Rockin’ Women Wednesdays – Cinzia Cozzolino
Stairway to unleaven.
This post is dedicated to the loving memory of Kate Bentley.
It gives me great pleasure to share the wonderful journey of my friend and fellow nutritionist Cinzia Cozzolino, Nutrition Darling. Like so many of the girls I feature on Rockin’ Women Wednesdays, Cinz and I go way back to our gritty rock n roll days hanging out in sticky carpet venues and trying to act as cool as possible backstage. She was such a pretty thing – still is – and all the boys just loved her! She was part of our gang – a tribe of wild twenty-something kids who loved rock n roll, staying out late and drinking Jack Daniels until the sun came up. Yes we were a wild bunch, fuelled by music, nightclubs and band rooms. Happy to say we still have our wild streak, it’s just been tamed by good living.
So here’s Cinzia’s story. In true rock dog meets holistic health style!
I first got involved in the music business after calling the Mushroom records offices to do interviews with their bands for my school newspaper. I had developed a music lift-out within the school paper that went to 6 schools in the area. I got to interview The Police with all three members in their Hilton Hotel room. I was 15! I subsequently got work experience job at Mushroom and met Michael Gudinski who fed me to their publicity department, and met Jenny Keath and Michelle Higgins who took me under their wings and showed me the real music industry.
I then started working for The Models management in my spare time after school and on weekends, and then onto Kids in the Kitchen management. I met all the girls from Premier Artists who I am still friends with today. During this time I ran a catering company with Andrew Duffield’s from the Models then wife Cassie, where we catered for film clips, and when bands were in studios for long periods of time. I was 18.
I met Elvis Costello and we went on a few dinner dates both here in Melbourne and in Rome where I ran into him while I was there. We even kissed! I was 19. He was in his 30’s – or so it seemed!
I went to the US with Kids in the Kitchen where I met several music industry people and later returned to become Billy Idol’s personal assistant for a stint in New York. It was 1986. Crazy times indeed. I helped keep his life and house in order. We were both vegetarian and I cooked for and lived with him too – no personal relations – strictly business! I was 22 years old, he was 32.
I came back to Melbourne because my dad was unwell due to a severe car accident then moved to Sydney where I started my own band called Rattlebone. I played all the usual venues and supported many Aussie acts. The Harbour Agency in Sydney (same connection to Premier) became friends too. I met Brian – my ex-husband in Sydney – through Tex Perkins who sang in the same instrumental band as me, which later became The Cruel Sea.
I travelled with Brian to Europe on tour while he played in Kim Salmon and the Surrealist and The Beasts of Bourbon – drug and alcohol fuelled days where I felt more like his mother than his lover! I cameoed in a few film-clips at this time too, including this one below for Kim Salmon and the Surrealists.
I’m the crazy girl in the stripped dress and dancing!
In 1991 I moved back to Melbourne with Brian, started another small band before getting pregnant with Nina. Then I never went back to singing, but was living the life of rockstar widow while Brian toured extensively.
Since then I have steered clear of that world and have become a health nut!!
My god, just writing this makes me realise how many world away from it all I am – thankfully!
A few questions for Cinzia…
1. What’s your survival food when you’re on tour? (Either on flights or in hotel rooms)
Chocolate of course! Now though, I make my own from raw cacao. I also can’t live without my fruit and nut mixes, they provide the energy I need between meals.
2. What’s your healthy go-to comfort food – either at home or in a restaurant – when you come home?
Well I truly love vegetables! Give ’em to me any way you like. When I’m home in the wintertime, I like making a dish that has a combo of different ways veggies are cooked eg roasted pumpkin and sweet potato, lightly steamed bok choy and zucchini, and fresh grated carrot, beetroot, parsley and sprouts. Then I put them on a bed of quinoa and drizzled my tahini/garlic and tamari sauces all over them – yum!
3. Do you have a secret remedy that keeps your voice in shape? (Or one of your artists?)
When I did sing, I always used the hot toddy remedy with ginger, lemon, cinnamon, honey and whiskey of course. And not talking too much either. Now if anyone knows me out there, you’d know how hard it is for me to shut up!
4. What’s the most obscure rider request you’ve ever heard?
I must say, I’ve known a few! Women were on Billy’s rider – hahahaha – pretty easy to imagine! I’ve got to say that I have a friend that was working on The Rolling Stone tour several years ago who told me that Keith Richard had his personal ‘joint roller’ provide a pile of special cigarettes in his room nightly.
Cinzia Cozzolino – Bachelor Health Science – Nutrition (Endeavour College)
My passion for nutrition began 20 years ago and has continued to grow culminating in various areas of the health industry such as an educator in schools, working with families to improve food and lifestyle choices and specialising in allergies and women’s health. As a sole parent of two gorgeous teenage girls, I understand the day-to-day struggles associated with getting healthy food into your family when the supermarket shelves are stacked with processed foods, the television keeps telling us to buy this and that and we find less time in our busy lives to get it right. I can never forget my eldest daughter coming home from her first children’s birthday party just dying to tell me what food was there. “Mum, you should have see it, there were all sorts of colours (referring to hundreds and thousands) – and they were stuck on with butter to this square shape bread that was WHITE!!” I had to laugh, I had never bought white bread in my house before but it definitely made me realise that my battle to keep my kids eating healthy was about to get harder.
Cinzia’s Cacao Pancakes
¾ cup of buckwheat flour
¾ cup of your choice of gf flour
1 cup rice milk
2 tbs cacao
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs vanilla essence
Coconut oil for frying
- Blend both flours and put in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, beat up two eggs until light and fluffy and add vanilla essence.
- Gradually add the flour mixture into the egg
- Continue mixing your eggs while you stir in the raw cacao and cinnamon powder, banana chunks and rice milk.
- Heat a fry pan and melt coconut oil on it
- Fry pancakes at a low to moderate heat and serve with fresh seasonal fruit.