It is Thanksgiving Day and I can’t imagine a more appropriate time to be blogging about my experience with Alley House. Hello, this is Chef Gail Blair from Food Revelation and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be involved with this organization and these precious girls over the last 3 plus years.
About 4 years ago I was looking for a charity to get behind, a place to volunteer. While browsing through opportunities online, I ran across Alley’s House. It hit close to home and really spoke to me. We’ve been attached ever since. It didn’t take me long to realize what my purpose was there. It was to help teach these young women the importance of nutrition and its impact on health. In a nutshell, “We are what we eat”. We cannot escape the fact that our bodies require nutrients that come from nature to fuel and heal our natural bodies. And the performance of our bodies must be affected by the quality of the fuel. Good nutrition is paramount to health and can be obtained even on the tightest of budgets. Reaching as many as possible with this message is my purpose and passion. Illness is not a natural part of life – Health is.
This past year I brought in Alida Morrill, The Colorful Chef to help mentor these young women in how to cook and eat for health and well-being. I am so grateful for her and her specialty – “Keeping It Simple”. Alida and I added more meat recipes this year and encouraged the girls to have more input in the menus we planned. We focused a lot on shopping for inexpensive, clean, organic produce and how to make better meat choices.
Our happiness and well-being is directly related to our health. It is very hard to be happy when you are sick and miserable. It doesn’t matter how successful you are in life if poor health keeps you from enjoying life’s successes. Alley’s House programs are focused on ending the cycle of poverty and now also ending the cycle of disease. We are creating environments for health and abundance. We cannot escape our responsibility as a whole to this endeavor. Every individual affected by poverty and sickness effects the whole in many ways. We are connected. The good news is, as each one heals their life the world heals a little more.
Nutrition plays such an important role in helping these ladies rise into their power to create successful, happy lives for themselves. As they help themselves, they help their children, and every future generation. They have most definitely risen to the occasion this past year. I’m blown away every class at how focused and eager they are to learn and succeed. I know they are taking this information with them and also sharing it with their families. I hear the stories of their personal struggles at home with chronic disease, (obesity, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes being most prominent and all related to malnutrition). They now possess the tools to start reversing these trends within their sphere of influence.
This Thanksgiving day, I am so grateful for this journey and I look forward to this program growing and expanding. I’m so grateful for the blessing of these brief encounters with these amazing young women. I’m so grateful to be witness to their blossoming right before my eyes. I know how much Alley’s House touches these women when I see them choosing careers in community service, passing on, “playing it forward” what they have been blessed with. That is the greatest blessing of all! Thank you Alley’s House for all you do!
Happy Holidays and Many Blessings!