Welcome to Industry Health, my name is Laura McWilliams.
I have worked as a cook, chef, baker, pastry chef, server, bartender, cafe owner, and manager. These days, I am a teacher and holistic health coach. I work 1 on 1 with Chefs to help them get back the healthy energy that they need to be successful in this industry. Private health coaching is a powerful way to change your life. I work with Chefs all over the country who are ready to make positive changes in their lives and finally be able to reach the top of their game. In addition, I work with groups of restaurant staff to establish health habits at work and promote stability in their jobs and in their lives.
I love restaurants. I love the culture, I love the people, I love the food. I spent over 15 years working in restaurants. These days, wellness is totally my jam. I eat great, take very good care of my body, and I am passionate about spreading health education through the industry. I design programs that excite and inspire. I want to be a role model for kitchen workers everywhere: it is possible to do the work that you love and still be healthy. Get in touch with me if you would like to know more about how I can help you or your restaurant get on track to great health.
Industry Chef Coaching exists because of what I saw during my 15 years working in professional kitchens. I started off in culinary school right out of high school, back when culinary school was a trade school, and the whole program cost 4500.00. And the government paid for me to go. I don't know exactly how much I learned about food or baking at school, but I learned how to work hard and how to hide when I was going to cry. I learned a lot about people and how to take orders and that I wasn't as important as I had previously thought myself to me. School got me a job, at a fancy little restaurant in downtown Bellingham, the beginning of a long career of cooking, baking, drinking, smoking, moving, making and breaking relationships, and eating like complete shit. Drunk every night and sleeping till I had to go to work the next day. I worked with some amazing people, I learned from incredible chefs and cooks and bakers. It's a hard life, though. I never really found myself in it, I just learned how to hide. I lived a perfect split between wanting to get out and lead a normal life and wanting to follow my ego to bigger and bigger things.
Restaurant life is different then any other thing that exists on the planet. People do not get it. I still sometimes get excited when I see job postings, and want to apply. I still haven't learned my lesson! The industry never really leaves you. It does leave it's mark, however. I consider myself lucky to have lived that life, and incredibly lucky to have escaped alive. These days, my life is very different. I am sober, a fantastically healthy eater, I dance and do yoga, I go to bed at a reasonable hour and get up early and have productive days. I think all the time about the comrades and crews that I loved over the years, though, the ones still stuck in the trenches. They are the reason I do the work that I do. I believe that it is possible to lead a healthy life and still do the amazing work that you do. I believe that the industry is ready to go to the next level, to become more sustainable for the people who work in it. There is no reason why restaurant workers need to be doomed to a life of unhealthy eating and drinking and getting fat and sick and old. We are the strongest, most capable people that there are. We can do better. I want to elevate the industry. One kitchen at a time.