Yoga for your Belly
Chef Georgia Morley has helped open restaurants from Edinburgh to Vancouver (most recently Heirloom, Vancouver’s largest vegetarian restaurant, named one of Canada’s best in 2013). Now in her 21st year in the food and beverage industry, Morley works as a holistic personal chef.
“When I was seven months pregnant with my son, I really started to get interested in using holistic nutrition as a means to fuel my creative energy,” says Morley. “I started to see that people were eating based on what they were seeing on television, in marketing, and the pressure of what they were being inundated with. They weren’t making conscious choices around food. So it sort of spurred me into an area where I could work with individuals.
“Everybody metabolizes food in a different way. So in combining the idea that we could use holistic or whole food in a preventative measure with disease, or say if I’m working with someone in sports and they need it to fuel their body, it can be very tailored to them and their specific requirements. And it’s brought me so much gratitude seeing the results — to watch people really come into their own in the way that they eat and choose food, how they feel about it, and the changes it offers them both spiritually and physically.”
Morley offers short- and long-term consulting, and collaborates with restaurants for workshops and events. “I can also just come in and teach you how to make it easy. People have a real attachment to thinking that eating whole food is challenging and more work. We’ve been so spoon-fed this idea that everything should be cheaper, faster, bigger — and we need to move away from that.”
In addition to nearly four years as a personal chef for Lululemon founder Chip Wilson, Chef Morley, who grew up in the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver, has also planned meals and provided nutritional profiling for Sting, Henrik Sedin, Tim Robbins, Jack Nicholson and on.
So does she prefer working in a bustling restaurant kitchen, or one-on-one consulting? “They both have very appealing strengths,” she says. “The sense of community you get from being part of a large restaurant project is really incredible. Watching my cooks unfold in their journey through the culinary trade and being part of something so magnetic is really exciting. And then, being a consultant gives you the means to find your brand, which has been a really big part of this journey for me, and the opportunity to create your own hours. I have a 9-year-old now, so I do a bit of both consulting and working with restaurants in contract.”
Next up for Morley is a collaborative project in support of local agriculture. “We’re starting a local distribution business, working with agriculture in BC to expand their farmland and offer them more support to grow. Then we’ll be opening a hospitality brand that will be casual and support an entirely local-living economy — without any greenwash.”
What advice does she have for those of us who enjoy eating meat?
“If I had my way, everybody would be vegan tomorrow. But I’ve learned through my journey eating that that isn’t necessarily the truth for some, and doesn’t work for all. The best approach is: how can you find meat that’s raised without antibiotics and steroids in an environment that is compassionate, and consume less of it? So it isn’t as much about vegetarianism as it is about being responsible for the environment and making choices that support our bodies nutritionally. There are some people and certain blood types who do better with some protein from meat, and there are others who really thrive on a vegan or vegetarian diet. I think it’s all about finding a great balance.”