My name is Isabel Tonelli, I grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina and I moved to New York in 1999 when I married my sweet husband John. We have three daughters, three dogs, a cat and a few goats, sheep and chickens. We live at our small farm in the Hudson Valley where we are inspired daily by the beautiful nature that surrounds us.
I am a classically trained chef, I studied Culinary Arts at the Art Institute. Many years later I enrolled at the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) to specialize in plant-based cooking. After I graduated from NGI I took a course called Food Therapy with Dr. Anne Marie Colbin who was the founder of The Natural Gourmet, this program taught me about the connection between food and healing. Discovering the direct impact food can have on our ability to fend off and reverse disease left me with a curiosity to want to learn more in depth about this connection so I enrolled at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). At IIN I learned about holistic nutrition, inflammation, auto-immune disorders, hormone imbalances, mood imbalances and how many of the symptoms associated with these disorders and others could improve or could completely disappear by simply eliminating inflammatory foods and incorporating super foods and healing foods. I was grateful for all the eye-opening teachings but the most important lesson I learned at IIN was the crucial role “primary food” plays in our overall wellbeing. Primary food does not refer to actual food but rather to all the other inputs in our lives such as relationships, career, purpose, friendships, self-esteem, spirituality and so on. I graduated from IIN and became a holistic health coach.
I have worked in the food world for many years. I worked with the fabulous uber charismatic Spanish chef Karlos Arguinano in his popular TV show in Argentina, I worked in the Food Network assisting different celebrity chefs, I worked as a restaurant consultant developing menus, I have also worked as a private chef for celebrities in NYC. Ten years ago I started Isabel’s Kitchen as my cooking label. I opened my vegan restaurant in Pine Plains NY where I applied all the health principles I had learned in my food, my product line, my cooking classes, my catering menus and in the group detox cleanses I offered weekly. I saw the hope and the sparkle in my clients’ eyes who through experiencing my three day detox cleanses learned not only how delicious eating healthy could be but more importantly how much better they felt in just three days of eating exclusively anti-inflammatory foods and following some simple lifestyle suggestions such as incorporating gratitude daily and spending some time in nature. The feedback I got from so many people on how what I was offering helped them feel better made me so happy and I realized then this was my Dharma, my life purpose. I no longer have my restaurant so Isabel’s Kitchen is now this website where I share recipes for a happy life and where I can connect with people everywhere who are seeking ways to improve the quality of their life. Nothing makes me happier than to know that I can have a positive impact on someone’s wellbeing by sharing the tools I have acquired in almost thirty years on this journey.
During the past two years I have invested all my time to studying mindfulness taking a pause from cooking. I have been a practitioner of yoga and meditation for almost two decades and experienced the many benefits they offer on overall health. I decided I had to teach these modalities alongside healthy eating. I felt this was the missing link in my offering as I am convinced that wellness is a 360 degree approach. I became a certified 500 hour yoga teacher through YogaWorks and a meditation instructor through the Chopra Center. I know feel truly equipped to offer my audience (YOU) a supportive platform, a virtual oasis where you can learn to nourish your body and soul in unison.
I am not a doctor and I do not make any claims that I have the ability to heal you. I simply want to share with you all that I have learned all these years so that you can feel your best in your body, mind and spirit. There is a possibility for you to heal yourself by tuning into your body and understanding where the imbalances in your life are. Our body is always looking to be in homeostasis so by finding ways to live a more balanced life you can start the healing process.
Try my recipes and you will see that eating healthy can be delicious and you will not feel deprived. Try my yoga classes and you will feel energized and centered. Try my meditations and you will feel calmer, more compassionate and happier.
All I want is to help you feel your best. I hope you will find the resources I share here at Isabel’s Kitchen helpful and inspiring and I hope you will join me in one or all the different classes I offer. I am here to support you and I can’t wait to meet you!