with Denell Randall of Cervical Wellness
I come from a very middle class family, with not a whole lot of extra spending money, which means that my family was dead-set on budgeting, meal planning, keeping a running freezer-list, and cooking every meal.
I grew up in a household that did a lot of cooking. My mother always had a garden, and my father is a hunter/fisherman. This led to endless different combinations of meats, vegetables and fruits streaming into our kitchen, needing to be processed and cooked.
I also grew up in the house as the only-child in the house, with parents who didn’t let me watch much television or be on the computer very much (this was the era of the dawn of the internet, when AOL chatrooms we're all the rage). So, what I did, oftentimes, was sit at the kitchen counter and talk with my Mom and Dad as they cooked dinner, and watched what they were doing.
I was fascinated by the different tools, gadgets and steps they took to make the meals that we’d eat every day.
I’d observe the different ways in which my mom cut an onion depending on what dish.
Or how my father would always rinse off meat coming out of the plastic packaging because he didn’t want to eat the old blood on the outside.
I’d see how they cleaned the kitchen as they cooked so that there wasn’t a humongous mess at the end of the meal.
I observed how my parents pickled the green beans from the garden, and every summer my father and I would go to local blackberry patches to gather blackberries, and he’d make preserves that we ate all year round.
In the era before cooking shows became very popular with the Food Network, I had my very own cooking educational show right in my own home- and I didn’t even know it.
Looking back I now see that this time was a gift:
I come to recognize that most people don’t grow up in a household where the kitchen and food are central to their family culture.
I personally believe that this is one of the reasons for the quick development of so many preventative diseases that have popped up over the last 40 years- people are no longer taught the ways of the kitchen and food, and our relationship with food is now found through the Uber-Eats app or in the Chick-Fil-A drive through.
As an Integrative Health Coach and Wellness Educator, I'm committed to teaching and guiding people back into relationship with their bodies in new ways to cultivate real health and vitality.
It’s my deepest service to point you to the path to feeling good in our body, not from a “I feel so confident in my skin” type of feeling good, but actually feeling good in our body:
Our energy, our mental clarity, our libido, our vitality.
What I’ve come to deeply know and understand is that feeling good in our body all begins with the foundation of how we’re feeding our body.
What we’re consuming, how what we’re consuming is made, and how we feel about what we’re consuming, all play a role in the nourishing of our body.
This incorporates the Body/Mind/Spirit of not only our own human body, but of the bodies of that which we consume; the animals, the plants, the waters, the minerals. It’s all interconnected, and once I realized this, I recognized the true value of what I observed in my family during my childhood- that devotion in the kitchen with whole and vital ingredients set’s the stage for overall wellness in all facets of our lives.
I'm Denell! Returning to the kitchen and hearth is where I found a true sense of empowerment. I'm in complete control of the foods that feed me and family- the building blocks of our bodies and the central point of our well-being.
What greater sense of empowerment is there? To dictate the trajectory of the foods of our lives which make up our body?
I'm honored to be the keeper of the hearth of my home and is something I return to time and time again, especially as the world feels like it's getting crazier by the day.
I used to believe that tending to the kitchen (hearth) meant I was an oppressed woman, and that cooking and taking care of food in my household was an annoying chore. I loathed having to plan meals or think about shopping, and don't even get me started about how I felt about dishes! They were the bane of my existence- truly. Yet as I softened into the genetic memory encoded in my body that the hearth is a sacred place that can be tended to with love and devotion, everything shifted.
My mental, physical and spiritual health improved. My marriage improved. My sense of accomplishment soared. Food inspiration came flooding back. I recognized the unique power I held in my hands when I reclaimed my food (and kitchen) as a place of unlimited potential that can only better the well-being of my life and the lives around me.
After keeping this aspect of my life tucked away from the eyes of others, I'm ready to share all I've learned over the last decade of returning to the kitchen as a place of power, and help you remember just how lucky we are to be tenders of the hearth.