I named my business The Holistic Chef because my mission is to create healing through food for my clients.
Chefs come from a variety of disciplines and each one of us has his/her own unique style. Some chefs love to cook Italian food. Other chefs focus on sustainability or budget-friendly cuisine. My specialization is cooking for people with medically necessary diets, who require nutritional support to achieve their health goals and heal from major illnesses.
I chose this path because I was sick for a very long time, and mainstream doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with me. All my joints hurt, I had headaches every day, and I just felt so terrible all the time. Every doctor told me my bloodwork “looked fine” and to get more exercise and eat better.
Does any of that sound like you?
After years of searching for answers, I found a wonderful naturopathic doctor who looked at my diet to discover the source of my problems. Removing gluten and dairy turned out to be the miracle I’d been looking for. All of my symptoms began to disappear and I felt better than I had in years. This set into motion a new path for me that involved cooking to heal, otherwise known as culinary medicine.
What Is Culinary Medicine?
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates.
Culinary medicine is a practice that supports the body in its natural healing and recovery processes through eating real, whole foods. It focuses on “crowding out” the foods that are causing inflammation by focusing on adding in more nutrient-rich ones. We’re now learning more than ever, and I’m living proof, that the food you eat can absolutely change everything. That also goes for what you DON’T eat. There is incredible power in the foods that you choose NOT to eat because of how poorly they make you feel.
Navigating these foods choices along with food allergies or recovering from a health crisis can be a very daunting process. There are a lot of mixed messages and food claims out there. I believe in starting simply with basic principles that will help boost your immune system, energy and overall well being. Here is where I would suggest you start on your culinary medicine journey…..
How To Heal Through Food
- Slowly remove common allergens, like gluten, soy and dairy, from your diet. (My blog is filled with great recipes to help you along.) Take one food at a time if you need to, so that you can adjust and find healthy replacements in your meals.
- Replace sugars and chemically-derived treats with natural sweeteners and homemade desserts.
- If you eat meat, purchase the best quality that you can. I opt for organic and grass-fed animal products as much as possible.
- Fill half of your plate with fresh vegetables—and reduce your pesticide consumption by opting for organics.
- Eat in season. Look for what’s most abundant in your area… nature always knows best! Those leafy greens will taste better if they are in season.
- Avoid eating raw foods if your digestion is sluggish. Gently cooked foods and soothing soups are easier on your system.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. A good rule is to consume half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 120 pounds, 60 ounces or 7.5 cups is ideal.
I created this list of 10 Easy Ways to Transform Your Health Right Now which you can download and print out. It echo’s what I have listed above as small ways to begin making positive changes in your life, to help you on your way to creating healing in your diet. Just pick one of these to focus on, for a week or even a month, and then when that feels easy, start working on another change. Keep adding one change at a time until you start to feel a change. They are all habits that build on each other.
Increase your Nutrition Knowledge
There are also incredible nutrition certifications available online now where you can deepen your understanding of how your digestion works and what aging “should” look like. I went to the Nutritional Therapy Association and completed their certification program back in 2016, which also helps inform how I cook.
Most importantly, get help if you need it. After years of navigating my health issues alone, my mission is to support others in their healing journeys and teach them how to love food again. Contact me to get started with my Health-Supportive Personal Chef or Nutrition Services.
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I very much enjoyed reading this article! Kudos to you for following your passion to help the health of others!
Thank you so much for your blog, you are an inspiration! I just started my adventure into a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. I want to heal my body with food instead of pills. Thank you for sharing!
How exciting! I hope you enjoy your nutrition studies. There is so much out there to learn. I would love to hear more about your journey! I am also passionate about not having to need medications, and have spent a lot of money on good quality food and supplements. Good luck!