Growing up during soviet times, in a small Estonian village, my family and I lived on very little. We ate the vegetables and fruits we’d preserved from our garden the previous summer, but survived mostly on bread and potatoes, and relied on each other’s imaginations for entertainment. Having just moved from a big city in Armenia at age 9, the process of learning a new language in Estonia, coupled with a new environment and an alternative culture was difficult. But because of this, I was forced to look for many ways to stay positive. It was during those young years that I first heard the phrase, “We are bigger and more powerful than our circumstances.” And so I pushed forward.
At the impressionable age of 21, I decided to move to the United States to take on a sales position, walking door to door, not realizing when I left my home country how difficult it would be. Many doors were slammed in my face, many rejections, and an all too familiar culture shock that sometimes left me in tears at night. It took about 6 months before I finally latched onto the idea of the United States being my home. However, during my transition I found many ups and downs, and every emotion in-between. On one of these “in-between” days, I found myself walking into a giant warehouse, seeing people herded into it like sheep, with shopping carts the size of small boats. I watched as the people grabbed everything they could ever need, in bulk. But more than this, most of the bulk in their boats was food. I thought to myself, “This can not be.” And was herded further inside.
In Estonia, we were always hard pressed to find any food on the shelves of our markets, but here, in this warehouse, food was everywhere. I continued to walk through the isles in awe of the people, their large body sizes, and the quantities of the packaged crackers they were prepared to buy. Needless to say, this first Costco trip was my big “ah ha” moment in the United States and the place my health journey began. This is because I looked at the people around me, many of them overweight, tired, and fixated on their packaged foods, and I saw myself in them. I saw that I had become that person. I had fallen into the food trap, one full of sadness, low energy and unease. But just like that, my childhood flashed past my mind and again I thought, “We really are bigger and more powerful than our circumstances”. And my real work began.
After that initial “ah ha” moment, I knew I needed to spend the next few years educating myself, starting with a Degree in Psychology from UCLA. I soon realized after graduation that I was motivated to gain a formal education in nutrition because of the considerable amount of confusing, even controversial information being sold in our food-obsessed culture. The draw of this education led me to get my Nutrition Consultant Certificate from the Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts in Berkeley, California.
Now with my depth of knowledge, I feel equipped with a firm and well-rounded approach to the human mind and nutrition, making me very excited to take new steps forward, helping others achieve the body, life, and understanding they crave. Thus, it feels very natural for me to have created my own nutrition consulting business because my philosophy behind food is my greatest passion and Heal with Food is founded on principles I firmly believe in. First, it is the understanding that the human body has an inherent capacity to function properly, heal and fight off diseases – if we provide our bodies the necessary nutrients and tools. Second, everyone has the potential to energize their mind, body and spirit. The trick is learning how. Third, healthy food doesn’t have to be boring or unsatisfying; in fact, I can show you why food is awesome! And lastly, each person has the ability to take charge of their life, regardless of the challenges, illnesses, or health deficits they are presented with. My job is to help my clients regain some of the power they feel they’ve lost because truly, we ARE much bigger and way more powerful than our circumstances.
And together, we can push forward.