My story

Being effective in my work means being honest about my life—perhaps this story can offer healing. Welcome to Onion, a slam poem that depicts how food and cooking helped me find purpose through my pain.


Peeling my onion
Try as you may, try as you might
It’s been quite a fight
Hell was my life
The true role nourishment played in yesterday and today
A triumph for sure but so much endured
Childhood trauma, adolescent too
I did not choose
This pain
But it made me insane
So I turned to what I adored
A kind grandmother
Who fostered
Creative expression through food
A place to be free
Exploring the deep places of me
Through color, texture flavor you see
My connection burned at the core
But what was in store
Were eating disorders, physical illness
From the torment that was eating me through and through
Looked at constantly like a buffoon
But at the age of sixteen
A summer job cooking
In a health food café
Taught how to eat clean
Dirty I was from the trauma received
So my quest for pure ingredients
Healthy food, true nourishment
Was the only way to shout
From the life that was eating away from inside to out
It opened the doors
To so much more
Books read, therapy
Doctors, healers seen
I feverishly learned
An incredible support system creating new seams
Bigger dreams in store
Food investigated, cooking explored
Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian too
Macrobiotics and more, I grew
Doing all of this stuff way before it was cool
My anti-inflammatory purist regime
And moderation it seems
Plus gluten free for almost eighteen
Is what keeps me healthy from all this dis-ease
Physical and emotional, no difference you see
Autoimmune, kidneys, parathyroid it seems
More story to tell, my diagnostic hell
I’d rather not dwell
So culinary school, a masters in nutrition too
Healing yes, but pain still stuck like glue
I continued to blame myself
For all that I couldn’t be
Accepting the reality
Of trauma you see
Is too hard to swallow
I didn’t want to wallow
So I locked myself in a room
To write What The Fork
And folded into creating
Food truth uncorked
I thought it could be
Something to release me
Helping others you see
My own healing plea
So I bring to my work
The offerings I have learned
To help others along the way
Turn into their grey
Food can help heal
If we know what to do
It worked for me
I am living proof
I walk each day, standing tall
Managing illness
Feeling clean
So I scream
Welcome to me
And the truth behind my book
A labor of love and pain
There is so much to gain
From my journey
My writing
My love and energy to you
Take one small thing away from what I do
And perhaps it will help you
I am no judge of others
Just here to share my truth
Given these kitchen clogs to walk in
I wear them with pride
And walk side by side
With people who want to express what’s inside
Take care of themselves
Like I tried
My entire life
It kept me alive
Learning how to nourish inside
My onion
Slicing and dicing
The layers back
Like a culinary hack
Until I realized the key
Was about gently cutting and peeling towards
To get to the center
So life could be better
I realize it was never me
Releasing this story you see
A pinnacle for sure
Allows me to be free
I can truly help more
So if you want to heal
Your relationship with eats
It could be a start
To open up your heart
It’s about love, community
So come cook with me
Learn how to nourish thee
As a woman and mother
Heart, mind and palms open
I’m humbly here to help you
Peel your onion

© 2018 Stefanie Sacks