Tory Dube

We sat down for tea with the fabulous Tory Dube who shared a bit about her journey to health!


RYB: How and when did nutrition become a part of your life?

TD: I distinctly remember our 5th grade gym teacher weighing us in class and I was 4lbs heavier than my best friend. I think it was an unfortunate mix of prepubescent insecurity, hormones and being a dancer—but I was suddenly very interested in food and how much I should eat.

When I was 21-years-old and living in NYC, I had the pleasure of working for a female vegan tri-athlete. She gave me my first book on the power of living foods and suddenly my reality was shattered. While I still carried around some nasty food baggage, my focus shifted from what would make me ‘skinny’ to what would facilitate genuine health. 

RYB: How has holistic health changed your view on health?

TD: I’m not sure I really knew what ‘health’ meant. We are taught that if you look fit, you’re probably healthy and that’s how I lived my life. Health was just the absence of sickness to me.

Holistic refers to taking into account the whole of something, so in terms of people, it’s giving attention to your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

Now that I understand this, and have felt the transformation in my own life solely by acknowledging I need to pay attention to ALL parts of me, my view of health is radically different. It’s something you feel in your every moment to moment, not the skinny thighs I was always fighting for.

RYB: What led you to create Hotchickpea?

TD: Hotchickpea initially was just a food blog. I was learning so much in school and I needed to share it with my friends and family. When it came time to birth my coaching company, I guess the name just stuck.

While I am very passionate about attaining true wellness, and strive for that with my clients, my bigger motive is to free them from the massive distraction of food and body hatred. As someone who struggled with my own food problems, I now realize the eating disorder wasn’t the issue - it was the physical response I needed to cope. The real issue was a lack of self-esteem, self-hatred, and the inability to face these heavy, vague feelings. All of this is CONSUMING! Once I was able to let it go, my life really began. I want clients to learn how to move forward, not be stuck in a self-destructive cycle of tearing themselves apart all day.

RYB: What is unique about Hotchickpea’s efforts?

TD: I’m going to be really brave here and say the uniqueness is me. We tackle some pretty heavy stuff and I strive to bring humor and authenticity to every conversation. I’ve always been overly sensitive, overly empathetic. In this line of work, that’s gold. I love truly seeing another human being, and sometimes all one needs is to feel seen for them to summon the courage to break out of old patterns. Imagine, as a child and teen, when you fought with your parents they stopped to listen and responded with, ‘I hear where you’re coming from, tell me more.’ The course of the argument would be radically different, right? Sometimes we are fighting just to be seen and heard.

RYB: What are Hotchickpea’s future dreams?

TD: Hotchickpea’s core objectives will always be service, and to contribute to a brighter, more loving tomorrow. I know my approach is going to be forever evolving! I currently work virtually with clients, on the phone and over Skype. I intend to do a lot more in-person teaching, especially through retreats. Nature is transformative - couple that with a week (or two!) of reality-shattering learning, and you’ve got a magical experience.

RYB:  What are your daily routines which keep you feeling healthy?

TD: How I start and end my day is very sacred to me. In the morning, I pray and meditate - even if I only have 5 minutes. I try to ease into the day, to be thankful I even woke up! At night, I take a moment to catalog the day, say thanks, and to find serenity before I sleep.

In terms of nutrition, I drink warm water first thing in the morning, and numerous times throughout the day. I eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables; I feel an immense difference in my energy levels when I eat raw. I’m not super strict, I am just mindful of how I am feeling and eat accordingly.

RYB:  One ‘health’ myth you would like to set straight:

TD: If you workout every day you can eat whatever you want. This one scares me! I love to exercise, I am all for lots of movement. BUT, there’s no ‘health’ unless you’re providing your body with nutrients. You can look fit, but if you’re not eating enough nourishing foods your insides are crying for help.

RYB: 3 things that currently inspire you:

  • Nature, being outdoors
  • BODYMIND by Ken Dychtwald
  • Marie Forleo and Marianne Williamson, these ladies are brilliant, articulate and authentic.

RYB: What is your daily mantra?

TD: “May the light that surrounds me, shine through me.”

RYB: Best advice you would tell your younger self?

TD: You’re being so dramatic!

RYB: Where we can find you when you’re not working on Hotchickpea?

TD: This answer really stumped me, haha. I think I work too much! I run with an awesome, free fitness group called the November Project. I enjoy every moment spent with my boyfriend, who makes any activity an adventure. I am looking forward to the summer and many beach trips!

Raise Your Beat

Raise Your Beat team interviews and gets to know contributors in the community.