Tag Archives: food

Goodbye Summer


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.


They have goats!

They have goats!

Words to live by.

Words to live by.


Wedding Table


Wedding Setting



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.


Fun with Fermented Vegetables





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.


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!

It’s Not All in the Food



Several years ago, before I decided to become a chef, I became concerned about what was being put in our food.  I learned that processed foods were driven by big business and contained toxic additives and chemicals, white sugar, and high fructose corn syrup; with little to no nutritional value.  I was introduced to the organic movement, learning about the toxic chemicals that are sprayed on our fruits, vegetables, and grains.  Shortly after entering culinary school, I was introduced to the “Farm to Table” movement.   People began to demand to know what was in our food, where it came from, how far it had to travel, and even, who was growing it.

I am still embracing all of the above movements today.  I have made a career out of cooking food that is healthy and clean.  For several years, I have made great strives to buy organic and locally grown food products.  I also believe that it is safer to buy fruits and vegetables produced in the US, due to this country’s strict laws and regulations.

Recently, through a company called Beautycounter,  I learned that these laws and regulations did not extend to personal care products.  I learned that our shampoos, lotions, shaving creams, and cosmetics are loaded with toxins and chemicals that have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, and other diseases.

In this day and age, 1 in 2 men, and 1 in 3 women, in the US will be diagnosed with cancer. Ask anyone my age to ask their parents how many friends they had that had problems getting pregnant.  In the past two decades, the European Union has banned more than 1,300 ingredients in personal care products, while the US has banned only 11.  The US has not passed a federal law to regulate personal care products since 1938.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), actually allows companies to add chemicals that are know to be harmful, such as lead, formaldehyde, and phthalates.

Facebook Banner Countertime

Beautycounter not only produces personal care products that they have deemed safe, but they are also trying to get the word out about the harmful toxins in the products we use daily.  The company has banned more than 1,500 ingredients, setting a new industry standard.  Beautycounter ensures that their products perform, and are on par with any luxe shampoo, lipstick, or oil on the market.

Facebook Banner Lip Sheers

The company works closely with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which has developed an app that I urge you all to use and download, “Skin Deep.”  You can either scan the barcode or enter the name of your personal care products to see where they measure up on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most toxic and harmful.  All of Beautycounter’s products measure as a 0 or 1.

theneverlistbw  8x10


Referring to myself a “Wellness Chef,” or “Healthy Chef,”  who focuses on eating and cooking clean, I could not help but join this movement.  I care A LOT about where my food comes from, who grows it, how it’s grown, and what is sprayed on it or put in it.  Today, it’s not all about the food.  It extends to all the products we use.  We cannot always control water, air, and soil quality.  Nor can we control other environmental hazzards that we are knowingly or unknowingly exposed to, but we can control what we put into our mouths, and what we spread on our skin.

Check out these links to some press that Beautycounter has gotten:





Contact me or visit my website for more information:  http://www.chefkatie.beautycounter.com