We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Botten and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Art & Creativity is the music to my soul, in particular the culinary healing arts. I found a way to improve my lifestyle through foods that made me feel better, starting the healing from the inside out. I made a few small dedicated decisions about my health & wellbeing, plus a promise to stick to the long-term plan.
Feeling good and eating right, becomes a habit, as we shift, we start to crave the endorphins flowing and food being the source of it all. The more beautiful the food the better, the yummier it looks, the more we want to have it. This creative angle to wellness, allowed me to replace what wasn’t working inside my body and digestive system. I worked a daily practice of removing the triggers or intolerant foods, and adding healing foods, spices & herbs.
Soon after I found my own successes, others were seeking the same healing tools that I had learned being good to my mind, body and soul & wanted to learn more. The balance of healthy beautiful food is that it also tastes good, that is the goal and has been my greatest challenge & achievement.
I’m a Private Healing Chef, specializing in customized meal recommendations, eating intuitively, self discovery with food, and one on one cooking lessons in the home, based on Nutrient Healing. Together we work to find harmony with imbalance or disease in the body with powerful food medicines as an alternative medicine practice. Nutrition alone is not fully responsible for the Lifestyle Shift that others may be seeking, but it is the best place to start. By simply adjusting ones diet, offers an awesome tool for people & is greatly complimentary to a healing journey.
What should our readers know about your business?
My journey to health, hasn’t be the smoothest road. Deep work on self, takes a lot of time and dedication, plus a commitment to your own heart. Unfortunately, there isn’t just one magical pill or food(although some are more powerful that others), for an easy answer to optimal health. YOU are the other ingredient to make the magic happen.
My professional recommendations for lifestyle upgrading, is nutrition adjustments towards a plant based, non-dairy diet. Dairy allergies can be scary, as I experienced them my entire life until my 30’s, once I realized that I was fighting an internal battle. Literally there was a War going on in my digestive tract, keeping me from being my best self. Myself & others have found that by just removing dairy products alone from your diet, one can see such a shift, it can be life changing!
I did have major sadness removing cheese and some of my favorite processed snacks from my life. Cheese was the hardest. I had FOMO. I LOVED CHEESE, and experienced a mourning period when I removed it from my life. I found through this process, it helped to stay creative with my food & offer myself alternatives instead of starving my cravings.
Through this process of food discovery, dairy alternatives became my best friend and I would make art from fresh food produce & ingredients that I had access to. I literally watched my body healing in front of my eyes and had to share it with others. We are not creating the wheel here friends, our ancestors have been living off of the land for thousands of years. This is a way of taking your health back, taking control of what you put into your body and how you spend your time, all the while, being as mindful as you can about things related to yourself & family.
All of this is the business of healing and living to sustain your health. My business is about personal testimony that connects people to their roots, and to the roots of their food. I went into business to help others and teach them what I learned. Through the years, my experiences have evolved and my business has moved more towards organic food gardening. Through the practice of growing our own foods, people are living with improved mental health, through seed to dinner table connection. Please contact me for more information.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would most definitely recommend that visitors head down to the beach, safely following the rules in place during this trying time, and do some rollerskating on the boardwalk. Maybe followed by that, grab a picnic or try cooking something yummy at your Air bnb if you are visiting. LBC guests would also love visiting one or more of our awesome farmers markets for snacks and connecting with local farmers. Down town is awesome and super eclectic, Uptown has soul and opportunity. Long Beach is like a large City with small town charm. Many like to dine at Under The Sun or Micheals DTLB, Ammatouli or Wild Chive, plus many many more. There is a lot of Street art and Murals all over, Urban gardens and dozens of fun dining experiences in between all of the culture. Please before leaving the area, take a breath at the bluff or join a Yoga On The Bluff Class by Dharma Shakti.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I did a deep (& currently still) study into the work of Anthony Williams, The Medical Medium helped me figure out imbalances in my feet 7 years ago (from over working and running for hours on high heels). His work also helped me understand my thyroid and how to mange fluctuations and triggers that disrupt normal energy flow. I was able to take control of my health by trusting his advise, others in our community, following testimonies of others healing journey’s & practicing the self care required to find results.
When people start to notice your health improvements or a smile returning to your face, others want that too. For those of you out there reading this, please share your gifts with others. If there is something that you know that someone else may also benefit from, by all means don’t keep it to yourself. Thank you.
Facebook Urban Gardening: @evolving_Parkway_
An extension of our food healing has branched into. product for women. I just launched a Feminine Care Product Line, using Local Organic Long Beach Honey as the magic ingredient. Our brand is called Ms.Bee Womxn. Find us here:
Heather Blackshire of Lightwork Portraits