It’s no secret that I LOVE to cook! Although I had some solid basic skills from early on, my true love of cooking grew out of a desperation to feel better. (And an awesome chef’s knife my mother gave me.) One day, I was in my early thirties, a busy working mother with an infant son and a husband and a house and two dogs…you get the idea…and I looked in the mirror and I didn’t recognize myself. I had been feeling so lousy for so long. I looked, well…pale, and my eyes had no sparkle. I had seen a host of doctors – all of my tests and exams led them to declare that I was “healthy as a horse” (seriously, that’s what they said) and that I was probably depressed – and was sent off with prescribed antidepressants. I wasn’t depressed and I knew this was their attempt to give me a catch-all diagnosis in hopes that it would help. The reality was….I wasn’t sick….yet. But somehow I could feel it coming. I knew things weren’t right and I knew that if I didn’t figure it out, that day – an illness diagnosis – would come. One day I was standing in a hipster grocery store – selling all the latest “healthy” foods – looking around in despair, not having any clue anymore as to how to feed myself and my family. Intuitively I knew that something wasn’t working – but I still didn’t know what – and I had hoped the secret might lie in nutrition – food. I searched for Osteopaths, Naturopaths, nutritionists who could help me understand what was happening to me. Where I lived at the time was sparse in terms medical care that was about health and prevention. I eventually learned about a Naturopathic doctor that lived nearby, who had been quietly supporting her patients for years. We spoke on the phone and then met in person and I realized I was beginning to find the path back to my healthy self. It wasn’t easy. I had been living in a toxic environment, with air pollution and water quality concerns, for a long time. I had developed blood sugar instability and adrenal weakness. I was also in what I now describe as a repeated pattern of burnout. Once we zeroed in on my symptoms – as I had sub-clinical issues that didn’t show up on standard tests – my healing and recovery began. A significant part of this was a change was how I nourished myself. Keep in mind – if you had visited my kitchen, you would have considered it very nutritious and healthy. This is where my confusion came in – it appeared that I was doing it (nutrition) “right,” when in fact there was a lot to learn, a lot to uncover, a lot to question. This was the beginning of a long wonderful journey, one that I am still on, in understanding what nourishment really means. It’s included learning about how our industrial food system operates, how this system came to be, not the least of which was to feed the masses when starvation was a real possibility. And how this system, among the issues of environmental degradation, socio-economic discrimination, racism, and classicism ultimately affects the health and vitality of everyone – each individual, each child, and the whole of society. More on all of this in other posts. For now know that my incredible and deep love for cooking started from here – a place of quiet desperation in simply wanting to feel better. Cooking became my joy, my way of expressing myself, dare I say – my art and creative outlet, my way of taking nourishing ingredients and creating old favorites and new combinations, my way of using my hands to create something new and “real” as an antidote to my highly cerebral desk job, my way of teaching my son about his body and to empower him to care for himself with each step he takes further out into the world – and so much more.
So WELCOME to the Nourishment & Nutrition section of the Well Chosen Blog. Here we’ll have some fun, share the happenings in my kitchen, examine some science, and most importantly, I hope I can help you connect in a meaningful way with what makes you feel nourished and wonderful.
At the Well Chosen Blog we’re focused on preventing and recovering from burnout. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to let us know what you’d like to learn about in order create your own Well Chosen Lifestyle and kick burnout to the curb for good!