A path to wellness
I definitely sympathize and understand how difficult it can be to make healthy eating decisions. I started in the modeling business at a young age and we all know how unforgiving of an industry that is for a preteen girl. Was I thin enough? Was my hair the right color? Would my thighs ever look good in print work? It was an endless array of frequent negative self-talk and low self-esteem.
I grew up near Pittsburgh and come from a long line of wonderful Pennsylvania Dutch-style cooks. As the years went on with the industry work, in college, I ended up going to extremes, starving myself down to the size I was expected to be when a quarter of a bagel was too filling for me. I was exhausted, looked terrible and felt even worse. My hair was thinning and my skin was dull. I was sinking into the abyss of unhealthy eating patterns and comparing myself to all the girls around me.
My parents began to see all the warning signs and helped pull me out of that dark and unhealthy time.
I completed my Masters of Public Management from Carnegie Mellon University to then land a regional leadership position in the corporate world, which required almost constant travel. Living on the road and trying to find healthy things to eat was next to impossible. Los Angeles became my home base for several years where healthier choices were widely available. I began taking notes on wellness and nutrition from those in the know and teaching fellow executives about different food choices on the road, overall diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. I came to be known as the "foodie go to girl" for road life eating tips and tricks without feeling deprived. After meeting Brian, my now husband, and over a decade in this traveling lifestyle, having children was our next chapter and greatest joy.
I began really reading labels when both of my exclusively breastfed babies were diagnosed as milk, soy, protein intolerant (MSPI) in the first few weeks of life. I elected to eliminate all dairy and all soy from my diet for the first year of nursing each child. After a lot of research and trial and error (did you know soy is even in gum???!!!), they were thriving and then outgrew their intolerance around the age of one. My passion to feed them nutritious options continued. I see them watching closely while standing on their "kitchen tower" stirring, mixing, mashing and taste testing right next to me. I want them to learn how to make healthy meals and snacks not only because they are good for them, but because they taste great. I’d wish this for all children, which would lead to vast changes in the disease epidemics happening today. I decided I had be part of that change. This led me to the worlds largest and most well respected nutrition program, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. At IIN, I have studied with the world's top health and wellness experts including: Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. David Katz, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Mark Hyman, David Wolfe, Joshua Rosenthal, and countless others.
- American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), Board Certification, Spring 2016
- Breastfeeding USA, Breastfeeding Counselor, Accreditation, Spring 2016
- Stanford University, Child Nutrition and Cooking, Fall 2016
- Healthy Hands Cooking, Certified Children's Instructor, Fall 2016
- University of Minnesota, Maternal and Infant Nutrition Intensive
- University of Southern California, Doctoral coursework; Risk Management
- Carnegie Mellon University, Masters of Public Management; Strategic Planning
- Point Park University, Bachelor of Arts; Secondary Education, English/Theatre