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Rising Stars: Meet Emily Brulotte

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Brulotte.

Hi Emily, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
From the age of seven, as a competitive gymnast, body image and the effects of food was ingrained in me. When I was 16 years old, I was diagnosed with a rare brain condition called Chirari Malformation and had to have immediate brain surgery – my life as a competitive gymnast was over. After my long road of recovery, I dived into unhealthy fad diets and disordered eating to maintain my athletic build without gymnastics. Unhealthy eating habits spiraled in every direction and went on to be a part of my life for 10+ years.

I went to the University of Washington, where I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Shortly after graduation, I moved to my dream city of San Diego with no job, no friends, no family, and I had never even visited. I spent most of my 20s bartending and living a fun but unfulfilling life. A friend of mine told me about her holistic nutrition program, The Institution of Integrative Nutrition. I immediately, without hesitation, enrolled and started my journey into health and nutrition.

During the program, I was introduced to Dr. John McDougall and Dr. Neal Bernard’s dietary theories. For the first time ever, the information clicked and made sense. This was how human beings were designed to eat and live sustainably. With all the knowledge I had learned, I knew I needed to teach myself how to cook in order to eat according to their program. As I was learning to cook and eating a whole-food, plant-based diet, I saw almost immediate benefits – my stomach issues decreasing, acne clearing, losing weight, and all while eating an abundance of food. I was obsessed and intrigued with this lifestyle. I asked my dad to be my guinea pig and see if I could help him with his high cholesterol and blood pressure, skin issues and weight. To my surprise, he agreed. Within five months of following the dietary theory, he was off all medications, no longer had high cholesterol and lost 55 pounds all with food.

I wanted to spread this knowledge with the world and help change their lives. I wanted to cook for others and show them how to heal the body with food. With a few trial and error clients, I finally got one to stick. Throughout the first year of meal prep, I still bartended and taught myself to cook on my days off. I cooked for my clients once a week while constantly learning what worked and what didn’t. At the end of the first year, I was meal prepping for 5-6 clients. Once COVID-19 hit, my business started to take off. I nearly quadrupled my business and was delivering all throughout San Diego. The growth led me to a crossroads. I either needed to take it to the next step with a commercial kitchen and hire employees or scale the business back and work 1:1 with clients. Ultimately, my love for helping people achieve their health goals and creating personal and customized meals led me to scale down.

During my business transition, the first thing I did was enroll in my biggest nutrition and health mentor, Dr. John McDougall’s program. My plans are to continue to help and cure disease through food. I currently cook and meal prep for private clients while consulting them on nutrition to achieve their health goals. I also do catering events and work as a private chef.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’ve had my fair share of bumps along the road! For one, space has been the biggest issue. I live in a tiny studio apartment and was making close to 100 meals per week. I had to get a second fridge in my apartment. I was still running out of room with both refrigerators and almost needed to figure out a third.

Another hurdle was making food in such large quantities. It was difficult to keep the integrity of the food while still keeping the flavor profile I wanted. Also, cooking for so many people at a time and trying to accommodate everyone’s very specific preferences and allergies was becoming impossible.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a personal meal prep chef, caterer, and nutrition consultant with a focus in weight loss and heart health. How I set myself apart- everything I make is plant-based, whole food, oil-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free, organic, made from scratch and completely customized.

My passion is, first and foremost, nutrition. This sparked my interest to cook plant-based nourishing meals for not only myself but for others. I want to show people eating a whole food and plant based diet is maximizing their health and also incredibly delicious and satisfying. I focus on weight loss and reversing diseases through food with an anti-inflammatory diet while teaching people to maintain and sustain this lifestyle for the longevity of their lives.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I went through brain surgery at the age of 16. I had a rare condition called Chirari Malformation, where the brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. It occurs when part of the skull is abnormally small, pressing on the brain and pressing it downward. This caused the whole right side of my body to go numb and weaken.

This was one of the biggest hurdles of my life and especially during that age. I still have some numbness and small residual effects but otherwise have made a full recovery!

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Image Credits
Hillary Hawkins

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