Pronounced "Fun-Fun" like you are having fun twice! I am the writer, producer, director, and creator of Ciao Downtown.
For the past 19 years as an NYCer, I never had a dull moment. I hosted some of the wildest parties in NYC nightlife. I became a top leading retail queen in the luxury fashion industry working for world renouned labels like YSL, Dior, and Rick Owens. I bootstrapped my own fashion label Savant, which was featured in American Vogue. I wore all of these hats almost simultaneously.
Unsurprisingly, I found myself addicted to alcohol and burnt out while surviving an abusive relationship. I was having life disrupting heavy painful periods that were lasting over a month. Polyps from my uterine had to be removed surgically. One doctor told me I had PCOS, another told me I never had PCOS, but it may be endometriosis, or not. The doctors never seemed sure what the cause was so I wasn’t keen on their bandaid remedy to regulating my hormones with birth control.
So, I decided to take control of my health. I did research and slowly changed my lifestyle. I cooked, ate, slept, lived, thought differently. Mindfulness taught me so much, especially that health is the greatest luxury in life.
The most compelling factor in health is the healing power of food. I was shocked to learn in my 30’s that 70% of chronic disease is preventable through diet. This information seemed so crucial to be so hugely ignored, even by the medical profession. Why had my doctors not reccommended a diet change? Why is this fact not common knowledge? Why is diet and food education not prioritized in school?
The answer lays in many corrupt white supremist, patriarchal, capitalistic systems in place. The proof is in the overwhelming prevalence of comorbidities such as heart disease, diabetes, in low income BIPOC communities. It is no wonder that many wellness platforms often have a very singular narrative that reek of white privilage. Furthermore, these wellness communities profit from health practices that originate in Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and other indigenous cultures without recognizing the very cultures they take from.
With the strong conviction that marginalized voices should be heard and included in the health and wellness dialog, I created Ciao Downtown.
To reinvent the idea of healthy as a recipe for pleasure.
We believe that sensuality is the main ingredient for leading a healthy life. Ciao Downtown is a resource for a more diverse educational narrative around health that aims to nourish and empower. By creating provocative, educational, inspirational videos and events centered around mindful cooking, we strive to make the wellness journey sexy and fun.