Hello, World! Welcome to The Diva Digests! I’ve been ruminating on the idea of this blog for quite some time and have just been too chicken to get started. (Is it too cheesy? Will anybody read it?) I was emboldened to take this first step today by recent events (see below)…and it just seemed that I’d regret waiting any longer. I honestly don’t know if anyone besides my mother will ever read this, but it’s good to know that I’ll reach at least one person on this great, wide earth.
A little about me…
I’m an opera singer and a budding foodie and health/wellness nut. I call this little journal “The Diva Digests” in deference to my family’s proud (??) history of puns/plays on words. See, you can read “digest” as either “a summation or condensation of a body of information” (as in The Reader’s Digest) or “a product of digestion” (as in, The Diva eats stuff). So, put them together and you get “The Diva Eats Stuff and Writes About It,” for better or for worse.
I’ve had food sensitivities for a long time, and am a recovering sugar addict. In my first 3 years of wedded bliss, I gained significant weight eating a lot of Chinese takeout, drinking a lot of coffee, and eating whatever baked goods I could get my hands on. Two years ago, my sugar addiction actually started to negatively impact my voice – it depleted my immune system, and I was susceptible to virtually every bug I came in contact with. I finally ended up with back to back sinus infections (and back to back rounds of antibiotics), and between the sugar and the antibiotics, I was left with a systemic candida situation. Not just my intestines…it was on my vocal cords. I was so phlegmy that my cords weren’t properly adducting, and my voice started to get thin and reedy and (my mother will argue with me, Thanks, Mom!) unpleasant. Worse, it hurt to sing. I went on a strict detox diet and had zero sugar for 4 months, zero coffee and zero anything fermented. Not only did the candida clear up, but I lost 31 pounds without exercising. (Which was a most excellent bonus. Newlywed weight, begone!) I fell off the wagon and in the blink of an eye gained back 20 pounds. So clearly, as much as food can have harmful effects on a body, so can it have great effects on a body, when you’re eating the right stuff. And I’ve been trying to get back on track ever since.
So, I started to read Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live earlier this year, and boy, has it changed how I think about food. A food craving isn’t real hunger – it’s “toxic hunger,” which is the result of addiction. Changing to a mostly plant-based diet has really changed my food-awareness and has seriously curbed my cravings for sugar. I’ve never eaten so many dark, leafy greens in my life. (My diet is roughly 70-80% plant-based. I’ve given up dairy completely, and only eat fish and eggs.) I’ve bought more books on nutrition and detoxing in the last several months than I have time to read, but I am slowly working my way down the list. It’s gotten to the point lately that all I want to do is read about food, cook food, eat food, and, oh yeah, learn music for my upcoming gigs. So, I just registered for the Health Coach Certification program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). I’m so stoked! My classmates come from all around the world, and we’ll be joined together in what promises to be a wonderful, supportive and inspiring community.
Anyway, I’ll have more to say on that later. But making the decision to enroll at IIN gave me the courage to start this little endeavor. For now, I just want to introduce myself. I’ll try to keep it interesting. Don’t forget to chew!