REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
At first glance, I’m not that bad of a kid. I have a good relationship with my parents and siblings, I’m polite and professional where it counts, and I always look clean (though showers are rather optional). But I have a rebel soul inside of me. I hate to be told what to do. I have this need to be different from the people around me. Almost as a rule, when something becomes trendy, I turn my back on it. As health food became more mainstream and seemingly elitist, I slowly became turned off to my own scene of culinary nutrition and food as prana, qi. I felt X-ed out of my own game. I couldn’t keep up; I didn’t want to keep up.
So I stopped playing. And it broke my little (very sensitive, somewhat unstable) heart. I melted into the floor with the leftover cocoa butter and tried to find a new love, a new pursuit. Nothing came close to the natural talent and pull I felt toward the kitchen. I just couldn’t knit a loom scarf or pull a ceramic mug like I could knock around in the spice cabinet or happy dance over a homegrown tomato. Something had to give.
I want to create a space on the internet for people like me. People who care about treating their bodies and their minds and their home planet well, eating delicious food without the questionable hidden ingredients, growing with their diet (no restrictions!), all while avoiding the main health food scene.
I want a space to express alternative nutrition knowledge. We’re waking up to the flat tire of the “old way” of nutrition; we know about hidden sources of sugar, and that saturated fats are necessary for proper function of the body, but that doesn’t mean we can stand the hundred thousand odes to coconut oil that crop up daily.
I want a space where I can question popular nutritional thinking, and especially trendy nutrition. I want a place for people to go to learn about wellness – different than those popular wellness websites that sell an unattainable lifestyle and health shaming. I don’t want to be marketed to. I want a place where wellness-conscious people can go without being smacked in the face by “the scene.”
I want to get back my relationship with food that has meant so much to me: the playtime, the creation, the sharing with others. I want a space where I can have my food and eat it too – simple and yummy food that doesn’t require a professionally-trained hand and a health food store-full of ingredients. I want to open up the conversation; open minds; get people to question why they’re buying something, not tell them what to buy.
HEALTH V. WELLNESS
It’s a linguistic issue, in my opinion. I think the word health has garnered itself an unholy following and is not as holistic as it should be. For example, I often get so caught up in making sure I’m physically healthy (or rather, that I’m not physically unhealthy) that it drives me mad with all the guilt and restriction, and my mental health seems to slide significantly. Standards of health seem to invite strict rules and measures that most of us cannot – and don’t want to – live up to.
Wellness, however, is a bit more forgiving. You don’t have to fit anyone else’s perception of peak health; you can be more in tune with what makes you well in this moment in your life. Things like positive social relationships, satisfying recreational endeavors, welcome contributions to your community, as well as nourishing and fulfilling food/fuel. This way, you can be whatever size is natural for you, eat whatever diet makes sense to you, and live whatever life you love (regardless of whether or not it looks boring or crazy to anyone else) and not feel guilty about it! I want to be a guilt-free introvert who eats chocolate every day and holds spontaneous one-person dance parties and prefers fresh fruit to french fries, and french fries to “garden salad.”
or, as Mindy Kaling would say, why not me?
After I became certified in culinary nutrition, I realized I had a hard time inserting myself into someone else’s life and telling them what to eat or do to be well. It’s such an individual journey. More than that, the biggest thing I found in influencing others to find their way to wellness – or at least take a more mindful, ethical approach to eating and living – was just to shut up and do it myself. No one wants to be looked upon and judged. It’s only been through indirect influence that people in my life came forward to share that they’d taken up kale smoothies or were avoiding carbs or whatever they deemed better for their body at the time. The important thing is they made those decisions on their own, and I could not be more proud of them for THINKING FOR THEMSELVES and DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
And I think there are enough people out there overwhelmed with expectations of the “wellness world” that maybe – MAYBE – someone on my level might find me. I’d like to speak to them. I’d like them to speak to me.