My Story, my Philosophy
Growing up in Germany
I grew up close to Munich, at the foothills of the German Alps, in the town of Kaufbeuren. My parents transformed our property into an urban farm (with sheep, ducks, chicken, rabbits, a horse, and many other animals). Being raised in an environment that allowed a symbiotic relationship with nature, left me with a deep respect and in awe of the many magical processes associated with working the land and taking care of the animals. I watched my mother turning the freshly harvested foods into traditional meals (like Kartoffelpuffer, Sauerkraut and Hühnersuppe). My father was a naturopathic vet, who, through his own research and experimentation developed new innovative therapies that are a combination of therapeutic massages, electrotherapy and homeopathic remedies. His success in this area gave him confidence to take things a step further. After a few years, and much study and research, he transitioned his practice exclusively to human naturopathy. I was deeply touched by his gift for seeing the patient as a whole, identifying the ailment's real cause, and by his humble approach: "I am not healing anything", he would say. "The body is a wonder. I am only assisting the body to heal itself."*
*In his book "Why must we first fall ill?" Hartmut Taube explains on a cellular level the importance of providing our bodies the right environment to heal, and even before that, to prevent illness (Hartmut Taube 'Warum erst krank werden?').
a search for answers
With the divorce of my parents this idyllic world broke apart for me. While it was devastating and traumatic, it spurned me on for a search for meaning, identity and connection. This led me to pursue formal studies in German Literature, Philosophy and Theatre at Munich's internationally renowned university, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, as well as the University of Pisa, Italy. Italy always had an important place in my heart and was like my second home. My 6 years of intensive study earned me a Magister (M.A) with distinction.
It is possible to reconnect with our own natural rhythm, our inherent balance, and, to learn to listen again to our bodies - as we once did when we were children.
Like nature, our bodies move with a simple flow that's complex and intricate at the same time. The black & white does not apply within a world of infinite shades of grey.
Our connection with each other, with nature and with our inner source is our life-line.
New home Edmonton
During my university time however, I also found 'food for my heart': I met the love of my life and decided to move with him to Canada; I arrived in Edmonton in summer of 2009. I felt home right away as I encountered a 'like-hearted' community that welcomed me in. Sheniz Kassam was one of the first kindred spirits I met. In 2011, along with her brother Ayaaz, Sheniz formed the Noorish Conscious Eatery and Superfood Elixir Bar, a hub which doesn't only make organic, wholesome meals available, but also educates people on how to incorporate healthy foods into their daily diet. While working at Noorish a passion was born. I found myself immersed in different books exposing myself to cutting edge ideas by authors like Dr. Gabor Maté, David Wolfe, Gabriel Cousens and Donna Gates. The deeper I went, the more I realized this was my calling. It was in 2012 that I first heard of the Canadian School for Natural Nutrition - Canada's largest and leading school of holistic nutrition. The CSNN was going to open up a location in Edmonton and I waisted no time in enrolling. After one year I graduated as a holistic nutritional consultant with distinction.
Following an intense period of study and analysis in which I found myself increasingly dissatisfied with the dry 'food' of academia, it dawned on me that theoretical concepts are only hanging in the air if they don't have a real foundation - I began to question my beliefs. In my perfectionistic mind, I wanted the perfect formula that worked and I tried desperately to fit myself into that formula. The world I had constructed, to escape the pain, lost its luster and began to close in on me. I was setting myself up for failure, instead of seeing that the entire concept was flawed. I thought there was something wrong with me. This struggle was most apparent when I looked at my relationship with food: rocking precariously between harsh dietary restrictions and fits of bingeing followed by beating myself up. What was even more painful than this process was that I was truly longing for deep nourishment and acceptance, but looking for it everywhere outside, rather than within my being. While I was trying so hard to be a 'good girl' I forgot to be a 'good parent' to myself.
Noorish Conscious Eatery and Superfood Elixir Bar
In my travels in India, I had the good fortune of meeting Anandi (second right) who is running the Live Food Centre in Auroville, Pondicherry. She studied under raw food expert Gabriel Cousens and has been applying his philosophy of Live-Food in her kitchen for many years.
Being with yourself like with a loved child
One of the most valuable things I leaned is that what's more important than the foods we eat is our relationship with food, and, in fact, that relationship is everything. The energy of endless doing can inadvertently move us further away from our being, our own true nature. Peoples of indigenous cultures around the world tend not to have our 'diseases of civilization' (like arthritis, heart disease and obesity) that are so common today. In-part, this is because they were eating real foods. The other and more important reason is their connection with one another, with nature and their inner source, which was their life-line. I believe that we are all made out of that flow of creativity which is already so perfectly balanced. It is possible to reconnect with our own natural rhythm, our inherent balance, and, to learn to listen again to our bodies - as we once did when we were children. The result is an ability to discern, to make real distinctions of what is good and healthy for us, and, at the same time, to be flexible in varying circumstances. What I found is that the answers are within us. Knowledge about food is crucial, but, our inner knowing is fundamental.
The quest for the 'holy grail' of nutrition
In my studies at the CSNN, I was exposed to a variety of theories of nutrition - many of them I tried out on myself. As I was following one particular line of thought, another theory came up, having some aspects in common, but, many aspects different, and even contradictory. This confused and overwhelmed me: how could one study show the exact opposite result of another? ...and, be proven as correct at the same time? Many of the different theories spoke in extremes and in absolutes, which at first I believed. However, I found my body revolting inspite of doing things the 'right way'. In going through a rigorous process of study, reflection and introspection I found that every method has something of truth in it. There is no one right diet that fits all. Like nature, our bodies move with a simple flow that's complex and intricate at the same time. The black & white does not apply within a world of infinite shades of grey.
Raw Chocolate Making Workshop with Malcolm Saunders from the Light Cellar Calgary
When you jump into a lake the water is first cool and uncomfortable, but soon you fall in love with the invigorating sense of aliveness that refreshes and rejuvenates you as you swim.
The journey is never easy....
until we align
The moment we align, we are able see that we don't need to try so hard. We are made for this. Difficulty is just an opportunity for us to grow and evolve. It's easy to stick to old habits and comforts, but it isn't really satisfying and fulfilling. A few new simple steps can bring a whole new momentum. I can't tell you the joys I've had in planting my first vegetables, making my own kefir, creating my own healthy chocolate and trying out out new crazy recipes on myself and my husband. Yes, when you jump into a lake the water is first cool and uncomfortable, but soon you fall in love with the invigorating sense of aliveness that refreshes and rejuvenates you as you swim.
And why would you decide to go on this journey?
Because you are worth it!