To be perfectly honest, I never had any ambition to become a nutritionist or any other type of health advocate for that matter. From a young age all I ever talked about was becoming a lead singer in a rock band. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t actually sing, I looked great performing in a mirror and besides, the kind of music I liked didn’t require singing. I even started taking guitar lessons when I was around nine years old. I guess you could say I was lucky, I knew what I wanted to be ever since I was young, but then how many dream jobs do kids actually pursue?
My life changed in 2006 when my mother needed heart surgery. It was one of the most traumatic experiences I’ve ever had to go through. I was suddenly faced with the very real prospect of losing my Mom. You can’t imagine how frightening that can be for a child, especially at that age. I couldn’t understand what was happening to her or why. All we knew was that if she didn’t have surgery, I might very possibly lose her. This was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to face in my life, but I also think I was fortunate in some way to have experienced it at that age. We’re all a bit more impressionable when we’re young and so I’ll never forget the emotions I felt, the compassion and empathy of the doctors who saved her life. They seemed to know and understand what we were all going through and that definitely made an important impression on me.
My mother is still going strong today, in large part because her ordeal forced her to re-examine her lifestyle and dietary choices. I wanted to be of assistance to her after she had her surgery and this path is what lead me to study nutrition and open my own wellness clinic. Working with my mother was incredibly useful for helping me learn about diet and nutrition and helping her recover and continue to make better food decisions to keep her heart healthy. I educated myself on the proper foods that she should be eating, proteins, fish, fruits and vegetables, whole grains. We got her a rice cooker and it became one of her favorite tools in the kitchen. She could make all kinds of rice dishes, which thrilled her no end because of her Asian heritage. She was happy that she could still enjoy the foods she grew up with, albeit altered slightly for better nutritional value. We found one for her at www.kitchendome.net, where they post reviews, recommendations, and helpful tips for buying and using rice cookers. Rice cookers are incredibly versatile and easy to work with, offering my mother countless recipe ideas that really helped her adjust her diet to the way it needed to be now that we had to watch her caloric and protein intake. A heart-healthy routine was imperative to her well-being and the rice cooker was a vital component to making that happen. I recommend rice cookers to all of my clientele now, because of the healthful benefits of rice and other grains that play an essential role in smarter eating.
Seeing my mother endure the challenges that she had to deal with and watching how the doctors helped save her, made me realize this was something I wanted to do some day. Maybe it was my way of showing gratitude for the life of my mother, maybe I wanted to help give someone like me the same hope I was given by the wonderful doctors who saved my mother’s life. Whatever it was, there was a new purpose that I felt to help others, but there was also something more to it for me. Like I owed it to her to do something great with my life. I know what it’s like to be on the other end of those tough decisions that need to be made by physicians and specialists and for someone who has felt those things, first-hand from doctors who exemplified the very nature of those virtues, this is a powerful trait to possess. I watched those doctors treat my mother with respect, make her feel safe, and above all, understand how she was feeling. They made a real, true empathetic connection with our family’s concerns and anxieties. I was able to comprehend the power in all of this and it fueled my passion and drive to pursue a different dream.