Colleen Hurley Elliot, RD
I have a pure, unadulterated, genuine love of food. Everything about it; from growing it, to cooking it, and of course eating it. I read cookbooks cover to cover like they’re romance novels. My heart soars over the comradery of cooking together. There is nothing more satisfying than craving a food or meal, procuring the ingredients, cooking, then siting down to said meal accompanied with a well-paired vinyl (yes, there is a record for every meal). Few things bring me more joy than sharing a delicious meal with people I love.
I have also seen the downside of food and how it can be used as a weapon of self-destruction. Food can be friend or foe, lover or abuser, healing or illness-causing; as well as a source of great pride or deep shame.
I spent nearly two decades being an intermediary between food and self for others, soldiering with clients through the war zone that is the power food can possess, extoling the virtues of exercise, and promising I can show you how to make kale actually taste good (which I can). I had always known it’s not my advice or the food I suggest that really makes the difference, it is rather the personal change an individual is ready to make.
Through age and experience, I’ve learned that that desire for change carries a very different reason to everyone, and sometimes it never comes at all. Always one for self-growth, I really began delving deep into my own reasons for all my things. Then, at thirty-eight, I found myself sobbing on the couch of a therapist for the first time in my life. My gun-show-worthy arms from all my crazy workouts were no match for the strength I had to muster to stand and face myself. All my ick, my sadness, and my trauma. To date (aside from the love I share with my husband) that has been my greatest accomplishment.
As one can expect, nothing can be the same after that – in the best way possible. Sure, I can write you a meal plan to help you lose five pounds but I’d rather talk about why you look in the mirror and don’t see yourself as the fine piece of ass you are.
My peri-menopausal bod doesn’t do what I want it to do, I can’t even talk about where rogue bits of chub are popping up (I’m kidding, I can totally talk about back boobs and muffin tops) and my alphabet is shorter because I am out of ‘f’s. Let’s band together, eat yummy food that’s not full of gross ingredients, move our bodies when and how we can, redefine our own vision of wellness, talk, vent, tell our stories about how the hell we got here, and focus more on lifting our spirits over our inevitably sagging bits.
Colleen Hurley Elliot is a registered dietitian, Master Gardener, and trained chef. Hailing from Chicago’s south side, Colleen brings a no-nonsense approach to utilizing California’s natural abundance, as well as years of clinical experience in a variety of settings including corporate wellness, integrative medicine clinics, familial nutrition, public health programs, teaching kitchens, classrooms, product development, and copywriting. After over two decades in the wellness industry, Colleen has realized that life is too short to not have chocolate, and that a woman’s dress size has zero reflection of her happiness.