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About

My Journey, My WHY

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Hi Everyone!

I am Dr. Ludmilla Wikkeling Scott (Dr. Ludmilla), the girl who absolutely loves sharing a delicious cup of Spicy Hibiscus Tea with my amazing daughter, Maria-Del-Mar, a talented Artist! Our Caribbean heritage includes the amazing Hibiscus flower, full of flavor, fun and flare, add a great avocado salad, and we're happy! My husband also enjoys Hibiscus Iced Tea as his favorite sports drink! 

I also love to cook, and create dishes that are flavorful, made with whole plant-based foods and create some amazing hibiscus mocktails, salad dressings.

I invite you to my kitchen, where I find peace and calm, in the midst of sometimes noisy pots and pans I pull from every cabinet, to make sweet and savory dishes that are both entertaining and beneficial to our family's health and yours. So join me!

My Story

I am the founder and creator of Hibiscus & Whole Food, a mother to an amazing daughter, wife to an Air Force Veteran (thank you for all who serve this country), recipe maker, gardening addict, and public health researcher. I did lots of work in public health and policy, conducted research and still mentor doctoral students interested in addressing issues of health that impact our diverse communities. Since my early years in college, I have been both fascinated and frustrated at the number of chronic diseases people face, and no real solutions, but from my heritage I always knew that they existed in our very own food, not necessarily in pills.

After a Master of Public Health, a Doctor of Public Health, conducting extensive public health research, traveling the world and seeing stark contrasts in how we view food, prepare food and consume food, plus a few personal health challenges, I was ready to make serious changes and create healthier communities, leading by example.

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Genesis 1:29

My Cup of Tea

My family is from Suriname, a beautiful country smothered by the Amazon Rainforest, and I was born in the Netherlands, moved back to Suriname, lived in Spain for a few years, and came to America with my parents and siblings, where I began my college education at San Francisco State University. 

 

As a child, growing up, I don’t remember eating much meat because it was never a main part of our dish, but rather lots of vegetables we grew in our yard, or picked from the fresh food markets wherever we lived. I remember in Suriname and the Netherlands it was Saturday market with the family, and in Suriname, there was also the backyard, where we grew lots of vegetables, and fruits. What we did not grow, other family members and neighbors did, so I recall exchanges of bags of mangos, sapotille, star fruits, tropical apples,  pommecythere, papaya, and don’t forget those watermelons! Strangely, though, I was not taught how to cook, I just watched the elders do the cooking, while the kids helped with cleaning up, but children learn from their environment, and so did I. While I did not do much cooking in college, once I had my own family, cooking became a great pass time, and a way to express my culture, my identity, and my way of relieving stress. Don’t get me too frazzled or I get in the kitchen and start cooking up a storm!

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Why Hibiscus & WholeFood?

In 2015, I lost my dear father, who was truly my hero, who had traveled the world, and brought a family of six to the United States to have more opportunities and unite with two older brothers who had lived here for decades. Dad taught me how to cook with tofu, and became vegetarian, although he loved that Dutch cheese…Imagine Dad walked 5 miles a day, only to be told he had high cholesterol and was placed on not one but multiple statin drugs, which ultimately created complications and as my sister and I held Dad’s hand, he passed away due to respiratory failure and that was one of the most devastating days of my life. I knew something was wrong, and especially, when I had been diagnosed with a seizure disorder out of the blues, senior in college, and only during my menstrual cycle, and no one knew what to do but medicate…I also watched my daughter suffer from an autoimmune condition, which drastically changed her life, and my husband began the commonly known high blood pressure battle. Meanwhile I had entered graduate school at Morgan State University where I learned a lot about the (tragic) statistics keep chronic diseases at the top of the charts for cause of death, and when I looked closer, did some research, listened to some folks in the field, I realized that the common denominator was the Standard American Diet, and I got it! 

 

That Hibiscus and Ginger we use in the Caribbean? Oh, I knew I was on to something, so with my Dad no longer on this earth, the urgency to build his legacy, the passion to help myself and others, the knowledge gained from community-based work, writing health policy, and research, I decided that Hibiscus is a must have, a powerful antioxidant not always appreciated for its true value(s), and whole food.  No more foods that contain things we can’t pronounce or understand, and may cause adverse effects and sometimes even death. I started with a collection of 100% organic herbals and teas, and realized I had more to offer, with my professional skills, my passion for food, and my God-given ability to lead by example.

The journey has just begun, so join me!

What's Brewing?

Hibiscus & Whole Food includes Lifestyle and Education. We believe that living a quality of life includes the opportunity to understand what you are doing to yourself, how you treat your body, what you put in your body and what happens once you nurture your body, and the benefits of doing so.

 

We also believe that diversity is key in appreciating food preparation and consumption, so we hope you will continue to join us and try some simple and delicious recipes that include ingredients from around the world, while we invite you to come along on our annual wellness tours to visit different countries and share in the experience of diverse cuisines with ingredients you may or may not be familiar with or just out of curiosity and a way to refresh, renew, and replenish your body with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, herbs, spices, and whole food. Are you ready to steep?

 

Welcome to Hibiscus & Whole Food! Everyone is invited! 

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