Let us tell you a little bit about us!

Our Misson

Sano School of Culinary Medicine is the UK’s leading online nutrition education school offering dedicated, comprehensive online nutrition courses.

Our aim with Sano is to provide people with the skills to use food and nutrition for medicinal health benefits for their own health and to help others to do the same. And we have lofty goals to spread the message - that food really is medicine - even further, to make basic nutrition knowledge commonplace internationally to empower everyone to take back control of their own health so that we can collectively rediscover the true benefits of a healthy body and mind.

We have created a successful high street cafe Sano To Go in London serving truly healthy delicious food. This comes together with Sano School through its educational event programme  of workshops, cooking demonstrations and lectures on a variety of health and wellness topics.

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Our founders Doug & Heather started Sano as a family business and all three of their daughters have been involved. Their eldest Emily 19 with marketing, Holly 18 with recipe creation and Lucy 16 with design.

Our Story

Sano began back in 2016 with our first course, Sano Diploma in Applied Nutrition, as a forerunner in accessible education. Nutrition, diet, and healthy eating have become minefields of misinformation and our founders Doug and Heather began a mission to redefine how the world approaches their health. Working closely with industry experts and the latest evidence-based nutritional science, Sano School Of Culinary Medicine was born.

Since then, we have empowered hundreds of students from countries including the UK, Holland, Spain, China, the USA, Australia, and South Africa to take control of their health, transform their relationship with food and their bodies, and guide and inspire others to do the same. With the rapid expansion of the wellness industry and the subsequent collective desire to lead a healthier lifestyle, our graduates began to create brand new careers based on the nutrition expertise they gained throughout the course.

We share our knowledge to empower people to transform their lives for the better.

Watch this video to learn more about Sano

Healthy Eating Just Got Easier

What our students say about us

“Very professional. I can read the notes without having to print them. It's so clear and well laid out.”

Sheila Mowlds

“I loved the course! I think it was really well set out.”

Sean Ryan

“I thought the feedback was constructive and helpful. It helped me to dig down deep and really understand for myself what I was talking about and not just trying to take the information given to me and just put it back on the paper.”

Hannah Lempke

“I found that in Scotland there wasn’t a lot available. Really good about the course that you feel connected and completely online. It was a big thing for me that I could do it all online. That was a big draw.”

Amanda Geary
Academic & Digital Development Adviser

“What I love about the course is that I can understand everything I read and if I can’t I can just email or Skype and I have all the support that I need.”

Ines Romanelli

“I really enjoyed the course and I loved the sense of learning”

Claire Postans
Brand Director

“I loved it, I really enjoyed the course. It’s great that SANO staff are on the FB group and the students can share ideas, motivation etc. You feel less isolated.”

Suzy Bequé

Discover Sano on Social Media

We Are Sano


Heather Richards

Director of Nutrition

Heather is a Registered Nutritionist (mBANT) and was awarded  'Overall Academic & Clinic Results in Nutrition' by The College Of Naturopathic Medicine. Before raising her 3 daughters Heather was a Chartered Accountant with PriceWaterhouse Coopers but the health of her family spiked her interest in nutrition and wellness. She discovered the power of nutrition in healing her daughter's eczema and never looked back. After qualifying as a Nutritionist she set up a clinic helping hundreds of patients. However Heather is passionate about spreading her knowledge to help as many people as possible with their health and careers in wellness and founded Sano to do just that!


Doug Richards


Doug has over 25 years of experience gained in the corporate world and before co-founding Sano, he worked as CFO at NewDay plc, CEO at CMC Markets, Group COO and Group Finance Director at AWD Holdings and Divisional Board Director at Centrica for 11 years. Doug has established several successful and high profile new businesses including Goldfish Bank. Originally he started his career in investment banking after qualifying with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Chartered Accountant and Corporate Treasurer. Doug made the bold decision to step out of 'Corporate World' and stand alongside Heather in developing a brand they believe really can impact peoples health and help them lead healthier happier lives.

Meet the Core Team

Education Manager

Melanie Gaylard

Education Manager & Student Support

Melanie is from Cape Town, South Africa living in London for two years with her husband. She has a background in food and hospitality with experience in various fields from managing a backpackers to running a herbal and homeopathic store. Melanie has also completed courses in massage and herbal remedies and always been interested in using “food as medicine”. With a passion for working with people and healthy eating she started the Diploma in Applied Nutrition. When the opportunity came up to do an internship with Sano she jumped at the chance! Melanie is the Education Manager and Head of Student Support at Sano School and together with the education team is always on hand to answer any questions or offer guidance to current and prospective students throughout their nutrition studies. 


Isabelle Lemaignen

Student Assessment Manager

Isabelle studied Nutrition and Naturopathy at CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine). The decision to study nutrition came from her own health issues, and mostly because her youngest daughter suffered from severe debilitating eczema for years which crippled her. The knowledge  accumulated through studying empowered her and gave her the strength to implement a GAPS protocol for 2 years, which resolved her eczema. She is now a GAPS practitioner. Taking her daughter through this journey made her realise even more how the body is not just physical, but also emotional, psychological, and energy. In her practice, she not only helps people change their eating habits, but  also addresses their whole being.  


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Rachel Bednarski

Social Media & Marketing Manager

Rachel landed as Sano's Social Media and Marketing Manager after realising she could unite her passion for health and nutrition with her skills in marketing. 

Students taking the Nutrition Coaching course will see Rachel pop up during their study offering tips and guidance on how to market their new business and promote themselves online.
When she's not swiping and typing, Rachel is studying for the Diploma in Applied Nutrition herself, working as a freelance writer, and try, try, trying again to learn how to handstand.
Before joining Sano Rachel gained plenty of experience working as the social media and marketing manager for Natasha Corrett at Honestly Healthy. 

Guest Contributors

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Dr Zoë Harcombe, PhD

Independent author, researcher and speaker in the field of diet, health and nutrition.

Dr. Zoë Harcombe is a Cambridge University graduate with a BA and MA in economics/maths. Zoë enjoyed a successful career in blue chip organisations before leaving corporate life in 2008 to pursue her passion. Her early career involved international roles in management consultancy, manufacturing and marketing in global organisations, from FMCG to telecoms, before specialising in Personnel and Organisation. At the peak of her career, Zoë was Vice President for Human Resources for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Having written three books between 2004 and 2007, while being ‘Head of People’, Zoë left employment to research obesity full time. This culminated in the publication in 2010 of The Obesity Epidemic: What caused it? How can we stop it?

Zoë returned to full time education in 2012 to complete a PhD in public health nutrition (awarded March 2016). Her thesis was entitled “An examination of the randomised controlled trial and epidemiological evidence for the introduction of dietary fat recommendations in 1977 and 1983: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” A number of peer-reviewed articles have emanated from this work. The first was the 64th most impactful paper in any discipline in 2015.

Zoë was an independent board member for Cardiff Metropolitan University between 2006 and 2012. She was also an independent board member for the Welsh National Health Service between 2009 and 2012.

Zoë lives with her husband and rescue animals in the Welsh countryside surrounded by food, a.k.a. sheep, hens and cows.


Dr Aseem Malhotra

Award Winning Cardiologist MBChB, MRCP

Becoming known as one of the most influential cardiologists in Britain and a world leading expert in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, Dr Aseem Malhotra is successfully leading the campaign against excess sugar consumption. The award-winning NHS cardiologist has successfully motivated leading academics, the media and politicians to make sugar reduction a health priority in the UK by publishing commentaries in the BMJ and mainstream media.

When he is not working as a doctor in the National Health Service, Aseem Malhotra reigns supreme in his fight to raise awareness about the health benefits of a sugar-free diet, maintaining that sugar deserves its reputation as "Public Health Enemy Number 1". His no-holds-barred approach to challenging common health beliefs is proving highly effective in getting medical professionals and social authorities from around the world to sit up and take notice. He is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences.

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Dr Vivian Chen

Medical Doctor & Health Coach

Vivian trained at UCL medical school and graduated second in her class with also a first class honors BSc in Neuroscience. She obtained her MRCP whilst working in hospital medicine before switching to becoming a general practitioner. Through her own health struggles and that of her family's, she began to realize the limitations of conventional allopathic medicine in the treatment of chronic diseases. She began to do her own reading, research, and learning in nutrition and naturopathic medicine, and realized that the key to most chronic diseases lie in lifestyle medicine and not pharmaceuticals. She believes that we need both allopathic and lifestyle medicine to help patients, but It is through changing people's lifestyle that we can truly tackle the bottomless pit that underlies the NHS. She now combines her 14 years of clinical experience with expertise in nutrition and lifestyle medicine to help people towards better health without her prescription pad. 

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Dr Chintal Patel


Dr Chintal Patel graduated from University College London with a degree in Immunology and Cell Pathology before completing her medical training at the Royal Free and University College School of Medicine. She initially trained in Surgery and now practices as a General Practitioner in Belgravia, London. She achieved membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners with a Merit and is also a trainer for the London Deanery, training Doctors to become General Practitioners.

Dr Patel takes a keen interest in health and nutrition and how healthy eating can also affect the aging process. She truly believes eating a clean and nutritionally rich diet will keep you healthy and beautiful. She also writes a healthy recipe blog, outlining the nutritional benefits of all the ingredients she uses and how they can improve your health. You can follow her healthy recipe journey @drchintalskitchen on Instagram.

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Dr Laura Quinton


I am a GP and qualified nutritional therapist. I have a particular interest in gynaecology and menopause. My approach combines both traditional and lifestyle medicine, with the ultimate aim to help patients optimise their wellness.

I qualified in Medicine at University College London Medical School in 1991, where I also gained an additional degree in Psychology. I then worked in Paediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynaecology across several London hospitals. I gained my experience working in menopause and IVF clinics at UCLH and Hammersmith Hospitals before moving into general practice in 1997. 

I hold the Diploma of Child Health and have carried out clinical research into the psychological aspects of infertility under the supervision of Professor Lord Winston. 

As well as having my own NHS practice in south London I also practice as a private GP, which gives me the opportunity to offer more time to my patients and a more individualised approach. I also teach students from St Georges Medical School and am a qualified GP appraiser and Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

In addition to my background in medicine, I also have a special interest in Nutrition and gained a diploma from the College of Naturopathic Nutrition in London. Doctors do not routinely get taught nutrition at medical school and I am lucky to be a GP with training in nutrition. I think this is a useful combination for modern general practice where lifestyle factors such as what we eat, how we sleep and how we move are so important.  I try to look at the root cause for symptoms and focus on the whole person not just the disease. I combine my training with over twenty years of practice as a local GP. I feel that I have a wealth of knowledge of specialists and services to help support patients to feel the best that they can.


Michaela Thomas

Clinical Psychologist & Cognitive Behavioural Therapist

Michaela is a qualified Clinical Psychologist and experienced Cognitive Behaviour Therapist. She has two postgraduate qualifications in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy from Sweden and the UK, and is registered as a Clinical Psychologist both in Sweden and in the UK (with HCPC). She is also trained in Compassion Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Behavioural Couples Therapy. Michaela holds full accreditation with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).  

Outside of being the Managing Director of CBT Innovation, Michaela works as a Senior Clinical Psychologist within the CBT Clinic of the Occupational Health department in Guys and St Thomas Hospital in London. She has also worked within IAPT (primary care psychology services in the NHS) for seven years before that. 


Fab Giovanetti

Health Coach & Personal Trainer

Fab Giovanetti is the founder of the Health Bloggers Community, their annual Summit, and co-founder the Health Blog Awards. Through the HBC and her online mentoring, she touched over 100,000 people from all over the world. She is a marketer, writer, speaker as well as guest lecturer at colleges such as CNM among others.
As a qualified Health Coach and Personal Trainer she strives to keep learning and pushing herself, and as a serial entrepreneur she is always looking for new ways to support people growing their impact, just like her brand new baby Whole Influence, the first UK network of health & wellness brands. 

Our Nutrition Courses