Discovering Vitality Through Acupuncture, Exercise and Food

Rebecca Schirber Licensed Acupuncturist



About Rebecca

Posted by Rebecca Schirber on May 4, 2013

Berkshire County, MA

Licensed Acupuncturist

Rebecca holds master’s degrees in both Acupuncture and Physical Rehabilitation Counseling. Her professional background includes 17 years of experience in the mental health field, along with six years as a professional chef. She is also certified in Somatic Movement Therapy and Acupressure.  Personal development and self-awareness is important to Rebecca. She recognizes that as we open to what we can learn in relationship, we deepen our connection to ourselves and others. As part of her practice as a chef, Rebecca has refined a holistic approach to menu planning and meal preparation, and offers food selection to address health concerns, such as gluten and dairy sensitivities. Rebecca loves the outdoors and being in nature, and she maintains a daily meditation and vigorous exercise practice. Call Rebecca today at 410-868-5178 to avail yourself to her holistic approach to healing.

About Chef Rebecca Schirber

For over four years, Rebecca has been training with Katherine Miller, the executive Chef and food pioneer at the international headquarters for EnlightenNext, located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Katherine has 14 years of experience creating and cooking vegan menus for the 60 people who live on campus, as well as for retreats up to 250 participants. In the mid-90’s Rebecca worked for 3 years as a personal chef in a business focused on providing healing foods to people with severe food restrictions.

Having grown up in a large family, Rebecca learned to cook at an early age, which was always a joyous, inventive endeavor. Her childhood skill has evolved into a lifelong passion. As a professional, Rebecca’s food service experience has ranged from the straightforward and simple (restaurants) to the complex and challenging (a group home for young male felons on a sugar free diet). A wake-up call in the form of a cancer diagnosis over 15 years ago caused her to turn her creativity to the development of recipes for those with food intolerances, and medical dietary restrictions. The nutritional component of her own treatment helped her to develop a healthful, holistic approach to menu planning and meal preparation. Call Rebecca at 410-868-5178 to begin receiving Rebecca’s help to design a menu suited exactly to your dietary needs.

Food, Health and Development

Food is my middle name. Throughout my life food has played the number one role in my health and development. I grew up with 15 brothers and sisters. This is where the importance of food and development took root. In my middle thirty’s I experienced sever ill health, which I chose to treat with nutrition. And now I am working in a cutting edge kitchen with food pioneers preparing victuals on a daily basis for 40-60 people, one and a half of whom are vegans, a dozen who to eat 70 percent raw and a half a dozen who do not eat wheat.

Upon hearing that I have 15 siblings you would have no trouble believing that my first food mentor was clever, innovative, and knew how to improvise. Well actually all that went on in our kitchen was a clever improvisation. My mom was very sincere in her role to teach us all how to cook. Well actually everybody learned how to do everything, cooking, sowing, chopping wood. You get the idea, regardless of age or gender.

But this was especially true in the kitchen. We all learned how to cook and bake by being involved in it on a daily basis, as well as what you could call immersion experiences. For example we had a tradition that when we turned about age 12 we’d spend the summer baking bread. By that I mean, when your summer to bake bread arrived you’d spend Saturdays baking bread. You’d get up early, start the yeast process and by late afternoon you would have made enough bread to last the family for the week, including rolls for Saturday dinner and buns for Sunday brunch. The thing about having a ritual like this is it can’t go on without there being some measure of competition. Well competition is a reoccurring theme in our family. That’s another story. So anyway when it was your year to bake bread you would pick your kind bread. You would spend the summer learning, evolving and refining your kind of bread, and in the end you could make your kind of bread perfectly.

Now we were serious about cooking but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the shenanigans that went on in our kitchen. Since most of our time was spent doing chores, we wanted to play games while we worked. We had many varieties of tag. One of our favorite was floor tag. In floor tag if you were touching the floor you could be caught out. So, one had to have your feet off the floor, which makes it pretty hard to cut vegetables but is great for the development of balance.

I used what I learned in my family kitchen as I put myself through college, and supported myself as a young adult, working with first offender male felons and people with disabilities. Many innovative teaching techniques came out of my home cooking experience.

Then in my mid thirties I experienced a glitch in my health, when I worked with an alternative health care practitioner we discovered that I had all kinds of food allergies, including sensitivity to wheat.  It is no wonder that I chose a healing modality that included nutrition as my treatment of choice.

What was really heartbreaking at the time was the fact that I could no longer eat the way I was used to. I distinctly remember feeling like all my life I had been sitting in the top of a tree, what a great view on the world, I had it made. Then with my needing to change how I ate – I felt as if I had fallen out of the tree and I was lying on my back on barren ground.

But wait a minute this wasn’t an infertile place. As I looked round I discovered that I was in a prairie, there were all kinds of plants and grasses here, a good deal more variety than I could have imagined. This is when I got into cooking in earnest; first for myself and then as a personal chef with a niche of cooking for people with serious health issues.

Fast forward to three and a half years ago, I had finished acupuncture school and had practiced for a few years in Baltimore. Having grown up in Minnesota – the energetics of Maryland didn’t match my body. The weather just wasn’t conducive to being out of doors. At least that’s what I imagined the natives to think, apparently summer was too hot and winter too cold. It wigged me out that I was always the only one out of doors.

By then I had been exposed to the teachings of Evolutionary Enlightenment and Andrew Cohen. The compelling nature of these teachings and my dissatisfaction with my living location was the perfect explanation for me to make a visit to Foxhollow, the EnlightenNext world center.

As a long term visitor I was assigned to work in the kitchen. But this was no usual kitchen. This innovative setting enlivened me, rekindled in me my love for creativity and improvisation in food preparation. It was a boon to find this incredible kitchen run by Katherine the executive chef who has become my food mentor. She has successfully combined her personal talent and love for aesthetics with food research and has created what I call – food of the future.

The serious inquiry and vertical development which is the hallmark of EnlightenNext’s teachings are not lost on me in my work in this high powered kitchen.

My participation in the EnlightenNext kitchen seems like a very congruent continuation of my life long passions for growth and food. I’m going to stay right where I am. After all, food is my middle name.

If you want to up level your food preparation and eating habits give Rebecca a call today–410-868-5178.

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