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True Color Cooking
What's in a Name?
Article by Chef Harriette Bugel, LCSW owner of True Color Cooking a division of True Color Services, LLC

"What's in a Name"  The giving of a name gives life to an individual or an idea, a dream.   It gives impression of a particular personality. That's why our parents took so much time to name us before we were born.  The seed for True Color Cooking was planted bout 20 years ago when I was working for the AIDS Service Agency of Raleigh , NC.  I was the community educator and care giver at Housted House, a residence for men and women in the last 6 months of their lives.  The scope of my relationships and my skills as a chaplain and musician gave opportunity for me to participate in numerous memorial services.  Cindy Lauper's "True Colors", a new release then, was very popular.  I sang it often in celebration of a life bravely lived in truth.

Years past and a dozen job skill sets later I met a professional photographer named Bob.  We shared a joy of waltz and  contra dancing.  Bob could capture the instant of joy on a face of a dancer.  When we met I had also started catering for dance weekends.  He was usually in attendance and took pictures of me dancing and my food landscapes, then known as Edible Escapes. Thousands of photographs and then one day Bob was gone.  Months later I was  asked by his widow to officiate his memorial service.   There we all sat in several layers of circles, alter in the middle and surrounded by Bob's photographs silently shifting in and out of focus on three giant screens.  After a brief welcome I sang "True Colors" changing the last verse to speak of Bob ... then spoke ... "Bob revealed our true colors in every photograph he took ... how did he reveal his true colors to you?" The stories gushed forth for more than an hour.  For a moment Bob was there ... true colors blazing, brillent, crisp, clear.

Bob helped me to see my true self in the moment of a photograph ... my intent with True Color Cooking is to support your best self by following the Slow Food Movement, combining locally grown foods from sustainable agriculture methods in a manner that respects humanity and celebrates all the ritual of food in our lives.  See and be your true self ... let your true colors shine!

Visit My Website For Menus, Scheule, and More...

Opossum Wisdom
by Chef Harriette
Article written for Fairview Town Crier, published June, 2009

After a weekend out of town, I came home to find that an Opossum had come through the cat door.  While cleaning up, I realized she and I shared many survival skills.  As a Chef of forty-seven with ADD and self diagnosed Arthritis, I am constantly considering the implication of food for myself and others with similar diagnosis.  My seemingly dissimilar diagnosis  stem from food allergies or intolerances (wheat, corn, tuna, beans, dairy, soy, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, gluten).  Hyper-vigilant food alert is exhausting. So what do I do? Think like an Opossum: strategist.

Opossum are one of the great strategists of the animal kingdom. Ms. O apparently came to an arrangement with the cats to “share” their food and water for over a week.  The cats came in and so did she.   Opossums are one of the only mammals that can truly emit the smell of death when they fall over in that fake death.  (I know I have looked like “death warmed over” and emitted a few dreadful odors following poor food choices.) Possums will fight when cornered.  We fight for our health.   Possums remind us to use our skills of strategy to manage our challenges.  Ms. Opossum demonstrated particular adeptness by scoring in my pantry, foiling my cats and still making a clean escape.

Ms. Opossum illuminated that I had not been paying attention to the signs of her presence before I left town (partially digested food near the food bowl). Being mindful of changing sensations and new reactions is an important strategy.  They may be indications of shifting food allergies or sensitivities.  Possums can create distraction and throw us off track.  I am a sucker for “smart” packaging.   For example, I am careful not to consume corn in any form.  Not only does corn contribute to joint pain it causes mood swings and “fog brain” hangover the next day.  Observation and action would have avoided the whole home invasion all together. Similarly, observations to new products, reading labels and taking notes, balance with diet and exercise all give time for taking action not a reaction.

The Opossum clearly has numerous food choices on a farm, but chose the very best from my pantry. Demonstrating both strategy and knowledge of resources. You and I need to do the same.  Work with a competent health care specialist. Read content labels, twice. Tap into a local support group.  (The GIG - Gluten Intolerance Group - has a local chapter hosted by Shelia Horne at Research on the internet yields recipes, medical data and cooking suggestions.  May I suggest reading: Conquering Arthritis by Barbara Allen; The Gluten Connection by Shari Lieberman and The A.D. D. Solution by Marcia Zimmerman. These text  attended to the connections between joint pain, learning disabilities, ADD exacerbation, digestion/nutrition.  Adopt an adventuresome spirit with regard to shopping and cooking.  Eating is a pleasure.  There can also  be the “thrill of the hunt.” Shopping at discount food stores makes “testing” a new product affordable.  

Finding “Clean food” is relatively easy in the Asheville area.  The Slow Food Movement and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project guide us to local produce.   Trout Lilly, Green Life, Earth Fare and Whole Foods are conscious grocery stores making food combining less a chore and more a pleasure.  Lastly, seek out a Chef for Hire who are also counselors like myself (LCSW).  We can facilitate a wholistic - physical, emotional, spiritual - and practical approach to food consumption.

Now what am I going to eat?
By Chef Harriette
Article written for Ideal Publication, July, 2009

A new diagnosis - Arthritis, Diabetes, ADD, Celiac, Corn Allergy - often means a new
diet.  Your doctor will have you meet with a Dietitian or a Nutritional specialist.  They will give you valuable information. Then you go home. Then reality sets in. You are the one who cleans out the pantry, do the shopping, research the internet, and cook with strange new ingredients.  What is Quonia anyway?
May I suggest a companion for this new journey.  A Chef for Hire, who is also a licensed Clinical Social Worker, as I am, can assist with the life changes you are choosing to make.  The transitions I speak of are not only effect your relationship to food but all the cross road of food, family and friends.  Your whole life style, social calendar, budget, travel, family dynamics are about to change.  How do I know?  Been there.  I have Arthritis, ADD and a host of food allergies and intolerance.  My secrets, an adventuresome spirit toward life and determination. I eat and eat well. 

Hereʼs how I could assist. As a Chef for Hire, we set up a time to meet at your home. There, I start with a full meal plan assessment: diagnosis, restrictions, traditional eating habits, family make up, goals, budget, food likes and dislikes, kitchen layout and equipment.   Simultaneously, I conduct a more clinically oriented social work/life coach assessment: how does the new diet effect your life style; feelings about the diagnosis; social and medical support systems; local clean food sources; family food history and rituals; your social history with food. Taking all this into consideration, we work together construct a strategy that works for you. The strategy includes: recipes; menus; shopping list; suggested reading (Conquering Arthritis by Barbara Allen or The Gluten Connection by Shari Lieberman); shopping; reading labels; and testing foods.

I can also provide simple cooking lessons or prepare meals for you.   Restaurant and product recommendations are also possible.  My overall goal is for you to be comfortable in your own skin.  The foods you eat make all the difference in how bright your true colors shine. 

Leap of Faith - Verve Magazine
July/August 2009 Issue

by Jess McCuan
photos by Brent Fleury

Harriette Bugel likes to say that her religious tradition has gone from the noisy (Southern Baptist) to the quiet (Quaker). But in fact, after 20 years as an ordained minister and clinical social worker who married a Buddhist and helped hundreds of people through wrenching domestic violence and mental health cases, her views about religion are much more complicated than that. “Was what I was taught in Sunday school true? No,” she says matter-of-factly. Does she still believe in God? Yes. Now, at 47, she’s reinvented herself as a chef and caterer, but she hasn’t left religion behind. The Fairview resident still officiates at weddings and funerals and simply sees herself as more of a “food therapist” these days, someone who ministers to people through artful, thoughtful meals. “I’m still a social worker, I’m still a chaplain,” she says. “Now, I just do it on my own terms and in a slightly different venue.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

In My Next Newsletter look for more articles and essays by me and others that will help you with your food needs and choices. I will also be adding some great recipes you can prepare for you and your loved ones. I'll add more links for more informtion and to help promote some really great people, restaurants, bakeries, and hopefully where you can soon find some of my creations as well!

Please share my newsletter with your family and friends with the "Send to a Friend" link below and you are welcome to share this with your Facebook friends - just click the link provided in the footer!

Happy Eating and Cooking
Harriette Bugel
Chef for Hire

Nightstand Reading:

What you read as you drift off to sleep often impacts the morning.  A good cookbook fosters yummy dreams and smiles upon rising.  May I suggest the follow: 

Gluten Free Baking by Rebecca Reilly

Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts

Recipes for Health: Hyperactive Child by Janet Ash and Dulcie Roberts

The Gluten Connection by Shari Lieberman

The A.D.D. Nutrition Solution by Marcia Zimmerman

The Egg-free, Milk - Free, Wheat Free Cookbook by Hamrick and Wiesenfeld

Conquering Arthritis by Barbara Allen

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

ADD/ADHD off to the Grocery Store: Article by Rudy Rodregius, LCSW ADD/ADHD Life Coach

What's on your nightstand?

Harriette's Favorite Links:
Karina's Kitchen: Recipes from a (Gluten Free) Goddess
Elana's Pantry

Angie -

The Ruby Range

Where to Eat Gluten Free:

Green Sage - Asheville, NC

Posana - Asheville, NC

West End Bakery - Asheville, NC

Lov'n It Live - Atlanta, Georgia

Gluten-Free Goodies - Knoxville, TN

Gluten Free Registry
"Putting People and Gluten-Free Businesses Together!"

True Color Cooking, a division of True Color Services, LLC is a Women - Owned business, Member of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce and Fairview Business Association 2009

I promote and use locally grown, organic, ethically produced goods - Hickory Nut Gap and Flying Cloud Farms of Fairview, NC

I am listed in the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project Local Food Guide 2009-2010

“My Relationship with Food”
by Harriette Bugel

Yesterday afternoon I walked by an old blueberry bush laden with ripe fruit. Within minutes my taste buds were overwhelmed with berry juice. Such is my relationship with food. I see it, I eat it. Some days there's to much of a good thing. Some days there's to little of a balanced diet. Some days the least healthy choice is made and I rise the next morning with a chemical hangover. (Wheat will do that to you if your not careful to ask “what's in that?”)

Food and I are passionately enthralled with each other. Iʼm an average American, living in Asheville. I eat locally grown, mostly organic and a little processed food (crackers and bread). I am by no means a perfect eater. Through trial and error I have determined many food for which I have an intolerance or allergic reaction or for which a medical condition indicates restricting (ie. No nightshade vegetables for Arthritis, self diagnosed). I also have an “addictive” like relationship with food. By that I mean I use food to alter my mood. Even if it's food that the wisest choice I, like many, use food (ie. Coffee or sugar to stimulate, carbohydrates to subdue). Mostly it's my being absent minded vs. mindful and intentional about what I eat and why I eat. Such takes it tole on me, my physical and emotional health. I have an ethical quagmire. My relationship with food is unhealthy and unethical treatment of self. I am an ethical person. I need a food ethic, that which guides my personal behavior with Food.

Relationships entail showing up every day clean and clear headed. (I'm a lot more fun, trust me!) What is one choice I can make that will support my healthy relationship with Food? One component of the solution, for me, is concisely put by my friend Jolaine, coach and owner of Genuine You Coaching, LLC. ( It's called Intuitive Eating: “They are calm (around food) because they eat when they are hungry and stop when they are satisfied and emotional eating is a rare occurrence for them. They don't experience that out-of-control feeling ..." She goes on to say an “Intuitive Eater will welcome the abundance (of a cruise ship buffet), knowing that she will select only the most appealing items, savor every bite until she is satisfied and know that there will be more delicacies to choose from whenever she is hungry again.” (July 2009 Genuine You Newsletter) Mindful eating so that I can show up every day, display my true colors at their best and most brilliant is an ethical choice.

Click here to read the rest of the essay.

True Color Cooking • P O Box 258 • Asheville, NC 28802
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