A few weeks ago, I shared about overcoming my eating disorders as a teenager. My heart was pounding as I hit the publish button. A story I had written in my mind so many ways, but hesitated to share out of fear of being judged. But this anxiety was slowly overcome by the feeling that it could perhaps help someone, or at the very least start a conversation about an issue that remains quiet but affects so many.
These trials that we go through can be either swept under the rug, with shame or fear. Or they can be opened up to share with the world. And this is an act that Sondi has also bravely done about her struggles with Crohn’s disease. She has created a vibrant business helping clients follow allergen-friendly diets and learn how to eat well in a simple and delicious way. She offers them the tools (and recipes!) they can use to facilitate their own wellness and healing.
Sondi lives on the other side of the country in beautiful Vancouver, BC. Prior to attended the Food Bloggers of Canada conference last week I decided to do some twitter creeping on some of my fellow attendees and came across Sondi's profile. And I decided she needed to be a part of the Women Creating Light project because her work is wonderful in so many ways. Between her workshops, e-books, and clear, funny and honest writing, I love what she has to offer others who are suffering from food allergies, sensitivities and digestive issues.
I'm so glad to have met Sondi and think that the work she is doing is very important in a world where more and more people are suffering from these types of issues & sensitivities.
And I think that her Salted Caramel Pecan Swirl (dairy-free) Ice Cream may just solve all these problems....yummy!
Read more about her thoughts and the wonderful work she does below:
What drives you? What's your mission?
I educate clients with digestive issues, allergies and food intolerances about how to eat simply, deliciously and safely, allowing them to rediscover the joy of eating.
We have strong emotional ties to particular foods and when we discover we can’t have them anymore, we often go through a period of grief or mourning. It’s my goal to help people shift their mindset from deprivation to abundance and focus on all of the amazing things they can enjoy. Healthy, allergen-friendly eating doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive or time-consuming.
I want people to feel empowered to cook delicious meals for themselves that will also help them feel good.
Was there a key/favourite moment in your experience/journey so far that has made it all worth it?
Oh, there have been so many! I feel incredibly fulfilled when people tell me they were panicked about what on earth they were going to eat, then came to my website and saw all of my allergen-friendly recipes and felt excited about meals again. Those moments shoot straight to my heart and remind me why I do what I do.
What is your favourite way to nourish yourself and your health?
My favourite way to nourish myself is by playing around in my kitchen. There are few things that are more calming or therapeutic for me than cooking. I love the whole process – flipping through cookbooks for inspiration, devising new recipes, chopping and prepping ingredients, tasting and seasoning dishes, photographing the final results. I even love the cleanup! Nerd alert.
Preparing dishes packed with nutrients that support my health is obviously nourishing to my body. But healthy cooking also feeds my soul, because it’s such an intensely creative process. It allows me to express myself, and then share my edible creations with other people.
When do you feel the most beautiful?
I have struggled with serious digestive issues for nearly half of my life. I feel beautiful when my digestion is humming along nicely, and I’m not bloated, crampy, gassy, uncomfortable, sleep-deprived or nauseous. That might sound crude, but it’s my truth!
If you had one piece of advice for the next generation of young women, what would it be?
Life isn’t a race, it’s a process. We spend a lot of time - especially when we’re young - chasing milestones and ticking things off the list. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing goals, you don’t always experience the revelatory moment where you’ve ‘finished’ or ‘figured it all out’.
I find the life lessons that we most need to learn keep recurring, sometimes in different disguises, in order for us to grow and evolve. So embrace the process. Don’t rush.
Try to focus on developing an ongoing practice of inner peace, compassion, kindness and confidence that will guide you through both the tough and fortunate times.
And also, eat your vegetables!