Lydia was raised in a couple of different places by a couple of well educated half-crazy people. She honed her PR skills and entrepreneurial spirit selling candy to elementary school chums on the unforgiving streets of Columbia, South Carolina, but on most weekends and every summer, her family packed the aquarium in the car and headed south to Edisto. Here she ran barely-clothed and sandy alongside her three pet guinea pigs through the parched centipede grass, following vague deer trails to her sloppily-constructed lounge spaces that were installed throughout the woods. Evenings were spent climbing trees, searching for hiding places for her cookies in rotted out squirrel dens, lest her parents steal them before she could finish them herself. Her parents remained preoccupied with making the dogs bark by filling their dishes with port wine and occasionally falling through various sections of the ceiling while doing battle with hibernating black snakes and copperheads. On the hot, lazy days Lydia stayed busy by coating herself in pluff mud on the banks of Store Creek while the porpoises circled and splashed around like not-too-hungry sharks. When her father threatened with the standard “How would you like to wind up on a milk carton, kid?” she would gamely troop landward and pull weeds, rake the cursed omnipresent pine straw, and fill bags with pine cones to add to the burn pile.
Lydia’s food sense came not from her parents, but rather from the many friends and parents of friends who took pity on her due to her family’s oft-empty refrigerator and her mother’s pronouncements of hatred for cooking (her father didn’t bother to express any sentiment regarding this subject). Years of what she considers borrowed meals shaped her affection for dishes that were made with love for other people’s children as well as for frequently crashed potlucks.
Her introduction into quality food only encouraged her gluttony, but Lydia learned to temper the excess with rock climbing, which was a a fair replacement for the team sports of grade school, in addition to a growing appreciation for food that was truly healthy and thus could be eaten with even greater abandon. In spite of being schooled to despise cooking, she slowly learned her way around a stove and cutting board and thus began to work on repaying the debt to her friends and repairing the damage that a life of eating too many Vienna sausages and microwave dinners can do. While earning her bachelor’s degree in literature she was employed at several restaurants and a climbing gym.
Her latest project involved attending the NYC-based Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she learned a holistic approach to lifestyle and food and received her health coaching certification. She now spends her days laboring as an entertainment rigger as well as a health coach for individuals who want to save themselves from impending mortality. Her evenings are often spent with good company in pursuit of quality food and drink that inspires dancing and humming and human bonding.
For more information about Lydia, her health coaching practice, her favorite books and music and animals, visit her website at http://www.lydiamcd.com or email her at healthcoachlydia (at) yahoo.com. Or, follow her on twitter.