You all know I love to introduce you to women who are so dedicated to their own health and wellness that they built a business around it! I introduced you to Onya West, owner of Socamotion and Thema Azize Serwa, owner of The Womb Sauna. The thread that ties many women entrepreneurs together is that they were unsatisfied with the life they were living prior to starting their business.
I have written before about how blocked creativity can be a cause of the growth of fibroids and womb health challenges in general. What I have learned from being a business owner myself is that my business is a deep, creative expression of what I want to see happen in my life. I am reminded everyday that my life is for me to design and if it is unfulfilling, I only have me to blame. I no longer have to overwork myself with late hours only to feel tired, unfulfilled, and underpaid at the end of the week. We tend to make so many excuses as to why we cannot live the life we want whether it is because of your current job, lack of finances, your family, etc. However the women I feature in what is now called, the Watch Me Work! series decided to stop making excuses and started to find a way to live a life of their choosing.
Today’s Watch Me Work! interview is with Madea Allen, Chef and Owner of Organic Soul Chef, LLC.
G&L: Madea, please introduce yourself to Garlic & Lemons readers.
Peace, I am Madea Allen, chef/owner of Organic Soul Chef, LLC. I am a mother, dancer, healer and truth seeker. I started my business 7 years ago with the intention of empowering my community through wholesome living and wholesome eating education. To that end I have worn many hats along my journey in this work. Some of these hats include holistic health coach, organic/natural specialist, cook, chef, community chef and food educator, culinary instructor, culinary skills trainer, writer, speaker, wellness workshop facilitator, caterer and personal chef.
G&L: Can you give some detail about your journey to becoming a Chef and Health Coach.
In 2004 I experienced deep dissatisfaction in my job as a service coordinator. I wanted to make a more direct impact on those I served so I started to consider what other paths I could pursue. During this time my brother said to me, “you know we all love to cook, go to culinary school, become a chef.” He made a good point. My mother was an AMAZING cook and caterer so the love of making good food was definitely in my blood. I did some Internet research on culinary schools and found the Natural Gourmet Cookery School (former name of Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts). I felt like I struck gold, a culinary school with a health-supportive edge spoke to my interests exactly. I grew up in a household where my parents relied heavily on herbs, foods and natural remedies to address health issues so this school was in alignment with my belief in using food as a tool for healing. (G&L Note: To see Madea in action, view this video.)
I attended an open house and felt like I was home, like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. So I made the decision right then in the spring of 2004 to attend Natural Gourmet. As I was leaving the open house a big red magazine with a spiral on the front caught my eye as I got on the elevator so I grabbed it before the doors closed. It was the catalog of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). I read it on the train ride home and thought, “WOW, I have to go check this place out!” It was like each line of the catalog spoke directly to something deep within me. I attended IIN’s open house soon thereafter and enrolled in the professional training program (former name of the Health Coach Training Program) that same night. I was so excited about receiving an education that could help me to really help those around me that struggled with their health. I started working with clients halfway through the course and really enjoyed the work. I also facilitated several wellness workshops and cooking classes while still a student and felt that I had found my calling.
Two months after graduating IIN in June of 2005, I began the professional chef training program at the Natural Gourmet. It was awesome to put into practice in the kitchen many of the dietary theories I had learned about at IIN. This period was a huge turning point in my left, bringing me closer to the work I feel I was put on earth to do.
G&L: Tell us about your new e-cookbook. How did your interest in cooking with essential oils come about?
My new e-cookbook, “Soul-Stirring Orange Essential Oil Recipes”, features delicious and healthy recipes incorporating food-grade orange essential oil. The recipes are representative of the cuisine I prepare: fresh, seasonal, health-supportive. I also enjoy taking classic recipes (especially traditional “soul food” or Jamaican cuisine) and making them healthier by incorporating more wholesome ingredients while still maintaining the WOW flavor factor.
My interest in cooking with essential oils came about when I started using Young Living’s therapeutic-grade essential oils in 2007. These essential oils are so pure that they’re not just for topical use, you can actually ingest them. So me being the experimenter that I am in the kitchen, I started testing out the oils in my cooking right away. I made lavender lemonade, put orange in my chicken, put lemon in salad dressings, peppermint in my chocolate…yes, I went to town! Using the oils is fun, easy and gives me a peace of mind that I am actually increasing the already present health-supportive properties of my food.
G&L: What is the difference between essential oils sold in most health food stores and the ones you cook with? Please tell readers how to buy your oils.
The essential oils that I cook with are Young Living’s therapeutic-grade essential oils. “Therapeutic-grade” means that the oils are pure, medicinal, steam-distilled and contain all of the desired therapeutic compounds. The essential oils you purchase in health food store are one of the following:
1) Synthetic or nature-identical oils (created in a laboratory)
2) Extended or altered oils (fragrance grade) or
3) Natural oils (organic) and certified oils (pass oil standard tests but may not contain any or just a few therapeutic compounds
Unfortunately many essential oil companies even use solvent-extraction to obtain the essential oil from the plant, which involves the use of harmful oil-soluble solvents, such as hexane, di-methylene-chloride, and acetone. So of course this is why you see warning labels of “do not ingest” on the bottle.
From seed selection, organic farming, timed harvesting, steam distillation, rigorous testing to careful sealing, Young Living’s essential oil production is carefully supervised from beginning to end to ensure quality and purity. Young Living was actually the first to establish guidelines that define what a therapeutic-grade essential oil is and to create oils that met or exceeded any known medical standard.
To purchase Young Living essential oils, please visit my website: http://www.organicsoulessence.
You may also call Young Living Customer Care at 1-800-371-3515 (choose option 2 and use ID # 956273 to purchase). Feel free to call me at 347-247-5208 if you have any questions or need help purchasing.
G&L: How can essential oils, or aromatherapy in general, help women with fibroids or other womb health issues (infertility, endometriosis, PCOS, etc.)?
Before anything manifests as a physical symptom, there is first disharmony in your energetic body. This energy can be measured in terms of frequency. Everything has frequency. Essential oils, which possess particularly high frequencies, are first and foremost, vibrational healing tools, correcting you on an energetic level. Essential oils possess an intelligence that allow them to go exactly where the imbalance or disharmony lies in your body and help to bring correction.
In my opinion, a large part of fibroid and womb health issues are due to blocked energy that we carry in our wombs. Unexpressed emotions (anger, sadness, fear, joy, etc.) and desires unmanifested can become trapped or stuck in our body in the form of blocked energy. Furthermore, the womb is where our potential creative energy lives. How many of us are sitting on bright visions but too afraid to take a risk to see them through out of fear? Children as well as dreams and ideas are born in our womb. Just as we go for our annual gynecological visit, it is also necessary to perform routine energetic clearing of this area to keep this important energy center clear.
Therapeutic-grade essential oils are also an excellent addition to any fibroid or womb health healing regimen since they:
- are oxygenating to cells
- support the immune system
- are powerful antioxidants
- detoxify and enhance communication between cells, and
- are antitumoral, with the ability to digest and dissolve tumors
G&L: If you were making a meal for a significant other, what would you make?
Anything he wants except pork! LOL. If he’s a vegetarian I’d prepare the following:
Collard wraps stuffed with summer slaw served with tahini sauce
Black bean croquettes with avocado cream
Cilantro brown rice
Bok choy sauteed with onions and shitake mushrooms
Mint chocolate mousse with whipped cream and raspberries
G&L: What is your grand vision for you and your business?
My grand vision for myself is that each and everyday, moment to moment, I am fully present to the magic and wonder of life itself. With so many distractions, both internal and external, this is certainly easier said than done! My grand vision for my business is to create a holistic institute of learning and healing for people of African descent so we may know ourselves and heal ourselves authentically.
G&L: How can people learn more about your work and your services?
You can visit me online at http://www.organicsoulchef.com
G&L: Anything else you would like to share?
Join my for my next culinary workshop “Soul-Stirring Summer Salads” on August 25th. Click here for details: http://skl.sh/OR6Get Also, to learn more about how essential oils can improve your health, listen to Aromatherapy 101 and call me or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you!
Are you a woman business owner focused on health and wellness? Would you like to be featured in my Watch Me Work! Series? Drop me an email at chef@GarlicAndLemonsLLC.com and tell me about your business.