Amber Caudle, founder of The Source Café in California, shares her path to healing from an adverse eating disorder — plus 2 favorite recipes
My food journey has been a wild one! I have had a dynamic emotional relationship with food since the age of 8 years old. My story is a long emotional one and I actually have a book coming out soon on my relationship with food.
I started having disordered eating and abusing food at a very young age. I started off starving myself, limiting calories by restricting, dieting, over exercising, purging and binging. This painful cycle went on for over three decades! I was exhausted and “sick and tired of being sick and tired”.
I was ready for a change and knew there was another way. About 10 years ago, my health took a crash. I had hit my rock bottom. I was overweight, fatigued, addicted to caffeine and sugar, full of inflammation and pain, overly stressed, suffering with hormonal and adrenal challenges, depressed and overall unhappy. I was so tired walking around with brain fog, feeling bloated, tired and feeling insecure in my body.
This is when I finally “woke” up and realized that I had been abusing food my whole life. It was time for a change. I was so desperate to feel better in my body and to find another way of living.
After going through a life changing spiritual awakening, I was on a mission to heal my body. I was also driven to start to heal my relationship with food and my body. I wanted to start to love the way I feed myself and learn to really love and accept myself and my beautiful body.
First, I have to say that if I did not have a spiritual practice of meditation, prayer, journaling and visualization, I do not believe I would have been able to start to love and accept myself. This is a big part of my story with food. I first had to get into acceptance with my body. Then I started to look at why I was eating. Why was I abusing food. I had to get really honest with myself. This is when the real work started and I was able to start peeling back the layers to see why I had been stuck in this painful cycle of disordered eating.
As I started to heal and really take a look at the causes, anxieties, and traumas that lead me to abuse myself with food, I was then able to start to feed myself with love. This is when I opened up my first restaurant, The Source Café. I opened up my cafe because I was so passionate about helping make a difference in people’s lives through food and to start to heal my body with the powerful healing properties of nourishing food.
This became my new mission on earth. To make a paradigm shift in the world through food. I wanted to make a difference in the way people viewed food and how they ate. I believe that what we put into our bodies matters so much now. We either pay now or pay later.
My creativity as a chef today drives my creations based on what I can and cannot eat. I do not ever want to feel deprived when it comes to food! Food is my life and I love food and I love to eat! I want people to get excited when they eat my food. And I want people to feel amazing in their bodies!
Over the years as I have been healing from my disordered eating, I have learned what works best for my body. What works today for me is choosing whole, nourishing, organic foods. I do not follow any specific diet or put any food rules on myself. That is what I did way too long and got me into trouble. I eat a variety of whole grains, grass fed bison and beef, eggs, wild seafood, tons of veggies and fruits, seeds and nuts.
It brings me so much joy to see what a difference my food makes in someone’s life! My intention always is to love the way I feed myself and to love my body! Stay tuned for my book coming out: HUNGRY: Why I F*cking Eat! And my cookbook out late summer: Sexy Nourishing Food to Fuel Your Mind and Body. For more recipes and holistic tips on healthy living go to chefamber.com and follow me on Instagram at chefamberla. If you are in the LA area, come say hi at one of my restaurants, The Source Café, in Hermosa Beach or Manhattan.
Here are two of my favorite recipes! Enjoy and stay strong and healthy!
Broccoli Spinach “Rice” With Avocado & Pumpkin Seeds
You can make this delicious rice substitute in under 15 min! It is full of nutrients and vitamins and goes well hot or cold with your favorite protein.
- 1 lb broccoli rice
- 3 T coconut oil or avocado oil
- 1 large red onion
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 1 t mustard seed powder
- 1 t dulse powder
- 1 ½ t salt
- ½ t black pepper
In a sauté pan, add the coconut oil, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and mustard seed powder and sauté for 5 minutes on high heat. Add the broccoli rice and sauté for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, spinach, lemon and dulse. Cover and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped herbs. Top with sliced avocado and pumpkin seeds.
High in plant protein. This dish is a great way to stay balanced when eating plant-based a couple days a week.
Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Maple Maca Cashew Cream
Delightful, delicious, simple and sexy! “These are a few of my favorite things!” The best parts of this guilt free dessert are all of the added benefits it brings with it: packed with iron, energy booster, and loaded with vitamins K, C, and E.
- 3 avocados
- ¾ cup cacao
- 5 T maple
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 T chia seeds
- 1 T vanilla
- ¼ t sea salt
- ½ t cinnamon
- Cashew cream:
- 1 cup cashews
- soaked overnight in water, strained, rinsed
- 2 T maple
- 1 T maca ¼ cup coconut oil Pinch sea salt
In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend all of the ingredients for the mousse until creamy. For the cashew cream, blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until creamy. Top the mousse with the cashew cream and cacao nibs with some berries.
Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron, high in magnesium and high in antioxidants. Maca boosts energy, endurance, and libido. Did you know—Avocados contain more potassium than bananas.
You may also enjoy Ketotarian: A Refreshing Take On The Keto Diet With a (Mostly) Plant-Based Twist by Dr. Will Cole