Meet Our Founders
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cofounder, Living with Type 1 Diabetes
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-author of many peer-reviewed scientific publications.
He is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green, and is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. He co-created the Mastering Diabetes Method to reverse insulin resistance in all forms of diabetes, and has helped more than 10,000 people improve their metabolic health using low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition, intermittent fasting, and exercise.
He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference (ACLM), Plant Stock, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on NPR, KQED, Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Fast Company, Diet Fiction, and the wildly popular podcasts Plant Proof and Nutrition Rounds. He is a co-author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes with Robby Barbaro, MPH.
Robby Barbaro, MPH
Cofounder, Living with Type 1 Diabetes
Robby Barbaro, MPH graduated from the University of Florida and is the cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green. He worked at Forks Over Knives for six years before turning his attention in 2016 to coaching people with diabetes full time.
Robby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12 and has been living this lifestyle since 2006. In that time, while eating pounds of fruit every day, his HbA1c value has never exceeded 6.4%, and his blood glucose has been stable and easy to manage.
He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at Whole Foods Global Headquarters, VegFest LA, Plant-Stock, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Medical Medium, Vice, Thrive Magazine, Diet Fiction, Thrive Global, BestLife and the wildly popular podcasts Plant Proof and Nutrition Rounds, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes with Cyrus Khambatta, PhD.
Robby enjoys exercising every day, spending time with friends, and sharing his lifestyle on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Meet Our Coaches
Kylie Buckner, RN, MSN
Director of Lifestyle Change.
Masters of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse
Kylie Buckner is a registered nurse and has a master’s degree in nursing education. She has more than 18 years of experience as a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, in labor and delivery, in OB-GYN, and in pediatrics.
She has dedicated her life to caring for people as a nurse and has an in-depth understanding of the challenges of adopting a plant-based lifestyle. She is also a certified yoga teacher and has been 100% plant-based for over 6 years.
Diabetes Coach, Reversed Type 2 Diabetes
Marc Ramirez is a former University of Michigan Football player who reversed type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, psoriasis, and frequent heartburn using a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet.
He lost 50 pounds in 3 months, and in that same time period he eliminated 5 medications that he had been taking for 10 years. He is certified through the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) as a Food For Life Instructor and conducts classes and 21-Day Kickstarts to help people improve their health. He also appears in the new documentary Eating You Alive.
Wendi Sullivan MA, RDN, CDCES
Diabetes Coach, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, Living with Type 1 Diabetes
Wendi's passion for helping people with diabetes goes back to when her Dad was suddenly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 12 years old. Her whole family's diet immediately changed to help her Dad become healthy again. Wendi was later diagnosed at age 21 with type 1 diabetes. She was inspired to become a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist to work with people who have diabetes.
Wendi graduated with both her bachelor's and master's degrees in nutrition from Western Michigan University. She has worked with people with diabetes for over 13 years. Wendi loves her nutritious lifestyle!
Natalie Goodwin, MS, RD
Diabetes Coach, Registered Dietitian, Bachelors Biochemistry, Master's in Community Nutrition
Natalie is a Registered Dietitian who has earned a Bachelor's degree in biochemistry and a Master's degree in Community Nutrition. Her professional background in hospital-based clinical nutrition has provided her with experience working with people with a wide range of health concerns.
She has been plant-based for over 7 years and is passionate about helping others take control of their health through diet and lifestyle. She can usually be found working in her garden, rock climbing, or caring for her ever-growing flock of rescue chickens in her spare time.
Michelle King Davis, BA Education
Diabetes Coach, Certified Health Coach & Personal Trainer
Michelle began a plant-based journey over 20 years ago in response to health
challenges. She became an avid studier of evidence-based nutrition and still
considers herself a lifelong learner. In the early 2000’s she co-authored the book,
Never Be Fat Again. She spent over a decade coaching hundreds, including people living with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, in transitioning to a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle having dedicated her life to helping others thrive, she is excited to be part of the Mastering Diabetes coaching team.
Andrea Woton MPH, RDN
Diabetes Coach, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Masters in Public Health
Andrea earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Stanford University and spent the first 10 years of her professional life working as an Investment Banker to technology companies in Silicon Valley and other regions of the nation and world.
Andrea resigned from investment banking because she knew that her purpose was elsewhere. She discovered whole food plant-based diets (wfpb) out of a desire to protect animals and the earth and then learned about the extraordinary health benefits of a wfpb lifestyle. She was hooked and decided to dedicate her life to sharing the miracle of a plant-based lifestyle with others.
She went back to school and earned her Master of Public Health degree in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health (SPH). She then completed her Dietetics training through the UM SPH Dietetics Internship program to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Andrea founded a telehealth plant-based nutrition coaching practice to help individuals with chronic conditions improve their health by shifting toward wfpb diets. She is now profoundly honored to be a Mastering Diabetes Health Coach.
Paula Allison, RDN, LDN, CDCES
Diabetes Coach, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
Paula has been in the field of Dietetics for over 25 years. During this time, she has practiced in a variety of settings. She has worked as a Clinical Dietitian at a hospital covering an array of services including, Diabetes, Community Nutrition, Pediatric, Cardiac, Renal, and intensive care. She has also worked as a Public Health nutritionist for many years. Paula graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics from Plattsburgh State University and completed her Dietetic Internship. She later went on to become a Diabetes Educator.
Her greatest passion is helping many clients achieve their health goals by empowering them through education and support using your food as medicine.
Amy Leahy, BA Health Sciences in Nutritional & Dietetic Medicine
Diabetes Coach, Nutritionist
Amy Leahy is a degree certified Nutritionist, holding a Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) in Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine. It was through studying the overwhelming evidence about how a plant-based lifestyle can truly change a person’s health that moved Amy from a vegetarian to a fully plant-based lifestyle.
Her passion and drive are to educate & empower others with the knowledge to make the best health choices for themselves. Amy is a passionate keynote speaker and educator on plant-based nutrition in her home country of Australia.
Diabetes Coach, B.S. in Nutritional Science, MA in Biopsychology, Certified Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, Living with Type 1 Diabetes
Sharon received her Bachelor’s in Nutritional Science from UC Berkeley in 2016 and her Master’s in Biopsychology from Tel Aviv University in 2020. Her gravitation toward nutrition and wellness came after her own diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in 2007. After years of unanswered questions surrounding her glucose control, she adopted a WFPB diet in 2016 and her life was revolutionized.
In the last few years, Sharon has been involved in clinical research, studying the effects of stress and inflammation on cancer progression, and in health technology, working on the development of personalized insulin pumps. She is a 500RYT- certified Ashtanga Yoga teacher and strives to use meditation, breathing, and mindfulness as tools to maintain wellbeing. Sharon hopes to empower people to not only regain control of their health, but to regain trust in their body’s capability to heal. Sharon continues to deepen her understanding of health through her interest in integrative medicine, dedication to movement and exercise, and her exploration of exotic plants and produce.
Linda Rukavina, NBC-HWC, INHC
Diabetes Coach, National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, living with insulin-dependent Monogenic Diabetes
Linda is certified through the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaches and holds a Lifestyle Medicine Coach (LMC) certificate from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. She completed her health coach training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She also has a BBA and MBA in Finance. Prior to health coaching, she worked in corporate finance and consulting.
She has been living with diabetes since the age of 30 but didn’t get serious about her health until 2012 when she transitioned to a plant-based diet and watched her A1C fall from 6.7% to 5.8%. She worked for many years to reverse her diabetes with diet and exercise but eventually learned she had low insulin production and started taking insulin. To help with the transition, she did private coaching Mastering Diabetes. The accountability, competence, and confidence she gained were key to her success and the inspiration for her to pursue health coaching. Now she loves empowering others with the life-changing power of whole food plant-based eating and lifestyle change!
Meet Our Team
Customer Support Specialist and Marketing Assistant
Jose is a plant-based certified health coach with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. His mission is to spread the healing power of plant-based nutrition, exercise, and mindset modifications to conquer diabetes in a natural way.
Jose shares valuable information on how to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, cook delicious plant-based meals, and make exercise part of your daily routine. He is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Community Manager and Podcast Manager
Jessica Stidham has been living with type 1 diabetes for more than 24 years. She began eating a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet to reverse insulin resistance 3 years ago, and has excellent blood glucose control. She has gained full control of diabetes and has eliminated unnecessary oral medication as well.
While finishing school, Jessica is a part of the support staff, podcast management and she loves gathering testimonial success stories from our wonderful members.
Executive Assistant, Customer Success Manager
Alondra Matute started off in our team as an Amla Green support member and since then has grown to be our Executive Assistant and the Customer Success Manager for our Mastering Diabetes clients.
Alondra is passionate about women’s health issues and diabetes health. Living with PCOS and insulin resistance herself, she knows the challenges many experiences as they transition to a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food lifestyle. You can always count on her to welcome you and support you in any regard in your journey in the Mastering Diabetes Coaching Program!
Jose Roman, born in Venezuela and currently residing in Peru, is a Freelance Translator and Virtual Assistant.
As a former Civil Engineer student, Jose Roman developed a problem-solving mindset. His attention to detail and interest in constant learning have taken him to acquire skills that would help him perform better as a digital worker, including general design and editing software knowledge. He is also experienced in 3D Modeling and is currently studying programming in his spare time.
Jose Roman currently works behind the scenes on different Mastering Diabetes projects.
Customer Support Specialist
Jennifer has been in customer service for over a decade, working with different industries from travel, hospitality, logistics, eCommerce, etc. As part of Mastering Diabetes, she learned how this program can help people and make a difference in this modern day of age. She is passionate about rescuing and fostering animals and has a life-long dream to have her sanctuary someday.
I’m Robby, an experienced Customer Support Representative who loves helping customers find the right solution for their needs.
For more than 8 years, I’ve helped businesses and clients in the support industry with a knack for connecting with people and providing a positive experience, and making their lives brighter.
Now, in Mastering Diabetes I hope to help you in anything that you may need.
Coaching Enrollment Specialist
Chelsea has been plant-based since 2014 when she went vegan. Since then, holistic health and nutrition have been at the forefront of her passions. She loves chatting with new people and spreading the power of a whole-foods plant-based diet as it has transformed her life tremendously.
When Chelsea is not working, you can catch her roller skating to some groovy tunes or getting creative in the kitchen, whipping up plant-based meals for friends and family.
Coaching Enrollment Specialist
Jillian’s first foray into plant-based diets began at the age of 16. Throughout her 20s, she traveled across 30 countries and found her consciousness around what she put in her body grew alongside the passport stamps.
In 2017, Jillian went on a low-fat, high fruit diet to combat severe GI issues and symptoms of autoimmune disease. Achieving dramatic results in a short amount of time, Jillian became committed to spreading the message on how low-fat, plant-based diets can transform lives. She now serves as a Coaching Enrollment Specialist, helping people choose the coaching program best suited to their needs.