When I began this business waaaaaay back in 2008, I couldn't have imagined this path or the journey I'd be taken on. My objective was simple: I wanted to do work that felt important. I wanted it to matter to me every day and, more so, I wanted it to serve a purpose greater than my own interest. I also never wanted my work to feel like work.
No big deal, right? But then it happened. It worked and in 13 years, the impact has grown beyond my wildest imagination.
One of my greatest sources of pride is in getting to witness the incredible successes of those who have sought my guidance – and there is no greater pool of this infinite inspiration than in the graduates of my flagship Culinary Nutrition Expert Program.
As the world seems to continue somersaulting in on itself over the last year or so, I have found a renewed energy in the work I am blessed to do, the company I continue to evolve, and most of all, the drive to shout it all from the rooftops louder than ever. Thirteen years after starting this business, the inspiration, drive, and excitement are greater than ever before – and it's nice to feel that perhaps this work is more urgent and relevant than ever. For this I am grateful.
As we prepare to open registration for the 13th run (10th online!) of the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program, it is the storm before the rainbow around here. We're all heads down and focus, focus, focus as we put the finishing details on our grand welcoming of the 2021 students.
My books mattered to me and, yes, my other programs are impactful as well, but there is nothing I have done that has the lasting life-changing and health-transforming effects of the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program.
I conceptualized this program 10 years ago, sitting at my desk in my 600-square-foot loft space that at the time served as my cooking school, bedroom (behind that curtain), closet, living room, and office.
When I first started running this program in 2011, I couldn't have begun to imagine that:
- I'd still be teaching this 10 years later (though the content, delivery, quality, and all that jazz has evolved 🥳)
- From my kitchen where I could accommodate 12 people at a time, that the program would scale to be delivered in such a way that I could invite in hundreds of people from around the world to take it together.
- The global community of graduates would be connecting, creating courses together, writing books together, taking each other's classes, buying each other's products, collaborating on launches, and in some cases, meeting up, going for meals, and becoming lifelong friends.
- Ten years after first creating this, I'd be more excited than ever to teach it again.
One of the most profound parts of teaching this program every year is seeing the transformational healing and growth that happens in those who join. It goes far beyond the course content and extends and touches all aspects of people's lives and those they share their lives with.
The reasons for joining vary wildly, but the results are fairly universal.
Culinary Nutrition Experts find themselves, some for the first time in their lives, in their purpose.
And for me, well, that isn't something I expected, let alone planned for.
Every time I teach this course, I also get better, wiser, stronger and more grounded in my own purpose. I hang on tightly (my team might say too tightly!) to what we deliver and how. My objective was never to be – and is not to be – the biggest. Just the best at what we do and how we do it.
Every April when registration for the 2021 Culinary Nutrition Expert Program begins, I am overcome with emotion and disbelief that what began as a little idea and a few people around my kitchen table is now reaching people around the world. Most often, it still feels like little ol' me at my kitchen table chatting with a group of students. I hope my students feel like that as well through their screens and the connections made across continents and oceans.
This year, the reasons for joining are different from the past. Many are joining me for this program because they are feeling like it's time for a change, time to do something just for themselves, or perhaps simply because they are yearning for a new experience. Perhaps you can relate.
What I do know is that being able to wake up every day and feel grounded in my purpose is a blessing that has no doubt been a critical part in preserving my mental health and resilience over the past year, and perhaps over the ups and downs of running a business for the past 13 years.
The challenges don't stop, they just change – just as the opportunities change and how I approach all of it continues to evolve.
I am curious, and would love to know what has been your source of purpose over this past year?
If you're curious about how some of my grads are using what they've learned, check this post out.