DiH News

Carol Wagner honored by Chicago Tribune: Good Eating Award

Good Eating Award Article

Each year, Good Eating honors people in the Chicago food and beverage worlds who have made a difference through their passion, vision and commitment to quality. All have enhanced the food scene in Chicago with their accomplishments. Read more...

It's hardly a stretch to consider Carol Wagner, a Northbrook-based holistic nutritionist and president and founder of Dimensions in Health Inc., some sort of caped crusader who has set her sights on the school cafeteria.

She has yanked the deep fryer out of a junior high lunchroom, worked with schools to ban all food dyes, artificial sweeteners, MSG, high-fructose corn syrup and even soda. Fearless, she cold-called Sarah Stegner, the chef/co-owner of Prairie Grass Cafe, to ask if they might team up to cook in the classrooms. Now, waging a campaign to get more veggies into kids, the dynamic duo are teaching the wonders of, say, celery root and apple slaw, or a yummy rendition that mixes Napa cabbage and black beans.

"The most impressive thing to me," said Stegner, "was that with a combination of education, enthusiasm and a little arm-twisting, Carol was able to get the school to embrace meaningful changes from top to bottom. They were not forced to change, they wanted to change."

Clearly, Wagner is lacking only one something: that swooping cape over her shoulders.

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

When Carol Wagner left an executive position with a Fortune 100 company to become a holistic nutrition consultant, she knew she was making a leap of faith. But she leapt anyway because she firmly believed that the work she was doing was important. Read more...

That belief was affirmed recently when Wagner and 79 other women were picked from a field of 3,200 applicants to take part in a major national leadership conference.

Dubbed Women Rule! the contest was sponsored by Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine and the White House Project — a non-profit organization committed to advancing women of all backgrounds into positions of power.

Winners were selected on the strength of their ideas, and those ideas were put to the test during an intensive weekend in New York City that featured lectures, workshops and coaching by leaders in business, philanthropy and politics.

“But the truth is, they will probably glean as much from one another as they will from the experts,” Aimee Lee Ball, “O” contributing editor, wrote while attending the three-day conference.

Wagner agrees.

“It was an honor to be chosen and a thrill to be working with so many trailblazing women,” she says. “Wherever I go from here, I now have 79 other women in 27 states that are willing to do whatever it takes to help me reach my goal.”