Theresa Nicassio, PhD  Author | Psychologist | Host  “The Inclusive Chef”

Welcome to YUM!
Welcome to YUM, a community for anyone and everyone who loves food, life, and love. If you’ve ever longed for more joy, deliciousness and connection in your life, this site is for you! I’m Theresa Nicassio, the author of YUM: Plant-Based Recipes for a Gluten-Free Diet. It’s wonderful to have you join the tribe!

My life’s journey forever changed when my personal health crisis began in 1997. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to live more vibrantly, mindfully, and healthfully in every way possible and offer my insanely delicious recipes and health discoveries to help others.  On this site. I’m here to share what I’ve learned with you so that your quest to live a yummier and more fulfilling life can be easier and way more fun, regardless of your health conditions, food sensitivities, and dietary restrictions.

So, if you’re game to open up your world in amazing and delectable ways that you never thought imaginable, put on your seatbelt and get ready for an amazing ride. We’re going to have lots of fun and try new things together. Just be forewarned…once you start to bring more life-giving deliciousness into your world, there’s no turning back.

It’s time to enter the rabbit hole of YUM—the land of defiantly delicious living!

Welcome aboard!

Theresa

Theresa Nicassio, Author of YUM
Theresa Nicassio, Author of YUM

My Story & How YUM Came To Be…

As you may know, I’m a psychologist and a mom. The truth is, I am now also a Gourmet Raw Food Chef and Nutrition Instructor, as well as a Certified Integrative Energy Healer, and student of several other osteopathic healing modalities (e.g. Craniosacral Therapy, Lymph Drainage, Visceral Manipulation, and Neural Manipulation). However, becoming a chef was a very unexpected development.

While I’ve always been a great cook, historically I never really liked to cook! Especially growing up in a very gender-typed family, I grew up associating “cooking” with “women’s work”. As a strong and opinionated woman, it is not difficult to appreciate my lack of affection for the activity.  This all changed, though, when I became extremely ill and debilitated and didn’t know if I would live long enough to keep my daughter from becoming motherless before she graduated high school. It is pretty incredible how motivating the desire to stay alive can be and how potent the desire to be there for others can be.

It was in 1997 that the test began. It was really scary—my immune system was kaput—gone! Every pathogen possible ravaged my body and my poor respiratory system had difficulty offering me the breath of life. It was a long and winding road, filled with multi-organ inflammation and dysfunction, including my joints, skin and neurological systems, as well as my respiratory and digestive systems. I was in pain in every cell of my body, with the toxicity within me (due to natural, as well as pharmaceutical inputs) ravaging within me. It was ugly.

After over a dozen years of profound struggling, I accidentally discovered that at the root of my debilitation was my body’s disapproval of some of the food that I ate—most notably, gluten, dairy, and potatoes. Once this awareness came to the light, my health finally began to turn around. It was a long journey, but an important point along the way was when I decided to shift my perspective about my food restrictions to focus on what I “could” eat, instead of what I had to live without. I thought of it like a painter’s palette to create new art and as a creative challenge.

At first, the process seemed grim, but being the persistent solution-seeker that I am, nothing could stop me on my mission. After years of experimenting, I successfully created insanely yummy and healthy plant-based food concepts that everyone in my family could love, even without gluten, dairy, sugar, eggs, potatoes, and many other foods that can give lots of folks a tough time.

This was not my plan, but it was my Destiny—and one that I would never want to change. Because of my suffering, I now have been able to create a gift for others—the resource that I wish I could have found when I was so sick.  I want to optimally help others prevent themselves from having to go through what I did, if possible. If it is too late for that, I want to help those who are struggling find respite, ease and joy in their lives again.

Many others are like me—the symptoms are there and may have been throughout their lives. For example, I had migraines, rosacea, asthma, digestive problems and anemia since childhood, but never knew that the food I was eating was causing it. The crazy thing is that I know that I am not unique in this. Countless people have gas, skin rashes, headaches, heartburn, etc. and think that these symptoms are just a necessary part of living—when oftentimes, they actually may not be.  Knowing this, I am committed to share what I have learned so that even children can avoid this dark and lonely path and instead live vibrant and healthy lives. This is what YUM has been created to do.

Theresa

About the Author

Dr. Theresa Nicassio is a kindness advocate who offers her multi-faceted expertise as a wellness educator and professional to the community in her capacities as a registered psychologist, speaker, raw food chef and nutrition educator, magazine columnist, and radio and TV guest. Passionate about public awareness and empowerment, Theresa contributes to social, emotional and environmental transformation through social media, her online coffee table book wellness resource hub: TheresaNicassio.comand her blog YumFoodForLiving.com. She is also the multi award-winning author of YUM: Plant-Based Recipes for a Gluten-Free Diet (a 2016 Gourmand “Best in the World” winner) and now the host of the Dr. Theresa Nicassio Show on Healthy Life Radio.

Applying her broad psychological knowledge and skill base, combined with her personal experiences and challenges, Dr. Theresa Nicassio delights in challenging the status quo of limited and rigid ways of thinking. She embodies possibility thinking in the truest sense and embraces compassionate, choice-driven, and inclusive living as a central and ethical key for individual and societal transformation and healing. Her sensitivity to the unique and special needs of all who reside on this planet offers a new voice of hope, even (and especially) for those who are often left behind.

Theresa’s pleasure-based, yet socially conscious “inclusive cooking” paradigm and enthusiastic revival of “responsible hedonism” invites an easier, emotionally-sensitive and more effective way to approach dietary and other lifestyle changes that is kinder to ourselves, each other and the environment as well. The simple and incredibly delicious heart-healthy, anti-cancer and diabetic-friendly gluten- and sugar-free plant-based recipes in YUM defiantly demonstrate that previously considered impossibilities in life may actually in fact be plausible. This shift in mindset, metaphorically and whimsically created through recipes such as diabetic-friendly chocolate peanut-butter cups and lemon buttercream frosting, give rise to a much needed ray of hope in the current era of climate change and inexplicable health problems that have been on the rise, in adults and youth alike. In her book YUM, Theresa’s optimistic lens and unique perspective offers an unexpected dimension to the family-friendly resource for the body, the mind and the spirit that is accessible to all, transcending and melting away age, ideological and cultural barriers that too often separate us from each other.

Because her recipes are all easy enough that a 12-year-old can make them, no one needs to feel intimidated or unable to make mouth-watering creations. Novice cooks and seasoned chefs alike will love this refreshing approach to vibrant and passionate living, in and out of the kitchen.

Professional Bio

Dr. Theresa Nicassio is a Registered Psychologist (#1541) in Vancouver, Canada. She received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from The Ohio State University in 1991, then worked at the Counseling Center at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) until she moved to Canada in 1994 to work at the University of British Columbia (UBC). While at UBC, Theresa served in a variety of capacities as the senior psychologist at the Counselling Centre. She was the Coordinator of Clinical Services and Training and also an adjunct faculty member for the Department of Counselling Psychology in the Faculty of Education. Theresa also enjoyed teaching and supervising at the Adler School of Professional Psychology and at Langara College.

“Besides making me wish I was Italian, Theresa represents love in action. Many talk the talk, but she’s the real deal—her recipes are full of her generosity and spirit as well as deliciousness!”

– Sharon Hanna
Author of The Book of Kale and The Book of Kale & Friends

Theresa Nicassio, Author of YUM