#95 My lovely guest this week is Ronit Robbaz, a lady I have huge respect for.
Ronit provides the catering for our Let Go & Live In Flow Retreats, where I first met her. From the moment I met her I knew she was someone I could learn so much from and immidatley wanted to bring her on my podcast. From her army days, trading gemstones from India to Brazil, plant-based medicines, singer-dancer, spent time in an army jail in Israel, spent time with a guru…. we cover so much… what a podcast episode! Enjoy!
About Ronit: Ronit Robbaz-Franco is the founder of Open Table Catering in Byron Bay and her business has been operating successfully for the last 15 years.
The foundation of Open Table is to enable body and spirit to be deeply nourished. Using local, kosher, organic and pesticide free ingredients. Open Table aspires to fuse nutrition with contemporary trends.
Her story is unique as she has been travelling around the globe for several years gaining a wealth of experience in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Moroccan cuisine, Indian and Gourmet Wholefood.
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Guy: Hi, I’m Guy Lawrence and you are listening to the Guy Lawrence podcast. If you’re enjoying this content and you want to find out more and join me and come further down the rabbit hole, make sure you head back to the guylawrence.com.au. Awesome guys. Enjoy the show.
Guy: Ronit welcome to the podcast.
Ronit: Thank you.
Guy: Now I have to say we’ve got a film crew in here this morning so I know people will be listening on audio but we’re in my house and today’s a special day for me cause it’s been in my vision for a while cause I’ve been doing zoom, I’ve been podcasting for nearly eight years now. Right?
Ronit: It is.
Guy: And, and I’ve always wanted to bring so thanks to Allen, Marcus coming in. So, um, yeah, it’s special and I mean this I’m really glad it’s you. That’s the first guest to come in and do it in person.
Ronit: I’m like, quite honor is this look like? Who wants to talk to me.
Guy: I don’t believe that for a second. Cause you know, just to explain to everyone that, you know, we’ve worked together now this year. That’s three of our let go and live in flow retreats. You’ve come in and done the catering and from the moment I met you and we worked together, the first one in beginning the January I was in awe mate, I was in awe. And then since then it’s just, you know, a relationship that’s been growing and I’ve always thought I’ve got so much to learn from. This woman is incredible. So hence why I asked her to come on the show. So I’m glad you’re here. Tell us why. Let’s before we get into your background, cause I know you, you’re even from the conversation that has been fascinating, but what led you to food? Because your work has been an integral part for us with the retreats we’ve been doing. Where does that passion come from for you?
Ronit: Yeah. Okay. So first I just want to just acknowledge, thank you for having me on the two because I feel part of the team and, and it’s been wonderful and I feel that there’s just, I’m growing with it also. So it’s wonderful, in regards to your question. A has been a big part of my life, you know, come from like you know, like a family, like a with a strong food heritage. My both parents are Moroccan and everything was surrounded by food. Everything was around for the conversation where I run the food and I’ve been working with food for almost 30 years professionally and unprofessionally also. And when the time came that moment came to actually asked myself what do I want to do in the world after having my daughter and traveling the world. And there was no, like the only thing that came was food, eh, I mean like it was a bit of a joke asking myself because it’s sending Nate, it’s something that I have, we did men service like so food and service, be it service to people and obviously like it can be challenging, you know, because having, making, creating the food, it dealing with people in the service.
Ronit: Like, you just got to put yourself aside, you know, like you got to step out of the way to really be at service and they know it’s hard. It’s been challenging, you know, to step up.
Guy: So wait, where’s your background from? Cause you have a beautiful accent.
Ronit: Yes. My accen’t can’t change it. And yeah, I was born in Israel and as I said, my parents are in Moroccan, Jewish Moroccan and they immigrated about in 70 years I go to Israel and yeah, I was born and raised and bred in Israel and uh, yeah, it’s been a wonderful place to be, you know, like to be in, to grow in and to be raised in. But it’s also been very challenging because as you know, like now it’s quite full on. But as you know, in that town that I grew up, there was actually a war everyday kids or like you grew up without the feeling of like stress. Like it’s, it’s a, it’s a low dose patriostic grown in Israel and I’ve been in the army as I shared with you before. It’s a compulsory for women and men. And although I had a fun army because I was actually doing, like I was serving in my profession. I used to sing and act.
Guy: How old were you when you had to go in the army?
Ronit: I was 17.
Ronit: Yes. 17.
Guy: And you were a singer and dancer.
Ronit: I came from an art school. So like you’re not just doing that like it was obviously I had to go into, to do auditions because there’s an army band’s few are abandoned. There’s a lot of people go into audition and few are getting accepted as it’s like a rigorous, like a little three or maybe three or four auditions that I have done. So it was really happy about it and then serving. But uh, it was quite interesting. We had a lot of fun until we all got busted for smoking pots. The army was actually not allowed to do it and in that you don’t like, it was prohibited, but it was a, it was fun, you know, like, because in that moment we had to be, we had to serve time in jail.
Guy: Oh wow!
Ronit: Yeah. I was two months in the army jail. But it’s not like, you know, it’s not like a proper jail. It’s a bit of a joke when it was actually the time that I actually experienced the army for what it is, you know, being in the jail and meeting different kinds of people, you know, different demographic. And
Guy: and how old were you at this point? I was 19. I was around 19. Yeah. Cause you mentioned then as well, um, about growing up and having almost like that low input of PTSD on [inaudible] cause he was constantly on constant alert if there’s war. Like how much was that affecting you going into adult Holden? Oh yeah. I mean
Ronit: it’s the, it’s the way I react to thing. It’s the way, you know, like the communicate with people. It’s how I’ve been with my family. I mean like it’s also like there’s a conditioning or the family conditioning, but the external conditioning of growing in a place where the, it’s like people are on the lurk. You’re very edgy cause you don’t know what’s going to happen to more. And it’s not only Israeli, I’m talking Palestinian, whether leaders in that region, they all, we all in the same umbrella is immense look. And you’ve got, you’ve got to undo it, you know, and look for me what I did, it was actually living in Israel and going out there and traveling and experiencing and living in many countries and expensive and different cultures. Then it’s for me to a certain degree, but also being in a family in the relationship where you have that constant mirroring, you know, with your partner or with your kid it, you know, like you, you ha, you wake up to your own, whatever shortcoming or whatever the behavior, you know, whatever the conditioning, you start being aware of what is taking place,
Guy: what’s happening. Yeah. So, so once you, how long you were in the army for? What was in the army for two years. Two years. Two years, yeah. And then did you go back to Israel? Is that when you started to travel? No. So after the army, just
Ronit: maybe like two months or three months later I left Israel and I started traveling and I think it went on for 10 years. Yeah, 10 11 years that I was just traveling and living in different places. I lived, as I shared with you, I lived in India forms the eight years I lived between India and South America. So I walked a lot in, I did walk with semiprecious stone, we were doing the local brokers brokering with different kinds of precious stone and surplus just on a live with a French guy. So we did a lot of the massive traveling with him and you know like experiencing cultures and lived in Japan for two years. Wow. Eh, like lived in Southeast Asia. Like I’ve, I’ve, I’ve traveled extensively. I’ve done all South America and I’ve been in Africa and I mean most of Southeast Asia. But yeah, the majority of my time I spend a lot of time in India cause that was my, my pool was too that this, it was close to eight years in India.
Ronit: What kept you there for so long? What was, what was it about India air, first of all was the people and the cultural, like the people are wonderful. They’re very hearty and very accepting and there’s very multicultural and there’s a lot of tolerance. Look, you know like there. So there was the things that I needed to actually learn was, was, you know, like it’s been presented from, you know, like the patients and tolerating, because there’s so many cultures and so many people hiding in a space, you know, like in India you travel, you just step out of the car and suddenly in a place that you think there’s no one suddenly you’ve got this thousand people approaching you. In [inaudible] India, there’s people everywhere. So yeah, for me, I love that I lived in the Malayan region. It’s a place. So I love living in the mountain. I love living in an alternative community and living in nature. So that was one of those things that, you know, like wanting to keep that, it was integral part of me, I want to like for me it was very healing. It was very supportive of my being, you know, to be in nature, to be in a place that it’s not a city, you know, it’s,
Guy: yeah. So what were you doing there? Over there? The eight?
Ronit: Yeah. Yeah, like, so actually let me look. I was like, I was walking a lot in between India and Brazil, but what have done a lot really. I F first and fore mostly like I really hang around with the people, you know, lived in a village. I had a home, we build up a beautiful home and like I live like a local, you know, I was, I didn’t have electricity, I didn’t have water. I used to carry water from the, you know, from the river to my house. Like no toilet, no shower. We had to build it. Like I was like a local. So it was, I really wanted to experience that. And also I was, I was very much into plant medicine. So I was in India and also in India. Yeah. Like, so look, it’s in there is the mother. I’m like, everywhere you go, you’ve what, you know, it’s growing everywhere. Yeah. All kinds of plant medicine. So yeah. Yeah. So like I was quite fortunate to have this kind of style of life. Incredible. Yeah.
Guy: And what do you think at that age as well after living leaving Israel and then being in like that’s a completely different environment. I’m not, I mean I’ve traveled through that environment, right? I can’t say I’ve lived that way for a long time. You know, I’ve experienced the months here and there and that was quite a, it’s quite a shock at first. We’re very liberating at the same time. And then you talked about plant based Madison as well, which I’ve experienced in my own journey of discovering myself as well, which has been quite incredible. Um, what did you think that, what has that taught you over the years from when you, when you would look in that plant based medicines?
Ronit: I, for me what the plant based medicine, eh, which are very transcendental Larky allowed me to actually stop and look at myself and really question and going to self-inquiry. And also it allowed me to forgive and to really not hold onto a story if it’s to do with my family. And you know, because you’re in your twenties, you don’t have that awareness. You’re kind of like you walk around. I mean, I can talk from my experience, but I see that a lot in young people, you know, and that you, you kind of like, you spread the blame all around but yourself, you know, if you’ve got a story. Yeah. So the planner is, it was an eye opener. It was an eye opener to a different rooms. You know, like also you, you expand, you, there isn’t an idea of like, you, you, I felt that there’s a greater things than where I am.
Ronit: I’m connected to that great thing. And he’s a, um, there is, um, something that caused me to really step up, you know, step up and take care privately for myself because if I’m taking care of that unit and imagine if other people doing it, we can really elevate the consciousness and elevate, not necessarily, but elevate that whatever is needs to be elevated. Yeah. In a way East consciousness for me. So that was, that was amazing. And it came on a crossroad or so it’s like, you know, it was kind of like a rock and roll, like living that rock and roll style and then like at times very this like destructive, you know, like not doing all those things actually not to feel actually not to look at those parts of myself that I didn’t want to own.
Guy: I was going to ask you, is there a touch of what seems to be common because almost at the moment plump is medicine has become very almost popular to a degree. Like it, you know, it’s trendy, it’s very trendy. Right. And with you from your experiences, and I know there’ll be people listening to this that would be at least curious, I’ve been looking at it and saw it for you, was it an element of using plant medicine ah, to escape from then certain things that you wanted to look at or was it, was it each one? Cause I see that as a common thing that we can go and do it and then it actually prevents us from looking at the things that we want almost taken as Pell solution as opposed to,
Ronit: yeah I think it’s a plant medicine are very intelligent and there is also the aspect of timing so you can ingest it, you can take it and feel like Oh yeah like you know it’s trendy, my friends are doing it, let’s check it out. You know like they want to check, I ask her, I want to check, you know, Oh let’s I want to check with Juma. It’s me to pay out all of those kind of thing. But there would come a time where it would show you when you are ready to actually face it. It would show you and like when I, you know like experience with you know, experience with with acid and lets go Spence with Aaron experience with different kinds of things spent with different kinds of drugs and some parts of it when like in my twenties when I quite young and it was all like you just wanted to get out of it.
Ronit: I just wanted to get out of you know and and in a way put like a screen not to really really feel there was a lot to process and I didn’t have any idea. I didn’t have like, you know, I didn’t have a guidance also. And then the moment that the guidance came there was, it somehow it kind of like fell into place. You know also like having a garden I showed you today I have a teacher, a guru from Indian, which is got nothing to do with plant medicine. That’s a walk different walk by itself. But having all of those combined together was really helpful to actually eh, step from the backwards. It’s not about let’s just be trendy and enjoy it. It’s actually let’s do the work. I have an intention and I want to, I want to unravel something in, in whatever is taking place here. And I’m going, and it’s, it’s actually a separate thing. It’s, this plant is giving you a message and you need to be ready to hear what’s the message. Yeah. Yeah.
Guy: I hear you. I hear, cause I think back to my own experience when I, cause I, uh, I did an iowaska ceremony back in I think 2013 and at the time I, um, I, I’d spent a long time research and, and been looking at it and I thought I felt ready. And it’s amazing that you say about the way the plants know. And there’s an intelligence there because I felt like I was cradled and looked after and, and there was something beyond that was going on that I couldn’t, and it’s really hard just to live into this data, put it into words, because it was an embodied experience. And once you have those experiences, it really does start to elevate you and to make you look at the [inaudible].
Ronit: Yeah. You kind of like you go through a process and [inaudible]. Yeah. For me also like what I, one of the things also, they really are working me was the EMT and actually a DMT that came from Australia, from Acacia. So it was the ride from location. And I think for me it was one of the things that completely put me on that trajectory of like, okay, there is something in it. I mean I didn’t want to abuse it. I mean like I didn’t use it in a form of abuse where there was time that I have used it regularly until a point where actually we have received a message from the plan. You have to go long enough, you don’t have to drink, go home. Cause now at work again. Yeah. And actually I received that in, in a, in a, in a drinking session where it was so clear and there was no resistance. I was like, okay, if this is what I need to do and I’m doing it.
Guy: Yeah. Amazing. And with all your, like your worldly experience, you know from all the traveling and doing the same. I never even wanna touch on work. You working with a guru as well in the moment. But for the, for the younger generation though it could be listening to this, that would be looking at this, there definitely be curiosity. What like would there be any words of wisdom or anything you would share with our person?
Ronit: Like for young people who wanted to experience plant medicine and now there’s so many people out there. Yeah. And there’s a lot of charlatan or people or just maybe drinking and they assume that they can actually lead. I would say find a good guide. It’s lucky no, when you go to a guru of find somebody that you resonate with but really truly like you can do the research. Now a lot of things are online. It’s much more other. It’s much more of there. I’m talking to, I was starting drinking in the 90s in the beginning, like maybe mid nineties wow. And it wasn’t popular. There were people in South America that were drinking. It wasn’t popular at all. I mean, unless you knew there was the Santa dam in Brazil, in the union with the shuttle, you know, different, you know, different kinds of organization because I lived in Brazil and I and I knew and I was into a lot of the stuff went there.
Ronit: So I had an odd like that opening and um, it also in the, in the under, soon in the, under soon parts of the Amazon, you know, like going with an Italian guy that me and him and a boyfriend and that time we went with him on the river. Like we in believer, we went on the river and we were just three of us and we were doing an exchange. There was no money involved. We took air salt and sugar and some good, you know, goods like bulky, good things. And that’s how we exchange with the shaman in like a heart on the reveal and one of the offshoots of the Amazon and actin, like in a dark, very dark, very different to how it’s conducted in, there’s a different kinds of session happening now. There’s are, I would say, just get, make sure that you’re having it with somebody who is integral is a good guy that can actually hold space, that obviously you can get recommendation from your friends or you do the research online. I think it’s very vital. That’s what we say. And I was say experiment. I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s really good. I would put it as part of the curriculum, you know, an education system. You’re doing it, you know, like, because there’s an amazing research heart helping, you know, depression, addiction, you know, there’s lots of,
Guy: well let’s look at the documentary with your friend recently, you know? Yeah, yeah.
Ronit: Veterans and there’s a lot of stuff that’s happening, like people are, their level of anxiety in the world number’s completely amped up.
Guy: Yes. Well, we see it. Yeah.
Ronit: We need to, we need to address those kinds of aspects. And I’m not saying it’s suitable for everyone, but I’m saying it can be beneficial for a lot of people.
Guy: Yeah, yeah. Once in the right environment. And I can certainly, that’s what happened for me. You know, it certainly it changed the projectory in my life. Yeah. Without a doubt. You know, I’m, I’m intrigued as well with all this, this travel, this I just exploration of life in which you’ve, what you’ve done, which it blows my mind when I, when I see the context of all this. What was it like for you having to then Lee leaves to step into I guess normal life or is that if that, I mean that would’ve thought normally normal. Yeah. Spending
Ronit: it only like, eh, yeah, it’s all process happened whilst I was, you know, having a family and running a business and I mean like, okay, I’ve started it before but there a time before, you know, like be foremost actually before I turned 28 which is like, you know, they talk about it in astrology, like Southern return and there’s a lot of things can happen. Do, is look a, your, your life goes upside down. There’s all a massive chain down in 60 degrees and yes. So for me like this, all things started to come really strong. Glug of just changing the trajectory, like going, going deeper. You’re not, for some, it’s happening way earlier. For me, I don’t know, somehow it happened that time and where I started to explore it more like, you know, more taking it as a form of the transformation for myself and to really go deeper.
Ronit: That’s when it started then. And somehow the way that my life are folded also like my mum died or so around that time, the relationship that had been for many years just completely, you know, somehow eh, um, you know, ended and yeah, like, like I traveled to different places that are always wanted to get in. Some are even arrived here like maybe two years later and I 30 arrived in Australia, you know, so yeah. So it’s, it’s, it’s naturally, eh, was part of my life, but yet other things kind of like entered and do. Yeah. That’s called me to, yeah. You know, like question myself, what do I want to do still? Then, you know, I was doing my thing, but there was not that, you know, you’re not worried about thing. Also having a family going into having, you know, like when you’re having a kid, it’s, it’s different, you know, like it cause you to really step up.
Guy: Yeah, totally. Totally. No, it’s just fascinating because I think as well we can [inaudible] a lot of us have the, the urge to want to explore life and really go, but quite often we can deny ourselves of that and, and hold back at the same time. But for me it seems like you really just kind of, there’s an element of flow and exploration and allowing things to unfold and not wanting outcomes.
Ronit: No, I mean, yeah, in that sense, like a look for instance in a relationship for, you know, would be between a man and a woman. I all looked like reflected back and I was never one of those people that looking, somehow it’s fell into my lap. A lot of things fell into my lap and I don’t know, maybe have good luck, you know, like some good ideas have some good deeds in my past life or whatever. But it fell into my lap and there was a lot of eh, you know, that’s kind of like drinking life like this. There was no fear of like just diving into that ocean of the unknown. And I don’t know what it is like in me. I could never really kind of like probably what it is. It’s just, it’s like a pure instinct kind of like instinctual, you know? And I couldn’t put it into instinct in a lot of the time. So in that sense I was lucky. But as I said, also having a teacher and having, having the, the plant medicine teachers also helped me a lot, you know?
Guy: So what was it like, I’ve got to ask you as well before we move on. What was it like working with the teachers in the guru?
Ronit: Yeah, yeah. Like, like I’ve shared with you that my teacher was just here coming four or five days to stay with us in and we ran all, you know, different like five days program. It’s morning Saxon and evening. [inaudible] succinct. For the ones who don’t know. It’s just like a meeting of truth and it’s basically like an meditation. It was very beautiful. There’s a lot of work that involve a lot. There’s a lot of things that you need to be on the scene before that, but it’s just so blissful. It’s like you, you, you stopping your life for a minute and you, you are immersing yourself in, in this beautiful energy, like a being that is very much present, you know, so, yeah. And it does, it’s just lucky. It’s very elevating. The feeling is so elevating and it’s so police fall and it’s so simple and it’s, Oh, it’s to do with also with the being, you know, like with my teacher is very down to earth person. He’s very simple and it’s very relaxed. So you just, you know, like you feel there’s a lot of trust. There’s a lot of these, did you meet your teacher in India? Yeah, I’m actually, yeah, I met him in India. Yeah, I met him in India.
Guy: Yeah. And I that that I ask you a really simple question, but being a Welshman right. Growing up in Wales, in the valleys, whether it was our religion was rugby, right? [inaudible] that’s how we started out. Now, if somebody said to me, why I had a guru as a teacher, well my first question would become, well, why and why would you see your guru? What do you learn? You know, the, the, the, the Welsh Valley volume, it would be asking that right now for sure.
Ronit: So let me tell you, the time is rarely, and I come from a full heritage, like, you know, my, my, my, um, heritage is a Jewish heritage. So in there, in the Jewish tradition, you know, allowed to bow to no one, there’s no frustration. Wow. It’s a monotheistic religion. But you know, that, that’s sort of like my background. So when I lived in India, like I spent a few years in India where I was like, no way I’m going to go and sit with a guru. Like I have resistance also. And they’re like, okay, with this certain idea and concept. And part of like, the transformation is actually breaking down concept, your own concept and the conditioning and the environment. So, yeah, you know, like I’ve been in India for a while and like I met my guru actually through my husband, so we were not together yet.
Ronit: We just kind of look in. He said, why don’t you come and meet my teacher and you know, and, and again, it’s timing. I was ready, I was actually ready. But beforehand I hang around, you know, like I’ve lived in pornos so part of, you know, of my time and I, and I did meet like a hose kind of like hang around with Bubba’s, you know, like everywhere in India if you, you haven’t been to India, but when you different kinds of bubbas you know, like they all like monks, you know, and they hadn’t, you know, like traveling all over, they’re like sad whose, you know, they travel over all over India. So I did have always the contact, but there was something, there was a resistance, there was resistance in me to actually surrender. And so because it requires you to question little things and to break through your own conditioning.
Ronit: And obviously I was reading, I was in that time that I met him in like I had a full opening, like a heart opening and I was, I was blown away. Like for me it was, there was a place in me, there was like a, well that opened up, I couldn’t stop crying but it wasn’t a cry of like all pain. It was actually a total release release. I’ve just been immersing with another, I dunno, they were like 20,000 Indian in there and maybe we’ll try a few for few foreigners. It was in Delhi actually and they were running a program. So many Indian, it was all conducted in India. I mean like I spoke in this so he wasn’t a problem for me. But all those chance things that I never knew but some have felt so natural, you know, it felt natural and it’s not something that I came like you have the rugby and I’ve got different things. You’ve got the rugby and like for me it was like all, you know, just very rock and roll and it’s all, you know, like fuck everyone. And one of you can use this language, you know? But yeah. So it was, yeah, it was,
Guy: it was a good school. Wow. And just to, to sort of tie that up then, if there was, if you could, what is the essence that you learn from, from something like this?
Ronit: Yeah, look, it’s very, if you take the teaching right, it’s, it’s very humbling. It’s all about knowing cause the quintessential thing that we teach is know yourself as God, you know, know that God dwells within you. You know, like it’s basically the girl wants you to awake to your own true nature. And most of those are the same. It’s all the kind of like bringing it in different packages. So yeah. And it’s really like practice is important and uh, and you will conduct yourself with being kind, being honest, being, you know, like being kind to your surrounding pink kind to yourself. You know? So that’s what it is. I mean, it’s nothing too over the top. It’s very, very simple.
Guy: Yeah. But it’s the greatest gift you can give someone as for them self to feel empowered. Yeah, definitely. [inaudible] when
Ronit: you start implementing the teaching you free, I mean like there is a whole, there is a whole steps, you know, you feel so from attachment you feel so from your conditioning, from ideas, from concept. So you could actually become like an empty vessel, you know, like you’re empty vessel and you could contain, you can contain the others, you can see where people are, you know, flipping out, whatever. You’re not reacting, you just okay. You holding okay with some integrity, with some healthy boundaries. So yeah, it’s, there is a lot of, you know, like there’s a lot of things that you gain out of it. It’s hard. We know. But I can tell you it’s like, it teaches you to find, it’s like to find the truth within yourself, to know that you, you are a part of source. I like, because we saw we are, so the narrative is all about separation. So what it is, it’s Springs, it’s very universal. It’s nondenominational. So it says no, you know, it’s very universal truth.
Guy: I hear you. I hear you. I like, I’ve had
Ronit: multiple physicists, quantum physicists, physicists that are just using a different language. Yeah. Yes. They’re all talking about the same thing. Yeah. All of those tradition head, they knew they were tapped into source. They did. They put it in different ways. If you read the Bhagavad Gita, if you read, if you tap into Kabbalistic scripture, everything is there. It’s a completely three dimensional. So it’s all in there, lot of science coming. And they put it in Western word, you know? Yeah. But it’s all those things existed for thousands.
Guy: I know. It’s incredible. Blows my mind. Yes. So tell me what brought you then to near Byron Bay? Like, like
Ronit: I actually, lucky I came to Byron Bay, I had a, like an Italian, eh, boyfriend live here. And, but I like I met this couple when I lived in Brazilian and I was studying Capoeira. It’s a martial art in Brazil. Yes. Love, use that in practice. It would probably be rusty with now. But um, yeah. So those, this capital do it from Byron and then they all stole me by Byron and you gotta go check it out. It’s a beautiful alternative community talking last maybe 30 years ago. Oh wow. So like about 28 years ago and then, yeah. And I was stuck. Oh yeah. I’ll get to one day and some other opportunity like, you know, presented itself. And I came, invited me to Carmen and I was like, that’s it. I fell in love with this place. It’s magical. Yeah. It’s magical. It’s beautiful. The nature is, and the community and the community was just beautiful, not wise. It’s still a beautiful community. As you know, a little things are changing, but yeah. Taught me. Yeah. Like you cannot stop change. No, no, they’re not. Stop change. It’s like change is here to stay. So we just need to be more kind of like be, as I said, like before and assured that we need to be guarded. We like, we need to also be in that role of being custodian. You know, like you need to kind of keep that sense of community happening and you know, so that’s what brought me.
Guy: Yeah. Yeah. I was gonna ask you them what, what took you too, cause I know you’re an amazing singer. Like we’ve, we’ve caught, we’ve caught your singing once or twice while you’re, uh, while you’ve been doing the catering for us and you, your background and dancing as well. And then what brought you to, uh, going back to food and working here?
Ronit: So yeah, as I said, like I came here and through being here, I met my husband, she’s a beautiful, very beautiful human being. He also introduced me to his teacher and he opened up a different worlds to me, you know, like in, in the practice. And it’s been like actually very enlightening and uplifting to be, to live with him and to be in his presence. And part of it was the natural thing that I was always through traveling and through walking owes walk with food or, so yeah. So if I was still, I was cooking for retreat in different parts of the world. So food was part of me. It was a natural thing that I was feeling. And in my twenties I actually got a lot into healthy food while being like a full rock and roll and like, you know, being like, using different kinds of things. [inaudible]
Ronit: it kept me very balanced, like have eating healthy food and yeah, it was, it was a natural progression to get into food and actually doing it more professional, you know, taking it to, to the next level, doing it professional and a suit. And I walked in different restaurant but having my own business because it’s thought, felt that I don’t want to work for other people and I like being in the kitchen with guys was quite hardcore. It was really hardcore and there and not that I have a problem being that I have quite a strong masculine side, but eh, I just felt it’s not nourishing. So I just wanted to work and permanently woke also a lot with women. So yeah. And I established the open table already. Like open table has been operating for 17 years. Really? Yeah. Now it’s coming in the end of the year. It’s come to the 17th year, so yeah. And crowded in, yeah, seven years. No, actually 16 years. Sorry. Brutal.
Guy: What was blatantly obvious for me, and I want to make this apparent for people as well, is that we have actually I think as a society have lost connection to food and the almost the information food can be bringing us to help serve us at a deeper level, like a re. I’ve really started to more of involve myself in this work. The more I’m respecting that and seeing that as well. And even at the retreats, what’s blatantly obvious is how much of a component the food can be to support the work that’s going on. And it really hit home when we first did, did our first retreat together in January.
Ronit: Food is very important part because it’s, it’s, it’s all about grounding as I understand. The work that you do is transformational, so people are processing and it’s really important that they have something that’s known their soul and grounding them. And I mean like, and also the added extra if it’s beautifully presented so they feel held, you know, so they’re not only held by you, they’re held in also by the team in the kitchen. And there’s the added factor that if you, you know, you’ve got somebody there that is a little bit more, you know, uplifting or you know, can them, it’s also, it’s great. You know, cause it’s all like, it’s sort of a, there is a, it walks in a circular movement. So we all doing it without, even in the first retreat we didn’t really communicate. It’s like, okay, I’m doing the catering that somehow there’s an amazing flow between the facilitators and us in the kitchen cause so we holding the Fort for those, you know, for those people.
Ronit: Totally. And it’s huge and this forever grateful of that. And like I feel what I feel, it’s like it’s not only there that people are processing, we all, we all processing, we all, we all going and it’s a great opportunity to really take it back and reflect. Okay. Like I see myself a lot in people in the different parts of my, you know, like stages of my life and it’s like wow, it’s a, it’s a great mirror to actually it was, wow, am I still there? Like, just checking in with myself, you know, in moments whenever I have a little bit of BRAF that can actually stop and say, look, I’m really sorry but this is what it is. Just being a bit more, you know, gentle, gentle with myself there, focus, be gentle with each other. So because when you get caught up in work you are, it’s, it’s quite physical and understanding like they’re often, they do 17 hours standards.
Ronit: Yeah. So it does. And I can, you know, if I’m not feeling like right emotionally it can get caught up. So it’s a, it’s a moment for me to actually do the work with myself, you know? So it’s, it’s an opportunity also for me to work as much as for them. Yeah. Oh wow. This is beautiful that you look at it that way. Yes. Because I remember even on the, I think it was, cause we just did two retreats in August. I think you had literally done like, it was a 12 day for me being there. Like the 12th day I was together with your retreat. I was there for 12 days working in the kitchen on stop. But it was great. Like that time that was electrical, the power was off. That’s right. And it was so much fun because it just got to go you to get yourself into, you know, I forgot we need to, you know, okay there’s a situation here we need to gather herself, you know, because some people could freak out all there’s no light and what are we going to do those out [inaudible] folk like they’re in a like in a party mode, you know, they like having a romantic night.
Ronit: Totally. With open table then, what’s, what’s next for you moving forward? Are you taking this stuff online? Cause I know you do classes as well. I’m definitely coming to one. Yeah, sure. Come with Linda. It’s nice. I should walk to cooking. Yeah, that would be amazing. But eh, what, what I’m doing is like, as I told you, I’ve been open table has been operating for 16 years. The nature of open table changed also. He goes, you know like as we say changes through, you know, the stay so small about adaptation. And in the last few years I’ve been teaching already for the last eight years, but in the last three or four years I actually focus more on the cooking school. I’m more moving toward teaching a lot at open table, you know, it’s based in my outcome and of course commercial kitchen and a beautiful setting outside that I teach there and I’ve been doing lots of workshops and I get a great report from people at, as you know, when you’re doing things, as you do the more and more you, it’s becoming second nature.
Ronit: So it’s great. I meet a lot of people and I really love it because it’s more intimate. Yeah. Because we fall with is real a big events and never get to see anyone. I’m just, they’re buried in the kitchen. Not very, but we have a team we having fun and I sometimes meet the people that I deal with, but it’s like hi, bye. And it’s always like emails and I’m really a person of, of I need to see the people and people’s people and it’s really like important for me to have to have that human connection. And it takes it back to that, you know, like that we are living in such an edge age that, you know, it’s all internet and we saw like not there. Everything is so far and, and I think it’s really important but often people say no, you got to it online. It’s so hard for me. You know like I can do it but I’m really like into meeting people and having them.
Guy: My brain was going then, Oh you, but you could take it online cause that’s, you know what, I’ve been spending my time but I actually stepped away from that so I could be in front even though I still on line. Like this podcast is a great, you could be the people. I was desperate to get back in front of it.
Ronit: Like, I will do a few things, but we, I love the human connection and we have a lot of laughs and we, you know, and often people always staying like another hour later on cause we all like, you know, look at my family car and we was sitting down, we having a rave and if these are the things that we have to employ, you know, like we have to take it into our love. That human connection is so important. You know, there’s all research about it. Yeah. Well all the people, because we not seeing people and like, you know, they’re not seeing the beloved, the family. We really, it’s important to do that, you know? So yeah, the walks are great. So take you back to the walks with said, yeah. A lot of happening in more things are going to come up, you know. Yeah. In, in the, in those, you know, the rock, they were cooking school. Okay.
Guy: Yeah. Now I ask everyone a certain set of questions on the show and I’m going to ask you, I’m sorry, I just get the cue from Marcus or so. Right. Um, yeah. What’s been a low point in your life that has turned out to be a blessing later?
Ronit: Yeah, like uh, the low 0.1 of the low spawns that in my life was a few times where I had miscarriages and it came in a period of like maybe a year and I had three miscarriages and that was quite a tough time. Also like running a business, having miscarriages with a family, I was probably going into perimenopause and I wasn’t aware of it and I was in a mess. I was actually in a mess. And uh, and that was another moment where I had to just really look at myself and go into a deep, deep work went into a depression. It’s also related to having, you know, the hormones are, you know, like really running abruptly and you and your system and you, you’re not in control. It’s for women. It’s like that and yeah know that was really very, very kind of like deep emotional States where from that, from that I had to, to look at a lot of things about myself also.
Ronit: It’s another layer that I had to address and really let go of the idea of having more kids, which is really strong. That was really strong for me and they’re like taking care of myself. Because at that moment I was like, eh, you know, quite energetic and I can walk, walk and not take time for myself. And that it put me on another, you know, on earth trajectory of like really undoing this all, um, patterns that I have that in myself that is not really beneficial. So it’s like another self discovery and other, another layer that I need to take care of. And yeah. And for, for dad, from that point of really glowing law, I actually, it helped me to unravel it, really take care and really approach things in a different way if it’s in the workplace, if it’s in the relationship, if it’s with my, my daughter and my step kids and yeah, that was, it’s been profound, you know, going through that and you know, unraveling those parts because yeah, there’s so much that’s been put, you know, like there been expected in a sense of like having kids. And you know, dealing with all of this concept.
Guy: Yeah, totally. And I have to say too to here, it’s so beautiful to hear you say, you know, when you look for meaning in things, that can be difficult. And I know we can intellectually think that and say it by quite often when it’s happening it’s, it can be really challenging. And for you, the whole theme of this podcast, everything is see as how you do that so beautifully. So I just wanted to compliment any of that. It wasn’t
Ronit: always easy and I could tell you like people that my family would be the one that suffered the most because you know, he was very easy to inflict pain to your beloved one because they can hold him here. But yeah, I needed to actually, I needed to look at it. Yeah. I needed to really address that for sure. Yeah. What does your morning routine look like? So, yeah, like what, you know, they’ve, over the years they’re different things because I’ve been involved with yoga for a long time. It’s whether it’s the, you know, the physical you’re going and the other aspect of yoga, which is the hand Dyani yoga, which is a meditation yoga. And like often like what I looked at myself for like a love getting into a routine where I moved the body and then I can sit down. But lately I do a lot is pranayama. That’s what would be like just getting into breathing and allowing the [inaudible] to just, you know, feel, because often I would get really busy and forget to breathe. So it’s a lot of, you know, pranayama. Yeah, yeah. That, that’s just sitting.
Guy: So you’ll always have a practice daily just to,
Ronit: yeah, like if it even, it doesn’t happen daily. It’s just pranayama and a lot of [inaudible] before I go to [inaudible]. But like, I’m very connected to yoga, so I have this kind of affinity with the soul lineage of you’re gonna so much respect for that, you know? So that’s what I think. But I do, I use insight timer and I love a lot of the stuff that’s go down in there and as symptoms where I always go back to yoga
Deidre, which I love and I do it in the night. And you know, pranayama, it’s very Indian.
Guy: Yeah. That’s classic, you know,
Ronit: based in like, yeah, look, I lived in India, I’ve done yoga for many years. Yeah. And they’re like, yeah, it’s just cause it’s like coming back home. But I felt that I lived in India for many, many years. Like I lived though. I know that I live there in different lifetimes, you know, so it’s like I have that connection.
Guy: It’s fascinating. I, I um, since I got back from Sardinia last October, I think it was [inaudible] cause Linda loves the organ. My wife and I thought, no, I’m going to commit, I’m going to start doing yoga. And I’ve been religiously doing this three times a week, which, you know, for six foot four Welshman stiff as a board. It’s not a bad effort. And it’s, um, it’s transformed me. Like it’s amazing. But from a, from, especially from a mindful perspective and actually just being with the poses and breathing through it and, and not, and having to let go of every egos. I’m the worst. I’m the worst, you know, in the class kind of thing. But it’s been, it’s been amazing and it’s going to be something that will stay with them. Now
Ronit: the thing yoga is powerful and you know, like, I could see it in when I was young, it was all into, you know, like the show off yoga. And as life progressed, my practice completely changed. And I think it’s like, it’s a natural thing, you know, like we becoming wise, you know, as we living life and we experiencing, we this wisdom that we are acquiring and we like, we, we, you know, like we living with that and so we can imbibe and we can change and we can transform and yeah, it’s, yeah, yoga is powerful. It’s really, really powerful.
Guy: Oh, that’s great. That’s great. Um, last question. Um, is there anyone, like if you had to go and have dinner with someone tonight and you could choose the dinner guests from anywhere in the world or from any time frame, is there anyone you would have loved to have met or would like to meet? And other than a conversation,
Ronit: I would love to have a dinner conversation with my, she’s not my garden, my spirit, you know, like teacher. I have never met a really in spirit with eh, like, yeah. And I miss Amanda, my mind, she’s very famous teachers is like in eh, she came, she was like a free, she was born free. She’s a master, you know, like Nanda, my, my, she’s my, you know, she’s been my teacher for many, many, many, many, many years. Like, and even before I make my teachers, she’s been my teacher. So yeah, if I can just be in a presence, not even to eat with her, like just sit there with inner presence, that will be great. She’s got like, we used to go out and sit in her race, somebody shrine, my care, the temple where she’s buried in India. And yeah, like, yeah, look, I just think about it and I like feeling so emotional, you know, and I can get very emotional, not just having her thought about her and would be like other great being like the Dalai Lama or you know, not great masters, you know, just to sit in the presence. Like I would even be scared to eat, you know, around the mall. Like just um, to just be in that bathe in their presence. Definitely.
Guy: Yeah. Beautiful. Beautiful. And last thing with everything we’ve covered today, which we’ve covered a lot, is there anything you’d like to leave the listeners to ponder on?
Ronit: Eh, wow. One or two like I’ve really wanted to talk about food as medicine, but you know, somehow life wanting to, you know, like some of this kind of conversation will lead to somewhere else, which is great also. But yeah, like I love to, yeah, food, food is medicine. Like just really treat food as your medicine. Like be mindful of what it is that we target. We were sourcing our food and you know what it is that we put in our, we are digesting it, you know, like yeah. And how that affects us greatly. Yes. How, you know, like food is, it’s a big part of our life. You know, it’s a big part and just much that we can do to bring awareness and a lot with people who have kids because kids are there, they are going to be here after us. They know how long we going to be here and difficult in part something that is, you know, that is profound for them around the food is medicine because that’s what I work mostly with. It will be like, it’s great, it’s amazing. You know, it’s really, it’s important
Guy: 100% and I can’t, I can’t recommend you enough. And, and, and for anyone listening to this as thinking, Oh well Ron is in MyoCalm, I’m never going to get to a workshop or whatever. It’s like, well Byron Bay is like one of the holiday destination.
Ronit: Yeah. And people can tune in and find out if we are doing workshops. If they come and you know later on, I mean like it didn’t talk about my book that would come hopefully.
Guy: You’ve got a book coming out?
Ronit: Yeah. Hopefully at the end of the year.
Guy: I didn’t know this. Oh my God. Yeah.
Ronit: Cookbook. And it’s also to do with the journey that I’ve, you know, experienced in the book is talking about different regions of where I’ve lived in different places, you know, so it’s food from all of those region, India, middle East, Mediterranean, Latin America.
Ronit: You know, where my actually my heritage is, you know, Spain and Morocco. Yeah. Yeah. Can people sign up to only website? Like to a newsletter?
Ronit: Yes! There’s a newsletter, they can subscribe for open table and we have a lot of recipes and hopefully will, you know, my husband’s trying to get me to put videos, if he did me many times, but I’m like vetoing it.
Ronit: No, but he’s like yea put it on, put it on.
Guy: video right now and looking at your amazing on video.
Ronit: You got to put it on. He’s convincing me.
Guy: I mean, so, so where did they go? Which was the website?
Guy: Perfect. I will link to the show notes anyway, and I know you’re on Instagram.
Ronit: Yes. I have an Instagram, Facebook and everything is there.
Guy: Everything will be there.
Guy: I was just going to get you on video as well.
Ronit: Thank you.
Guy: Ronit. Thank you so much for coming on.
Ronit: Thank you! It’s been a delight.
Guy: It has.
Guy: I really appreciate everything.
Guy: thank you, my lovely.
Ronit: True the best on me, but my teacher at the beginning of the field like is this kind of like a soft glow going down line and then in my mind.
Guy: you’d be back on the podcast? I have no doubt. I have no doubt.
Ronit: Thank you.
Guy: Thank you.