Intentional Cooking for Lasting Health
As a mother, holistic chef, health coach, and conscious human being, I’m confident on the path that I have chosen towards better health and empowering my community. But it took me a long time to get here.
Health is in the news a lot these days, which is great! We are becoming so much more aware of the benefits of certain foods, the risks associated with pesticides and GMOs, and the effects that different diets can have on our well-being. But with all this new information coming out so rapidly, it can feel overwhelming. Where should you even start?
I started my career working in restaurants. Long hours on my feet, late nights, and cooking with tons of butter and salt were not exactly putting me on a path to optimum health. At the same time, I was studying full-time at The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. It was a fast-paced environment, with lots of pressure to excel and impress the instructors. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything, as it pushed me to refine my skills as a chef and learn exactly what I am capable of. But looking back, all this activity took a toll on my health.
Bad skin, mood swings, excess weight, low energy… Sound familiar? This was how I felt throughout my early twenties. And I thought it was perfectly normal, because most of my friends felt that way, too.
It wasn’t until I started working as a personal chef in New York and New Jersey that I realized how big of an effect food can have on how we feel. Working with clients one-on-one, becoming a part of their families, I felt the obligation to cook them food that not only suited their tastes and lifestyle, but food that also helped them to feel more vibrant, younger, energized… Just plain healthier.
To learn more about healthy cooking, I started working with an elite caterer in New York City that serves the likes of Vogue Magazine, Alexander Wang, Michael Kors, and Yves Saint Laurent. People love to retort that people in the fashion industry don’t even eat, do they? Well they do, in fact, eat. We all eat. But these uber high-end clients eat only the freshest, most beautiful, healthiest foods on the planet. Here I got an education on superfoods and how to use them, and catering to all special diets such as vegan, raw, elimination, and anti-inflammatory. I also learned how to work with nature, and to let nature inspire me to create beautiful, delicious dishes.
All these experiences collided when I became pregnant with my son. All of a sudden, nutrition was my absolute top priority. Caring for the baby in my belly meant caring for myself in a profound way. During this time, I became a Certified Health Coach with the Dr Sears Institute to learn the science behind the practice of healthy eating. Finally, I felt, the pieces of my life were starting to add up and make sense. After a glowing pregnancy and wonderful delivery, after all my experience and learning, I finally took the leap to start my holistic chef business, Happy Belly Nashville.
The point of my story is to show you why being a holistic chef is more than my job, and more than my responsibility. It is my calling. Let me remove your anxiety around food, your stress about cooking, and the intimidation of starting on a healthy path. Let me give you the freedom to enjoy food without guilt, to come home to freshly-prepared, gourmet meals made exclusively for you, and to save you valuable time and energy. Let me give you a Happy Belly!