When Jeannine Swaim's son, now 7, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of two and a half, she knew to turn to food to help manage her child's disease.
"I knew how to get ahead of the diagnosis with food," Swaim said. The certified holistic health coach "grew up knowing the healing nature of food."
She figured out a plan that worked well with her son -- and now, with the help of two other Fairfield women, she's taking the message that food can empower to the public.
Swaim and friends Jen Balogh and Eileen Sequeira are the women behind Tri Embrace, a Fairfield-based company that aims to help people maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle that's sustainable.
Tri Embrace got its start after Balogh and Sequeira attended one of Swaim's wellness workshops.
Swaim was passionate about her mission to educate people to make better choices when it comes to food, Balogh said, and more importantly, she was relatable.
"She's realistic," Balogh said. "She takes it back to you to change your habits, and makes a difference with everybody she works with."
So when Swaim approached Balogh and Sequeira about partnering to publish an e-cookbook, "it was a no-brainer," Balogh said.
But the women wanted to take it further than a cookbook -- they wanted to create a service.
Tri Embrace officially launched in May. The company's tagline is empower - inspire - thrive. To fulfill those three goals, Tri Embrace offers wellness workshops, cooking classes, group workshops, private health coaching, and more.
"Everybody is different. People figure out what works for them through the workshops" or one-on-one coaching, Swaim said.
Swaim works with participants to determine a healthy eating and lifestyle plan that incorporates "good health, good balance, but is flexible and realistic."
Workshops and cooking classes cover a variety of topics, like how to determine seasonal foods and produce (and how best to cook them), incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into diets, and other themes.
Swaim, Balogh, and Sequeira not only host cooking classes (for both adults and children), but can help you host a class at home. Requested classes include couples' cooking classes, a girls' night out workshop, and a healthy Mexican cooking and margarita making course.
They're taking their healthy lifestyle message into schools and throughout Fairfield, too. Come fall, Tri Embrace is working with elementary school students at Dwight and Jennings schools for "Little Chefs Cooking Class."
Kids will learn for an hour each week how to make "super healthy stuff that's delicious," Balogh said. Grilled pizza is on the menu for one of the classes.
Tri Embrace plans to partner with likeminded companies in town for cooking classes and wellness events.
"This is a great town to promote this -- the message can be a powerful one," Swaim said.