Real Food Workshops

How does it work?

Usually, people come to me when nothing else works. They want to look and feel better, but don't know how. They work out for hours each week, take a ton of medicines (over the counter or prescription), have constant cravings, and can't see what yet another diet is going to do for them.

We do know that diets don't work, but that's our go-to fix. There are thousands of diets out there, and they all work...for a time. They don't, however, provide long-term solutions to the problem of unhealthy lifestyles and sustainable vitality, because at the heart of it all - they are diets and diets are temporary.

Eating well can change all that.

My personal story began seventeen years ago when I developed fibromyalgia when my youngest baby was born. I had gained 85 lbs with this pregnancy (like the last one) and lost 0 lbs a year later (I still hadn't lost all the weight before getting pregnant again). I was feeling terrible, and the meds I was given for the pain only made me drugged and loopy. I had all the symptoms of fibro - digestive craziness, pain, bed-bound for weeks on end, mentally fogged, over 100 lbs overweight, emotionally fragile, and spiritually bereft. I was lost, but had two little kids to try and raise, had to go to work, had a confused husband to try and support, and had a life to try to get excited about - so I couldn't stop living.

I was willing to change! I had already figured out that I was gluten-intolerant, but didn't know if I was celiac since I couldn't think about what a biopsy would do to my fragile system. I had been wheat- and gluten-free for about a year, and was feeling a bit better but was still laid up for weeks at a time with pain. I was also willing to give up white sugar to see if it helped. It sort of did, but I was still foggy, in pain every day, not sleeping, getting an illness every other month, and completely fried.

A dear friend suggested trying a raw food diet. "You wouldn't believe it! People are curing themselves of cancer! Just try it!" OK, these were incredible claims that I didn't believe, but I was ready to try anything that could help just a little. So I decided to give it a month. Meh, I could do anything for a month and she just wouldn't stop talking about it... So I did.

The Month Experiment

For the first three days I felt AMAZING! Then reality set in and I felt really awful. My lower GI tract was confused by all the fiber, my mouth was sore from chewing so much, I was hungry since I didn't know how much to eat, and I was trying combinations that tasted terrible! I had no idea what I was doing, but hey, I was learning a lot, and my babies loved going to the grocery store, so I kept on it.

By day 10 I was starting to feel ... different. My sleep improved slightly. My muscle pain was diminished so that I could carry in two (small) bags of groceries at a time. I could read to my kids without having to stop half way from my tongue hurting. I could go to work for the whole day. I was folding laundry and my hands didn't hurt so much. I could remember to take the library books to the library. My meals started to taste good. I didn't have cravings. I started going for walks. I started seeing the flowers. I could pick up my kids. I wasn't hurting every day. I started to think more clearly. I was able to enjoy "quality time" with my husband again. I laughed more. I started to live again. I kept getting better and better!

That was in 2003 - and things have changed significantly again.  After 13 years, 1 month, and 10 days eating nothing but raw foods, I started to see that my body was ready for yet another change.  So, since I eat a primarily dogma-free food plan, I followed my body's needs and have incorporated meat and other cooked items into my food plan.  The difference for me has been extraordinary.  I am still not eating grains, dairy, or refined anything, and wow, it has been such a challenge to give up my vegan food status!  However, I am reaping the incredible benefits of learning about foods, my needs, and how best to help others!  I have changed everything - multiple times!

I would not compromise anything if I had to give up my health.

blues and mango

cg lunch
I eat a LOT! (this is plate #2) It takes lots of bites of fruits and veggies, lots of healthy meats, and fats to add up to the calories and nutrients we need each day. Food is supposed to be tasty and filling. Don't skimp on eating!

cherimoya

Why go for real fruits, meats, eggs, and veggies?

Real food is simple, nourishing, clean, tasty, and amazing for your body! It can also seem difficult, too cold, too hot, takes hours to chew, hard on the pocketbook, and fun-deficient. It can seem limiting, boring, and foreign.

Appearances are't everything! Real food dishes supplement everything that is out there that's tasty and can even replace those items that are really unhealthy - pizzas, pasta, cakes, pudding, ice cream, burgers, bread, and crackers.  There are real food versions of these foods that retain the nutrients that would have been destroyed by chemical processing. Beneficial enzymes, heat-sensitive vitamins, and delicate flavors are all altered by modern processing, so preparing real foods means shopping wisely, preparing mindfully, and enjoying wonderfully flavorful and physically enhancing meals.

But it can be confusing. Do I have to eat kale?  Can I really loose weight by increasing fats? Can I really have Black Forest Ice Cream for breakfast?  How do I pick the meats that are the best raised?  How do I keep eating well at a restaurant? What if I'm allergic to walnuts? Won't eating meat have a negative impact on the planet?  Can I eat bacon?

Let me show you how you can change how you feel one meal at a time without being a slave to a stove, always starving, a cruel carnivore, or physically uncomfortable.

The Workshops
How do I learn how to eat "real"? Do I really want to?

A session consists of me coming to your house, or you coming to mine, and taking you step by step through the entire process of eating a new way. We are so used to our own recipes that trying something new can be a huge learning curve. Eating real food, however, can be as simple as picking up an apple.

At the end of the session, you will know how to shop, prepare, and eat in a whole new way, according to what will work best for your body. And if you forget something, I will be available for a phone call to help answer those questions! We can also schedule an in person mini-session to polish your new skills.

  • Step 1: Assess your readiness, look at your metabolic needs, and devise a plan
  • Step 2: Educate you about how that plan will work with your body and how your body will change
  • Step 3: Give you guidelines for good meals, give you information about living this new way, and plan for alternatives
  • Step 4: Talk about pitfalls and social situations!
  • Step 5: Phone check-in about a week later to follow up on your progress for troubleshooting and support you with your choices

Cooked Food Is Not Evil!

Eating raw has changed my life. Completely! However, eating an entirely raw or vegan or vegetarian food diet isn't for most people, and isn't necessary to have a completely new take on life. You don't need to give up your favorite cooked food or food lifestyle, just modify until you FEEL better - naturally!

I got very very sick in 2013, and was (finally) diagnosed with two CDC tracked bacterial infections, three parasitic infections, and a full-body yeast infection.  This was after eating nothing but raw foods for a decade. The critters lodged themselves in my major organs and as they munched, I began to lose function of those organs. I wasn't able to digest many of the raw foods that kept my body healthy and my nutrition balanced. There are essential amino acids that need to be eaten nearly every day to keep the body alive, and the foods that contained them were impossible for me to digest (like beans and legumes), so I swallowed my pride (literally!) and began researching. I tried glucosamine/ condriton bone pills, but they didn't work. I was also having a hard time with the Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs that were killing off the critters. Getting off my vegan pedestal, I learned about bone broth. It was exceedingly hard to try something new, but after I got right with my ego and started boiling bones I saw huge progress with my healing. Turns out that bone broth had those exact amino acids I needed to start turning the corner. Cuts and bruises that didn't heal for over four months healed completely in two weeks.  I am still having bone broth and/or collagen daily.

My third doctor, who finally figured out what the heck was going on, said that if I hadn't been so clean with my food I would have been in the hospital on IV antibiotics for a three month treatment (at best), and possibly would have had irreversible damage to my liver, gall bladder, pancreas, and spleen. Yikes! That was all the confirmation I needed to believe that eating clean, working out, resting, and taking the time to "maintain the Quinn", I literally saved my organs - if not my life.

In 2016 I was diagnosed with a long-term infection of Borellia that is in the same category as Lyme, but the Rocky Mountain version. I'm currently being treated for it using an herbal protocol, and am exploring my fascination with nutrition and health, and have just recently (as of May 2016) begun to eat meat, eggs, and fish again. It's a long road, but one I'm actually excited to learn about and grow into!

As of spring 2017, I have brought more raw food back into my plan (simply because it seems to work best with my body), and I am healing, strong, can wear my wedding rings, and am back to my fighting weight! Thank you real food, an open mind, and clean living!

Quinn was great! Very fun, sensible, and inspiring.
You speak so well - everyone enjoyed your presentation.
R. Women's Club

What is it like now?

Now?
I can run barefoot two or three times a week. On the road. For at least three miles.
I can swing kettlebells two or three times a week.
I can grapple (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) two times a week.
I can ride a motorcycle.
I can live.
I can I can I can!

I still have some fibromyalgia symptoms. I cannot deal with impact well (falling, getting hit, etc), I cannot remember names well, nor do I deal well with cold. I still need to be careful when other people are sick. However, I can live! And that is more delicious than pizza, chocolate cake, or an ice cream freeze. Oh, all those things? With time, a little effort, and the right ingredients, they can all be made REAL!