Karen Secord is in a reflective mood.
When asked what she is reading this summer, the Executive Director of the Parkdale Food Centre (PFC) pulls out Being of Power by Baron Baptiste.
Written by an internationally renowned speaker, trainer and yoga guru, this book offers nine practices to “ignite an empowered life.”
“I’m feeling like it’s time for personal growth,” Secord explains. “I’m looking at where my life is and how I can better it.”
Although she is not far into the book, Secord says she has already found some advice that resonates with her, like releasing the concern for looking good.
As the public face of the PFC, Secord is constantly engaging with media and community groups to advocate for the food centre and the clients it serves. She speaks candidly about the challenges of being so visible.
“I need to keep up my confidence so I can do what I do,” she says.
The book isn’t just for bustling executives. Secord says she would recommend it to anybody. “It’s a good opportunity to think about how you move around in the world and relate to the things in your life.”
She says it may especially resonate with people in their 50s who find themselves reflecting on what life still holds for them.
And since her work is never far from her thoughts, it is not surprising that the other book Secord is currently reading is Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss. This work of investigative journalism explores the food industry and its manipulation of nutrition and consumption.
“I’m very interested in what we feed ourselves and why,” Secord explains. She adds that her interest in food security and nutrition started when she noticed that food banks “give people with the highest needs” food of the lowest quality. Changing this has been the focus of much of her work at the PFC.
“I’d recommend [Salt Sugar Fat] to everybody who has ever eaten processed food,” Secord says.
While her current reading list may be focused on investigation and personal growth, Secord notes that her favourite author is Dr. Seuss. She also says that her favourite time to read is first thing in the morning since she finds reading right before bed to be too stimulating.
“Sometimes after work I will sit in a Bridgehead and read,” she says. Not surprisingly, she prefers a hard copy text to electronic print.
“I love the feel of books.”
This post is part of our annual KT summer reads issue. Read all of our other profiles right here.