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2131 Beaufait Street
Detroit, MI, 48207
United States

(313) 923-3535 ext. 202

Cooking Matters Michigan

Empowering families with the skills, confidence and knowledge to prepare healthy and affordable meals

Volunteer Spotlight: Maryssa Gilbert

Rebecca Blauw

Maryssa Gilbert  

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Since living here, I have fallen in love with the city of Detroit! Currently, I am a junior at Wayne State University and honored to be one of only three undergraduate students selected to be a part of the Coordinated Dietetics Program.  I also have published research on the affects and preventative aspects of nutrition on Alzheimer's disease. I have always had a passion for nutrition, but since my knowledge has expanded through studies and research, I love to share my knowledge with others!


How did you first find out about our program?

There are many students at Wayne State who volunteer for Cooking Matters. After hearing their stories of how much they enjoy the program, I decided to try it out for myself!


What is NutriWayne?

NutriWayne is a student-run organization at Wayne State University. There are five other board members besides myself, and we all share a passion for nutrition. Our goal is to educate the Detroit community and student population about nutrition and their health. Additionally, we provide networking opportunities for students majoring in nutrition and food science. This past year, we even published our own virtual FREE healthy cookbook for college students on a budget. Our mission statement is "Sharing what we know, helping our community grow."


We hear that you’re a cheerleader for the Tigers.  What is that like?

I love, love, love it! I have been a dancer since the age of 3. I had the opportunity to audition for the Detroit Tigers Energy Squad this year, and I am so glad I did it! We are a team of about 30, and you can find 6 to 12 of us at every home game. We lead fan activities, give away promotional items, and dance on the dugouts. It is a great organization to work for, and I have met some amazing young women who I am blessed to call my friends.


What is your favorite healthy snack?

Peanut butter banana and KALE smoothie! Trust me, it's amazing!


What is the best thing about volunteering with Cooking Matters?

My favorite thing would have to be the people themselves-- the coordinators, other volunteers, and the participants themselves. I love sharing my knowledge of nutrition, but I also love hearing the participant's stories, recipe ideas, struggles, and successes. It is truly amazing to watch a class grow over only 6 weeks. Oh, and my classes are always a lot of FUN!!


Do you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share?

Green peanut butter & banana smoothie!



1 large frozen banana

1 cup chopped kale

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 teaspoon of agave syrup or honey

(You may need to add ice if not using a frozen banana)



Put everything in a blender and blend!!