daphne be youEvery week I write a column called BE YOU for one of the local papers (The Times of Acadiana) – Each week someone different answers the questionnaire – the paper often has to edit them,  so here are all the answers, unedited (the whole truth.) This week is Daphne Olivier.

Daphne is the ‘Unconventional Dietician’ – she is passionate about real food and the changes in our local food culture that embrace fresh, local, and unprocessed food. If her energy, delight with life, and beauty (inside and out) is anything to go by we should all be learning from this lady. You can find out more about her on her website my-food-coach.com – Check out her blog while you are there – she has some great tips.

What was your first job?
When I was 14 I started working at a concession stand selling nachos, popcorn, and
burgers at our local baseball park.

Describe a typical day in your life.
I’m usually up with the chickens to have some quiet time and exercise before the chaos
of the morning starts. I spend my days learning about food-cooking or fermenting new
things, working with clients who want to use food as their medicine, or reading about
food. Then the evenings are spent eating together as a family and discussing the day.
We also always make time to play before bed.

What advice would you give the younger you?
There’s no reason to try to make others happy. Just focus on your own happiness and
that in turn will make others happy.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
Hurricane Katrina. My husband and moved to New Orleans about 3 months before
the hurricane hit. I was working at the hospital during the storm. My husband & I got
separated, found each other again, then evacuated together. A movie script could
not have been written better. In addition to the actual hurricane, I was a part of the
rebuilding of lives, neighbors, our neighborhood, and a city. Although there was a lot of
devastation, the power of the human spirit during this time enriched my life forever.

What values do you live by?
Honesty and integrity

What do you most appreciate?
Honesty and integrity

What is your favorite journey?
The journey of life. I love how it has so many ups and downs, twists and turns. When
things get rough I just tell myself, “this too shall pass.”

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
In my hammock in my back yard. I can hear life around me, but can also shut it out and
just be with me.

What living figure most inspires you?
My mom. She has been through a lot and still holds her head high with a smile. She has
always been there to support me in everything I do.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
The quote from Henry David Thoreau “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Live the life you’ve imagined.”

What book would you tell everyone to read?
Either The Celestine Prophecy or Clan of the Cave Bears. They are completely opposite
books, but good in their own way.

What is the best thing about where you live?
The culture, the people, the food, the music-what’s not to love? I’ve lived in other places
and there’s no other place where the people so genuine everywhere.

How do you “let the good times roll” ?
Being anywhere with family and/or friends, listening to music, having a drink, and letting
the kids run around exploring life and having fun. That’s a good time.

What did u want to be when you grew up?
I’ve wanted to be a dietitian for as long as I remember. I was surrounded by people who
were always dieting and I knew there was more to food than being on a diet.

What is your motto?
“Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride, nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh no, I’ve got to
keep on moving.”

How would you like to be remembered?
It doesn’t matter if I’m remembered or not. When my time is done, my time is done.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
The phrase I chant with my boys is one I’ve adopted. “I’m smart, I’m strong, I can do

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
For some reason I’ve gotten into the habit of calling my son Dude, it drives me crazy

What is your favorite word?
“What?!?” in a somewhat sassy tone

What do you collect?
Cookbooks that were written before the 1950s and memories

What food could you live on for a month?
My husband’s chicken fricassee

What would you change about yourself?
I wish I were a little more extroverted, but over the years I’ve come to enjoy the process
of opening up. Kind of like a flower, ya know?

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
I’ve been described as Courtney Cox’s character on the good ole sitcom, Friends. But I
would like to think I’m not that neurotic.

Describe yourself in five words.
simple, considerate, empathetic, life lover

What is your idea of happiness?
Spending time with my husband and son outside-in the back yard, fishing, at the beach-
and having nothing to do except have fun with them

What is your favorite movie?
I don’t have a favorite movie, in fact, I don’t really watch many movies. Occasionally I
will enjoy a chick flick, but otherwise I don’t get into them much.

What music defines who you are?
I love southern rock and bluegrass, with horns

What do you most regret?
I’ve made a habit of looking at any situation as a learning experience and find the silver
lining. This way I don’t regret anything.

What question do you wish I’d asked?
What is your latest food obsession?

What would the answer be?
Fermenting (culturing) foods