Feed the Body. Nourish the Soul.
I have been passionate about food for as long as I can remember. Each of my parents is a foodie in their own right. My mom: classic southern comfort food whiz and an impressive baker (she has that rare mix of exacting methodology needed for many baked goods and the ability to improvise and guesstimate like the best chefs) My dad: travels the world through his stove; always perfecting his version of some classic culinary feat… such as paella or gumbo or corn pones.
And so, what of their only daughter? Amid brothers who also eventually took interest in self-expression in the kitchen, I started, at a very young age, insisting on my own opportunities to have a crack at this whole gourmet cookery thing. I attempted my first gourmet meal as a gift for my parents, my inspiration, for their birthdays (they were born 2 days apart) around the time I was 7 or 8 years old. The most memorable elements of that meal for me was the Chicken Wonton Soup (for which I hand-wrapped the chicken wontons) and the dessert served on a bed of fresh raspberry puree (which I pureed using this old type of metal cone-shaped sieve and pestle that I haven’t seen since). No idea if it turned out well or if my parents just humored me. Or how much they bribed my brothers to disappear for the evening and eat elsewhere. But there was one thing I was certain about: this was a place where I loved to work, explore and learn. I was never bored in a kitchen.
Flash forward to my college days, where I got to try out new and old dishes on my very willing and often hungry roommates. And beyond college, when I began to make some real connections between the food I was eating and my experience of good health, or lack of it. Having grown up in the south, I naturally began to try ways to make my southern favorites a little lighter and less processed. (how many recipes can call for Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup!?!)
Post-college, while working a desk job to support my theater habit, I often gravitated to health and food websites, most notably the Mercola.com site for many years. I began to ‘wake up’ to the ways we can drug ourselves with common every day foods and to the idea that many of the common illnesses that our society has grown to accept as a normal part of life are completely avoidable! The revolutionist in me became excitedly agitated by this discovery and thus began my path towards life as a healthy food and lifestyle coach. But I didn’t know it yet.
As much as I loved the work I did in theatre and film and elsewhere in the arts community, the fact that I had to put in a second set of full-time hours to make a living at a job I hated took it’s toll. I began to wonder what I could do to replace my revenue stream in a way that fed me spiritually and creatively. The answer had been right under my nose my whole life. It took a close friend to actually point it out to me: that this personal passion I had was something I could share with others. AND that people would pay to learn what I knew!
I reflected on my philosophy of healthy food and lifestyle then I set about researching the various programs around at the time. The Institute of Integrative Nutrition was the closest match to my approach and had so many great leaders in the health and wellness industries teaching there. The bonus was that classes were held in NYC and I DO <3 NY! I’ve been teaching classes and coaching individuals on health and lifestyle goals since early 2007 and in June of 2008, I became a certified Holistic Health Counselor. And the best part is that I absolutely LOVE what I do! It’s fulfilling and rewarding in every way and allows me to use so many parts of myself that I feel like I was just born to do this.
Currently, I provide holistic health coaching through Fresh Ground Health and am completing my first book. I am also proud mommy to Willem, born in January 2009, Maxine, born in September 2012 and happy partner to John, annexed in May of 2001.