Why I’m traveling the world to get my culinary education.

If I hadn’t gone into design, I would have loved to be an anthropologist, detective or spy. I’m curious about how lifestyles differ from around the world, and I love solving problems. Most people are surprised when I tell them I like spy shows like Covert Affairs on USA Network. A strong, smart, kick-ass woman taking down the bad guys, shot in some beautiful, exotic locations. Sounds like a perfect binge-watching Saturday.

My current curiosity with food and nutrition started when I learned that 50 million people in the U.S. have an autoimmune disease like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and over 100 others (source). When I read in multiple case studies (see list below) that many symptoms could be reversed through an elimination diet, by cutting out certain foods that exacerbate the sickness, it broke my heart.

The intention of food is to give us energy and vitality. How has our system become so broken that people are dying from the food they’re eating?

This journey I’m embarking on is to uncover how our diet affects our health from different perspectives. What are the ingredients used in recipes that have been passed down for thousands of years? In Chinese culture, we use herbs to heal all types of illnesses. Growing up, whenever it was freezing outside, my mom would make me ginger and brown sugar tea to warm me up. If I was getting over a cold, she’d stew chicken soup with ginseng and goji berries to give me nourishment. If I was breaking out, she’d give me mung bean soup to “cool” down my “qi” and my pimples would go away. These are our cultural secrets that I live and breathe by.

dishes

I wonder if other countries have millions of people with food intolerances. What’s considered healthy or nutritious in different places? Does a predominantly seafood diet make you live longer? Why are the Japanese always breaking world records for living long lives? Could it be their diet? Or how about the Sardinian diet? Will you lose weight if you start using chopsticks? (Most Asians are pretty skinny.) Does drinking glacier water elongate your life? I’m excited to explore these and other curiosities.

Yes, there are many factors at play here, including government subsidies, food production and consumption, natural available resources, and so on. There are also degrees in food studies I could get and still not understand it all. What I am interested in is meeting real people and getting the story from the locals, improving my cooking skills and eating delicious things along the way! Thanks for reading and starting this journey with me.

List of case studies:
How I Reversed Hashimoto’s Disease with Food
Ancestral Eating Sent My Autoimmune Disease into Remission (Sjogren’s Syndrome, Lupus, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
How to Stop Attacking Yourself: 9 Steps to Heal Autoimmune Disease
Is the Autoimmune Paleo Diet Legit?
Janelle Reverses Autoimmune Thyroid Disease