Several years ago I was thinking about opening up a Tea and Cake Shop, as I love baking, cake decorating and everything to do with tea – and there is so much baking and decorating that you can do for your family….right!! Then with this idea, I thought that I could also provide light meals for those with restricted diets. Somewhere safe where they could go to eat something nice, without worrying about it making them sick. As there aren’t many places around (especially in my area) where you can eat that are ideal for diabetics, gluten/diary intolerances AND that provide meals that are different. Meals and treats that still taste and feel 99.99% as the original.
Even though I had a good understanding of what this entails, in regard to meal preparation – as I have a mum with type 2 diabetes, which made me learn how to adjust shopping, cooking and meal planning; and a son who potentially could have been gluten and diary intolerant – here I looked into learning the basics of gluten free baking, cooking and alternatives to dairy. And, while learning how to modify my cooking, making it gluten and diary free for my son, and with my tea shop idea. I thought why don’t I learn how to do it properly. Learn how to combine foods to make them nutritious, delicious and healthy/healing? As I know how powerful food can be for healing, including the use of herbs, which are not just for making meals taste nice. Because I grew up with having herbs as medicine, they are in my blood. My mum, grandmother and aunties used different ones for various illnesses, granted most of these herbs where from South America, but I am fascinated by this. So, this is what then motivated me to study Nutritional Medicine and Herbal Medicine.
Then while studying nutrition other ideas came to mind, in regard to helping others adapt their way of eating for health reasons that is aligned to their tastes and culture. As this took me back to my days as a Registered Nurse and seeing patients from another country, with different tastes and ways of cooking, being told that they had to restrict various food items and not giving them alternatives! How will this person maintain the dietary changes to support their health and wellbeing?? So, this got me thinking that I am now in a better position to support those who are in this situation, to achieve optimum health and wellbeing, while still being you and not having to eat in a manner that is foreign. Therefore, making food and meals enjoyable, not a death sentence.
And finally, when studying herbal medicine, I saw that I could add this to my tea shop. That is have different herbs, which I can then combine to make a specific herbal mix after a quick consultation. This would be more for acute, or ‘quick’ solutions, such as sleeping, digestion, etc. Making natural medicine more accessible to the average person and being like the ‘old fashioned apothecaries’.
I love talking about food, baking, learning how to use new ingredients or use ‘old’ ones in new ways. Various people have crossed paths with my life, who have taught me how to cook and inspired me to learn new ways, as well as being guinea pigs for my experiments!
While studying, apart from being amazed by the power of food and how our bodies work at a cellular and biochemical level, it also sparked in me the desire to share this knowledge with those around me. It also allowed me to understand how to make changes, that will support and improve your health and wellbeing.
Towards the end of my studies I was able to work in a health food store, putting my knowledge to practice in a real life setting. It allowed me to really be able to target what the person’s issue was in a short time and provide a solution to their issue. This was a great feeling, knowing that I had been able to put someone in the road to feeling better.
Through work I was given the opportunity to give little talks to customers, based on topics that I felt comfortable about. While there I did my first Natural Medicine Week display/exhibit, talking to people about how everyday pantry items can be used for natural remedies. This is where I found that I really love to talk to people about health and food.
Also, through karate, I was able to give talks, more directed at sport nutrition. Then, I had a great paid opportunity to present to a group of teenage girls guiding them on how to eat better to support their health and be fit. After that, I did a workshop for a community not for profit service, where the ladies loved me showing them how to cook lentils and talk all about food and nutrition. At each of these opportunities my knowledge and no-nonsense attitude to food and health, was well received. This only further reaffirmed that there are more people out there who are ready and keen to learn and know more.
So now I have made it my mission to spread the word that food is great and that you can eat to your heart’s content, while still being able to stop and smell the roses. I am ready to take on new food challenges, as what’s life without challenges! And I know that there are people out there wanting a helping hand from me.
If you want to start your food challenge for better health and wellbeing, to address an issue or just for a general health overhaul, call me and make a booking.
Food allergies & intolerance
Healthy cooking / meal planning