FIT TO RIDE - Equestrian Style'

This article first appeared in:

 Equestrian Times Magazine

If you’re anything like me, you grew up eating quality ingredients, with a mother who wouldn't let you leave the breakfast table without finishing your morning orange juice.  Possibly, you had a strict grandmother that stated, “you cant live on love alone.” Maybe, you were on the opposite end of the spectrum entirely and are just now realizing how vital it is to know what you're putting into your body. We tend to think of wellness to be singular and somewhat divided from what wellness fully and truly encompasses. We look to the media, those around us, and the trends that quickly unfold as steady guidance to what we should and shouldn't do in the world of wellness. While some of this guidance is quality information or somewhat complex, we have to remember that we must suit the needs of our own personal health versus the overall suggestions directed to the general public.

When my interest in culinary nutrition first sprouted, I was a college student studying the building arts. Many students hoped to become architects one day with the study of construction being the foundation of their studies. As a chef, I must look at ingredients and nutrition quite the same as these aspiring architects. You cannot lay the foundation of your diet with rubbish. You do not begin a blueprint for a home without a proper plan, a strong foundation, and the means to support the structure. Your system is quite the same. A fashion designer or seamstress does not simply sew. They design and create a garment that is outlined to fit the human form in the correct fashion. A nutritionist does not simply educate others on nourishment without understanding the interworking of the human organs relating it entirely to food. An equestrian does not become a skilled rider over night without months or years of practice controlling their 1200 pound horse. My point is...



"Nutritional study and the ability to truly cook does not happen overnight, however a quality foundation must be established for your body to run at optimum levels."

We build slowly, take away slowly, adjust and perfect much like any skill. 

While I am no longer a part of the building arts, I would now consider myself somewhat of a body architect. While I note in my upcoming website, I am not a nutritionist nor a dietician. I am a chef, quality food pusher who serves nourishing, nutrient-dense, and honest cuisine. I gear people to focus on the idea that quality health is so much more than the displacement of disease while the statement “You are what you eat,” couldn't be more true in its suggestion. 

My company prides itself off of being plant-pushers, nutrient-hunters, and happiness foragers - knowing that creating an ecosystem of overall wellness trumps what any medicine could ever do prior to a disease. We refrain from dismissing your choice “diet” as we are aware that not one individual is alike, nor faces a similar battle. There is no “one size fits all” in the diary of culinary nutrition. We believe in creating concrete nourishment and dietary adaptations to suit your needs while showcasing that developing successful eating habits & a healthy lifestyle isn't a journey that should be spent alone. This is precisely why we are called The Cooking Collaborative, as we are here to support the battles, victories, downfalls, and celebrations that you have with food. We are a culinary hive & an education incubator showcasing the powers of food. Our success begins with our clients & users, creating a collaboration of individuals ready to build healthier and happier bodies.

Over the years I have found that the most vital source of health comes from a balanced diet. The term balanced is one of the key words I use to describe a nourishing diet because it hits all the nutritional requirements that your system needs to operate correctly. Using the word healthy to describe food cannot be stated as truthful as nourishment is never a singular victory. All nutrients & vitamins must work together to create a healthy body. If an orchestra is missing a key note for their symphony, the cohesion of the music is off. If a boat is not properly constructed it will sink while a parked car cannot move without the proper fuel. Your system is no different. It has to have the correct levels of nutrients and minerals to lay the foundation of your health. 

If you were to look deeper into overall wellness in the equestrian world, it is hard to fathom a rider being anything but physically and mentally fit. Much like I had noted previously, health is so much more than the displacement of a disease, it is important to uncover the laws behind a quality rider, one who seems as if they are one with their horse and a true extension of the animal. The ability to be in unison with your horse does not just come from the ability to control a horse through jumps. It is far more than this as many riders can attest to. While strength may be one factor in the ability to control a 1200 pound animal, the nutritional value of food and lifestyle choices play an enormous role in a riders ability to stay focused and and have lasting, sustaining energy. Not only is it about the health of the individual it is about the strength and wellbeing of the horse, which directly correlates to the riders weight, strength, and stamina. In coming articles we will uncover the victories we gain from the correct diet. Until then we invite you to try our recipes and discover how amazing the benefits of food can truly be. 

With wholesomeness,

-THE COOKING COLLABORATIVE, AKA CHEF DEE-