We could think of no better way to ring in the new year than with a bit of spiritual guidance from one of our favorite mediums to grace TV – TLC’s The Long Island Medium. The amazing thing about meeting the sassy and effortlessly real Theresa Caputo is that the conversation somehow seamlessly moves between normalcy and the beyond in the blink of an eye. With the season premiere of her show last night on TLC, we touched on all things food, style and (after the interview) got a private reading of our own. Let’s just say, we are now believers…
The New Potato: What would be your ideal food day?
TC: My fantasy food day would be French toast — that’s my favorite. That’s something my grandmother used to make me, French toast. That would be my fantasy, but my reality is water (Laughs), or maybe a protein shake. My real breakfast is usually just water, a protein bar or protein shake. That’s it. I have to try to be healthy; I can’t be eating the French toast. I’m a big cereal person. I love cereal; oatmeal and a bowl of Raisin Bran or Cheerios is my favorite.
Lunch would be a cheeseburger, French fries and onion rings. That’s my ideal lunch. My real lunch would be probably a kale and quinoa salad with grilled chicken. Dinner would have to be pasta — Pasta or pizza.
TNP: When you have French toast, do you ever feel your grandmother’s energy?
TC: I think everyone has that. It’s almost like I could go back immediately – in that split second of talking about the French toast – to my grandmother’s kitchen. I visualize myself there and I can smell it, but it’s just a flash. Would you get something like that? Does that happen?
TNP: I have these very strong memories associated with certain things. I have that with smells, or perfume.
TC: Perfume, cologne — that’s a big thing. I tend to smell not so much cologne, but more of the person. So it might be a scent of a food, or the way they smelled. But it’s funny how I talked about the French toast and I immediately could smell it. If I make it, I don’t have that French toast smell. It was something only she had. It’s crazy right?
TNP: Do you feel like a lot of the choices we make in our lives are based on those kinds of memories?
TC: I think those things give us comfort in helping us to continue with our lives. I never feel that messages or spiritual experiences should make decisions for us. I think that they’re really just there to help us to continue to be who we deserve to be. And sometimes it’s hard, so those things are all just reassuring us that [the people we’ve lost] are still there, that they’re not missing out. And that’s why we get those things. Whether you get it walking down the street, or on the day that you get married, or on special days, it’s really in our everyday life.
TNP: Your grandmother may not be there to cook for your son, but you can cook your grandmother’s recipe for your son.
TNP: It’s so interesting to hear how food would play into what you do…
TC: I changed a lot of my eating habits because of what I do. You always change as life progresses. You never stop learning; you never stop growing and improving yourself. Many years ago, probably about nineteen years ago, I stopped smoking. When you smoke, you put toxins into your body. You know that saying — you really are what you eat. People sometimes get the wrong impression. Yes, everything is about the way that you look, but it’s also about the way that you feel. So, for me, I can’t be putting toxins and things into my body. I started to eat really healthy, and then once I started this whole thing with television and being on the road so much and not having a normal life, I had to start eating organically — I started really eating clean. Now that’s only probably been within the last year, when I went strict about eating really clean. I still have those moments, but then I don’t feel well after I eat.
TNP: Do you think what you put into your body ever plays into how clearly you’re in touch with everything? So if you’re having a day where it’s just a bad food day, you feel the difference?
TC: You have to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, especially to do what I do. I feel like there’s an injustice then to myself, if I don’t take care of myself, you know? You learn that. You want to eat all those bad things, but you can’t — or you shouldn’t.
Let me tell you, I never liked meat. I used to say to my mom from the age of four, “I don’t feel right,” “I feel like I don’t belong,” “I feel different than everyone else.” We used to go into the food store, and back then they used to hang the meat. I’d be asking a billion questions. When we’d sit down to eat, I would be like, “I don’t know if I want to eat that. What animal did we have to kill to eat this?” I just was never big on meat – I find I don’t sleep well [when I eat it]. And dreaming and sleeping is always a big thing for me. As a kid, I would have these night terrors and now I realize it was just from a spirit trying to come in.
TNP: I’m sure you get asked this all the time, but is there a specific memory of when it first happened?
TC: I was probably around the age of four, and I didn’t realize until many, many years after that it was my great grandmother. She had died prior to me being born. I always remember this woman standing at the end of my bed. It was only like twenty years ago that I saw a picture in my grandmother’s house, and I’m like, “Gram, who is that?” and she’s like, “That’s my Mom!” and I’m like, “That was the woman who was standing at the end of my bed all those years ago!” I remember in the house that I grew up in always seeing people walk by the television set, and I would always remember saying to the babysitter or whoever was with us — it was always in this one room — “Did you just see that person go by?” and they’d be like “No,” you know, like, ‘This kid is crazy.’ But that’s how I was as a kid, and my parents are very spiritual, so when I would say things, nobody really ever made a big deal about it. I was never made to feel like I was crazy or weird. They would just be like, “Oh that’s just Theresa. I wonder what she’s going to say today.” I was always able to express myself, which I think was always such a great big key. And that’s really for anyone. I think that’s what I also realized from what I do — it is about expressing yourself, but it is also about honoring yourself, and I was able to do that because of the way my parents raised me and the way they just honored what crazy things I would do and say (Laughs).
TNP: And as you grew, did it all become clearer to you — what it meant?
TC: Still today, things will happen, and I’ll be like, “Oh, is that what that meant?” Yeah. As I grow, that happens. Things make sense. I always say I never want to be cliché, but things happen for a reason.
For me, I always say my problem is that I make what I do look so easy, because this is what I was meant to do. This is natural. You know how people are natural born musicians, where they just can pick up an instrument and play it? That’s the way it is for me. When I walk into a room, I sense and feel things immediately, and then it’s up to Spirit to get me to know when the time is right to get me to say something. Then I know all things that I talk about and things that I say up until that moment are for a reason, and I don’t realize it until after they decide to come through.
You see it on the show, where I’m just somewhere and something happens and I go up to someone, but it’s also different because I’m always working, so my life really isn’t normal. I always feel like I know people when I meet them. I don’t know if it’s because of what I do. But now the problem with that is that people see me, and they feel like they know me.
TNP: You’re always on call.
TC: Always. And it’s hard. People say, “Well why do you just say things?” Because it’s actually harder for me to block a soul than it is for me to just channel them. If I just say what it is that they want me to say, then we’re done – I can get on with what I need to do. If I don’t then it’s a constant — and that’s when I start to really feel things, and that’s where things then become little bit difficult. A lot of times it’s not up to me — who’s going to say what, and what they’re going to say.
TNP: If you had a dream dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there and what would you cook?
TC: If it was my last dinner – because I know if I’m going to die I’m going to be with all my dead relatives, so I’m not going to waste the dinner with them, because I’m going to have a lot of dinners with them – it’s going to be with the living. I would have to go with Larry [my husband], my children…I can only have five? It would just be my family – because that’s the most important thing – and I would have to say Julia Roberts. She’s my favorite. That’s all I want – family and Julia Roberts. That’s it. We would have a lot of fried food. Anything fattening, we would have.
I’m very blessed. It’s not easy putting your life in the public eye. I don’t think I’m famous. I always say, “I’m nobody. I’m just Theresa Caputo and I talk to dead people.” Because at the end of the day, that’s what it is. I just feel very blessed and fortunate that I have, number one, my parents, for allowing me to be the person that I am, and for my husband to be able to pick that up where my parents left off in a sense, and being able to be supportive, because I wouldn’t be able to do this without his support. It’s always about doing good and being positive, and I’m very blessed to still have that even after all these years. People still just honor what I do. It’s not easy.
Theresa Caputo, photographed in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.