That title might be a little alarming and more so in light of a lot of recent events, but if you have followed this blog for any time, then you know how I can roll and that I try to be as witty as the rest of my groovy family.
I have been in transition for a while with my “day job” as a 30 plus years as a nurse and struggle with my passion for food and all things healthy that have to do with food as medicine.
In the last couple of years a lot has happened. I know I have shared that my Dad died from lung cancer 2 years ago, and less than a year after his death, I also lost my good “sister” friend, my mentor, my go to nurse Carole. Her death was probably ruled as complications from a surgery to repair her heart valve which was damaged from chemo, as far as I am concerned I also lost her to cancer. I’ll save my rant on cancer and food/lifestyle for another day. Days before Carole died, in our last conversation we talked about “our next thing.” She told me she was finally cutting her hours, she had other things to do, grandbabies to love, mission trips with her hubs, just life. Carole always wanted better for her patients (she dealt with chronic pain, and some times addicted patients) she wanted better for her family, really anyone she met, she saw the good in them, and the better always. Both of us really loved nursing, and she was such a wealth of knowledge, but we both knew that changing the way we ate, and lifestyle changes had saved us. Yes, she had gotten cancer, but she lived on from a devastating diagnosis by juicing, eating clean, choosing to let go of diet pop and toxic relationships as a few examples. Carole was one of the featured speakers at the first R3Wellness Workshops, and in our last face to face conversation we dreamed of what God might have for both of us in the next year. Little did I know that day, that was all the wisdom I would get from her to spur me on in my dreams. In so many ways I feel like I am just “waking up” to those 2 crisis in my life. Not physically having present 2 of my big supporters of all my crazy ideas and dreams. I look back and I think I put “things” on the shelf, gave into my own emotional eating, gained a little weight back, blamed lack of exercise on bad knees, and at times felt a little hypocritical when trying to share about eating well, living healthy when I was struggling so much myself. It was time to wake up!
So ya, life goes on, and the dream has to grow, and I could still hear both Dad and Carole’s voice in my head, telling me to wake up, quite indulging every night in the wine, tv and pop-corn and nut butter aside! Look around, find people to share your passion with! Time to hang up the stethoscope and pick up the knife! Fight the battle, health starts not at the end of your fork, but in your thoughts first. So I started being more mindful of my eating, my moving, what I was taking into my heart and head. I might not be able to run today, but I can walk. I might not be able to do my “dream job” yet, but I can do something close to it! So it began.
I’ve taught a few workshops on healthy eating, I am teaching a weekly yoga class for employees at the hospital. Before Christmas though I made the crazy difficult decision to change my hours to what they call Support. What this means is that after the schedule is made for all the full-time/part-time peeps, I get to fill in, pick up what is left. I don’t receive benefits anymore and if I don’t work, I don’t get paid! I suppose you could say it is a slight leap of faith, with me still holding on, so I can eat, pay bills, gas up the car… Fear not, remember I was praying, dreaming, waking up. I had been introduced to a new concept/business that offered Healthy cooking services called Kate’s Plate. I googled the site, and immediately sent Kate an e-mail asking about what a “cooking partner” was all about, explaining that I was basically this crazy Plant Based nurse chic who liked to cook and was looking for an outlet! I was in the new shop by the end of the week meeting Kate and Betsy and asking how I could work there! I saw it as an opportunity to work with like minded positive people! Kate herself had gone to medical school so the concept as food as medicine was NOT a foriegn concept at all… someone was speaking my language!
So the journey began and by January I was picking up my knife and chopping away as a cooking partner for Kate’s Plate! It’s been 6 months and just yesterday I was at a new clients house figuring out the cook stove, the dog’s names; in my happy place stripping kale, chopping up onions and garlic, and yes cooking chicken! As I walked out from the heat of the kitchen to the heat of the day with a smile on my face and my knife carefully secure, I was once again thanking God for this gift! Leaving behind carefully labeled containers of healthy food to fuel a family and let them live a little lighter.
Before you all who are my Plant Based hard-core follower’s or wanna be’s, no I have not gone back to eating meat, but I am cooking it, or prepping it for others. You see I learned a long time ago that changing habits to healthy eating/living is a journey and it looks different for each one of us. We all have to start somewhere, and we have to meet people were they are! The clients we have at Kate’s Plate are all over the food map. There are those busy Mom’s who really want to prepare good meals for their families, working couples tired of take out, or constantly going out, people who like good food, but don’t like to cook. Mom’s who cooked for years for the family and want a break! People who are trying to change their eating habits but don’t know were to start. There are even those that are going through a health crisis, surgery or chemo, that someone has gifted our service to them to take the load off! One of the many things that makes Kate’s Plate work for me, as the crazy Plant Based chic, is giving people time. Since the meals are mostly ready (they still have to “finish off the meal” which I like, because I think people should be connected to the food they eat) we are giving people back time in the present moment. That given back moment turns into a memory from a walk with the kids, or time on a hobby, or simply quiet moments after a good meal. The meals are healthy, with an emphasis on real unprocessed foods, high in veggie’s, organic or grass-fed meats, we are giving them time in living longer, healthier more productive lives with the one’s they love!
So you see I haven’t “quit nursing.” I like to think of myself as a “plant pusher,” thank you Chad Sarno for that label, instead of a medicine pusher! I am still helping people and I hope that I am preventing them from visiting me at the “big house.”
Who know’s where this journey will take me, I am just happy to be on it. Maybe it will take me to your home with a chance to keep sharing my “cooking” skills, teaching people how to eat/live healthy mind, body and spirit.
Dream, pray, love and live healthy!