Spiritual guidance and inspiration can come from many places and many people. With guidance and inspiration, you can live your life on-point. In this episode, Christin Collins talks to plant-based food expert Carey Cohill as they discuss their journey to inner peace. We hear Carey talk about her forays into food challenges and creating plant-based dishes that are good for both body and soul. We also get recommended reading from Carey that is sure to help you on your spiritual journey. Tune in and learn more to get you started on your journey.
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Food And Spiritual Guidance: A Journey Of Inspiration With Carey Cohill
I am incredibly excited to be hosting not only my beautiful friend but also a soul sister that I’ve grown a lot with, Carey Cohill. Welcome.
Thank you so much for having me.
It is so exciting. Congratulations on your nuptials to marrying one of my dearest soul brothers and friends, Eric.
You were the introduction. It was you and God. Thank you for setting us up.
That is such a beautiful way to start a conversation with you and the divinity of the universe and how it provides when we get out of the way, which I’m sure is something we’re going to dive into now. Thanks for taking the time to connect. Being the theme of the show, something that our friendship has helped me come into contact with is that inner knowing and that spark. I’d love to hear from you as we get this conversation started. What has been a catalyst for you to have that spark awakened in you?
I’ve been so open about my journey, almost with darkness, depression, and anxiety, that really finding that spark came from doing something that I’ve done my whole life. I’ve been passionate about it, but I never ever saw it. It would be my career or my purpose, and it was simply cooking. Cooking is my creative art. Some people find that spark within in writing, singing, and painting, minus the cooking because when I am in the kitchen and creating, I know that the meal has the potential to bring people together and that giving is my expression of love. Food is something so simple, but it reignited my light inside.
It is so illuminated and inspiring to have walked very close to you and watching your transcendence has been so beautiful. Take a moment and reflect on when I first met you. When you first relocated to Florida, you were a very successful professional in the Midwest, and then moved to Florida and did some incredible work in the nonprofit industry, yet here you are now truly on point. Something that I hope to communicate with folks that I walk with through this show is, how do you get in touch with that inner knowing and have the courage to transition from what you deemed to be appropriate in the previous chapters to truly living life on point? What was that transition like for you?
It was long. It was really dark and sad at times. I kept coming from this place of, “I don’t have, I don’t know the answers. I don’t have what they have. I need this.” That constant place of lack, the second you surrender that, or whatever your word is, let it go. Whether you call it spirit, God, space, it doesn’t matter. Once you put your faith in a higher power, you can almost feel the guidance.
Whether you call it spirit, God, space, it doesn’t matter. Once you put your faith in a higher power, you can almost feel the guidance.
The trick is, though, the guide is going to go where it needs to go. It may very well take you on a path that doesn’t match where you think you’re supposed to be going, so you’re thinking it’s supposed to be this way, and then the rest of the path is going like this. All of a sudden, you end up where you’re like, “I had to go through all that because of lessons and experiences that have now taught me what I am here to teach because to teach is to learn.”
Now, all my clients and community members I work with, I teach that journey that felt like I was going like this or up and down. Even though it doesn’t make sense, when you feel guided, all I can say is go with it. Don’t judge it and keep asking for guidance. When you have that inner peace within, you know you’re on the right track.
I think, too, something for me had also been the timing, so 100% I’m in alignment. A road like this, it’s all about the journey. It’s not about that destination. We talk about that a lot. Also, the timing, I’m like, “I feel like it should be like this. I feel the inner guidance is leading me towards this.” Sometimes, the rest of the collective, it’s not the right time yet. I know you and I have experienced a lot of starts and stops, and now I laugh because I feel this is where I’m supposed to be heading. It’s not either I’m not ready yet, or my surroundings aren’t ready yet. Be patient and enjoy the ride.
It was a question that actually my husband asked me on our first date. It would have been our second if you considered how you introduced us as our first date. He asked me how I define success, and it’s such an interesting question to allow yourself to ponder because generally, a lot of us say financial freedom, health, and a happy family. If you challenge yourself for one day to measure your success only by your inner peace, you will be blown away at what you focus on versus all the other distractions that we allow ourselves to go down.
True success in life is measured by your inner peace. The guidance becomes clear, and then you can almost laugh at other things that used to make you crazy or used to make you be filled with doubt and worry like those thoughts that all of a sudden come at like 4:00 AM when the world is sleeping. If you can measure success by your inner peace, the guidance becomes clear.
I want to take folks through some of your offerings. Part of the work I’m trying to do now, as you’ve walked very intimately with me on my path is to dive deeper into tools that colleagues, friends, spiritual sisters, brothers offer, I want to get there. Before we go to what your offerings are, I would love for you to highlight 1 or 2 tools, techniques, books, or guides that you used on your path to bring you to where you are now. Can you offer up 1 or 2 tools that were impactful in your journey?
One of them may seem incredible to some, almost basic because it was mainstream, but it’s very authentic and real. My journey started the day I watched on Netflix, The Secret, and that I believe came out in 2006, but I watched it in 2016, some ten years behind the curve. When I watched it, it was the first time I ever even heard the concept that nothing is happening to me. It’s all happening for me, and what I think creates my reality.
I got the goosebumps again thinking about it. I’m like, “Wait, what?” I watched that film. I believe there’s a book too, but I watched the film ten times easily. I went through my phone and followed all the instructors on social media. I will say, what you put out there on social media can have a profound effect, even if it’s one person following you. I followed them and the teachers that I resonated with, I bought their books and I read so many of their work and it led me. I felt like I was almost climbing a ladder.
I would say The Secret is the launch pad into this world of guidance and spirituality. I was raised very strict Catholic, and I had sworn off religion when I turned eighteen because I already thought I was going to hell, so I’m like, “I might as well just live life.” There was a big disconnect between spirituality and religion for me. That’s the whole other episode. The Secret is a great launchpad. I highly recommend it. If you haven’t watched it or if you watched it back in ‘06, watch it again. The information might seem totally new to you.
Another one is A Course in Miracles. That is a book, a tool, a resource. When I can’t sleep at night, I will turn on A Course in Miracles on YouTube. It instantly calms me down. There are a whole year’s lessons. You can go through them. The book is this big, so don’t be intimidated. It’s not a book that you read and you’re like, “I’m done.” It’s a constant tool that you go back to. I would say those two provided me with a lot of certainty in my life and peace.
The Secret, I too, was deeply moved by that concept. I had challenges with this whole positive affirmation thing, also a resonation. I felt like a fraud. I am healthy. I am at my real bodyweight and I’m like, “No, I’m not.” Wrapping my head around that concept of what you put out there is what you see and what you attract, that has been a huge journey. I think The Secret is a great tool.
With A Course in Miracles, you taught me something. I did not know that I could access that on YouTube, so thank you. I have mad respect for your work with A Course in Miracles because I was around you as you went through that. It was like watching this transformation occur before. I bought the darn thing, and I tried and I’m like, “Carey, you have a PhD that I do not have.” I was unsuccessful in the written form, so that’s a great tool to understand that it’s also on YouTube. I think you brought that back into my space. I thank you for that.
I was going to say there’s one more thing. If the course in miracles you do feel has been coming into your circle, there’s a reason why. I would purchase The Disappearance of the Universe. I started reading A Course in Miracles and I said, “Huh?” I did not understand what he was talking about. I had such resistance because, once again, religion and spirituality. I was like, “I don’t need another God.”
What you put out there on social media can have a profound fact, even if it’s just one person following you.
When I read The Disappearance of the Universe, and then I went back and read A Course in Miracles, all of a sudden, it wasn’t that the words changed by resistance. It wasn’t there anymore, or it was a lot less, so the words, I was like, “I can feel now what this is saying.” I do recommend if you are going to do A Course in Miracles, The Disappearance of the Universe is a great book to read prior.
I don’t know if I own that or if I have read it, but that title is familiar. Thanks for bringing that back into my space as well. I’ll check out my big old collection and find out if I have read it and need to reread that. Thank you. I know you and I were both going through so much of a similar journey of that deep introspection and a huge growth spurt. Yes, it was long for both of us. Ours was a very deep and long journey that we walked together.
I got to watch you physically, literally, emotionally, spiritually, mentally transform and transcend right before my eyes, and having a partner and a friend to do that with, it was so impactful. How did you create space? How did you experience that transition? That is so hard for so many people. What words can we express that would help guide people as they’re going through their transcendence, to be able to support their journey as far as community relationships, family, not being in alignment with people you used to be? Talk a little bit about that for me.
The best advice and the easiest way I know how to explain this is it’s your journey. It’s your work. Don’t go around and try to convince everybody what they’re doing is wrong and that you have the answers over here. In anything in life, whether it’s money, food, spirituality, the second you try to judge others and try to bring them with you, it becomes a nightmare for all parties involved. I can remember starting this journey. Once again, it started with The Secret.
There’s probably someone right in your inner circle. I have two amazing friends, and one of them I watched The Secret with, and the other one we were like, “Have you heard of this movie? You have to watch it.” From that day forward, we started. That was in January 2016, and now every morning we meet, that’s why we had to have this show at this specific time because I am very true to this hour I hold space for. We read together every day.
My message there is not that you need to start a reading group but allow yourself to have the conversations and the connections with people that naturally are there. The people that aren’t ready to be there, there is no shame in anybody’s game. Don’t force it because now you’re judging. You’re doing the exact thing you don’t want to do. You’re not making space for peace and love.
I guarantee there’s somebody just much like me and you, Christin, that’s right there on your journey. Sometimes you can share like, “Have you ever heard of The Secret?” Watch who lights up and then takes the action, and then allow yourself to hold conversations with people that are ready to have those conversations.
That’s one of the biggest lessons that I learned, and I know you are also blessed to experience Julie Piatt and some of her work. She’s such a strong goddess. That message of she released her judgment of what her husband should be doing, and that’s when her husband blossomed into being Rich Roll. It rocked my entire existence because I was so busy thinking everyone had to see what I saw, and that was naivety because I was so passionate and excited, and what worked for me, therefore obviously should work for you.
You should be ready for it, because all of a sudden, I am and how freeing, especially physically. I was no longer stressed out because you’re not listening to me. Thanks for reminding us all of that. We fast forward to a new chapter for you, leaving the nonprofit world. It’s finally saying, “I’m going to go out there and be me, and I’m going to go do what it is I’m being called to do.”
You’re helping so many people, and you moved six hours away into a new home, in this beautiful new marriage. You have a whole new existence blossoming at this time. What is your day like? What are you stepping into? What are ways that folks can connect, learn and grow from your incredible offerings?
The offerings that I work daily on are all around food. I teach plant-based cooking class is the easiest way to describe what I do on a daily basis. I run a community called The Plant Over Processed Challenge, and successfully now, we had our first twenty individuals through the program. Our second one is launching. Why I’m so passionate once again about food is food is just the tool to me that leads to connection and freedom. For you, it could be something else, whatever your business is in or whatever career path you have.
Food to me always equals connection, freedom, and love. If I can teach even one person about what they’re using to fuel their body and how that can allow them to feel free inside because food does impact our mood, and then that’s going to lead to greater connection, love, and truly happiness throughout life.
I love running my ten-day challenge. From there, we have a VIP group that is a monthly membership where we connect and do everything from cooking together, sharing recipes, and we have monthly wellness challenges. It has been so amazing to watch something that I truly am so passionate about but yet healed me. I watched other people do it and how they’re sharing with their family.
We’re all going on a diet. They’re literally sharing and watching their energy increase and their lights start to shine brighter. Another benefit is they’re watching their waistline and the scale go down. I love those two things. Those are the focuses. I realized when I have 25 different focuses going on, I can’t nearly give enough attention. Those are the two that I’m honing in on and welcoming several new members.
Also too, you have done such a beautiful job putting out content socially to help inspire people so folks can also connect with you through social media. Knowing that you and I both started our physical transformation through food, one of the things I’m most attracted to about your work is how food is the tool or the vehicle, but it’s so much deeper than that.
It goes in alignment when I talk about when we’re willing our way through life, we’re so mentally strong, so we’re making all of these mental decisions, “I have to eat this, these many ounces many calories.” It becomes this psychotic mental exercise to consumption. When you are actually at peace and on point, you’re released and you’re in flow, then your default of what you feel your body with is so much more in alignment with what’s going to bring you joy, peace, love, happiness, and nutrition.
Your work is such a wonderful representation of taking people through that process because you talk to someone who’s living the standard American diet, and probably on their way, if not already, heading towards chronic disease, and you say, “If you eat from the inside because you’re whole unsatiated and you are loved,” they’re going to look at you. Take us through a little bit of that, shedding light on your challenges, how do you walk someone from this is what you should eat, to the blossoming of why you want to bless your body with that joy.
The easiest way I do it is through my story. I’m always very honest and transparent about who I am in this space. I’m somebody who loves food because I’m very passionate about creating recipes, especially plant-based recipes. I don’t pretend to be your doctor, dietician, or nutritionist, but I did lose over 40 pounds. I’ve easily kept it off. I haven’t done the plant-based diet perfectly, but I have done it well. I rely on my story, and when I share my story, in combination with real facts that I learned from one of my favorite free resources, which is NutritionFacts.org, very easy and accessible.
When I cook during our challenges, if you do one of my challenges, they are an hour long for ten days, I cook live with you. That beautiful plate of food that I show you on Instagram, you can do too. There is not one thing that I will teach that’s not from start to finish. I don’t show you in stages. I will show you live. By the end of it, you see the dish, you see how I plated it.
One hundred percent of the last group that went through the challenge said that was the biggest thing that got them cooking because they truly watched how easy it is. It’s swapping out a few ingredients. It’s combining flavors in a different way than they have or using different products. I don’t think I cook anything that takes over 30 minutes to cook. I’m not that patient when it comes to the food.
Your food is always delicious. When we lived in the same town, I always was seeking you out like, “Can you cater this? Can you provide this?” You take such a natural approach to food. It’s approachable, attainable, affordable, and it’s real food. It’s safe and very filling. I love connecting with you always, but I especially love to connect with you when you’re cooking.
If true success in life is measured by your inner peace, the guidance becomes really clear and then you can almost laugh at other things that used to make you crazy or used to make you be filled with doubt and worry.
I always love recipe testers.
As we wrap up our conversation, I want to land our conversation by reflecting holistically on your journey to finding that spark within. As a collective, culturally around the world, and what we’ve all been through in the past years, it’s been a lot of shifting going on. That could be deemed as negative or positive, depending on the lens.
I think what the pandemic had taught a lot of us is what is important in life and who we want to be, and that we don’t have to be who we were yesterday or when we woke up this morning that we can choose to be anyone we want to in any given moment. As you’re looking into your future and casting that vision, what is your hope for humanity and mankind as far as your work and your offering, and what you hope to be able to provide and support in the next 1, 3, or 5 years?
I would say my biggest hope is going through it. Feeling alone in your journey, especially when your journey doesn’t make sense, is one of the scariest. That feeling of loneliness and despair is absolutelyworst feeling. What I hope to inspire through my food, my writing, my videos and challenges is a place of connection, belonging, and love.
For me, I’m so passionate and teaching that through food because something we all do every day is we eat. We understand what eating is. If I can teach you how to make an amazing meal where not only you’re nourishing your body, but it’s allowing you to connect with your family and friends in meaningful ways, because one of the things I’ve always noticed, and it’s been a privilege of mine growing up.
When we had big family functions, if you ever look at what’s on the table, or even at work functions, you’ll see a lot of donuts or a lot of them heavy macaroni and cheese. Look at the holidays. Look at what we serve our closest people that we love. If I can help you transform dishes that will still create that community, that is my biggest passion because I know that, internally, you are naturally going to feel better and you’re going to want more, not just more food, but more connection and love, but food that won’t also make you feel like you need to take a nap right afterward.
Another thing that you have inspired is the fact that sitting in the discomfort of loneliness. Many of us distract or dissociate from that. We don’t want to feel that feeling, so we consume. We take on distractive behaviors that we don’t have to feel uncomfortable. You hugged about sitting in that loneliness and then hosting community, and so we’re not rushing out of that space of loneliness in an unhealthy way. We’re actually to sit in the discomfort in the community and understand that this feeling is appropriate.
You are doing some deep inner work and you are getting in touch with who you are. You’re healing potentially from things that have been brought into this moment. By not consuming unhealthy food, too much food, or not being present when consuming food, and you’re holding space to hold people’s hands in the discomfort is by far the most beautiful gift you can give humanity.
Carey, as always, you illuminate my heart with joy. I am so honored and blessed to call you friend and Eric and give him a kiss. I look forward to your continued journey. I hope that folks that read this content that it speaks to them and they’re able to plug into your incredible work. Keep shining bright, sister. I’m so grateful for you.
Thank you, and back at you. Keep doing this amazing work to get messages out because we all have our points where something clicked and you’re like that, “That’s what I was looking for.” I hope my story, my journey, has resonated with somebody that will help them feel less alone in that spot they may be feeling now.
Love you, sister.
Love you, too.
- Carey Cohill
- The Secret
- A Course in Miracles
- The Disappearance of the Universe
- The Plant Over Processed Challenge
- Instagram – Carey Plant Based Recipes
About Carey Cohill
Carey Cohill teaches Plant-Based Cooking Classes all over the world. Carey has created over 38,000 Plant Based Meals for her communities, and has helped 1000’s of women start their wellness journey. She is the creator of several best selling courses including The 10 Day Plant Over Processed Challenge, The VIP Hallway, The Plant Powered Hallway and In the Kitchen with Carey. She has taught busy, heart centered entrepreneurs how to permanently lose weight and regain control of their lives through food. Carey is originally from the Chicagoland area and moved to the beaches of Florida in 2015. She currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida with the love of her life, Eric and their 2 fur babies, Gracie and Patrick. When Carey isn’t in the kitchen you can find her out on their boat, motorcycle or Jeep soaking up the salt life.