Let's Get Real

I’ll never forget walking with Gabby Bernstein after a group coaching session in 2010, riffing on the topic of emotional eating. She was telling a tale of the moment she was offered a cupcake, looked down at it, and said with confidence, “No, thank you. I love myself too much.”

Say WHAT? This was totally new to me at the time. I spent the next several years remembering this line every so often, thinking she was the master of putting down the junk food and eating well. If only I could love myself enough to put down my own junk food. Little did I know it meant so much more than putting down the food for health’s sake. 

Flash forward to 2014. In an effort to clean up what I was putting in my mouth and embark on a home-cooking adventure, my man and I started the Whole30 challenge. If you haven’t heard of Whole30, it’s a 30-day commitment to eating 100% real food – nothing from a package, no preservatives, and nothing processed, just the highest quality real food. This meant not taking shortcuts for weeknight meals nor eating out 5x a week. This meant returning to the kitchen to make all our meals from scratch. It sounded daunting to some, but in my soul I knew how healing cooking is to me, and I was ready to make this commitment to myself.

Throughout those 30 days, I learned a ton about my body and the art of self-care, but mainly:

  1. Prepping food for the week all on one day is not just for busy moms, it’s a real lifesaver for anyone trying to eat healthy meals throughout the week.
  2. Cooking for the week is easy with a partner – roommates and best friends count. We cooked together once a week, and if food ran out or we needed to make a quick meal when one of us was running late, the other would step in to take the lead. 
  3. The more real food I ate, the more my truest self came out to play. Suddenly I was spewing out ideas left and right, attending dance class again after years of avoiding the studio, painting, drawing, hosting friends over, SHOWING UP. I jumped from surviving to THRIVING within those short 30 days.

I was able to achieve a natural high of sorts (and for someone who has had many vices in her day, trust me, this is a huge deal). By just showing up every day, cooking myself REAL FOOD that I made in my kitchen, I was happier, more myself, more comfortable, and literally buzzing with life. High on life – no drugs needed. I began to listen to that knowing voice inside guiding me towards my dreams, spreading my goodness everywhere I went. I didn’t have to “get” anything from the outside; it was all already inside, and I was finally listening. 

Now my heart understands what Gabby meant when she turned that cupcake down. It had less to do with junk food being “bad,” and more to do with accessing her highest self so she could show up on this earth fully and truthfully. Treating her body this well was the highest act of self-love.

Eating a certain way doesn’t have to be for an allergy or food sensitivity. There is a higher calling. I don’t eat processed, sugary foods because they block my best self. I am in touch with how real food makes me feel, and how essential it is to show up with my best self on this earth. Cooking my own real food is about my bill of health, but it’s also so much more. Here’s the thing…

For me, that fine-tuning means cooking, eating well, moving often, feeling creative, listening to my daily needs and desires, and connecting with others. I hear so many people with jam-packed schedules joke that they need a vacation to start cooking. What if we took a step back from our plans and to-do lists, and looked more at what we’re here to be, do, and feel. We all have gems of light inside of us yearning to come out, to change the world with our magic. And I’m here to help you discover this side of yourself by getting back in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter how fancy it is or perfect it is, just start cooking. The universe is waiting for you to shine. Now it’s up to you to listen.