Yet another, very fabulous moment just occurred, and I want you to be a part of it! Let me tell you what happened.
When I moved to Northern California, one thing that I knew for sure was that I would be experiencing Burning Man for the first time. I have built an endless list of amazing things that have blossomed by virtue of being part of the Burning man. I am dialed into this massive web of conscious individuals, who are living life in alignment with one another as they strive to make the world a better place. The most important way they are taking action is simply by being the best version of themselves.
Through this huge network of “burners” I’ve discovered conscious clothing designers that I absolutely love. Warrior Within Designs is one amazing company I fell in love with. I ordered a custom onesie and connected with the co-founder Jen. I must mention, I love the company even more in finding out that Jen and her husband Grant created it together! While we spoke on the phone, Jen shared with me that she had been “on a cleanse” for over a year. She chose this cleanse as it is a method to alleviate symptoms she had been experiencing, that were diet related. The cleanse Jen followed was successful…and I am excited to let you know that we’ll be connecting to share her journey in the near future!
During our conversation Jen mentioned, “I’m not a professional-or anything…” This message followed her explaining to me that people have asked her for advice regarding diet after witnessing her success. I’d love to tell you, there’s no secret here. I’m “not a professional”… or anything either! I did not spend 5+ years in college or any other formal education setting to earn a degree in nutrition, nor am I doctor.
What I did do is completely immerse myself in what fuels me-what I am passionate about. I felt the constant aches and pains of an unhealthy diet. When I was only nineteen years old, I had a doctor tell me that my cholesterol was so high that it was almost guaranteed I would have a heart attack in less than five years. I struggled with yo-yo dieting and an unhealthy body image. I’ve overcome a whole plethora of diet-related issues and it certainly took a lot of time and dedication.
I was fortunate to be surrounded by consciousness growing up. My mother was an herbalist who frequently brought me to tiny “ma and pop” health food stores in Wisconsin. She’d tell me that I could have whatever I wanted from the salad bar. I’d pick raw red organic onions and bean sprouts! This salad-bar loving little girl fell off the boat in middle school, but I always had great role models. My grandfather, the president of the American Cannabis Society, lived with us and I’d curiously inspect all of the raw vegan delights his assistant, Melissa, would keep in the kitchen. Melissa was the absolute portrait of health, and I aspired to become Vegan one day, just like her.
Jeff Kundert, my grandfather’s son-my uncle, was yet another strong influence. His days of body building competitions may now be over, but he’s going strong as a personal trainer and occupational therapist at 64 years old. Anytime I had an ailment, he knew what supplement to take. My curiosity of Veganism from my childhood urged me to make a shift in high school. My mother and I went grocery shopping at a natural foods grocery cooperative, and I discovered life altering information. A PETA pamphlet, titled, “Why Vegan” compelled me to make the change for good. I remember collecting the pamphlets and handing them out to my friends in the hallways between classes. I was on a mission! I went to high school in a tiny little town, called Stoughton. My father became so overwhelmed by my strict diet, he told me that I had to get a job at a grocery store to figure out how to feed myself properly. I took action and applied at that little natural foods grocery cooperative where I initially picked up the PETA pamphlet. It was by far the best decision I’ve made for my health.
I became a human sponge for all things health related. The coop had weekly classes to educate employees and members about food. I worked in the deli, the juice bar and the health and wellness department. These four years at the coop were invaluable. I can say with certainty that I was educated. I was trained to question the Standard American Diet (aka SAD). I learned what big corporations owned small “organic brands” and what to look out for. I learned what ingredients we didn’t have in our deli salads and why. The customers never refrained from telling me exactly what they were avoiding and why. I was so fascinated by the stories I’d heard about how people had healed their bodies through diet. I sought out every opportunity to learn more. I remember the first book that I called my “bible” on nutrition, Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, by Paul Pitchford. Friends would tell me about an ailment, and I would turn to my “bible” to offer my advice.
When I left the coop, I found myself craving more, and enrolled in a course at Florida School for Holistic Living. The course challenged some of my beliefs and expanded my knowledge of conscious eating.
Today, I continue to gravitate toward individuals who have used food as medicine and abide by a conscious diet. I have incredible friends that I constantly turn to for the latest research, like Stephanie Shelburne who is the creator and founder of Bod*ecology. I attend events and workshops on a regular basis, like “Sex and Poop”: a Valentine’s libido class! Tony Robbins is a master at delivering the best content out there, and the latest breaking news about health. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend quite a few of his events and immerse myself in his teachings. Most importantly, my passion continues fuel me to explore and experiment everything health related. We are living in a time that we all have this profound advantage. There is information everywhere! We have the ability to find-what seems to be infinite knowledge. I’ve dedicated my life to trying out as much of it as possible.
I absolutely LOVE this quote from the book Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill 
“Experience has proven that the best-educated people are often
those who are known as “self-made,” or self-educated. It takes more than a college degree to make one a person of education. Any person who is educated is
one who has learned to get whatever he wants in life without violating the rights
of others. Education consists, not so much of knowledge, but of knowledge effectively and persistently APPLIED.”
Considering my story, I want to return to the fabulous conversation. Like Jen, I’ve had life experience. Jen took action and was disciplined enough to learn through her experience and get results! I strongly believe that she is qualified to share her success and inspire others to do the same.
The diet I choose plays a huge role in my relationship. To be honest, ALL of my relationships are effected by the way I choose to eat! I am so grateful for my husband. We are both foodies. We are both excited about finding the best, most nourishing food available. We love going on missions in exotic destinations to find a place with food we both love. The first meal we had together at a restaurant was the most significant, as we both chose the item on the menu with the highest nutrient density. This is what brought the Sensual Foodist to life! Relationships are beautiful-they are everything in life. I’m certain that you’ve infinite hours engaging with your lover over a meal. Everything that you put in your mouth has an effect on your relationship. Everything you eat can both fuel you and allow you to thrive, or it can weigh you down, and over time-accelerate the process of your body aging and dying.
The very simple message I share is to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Eat a colorful array of these foods. Understand why, and eat them with a smile!
My choice is to live fully and feel absolutely incredible every day. Won’t you join me?
The every meal, side dish recipe:
5 handfuls of something green from the earth
1 huge genuine smile
1 huge portion of love
Wash the something green well. Steam it lightly. Enjoy with a lover after a moment of gratitude for the nourishment you’re about to receive.