My name is Bettina and I am a Holistic Chef and Certified Health Counselor.  I travel constantly and live between various cities.  My life has led me down a path from sickness to health in the past ten years. The changes I made were subtle and slow.  As for so many of us, everyday is still a struggle to eat well, to move my body and to make choices that enrich my life and that of those around me.

This blog will be morphing soon to include the musings of my brother, Mau, who has a very different and equally relevant path from un-health to vibrant life. We strive to share knowledge with others, to inspire you to make small, daily changes that will add to your life, not to starve it or yourself. Every profound change starts with small daily actions.

My journey started with a ten day stint in a hospital at 25 years old with a near crippling kidney infection due the the pressure of being an overworked Executive Producer at a bustling and budding international production house. I was young, way too young for that type of responsibility and I was good at it, but much to the detriment of my body. I set no boundaries for myself and did not pay any attention to my body’s messages. The pyelonephritis (kidney infection which cost me 30% of my right kidney) was the end of a long line of ailments and sicknesses including: chronic hay fever and allergies; bursting ovarian cysts; near chronic bronchitis and flu / colds; irregular periods; acne; monthly cystitis; crippling migraines; cracking eczema; constipation and the list goes on. I ate whatever was available and appetizing, I drank like a fish, worked 18 hour days and slept only when I passed out from absolute exhaustion.

The combination of a devastating breakup and my father’s cancer (so much of our health is related to our spiritual and emotional wellbeing), coupled with the hospital visits pushed me to realize that I needed to quit my job and take control of my life, find joy in it. With a bit of time on my hands, I began to notice what I put into my body and started reading about different diets and foods.  Over the past ten years, in a very slow trickle, I incorporated these changes. I have tried being vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic… every way of eating possible. I have found a balance that works for me which is mostly vegetarian but, as I have learned in my studies, there is not one universal diet that works for everyone. Finding consistent balance and listening to our bodies is the key to health.

I hope that my journey to living a vibrant, balanced life will inspire you. I would love to hear from you, what works for you, what you’d like to hear about.  I studied all of these years so that I can teach others. So feel free to send me messages, ask for advice, make comments, and tell me what is useful to you.

It’s lovely to be in communication and reaching others. I look forward to it.

– Bettina


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I’m Mau – the new restorative kitchen’r.

I work with teens (and adults too) and their relationships with food. So many of us have a very complex emotional haziness around food. Making the kitchen an enjoyable and non-intimidating, non-neurotic place is what I do in my EatWell Workshops. I live in Western Massachusetts, in a small town surrounded by pastures and forests. Ya… I have easy access to all the organic, local, free-range, biodynamic, blah blah BUT I understand that not everyone has it this easy.

In the last few years I have completely rebooted my life. After an early-twenties filled with nightclubs, six-packs by the bay, pharmaceutical experiments, and eating whatever was available and CHEAP just to quell hunger, my body gave out. I was 26 and exhausted. I had major bags under my eyes, I was depressed, suffered from chronic indigestion/GERD, had crippling anxiety, and spent most of my day navigating through a thick mental fog. I figured this was just part of getting older – 26 was old – WHAT??!!! Then my best friend and I moved up to Massachusetts to go back to school. I left the car behind and decided to start my new life with only motorless transportation (bike & feet). In our new environment – a small, quiet New England town – we spent the winters indoors cooking, reading, and dancing around. In a few years time, at 30, I was feeling better than I’d ever felt, EVER… I decided to focus my studies on Nutrition, Holistic Health, Dance and Traditional Herbalism (Western and Chinese). My relationship with food has been central to my transformation. I used to see making food for myself as an inconvenience. Now it’s a daily ritual that nourishes my mind, heart, and stomach.

For the Restorative Kitchen Blog I’ll be contributing stuff about traditional diets, farming, food science and tips on how to make good food that gives you energy and heals your body, from ingredients you can find at almost any market (not just WholeFoods) – cooking good, quick, and on the cheap!


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