The Healthy Gourmand
Gourmande Santé... French for "healthy gourmand." It is the food and nutrition ethos by which I live, eat and heal the body through food. Living between the United States and France (New York-Paris-Normandy-Miami-Marthas Vineyard) this paradigm of a healthy yet indulgent food lifestyle bridges together classic French culinary techniques and their predilection for all things gormandise, with an American health consciousness (without that growing obsession with "clean", "detox", and other empty food fad cults). There's a way to heal the body with nourishing food without forgoing pleasure. French friends have called me the healthy Julia Child...
Striving for such a balance between health and pleasure does not come out of "dieting" or even common health-consciousness. It comes out of necessity. A necessity to treat a chronic illness and an attempt to control my symptoms through food. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a rare connective tissue disorder that in the simplest definition is the product of a collagen mutation. Collagen exists in up 80% of the body's structure, so this condition manifests as a highly complex cascade of symptoms and co-existing maladies that touches every organ system. Debilitating chronic pain, dysautonomia, and a breadth of GI issues and complex effects on my nervous, central and sympathetic systems. But treating my symptoms with nutrition and educating myself on the complexity of food interactions within different body systems, I have been able to outweigh the bad days with good and have taken control back over my life.
There is no cure, only an attempt to manage these symptoms. Carefully executed food choices can help create a bridge to wellness. The roles vitamins, minerals, enzymes and different compounds found in foods can have in targeting weaknesses in the body is vast and researchers are only beginning to grasp the complex interactions and effects nutrition can have on the body.
But food should also be about pleasure, as life should be too. And being in pain to such an extent has further taught me the importance of pleasure and enjoying life, and that there is a balance between health and indulging in the flavours and culinary experiences that might seem small, but make life so much more joyful.
By researching food, testing recipes and food choices and living out these effects over my lifetime, I have been given a unique perspective–a bitter sweet position of privilege– with respect to food+health for both the healthy and those fighting their own body battles.
With Gourmande Santé, I am documenting this search for knowledge on how to heal the body with food + health and beauty cures + nutritional-insight + a more profound understanding of what we put in our bodies + and of course, healthily-indulgent recipes that don't forgo pleasure and happiness.
Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a doctor or certified health professional. The information presented on this website is collected from established research, medical studies and a transmission of information received from doctors in the United States and France, but is not intended to be followed as medical advice and should be taken in consideration with advice from your own doctor in the case of pre-existing health conditions.