Thanks for Getting to Know Me!
I’m a certified Culinary Nutrition Educator, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and AADP certified Holistic Health Practitioner with a passion for learning and sharing, getting creative in the kitchen, supporting and empowering others, while fostering community along the way. When I’m not working, I enjoy getting lost in books, seeking sunshine, geeking out on board games, hiking with my puppy, and sharing a meal with fabulous company.
My personal health journey began in 2012 after my body shut down and forced me to listen. Up until then, I was living a “take pride in running your ass off” kind of life. You know the one... never enough time, always on the run, choosing challenging and high stress work situations. I was constantly pushing the limit and never saying no, all the while keeping a full social calendar. Sound familiar?
I didn’t take the time to fuel myself with nutritious food, get quality sleep, sit quietly, and nurture my relationship with myself (or my husband). Working as a public school teacher, I always felt like I needed to give more. My nervous system was shot and I didn't make time to take care of myself. While I saw this as complete devotion and love for the teaching profession, in actuality, I was depleting my energy sources and living unsustainably.
The signs were there for years, I just chose to ignore them. I was exhausted; I developed 37 environmental allergies; I was sick all the time; and I could no longer separate my students’ experiences from my own. I barely had enough energy to hold myself up, yet I would still push through.
My wake-up call came when I was unable to get out of bed one day. Everything hurt, my face was covered in welts, rashes encompassed my body, and I had pneumonia and mononucleosis at the same time. I had no choice but to pay attention. What started out as a high viral load has since left me in a chronic state of pain, fatigue, and monthly inflammatory flares over the past seven years.
Throughout my wellness journey, I’ve experienced heartache, confusion, fear, and loss of self. However, through these experiences I’ve also come to realize that I am my strongest advocate. I have complete control over my thoughts, what I put in and on my body, and the path I take forward to live a fulfilling life within the realm of my illness. This first-hand experience with chronic illness led me to explore new interests and play in the kitchen. In an effort to learn more about the application of therapeutic foods, I went back to school at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. This reignited my hope and passion for teaching and working with others so the next step became attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Now I get to support and educate others on how food, thoughts, actions, and lifestyle choices affect their health.
There is a power in educating ourselves, advocating for ourselves, and surrounding ourselves with a supportive community. I am grateful for the opportunity to get know you, learn with you, and support you through the choices that you make along your journey. I look forward to working along side you.