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 Who Am I?

I’m Dianne McConnell…

  • passionate about food
  • baby boomer
  • trained chef and former caterer
  • health coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
  • health and exercise enthusiast
  • wife, daughter, (step) mother, friend
  • animal lover
  • gardener

I live in Pfafftown, NC in an old farmhouse with my husband, Dick Gillespie, two dogs Lulu& Mac and two (barn) cats Pearl & Belle.  I introduce them to because you’ll hear about them in this blog.

"My husband Dick"  My husband Dick.


"Lulu" "Mac"  The dogs, Lulu & Mac.

"Belle"  The cats, Belle & Pearl.

I grew up on a farm in North Carolina and learned to cook from my mother and my grandmother – that was when food was very local and farm-to-table was not chic.  My grandparents had a huge vegetable garden and raised cows, pigs & chickens so we really did know what we were eating (because some of them had names!)  I had my first restaurant when I was 25, in Charlotte, NC (Hotdog Heaven was a miserable failure financially but a great learning experience).  I didn’t return to the food business for over 10 years – I was living in NYC at the time, completed the professional training program at Peter Kump’s Cooking School (now the Institute of Culinary Education) which I loved, and that kicked off a catering career in Manhattan and Shelter Island that lasted for the next 20 years!  Great fun.

When Dick & I moved to North Carolina I made the decision not to continue catering,  so, what to do?  I had more time on my hands than I’d had in a long time, so I started gardening (completing the Forsyth County Master Gardener Program) and looking for ways to incorporate my passion for food and cooking into a livelihood.  I discovered the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (a great online, 1-year curriculum focusing on diet and nutrition).  I  completed the program and last year became certified as a health coach.  I learned so much about diet and nutrition and how they affect our health and wellness and I really want to share it with others.

Dick (husband) was my first “client”.  He became interested in my studies and decided to change his diet and exercise regime in an effort to lower his cholesterol and eliminate the need for Lipitor (which he had been on for 8 years).  Results? Yes, great results.  He has lost over 45 pounds (6 inches in his waist!), loves what he is eating, exercises regularly, feels and looks great and has embraced a new and healthier lifestyle.  There’s no doubt that his health has improved.  The bonus is that he enjoys food more than he used to.  Surprised?  I know we both are.

Why Blog?

So, what’s my mission now?  To support people who want to embrace healthier lifestyles and create better health for themselves and their families.  I do this through individual and group counseling and by providing this space where I can shares my ideas and skills..and I invite readers to do the same.

Welcome, I hope you find it interesting and I hope we can all learn from one another because we all deserve to be a little healthier.

Keep up with me, Dick, the dogs and other stuff, click here.