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Vitality Foods  - February 2016 - Santa Fe

Celebrating Our Love of Food

By Valeria Alarcón


Celebrating food, family and fun was instilled in me throughout my childhood in Ecuador, where I remember living and thriving in the love of my family, and in the cultural and traditional ways of life. Culturally speaking family, food and fun are the elements that matter most in life, right? So when working with groups of people or individually one of the main areas of exploration around health is reconnecting people with the joy of food and the joy of eating. The way we feel and think about food has a bio-chemical effect in the way we digest and metabolize food. For example for some people when undergoing stress there may be a loss or increase in appetite, when people are angry or sad the body may increase its metabolic rate or slow it down. But this article isn't meant to dive into the bio-chemical aspects of nutrition per say but it's meant to recognize the opportunity we have to celebrate our love of food.


Sounds radical I know, but the way we think and feel about food has everything to do with the way we think and feel about ourselves, specially our bodies. This is part of the reason why I don’t believe in dieting, the idea of it and its prescribed approach feels very restricting and limiting. Imagine learning about your specific bio-individual nutritional needs, which are specific to your body and health goals. Imagine feeling a sense of freedom when it comes to food, to eating! Imagine finding recipes exciting and the process of preparing a delicious and healthy dinner becoming a ritualistic act of self-love?


Finding the joy in planning, cooking, preparing, serving and eating food can be a beautiful and nurturing way to express self-love and celebrate life! Approaching food as a palette of colors, flavors, aromas, textures and enjoying food through all of our senses, sight, sound, touch, scent, taste for the pure purpose of pleasure! And yes! Indulging through your senses as you eat your way through a thoughtfully and intentionally prepared meal supports and enhances your over all sense of wellness. In Europe, places like France, Italy, Spain and much of, if not all of Latin America, these cultures prioritize the time off to lunch, often taking an hour and a half to two hours with the intention of enjoying and sharing a meal in the company of loved ones. The more we can create time for self, for preparing, sharing and enjoying a healthy and delicious meal the more we are creating a quality of life that is rooted in celebrating the love of food and of creating community.  


A Celebration of Food and Self-Love Recipe:

  • Make time for self and explore recipes of interest

  • Choose three new recipes to make over the course of a couple of weeks

  • Take time to shop and intentionally choose locally sourced and humanely raised food products

  • Hand-write a lovely dinner invitation to family and friends

  • Arrange an inviting table setting and ambiance that expresses celebration

  • Share and enjoy your meal with grace, joy and celebration!

Valeria Alarcón is a Holistic Health Coach and Advocate AADP, whose mission is to inspire, educate, and empower individuals who are committed to reclaiming life and vitality through health and wellness. 


As a cancer survivor Val knows what it takes to reclaim life and vitality, and she is delighted to be of support to her community. For more information visit



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