Jules Blaine Davis is a kitchen healer, a mother, and a woman who is hungry to nourish America.

The L.A.-area mom of two uses food as a way to help women connect to themselves, and one another, creating a movement to awaken women to their literal and metaphorical hunger, and help them to find the nourishment they need.

We're in.

Her inspiring takes on food and nourishment, found on her social media accounts, through the gatherings she created called miracles she hosts out of her home, or the therapy-based work she does with women and families invites us to deeply reflect on the meaning and importance of physical and spiritual nourishment in our lives.

Plus, her dreamy Instagram updates are simply gorgeous.

Jules has a deep passion for helping women and mothers to discover their values, a role that she says connects women to one another throughout place and time.

Her work is about guiding us to connect with our "insatiable hunger for something deeper.”

And just look at those altars of fresh food. We love her take on "messy beauty."

Through her gatherings with women who sign up for a day of nourishing reflection, relaxation and consciousness-raising around the seasonal meals she prepares, Jules gives women a space to explore their vulnerability and permission to be more present in their everyday lives.

She connects women to each other, to the food that nourishes them and to their family, to how and where the food was grown, to their story and the food's story.

Motherly spoke with Jules Blaine Davis about her work, about modern motherhood, and about what inspires her about the power of nourishing food.

Motherly: What is about food that is so powerful in our lives—both in what it does for us, and in what is also represents?

Jules: Food is the first thing we’re given when we get here as newborns. We’re put immediately on the breast or fed through a bottle. It’s the first experience of touch to our lips. It’s the first experience of intimacy.
And food is the thing we’re most worried about --or we’re not. And this begins the journey of how we were nourished, or how we weren’t. Being nourished can be very emotional terrain. And for mothers, some people are so excited to breastfeed, and some people feel like they can’t do.

How we were nourished is completely connected to how we nourish ourselves and our families now. This is what I call our food story. When we realize that we can change our story and learn how to connect to ourselves in this way, we are forever changed. We come to many a-ha moments. One is nourishing ourselves gives us the energy to nourish others and that in turn also feeds us. Once we learn how to do that inside a kitchen that inspires us and our needs, inside a life that aligns with our values, we learn other, more practical things like how to store the zucchini.

There are some homes I go into where nourishing is an obligation and a source of stress. It’s overwhelming. It’s empty.

In fact, we are divided culturally as Americans about what a woman's relationship with food should be. It's no wonder that women feel conflicted.

We all have stories about how we relate to food, to cooking, and to being nourished. I'm helping women change their story.

Motherly: Why is food so overwhelming for some of us mothers?

Jules: Part of it is the cultural expectations we bring to the table. We have an idea of what food should look like, what it needs to be due to our upbringings, our parents, our values and lifestyles. That is usually how we decide what food is going to go on the table. If those values don't align with the lives we lead, then there is conflict. We need to look to who we are, who we hunger to be, to write up values that work for our lives now. That will tell us what is on the menu.

For example, some women have husbands who only eat meat and potatoes. But she loves kale and could eat some goat gouda and could be done for the day. Perhaps the kids are very picky and need a balanced meal of fresh foods and meats. What do you do? Usually take out is on the menu when it's too overwhelming. Is the value that she makes three different meals or a one meal thing? It’s a layered subject. It gets stressful because we’re not really quite sure how to approach everyone's hungry. We need to connect with ours first then we will know what to do. That can be a place we need support, hence the need for a kitchen healer.

There's also an emotional layer here for many women because the picture of what meals should be all go back to the story that was passed down from our grandmothers, our mothers, who showed us what nourishment was—or wasn't. Whether it was candy bars in the car or we had a full warm lunch or everything in between. So now in our hands as modern mothers, through social media, the news and society seem to tell us that we have to know how to with meal "perfect" in order to make sure our child is gonna live. That is intensive care. And that is very stressful.

It’s stressful and hard because as a culture, the stories didn’t get passed down. The story about how to make a soup and have a job. How to make food when we’re so busy. How to keep the fire on while we sate our other hungers like motherhood, or dream job, traveling the world, whatever it is.

This is what happened is in the 1950s and 60s: TV dinners showed up, and our moms went out to get diplomas. And so that pantry that our grandmothers had started to get filled with cans.

Moms are stressed because we’re having to make stuff up from scratch. We have to make sure it doesn't have poison on it, we have to make sure of so much these days that is just gets to be too much especially when we don't know what to do. It's sad because it hasn't been that much time that has passed.

I know we can turn this boat around. We can do it all. We can build our business and feed our family. It really does come down to values.

In my home, an egg on rice is a meal. Maybe I'll add beans, an avocado, the whole kitchen sink. There's a lot of permission in how I feed my family. That’s a power meal.

Motherly: You’ve talked about how new mothers experience both grief and joy. What do you mean by grief?

Jules: Motherhood is in part a grieving. I feel that we’re always grieving and grateful at the same time.

In early motherhood, you're having to say goodbye to the old self, which is actually the young self, because as you birthed a baby into the world you birthed a mother in you—you’re forced to grow up even if you weren't necessarily ready to. Now you have life on your hands looking you straight in the eye. I think that we grieve ourselves first. I hope we do. . . leaning into the grief helps the heart SOFTEN which is something else you can heal in the kitchen.

And then we begin to grieve the journey of the kids growing up so fast. As the baby stage passes away, so quickly.

Then we grieve our bodies. And we are grateful and in awe at the same time that our bodies made babies!

We grieve what we think we knew about ourselves, and realize how quickly, too, our bodies can change and then we come to know how amazing we are. This is where we begin to wake up to our hunger.

To heal, we birth new things. New meals, a nap! Or a shower. This is the beginning to mindful living and to loving ourselves as we truly are. It's about writing the story we want to live. Then our kids will know how to do the same.