A little bit about me...
I'm a (mostly) healthy chef. I'm also an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Kardashian-style salads are my best friend and if I could sleep at my yoga studio, I would. But balance is what makes the world go 'round, and sometimes there is nothing better than digging into a steaming bowl of spaghetti carbonara, or turning juicy peaches into a bubbling cobbler (and eating it with plenty of freshly whipped cream, of course!)
At times, cooking can be exhausting. On your feet for hours on end, bending over a hot flame or cutting board, trying to remember every last component that goes into a dish. When catering during wedding season, I'd often finish out an 80-hour week with an 18-hour day, setting up mobile kitchens, hauling coolers through rocky fields, putting out fires (figuratively and literally), and leading a team of chefs working tirelessly to cook the perfect meal on the perfect day that the bride had dreamed of ever since she was wearing a tutu in the womb. Exhausting? Yes. But worth it when you see the smile on the groom's face as he watches his bride savoring each bite? When the happy parents give you a hug and tell you it was the best meal they've ever had? When the guests don't have to go to the McDonalds drive-thru as soon as the wedding's over? A big, OH YES! As chefs - whether you cook professionally or are a busy mom trying to get dinner on the table, we know how much work cooking can be. But we also know how rewarding it is to see family and friends - or sometimes strangers, gathered around a meal, sharing their lives, with full bellies and smiling faces. We set out to nourish the body. We also nourish the soul.
I take this same passionate approach to food into my health coaching practice. I struggled with my weight and body image for much of my life, tried all the new diets including the, "I don't eat anything at all, and when I feel like I'm going to faint, I eat a cube of cheese." I also battled one health problem after another; stumping doctors and too often having them dub a condition as “idiopathic,” i.e. “we don’t know why you’re having this problem, so we’re going to send you off with a fancy name for it so that we look like we know what we’re talking about.” But through this journey I have come to see the power in the food we eat, realized that food is fuel and that what we are putting into our body really matters. I know what it’s like to feel hopeless, but thankfully I also know what it means to have hope and to live life abundantly! Through the knowledge of some amazing functional practitioners and a lot of education of my own, I've figured out what works for me and enables me to feel my best. I've come to look at food as medicine, said goodbye to dieting, have found exercise I enjoy, have a faith in Christ that sustains me and a career that I am passionate about. Sure, there are still some days I don't feel so hot, but my bad days are now not so bad, and most days are pretty awesome. I wouldn’t trade the journey I’ve been on for anything else in the world, and I am excited to share my passion, strategies and knowledge.
When I'm not cooking, consulting and coaching for my day job, you can find me reading Prevention, attempting (and usually failing) at the perfect warrior 3 pose, wandering through the produce stands at the farmer's market, and in the kitchens of family and friends testing out new recipes. And traveling whenever possible! My best inspiration comes from traveling, as I explore a new culture through its food. Traveling allows me to experience the beauty and awesomeness of God's creation - breathtaking vistas, spirited people, intricate creatures, and yes...indigenous bounties of fruits, vegetables, and seafood. And I can't just keep all I see and do and eat and cook to myself...I return excited to share all I've learned and discovered with whomever has the appetite to try it!