Hi everyone, I’m Amy.
Welcome to my brand new shiny website, and my very first blog! My journey to this new place in my life has been a long one, and I’m very happy to be here.
I have always loved cooking. My mother was a wonderful cook and an avid gardener, though as a woman with a career she often relied on the cereals, packaged foods, and school lunches that everyone’s kids were eating in the 1970’s. I remember the first time I cooked for my family. I was about ten years old and I prepared chicken coated with crushed potato chips, which at the time I thought was extremely elegant. I insisted that we eat by candlelight for the ambiance, and I was hooked. My real love in the kitchen was desserts. I would bake cookies, cakes, brownies, pies….anything sweet. I loved to plunge my hands into the flour container; enjoying the soft cool texture against my skin. Is it any wonder that I became a pastry chef? My very first job in the profession was at a French restaurant in Madison Wisconsin. I was attending the University of Wisconsin in the elementary education field, and working as a server at the restaurant, which was known for desserts. When the pastry chef’s assistant quit I immediately begged her to hire me as a replacement, even though I had no previous experience. She reluctantly agreed, and I threw myself into the job. Every day was a new adventure in sugar for me, and I loved every minute.
I finished school with mediocre grades, being more interested in cheesecake than lesson plans.
I went on to become a substitute teacher, but never gave up my pastry chef position. I moved from Wisconsin to Arizona to California working as a sub, but always found an additional job in every town as a pastry chef, honing my skills along the way. Eventually I started working in other areas of the kitchen, cooking more than just dessert. I made my way back to Wisconsin, where I worked for a catering company for almost seven years, becoming the general manager and main cook, pastry chef, server, and bottle washer. I finally decided to come home to Minnesota where I grew up, continued working in restaurants and becoming more and more skilled, and now I run my own personal chef and catering company.
Somehow along the way I realized that I had gained nearly one hundred pounds.
It happened almost without my noticing…when I was a child I ate A LOT of sugar, but since I was active my weight was never a problem. When I really immersed myself in the world of restaurants I had less time for moving my body as I always had, and the weight creeped up. Anyone who has worked in the food service industry will tell you that it can be brutal. The hours are long, the pay is low, and the food is abundant. I found that I could work for many hours on my feet without taking time to sit down and eat a proper meal, merely grazing on whatever was around (usually bread and sweets). I often found myself after a 12 or 14-hour day on my feet too tired to eat properly, but too hungry to sleep. I would stop for fast food on my way home, wolfing down a giant meal of horribly processed food and sugar in the space of a few minutes and go straight to bed.
Of course these bad habits caught up with me.
My body does not regulate blood sugar properly, and I suffer from chronically elevated stress hormones. I have problems with my feet from the many years of standing an average of twelve hours a day, and I have had carpal tunnel surgery on one of my wrists. But my weight gain has always been the biggest health issue, and I became obsessive about the subject of nutrition. I finally decided to become certified as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner in order to help myself and hopefully go on the help others as well. The things that I learned studying with the Nutritional Therapy Association were eye opening for me, to say the least. I realized that the way I’d been eating for most of my life; even those times when I was trying to be “good” and lose weight, were sabotaging my health.
I am now on a new journey-one of healing my body and finding balance in my life.
I am excited to be on this road, and I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge with you!