MK Culinary Online Alum: Carling Harps

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Carling is a yoga teacher, nutritional therapist, and birth doula. Focusing on whole body & mind wellness she has traveled the world with yoga teachings and culinary exploration.

Have you ever stumbled across something and thought, I must do this. I must have this. This is for me.
I’ll quickly preface by stating that I’m generally a nervous person, I second guess a lot of things, but launching myself into Matthew Kenney Culinary was quite surprisingly not one of them.

Right after submitting my application, I did have a moment of “uh oh, I’m officially one of those people now”. As a yoga teacher and birth doula I realize that I’ve now fully catapulted myself over the wall from pretty normal to way out in left (and granola filled) field.  But what I found in the Raw Food Fundamentals online course was actually much less about why one should be subscribing to a raw lifestyle and much more of a well rounded, professional, and robust culinary program which also happened to be raw. It turned my personal kitchen into a functional workplace ripe for creating and learning.


As a yoga instructor that travels the world more than half of the year to teach, it can be difficult to consistently find healthy or plant-based foods.  Some countries make life easy (thank somebody out there for the gloriousness of Australia), while others require much more work and often hours of  searching. My original intention behind joining Matthew Kenney Culinary was to be able to prepare fresh, healthy, locally sourced meals for my family whenever possible on the road. Never again to be stuck hungry and waning in airport terminals, this would help us create more even when our hotels didn’t come with kitchens. To be fair, we are still hungry in airports sometimes (what is it about airports that conjure up hunger pangs?) but we now have far more freedom, creativity and ultimately healthier lives while living across time zones.

The high level skills and techniques I gained from the Level 1 Fundamentals course completely changed my view of foundational ingredients and how utterly simple it could be to support our bodies and nourish our taste buds at the same time. Honing my nut milk making skills has saved us from mysterious store bought cartons in foreign languages. Raw chocolate truffles, and fermented cashew cheeses have made long layovers feel not quite so long.
You’d be quite surprised what amazing ingredients you can find in local shops in sweet little towns. The excitement of stumbling upon Irish moss for homemade lemon creme whilst in the middle of Germany is something I never knew would bring me such a sense of comfort and ease in a place so very far from home.

By challenging us to create and execute recipes and extensive menus this course has given me a breath of fresh air and infused my cooking with new life. Now more acutely aware of the options for local produce or the unique spices available in each locale, raw cuisine is something

I never knew I would internalize so quickly. Creativity coupled with newfound skills & techniques has given me the freedom to care for the body and mind in a whole new and very exciting way.

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