Food is life! To put it simply, you cannot live without food. But what exactly is food? Webster’s dictionary defines food as: “material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy.” That’s just a complicated way of saying any substance you consume that sustains, energizes, helps heal, and maintains your body. My love affair with food started very early. I grew up in Memphis, TN in a family who believed in planting foods and eating everything fresh from the garden. We had a very large garden, nearly a quarter of an acre, that we planted every year in the spring. In this garden we planted everything from greens, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, beets, corn, herbs, squash, watermelon, to name a few. We had a variety of fruit and nut trees on the property also, including: apple, pear, peach, plum, walnut, pecans, hazelnuts, etc. Upon reflection it was like a southern paradise for me as a child.
This exposure, to what I felt like must have truly been like the Garden of Eden, had a great influence on how I experience food. In addition to this exposure was the talent and love with which my great-aunt Louise flexed her culinary muscle in the kitchen. She had this intense love of cooking and was extremely creative as well. I honestly learned a great deal of my culinary skills from my aunt Louise Ball. She taught me how to prepare things fresh and from scratch, unafraid to experiment with flavors and combinations. My family also believed in the power of food to heal your body naturally, giving your body what it needs to do what it was built to do.
Food is at the center of much of what we do in our everyday lives, transcending cultures and traditions. Consider that almost every ceremony, holiday, even in our work and business environments have food somewhere in the mix. What is Thanksgiving without the dinner, or Christmas, Easter, religious days, Independence Day, graduations, birthdays, business dinners, business lunches, etc... Food has the power to unite us and ties us to history, rituals, and traditions.
I’ve always eaten in a relatively healthy and balanced way. I love experimenting with foods and different ways of preparing those foods. I have worked for several years in the Hospitality/Food Industry and to this end I founded my own catering company. What led me to initially doing meal prep was my many years of working as a personal trainer and in health clubs. I realized that the thing that was missing from many people’s arsenal, or plan of action, was a nutritional component. When I would meet with clients, they would often express frustration at their lack of knowledge, as it pertained to nutrition and balanced eating. This become the perfect storm for the inception of my company. I would take my love of food, and culinary talent, and my knowledge of fitness/wellness and marry them.
This is an exciting time for ICCGourmet™ as we partner with FitnessISADailyGrind(FIADG)™and GroovySmoothies™ to bring Balanced Eating and Living to the masses. My sisters, Lena Bivins (FIADG) and Shante Marshall (GroovySmooties) are my partners in this great venture. We three believe that we can impact our communities, and the world at large, by bringing our message and our passion to the people. We want everyone to know that you can take control of your mind and body by giving it what it needs through balanced nutrition and exercise.
I am going to share with you some of my top tips for balanced eating and share a few of my favorite recipes with you.
Variety is the spice of life! Don’t be afraid to try fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other foods that you are not necessarily used to. For example: if you are fan of Greek yogurt add nuts and a teaspoon of honey to it for a power packed snack.
- Instead of salad dressing use vinegar and oil, coconut oil, or perhaps drizzle honey on your salad.
- Add fresh fruits and berries to your oatmeal/cereals.
- Sautee your foods in light oils such as grapeseed, olive, or even coconut oils.
- Use hemps, flaxseed in your baked goods, sprinkle on salad, or use in your smoothies.
- Eat more nuts and fruits for clean energy and good digestive fiber.
- And so much more, get creative with it!