Hello lovely. Thanks for listening.
I was born to do this. To meditate on food, teach about it, spread food love. I don't know how to be any other way.
As a young child I had this innate connection to food and health. I would tell my mom that I should switch my snack from Oreos to carrots because I knew I should vary my snack to something healthier from time to time. I loved asparagus (much to brother’s chagrin as I would ask my mom repeatedly to make it) and sardines as a child. And growing up in an Italian family we had spaghetti dinner every Sunday. No guilt, just love, family and shared experiences over a meal we all loved.
That's what food should be. Love, connection, shared experiences. The great unifier.
I never understood why people would stand around for countless hours talking about what they shouldn’t or couldn’t eat, all the while staring longingly at the cake on the table that was made for a family event. We didn’t have cake all that often so I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t eat a little. Not the whole cake or a huge piece. Just a little so that they could satiate that craving. And proceed on with their life instead of being guilt-ridden over the decision to eat or not eat the cake.
Because there is so much more to life than whether or not you eat the cake.
So in college I moved to Lyon, France to study abroad. Those 6 months solidified my food views in ways I could have never imagined. I walked, everywhere. And I ate, really well. After all, it was the gastronomic capital of the world. I shopped at the farmer's market before they became ubiquitous in the States. I learned that food takes on a different meaning when you truly connect with it and the people who grow it. It takes on a sense of terroir, as they say in the wine world, meaning the characteristics of the place, the land, the people. I learned to cook and savor my food. And I didn't sacrifice my health. In fact, I lost weight. (Weight is a mere number but I'd have my head in the sand if I didn't admit it meant something to me and you.)
But the most important lesson? I learned food enjoyment. True, lasting, simple moments of savoring every drop of life.
Back in the States I learned it wasn’t that easy. But it didn't deter me. I was determined to learn about life-giving food and to continue my journey with food and how to incorporate it in the real world.
And the real-world hit hard.
I entered into 10 years of becoming a project manager. The long hours, the stress, the demands. The fact that the field never aligned with my soul from day one. There were aspects I enjoyed and wouldn't trade. Connecting with people, traveling, leading teams, coaching, mentoring, inspiring. Project plans. Yea, I have a hunch you might be a planner like me. And a good, solid plan will forever make me happy.
And I have a feeling we might understand each other. I'd say you're radiant, and crazy passionate, and loving, and you've got some big dreams. You might even be bad-ass. But you're not a juggler. And there are just too many balls in the air. Taking up valuable mind space. And that's not to say they're not important. They are. Each one defines a piece of you. But some just feel heavier than others. Like the 'I should eat better' ball. That one carries some weight.
But about 7 years in I kept getting sick. Like bed-ridden sick. Every month. I went from almost never getting sick to getting sick every month for a year. Like clock-work. One year into this I realized that I couldn't say I was sick anymore; I had to finally admit that my health was poor. And that terrified me. Because I always cared so deeply about health and nutrition. So beating myself down at a job that didn't align with my heart's purpose felt like double jeopardy. It stole some of my radiance every day. Sometimes it was hardly noticeable, but it was always there. And I knew it.
Enough was enough. I couldn't go another day without expressing my authentic truths. So one month later I was signed up for The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and I earned my health coaching certification. I studied over 100 different dietary theories and established, once again, that food truly is everything. I wanted to finally commit to my life-long love affair with food and teach crazy busy and passionate people like you how to fall in love with food. To make that piece of the juggling a bit clearer, lighter, easier. And to breathe. I know you just need some space to breathe.
And the beauty of this? My approach to food and life is one with amused curiosity, heart, and passion. Always.
Because life is hard enough. Shouldn't food be something we do 3 times a day that brings us joy and nourishment?
My life-long journey with studying and loving food has taught me to understand what foods work well for my body, what foods don't, and when to throw all the rules out the window. The Dalai Lama said:
Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.
That's what I mean by knowing your food. Know what's truly nourishing to your soul and body. And embrace it wholeheartedly. When you pair food knowledge with love and compassion, you come to the beautiful place where food purpose meets passion. It's there where you begin to repair, heal, and reclaim your relationship with food in a loving and gracious way that supports your heart's desires. It's there where guilt fades away and you feel in control of what you place in your body.
There's nothing more I want than to see you meet me in this place. A place where we come to the table with vitality and appreciation and confidence. How we eat is how we live.
And right now is full of exciting (and scary, I'll admit it!) stuff. I've left the field of project management, the only career I've known for 10 years, to put it all on the line and move to Italy to earn my Master's of Gastronomy. Because when a dream is placed in your heart, I beg you not to ignore that. You need it. We all need it. So I'm moving to the heart of food love to connect, learn, grow, and strengthen my food ties. I believe there comes a time when you need to identify what is most important to you and then build your life around it. As Confucious said,
I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being.
And learning about how people connect to, identify with, and love their food is at the deepest center of my being. We owe it to ourselves to honor that part of soul. It's our truth. So what's calling you deep in the center of your being? I'd love to learn your story. What makes you come alive? That's what ignites me. That's what I'm here for. That thing that makes a smile begin to form unknowingly. That thing that brings a passionate sparkle to your eye. That thing that makes your heart beat a bit faster. Your truth, your passion, your heart's desire. We need so much more of that in the world.
So let's connect. Let's strengthen the vine to prepare for the fruits to come. Let's honor our bodies each and every day. Because there's a lot of passion and good in you. The time for your own food passion project is now. It might start with food, but let me tell you, it's going to end with so, so much more.