Hello and welcome to Kale & Tequila!
You should love what you eat.
Enjoying what supports your health is better than focusing on restrictions.
Your body has the innate power to heal itself; you just have to get out of its way.
True beauty comes from the inside out.
When what you’re eating is amazingly delicious as well as nourishing and healing for the body and mind, guilt fades away and magic happens! I continue to be amazed by the power of a plant based diet.
What I eat
I feel best when I’m eating mostly organic fruits and vegetables, a small amount of organic, grassfed meats and wild seafood, gluten free whole grains, and healthy fats including nuts, seeds, avocado and olive and coconut oil, and spices. I try to avoid dairy and gluten where possible and think they’re inflammatory for most people. I love to experiment with cooking, but don’t cook anything too complicated or time consuming, so the recipes you’ll see here are exactly what I make for myself – simple meals with fresh, whole ingredients that are more of “putting things together” than anything fancy. I’d say I eat well 80% – 90% of the time, but I splurge on cheese, gluten free treats and tequila sodas every once in awhile – you have to live life (hence, Kale & Tequila :)).
My food and health story
As a competitive gymnast growing up, I had a huge appetite for the Standard American Diet; I’d often have a foot long chicken parmesan sub before practice.
My parents moved to Italy while I was in high school, and I also studied abroad in Rome, and I fully indulged in the pizza, pasta, fish, foccacia, gelato and overall Italian tomato sauce goodness. (Hint: this is a foreshadowing of my gluten allergy later in life.) After Italy I moved to New York to do a Master’s at NYU in Humanities and Social Thought, where I studied in part anthropology and the cultural origins of food, and wrote my thesis on the modern food identity crisis, which was entitled “Modern Food Anxiety in the United States: The Increasing Nature/Culture Divide and the Disruption of Cuisine as Regulatory Language.”
My health took a turn when I started my first job as a communication consultant at the age of 24 (most likely highly connected to the stress). All of a sudden, I was experiencing rashes that would crop up seemingly out of the blue, stomach pain and migraines. Over the next few years I tried to figure out what was going on through doctors – I got tested for Celiac, which came back negative, and paid thousands of dollars for an endoscopy and colonoscopy, both of which came back with the result of “mild inflammation” and no answers. I was having episodes where my stomach was sensitive to the touch and I was dizzy with fever and extreme stomach pain. My PCP told me I had food poisoning and sent me to the nutritionist Dana James.
Finally, things started to make sense. We did a blood test to see what I was allergic to, and saw that I was highly allergic to wheat (although not Celiac). Gluten sensitivity is a spectrum, and it can still wreak havoc on your body even if you don’t test positive for Celiac disease. Dana helped me realize that my wheat allergy was not all in my head – I absolutely needed to be 100% gluten free. Along with that, I began eating a plant based diet and saw major improvements in my health and energy. We also diagnosed and treated my Candida (yeast overgrowth in the gut) with a low sugar diet and antimicrobial supplements. Today I not only feel much better, but I feel like I’m starting to have a solid grasp on how to eat to maintain good health. I continue to love to learn about nutrition and health, and I’m now studying at the Canadian School for Natural Nutrition to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
I hope the site is informative for your own health journey. Thank you for visiting!