Hi, I’m Andrea Livingston, a private chef and health educator in Portland, Oregon. I work with smart, forward-thinking individuals who want to eat food that helps them feel better.

So many of us want to change what we eat, but we don’t know how to tackle it without it being a huge unattainable goal that we don’t have the energy to begin.

Typically, we switch our food choices when we absolutely have to; when stress, illness or pain demands real nourishment for survival.

I’m here to question, how can we change to our conditioned eating habits BEFORE things go array?

As adults, we can take that moment to pause, and then reach for a healthy alternative that rewards our body, and still tastes delicious. This is how we train our mind and body to crave better foods.

That’s been my personal and professional mission for the last 20 years: To create even the smallest buffer; a breath or a new thought, an action or idea that allows my body to break an unhelpful or unhealthy pattern.

That’s how I came to create healing recipes that soothe what ails us.

While prescription drugs and conventional medicine certainly have their place, we have the power to use them sparingly and become our own farm-acist. This, I believe, is partial solution to our healthcare crisis. It starts in our kitchen.

Here’s how I landed here today:

At age 22, I traveled to South America, where I fearlessly indulged in the water, produce and local delights of the area. Soon, a parasite found its home in my belly and wreaked havoc on my health.

My weight dropped drastically, I had zero energy, and nothing in my stomach would stay very long. Eventually, candida had taken over my entire body.

I had to figure out what I could eat to make me feel better, and then find the strength to cook it.

Since Candida is incurable condition, even today, I have to manage my symptoms or depression and digestive issues will crush me.

Like most bad things that happen, this blew open the doors of possibility. Since I couldn’t tolerate most mass-produced food, I had to grow and prepare nearly everything that reached my mouth.

This launched my career as an organic farmer, gardener, educator, and researcher of the nutritional value of food.

My education and experience went like this:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with emphasis on Human Health and Sustainable Agriculture from Prescott College
  • Completed apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • Managed the expansion of the organic vegetable and medicinal herb gardens at Bastyr University School for Natural Medicine
  • Designed an organic gardening curriculum for the students and staff at Bastyr, and researched healing and nutritional value of food.
  • Completed the intensive Associative Chef and Instructor Training Program at the Living Light Culinary Institute
  • Earned certificates from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS); the Pacific Yoga Teacher Training in Seattle; Permaculture for Drylands in Arizona; and the Nutrition Therapy Practitioner Program.

Despite my commitment to clean eating, some days I make healthier choices than others. And I still struggle to create that buffer; a breath or a new action that’s different from where my mind wants to go.

As a mom of two young boys, pausing before I spew words of frustration has become my daily practice. I also shudder at the thought of public speaking which today, is now part of my job. It seems there are endless ways we can improve “who we are” and “how we choose” throughout our days.

I believe we’re all a work in progress, yet willingness and curiosity keeps some of us healthier and happier. So I invite you to join me on this mission of choosing differently in the ways we eat, think and respond to life.

All it takes is a moment of awareness (or just one healthy bite) to create a new life-giving habit.

Let’s meet online and keep this conversation going:

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