I grew up in the age of boxes, cans and branded food items and never even knew what a fresh green bean or asparagus tasted like until I was well into my late teens, maybe even 20’s. That didn’t stop me from constantly being interested in food. I am told I visited the fridge when I was a toddler to find things to add flavor to my food (I loved hot sauce and pickles!) and then when I was still in single digit birthdays, I started a recipe collection from magazines my grandmother would give me. Then as a teenager, I would find myself waking up with new recipes floating around in my head. I was a foodie before there it was a google-able word.
The freshman 15 found me in college and I became weight obsessed. Me and my roommates tried all the diets and this became a lifestyle for me for even many years after I graduated. I have literally tried every diet out there, even the dreaded “cabbage soup diet”. I have counted calories, carbs and points. Everything changed, however, when I was trying yet another diet and after losing nothing in 2 weeks of doing following it to the letter, I got frustrated and ate a piece of dark chocolate. I woke up the next day and weighed…I had lost 5 pounds! I began to realize that emotions play a part in weight loss and the stress of trying to keep with the demands of the diet had caused my body to hang on to all the weight, but when I let go and enjoyed that chocolate, my body could finally let go of that excess weight. Maybe there was something to the body and soul connection?
My health began to suffer after two babies and no matter what I did, I gained weight, I began to look into the causes and found that food can affect your body in so many ways besides just providing nourishment. I began working with naturopaths and found that gluten was not my friend (and since then have watched many different foods come and go from my diet.) This began my journey from just loving food to understanding fully that food truly is life and what I needed to do to live healthfully and have a right relationship with food (back to the body/soul connection).
The real learning curve began, however, as I saw that eating this way was WAAAAYYY more expensive and time consuming as I suddenly had to buy specialized ingredients and make almost everything I ate as opposed to being able to just pick things up at the store. (This was pre-gluten free everything!) I also started this in the crash of 2008…need I say more?? – so I had barely anything for a food budget and I had to figure this thing out. I began to realize that if I kept a little protein around along with a well stocked fridge, pantry and freezer, I could just buy produce that was in season and therefore, less expensive. I learned how to combine these elements with what I call “flavoring agents” to bring it all together and make fabulous meals on the cheap not realizing I was coming up with something that I would one day teach clients.
Having begun to see how vital eating well is to every part of our being and having worked my way into cooking for others as my “private chef” side hustle years before (to offset the 2008 “downturn,”) people began to come to me with major health issues, primarily cancer and autoimmune diseases and ask me to cook their meals for them. I worked with their doctors and naturopaths to form the perfect menu plans for each of them. “Diet affects disease” became the common thread with my clients and the more I learned the more I would naturally begin to tell others. I quickly found my true joy came not from cooking for others, but from teaching people to cook whole, real food for themselves so they could enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
All of these experiences have come together to form my wellness and nutrition coaching business and I am looking forward to serving you and bringing you awesome information that will help you on your journey. Learning how to eat well on the cheap and how to juggle a full life of mom, private chef business and feeding us well with time constraints has helped me show my clients how to jump the “I don’t have time” and “eating healthy is expensive” hurdles. Because of the many foods I have had to cut out of my diet over the years, I have an arsenal of recipes that are almost 100% gluten free and many are paleo, whole 30 and even AIP friendly. I specialize in helping those on special diets be able to enjoy the foods that they can have by teaching them ways to flavor food well for versatility and show them substitutes for their favorite “no-go” foods that won’t compromise their health. As we all ultimately learn…everything is for a reason, right?
Ok, friend…if you’ve read this far, thank you and I look forward to hearing your story and getting to know you. A few more incidental facts about me, I love all things coffee (check out my Instagram feed), I have watched every Friends episode at least 15 times (I guess you can say I’m like Phoebe’s OBGYN with Fonzie) and that I generally am pretty much a hippie chick that loves the earth and Jesus, too.
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