Flavour with Benefits is a philosophy and a journey for women about life, love, food, travel and health. Every woman should feel happy, healthy and sexy. How we get there is different than it is for men. How are bodies work, how we think, stages in our lives and our biology are all complex.

My name is Cathy Connally. My earliest memories are of my mother, aunt and grandmothers nurturing, caring, cooking, baking, working or running businesses and generally making things happen. The world is built on the shoulders of women. We have many responsibilities and only WE can give birth. Much of our time is consumed looking out for our families, friends, co-workers, you name it. Without us, the human race ceases to exist, but it is even more fundamental than that.

Life should be about living. Food, and the places it comes from, are a big part of life. What motivated me to try to manage my own health with food, started early. When I was five years old, my father was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to France. My father, mother, brother and I all packed up and moved to Metz, France for one year, far away from the United States.

Upon moving to France, I enjoyed all the chocolate and cheese the country had to offer. My stomach became very distended. My mother took me to a doctor and received a diagnosis right away. The doctor laughed and said, “Oh it is just that she is eating too much cheese, nuts and chocolate. Her liver is inflamed. Just have her eat artichokes and it will be ok”. Sure, enough it worked. This was a turning point for me to realize that simple foods could “cure” a medical issue without medications and surgery.

Exposure to many different places throughout my life helped me learn about other points of view and other approaches to life and health. Wanderlust is infectious and seductive. It has opened my eyes to so many amazing places and people. I have seen people and places with great riches and extreme poverty. It all shapes us and opens our minds. From beautiful gifts from mother nature to incredible ingredients and foods that are unique to various regions, it is all incredible.

But I too, have faced the same challenges that many women face: how to keep a happy family, pay for what your family needs and maybe still further your own career. It is not easy. Time constraints are huge. Always racing to the next meeting, the next task. Exhausting and sometimes overwhelming.

It occurred to me that the culmination of my interests from travel, business, food and baking had really developed into a philosophy of how I wanted to live my life. Then I thought, maybe our journey as women should be called Flavour with Benefits. Yes, I borrowed from a racier similar popular phrase, and that is intentional. I think food should be fun, sexy and healthy. Food is social and it is essential. Why not celebrate it?

When you think about it, food is our constant companion throughout life. No person or animal will always be there, but food will be. And yet, many of us know so little about it.

If we can see food as fun and rewarding, maybe we will invest in learning about it, preparing it, and benefiting from it and maybe, just maybe we can experience a happier and healthier life.  

Traveling to exotic places, experiencing beautiful scenery, tasting new foods or learning about new ways to prepare new or favourite foods is exciting. I hope to inspire you to travel to many special places, but if circumstances prevent that or postpone those adventures, maybe you can live vicariously through the Featured Places section.  

Let’s make food our friend and celebrate it. Let’s make food that tastes good, is healthy and sexy. You can indulge in your favourite “cheat” foods, but let’s learn more about good food that we would like to eat every day and learn what the benefits are. Let’s change how we see, treat and eat food. Let’s fall in love again with food and the places it comes from.