I grew up in Southern California where fresh local food was abundant. My Grandmother was a wonderful cook and made everything from scratch. She would often take the fruit straight from the tree to cook for our dessert. Our school lunches often were leftover dinners wrapped in foil……never the processed fake food that everyone else had….and, to be honest, I felt left out…..it wasn’t until many years later that I started to understand that there is a direct and profound correlation between what you put into your body and HOW YOU FEEL……but I think many kids on the playground intuitively knew how VALUABLE the contents in my lunchbox were because my Grandmother’s homemade goodies were in high demand for trading.
It wasn’t until I was married that I really began to cook. Mostly by trial and error—-believe me there were quite a few burnt/failed recipes along the way! I called my Grandmother often for recipes and it didn’t go unnoticed that everything she made started with REAL and wholesome ingredients. Over time I developed a simple and natural approach to cooking that enabled me to put wholesome food on the table regardless of how busy I was raising a family.
I began to experiment and use more and more fresh fruits and vegetables in our meals and saw our energy levels soar. When my kids were young, I decided to do the best I could for them and their developing brains and immune systems by filling our kitchen with whole, real food. We ate well, we lived well and I knew that others could too with a bit of guidance.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a lot on my agenda today, this week, in my life. I make my food choices (and many other decisions) based on energy….I eat high quality nutrient dense food so I will have enough energy for what I want to do. That’s not to say that I eat “perfectly” all of the time (whatever that means!)…..there are times when I’m out with friends, having a good time and I eat what’s available…..while being busy having fun. That’s what it’s all about. What you do MOST OF THE TIME matters far more than what you do once in awhile. Learning to accept yourself and your choices is where you’ll find your healthy balance.
At some point I realized that I had become the “go to” for healthy recipes, lifestyle and exercise tips and that I would be able to reach more people if I turned my passion into a business. I knew I would need some street creds (my original degree is in marketing) to give those who didn’t know I had a lifetime of experience with health and wellness to trust me with their greatest asset—THEMSELVES.
I received my training as a Health Coach from Integrative Nutrition’s cutting edge Health Coach Training Program. During my training, I studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. The real education at IIN was in how to listen for clues as to what’s not working well for people and help them find their healthy balance. To round out my education and have the greatest impact on others, I received certification from the American Council on Exercise as a personal trainer.
My education has equipped me with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, exercise science, and preventive health. Drawing on these skills and my knowledge of different dietary theories as well as my cooking skills, passion for developing healthy recipes and an innate ability to break complex situations into manageable bites, I work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.
I practice a holistic approach to health and wellness, which means that I look at how all areas of your life are connected. Does stress at your job or in your relationship cause you to overeat? Does lack of sleep or low energy prevent you from exercising? Have you put a label on yourself that is restrictive and no longer serves you? As we work together, we will look at how all parts of your life affect your health as a whole.
What I’ve learned through my training at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and from my years of coaching is that each person has unique food and lifestyle needs which has helped me develop a personalized holistic approach recognizing that what works well for one person may not work for the next person.
By focusing on each individual’s needs, it becomes less about calories, macros, carbs, fats, and proteins, and more about what your body needs based on who they are and what their goals are. I don’t create lists of restrictions or good and bad foods. Instead, I work with my clients to create a mindful approach to eating by helping them choose foods that are wholesome, nutrient dense, and full of color and flavor. Together we set SMART goals so clients can create a happy, healthy life they can be fully engaged in, in a way that is flexible, fun and rewarding.
About Cooking: My Classes and My Blog
Making food yourself….from scratch…is the single best way to take control of your health and well being. Period. As a society, we have strayed from consuming whole real food. In supermarkets and restaurants alike, the array of processed and packaged foods is rampant—-and I understand the appeal—-it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s tasty—–but it’s also DEADLY.
With some planning and insight you can have “quick, easy, tasty” without compromising your health! It’s not rocket science—-but, for many, it’s a novel approach. When I first started my health coaching practice, I was astounded by the number of clients I saw who sourced most of their food from restaurants and takeout. The little they did cook came from recipes that used a lot of processed ingredients. Most had never experienced the feeling of vibrant good health, and I knew that getting them into the kitchen was going to be a key to their success.
I started teaching cooking workshops as a means to get more health coaching clients. What I didn’t expect is that I would LOVE everything about it. Sharing my love of cooking and my knowledge of health and wellness is the most gratifying part of what I do. Providing access to vibrant good health through education is a passion of mine.
Food For Thought is my way of impacting more than just the lives and eating habits of my students. By sharing healthy recipes and wellness tips in my classes and on my blog, I hope to enlighten as many as possible to the concept that nutritious and delicious don’t have to be mutually exclusive. What we eat matters, how we choose to nourish ourselves—both on and off the plate matters—–all that we learn is Food For Thought. I am grateful to have an audience that appreciates what I have to say, who allow me to continue to play in the kitchen and share what I know and I am humbled by all that they teach me in the process. My goal is to insprire healthy choices….one plate at a time.