Monthly Archives: August 2015

Goodbye Summer

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Ratatouille Salmon

This time of year is bittersweet.  It’s my favorite time… Cool nights. Warm days.  Awe inspiring tomatoes.  Melons!  Sweet Corn.  Squash…and the pool is still open.  What more can a girl ask for?

It has been a busy summer for me and my personal chef business, Chef Katie, LLC.  Lots of clients, catering, and clean eating programs have kept me running.  I have managed to squeeze in some summer fun with my family.

I began catering for retreats at the beautiful Bend of Ivy Lodge in Marshall, NC this summer. The retreats can be a lot of work, but it is totally worth it.  I love the work, and I love spending days on the gorgeous property.  I also had the honor of catering the wedding of the owners of the property.  I recruited the help of my husband, Kirk Fiore.  We love working together, and I am so proud to watch him work.  I have enjoyed watching his skills develop over the years as a cook, organizer, and manager, and I can safely say that he is the best chef I know.

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They have goats!

They have goats!

Words to live by.

Words to live by.

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Wedding Table

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Wedding Setting

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This summer I  have also been researching the Body Ecology Diet for a client, and have been inspired.  The main premise is to combat Candida, aid digestion in the gut, and restore our inner ecosystem.  My extensive research has led me to learn about case studies of the diet. The program has aided symptoms of Candida as well as chronic fatigue, depression, weight problems, early aging,  hormone imbalance, and auto-immune disorders.  It has even cured ADHD and Autism in some children!

The diet eliminates sugar and adds in probiotics through kefir, probiotic suppliments, and fermented vegetables. Donna Gates, the creator and author of the “Body Ecology Diet” has devised seven principles of “eating and healing,”  that include balancing certain foods that are expansive versus contractive and acidic versus alkaline.  I like her approach to “Uniqueness,”  where she states that everyone is different, and everyone is constantly changing.  No one diet is right for everyone, and a different diet will benefit you at different stages of your development with different nutritional needs. I am also eager to embrace her philosophy for food combining, keeping starchy, carbohydrate-rich foods separate from protein-rich foods.  This makes sense to me for easier digestion.

Another principle that I think everyone should learn to live by is the “80/20 Principle.”  I am a big believer in portioning and measuring your food.  If you can learn to embrace the 80/20 Principle, this would make it easier for you to train your body to do this naturally.  Donna states the “rules”  of the 80/20 Principle in her book, “The Body Ecology Diet,” in Chapter 2…

“RULE NUMBER ONE: Eat until your stomach is 80% full, leaving 20% available for digesting. RULE NUMBER TWO:  80% of the food on your plate should be land and/or ocean vegetables. The remaining 20% can be protein or grains and starchy vegetables.”

I tried the diet for a couple of weeks.  I felt great and lost a lot of weight.  I wanted to stay on the diet longer, but life got in the way.  It was a bit difficult, developing new meals.  Donna suggests that you only stick to certain grains, millet, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.  The absence of rice was tough for me, but I love quinoa.  The amaranth, millet, and buckwheat, I am still experimenting with.  I home to come up with some tasty and palatable recipes soon.  Millet just brings back bad childhood memories of ultra-healthy, yet very uncool lunches my mom packed for me.  One of them being millet and almond butter sandwiches.  This was in the 80’s, and believe me when I tell you that almond butter has come a looong way.

I loved experimenting with the fermented vegetables.  I’ve made several concoctions of fermented carrots, beets, sauerkraut, kimchee, and hot sauce.  Some were not successful, and some were delicious.  Stay tuned for some tasty recipes to come!  I am working on developing a 21 Day Plan which includes principles from Donna and Body Ecology, including food combining, 80/20, and fermented vegetables.

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Fun with Fermented Vegetables

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One last idea that I really believe in that I found Donna and other authors of similar “gut-healthy” diets tried to drive home, is that restoring health is not just about what you eat.  The personal care, cosmetic, and household products that we use several times every day contain toxins that mess with our body systems, causing issues, and sometimes, disease.  Refer to my previous post, “It’s Not All in the Food”  for more information.  Also, please contact me if you need assistance with cleaning up your products.

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I LOVE my work.  I am honored to be helping people eat delicious food that fits into their needs, and I love helping people to lose weight. I love learning from my clients.  I love learning about new diets such as Body Ecology and GAPS.  I look forward to learning more in the future.  Our connection to food and eating is necessary for life, but capable of healing and changing us, and so full of emotions and memories.

Cheers to summer!  I love you so, and will miss you dearly.  I hope your summer was as satisfying as mine. Here’s to starting a new season, and a new chapter!  Speaking of a new chapter, how do you like my new logo and website!  Many thanks to the talented team at Peppermint Media!

15 Day Victory and a Video

My strive to do a 30 Day Clean Living Challenge coincided with several catering gigs, and our family moving into a new house.   I grossly underestimated (again) the impact of moving, even if it was only two miles away.  Having to pack everything you own, haul it into a truck, drive two miles, haul it out of a truck, and unpack is a HUGE undertaking.  It’s probably not the best time to endure an intensive eating, exercise, and clean living discipline challenge while planning to blog about it.  I’ve never lacked ambition or drive.  The limited amount of hours in a day, and the human requirement for sleep seem to be my biggest obstacles in life.

So I did not complete my 30 Day Challenge.  In my strive for personal development, I have learned not to beat myself up. Take what you’ve learned and keep moving forward.  I did complete 15 days of the challenge.  I did lose weight.  I did stay consistent with strict clean eating and exercise for the most part.  There were times during the move and the transition when we had to go out to eat, and I felt the need to have a beer (or two).  I consider it a victory, and I am happy I was able to stay as disciplined as I did throughout.  My discipline and my progress continues.

Here’s the good news…we love our new house! Here’s more exciting news…my website is launching a new look.  Hopefully, next week! There will be printable recipes, weekly entrees that you will be able to order straight from the site, and other cool stuff, too. To kick off this transformation, I am posting my first Chef Katie Video with a very cool clean eating tip.  Enjoy!