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Art & Life with Kassia Emily Fiedor

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kassia Emily Fiedor.

Kassia Emily, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was very blessed to grow up in a little mountain community called Crest, in East San Diego. My passion for the natural world came from exploring this remote desert land. As a child, I would ride my horse through the desert trails of white sage, buckwheat, manzanita, and oak trees. Often coming across metates ground into the huge granite boulders near my home, I couldn’t help but wonder which plants did the Kumeyaay ancestors use as medicine and food? Growing up close to the earth planted the seed for my reverence for nature, and gave me an insatiable curiosity about native and medicinal plants.

What ultimately guided me onto the holistic path was a horrible battle with acne in my teens and early adulthood. At the doctors’ office, I always felt like just a number – prescriptions were given without inquiring about diet, lifestyle, or stress. I didn’t enjoy the side effects either. I lost faith in western medicine as the answer to true health and started seeking a more holistic and empowered approach to wellness. I felt for sure that the natural world offered answers! I started casually exploring the plants in my backyard, making medicinal teas and herbal masks to calm my skin. I didn’t know what I was doing, and without the extensive interwebs we have now I relied on the few herb books I could find. After high school, I went to college for my bachelors in Psychology. It wasn’t until years later, after traveling the world and living a life of adventure, that I finally dove deep into the plant path.

I went to Bauman College in 2011 for Holistic Nutrition. Then I learned to cook at Three Stone Hearth; a community supported kitchen focused on nutrient-dense, healing foods. Working at Three Stone helped me embody the meaning of holistic – that supporting our own health with high quality, organic, local food grown with love means also supporting the planet. I started offering services as a private chef in San Francisco, and my business took off. I was doing what I loved – healing people through food! My next step on the wellness path was The California School of Herbal Studies in Northern California – I learned about medicinal herbs and started incorporating them into my cooking.

I currently work as a Holistic Private Chef, giving cooking classes and healing clients on a very personalized basis, encouraging my clients to live in harmony with their bodies and nature.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My art is my food. But I also just released a cookbook, Cocina Holistica: Plant-Powered Recipes Inspired by Guatemalan Superfoods. I lived in Guatemala for five years, and was amazed by the abundance of local superfoods! I fostered intimate connections with farmers and artisans in the organic and conscious food movement and encouraged Guatemalans to reconnect with the incredible native wild plants, herbs, and ancestral foods readily available there.

The book is a reflection of me, my background in holistic nutrition and medicinal herbs, living in different countries, growing up in California, and healing people through my cooking. The recipes are nutrient-dense, “California-style” vibrant foods that are inspired by the ancestral plants from Guatemala. Most of these ingredients can be found here in the states, as well! The book is filled with stunning photographs of Guatemala’s countryside and farms, with 40 creative, modern recipes. All are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and dairy-free. If you’re from Guatemala, you will feel a connection and familiarity because it is a celebration of the native foods there. And if you haven’t been to that magical country, my cookbook will make you want to go! My overall hope is to inspire renewed respect for indigenous foods all over the globe.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
What defines my personal success is happiness, contentment, and balance. When I am living in alignment with my higher purpose of creating true healing through food as medicine and making choices that are in harmony with the earth, then I am living a successful life – because I am doing what I love!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My cookbook can be found on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578450291

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mono del Espacio
Mandala Photo

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