Karen Ellis, owner of Healthy Attraction, LLC, is a classic example of the kind of person who, when life gives her lemons, finds a way to make lemonade. Ellis recently opened her business, Healthy Attraction, at 33 Bullet Hill, Suite 202, Southbury, where she consults with people who want to eat in a way to prevent illness, and also want to use the healthiest, whole, raw foods.
Ellis didn’t just start out eating this way. At the age of 35 she suffered a stroke caused by a diet pill. Her face and left side and arm went completely numb. Ellis visited a cardiologist who discovered that she had a congenital heart defect.
“While I was recovering, I read “The Zone” by Dr. Barry Sears,” Ellis explained. “Then I became a Zone certified nutritionist, and had 300 clients. Then, one year later, my husband was tragically killed, and I had two young children to raise.”
Ellis, who had been doing word processing work at home as she raised her children, decided to finish her degree in psychology, and then wanted to become a classically trained chef and a raw foods chef.
As Ellis began to put her life back together she realized that there was power in food. “Once you unleash the power, you will have control over the quality of your life and your health,” she wrote in a description of her business. One of the things that she shares with potential clients is that, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and leading medical experts like Dr. Mehmet Oz, many chronic diseases could be prevented, delayed or alleviated through simple lifestyle changes. The CDC, she said, estimates that 80 percent of heart disease and stroke, 80 percent of type 2 diabetes and 40 percent of cancer could be prevented by changing three risk factors: diet, inactivity and smoking.
Building on this knowledge and her personal experience, Ellis opened Healthy Attractions about one month ago where she has held two classes and has nearly 20 clients who want to improve their diets and learn about raw foods.
Raw foods may sound unappealing, but as we talked I snacked on a chocolate macaroon made with cacao powder and raw shredded coconut. Then I sampled a fruit tart with a crust made of dates, almonds, a drizzle of agave, and fresh blueberries. There is nothing processed in her recipes, Ellis says, and nothing comes out of a box. The end result (at least in the two things I sampled) is delicious and satisfying.
“My first class is introductory and talks about the detriments of sugar,” Ellis said. “I try to get people to get off of coffee. I find that women are hormonally affected by coffee. I, for one, get weepy, angry and short tempered when I have it.”
Ellis shows her clients how to make organic tea, great smoothies, a raw cashew dip with red pepper, and more.
“I have all the ingredients here and people can buy them and go home and make the recipes.”
Clients begin with a very personalized, one-on-one health intake. Then they may join an informative class where Ellis does a raw food cooking series. “The first class is breakfast, the second is raw dressings and salads, and the third is a vegetarian dinner with things like sweet potato enchilada, raw pasta primavera, and raw lasagna.”
Ellis is a classically trained chef, and she will often share with her students recipes for homemade refried beans, how to build and layer seasonings, and, perhaps, new things to do with something like quinoa, a whole grain. “I’ll show them what it is and ways to prepare it.”
Ellis is a classically trained chef (Lincoln Culinary School) and a Certified Holistic Health Coach (Institute for Integrative Nutrition, New York, NY). She is accredited by Columbia University Teachers College, New York, N.Y., and as a BS in Psychology from the New York Institute of Technology. She is also board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
If you want to know more about classes, recipes, and other programs, visit www.healthyattractionllc.com. Ellis has only been in business for a month, and held two classes, but recipes and news of programs should start to appear on the website soon.