Today we’d like to introduce you to Angie Morales.
Angie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in a pretty traditional home with my dad being a detective for “Metro-dade” police dept. and my mother, a stay-at-home mom who hustled, selling homemade clothes, accessories, and desserts for a catering company. They both worked very hard to provide for my two sisters, brother and myself. My mother cooked every single night and we would often help her, so I think that’s where my passion for cooking was birthed! As I got older, I developed a love for working out – possibly out of vanity – but I became aware of “protein intake” and other diet fads known in the gym world (lots of powders, shakes, bars, and other processed foods)! I eventually became a dispatcher for the fire department and then moved out on my own, continuing to work out and cooking for myself. I would cook and eat whatever I wanted, not feeling any of the consequences due to my age and activity level!
A few years later, I got married and had my first baby. I then learned what “organic” meant and the important nutrition needed to support a growing baby; so I made all of her food from scratch. However, being a working mother, I stopped working out and found ways to shortcut my cooking by incorporating more processed foods while still indulging in whatever I wanted!
Two babies later, I quit my job and became a stay-at-home mom myself, and all of my diet and lifestyle choices caught up to me! My immune system was shot and I was getting sick every time the wind changed! My energy levels were so low, it was a struggle to even play with my kids. I even had a hard time remembering the little things because of my brain fog! I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired; so, I visited my functional medical practitioner and had some blood work done. Everything came out normal! Then he explained that when we eat certain foods not tolerated by our body’s, it uses up its defense mechanisms, like inflammation, to “fight” those foods rather than fighting bacteria and viruses. I immediately began an elimination diet over the course of a few months and developed a passion for cooking whole, real foods (unprocessed). My immune system was stronger during flu season, I regained my energy, started to think clearly and I was back to pre-baby weight… without stepping foot in a gym! This sparked my curiosity for nutrition and the impact food has on our bodies. I began to share pictures of my home-cooked meals along with nutrition tips I had learned, on my Instagram account. Friends started incorporating some of these tips and we’re seeing results themselves… that’s when TheRealFoodMama came to life!
I then left an unhealthy marriage, fearful of what my future would look like. After all, I had no degree, no formal education, no career to fall back on and three young children to support. I was determined to fight for my happiness, trusting that God would provide and simply taking it one day at a time… sometimes, one hour at a time!
I reunited with a high school friend who complained about how he would buy groceries only to let them go to waste. I offered to “Iron Chef” what he had in his fridge while he went to work and he accepted. That’s just what I did; made a few meals for him, left them in his fridge, cleaned and locked up. Later that night he called me with the exclamation in his voice “I feel like my mom was just here! It feels like Christmas!”. But I didn’t want to just cook food, I wanted to cook foods that were beneficial to each person’s health concerns and goals. So, I became a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, learning how to use “food as medicine.” I incorporated my education with my skill to help clients get back to optimizing their health and quality of life!
With my mother’s influence, the uncertainty of life beyond a failed marriage and the support of close friends, I have become the woman I am today!
Has it been a smooth road?
Smooth road, definitely not! I was dealing with a lot at the time of transitioning into this part of my life. My divorce was emotionally hard; feeling guilty about my kids suffering the consequences, afraid of what my future would look like not being provided for, and figuring out who I was all over again. On top of the divorce, putting myself through school and studying (which I was never really good at… I barely got by in high school!). Learning how to market myself and reaching clients. And during an emotionally vulnerable time, accepting critical feedback was hard as well! I will say that failing does NOT mean it’s the end. It’s actually a stepping stone into the next part of your journey. I’ve learned to use negativity for the betterment of me, strengthening my character. When you’re down, there’s really only one way up, but you HAVE to move. Move in that direction and don’t stay still! Whatever struggles you’re going through, “trust the process.” You’d be surprised at how much courage you truly have when you’re set to the fire!
We’d love to hear more about TheRealFoodMama.
I offer different services:
Personal Chef: Most people know they should change their eating habits, but don’t have time to cook high-quality meals. I take care of that for them!
Prior to any meal planning, we will meet for a consultation and discuss their health concerns and goals, taste preferences, and food allergies or sensitivities.
I then provide them with a trial week of my customized full service – I come to their house and cook five entrees, one being a breakfast item like a frittata, and a couple of sides. It’s enough to last five days, which include leftovers, so about ten meals. Each client of mine has a custom plan tailored to their health goals/concerns, but I always make unprocessed, real whole foods. I bring the groceries, cook, pack it up, leave it in their fridge, clean up and go!
Nutritional Therapy: Using “food as medicine”, I walk with you each step of the way to get you back to your best you! We’ll jump on a virtual call no matter where you are in the world, or we can meet at a coffee shop if you’re a local. In this private one-on-one consultation, you can tell mama everything you’re struggling with, like embarrassing digestive issues, or how you snuck into your fridge at 3 am to gorge on some pastries! This is a judgment-free zone where I walk with you each step of the way, tweaking your diet here and there, supporting your body with supplements it needs, and helping you create a healthier lifestyle!
Cooking classes: Want to learn how to cook real food, but don’t even know to hold a steak knife?! In these hands-on private cooking classes, I’ll teach you the basics! We’ll explore simple knife skills, different ways to cook one type of protein or even how to throw an easy side dish together! Make it an event by bringing your friends together and crack open a bottle of vino, because cooking should be FUN!
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Establish your “WHY.” You will always have ups and downs, and the downs will feel really hard at times. But remembering WHY you started will keep you moving. And DON’T. STOP. MOVING!
- Personal Chef trial weeks are $250 for 1-2 people and $350 for up to 5 people. The trial week is meant to gauge the amount of food you will be needing and to see if we are a good fit for each other! (Price packages will be given after the trial week, once we know what we’re working with!)
- Nutritional Therapy custom sessions are $200 each. I also offer different packages based on a client’s nutritional or financial needs as well.
- Cooking classes are $250 per person, or $150 for up to 5 people (food not included)
- Email: Angie@therealfoodmama.net
- Instagram: TheRealFoodMama
Sasha deAlmagro photography