Why should I read your site if I don’t have any major health issues or food allergies?
Short answer? You have a greater capacity for living than you’re experiencing right now.
There are two reasons: most people don’t know how enjoyable cooking is, and everyone can find some way to improve their energy, attitude, and overall health on a whole foods diet. Four years ago I thought I was pretty healthy and had no food allergies. I think my addiction to carbs, sugar, refined and processed foods deceived me. I over-rationalized everything, even my own unhappiness. I had a random list of symptoms, but I didn’t piece together that these were all related! I wasn’t connected with my body because I wasn’t following a whole foods diet. Alarms were popping up all over in the form of ignored symptoms:
- infrequent menstruation, later PCOS
- random aches and stabbing pains, especially in my chest but all over my body
- poor sleep quality
- severe pain and soreness in my feet
- joint pain
- overall fatigue & lack of positive energy
- over- dependence on caffeine and sugar
I rationalized every one of these symptoms away, anywhere from being young and still developing to “growing pains”, “bad genes”, flat feet, and the confines of modern life. I had simply accepted a mediocre life as the way it was going to be. This was all a mental battle – I was deliberately sweeping psychological issues under the rug because I was afraid of facing them. Adopting a whole foods diet gave me energy, moderated mood swings, gave me emotional balance, and helped me to have the courage to address my own fears and connect fully with myself.
Have you suffered from any one of these symptoms? You may think it is “normal”, like I did – but more often we replace the meaning of “common” with “normal” and think we are doing ok. This is especially true in the current food environment and the failures of the Standard American Diet to bring us true health and happiness. Who wants to be doing just ok? You can probably improve any of these symptoms and especially your overall quality of life by adopting a whole foods diet. This will make you even happier than you may be now, happier than you realize you can be, all through cooking more at home and adopting a whole foods approach.
What if I hate cooking?
This is related to the above question, but most of the time we hate what we don’t understand, right? The root of hate is fear, and I can show you how to take the fear out of the kitchen. Even when I suffered from depression and poor health, I always took joy in preparing meals and sharing them with others. It takes confidence, which you can build with practice. The kitchen is the best place to learn from your mistakes. But you have to come at it with the right attitude and approach. I learn lots of cooking tips from watching others – check out my video resources.
You say reference and resource. What is the difference?
I use reference to refer to the posts I write that are foundational or, quite literally, a great reference to bookmark, pin, share, tweet, etc. Resources are links to other incredibly inspiring, practical, and awesome people who are giving it their all and sharing their knowledge to help others in the same way I aspire to do. Check out more awe-inspiring Whole Foods Heroes HERE.
I have such and such symptoms. What should I eat? Can you give me a diagnosis?
No – I am not a trained medical professional, and even if I was it would be terribly irresponsible of me to give advice over the internet without knowing your unique history and body. But I do have another way! I CAN give you the tools to connect fully – emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually – with yourself and find the answers you need within you, or find a qualified professional to help you do so. For years I looked to the internet and other people for answers on how to heal and be happy. The hard answer is you won’t find a perfectly tailored solution for you on the internet alone. Every person is unique, so each individual knows what is best for them. We just have lost touch with the way to access that knowledge. Don’t waste your time with years of frustration like I did. You have the guidance inside you – you just need to strip away all the built-up obstacles in your way – stress, poor diet, toxic environments, negative self-talk, and the emotional and psychological factors that prevent us from true connection. In my desperate search for answers from others, I was avoiding psychological healing by concentrating only on the physical element of my troubles and putting the responsibility of healing in other’s hands. I had to learn to trust myself in order to do it. It’s still a process, but I’m far enough down the road to say confidently that you can do it. You deserve it.
What kind of “diet” do you follow?
First, I don’t believe in the word diet. I don’t believe in restriction, over-exercise, or a lot of other psychologically and physically unhealthy values our society has adopted. I can tell you my food philosophy. First I believe that everyone is unique and there is no cookie cutter diet for every one. You have to learn to listen to your body and eat intuitively. Generally though, I find optimal health from eating what I like to call an “ancestrally adapted” diet, influenced by organizations such as the Weston A. Price Foundation and paleo/primal community. But to be honest? Labels stink. They’re confining. They’re restrictive. They can make you feel like you are doing things the “wrong” way, when you need to focus on what is right for you alone. You can find a like-minded community of support, but you need to have the patience & self-worth to figure out what diet is optimal for you. Mine is based in ancestral principles but adapted for the modern stresses & joys of life.
The WAP foundation stresses “accumulated wisdom” – finding what works best based on diets that were truer to what our ancestors ate, but applying those principles sensibly to the modern world. Ancestral humans did not have cell phones, grocery stores, or the internet for that matter – all things I rely on, despite the weekly urge to throw my cell phone in the nearest body of water. They also did not have diseases of modern society, caused by a high-sugar, highly-refined diet. This way of eating also taps into my value of living in a healthy, sustainable relationship with our surrounding environment. Often I find people people so much emphasis on food and diet, but they forget the other factors that need nourishment – psychological and spiritual. For me, my spiritual nourishment is directly related to my relationship with nature and what surrounds me. WAP recognizes the importance of this relationship, as does Paul Chek, among others.
I believe most strongly of all, though, in the wisdom of the self. Each person has the capacity to optimize their diet and find what works best for them, based on whole foods and sustainable principles. I don’t want to expend precious energy trying to convince others to change when they are not ready to embrace change, but I will continue to help people tap into their own wisdom and find happiness through all the features of this website.
Why do you love cooking so much?
I love cooking like I love breathing – because it feels good. We often overthink things and forget to pay attention to what feels good rather than what we perceive as good or bad. It puts me in tune with my body. I can share happiness with others over my table. Seeing others happy makes me happy, which is a big part of why I started this site. Nothing gives me greater joy than seeing someone’s face light up when they discover the joy that awaits them in the kitchen. I love to celebrate the voices of Eat, Recycle, Repeat supporters by featuring them in the upcoming Community Spotlight series.
Why are you happy you have food allergies?
You think I’m nuts, right? Happy to have food allergies? You bet. Most challenges in life are just waiting to be turned into a gift. Finding out I could no longer eat gluten, dairy, soy and that I was intolerant to refined sugar gave me the gift of health – better energy, fewer mood swings, and the passion to live as the best version of myself and celebrate life every day. This makes it easy to stick to my food philosophy no matter where I am, what I’m doing, or how I’m feeling.
Without food allergies, I wouldn’t have discovered a whole foods approach. Without a whole foods approach, I wouldn’t have summoned the energy, emotional balance, and courage to heal myself psychologically & physically through self-love and self-wisdom. Without healing, I wouldn’t have been able to re-connect to my spirit, understand myself, and start to help others do the same.
Through this process, food allergies gave me the jump start to discovering self-wisdom. Regarding diets, treatments, or healing, we hear many a time that each person is unique with individual needs. This is most certainly true, but it doesn’t provide us with a means of finding what answers work for us as an individual. Through my own journey, relationships with healthcare professionals, and great passion for preparing and sharing incredible food, I can help you on your way to strip away all the stresses and draining elements of your life that keep you from being the incredible person you are.