Having grown up during the 70s with a single working mother, the food at home was what I would call, convenient. The freezer was full of TV dinners and the cupboard was full of canned pasta, canned vegetables, cookies and Wonderbread. This all made sense since it was the era of women moving out of the kitchen and prepared food being all the rage. When dinner was made, it was your standard meat and potatoes, with the emphasis on the meat.
After college I backpacked through Europe. This is where my taste buds really came alive! I remember tasting a Gyro in Greece, gelato in Italy and fresh fish caught off of the coast of Turkey. It all seemed so exciting and exotic.
Leading up to the time that everything changed for me, I’d say I ate a standard Canadian diet. I thought I was doing ok, but looking back, the focus of my food was always on how it would make me look on the outside, not how it made me feel on the inside.
Jump ahead to the most stressful year of my life: to the year 2006. As mentioned, I was raised by a single mother – she was my everything – I couldn’t imagine life without her. Along with being raised by my mother, was her sister, my Aunt “Meece”, who was like a second parent to my brother and me. On January 21, both my mother and my aunt were diagnosed with terminal cancer. My Mother had esophageal cancer and was given 9-12 months to live, and my Aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer and was given 12-18 months to live. My Aunt immediately moved into my Mother’s home which she shared with her husband. I became the primary care-giver to my Mom and Aunt. As strange as it sounds, we had some great times during the craziness of hospital visits and chemo. Then on March 31, my Aunt died peacefully in her bed at my Mother’s home. We were shocked of course, but we all kicked into gear to help my Mom. Then the next blow came. In June, my Mother found her husband dead in their bed. My Mother then went rapidly downhill and died on October 30 – almost 9 months to the day from the initial prognosis. During that summer, I had found a lump in my breast, but because I was so busy taking care of my Mom, I didn’t have it checked out until after the funeral. The fourth and final blow in 2006 came on December 19 when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
Having grown up in an environment of convenient food, prescription drugs, alcohol and tobacco, a holistic approach to health was never discussed, so it seemed strange and out of character to me that the first thing I did upon diagnosis was make an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor. But this is what made me feel comfortable and I must have intuitively known that there were other ‘answers’ out there.
It was here, at this point in my life, that I discovered food and its preventative and healing properties. I eat now to make my insides healthy and I don’t worry about the size of my pants because if you eat to be healthy inside, the outside naturally balances to where it should be.
I love what food offers ….. Alkaline vs. acidic, high glycemic vs low glycemic, how our organs respond to food, how our mood is affected by the food we eat, how our skin shows us what’s going on inside. and so much more.
I like to envision the food that I eat doing one of two things. It either feeds the “good army” making my cells happy and energetic or the food feeds the “bad army” making my cells clogged and susceptible to disease. I feed my good army to make my body strong and solid to fight against any bad army that may want to invade it!
And then of course there is our mind and body. I believe that there are three components to health: a holistic approach to food, a clear mind and regular exercise.
So, who is Jeffron de Savoye? I am a woman who finds great joy in dancing on Saturday nights, going to The Evergreen Brickwork’s farmer’s market on Saturday mornings, yoga-pilates fusion class, book club with my girlfriends, jogging, reading books about food, restorative yoga, knitting scarves, celebrating friends successes, hanging out in Kennsington Market with my family, swimming in a lake, meeting a friend for dinner, making breakfast for my kids before school, having parties, making people feel good about themselves, road trips and yes, when I feel lazy I love to watch episode after episode of Sex & The City on my laptop while lying on the couch!