Meet a Mom Monday – Meet Liz Bechtold, local Fairfield mom of 2, and founder of Nourish CT. Nourish CT was created to help guide families on a path toward eating real, nutrient-dense foods with her integrative nutrition coaching. She also provides help with refreshing your pantry to align with your health goals, as well as teaching personal cooking classes! Her cooking classes are a great “moms night out” and she also provides “mommy and me” classes which are a fun, interactive experience that empower your children to eat nutritious and delicious foods! Read more about Liz, and her business Nourish CT below.
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in Fairfield?
I am from Fairfield. My husband and I both grew up here and our parents are still residents. My brothers and their families live here as well. We are beyond blessed, but it’s also a testament to what an incredible place Fairfield is to raise a family.
Tell us about your Family!
My husband Justin and I have been together for 17 years – married for 8. We have two kids – Luke (6) and Lane (3). We have a mini Australian Shepherd named Fig.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I am trained in wilderness survival. I have traveled to very remote places for backpacking, hiking and canoeing trips. Being in nature energizes me, but it is also very therapeutic for me. My friends make fun of me because I am always suggesting an outdoor activity in any type of weather. I hope an appreciation for nature and a love for being outdoors is something I pass on to my children.
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood?
To find your village right away. Motherhood can be extremely isolating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Put yourself out there and find a community that will support you and let them share in raising your children. My friends love my children as their own and they teach them, correct them, and nurture them. These different perspectives are so important for my kids to learn from, and we feel so fortunate to have our families and friends here as our village.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
Fairfield has a small town feel with big city appeal. We love all of the communities we are fortunate enough to be a part of here and what they offer our family. We can expose our children to nature, art, culture, sports, food, faith and community service all while living in a beautiful beach-front community.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
Kids love to race, so instead of fighting about leaving the playground or heading upstairs for bedtime, I yell “race you to the car” or “race you upstairs”. It works every time 🙂
Tell us about your nutrition business “Nourish CT”, and when & why you decided to create this business!
Nourish CT evolved from a series of life experiences. When I lived aboard, I was exposed to a different healthcare system and realized how in America we treat rather than prevent. I had my own health scare after a car accident in my early 20s left me with some serious physical injuries and emotional wounds. A physical therapist suggested I explore an anti-inflammatory diet, which helped with so much of my healing. The path to Nourish CT all culminated when my daughter was born and it was clear early on in her life that she would have health concerns. By two months old, her body was covered from her neck to her toes in eczema, and at five months, she had a serious allergic response to almond butter residue on my fingers. We found out about her multiple food allergies the following week. It was our first experience in managing food allergies, and she wasn’t even eating food yet. My heart still goes out to every parent who has had this worry. I met with every doctor and chatted with every parent I could find willing to engage me in a conversation about eczema and food allergies. And yet, despite seeing some of the top doctors in this field, no one could explain why Lane had them or how to reverse them. They would show us how to use the epipen, and share that she would have to avoid these foods for life. I knew in my heart there had to be a fix and I found it by working with holistic practitioners. We put her (and our entire family) on an anti-inflammatory and microbiome-restorative diet. We made changes throughout our home to reduce the toxic load on her body. Finally, she was treated weekly by a holistic practitioner who followed the Allergy A.R.T. protocol. Through these interventions, we healed her eczema and her food allergies. She freely eats whatever she wants and we no longer carry epipens or worry about food!
The changes we made for our daughter translated to better health for our entire family, and soon enough, friends and friends of friends were asking for advice when it came to food and health. I decided to complete a nutrition health coaching program at IIN, and started Nourish CT with the goal of helping parents to encourage their children to love and enjoy nourishing foods that will lay the foundation for a healthy life. Making these changes means your children will bounce back faster after being sick, sleep better, function better at school, and feel better. We want the best for our kids in every capacity; their health should be no different!
What have you learned about yourself from starting your own business?
I’ve learned how challenging self doubt can be. It’s been challenging to put myself out there – to feel that my business is worthy. But in hearing the feedback and support, it has shown me that this is a need and people want to empower themselves when it comes to their health. I have never struggled with self doubt as much as I have running my own business, but it has been good for me to work through.
Tell us about the nutrition / cooking classes that you offer and what they entail.
Nourish CT works in two different capacities. First, I work individually with families to meet their own health needs in their home. This might include a pantry overhaul where we swap out their food for healthier – yet still delicious – versions. We go to the grocery store, and I teach them how to read labels. I teach them how different ingredients impact the body and the mind. I also work with families to swap out their beauty, cleaning and personal care products to non-toxic versions. I send them meal plans, grocery lists, snack lists and whatever else they need to set their family on the right path to eating and loving real, nutrient-dense foods. While I focus on the children, the impact on the entire family is remarkable. I worked with a family who reached out because their daughter had multiple food sensitivities and was not gaining weight. We worked together to overhaul their cleaning and personal care product list as well as their pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Their daughter tripled her weight gain, but the husband’s cholesterol also dropped from the high to the normal range by the time we finished working together.
The second part of Nourish CT is the cooking classes. These classes are inspired by my experiences in aiding the incredible Bev Largier back in the day when she ran classes out of her kitchen. She was so much fun to learn from and wanted women to gather, enjoy food and laugh. The classes also evolved from a need – moms want to serve their families healthy meals, but they are short on time and oftentimes, ideas. In my classes, we address both. We cook delicious, healthy food quickly and efficiently. We also talk a lot about tips for getting your kids to explore new foods, and ingredients to embrace and avoid. Most importantly, we laugh, eat and enjoy the company!
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable MOM GUILT handling a career and raising a family?
I spent a long time feeling like I could be good at work or good as a parent, but never both. It took time and perspective to remember that it is healthy for my kids to see me wear different hats. I can teach them about the importance of finding a job you love through my work. I can show them how important it is to serve your community through volunteering (thank you, Near & Far Aid!). I can show them the value in investing in yourself, your marriage and your friendships. Our time is precious as parents, so find what makes you happy and the people who make you happy and invest it there. I think that’s one of the most important things we can show our children, even if it means we can’t be with them 100 percent of the time.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom that you are today?
My mother and my mother-in-law. Parenting is very hard, but they both show me how important it is to enjoy your children and to not get overwhelmed by the many challenging phases of parenting. My mom is always referred to as the “kindest person I have ever met” and I think that’s an incredible reputation to have. She pours her heart into her passions and her family. She reminds me how important it is not to force your kids to be a certain way but to give them the space and guidance to become the best version of themselves. She was also the first one who taught me to cook and she loves to show her love through good food. My mother-in-law loves her family fiercely and without judgment. She shows me the importance of listening to, playing with, and supporting your children.
What advice would you share with a new mom or other moms?
Teaching your children to live a healthy lifestyle isn’t about perfection. It’s about making small changes that add up quickly to make them feel better, sleep better and be the best version of themselves. We all deserve that and are worthy of that.
We love supporting local businesses – favorite places in Fairfield to…
Have Dinner with Family: Tequila Revolution and Catch a Healthy Habit
Grab a Drink with Friends: Artisan patio in the summer and Gray Goose in the winter
Have a Date Night: Bonda
Spend time together as a Family: Our perfect day is grabbing lunch at Spic and Span and spending the day boating or sailing. We cap it off with ice cream from Saugatuck Sweets or BE Chocolat
Outside Activities: Hiking through Brett Woods or paddle boarding in Southport Harbor
Grab coffee: Pick up coffee at Sono Bakery and go for a walk around Southport with a friend
Follow Nourish CT at @nourish_ct