The healing journey started in my early 20's with a wake-up call: IBS, anxiety/depression and food allergies. The usual myriad of pills and potions from my general practitioner weren't quite cutting it. The additional advice of running and eating salad every day wasn't bad, it just didn't get to the root of my health problems. It was a stop and start journey until I worked with a Holistic Health Coach, that I really started to peel back the layers and understand how the food I was eating was actually controlling my mood (i.e. the depression) and the behaviors of my gut (i.e. IBS and food allergies). I began to understand the role that emotional health played in the body and it wasn't until I started eating optimally and feeling physically better that my attention expanded to my emotional, relational and spiritual states. I saw how my negative thoughts were influencing my physical inflammation and how certain unhealthy relationships were holding me back from becoming my true self. I learned how mindfulness and quieting the racing thoughts through prayer and meditation changed my beliefs. I was not in fact stuck in sickness but had hope that I could be healed.
Through this deep, intensive time with my Holistic Health Coach my diet changed from pseudo-healthy bagel bites and non-fat foods to a vegetable-rich, nutrient-dense whole food diet. I lost 15 pounds in a matter of months and was able to eliminate my medications. I was amazed to find my "normal" brain fog lifted and I gained an inner confidence and peace — like shedding my old skin and slipping into a new version of myself. The entire process inspired me to go through the nutritional training, to be able to professionally share my healing journey and counsel others: combining my loves of coaching, cooking, creativity and healing.
While training at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I was also a full-time nanny. This meant I was able to try out what I was learning with families. I immediately recognized the youngest members had a natural curiosity for the colorful and "new" food I was preparing: red peppers, sliced avocado, or sautéed kale with garbanzo beans. I started enhancing their familiar foods—quesadillas with minced kale, making fresh fish and chicken sticks and homemade gluten free muffins. The kids would cook with me and get their hands into the process of the food preparation. In doing so, the kids learned that real flavor comes from natural, whole foods: from the earth, land and sea—not from boxes, chemicals or food dyes. The kids started eating healthier and so did the parents. They were having fun doing it... And presto, my Family Food Makeover program was born.
For the last six years, my "Family Food Makeovers" have been integrated throughout NYC. I organize and outfit kitchens with the best supplies, create tailor-made family recipe books and support parents by teaching them unity through food and table culture. I've had the privilege to help families with children who have autism, cancer, ADHD and of course the very common "picky eater." My goal is always to expand the family palette and in the end, help them fall in love with health – using food, nutritional upgrades and creativity.
Here are some other fun facts about my food:
I have an innate gift when it comes to flavor profiles. Slow cooked meats, bone broths and creative vegetable dishes are my specialties.
I successfully catered my own wedding (of 125+ people). What a joy to be able to see all my family and friends eating and enjoying a delicious healthy meal. Which lead to...
...One of my wedding guests hired me to cater her 300 person wedding in the city! My favorite types of catering events include: intimate dinner parties for my health clients and their friends.
My passion is being one on one with clients and partnering with them on their health goals, dreams and challenges. I'm all about a holistic approach: including a food lifestyle plan built around bio-individuality and incorporating "soul" food elements: relationships, career, spirituality and exercise. It's deeply satisfying to help others achieve optimal digestive health while combating issues such as yeast overgrowth and other autoimmune issues. I love joining clients on their journey, teaching them to become "detectives" within their own bodies. 7 years of counseling clients have shown me how my own journey parallels theirs. At the end of the day, it's about creativity in the kitchen, understanding that food is medicine and supporting the body's innate healing capabilities.