I loved my childhood, every minute of it. Growing up in Poland back then was so different from how I see children live today. We played outside all the time, we spent summers picking berries, nuts and mushrooms in the forests, going to the farmers market every day to have fresh food for that day. I remember spending time with my mother, grandmother and my aunts preparing fresh, wholesome, delicious fruits and vegetables for canning, preserving, fermenting and pickling. Our mealtimes were full of farm-fresh foods, home-baked breads. Eating was like a ritual, where entire family enjoyed each other and food. Best memories. My young little body was so strong and full of life!
Life, a new way
It was years later, when I moved to my new home in America, the land where I would make my own way, find great new opportunities to do things differently, that I discovered not everyone lived the way we did in my country. The bread was spongy and tasted strange, the convenience meals made no sense – I didn’t know what they were. And of course, it was ten times more difficult because I could barely get by in English!
The stress and strain of trying to make a new life in a country where I struggled to understand and be understood, on top of eating weird new foods that I didn’t recognize, made me gain weight, feel sick all the time, and wrecked my hormones.
At first, I pushed myself, working super hard to earn my way, cleaning houses, growing a business, but I just couldn’t figure out what was making me feel so sick and tired all the time! Well, if you’re being exposed to toxic cleaning chemicals all day, every day, trust me, you’re going to get sick! So there I was, the food, the stress, and even my job was making me feel horrible.
My hormones were totally out of whack. For many years I suffered from anxiety, leaky gut, food sensitivities, estrogen dominance, severe PMS, high cortisol, adrenal fatigue, acne, candida, high oxalate, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, weight fluctuations, poor methylation and detoxification, and low T3 free levels. All my systems were working badly like an old, broken-down car. My hormonal imbalances were causing me to feel anxious, bloated all the time, with cramps, pain, exhaustion and I couldn’t lose weight.
The coffee shop that changed my life
One day, driving along, trying to escape a Florida hurricane, my ex-husband and I made our pit-stop at a little coffee shop in North Carolina. It turned out that coffee shop was for sale, and I just knew this was where my journey would change; this is where I would get back my life, my health, my energy and my passion for those beautiful, fresh and nourishing meals of my childhood.
I won’t lie to you; it was an uphill battle sometimes. Food in America is so focused on convenience, ease of use, make it quick-quick-quick! We’ve lost touch with the goodness, the beauty and the wholesomeness of healthy and nourishing food, and replaced it with unrecognizable, unhealthy, on-the-go food. But I was on my Mission. I was going to bring back the goodness of Nutrition.
Years later, when we sold the coffee shop, I was still passionate about feeding people well, the right way, and I discovered a beautiful Vegan restaurant, D’Lish Very Vegetarian for sale. Well, that sounded just perfect! I embraced being a vegan and started making delicious vegan meals for the people of Sedona, Arizona. Life has it’s funny moments, though, doesn’t it? I believed I was being super-healthy with my Vegan lifestyle, but it turned out I was slowly building up deficiencies, because I didn’t understand Veganism well enough. I thought all was great, because I was losing weight and looking good! But my health was starting to suffer. It was time to get things on the right track.
Learning to thrive
After my divorce, I moved again, this time to Boulder, Colorado a mekka of healthy food! Mission: Nutrition was still on the go, and I threw myself into learning everything I could to become a holistic chef. I studied, I learned, I incorporated what I knew from experience with my new learning, and I discovered all the mistakes I was making that were damaging my body. By studying to become a nutritionist, I discovered that every single person is unique and has bio-individuality, different needs and different ways to help their body get strong, healthy and in shape.
It was then that I realized how important my diet had been for my own health – the deficiencies I had been suffering were causing fatigue, leaky gut, bloating, pain… even acne! Why? Because deficiencies trigger imbalances and when your hormones aren’t doing their job, your whole body suffers. But when you are in balance, when the right nutrition is flowing through your body, when your hormones start to kick into high gear, that’s when you start to thrive!
Today, I believe that nutrition is about more than just eating healthy food. It’s about finding the right balance for you, feeding your body, your mind and your spirit what they need to be strong, healthy and complete. Food isn’t just fuel, it is fuel, and medicine, and therapy, and your key to a nourished, healthy, balanced life.
Angie Spuzak is a certified Nutrition Consultant and Holistic Personal Chef, who works with women who need to achieve better hormonal balance and health. She is a believer in the healing power of nutrition, education and empowerment and works with her clients on healing body, mind and spirit through food, support and personal wellness.
She has been the proud owner of several vegetarian and vegan cafes and restaurants in the USA, including Waynesville, NC’s first vegetarian/vegan cafe, D’Lish Very Vegetarian restaurant and D’Lish Express Take-out in Sedona, AZ, and the Green Carrot Cafe, in Cottonwood, AZ.
Angie holds numerous qualifications, including a certification in Nutrition Education from Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts, a certificate in the Vegan Mastery Program from the Vegetarian Health Institute, and a Raw Food Chef Certification through the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy.
- GI Mastery Course Gastrointestinal Disorder Training For Health Care Professional
- Hormone Mastery Course
- The Amazing Amino Acids for Eliminating Anxiety, Social Anxiety and Panic Attacks
- FDN Advanced Stress and Hormones course
- Courses from Holistic Nutrition Lab
- Microbiome Mastery Course- SIBO Intensive Master Class and currently taking Women Health Coaching course form The integrative Women’s Health Institute.
Today, her emphasis is on the importance of eating whole and real foods, and her approach to healing and wellbeing is therapeutic, comprehensive, and restorative. As she says: “My favorite therapy involves food, because food will help you transform, feel nourished, and promote healing.”