Greetings, Beautiful Ones!
I am so excited to share with you my newest adventure – UnBox Your Kitchen.
I am a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I transformed my coaching practice to be the foundation of Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine (access archive). As the Founder and Publisher of this digital health and wellness magazine, I provide a forum for people to share their personal stories, professional insights and healthy eating options. When I'm not working on the monthly magazine, I am a virtual assistant, health coach, author, grandmother to three young boys, and sassy redhead.
Unknowingly, the UnBox Your Kitchen adventure has been incubating for years. I was motivated to become a health coach for two reasons. First - I wanted to understand why I was developing food allergies at an alarming rate and how I could help others living with similar issues. Secondly, I was astounded at the number of people who had no idea how to prepare what I consider a healthy meal. Health coaching comes easily, as I possess a natural gift for teaching; I work to meet folks where they are, moving at their pace. I am a Jackie-of-many-trades and love to assist people with things such as maneuvering through a WordPress dashboard, making homemade brownies or cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
It was common for the young women I worked with at a former job to ask what's for lunch and how did you make it. I brought leftovers to eat at lunchtime. I'd make a huge pot of soup and freeze most of it in one pound containers. Or, I'd make extra pasta and freeze it for another meal. I was always preparing an extra serving or two to freeze to take for lunch. One of the best investments I ever made (and it only cost $20.00) was a single-serving crock pot. When I got to work, I'd plug it in under my desk and by lunchtime the frozen meal was steaming hot. When I'd open the lid, I could hear everyone in the office inhale deeply, enjoying the aroma of my home cooked meal (I'd also quickly realize when I'd added too much garlic!).
Several of the gals asked me over and over to give them cooking lessons so they could prepare similar meals and desserts for their families. I was reluctant; not because I didn't want to show them how, but rather because I felt incompetent and silly teaching them. I missed a wonderful opportunity to show those young women how to whip up a pan of mashed potatoes, saute' vegetables, cook stir-fry and bake cinnamon sweet rolls. I created my own road blocks with fearful thoughts of who was I to show them. I'm not a talented chef. I'm simply a gal who enjoys cooking and baking.
In the last two years I have undergone an incredible amount of transformation. I received coaching training as a student of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. It has helped me develop the courage to pursue my passion to assist women to explore their bio-individuality (what helps one person may harm another), and to prepare home cooked meals and desserts.
I've intuitively known, from when I started cooking for myself as a teenager, that manufactured food products were not as healthy as fresh and whole foods. When I was a young mother and wife, I baked cookies and desserts for my family versus purchasing the packaged version. I guess you could say I've been living the “un-box” my kitchen concept from the time my adult sons were the age of their sons. As life became chaotic raising two teenagers as a single mom while working full-time and spending a tremendous amount of time volunteering locally, I'd grab boxes of manufactured foods off the grocery store shelves. I thought they were easier and quicker to prepare for meal-time. I was wrong. In reality, I can prepare a rice dish in the same amount of time from a box as from scratch. Guess which one tastes better (and is healthier)? If you guessed the rice dish I prepared from a recipe in a cookbook, you're right.
Over the years I've learned that the majority of food that is manufactured is stripped of its nutrients during processing, and vitamins and minerals are added back into the products. I pay close attention to ingredient labels (check them out sometime - do you know what any of the chemicals are that you’re putting into your body?). When I made the decision to reduce the amount of “boxed” food I nourished my body with, and to eat more vegetables, fruit, unprocessed meats and whole grains, I noticed how much better I felt! I slept better, I had more energy, I was less irritable, the list of positives goes on and on.. With the wisdom of experience, and following my intuition, it didn't take me long to “UnBox” my kitchen. A local charity was grateful for the boxed and canned foods I had stored in my cupboards. Life has an ironic way of teaching us lessons so we can help others to experience a better life.
A great way to compliment a cook is to ask them to teach you how to prepare the foods they make for themselves.
I am looking forward to guiding those who are ready to eat healthier and live a life in motion. I'm in the early stages of building the foundation for the UnBox Your Kitchen adventure. Instead of waiting for everything to be “perfect” and “ready for the public eye", I am inviting you to walk this journey with me. Let's explore the elements of home cooking together.