Stacy Cimino wants us to return to our grandmother’s kitchens.
“We need to return to an ancestral way of eating and look at how our grandmothers cooked,” the 41-year-old Cape Elizabeth resident said.
Cimino, along with her business partner, Helen Allard, owns Ancestral Path, a nutrition and lifestyle company. Within that is WHOLEmade meal shares, a homemade meal-bundle service in which Cimino and Allard prepare a week’s worth of meals for clients.
All of the meals are made with natural, locally sourced ingredients with no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or processed foods. Cimino said eating this way nourishes the body and makes people feel better.
“I feel most people these days are pretty sick,” she said. “Food is foundational.”
Cimino said she grew up eating foods typically found in grocery stores.
“I grew up eating the standard American diet, which I tell my kids stands for sad,” she said.
Her eating habits changed after she and Allard realized that despite their athleticism, they didn’t feel healthy.
“Externally we looked great, but inside we were falling apart,” Cimino said. “We looked to food as the solution for our bodies. It was really a lifestyle choice.”
Cimino and Allard, both nutrition therapy practitioners, cook 300 meals a week for clients.
“I’m cooking as if I’m having them for dinner,” Cimino said. “I’m cooking as if my best friends are coming over.”
Cimino said it’s hard to pick her favorite food, as it changes depending on the time of year.
“If you eat seasonably, it’s at the peak of its nutrition,” she said.
One thing gets her mouth watering more than anything, though.
“I get all excited when the sun gold tomatoes are in,” Cimino said. “That’s my favorite, with fresh mozzarella.”
As for guilty pleasure foods, Cimino doesn’t hesitate.
“Good tequila. And chocolate.”
Although she indulges every now and then, Cimino said, eating and cooking natural, healthy food comes easily to her.
“It’s just part of my existence,” she said. “It’s work, but it’s not separate from how I live.”