About Me 16

Hi! I’m Dawn Hutchins, Holistic Foods Chef, Plant-Based Lifestyle Expert, educator and cookbook author.

Dawn Hutchins

Florida Coastal Cooking and Wellness – food blog turned plant-based business – was founded 2009 and went plant-based in 2013.


There’s a special place in my heart for holistic cooking for heart-health (pun intended!).


The reason I chose this focus is because of my dad’s story. Dad, at 67, was the picture of health – ex-marine, dedicated to working out, not a drop of sugar in his diet. 

My Dad and Daughter at Little Talbot Island

On the day he decided to retire from his corporate job he rode his bike up to the pool to swim laps on his lunch break, had a massive heart attack and drowned in the pool. This was how we discovered he had un-diagnosed heart disease – one artery was 95% blocked and another was 85% blocked. It happened so fast, it was like he vanished from the face of the earth. Though he looked healthy on the outside, his arteries were hardening into rocks. His diet consisted of cheese, yogurt, processed meats and cheeses and he loooooved BBQ on the Big Green Egg, some veggies and fruits. 


It was so horrible I decided no one else to have to go through the same experience. 


This incident was what caused me to go fully plant-based and decide to focus my business on heart-health.  Though it was too late for him to experience the benefits of a lifestyle change, me and my family and countless others have experienced the benefits.  I’ve lost ten pounds without trying, my cholesterol and blood pressure dropped, I was able to get off my depression meds.  My daughter’s severe eczema and swelling went away and her chronic ear infections cleared up…. 


This naturally led to a second focus of my website. Cooking with kids. 

Gabby Reading


My daughter and I have teamed up to present a variety of cooking videos and classes designed to show kids that eating plant foods is awesome!


  Kids excited to eat their veggies


We now enjoy a life of vitality and my mission is to share this with you!


Since I began sharing dad’s story and my daughter’s story people have come out of the wood work with both incredible stories of recovery and looking for help for themselves and their families. I’m here to cheer you on and help you work through your challenges. I’ll be your answer to….


“My doctor told us to eat healthier but I don’t know what that means, I don’t cook! There’s so much conflicting information. How do I start changing my lifestyle?”


The goal of this website is to be your source for plant-based tips, recipes, inspiration and more to help you live your heart-healthiest life.


It’s not about perfection. 

It’s about the evolution of ourselves towards our greater goals. My blog posts, videos and programs are a reflection of who I am. My love of people, the earth, and all her creatures. I’m moved to inspire others through positivity, love, acceptance, and a little fun.  There is a great need in this world for a paradigm shift. We need to become more introspective, start focusing on goals and dreams, and begin to feel love for ourselves. Only then will we be able to give love to others, and to create real, positive change. I strive to help others to reach their goals – especially in the realm of heart-health, by showing them how to make simple, consistent changes.


Click here to read more about my Vision Board, my WHY, and the non-profit partnerships that my programs benefit.

What is a whole foods, plant-based diet? Click here to find out. 

Featured On 4-22-2016


  • BS in Sociology, Florida State University
  • Certified Nutritional Therapist with a focus in Epigenetics, Health Sciences Academy, London
  • Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition, Cornell University and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation

Instagram: chefdawn

Facebook: Florida Coastal Cooking

Twitter: dhcooks

Pinterest: dhcooks

Aside from healthy food, I’m a yoga lover, camping aficionado and SUP fanatic. 




Each week I write a post with a story about a lesson I’ve learned, share a recipe that will feed your soul, a video that will help you thrive, or a tip to simplify life.




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For Fun

I LOVE camping and own a T@B camper that I recently rebuilt myself after lots of water damage.  You can see my camping adventures here.

Use of photos: If you would like to use one of my photos, please ask first.

Use of recipes: To use one of my recipes, if there are no changes made, please simply link back to my recipe directly instead of re-printing. If changes are made, please link to my original.

Please feel free to contact me with questions. I’d love to hear from you!


Page last updated 7-29-2016

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16 thoughts on “About Me

  • Karen

    Hi Dawn!
    Rachel Garcia just sent me your link – I love your MILA recipes!!
    I’m a MILA distributor and will start sending people to your website!

    If you have some free time, I’d LOVE to talk to you about Mila and your daughter’s
    food allergies!

    Thanks, Karen Golday

  • Wally Conway


    Please give me ring at the office 268-8211 to have a short chat about your calling into the radio show saturday morning in support of KYVfarm and Florida Coastal Cooking.

    Best to you, Wally

    • admin Post author

      Hi Sue! Your progression of comments made me chuckle! Yes I am wrestling with what to do about the old meat and dairy posts. I was going to save them all to draft but many of my posts are inter-linked and would then have back links that wouldn’t work and it would wipe out a lot of my progression to a plant based diet. I’m still debating though because I don’t want to promote meat and dairy based recipes.
      Thanks for all your comments!


  • Walt

    Your journey sounds a lot like mine. A friend mentioned The China Study to me, and about the time I finished reading it my wife and I stumbled across a documentary called Chow Down on Hulu (came on by chance after some other movie my wife was watching). We then watched Forks Over Knives.

    After watching those two films and another documentary called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead we made the decision to eliminate meat and dairy from out diets. That was last Easter, and while I’m sure the occasional dairy or animal ingredient slips into our diet (some wines that are not vegan or the occasional milk by-product in crackers or something), I’d say we are at least 98% non-meat and dairy. And I now have the cholesterol numbers to prove it! 🙂

    • admin Post author

      I love it! I have seen Fat Sick and Nearly Dead too – for some reason my daughter loves that documentary. I haven’t seen Chow Down yet but I will have to look that up. It makes me feel so good that there ARE a people are educating themselves and seeing the light on why we should go plant based. I was just telling a new friend Sue that it can be frustrating in the location where I live because it seems like the home of BBQ meats. Eating tons of meat and dairy is so “normal” in this location that it is hard to get anyone that is willing to even learn the truth about what is going on in the commercial farming industry. It is so nice to hear a great story!

  • Dawn

    I really like the site and you have some great recipe ideas but may I suggest that in your search options you make it so you can combined food allergies eg milk AND egg free – ie allow you to be able to select more than one option.

    Keep up the good work!

    • admin Post author

      One option is to search by “vegan” and you will know those are egg and dairy free! I will definitely see if there is a way to select multiple options though – there may be a plugin! Thank you SO much for the suggestion.

  • Linda

    Hi Dawn,

    Just discovered your blog and it looks great! Just wanted to say that the Pinterest button on your homepage seems to point to someone else’s Pinterest site, someone called ‘Kate’.

    Best wishes,

  • Ricky Albert

    Hi Dawn, I would like to add your blog to the Top Food Blog list in http://www.mytaste.com/ . Your blog is impressively BEAUTIFUL and it deserves to be included on the Top Blog list!! Great recipes!! We will feature your blog so that people will see it on our site and we will make a lot of shout out about your recipes on our fanpages. If you would like to join, here is the link http://www.mytaste.com/add-your-food-blog .


  • lori

    Dwan: I love your website any suggestions on how or where I can begin a blog website similar to yours. I see you have been a blogger for a long time, but I sell antiques & collectables & would like to have a working website similar. Can you help with ideas?? I don’t want to make hugs mistakes as I am operating on a budget. Thanks Tons!