Perfection is static and I am in full progress. -- Anais Nin
Away from my plate, I am a mother and a wife. I am a Salvadoran American Belgian Israeli. I am a former human rights activist and a recovering television producer. I am a proud home-(water)-birther and an empowered birth advocate. As parents, while my husband and I don’t strictly adhere to one philosophy, we are probably closest to the attachment parenting model of child rearing. My dream is to write professionally. Mostly fiction – though I’ve discovered that most things are. I speak six languages in varying degrees of fluency.
Back to food…
Growing up, I ate everything. And then some. I didn’t cook, but I ate what was served (luncheon meats and frozen fish fingers at my father’s, home cooked meals including the best banana bread and tiramisu imaginable at my mother’s). Though I was always interested in food, it was more from a consumer’s point of view.
Until I was forced to cut out staples like gluten, dairy, refined sugar and most nightshades (WTF?), I didn’t give much thought to what I put in my body. I ate to keep moving, to stay awake, to celebrate and commiserate, when I was happy, when I was sad, when I was angry, when I wished I had said or done something differently. Food was my best friend and my worst enemy, my pillow to cry on, my fuel. It was my go-to for everything. Simple, right?
At work, I prided myself on my high energy levels and my ability to see every job through no matter how rigorous or stressful. Some days I’d leave my house in the morning and come home three days later. Life was definitely not boring, but by 2004, something was wrong.
There were terrible mood swings, fatigue that left me unable to get out of bed for entire weekends, rashes, chronic constipation, hair loss and amenorrhea. Still, I got up in the morning, I functioned in such a way that people didn’t notice anything was wrong. It was difficult to really call myself sick. But I wasn’t all that well either.
After meeting DW, the man who was to become my husband, I moved from New York to Los Angeles where I embarked on a journey to health. Once in the groove, I definitely fell down the rabbit hole. Health became an obsession: I read and read, I visited every allopathic and complementary doctor, nurse, shaman, healer, and dolphin tamer. All of them – from books to websites, to people whose offices were decorated with diplomas and thank you cards -- had the perfect cure (as well as something they happened to be selling.)
In my desperation, I fell for it all. And every treatment worked: every single pill, every dance, every needle, every chant. Until they didn’t. Upon which I would find myself, once again frantic for answers and someone who could heal me.
My story is unique only in that it happened to me. But I have seen witnessed many others go through similar experiences. How is it that we have come to believe that someone else holds the answer? Why is the last place we look inside ourselves?
Eventually, after many ups and downs (and everything in between) – and thanks to my own experimentation and experiences – I was able to connect the dots between my actions and my symptoms, between the foods I ate and the way I felt. Only then did I begin the process of actual healing.
Looking back, I can honestly say that I took the scenic route. But it was worth every turn, every speedbump, every false start.
Finally, I decided to use all that I had learned to help others achieve optimal health. In 2009, I created my practise, The Picky Foodie, Holistic Health. In addition to individualised client programs (one-on-one), I also enjoyed leading workshops and teaching group classes.
But life, with its eternal sense of humour, had another surprise in store: three months after officially taking on my first client, I found out that I was pregnant. While this was welcome news, my universe was, once again, turned all kinds of upside-down.
In some ways, becoming a mother has made everything much simpler. My priorities are unquestionably clear. Simple, however, does not necessarily mean easy.
There have been many changes since my daughter was born. We have moved continents and cut down drastically on travel. The Picky Foodie too has become something completely different. For one, pregnancy and family nutrition play a much bigger role in my work these days.
But mostly, my focus has turned to the family that I love to cook for and nourish in every way I know how. I no longer have the luxury of intricate recipes – or even of writing them down most of the time. After going vegan last year, I don't cook any kind of animal food though my daughter does eat eggs and fish occasionally, and my husband also eats cheese. We focus on simple, whole foods that we can all share and on the experience of eating together as a family.
In the future, I hope to lead workshops and teach classes once again, at the moment, I no longer take on individual clients. Occasionally I still do some consulting but I am lucky enough to be able to pick the projects I want to get involved in.
Like me, this website has evolved. In fact, it’s evolving as you read these words. I like to think of it as a resource: healthy meals for health-seeking families, support, fun stories about food and the community we build through our shared experience of it. When time allows…
And in case you’re wondering, I have finally started to write a novel. Sometimes I even write about writing stuff at: thepointofthisbeing.wordpress.com