I have been working with people all my life first as a Social Worker and then going on to train in Acupuncture almost 30 years ago. I have been a Nutritional Therapist for over 10 years and qualified as a post 16/adult education teacher in 2007. I am now an experienced teacher, workshop leader and course creator. My absolute passion is helping people find a way to change how they eat and cook that works for them, so they can create a more nourishing and flourishing life. I love sharing my passion with individuals, community groups, charities, schools and businesses, anywhere that people hang out. It's great seeing people start to make changes and begin to feel the benefits; that keeps me smiling all day 🙂
So here is my food story which will maybe explain why I am so passionate about the healing power of food
Pragmatic NOT Perfect
I am proud to be a food pragmatist, I believe that there is no RIGHT way to eat just some guiding principles that we all know based around natural food. We then have to find what suits us individually. Food can be amazingly powerful; both incredibly healing and cripplingly destructive. I have chosen to make my life’s work about finding out how food can heal, soothe, excite and inspire and how this information can be shared to help people in an easy and down to earth way. Just like many people who work in nutrition I have my own food journey and stories.
The Dieting Trap
In my teens, twenties and thirties I was a yoyo dieter and had no body confidence. Now in my 50s I feel more free and sexy than ever and have finally learnt to nourish and love my body, curves and all. I am passionate about empowering people, particularly women, to turn away from the weight loss industry and embrace a more holistic approach to finding a balanced weight that feels right for them.
The BIG 'C'
Not long after qualifying as a Nutritional therapist I was suddenly catapolted into a steep learning curve as I taught myself to create family friendly nutritious, alkaline-based meals when my husband was diagnosed with a rare stage 4 cancer. I then continued to adapt these as his palate and his needs changed so that we could continue to eat together as a family. I now love to share how easy cooking can be that embraces the alkaline principles; busy people want to eat healthily too without spending hours in the kitchen.
After my husband's death I first used food to suppress the grief, heart break and pain I felt.
Loving friends sent chocolate through the post and I was engulfed in a sugar abyss for a good year or more.
Of course it caught up with me as I began to have panic attacks, anxiety issues and reactive depression, the emotion hadn't been dealt with and it needed to be so I could move on.
Putting my Feelings into Words
One of the wonderful things that came out of my healing journey was that I wrote three books to support children experiencing bereavement. 'Saying Goodbye to Hare' was published in 2013 and 'Remembering Hare' in 2014. The third was a downloadable work book. The books help raise money for a local children's bereavement charity called Balloons.
My Sugar-free Journey
I had played around with taking sugar completely out of my diet for years and told myself lots of 'stories' about how the amount of sugar and processed carbs I ate was a small proportion of what I ate everyday, which was mostly true. However I still felt uncomfortable with how I felt when I ate sugar; one biscuit/one square of chocolate was never enough, plus I had a growing bit of flesh around my middle as I zoomed past the menopause... and of course I blamed the hormones.
After reading and researching how sugar and processed carbohydrates affected our bodies and our brains I finally took the plunge and gave them both up, it was a rocky ride to begin with, cravings, feeling hungry, headaches and feeling down in the dumps. But very quickly my weight started to balance itself, my mood stabilised and my energy levels became stable and consistent. To be honest it has felt like miracle after years of feeling like I was fighting my body and feeling like I didn't quite have all the information.
'Let Food be thy Medicine'
So food became my healer, I started 'walking my talk' and I started reaping the benefits. My own journey with food continues to fuel my passion for my work. I love sharing and educating, both the theory and the practise, so people can experience the power of food to heal us on all levels of our being.