About The Tastes of Life
Hi! I’m Angie Spuzak, founder of The Tastes of Life. I come from the old country - Poland. I live in Boulder, Colorado with my beautiful Australian Shepherd, Tessa. I'm a Natural Chef and Holistic Nutrition Consultant.
I love food, feeding people and teaching people about a healthy lifestyle. I love exploring shamanism, connection to the feminine and our cycles. Nature is my church, and I'm an avid animal lover! I’m a Sagittarius, and an introvert; I’m curious and I love community.
I'm the former Owner/Chef of D’Lish Very Vegetarian Restaurant in Sedona, AZ and
Green Carrot Cafe in Cottonwood, AZ.
I have appeared on Andrew Zimmern’s Travel Channel TV Show, Bizarre Foods, and local TV shows. I have also developed an extensive line of raw, organic, packaged foods.
I have been a food lover since I was a small child. I was given the nickname “The Little Taster” for suggesting improvements to my family’s recipes. I believe that living without good food is not worth living!
I used to eat very well in my country. Everything was fresh and made from scratch. I used to go to the farmers’ market every day to buy food for that day from local farmers. We used to forage all summer for mushrooms, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, hazelnuts and more. It was a huge tradition in my family to prepare food the entire summer for winter. It was fun, connecting and communal.
I loved my childhood, every minute of it. Growing up in Poland back then was so different from how I see children live today. We played outside all the time, we spent summers picking berries, nuts and mushrooms in the forests, going to the farmers’ market every day to have fresh food for that day. I remember spending time with my mother, grandmother and my aunts preparing fresh, wholesome, delicious fruits and vegetables for canning, preserving, fermenting and pickling.
Our mealtimes were full of farm-fresh foods and homemade breads, baked in our own oven. Eating was like a ritual, where the entire family enjoyed each other and food. The best memories! My young little body was so strong and full of life!
It was years later when I moved to my new home in America, the land where I would make my own way and find great new opportunities to do things differently, that I discovered not everyone lived the way we did in my country. The bread was spongy and tasted strange, the convenience meals made no sense – I didn’t know what they were.
The stress and strain of trying to make a new life in a country where I struggled to understand and be understood, on top of eating weird new foods that I didn’t recognize, made me gain weight, feel sick all the time, and wrecked my hormones.
After looking for answers, I discovered that the food quality here is not the same as it was in my homeland. I've discovered organic food and nutrition. I just knew this was where my journey would change; this is where I would get my life back, reclaim my health, regain my energy and rediscover my passion for those beautiful, fresh and nourishing meals from my childhood.
The rapid transformation after eating clean food and my lifestyle change were truly amazing. The food I ate, the non-toxic products I used (cleaning supplies, cosmetics, toiletries etc.) have helped me live to be healthy, and I want to share what I’ve learned with all of you.
Today, I believe that nutrition is about more than just eating healthy food. It’s about finding the right balance for you, feeding your body, your mind and your spirit what they need to be strong, healthy and complete. Food isn’t just fuel; it is fuel and medicine and therapy, and your key to a nourished, healthy, balanced life.
I’d love to hear your story. Please, get in touch!
Cooking Without Recipes
The way that I teach people how to cook is not your ordinary way - like blindly following recipes. Yes, you will get delicious recipes here, but you will also learn how to cook without them. It is not as scary as you think!
I don’t use recipes myself, and I never did, so giving you some specific recipes and measurements doesn't usually come naturally to me. I like to teach you how to improvise the recipes and use whatever you have on hand at home. This way, I put the power back in your hands - literally!
I want you to be confident in your kitchen. I wish you not to be intimidated by ingredients or by not having the right components. I want to show you that, when you open your pantry, cabinets or fridge, and see what you have, you can make the dish with what you have on hand.
You don’t need to be a professional chef or an artist. You just need to work on your skills a bit. If you are not a chef you likely don’t have the ingredients for the recipe at home (I don't always have everything either). Most of the time you are disappointed that you are missing the ingredients and that is it! No more cooking! You quit before you even start (I’m guilty of that too. I've done it in the past…..).
I want to show you that, instead of quitting, you can just modify the recipe, using what you have without going through the pain of shopping again. Many people, if they don’t have the ingredients on hand, will order takeout, which is usually bad food. Because of that, I like to encourage people to use what they have and make it anyway, or be creative and substitute the ingredients they are missing. Improvising recipes is a powerful tool, once you get the hang of it, because you can make whatever you want and it will taste good. I promise you!
Do you know that you actually have to cook to be well and healthy? Michael Pollan has said in his movie "corporations have convinced us that they can do the job of cooking for us better than we can do for ourselves."
No matter what the corporation, the stuff you make from scratch at home will almost always be healthier than the prepared things you buy.
People have forgotten how to cook; they have forgotten the connection to home cooking and what's happening at the table. I will always remember the relationship my family had around cooking, food and eating together. Those are the best childhood memories I have. Going to the farmers’ market every day; foraging for mushrooms, blueberries, hazelnuts, pine nuts and herbs; preparing fruits and veggies for winter; fermenting and more. Cooking was a community event - so much fun and laughter!
For me, cooking is not only about the food, but most importantly about what happens around the table.
Making good food accessible is really crucial to me, and any little way that I can do that makes me happy. I love to invite a bunch of friends over for a simple meal and make them help out in the kitchen - this just helps me feel like good cooking is within reach for everyone.
My ultimate goal is to make people comfortable around food, so they can just enjoy the moment, and maybe, eventually, pass that kindness on to others. Cooking for them, with them, just happens to be the easiest way I can do that and connect with people.
Anyone can learn how to cook and do it well. Be thoughtful. Be curious. Use your intuition to guide you to delicious food. If for some reason the dish doesn’t turn out the way it should, it's ok. You can always try again tomorrow.
We have become so busy with everything that we don't have time to stop and connect with people. When we meet a friend, we hardly find an hour for them, if that. We don't have time to cook, eat and enjoy the taste of food.
The fact that we have forgotten how to cook is one of the reasons that we've become so collectively unhealthy.
Why don't we focus on food, and healthy food where we get the best nutrition, instead of searching for a magic pill or supplement with the hopes that it is going to save us and make us healthy without any work. We are hoping that the newest shake mix, essential oil, supplement or something else will help us reach our health goals.
There is nothing farther from the truth. Without learning how to cook basic foods and nourish yourself with fresh, home-cooked meals, the breakthrough in your health isn’t likely to ever happen.
I know, I know! I have been raised in such a way that cooking is essential to me. Believe me, fresh food is one of the main ingredients that is still keeping me healthy all these years. I honestly don't think that I could be healthy without it.
Sometimes when I go to Whole Foods and see the ingredients in the dishes in the hot bar, I'm horrified.... like canola oil, soybean oil, etc; and they charge so much money for non-organic, unhealthy ingredients!!! Wouldn't it be easier to just buy 5 ingredients and fix a meal in 20 min or less knowing what you are actually eating? There are so many blogs with recipes nowadays to choose from.
Yes, I do love to cook! Yes, I am a chef, and honestly, I always come back to food. I strayed from it for a while when I was working on my Master’s Degree in writing in Poland, but food is my passion, and that passion led me to study nutrition and to take my health into my own hands.
When you think about it, wouldn't you rather eat a fresh, homemade meal instead of taking a pill? Be proactive, learn basic cooking skills, take a cooking class or watch a YouTube video - cooking can be fun!
Get an instant pot or thermomix- you don't even need a lot of skills to cook a meal with those gadgets. It doesn't have to be fancy...I don't prepare elaborate meals for myself. I eat simple clean food. I don't use a lot of ingredients. I cook in batches, so I have meals for a couple of days!