Influenced by childhood travels and experiences in post conflict zones, I have interests both in global cuisine as well as trauma rehabilitation, which carried me into my later studies and work. Sharing unforgettable communal meals and traveling the path of nutrition and cooking therapy has taught me what a powerful force food can be in healing both physical and mental ailments.
As a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco, I studied the efficacy of rehabilitation programs for survivors of human rights abuses. I went on to earn a Master’s Degree in International Relations in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where I researched post-conflict rehabilitation. I worked for a time at a mental and behavioral health hospital, before pursuing a new path that combines my love for community-building, cuisine, and effective care for the wounded.
I graduated as a Natural Foods Chef from the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver, Colorado, with the aim of empowering people to make wise food choices, eat mindfully, and nourish themselves – and in effect, their communities.
And so, with a little help from friends and mentors, I cooked up PeaceMeals.
I have seen how shared meals bring former antagonists together to talk about life beyond conflict. I have seen how cooking is a therapeutic art form which helps us glimpse beyond our grievances and grief. And a food is the universal equalizer.
I want to use my passion for holistic nutrition and cooking as a useful tool for those who have experienced the difficult things life throws – as a creative outlet which is both practical and fun. I seek to create a safe space for survivors (and really, we are all survivors of something, aren’t we?) to nourish ourselves and to share a table with support network of like-minded individuals.
I truly believe that I am called me to be a convener of people who need to find authentic community and respite from life’s storms. I believe that God has given us all purpose, and a life of vitality is available to all of us, no matter what we’ve been through.
I know that real, sustainable healing happens only from the inside out. This can begin at the dinner table, and does not end as the dishes are washed up.