Join me in my kitchen for an infusion of modern living, to learn about herbs as nature’s pharmacy, and to enjoy food from scratch recipes.
Hi, I’m Vanessa! Welcome to my kitchen!
Welcome to my kitchen! This is my favorite place to spend my free time and entertain my family and friends, where I create and share my favorite food from scratch recipes that I have created with good-for-you ingredients. I’ll also be sharing some of my Italian heritage with you. My Nonnas and Zias were great cooks and over the years, I’ve learned a few things from them and I’d love to share them with you. I’ll also be showing you how to use herbs to enhance the health of you and your family.
Background & Education
Vanessa has been a physical therapist since 1992 and in 2018 her passion for improving her health, along with her love of cooking and entertaining for her friends and family, led her to become a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.
Nevertheless, her journey has yet to stop and in 2021 she received a certificate in Herbalism with a passion for creating skincare with organic herbs, food and recipes that support health and happiness during a time when we need it most!
B.S., Physical Therapy- St. Louis University
Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner- The Nutritional Therapy Association
Licensed RESTART® Instructor- The RESTART® Program
Certified Dementia Practitioner- National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners
Certificate in Herbalism- Herbal Academy International School of Herbal Arts & Sciences
Certified Food Protection Manager- The Always Food Safe Company
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, CSCS- National Strength & Conditioning Association (Retired)
A Few Fun Facts About Me
- When I was young I loved all things dance…..tap, ballet and pointe.
- I played tennis in high school and at the D-1 collegiate level for St. Louis University.
- I lived in downtown Chicago for twenty years. That is where I met my husband and where we raised our son until he started 5th grade. When I worked downtown, my office was right across the street from The Bean in Millennium Park.
- I actually have two kitchens in my home. Our house was built in 1947 and was originally built and owned by an Italian family. Back in the day, in the midwestern area where I grew up, many Italians had two kitchens…including my Nonna! The second kitchen was often used for baking cookies and desserts, preparing food for holidays and for entertaining guests! It was also a great way to cook in a cooler area of the house and to not get the rest of the house so warm during the summer months.
What is Herbalism?
Many of us know more about herbalism than we realize! Have you ever had chamomile tea with honey before bed to help you sleep? Likewise, do you ever taken elderberry syrup or herbal cough drops when you had a cold? Do you love using herb herb infused oils and vinegars in your salad dressings? Have you ever used fresh cut herbs for homemade pestos or soups? Have you ever used ginger for a cold, for digestion or nausea?
There are many things that our parents and grandparents may have told you to do without ever using the words “herb” or “herbalism”. My Italian ancestors would often eat fennel to settle their stomach after a meal to help digest their food. Certainly, herbalism is all around us. Is it time for you to get back to nature?
I am really excited to share some amazing recipes with all different types of herbs. I’ll show you how to use herbs to support your digestion, your immune system, and your overall health, as well as how to use them to make the most delicious pasta sauce, or “sugo”, as my Nonna would say! The possibilities are endless!