a nation. 

The obesity pandemic is alive and well.

Enter Mama G, stage right.

My goal is to bring the family back around the kitchen table to beautiful wholesome food the entire family will love. My hope is that devices and distractions get put away, and conversations ensue. 

I also have the strong desire to help readers, advocate for your family in the grocery store, get reacquainted with your kitchen, and begin preparing enjoyable meals with, and for, your family, that will give us all the opportunity to live a long, healthy, independent and joyful life.

Most parents would agree with the very strong comment, “I would die for my children.” But I would then ask this even stronger question: “Then why won’t you cook for them?”

My husband and I have lived in San Clemente most of our 40 years of marriage, having the privilege of raising our four children here. 

Along with being a trained chef and fitness professional, I have my bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and master’s degree of Science in integrative and functional nutrition. 

I work with individuals and families from around the country who wish to reach/sustain an appropriate weight goal while improving their health, regardless of their medical condition. 

Both in-person and virtually, I coach my clients in a variety of ways, but my favorite strategy is through my cost-effective, “Cooking Your WEIGH to Health” 12-week virtual group program. 

Here, I combine nutrition education, cooking lessons, and daily support, to help my clients embrace a healthy eating pattern and move toward a lifestyle shift.

Be sure to register at for our complimentary “Quickstart to Health and Weight Loss Guide and Cookbook” coming out soon. 

This guide provides useful templates for simple breakfasts and snacks, teaches you how to “eat on the go,”  and includes two dozen nutritious and delicious recipes the entire family will love. Created in collaboration with the YMCA, we hope to inspire a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Gina Cousineau, aka Mama G, is a local nutritionist and trained chef. She provides science and evidence-based nutrition education, along with teaching basic cooking skills to help her clients embrace a healthy eating pattern to reach weight goals and improved health. You can reach her at,, or 949.842.8875. Gina offers a complimentary 30-minute session to talk about your goals and how she can help you achieve them for a lifetime.

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