Past pupil, Lucy Hyland, did the Ballymaloe 12 Week Certificate in April 2009. Lucy is a Food & Health Consultant.
She decided to do the course just after taking voluntary redundancy.
I had been working in social policy and planning around the world, but knew I wanted to work more with individuals and their own sense of well-being. I had just finished 4 years of studying Nutritional Therapy in Dublin and I knew my direction was changing. I had grown more and more interested in role that food and nutrition plays in our health, but I knew something was still missing.
In some ways, the Ballymaloe course filled that missing link. Although I knew about the scientific side of how food benefited our health and had spent many years tasting my way around the world, I had lost the love and celebration of food after 4 years of studying and learning.
The course re-ignited what I already knew: that good food is not just about the ingredient and its health properties, but also about the lives of the growers, the history of the making, the health of the soil, and the journey from farm to fork.
This formed the basis of my new company, Food for Living, which was set up in the summer after I left Ballymaloe. I wanted to do more than simply hand out advice to people on what food they should increase and decrease in their daily diets. I wanted them to think about how they felt after eating, how their relationship to food reflected the deeper relationship they had with themselves and what else was involved in getting the food onto their plate.
Over the last 4 years, I’ve developed an eating well company that focuses on helping people create more of a link between themselves and the foods they eat. This involves designing recipes that inspire people to start cooking or using new ingredients; creating meal plans that allow people to improve health conditions through food and programmes that help people on the step by step journey towards a way of eating that promotes good health. It also involves working with individuals and groups to create a deeper connection to their own wellbeing through the food choices they make on a daily basis.
I am so grateful to Ballymaloe for reminding me of what is important and instilling this ethos in the way that I developed my business. Some days on the course I could have cursed getting up so early to pick herbs and leaves for the lunch! But, in doing so, it reminded me of the seasons, the freshness of the ingredients and the incredible taste of food that has been grown with love and care. The pleasure we get out of the food we prepare, cook and eat every day forms the basis of our enjoyment and attitudes of the richness in our lives.
At least, that’s what I hope to live every day with Food for Living.
Follow my food and health blog on http://www.foodforliving.ie