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Welcome to FoodMood blog space. Reflections on my travels, musings, favorite recipes, and the  Bunny Chronicles. Storytelling with joy, sass, self-reflection, and hope.

FOOD: How I (re)found my voice

Photo features the alchemist area of my kitchen as photographed by me, while the image in the right, the “Sun Catcher” by Ioyan Mani (Maxine Noel) is courtesy of

My name in Hebrew letters tells a lot about who I am. It starts and ends with love, literally. Ni - co - le. Ni is a connection to the heart, the structure of my essence is expressing love, the need to communicate love. Co is related to creation and spirituality, and le is the connection to love, it directs life through love. I literally start and end with love, without it I will die, my soul will wither.

Recently I was feeling particularly out of sync, the feminine energy I spoke of in a previous post seemed to be MIA. My commitment to femininity in practice was off for 3 days, and after 3 hours in the kitchen I was 100% back in my feminine energy. This reconnection with my femininity in the kitchen brought conscious awareness to my own strategy for accessing my power. This consciousness brought me to a healing place and provided welcome clarity to my professional choices of the past years. These 3 hours in the kitchen, brought me back to myself, my own personal alchemy.

The combination of words, and food, these are my expressions of love. These medias, are my connection with life. My way to reconnect to my feminine self is to create and share food; verbally and literally. My voice is in FOOD.

In June 2018 I completed two years of intense study in the art of guiding, a course I began immediately after receiving my qualification as a Nutritional Therapist in 2016. After more than 20 years as a “coach” a word I have never resonated with, I feel my groove in the art of being a guide. A guide as defined by this course, is a person who accepts their humanity and thus humbly realizes that they are on the way. A guide opens the way and is aware that the path is infinite. When I read who this course was for, “people who are committed to a path towards the recognition of their own essence and wanting to live according to it, for themselves and so that they may support and guide other beings on their path of awareness.” I knew this course was an investment well made, and an ideal extension of my experience and new qualification.

For me this course is the culmination of years of study; business, marketing, language, education, and nutrition. This course gives me the space to connect with others and share with them what I have to give so that they may realize themselves in the way that is best for them. As we near the end of our studies we are focused on the idea of bringing our gifts to the world vs “making money.”

It is nearly a decade I am working with the facilitator of this course, Bartolomeo is himself a gift, living proof that we are each here to give our ourselves. During a session about our purpose, I mentioned a comment once made to me – “meditating won’t get you a job.” In total sincerity Bartolomeo answered, “Me, yes.”

The first thing I ever heard like this came from Deepak Chopra in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Have your children focus on bringing their gifts to the world, he counsels, this is how they will be responsible adults able to take care of themselves in the world, by giving what they came here to give. For one with a gift for caring, their media may be in becoming a nurse or doctor, for one with a gift for tinkering, their gift may be expressed in becoming a mechanic, an engineer, etc. My gift is to love, my media are words and plates.

True balance in life for me is heart connection, with my own heart and with the hearts of others. Words, discussions, conversations, sharing ideas and feelings, communicating, is necessary for me, like air. As a child I was classified as talkative, curious, even precocious. As an adult I have been classified as an adventurer, a seeker, a person in constant exploration. For nearly two decades this played out as me traversing the globe greedy for new experiences, languages, and cultures. I took my education, my skills as a communicator and my curiosity and adventure seeking nature on the road to make a living, teaching, training, consulting, and coaching. From political fundraising in Washington DC and teaching elementary school in urban Louisiana; to teaching basic marketing in the Russian Far East, leading management teams, and coaching NGO’s and small businesses in a new market economy. By the time I arrived in Switzerland I had lived and worked as a coach, consultant, and trainer in 5 countries over 11 years.

Living in Switzerland my wanderlust needed a new outlet. I had fallen in love with a man whose capacity to communicate is best defined by his disdain for speaking. My journey had led me to a place where words really were the weakest form of communication. My husband does not like to speak, and he likes even less to listen. He does not read what I write and his need to share his feelings is a negative number. His love language is action, he installs a light in the hallway, does the taxes, takes care with the car, etc.

My professional path also took a turn when I came to Switzerland where coaching had not yet arrived, for a few years I continued to travel abroad to work, and somewhere along the line I began to feel an urgency to find a new voice, a new expression and outlet for my mission and purpose.

I have always loved to cook; my earliest memories are of 2-year-old me sitting on the counter of my great grandfather’s kitchen stirring a pot of pasta fagioli. My mother, aunt, and grandmother; all great cooks with their own specialties. My happy place is in the kitchen, cooking, helping, being. Like communicating with words, this is a part of my being; to cook, to feed, to nurture, to speak through food. This made my purposeful choice to study nutritional therapy, and qualify as a Nutritional Therapist, a natural one.

Nutritional Therapy, the core component of Functional Medicine, is a holistic, person centered approach that uses whole foods, phytonutrients, therapeutic food supplements and lifestyle changes to assist clients to restore and safeguard sound health. My choice to qualify at IINH was equally purposeful. The vision of the school, and in particular of the founder & director Richard Burton motivated me to make this commitment of money, time, and energy, and every day I am happy for my choice.

My internationally recognized diploma in Nutritional Science and Therapeutics is a culmination of nearly four years of intense studies in biochemistry, biology, anatomy, and supervised clinical practice. The course of study included 30 professional observations with genuine clients in the IINH nutritional therapy clinic, supervised by experts; in addition nine direct client interactions under the supervision of three different veteran therapists to ensure a broad range of knowledge and experience was exercised and transmitted. In addition, every student was assigned a mentor and had access to professors and experts in all topics.

As a qualified nutritional therapist I apply this in-depth clinical knowledge of nutrition and physiology together with my multi-cultural experience as a coach and guide in a personal approach to assist clients to resolve chronic, often complex, conditions; guide them to improved health and help them maximize their ability to restore and maintain good health emotionally and physically.

Now, I connect my passions for communication, food, culture, and travel with my mission as a guide. I invite you to raise your consciousness tangibly through your relationship with food; food and menu choices, and overall connection to your power to make conscious, healthy life choices every day.

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