Meet Debby Gibson, the ZenGranny


Sage Gardens Teaching Kitchen is brought to you by Bandera’s own ZenGranny, Debby Gibson. You may recognize her from ZenGranny’s Sage Gardens Farmer’s Market on Main Street.
The Sage Gardens Teaching Kitchen came to fruition following Debby’s certification in Plant-Based Nutrition as a way to support and educate others who also share her passion for good health and welcome the benefits of a whole food plant based way of life.

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take the step.” Unknown
debby gibson jill mckeever

Debby Gibson, right, with Jill McKeever of SimpleDailyRecipes.com

It seems in life I have often been overcome by both the abundant possibilities my life might take or the stagnant feeling of being stuck in a rut. I remember years ago being in a class where I could tear pages out of magazines and create the reality I wanted. I created a home with beautiful views and a garden, imagining lots of grand kids in and out the door. My vision board actually came into fruition 15 years later.

There’s a quote by Deepak Chopra that always comes to mind: he encourages us not to limit our possibilities and potential, because what lies ahead of us might be more rich and satisfying than we could ever imagine. I believe that is where I am in life now, open to the potential of all the good that is possible, not only for me and my love ones, but for our planet as well.

So here I am on a little hill sharing life with lots of family members in a small Texas town not far out of San Antonio. With lots of veggies growing in the garden to harvest, to eat, preserve and can, and a couple of restaurants with our son and his wife to sustain us in our rural lifestyle, what else could I possibly need or want?

Deep inside I knew that this way of eating had made me feel better and was in alignment to my values of eating good clean wholesome minimally processed food. Debby Gibson
I’ve had a weight challenge most of my life. No matter what good food choices I thought I was making, weight just would not come off. I weighed close to 200 pounds and hurt a good bit of the time. Our son and his wife had watched a documentary called “Forks Over Knives” in 2012 and asked us to watch it. We all got on board, sort of. I lost some weight, however, I was still using some oil in my cooking and could not manage my coffee without half and half. And then that trip to New Mexico and Holidays, and we are all back to to eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) again. Something however had changed, deep inside I knew that this way of eating had made me feel better and was in alignment to my values of eating good clean wholesome minimally processed food.

My cholesterol began to climb, blood sugars were pre-diabetic and every Monday morning I woke up thinking this is the day I’ll make the turn, then didn’t. In November of 2013 I had gallbladder surgery; Severe pain on my right side. Darn! Still couldn’t make the turn.

My friend Margaret invited me to join her for lunch in Kerrville. She had met a gentleman, Anthony Coden, who cooked healthy food in his home and would make us lunch. This meal, and actually meeting someone that was modeling what I desired, was the key for me to turn toward the direction of my desire: Vibrant Living and a body that would support Health and Wellness! So I came home and told my husband and mother that I would be cooking for myself. They were on their own. Granted, not everyone can be that extreme, but I did feel that it was a matter of life and death for me. A couple of months into this I decided to get certified in Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition to gain a deeper understanding and to help others.

Having almost achieved my goal weight and feeling 100% better, I’ve started a Healthy Cooking Potluck Meetup Group in our community, I facilitate a support group called “Get Healthy Bandera,” and teach cooking classes in my teaching kitchen. So consider joining us in the Garden anytime and consider the possibilities that eating a whole food plant based diet might add to the quality of your life, too.


Debby Gibson, founder of Sage Gardens Teaching Kitchen, is certified in Plant-Based Nutrition from The T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.