<p><a href=”http://blissandradiance.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/IMG_2062.jpg”><img class=”size-large wp-image-845″ src=”http://blissandradiance.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/IMG_2062-768×1024.jpg” alt=”Union Square Farmer’s Market. Photo taken October 2014. © blissandradiance.com” width=”768″ height=”1024″></a> Union Square Farmer’s Market. Photo taken October 2014. © blissandradiance.com
I first read about culinary nutritionist, Sue Ann Gleason, via an article and delicious recipes featured in the <a href=”http://www.oprah.com/food/No-Bake-Chocolate-Almond-Bars-Recipe” target=”_blank”>August 2012 edition</a> of Oprah’s O Magazine: Who doesn’t dream of eating chocolate for breakfast, particularly when there are so many (so-called) “sensible choices” around?!
Sue Ann’s message of savoring high quality foods and an exploration of the deeper meaning we might place on food was eye-opening for me. I truly savor the cycle of planning my meals, selecting ingredients, preparing and cooking food,… yes – even washing up! The act of mindfully preparing a nutritious meal brings me great bliss when in the past it was a bit of a chore. I hope you enjoy Sue Ann’s perspective on inner bliss and outer radiance.
<strong>1) What inspired you to follow your calling with food via Conscious Bites Nutrition? What’s on the horizon for you?</strong>
The calling was actually preceded by a health crisis. In 2006 I had a huge wake up call when my car veered off the road in the midst of Washington DC rush hour traffic. I had fallen asleep at the wheel after ignoring a soul crushing exhaustion that had taken up residence in my body. My rather driven lifestyle (as a chronic and recovering over-achiever) caught up with me and I found myself facing both adrenal exhaustion and an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disorder). My physicians offered me a medley of medicines but I wasn’t quite ready to hop on the pharmaceutical train so I began a tenacious study of ‘food’ as medicine. I went back to school and studied both nutritional science and also the psychology of eating because when I took a very close look at my eating behaviors, I had to face the unhappy truth that I had been at war with my body since the tender age of nine when I decided I was “fat.” I was convinced that I was following my mother’s footsteps into obesity. And that was way before it was an epidemic.
I am in the process of launching a brand new program that I’m super excited about: <a href=”http://consciousbitesnutrition.com/the-luscious-legacy-project/” target=”_blank”>The Luscious Legacy Project</a>. My deepest desire around food and nourishment is that we move away from a fear-based paradigm and ground ourselves firmly and deliciously in the positive aspects of food and the joy we bring to the table when we honor our lineage, our stories, and our foodie sensibility.
There is so much power in the collective energy of women coming together to honor their stories and the foods that connect them to their ancestral roots. This will be a beautiful marriage of food, love and legacy. You can learn more about that <a href=”http://consciousbitesnutrition.com/the-luscious-legacy-project/” target=”_blank”>right here</a>. The program begins on Tuesday, November 11th. Enrollment is open!
<strong>2) When ‘life happens,’ how do you re-connect to that original calling on a daily basis?</strong>
I have this little acronym that I made up to help me center when ‘life happens’ because, for me, it’s important to remind myself that I can simply return. Softly. My own personal anchor is: DANCE.
<strong>D</strong>o everything with grace.
<strong>A</strong>ct on your intentions.
<strong>N</strong>o is a complete sentence.
<strong>C</strong>ultivate curiosity and compassion.
<strong>E</strong>mbrace your body. Even your belly.
One or more of these reminders typically get me back on track when life gets in the way. And it will. We’re human.
<strong>3) Where do you look for new inspiration?</strong>
</p><blockquote>Courageous women who are following their hearts inspire me.”
<em>Sue Ann Gleason</em></blockquote>
For so many years I lived almost entirely in my head. I felt like I needed to study every piece of research I could get my hands on to unlock the secrets of health, happiness, well-being and whatever I was teaching at the time—from self-help to neuroscience. My personal library is rather astonishing. One day I realized I had completely lost touch with my own wisdom so I put all the brain-building books aside and made a commitment to read only literature for an entire year. And, to engage in creative pursuits rather than business building opportunities. I found so much freedom in that. My world felt more spacious. Now when I need inspiration I read poetry (David Whyte) or I listen to one of my spiritual guides (Pema Chodron, John O’Donohue, Angeles Arrien). But mostly, I steep myself in story: memoir and all the books I neglected to read when I was so busy “studying.”
<strong>4) How can nutrition positively impact a woman’s inner bliss and outer radiance?</strong>
There is so much worry and anxiety out there around food, weight gain, and not feeling sexy in our bodies. Too much worry. I try to help women look beyond the plate. More often than not we’re looking to food for all the answers in the “eat this, don’t eat that” sense. And then we become hyper focused on the food and we forget that our lifestyle is just as important. Sometimes more important. Are we managing our stress levels? Are we feeling fulfilled in our relationships? Are we doing the work we love? Are we taking exquisite care of our bodies, especially our adrenals? Are we getting enough restorative sleep so that we don’t need that coffee jolt in the morning just to get out of bed? Are we pursuing creative endeavors?
<strong>5) What does the phrase ‘inner bliss and outer radiance’ mean to you?</strong>
The body needs to be nourished by healthy relationships, delicious food and quiet spaces in which to land. When we adopt ‘habits of harmony’ we begin to feel that inner bliss you speak of and that’s when the outer radiance shows up.
<em>A lover of words, a strong believer in the power of imagination and a champion for women who want to lead a more delicious, fully expressed life, <a href=”http://sueanngleason.com/” target=”_blank”>Sue Ann Gleason</a> is the founder of several initiatives: <a href=”http://consciousbitesnutrition.com/” target=”_blank”>Conscious Bites Nutrition</a>, <a href=”http://consciousbitesnutrition.com/well-nourished-woman-inner-circle/” target=”_blank”>The Well-Nourished Woman</a>, <a href=”http://www.chocolateforbreakfast.com/” target=”_blank”>Chocolate for Breakfast</a> and <a href=”http://consciousbitesnutrition.com/the-luscious-legacy-project/” target=”_blank”>The Luscious Legacy Project</a>. Her work is driven by a deep desire to see women and ‘our girls’ embracing food and their bodies. When not delivering online programs, you’ll find her sampling exotic chocolates or building broccoli forests in her mashed potatoes.</em>