Kiele Jael Encourages Wellness for Women with Her “Sensual Nourishment” Philosophy
The culinary coach and nutrition chef helps clients redefine their relationships with food
By Sam Lauron
Photos by Brittany Dawn Short
When Kiele Jael introduces herself as a sensual chef, she’s familiar with the curious expressions she receives. But as someone who has coined the term “sensual nourishment,” Jael is more than eager to introduce others to the topic.
As Jael describes, sensual nourishment means “experiencing life, using all of your senses, and living in gratitude daily.” She adds, “It’s the ability to nourish your whole self and soul with healing in mind.” And it’s the pillar of what she teaches other women as a certified nutrition chef and wellness culinary coach.
Combining her culinary background with her passion for empowering women to transform their health, Jael’s investment in approaching health and nutrition in a holistic way stems from her own experience.
In 2008, Jael was living and working as a handbag and accessories designer in New York City when, at the height of her career, she became seriously ill from what she later learned was nickel poisoning. The mysterious illness took a toll on her health and had doctors unsure of what to do other than prescribe medicines.
“My entire life was turned upside down,” she recalls. “Doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me.” After having exhausted traditional medicines to no avail, Jael decided to seek out holistic healing methods and found that certain foods helped her to heal.
It was this experience that sparked Jael’s interest in nutrition, specifically around the connection between food and healing. She made a career pivot and began her journey in nutrition at the Natural Gourmet Institute of Culinary Arts in New York City where she received her certification in culinary nutrition. From there, she went on to study alongside Eastern medicine professionals and expand her knowledge in traditional Chinese medicine. During this time, Jael saw a need for women to connect to their health in deeper, more tangible ways through food and cooking. Thus, her coaching practice Kiele Jael Wellness came to fruition.
“My methodology is to teach women about ancient food wisdom, the healing properties of cooking and how to use their senses and intuition to create beautiful, delicious, healthy food in effortless ways,” she says. “The result is that cooking becomes sensual and enjoyable and pleasure filled.”
Jael admits that there’s so much information about nutrition and food that it can become overwhelming and confusing.
“One day tomatoes are good for you and the next day they’re bad for you,” she says. “One day wine is good for you, and the next day, it’s bad for you.” This overabundance of conflicting information is why she refrains from relying on the typical methodologies and health trends touted in diet culture with her clients. Instead, she encourages a more intuitive attitude around food and wellness.
When working with clients, either one-on-one or in a group setting, Jael’s teaching starts from within. She helps women connect to their health by reframing their mindset and philosophy around nutrition and wellness. Then, she uses her culinary background to amplify those internal practices with external strategies around grocery shopping, food preparation and cooking — an element that is unique to her coaching practice.
“In my experience working with women, cooking is one of the biggest barriers people have when it comes to their health,” says Jael. “But cooking has the ability to transform foods and make it more digestible, delicious and healing for your body. I take [my coaching] to the next level by actually teaching the healing energetic properties of cooking as well.”
In addition to working with women on a personal level, Jael recently launched The Art of Sensual Cooking, a self-paced online course. The course is designed to give students the tools to learn about healing foods, implement at-home cooking techniques, and manage their own health and wellness through the act of cooking as self-care.
“It’s amazing to help women feel confident to heal themselves,” she says. “[My clients] have been able to shift their mindsets and philosophies on how food and cooking show up in their lives, and that to me is so rewarding.”