If you'd like to know more...
I've been restricting sugar in my diet since 1985 when I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia. In January 2012, I began an elimination program in which I discovered that gluten, dairy, soy, and egg are not my friends. Learning to manage life while avoiding these foods hasn't always been easy, and can still be challenging at times. But I now understand that there's this whole other side to the culinary world where delicious, allergy-friendly food is in abundance — and a change in mindset can make all the difference in the world.
I'm a Certified Holistic Health Coach.
My training has taught me to look at the whole picture of how food, relationships, career, community, and even spirituality are all intertwined and collectively responsible for overall good health — not separate things unto themselves. My education includes graduating as a CHHC from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2013; the Food as Medicine Program with Dr. James S. Gordon and staff of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine; and the Therapeutic Elimination Diets program through the Integrative & Functional Nutrition Academy.
Although my personal experience has taught me so much more.
I've had the unique experience of being diagnosed and treated for Lyme's Disease twice. The first time I was eating a typical American diet (fast food, take out, soda, chips, etc). The second time around I was eating a whole-foods diet that was free of my food sensitivities. And let me tell you — the two experiences were as different as night and day. Where the first round almost killed me, the second round was completely manageable. Laughable even, compared to the first. So without a doubt, I wholeheartedly believe that dietary and lifestyle choices are key in how disease manifests in the body.
I'm a self-taught cook.
I used to be completely intimidated in the kitchen. Growing up on processed foods, I used to think cooking whole foods involved talent in the realm of genius or invoked wizardry. But with a little encouragement, I've learned that enthusiasm and fearlessness can make up for a lack of knife skills or formal training. You just gotta put your heart into. That's where the real magic is.
I try to balance cooking for my own food sensitivities while not restricting my family.
I love to cook and I love my family, but let's get real folks — most of us don't want to cook two separate meals or have the budget for it. I try my best to find recipes that everyone will enjoy, or, can be slightly modified to accommodate different tastes.
Outside of the kitchen...
I have an enormous appreciation for horticulture and I've had previous careers in both gardening and floral design (so I can grow the flowers and make the bridal bouquet). I love Game of Thrones (but it has ruined all other shows for me because nothing else compares to Thrones — am I right?). Recently I've been reading just for fun (as opposed to learning something) and I'm having a ton of fun discovering new authors. And I'm a firm believer that a good walk in the woods, a day at beach, or a big bear hug can do wonders for your soul.
But enough about me! I can't wait to meet you!