Wednesday, July 7

Today's Guest Blogga: Lia Huber of The Nourish Network

I'm happy to introduce you to Lia Huber, the founder and CEO of the rich-content website, Nourish Network, and its companion small-group coaching program, My Nourish Mentor.

Lia is also a widely published food writer and recipe developer, and a rising presence both on-screen and in-person. In any format she tackles, Lia brings passion—and fun—to her message of nourishing body and soul with every bite.

Today she is sharing a personal story, "A Nourishing Journey" with Food Blogga readers. I have had the pleasure of meeting Lia who is impossibly friendly, talented, and inspirational. I hope you enjoying getting to know her as well.

By Lia Huber

It’s hard to say where or when a journey really begins. Is it when you board a plane or buy your tickets? Is it when the first notion of moving ahead settles in your mind or on first glimpse of your destination?

In defining the starting line for my nourishing journey, I’m tempted to point to the year I spent in France and Greece in my early 20’s. The freshness of everything—at the open markets of Paris, on the family farms of Corfu—was an epiphany for me, as was the way a meal became the centerpiece of the day rather than something to be consumed quickly, illicitly, with as little fat or pleasure as possible. That journey planted a seed of how life could be … and, eventually, it took root.

Or I could cite the extended road trip my husband and I took in 2000, driving from San Francisco to Costa Rica, hot on the heels of a one-two punch health crisis: first a lupus diagnosis, then a cancer scare and hysterectomy … tough year for us newlyweds.

But really, I think my nourishing journey began even earlier. When, as early as high school, I was perpetually exhausted and so stiff I couldn’t get the toothpaste cap off in the morning. When I always felt out of balance and uncomfortable in my skin, carrying “twenty-too-many” despite feeling like I was constantly depriving myself (I came of age during America’s low-fat craze, after all).

Whether those events were the start to my journey or just preludes to the movement, I can’t say. But I do know that when we returned from Costa Rica and put down roots in California’s wine country, I was ready to change … but I didn’t know how.

So I set out to learn.

I began seeking out nutrition-focused assignments to learn what healthy eating really meant and found it looked nothing like what I’d thought it did. I challenged myself, an avowed vegetable detester, to explore the bounty of my new home in wine country; going to farmers markets, shopping from local purveyors and even planting a garden of my own. I found that the more connected I grew to food, the more passionate I became about protecting its source. And the research I was doing on what I should be eating was all pointing back to the foods that I’d come to adore through my explorations.

During those few years, something incredible happened—a few incredible things, actually—almost without effort. The lupus diagnosis was reversed (changed, actually, to fibromyalgia … which I still cope with), I went off medication for good and my blood counts returned to normal. I lost those pesky twenty and they’ve stayed away ever since. And, whether this is the catalyst or the consequence of those other changes is hard to say, I learned to enjoy eating and appreciate my body for the first time in my life. And as I gained more and more energy and strength in the years that followed, I realized I wanted to help other people learn to nourish themselves too.

Everyone has their own stories, their own set of circumstances. That’s what makes life so terribly interesting. Maybe you’ve sat across from your doctor receiving crappy news like I did. Maybe you’re tired of carrying around those extra pounds or exhausted from battling your conscience every time you put food on the table. Maybe it’s a little voice inside you saying, “this isn’t how I want to live,” but you don’t know how to change.

So I ask you … where does your journey begin?

Here are two healthy and delicious recipes that I hope you enjoy:

Roasted Cauliflower with Meyer Lemon Fauxaioli
This recipe embodies my transformation. I wouldn’t touch cauliflower when I was younger, but then I discovered how delicious it can be when coaxed along by a toss of olive oil and high heat. And as much as I love making food from scratch, and occasionally do, I find life doesn’t always allow time. So this “fauxaioli” makes a convenient stand in for the real deal.

Zucchini Fritters
These Zucchini Fritters, inspired by the salt cod fritters I so loved in Greece, would never have never made it past my guilt/deprivation police. The zucchini and bulgur would have turned me off as “too healthy” and the fact that they were pan fried in oil to yummy, crunchy goodness would have made me feel way too guilty. Now, I can enjoy them with abandon (I often do close my eyes and hum when I eat these) and know I’m doing my body good too.

More about Lia's Nourish Network and My Nourish Mentor: 
The Nourish Network is a website and conversational hub that promotes sustainable change with bite-sized articles on sound nutrition, “eco-clean” eating and being mindful around meals along with tempting recipes that put the principles into practice. Nourish Network recipes are rooted in seasonal ingredients while drawing on flavors from around the globe, most are doable in a weeknight, and all fall below the 500 calorie mark. Short Kitchen Tips Video Clips teach viewers time-saving techniques to help them get more comfortable in the kitchen, and a social media aspect—like Facebook for foodies—lets members connect, make friends, create profiles, and dig into richer conversation to foster community both online and off.

My Nourish Mentor is a six-month small group coaching program centering on the same core areas as Nourish Network: sound nutrition, eco-clean eating, being mindful around meals and getting comfortable in the kitchen. The approach—with online delivery and weekly group calls to make it accessible to anyone anywhere—uses a combination of learning, experience and personal guidance to help people change their relationship with food for good. Coming soon … mini courses that lead you, a taste at a time, towards sustainable change.


Kalyn Denny said...

Lia has always seemed like a nice person; thanks for sharing her story.

Lia Huber said...

Thank you for sharing, Susan! And for the sweet welcome.

If you come visit Nourish Network today, please pardon the sawdust -- we just went live with a redesign in the wee hours of the night! ;-)

Homemade Heaven said...

This is one of the most inspiring articles I have read in a very long time. Thank you for this.
I think my journey might just begin today.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Great guest post! I'm off to check out Nourish Network!

Lia Huber said...

Oh Rose & Thorn ... that warms my heart. I truly hope it does!

Tasty Eats At Home ... I'll look forward to seeing you there! Don't mind the oddities ... still cleaning up from the redesign.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

A very interesting post Susan and a new way of approaching life.

homegrown countrygirl said...

Nice post, Susan, thanks for sharing Lia's personal story. There is real satisfaction in knowing where our food comes from.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Thanks, for sharing, Lia, and thank you to every one who commented. I'm glad you enjoyed Lia's story. And I hope you visit her often!

Cailin @ Stir Crazy said...

I truly enjoyed reading Lia's post. Such an uplifting transformation and journey... I liked reading about her connection to and healthy relationship with food. Thanks for sharing!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Lia's story is inspiration and energizing. She's a wonderful "guest blogga".

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