How Rock Bottom Led To Discovering My Mission In Life

My health took a crash about 10 years ago. I was at rock bottom. I had been suffering from disordered eating and abusing food for over three decades. I was overweight, fatigued, addicted to caffeine and sugar, full of inflammation and pain, overly stressed, suffering from hormonal and adrenal challenges, depressed, and overall unhappy.

I was so tired of walking around with brain fog, feeling bloated, tired, and feeling insecure in my body. I really did not know how my body could continue to go on like this. This is when I finally “woke” up and realized that I had been abusing food my whole life. It was time for a change.

I was so desperate to feel better in my body and to find another way of living. I love this quote: “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired”. I knew I had hit rock bottom.

So I decided to go to a spiritual fasting retreat in the desert to go inward, meditate and get clarity on what I wanted. This is where I had my “spiritual awakening”.

I started to meditate and have visualizations around healing myself and others with food. I knew this was my new way and my new mission.

I became so passionate to learn about superfoods and the healing power of whole nourishing foods. I knew I could take my talents and creativity as a chef and fuse them with creating healing delicious foods.

This was the moment I decided to take my health back and take charge of my life, and I was on a serious mission to spread this new knowledge to everyone.

I knew that I was not the only one that wanted to feel strong, confident, and aligned in my body. I started to go to naturopaths, functional doctors, and acupuncture to help my body start to heal.

After undergoing blood work, I found out I needed to stay away from gluten, soy, dairy, vegetable oils, certain veggies, sugar, and nightshades! This was intense! But now I was even more driven to create beautiful dishes so I would not feel deprived.

I first started experimenting with turmeric. This was before turmeric was really “hot”. I created a tonic (now the most popular drink at my cafes), that has apple cider vinegar, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, lemon, and stevia. I started to drink this daily and immediately could feel my body responding.

My inflammation and pain were decreasing and I was starting to have more energy. I also started to share this with my co-workers and friends and could see a difference it was making in their lives.

I now knew that it was time to create a space where I could share my talents with all. I started to visualize exactly what I wanted daily.

And this is when I really was devoted to meditation and breathwork. Through my devotion to spiritual practice, I stayed in faith that the Universe would deliver in perfect divine timing a cafe where I could make a difference in people’s lives through food.

The Source Café in Hermosa Beach opened up 8 years ago. When I was presented with the opportunity to buy the location, I knew it was the perfect place. It was exactly what I had been visioning in my mediations. It was a scary leap to leave my other restaurant of 10 years and go off on my own, but I knew deep in my soul that this was my way. Everything in my body and heart said YES!

My drive to open The Source came from my desperation to feel better in my body. But also I wanted to help make a difference in people’s lives through food. My creativity to this day is still driven by what I can and can not eat. I never want to be deprived! I love food and food is my life. I want to enjoy food and love how I feel in my body after eating a meal. I believe that we need to pay attention now on what we are putting into our bodies. I do believe that we will pay now or pay later. I am so grateful for my rock bottom and awakening. It has lead to a very fulfilling career where I get to make a difference daily in people’s health.

I opened up my second restaurant last July 2020 during Covid in Manhattan Beach. This is the second Source Cafe. It feels amazing to bring my nourishing beauty to Manhattan Beach. My mission, to this day, is to help people love the way they feed themselves and to love their bodies.

For recipes and tips on holistic living, you can visit me at or on IG @chefamberla. Wishing you all the best in health and life.

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