Words from a Holistic Health Counselor and Natural Chef

Happy Friday friends. The conference is officially over and I’m flying home as I type this. I’m super pumped to get to see Isaac and Olive tonight – I’ve missed my two amigos.

I took photos of my convention center eats on Wednesday to share with you all, but the quality is awful (in more ways than one) and I wasn’t sure how interested you’d be in seeing them. Let me know and I’ll post them if your interested, but skip them if you’re not. Anyhow, yesterday I was able to head to Los Angeles after the convention ended and spend time with my friend Laurel. She took me to an organic cafe called Green Peas for dinner and of course, I loved it! She knows my tastes well!

If you’re ever in the L.A. area, I highly recommend Green Peas – we spilt a vegan mushroom pizza with Daiya cheese and a raw kale salad with tomato basil soup! Everything was so delicious! I loved the kale salad and I hadn’t ever had Daiya cheese before! Now I see what all the hype is about – it melted just as a normal cheese would and tasted like the real thing. The only issue we had is that it sticks to your teeth, but that’s not a deal breaker because the taste is spot on. If you’re dairy free and haven’t tried it yet, I’d definitely recommend it.

Later we went for fancy pants drinks at a bar called Big Foot Lodge. Drinks we tried included the Blackberry Pepper Bramble, a unique pepper infused gin coupled with blackberry liqueur, lemon juice and soda water and Violet Vapor, a drink with creme de violet liqueur and champagne with a lemon twist.

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Dinner and drinks with a good friend turned out to be a perfect way to end the trip. πŸ™‚

In others news, I want to share with you all an interview I was able to conduct recently with Andrea Beaman. I know I’ve mentioned Andrea and her book, The Whole Truth Eating and Recipe Guide several times, but just to reiterate, she is a Holistic Health Counselor and Natural Chef with a radiating passion for healthy eating.

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I feel very lucky to have had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea and I’m excited to share her thoughts with you all!

So without further ado…

1.) You’re now an author, the star of a t.v. show, a holistic health counselor and also teach cooking classes! How and when did you get involved with this career and were you doing something else previously? If so, what?
Prior to taking on my health, I was working at MTV Networks. I loved my job. It was fun. But, when thyroid disease appeared in my life, it brought me to a higher calling – “Healer/Teacher.”

2.) You have what I would consider a “dream job.” Tell me, what exactly does your typical work day look like?
I certainly do not have a “typical” work day! Everyday there is something new to work on. I am my own boss and have been self-employed since I quit my corporate job over 10 years ago. My day always starts with stretching (yoga or Chinese meridian stretches) and meditation. After that, I am ready for work. My daily work can consist of many things: Answering email questions from clients, answering website inquiries, one on one health coaching with clients or biz-coaching with students, editing my 3rd book, editing/creating video blogs for my website, business Meetings (usually via phone), creating new recipes for websites/classes.

3.) I remember seeing you on the First Season of Top Chef back in 2006. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience as a natural chef on a mainstream cooking show?
My experience on Top Chef was awesome. I’m home-schooled and my approach to food is via health first. I loved working with the other chefs and watching how they create things (making plates look appealing, techniques, styles). Being on Top Chef solidified for me what I already know… I have zero desire to work in a restaurant kitchen. My passion lies in teaching people how and why to cook wholesome meals.

4.) What is your food philosophy?
Eat food that is local, seasonal, naturally raised and lovingly prepared. Eat what your body tells you it needs, not what your head says you need. Get your head out of the diet/philosophy books and get your body into the kitchen.

5.) When someone is just getting started with eating healthy what do you recommend as the first step?
The first step is always to clean up the quality of your food. Get rid of the highly processed, chemical-laden crap and start eating real food that looks like food. Examples… eat a piece of fruit instead of a fruit roll up, eat a potato instead of potato chips.

6.) What is your argument when someone says eating healthy is too expensive?
When someone tells me that eating healthy is too expensive I tell them they are worth it! And, then I ask them to look at the clothes and shoes they are wearing. Focus on making the internal body look as good as the external body.

7.) Do you exercise? If so, what’s your normal routine like?
Yoga or stretching in the AM. Daily walk (40-50 minutes) and jog 1-2x per week.

8.) I have your book The Whole Truth and really enjoy it. When is your newest book Health is Wealth due out?
My next book is due out before the holidays! It would make a great Holiday gift πŸ™‚

9.) Will you share one of your favorite recipes?
My favorite recipes change all year round. As the seasons change so does the food I eat. Right now it is fall in NY. Squash Season. Here is one of my faves – Creamy Squash Ginger Soup (And as the weather gets colder I would change the “water” in the recipe to “chicken stock”)

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10.) Do you have any other information you would like to share with EatingBirdFood readers?
Eat food that is delicious and nourishing. You are worth it!

I hope you all enjoyed learning more about Andrea and what it’s like to be a full-time health counselor and chef. Be sure to check out her website and books if you are interested in learning how she healed herself through healthy eating. And, I can attest to the fact that her recipes are super tasty so be sure to check those out as well!

I was particularly excited about interviewing her because I’ve always been interested in having a career based around nutrition, health and wellness. I even enrolled in a local ADA accredited program last summer and took a couple courses before realizing that getting an RD license didn’t fully align with my goals. However, I found out about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), which is the school Andrea received her certification through. I’m now connected with many IIN students and graduates who have throughly enjoyed their experience with the school, including Isaac’s mom!

And, DRUM ROLL please…. I have enrolled myself in their distance education program!!! Classes actually start next Monday, October 18! I’ll be learning everything about nutrition and health and when I graduate, I will be a certified holistic health counselor with the credentials to coach clients on how to take control of their health, cook delicious and healthy meals and lose weight! What I love about that program is that I can already tell from reading over the materials that it aligns perfectly with my thoughts on food and eating. One of the main principals is bio-individually and the fact that we are all different and what works for one person may not work for another. I’ve always been drawn to holistic (natural) practices and think that it’s the best approach to take in all aspects of health and wellness, including the way we eat. Overall, I’m just really excited about this journey and I can’t wait to share it with you all!!

Have a spectacular Friday and enjoy your weekend.

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  1. Great article! I hear it all the time from everyone around me that eating healthy is too expensive! I see it as an investment in my health. Ever since I started paying more attention to my health and what I eat I have felt overall more energized and less sluggish. I’ve also recently been incorporating supplements, from Cedar Bear, like iodine to help with my metabolism and thyroid!

  2. Congrats on being apart of IIN. I am also interested to do it myself, just a bit busy this Fall. I would love to hear more about it from you and your experience when you get it going.:) How long is it exaclty?
    Thanks for the Green Peas info, I live 15 mins away and still have not been in. πŸ™‚
    Great interview!

  3. I can’t wait to hear about your experience with IIN. I had been seriously considering it but veto-ed the idea because of cost, questionable legitimacy, and some reports of it being a scam. Please let me know what you think and if it is worthwhile / super time consuming!!

  4. Congratulations! And thank you so much for sharing this interview – I look forward to checking out her book , though one of my favorite pieces of advice from her is to get your head out of a book and your body into the kitchen! πŸ˜‰ A little legit guidance is always a good thing, of course.

  5. YAY! I’m currently enrolled in the IIN Distance learning program! Let me know if you ever want to do a Health History Consultation for practice! OR if you just want to chat about the program!

    Congrats on taking the first step!

  6. Wow!!! What exciting news Brittany!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait to hear more about it!!!

    Also, LOVED THIS INTERVIEW!!! how totally cooooooool! Top Chef is one of my favorite shows!!!


  7. Oh wow. This is so cool, Brittany!! You’re gonna enjoy yourself so much!

    Can’t believe you came to LA and I missed you again!! πŸ™ But I’ll see you at the Foodbuzz Fest, right?

  8. That is so great, congrats! And awesome to find a program that fits you so well that you can be passionate about. Can’t wait to read more about it.

  9. Congratulations on school! It is great to hear that you found a program that fits what you want to do and I am excited to hear more about it on the blog!

    I am interested in what you ate at the conference. I used to do some meeting planning and selecting the menu was always the worst part as the attendees wanted healthy options but there were few to pick from.

  10. Great interview, thanks for sharing.
    Congrats on the new program; sounds great!
    I have high hopes to do the RD thing next year. We’ll see what happens πŸ™‚
    It will be a bit of a challenge to get back into the swing of things as I graduated university in ’07, but I think it will be worth it.

  11. congrats!! that’s great that your going into that IIN program! i’m sure you will love it! i was just looking into holistic health jobs myself the other day..still deciding exactly what field i want to go into! πŸ™‚

  12. Congrats! I just graduated from the IIN distance learning program (I’m in VA also!). If you have any questions or just want to chat, feel free to be in touch!

  13. Thank you for sharing with us…I’m glad you are almost safely home! And my goodness, that vegan mushroom pizza sounds delicious…I love ordering vegan when I can. I also loved reading this interview. Andrea sounds like a woman after my own heart. Her ginger soup recipe looked delicious, and I completely agree that we need to eat local and food…a simple yet life-affirming philosophy. Have a great day tomorrow!

  14. Glad you had a great trip. And this is such a wonderful interview. Thanks for sharing this.

    AHHH, girl I am so happy for you!! Congrats on this awesome news. You are going to make a fantastic Holistic Health Counselor.

  15. I remember she was such a breath of fresh air on Top Chef because she is into cooking healthy! I loved seeing the things she would come up with.

    That is so cool you are enrolled in the IIN; I’m hoping to do something like that in the future. I can’t wait for you to share more!

  16. Congratulations on joining IIN! I came upon your blog a month ago and thought you’d be perfect for the program and here you are! I graduated in July and it was the best decision of my life. I’m still in the works of growing my practice but like Andrea, it’s my calling! Good luck and enjoy the program. Be warned, your mind will be blown more than once πŸ™‚


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