My Own Journey
A little bit about my own journey as a chef and nutritionist.
What is "being healthy" anyway?
I started MamaKai in 2008, to support the health and well being of others through my love of cooking. My own path to wellness informs my approach and provides deep understanding and empathy for the personal journeys of everyone I have and will work with. As a young adult, I struggled with not knowing how to be healthy, or even knowing what “being healthy” really looked like. Pervasive body image myths, unrealistic expectations and poor diets only made things worse. When I focused my attention to the food I was eating and how my community was supporting me, I saw a way to turn things around. With a dedication to whole, unprocessed foods that our traditional ancestry flourished on for many generations, my body found a more balanced equilibrium and maintains great health and vibrancy. There’s no reason for me to keep this amazing information to myself; doesn’t everyone want to feel and look great? I’ve turned my insights into the foundation of MamaKai, with my background as a Therapeutic Personal Chef and Nutrition Educator. I see amazing results in helping individuals reach optimal health and it is a great honor to share these healing tools with more families through MamaKai.
A Launch through education...
My education as a Therapeutic Natural Chef and Nutrition Educator from Bauman College gave me the footing to understand how to heal the body from disease. In launching MamaKai however, I sought out ways of preventing illness even before it began. Since then I’ve prepared thousands of nourishing meals, taught many classes on nutrition and cooking and have continually surveyed hundreds of new parents on what ways they are preparing for their birth. As the need for MamaKai’s services has grown exponentially, it is imperative that passing the torch directly to new parents through thorough and comprehensive classes and additional resources empowers folks. It is the most effective way I can help so many take their own health seriously and their own full responsibility for it.
The Driving Force
I am incredibly passionate about my work, yes, but more importantly the results simply speak for themselves. New parents are hungry (pun totally intended) for a way to connect and celebrate their pregnancy with their loved ones. This is human instinct. Funny story: when I was in Italy and telling new friends about MamaKai and what I did, they looked at me like I had a second head on my shoulders, “Why would you need that Angie? Don’t they have family?” Not only are new parents craving this support, their caregivers (midwives, doulas, OB/GYNs, pediatricians etc.) are hungry to find great resources for them too. Of the hundreds of practitioners or birthing resources I’ve connected with, they all stress the importance of making sure healthy meals and day-to-day support are easily available. They know they will see better results in their own practices.
Thanks to you!
I feel very blessed in being able to provide care and nourishment in such a deep empathic way to families. Their gratitude is compelling and learning from their experiences has been inspiring and heartwarming. In collecting these experiences I’ve come to feel confident in being a mother myself. I know this experience will allow me to dive further into this work and live it first-hand while serving my community with deeper understanding.
Angie Needels I MamaKai Founder and Director