March 8th is recognized worldwide as a day to celebrate the incredible achievements of women and continue to advocate for equal rights for women and human rights everywhere. Happy International Women’s Day!

In this age of divisiveness, I want to share my thoughts regarding the inclusive and community-building spirit behind International Women’s Day.

Here in Italy, it’s traditional for people to give a blooming branch of mimosa to the women they love and admire. I have mimosa growing all over my little olive grove, and on International Women’s Day, people of all ages come and pick branches of sweet-scented mimosa for their loved ones. It makes me so happy! Before the pandemic, I participated in a lovely Women’s Day dinner where the hosts invited about 30 of us as guests, and an all-male crew cooked and served us a delicious multi-course dinner. All my food was gluten-free (I’m allergic to wheat and intolerant to gluten) and absolutely delicious!

Happy International Women's Day!

It brings me joy to be a female entrepreneur working with women and families across the globe. From the very beginning, Build, Nurture, Restore was a resource where women came to feel nurtured and heard, shame-free. In fact, I started my nutrition practice by helping pregnant women and families of children with special needs with their nutrition (often doing home visits by bicycle!) in Berkeley, CA.

My vision, mission, and values have evolved to include empowering women in the preconception, pregnancy, postpartum, and lactation years, offering mentoring to help women grow robust business and clinical practices, and communicating concrete steps toward gender equity for all people by speaking to body, food, and parenting shame.

When writing the content for my three family-building courses, I included awareness of the common issues of shame and guilt that women—and families—experience around their bodies, childbirth, and parenting. There is so much judgment of our diets and lifestyle choices! These exist both internally, from years of societal conditioning, and come from those around us. While eating a nourishing diet and taking care of our bodies is critical, my most potent message is one of acceptance. I believe this message is one of the most important ways I can contribute to a more just and equitable world!

I also paid close attention to the research studies I used in my courses—were they performed on women? Were they applicable to women? And I pass on this point to my colleagues and mentees as well. Historically, research participants have been men, and the findings of these male-centered studies have been wrongfully applied to womens’ unique physiology. Thankfully, this trend is changing with our attention and advocacy!

I urge my mentees to create business structures and offerings that support their clients and their own families. How can we heal and grow together as a society without a solid financial and emotional familial infrastructure? Societies work best when everyone is well-supported and included, and right now the areas that need the most attention are those including women, parents, and families of all shapes and sizes. We can make large societal changes even in the seemingly small steps we take as business owners and secure households. Our financial and family safety equates to societal safety.

In case you’re wondering, my practice doesn’t just serve women. Some of my clients are men, and some are non-binary people. Some of my most amazing mentees are male colleagues who emphasize women’s health in their practice. And one of my main inspirations for being a strong woman is my son! The spirit behind International Women’s Day is, in my opinion, that what’s good for women is good for all people, and that what’s good for all people is good for women.

Happy International Women’s Day!